Famous Diesels

The original inventor Rudolf Diesel 

The French police dog Diesel who was martyred in the terror attacks in France in 2015:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diesel_(dog) . She deserves to have her picture here:



The other famous Mr Diesel: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vin_Diesel

The Italian clothing brand: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diesel_(brand) 

which often features in jokes about Rahul Gandhi and the prices of petrol and diesel.

And finally the icon of Indian Railways:



From the Indian Railway timetables of 1975

The All-India Railway Timetable was the “Bible” of a section of railfans until 1977 when it was replaced by “Trains at a Glance”. The Indian Bradshaw started sometime in the 19th century and appears to have vanished a few years ago. And then there were the timetables of the individual zones. Unlike the All India RT and Bradshaw, they carried the zonal maps as well. They survive today as a sort of hybrid, an example being the Western Zonal Timetable which includes the Central, Western, West Central and North Western Railways.

Today, however, we look at some extracts from the maps attached to the Southern and South Central Railway timetables issued in November 1975. It is instructive to compare them with the maps of the present railway systems in those areas.

First, the inset showing the Madras area:


Notes: Many more stations have come up on these suburban sections since 1975.

See the MG lines extending up to the Tondiarpet yard. It was a bit startling to observe a YG next to the BG tracks while travelling north from MAS in the late 80s. Others have seen YAM1 electric locos there.

Madras has long become Chennai, while Madras Park and Madras Chetpat have since been contracted  to Park and Chetpat. (However they are listed as Chennai Park and Chennai Chetpat in the RBS tables). Not the first time that official names in the Railway’s own databases are not the same as the names on the signboards.

The Villivakkam- Anna Nagar branch came and went in the 2000s.

This map shows Veysarpadi which was and still is a cabin and not a station. Vyasarpadi Jeeva station came later.

And the mapmaker forgot the existence of Madras Beach station, where once MG lines met an outlying BG line.

The Hindi signboards in this area are curious in that they use Hindi transliterations of Tamil words rather than Hindi words. Today we have:

Chennai Beach : Chennai Kodikirai in Hindi

Chennai Fort: Chennai Kotte

Park: Punga

Also, Egmore is revealed to be the Anglicized form of Eshambur.

The Hyderabad area:


Notes: Husain Sagar Jn was a functioning station at that time, while James Street station vanished soon afterwards and was revived with the MMTS in the 2000s. Many new stations appeared when the MMTS started. Today Husain Sagar has a large signal cabin while the platforms of the long-vanished station can still be seen.

The short-lived Telapur-Patancheru branch appeared some years late, was closed for many years and now continues with a skeletal service up to Ramachandrapuram. If you keep your eyes open you may see the abandoned station of Telapur west of Lingampalli, from where the branch departed to the north. There is some talk of reviving this branch as part of the MMTS.

Note the forgotten siding to Trimulgeri, which was more commonly spelt as Trimulgherry.

An intensive suburban system with YDM2 diesels served the MG suburban sections running north and south of Secunderabad. Now, of course, you will not see any MG line within a few hundred km of the Hyderabad area.

The anomalous diesel locomotives of the Indian Railways

There appears to be a general impression that diesel locomotives with hydraulic transmission are preferred up to 700 hp, and diesel-electrics for anything above that. Thus you will not see any DH and few DHMUs with a rating of above 700 hp.  The first main-line diesel locos on IR were indeed DH with 700 hp rating-first the YDM-1s introduced in the drought-prone Saurashtra in 1954, and the similar YDM-2s built by Chittaranjan in the late 80s which spent much of their time on suburban services around Secunderabad and later on SR.

Here is a YDM2 at SC in 1997:

YDM2 001

and a re-engined YDM-1R which can be seen at the NRM. Note the historical points:

YDM-1R 001

They did whatever was possible with their 700 hp until the more powerful diesel-electrics YDM-3,4,4A and 5 came along.

But there was one attempt to run a DH BG loco with a  2500 hp rating – which was the short-lived Henschel WDM-3 of SR in the 1970s, not to be confused with several later varieties with similar names. There were only 8 of them which were based at Gooty and could be sometimes be seen near Madras. Later changes included the WDM-2C becoming WDM-3A, the double cabbed WDP-2 becoming WDP-3A and  WDG-2 becoming WDG-3A. These were all diesel-electrics.

YDM2 001

The Henschel WDM3s do not seem to have been very successful and none appear to have been preserved. Yet they were the largest diesel-hydraulic locomotives to be seen in India.