The International Steam Pages


Once upon a time, long ago,
Delhi, India, 1981

Wilson Lythgoe has been circulating friends with some steam pictures taken some time back and with his permission and encouragement they are reproduced on these pages and will be added to from time to time. Click here for the index.


"I was in Delhi in October 1981.

Regrettably there were very few slides to choose from! It looks as if I was too busy heading elsewhere to spend much time on the local steam scene. Still the pics do have some interest……..

Consider the recently opened Rail Transport Museum with a WG shunting in it. Is the museum still in such pristine condition?

Consider the loco servicing area with its bullet nosed WP locos, steam crane and water tanks.

Consider the locos running local passenger trains in the area. 12437 is a CWD class 2-8-2 build in the forties while the unknown WG 2-8-2 could have been built as late as 1970.

After taking the photo of the CWD I decided to walk back to my hotel through parts of Old Delhi. The theory was to walk until I got tired and then catch a cab. To quote from another of those letters home:

'Today's dramatic event would have to be, whilst up in the old city this afternoon, I got my wallet lifted. Was crossing a street when somebody knocked into me and I was spun round.....no damage done and as was a busy street just carried on quickly. Later realised no wallet so reckon that's when it happened. My own stupid fault really as have always carried it in my shirt pocket where it is pretty accessible and I suppose I've been lucky to get away with it as long as I have while travelling. Had just replenished funds before going out this afternoon so reckon I lost about 130 rupee - about NZ$16 - not too much by my standards but a good haul for some little shit! The most annoying thing was I had no coins in my pockets so had to walk back to the hotel which took a good hour.'

Over the years, I spent about six months in India and that was the only time I ever had anything lifted!"


The railway museum viewed from a conveniently located road bridge from the south-east. Prominent is broad gauge Bengal Nagpur Railway 2-8-0 + 0-8-2 Garratt 815.

A view from a few metres to the right showing some delightful 2ft gauge items, including the (blue) Central Railway railmotor from the  Matheran hill railway and a Darjeeling Himalayan Railway B class 0-4-0ST.

Inside the museum, broad gauge HG/C 2-8-0 1598, with metre gauge YB 429, the latter on multigauge track (broad, metre and 2ft 6in)..

Green Central Railway WP 7066 will most likely have worked in on an express train from Agra.

Delhi Junction was on the Northern Railway whose WPs were generally less well turned out. Here one of them is fuelled by the once ubiquitous steam cranes. The overhead catenary powered the east west main Ganges Valley line.

CWD 12457 west of Delhi Junction station, note the metre gauge tracks on the right.

Unknown WG 2-8-2 passing Humayun’s Tomb on the south side of New Delhi:


Rob Dickinson

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