The International Steam Pages

Steam in India, October 1998

Heinrich Hubbert's report originally appeared on the main Asia page but I have now added some pictures he has sent me.

Northern Railway:

The Royal Orient continues to be steam-powered on the stretch up to Rewari. A minor change is, that when the rake reaches Delhi Cant. and passengers leave their train in the morning around 7.00, both YG - in immaculate condition - are detached and make it light engine towards Sahrei Rohilla (to be turned on the triangle at Kisanganj) while the rake is hauled by diesel-power to Rohilla for maintenance. This means the steam-train cannot be photographed in the section between, where were some interesting positions around Patelnagar.

The Royal Orient south of Delhi Cant

The Royal Orient south of Delhi Cant

Western Railways

The only loss was the 89/90 turn between Indore and Ratlam. I came to know, that Nick Lera witnessed the last run in the middle of the year.


Situation unchanged. Because of devasting monsoon-rains, the town of Navlaki Port was destroyed and I was told it is a ghost-town now. The railway has been discontinued and all trains end now in Lawanpur. Salt-traffic was not restarted by the end of the month but an empty rake with 21 coaches and caboose was hauled by a YG up to Lawanpur. Loco returned light.

The Temple Position at Rafaleshwar (Wankaner)


Only 4 locos are in running order here. Trains 331/2 and 387/8 remained steam. 331/2 is now the most impressive regular steam-run on the entire subcontinent. However, by the end of the month one loco suffered a break of its frame and the train was dropped for some days.

Train 387 from Visavardar to Junagadh


The banker here was shiny YG 3430 with smoke-deflectors which lacked the filthy shunter YG 3334.
On 31st October, 3430 remained in shed with a boiler-problem and a YDM4 banked the train 9672.


The conversion of the Rajkot - Veraval corridor came virtually to an halt. No progress was observed since my last visit in March/April. Jetalsar staff and other railwaymen confirmed the delay in the work due to the "lack of funds". Even Jetalsar-staff - actually very careful in their predictions - felt, that steam in their shed could run well into the next year or up to 2000.

Rob Dickinson