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Vintage Locomotives of India

Steam Locomotive B -777        


Builder: Sharp, Stewart & Co. Atlas Works, Glasgow UK, re-built at the DHR's Tindharia's Works Class: B (non-standard) Year Built: 1889, re-built 1917 at the DHR's Tindharia Workshops Service: DHR (Darjeeling Himalayan Railway), later NFR (North East Frontier Railway) Wheel Arrangement: 0-4-0SWT (saddle as well as well tank), Numbering: Originally 3517, later B-2, later altered to B-777 Named: --- Rail Gauge: ng (2' 0")

This is one of the sturdiest and most beautiful class of locomotives ever built, and is used on the steeply graded DHR. Four prototypes were built by Sharp Stewart of the UK in 1889, and after successful trials, 30 more were ordered. It is indeed a tribute to the company that most of these engines are STILL IN SERVICE, (2000), some of them over a hundred years old! The DHR achieved World Heritage Status in Dec. 1999, and may well remain the only railway in India still under steam operation, thanks to the sturdy Bs. 777 pictured here was one of the four 1889-built prototypes,and was in service till about 1952. One more B # 792 is preserved in Delhi, outside the IR headquarters building 'Rail Bhavan'. At least one B (# 778) is known to be working on a preserved line in the USA. In addition, a preserved line in the UK runs a 3/4 scale model of a B (with a tender added) on 15" gauge track.


Fireless Steam Locomotive

Builder: Henschel, Germany Class: None Year Built: 1953 Service: Factory loco (works shunter) at Sindri Fertilizers, Sindri, Bihar Wheel Arrangement: 0-4-0 Numbering: 25630 Named: ---- Rail Gauge: bg (5' 6") .



A fireless locomotive is, as the name suggests, one which does not use fire. i.e. it does not need to burn coal to create steam. The engine has instead a high-pressure steam vessel, in which it collects ready-made steam from a distant steam/boiler plant. Such locomotives are used in places like chemical plants, where sparks flying out of the locomotive chimney could prove to be a major fire hazard. As the capacity of the engine is limited to the amount of steam the boiler can hold, the utility and range of these machines is necessarily very limited, and speeds very low.



This particular fireless locomotive was used by the Sindri Fertilizer works in Bihar, and was gifted to the National Railway Museum  by that company.

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