The International Steam Pages


Once upon a time, long ago,
Malakwal Junction, Pakistan, February 1985

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.


"By 1985 most of Malakwal's locos were around 70 years old. They were still handling the passenger trains on the secondary main line that ran through the junction plus all trains on the four surrounding branches. Classic 4-4-0 and 0-6-0 types from another era!

Also classic was the local hotel: I reckon you can work its star level out from the picture. I had pulled my bed out of the room to have something to sit on too enjoy the late afternoon sunshine. The place did have some pluses though: a mosque alongside and with the first call to prayer at 5 there was no need for an alarm clock: barber shop/bath house attached for that cut throat shave and morning shower. Toilet facilities were best avoided and that problem solved by bribing my way into the first class waiting room at the station each morning.

The other lasting memory of Malakwal was being invited to a local families home for dinner. I can't remember what the food was apart from the fact it probably the best meal I had in Pakistan but I do remember the dining arrangements: the menfolk ate in the living room whilst the ladies remained in the kitchen and the door between the two remained firmly shut my entire visit. To get the food to the menfolk one of the younger sons went out the front door, walked round the house to the back and returned the same way. I did do the right thing though by buying a box of sweets in the bazaar for the females of the house although I never saw them!

According to the Continental Railway Journal, in lessening amounts, steam survived here until late in 1997."

(PS I (RD) was here in 1992 and you read an extended account of my own visit elsewhere on this site. Some of the locations for the pictures below are similarly mine and I accept total responsibility for any mistakes.)


Home, sweet home for the duration:

An early morning departure south with SPS 2997 (Vulcan Foundry,1917), the signal indicates it will follow the main line towards Sarghoda. Station pilot SGS 2424 (Vulcan Foundry,1920) waits its next turn of duty.

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Two views of SPS 2997 on train R460 for Khushab with departure at first light:

SGS 2505 (Armstrong Whitworth, 1922) on train R460 the morning passenger to Khushab:

The next two pictures show two separate morning departures for Lala Musa with SPS 3078 (Beyer Peacock, 1904) and 402:

The last two pictures show SPS locos passing two of Malakwal's magnificent semaphore signal gantries. First (I think), on the line north to Lala Musa and secondly (certainly) on the line west to the Victoria Bridge. The first is SPS 402 (Vulcan Foundry, 1914) and the second SGS 2413 (Vulcan Foundry 1916-17) on R460 to Khusab.


Rob Dickinson

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