Re: the narrow gauge question


Michael J
 

Hi John,

The Kalka Simla line was not so much a hill line as a mountain line by
our standards! 102 tunnels, 864 bridges, and 919 curves with a 1:25
ruling gradient, in about 60 miles. It is also interesting in that
construction started in 2ft gauge, but after the edict from the British
military, the line was converted to 2ft6in gauge. I wrote the following
about it's steam locos in a Wikipedia article:

The first locomotives to arrive were two class "B" 0-4-0ST from the
famous Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darjeeling_Himalayan_Railway> . These were
built as 2' gauge engines, but were converted to 2' 6" gauge in 1901.
They were not large enough for the job, and were sold on in 1908. They
were followed by 10 engines with a 0-4-2T wheel arrangement of a
slightly larger design, introduced in 1902. These locos weighed 21.5
tons, and had 30" driving wheels, and 12"x16" cylinders. They were later
classified into the "B" class by the North Western State Railways. All
these locos were constructed by the British firm of Sharp Stewart
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharp%2C_Roberts_and_Company> .
Larger locomotives were introduced in the form of an 2-6-2T, of which 30
were built with slight variations between 1904 and 1910. Built by the
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunslet_Engine_Company> Hunslet and the
North British Locomotive Company
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_British_Locomotive_Company> , these
locomotives were about 35 tons, with 30" drivers and 14"x16" cylinders.
These locomotives, later classed K and K2 by the North Western State
Railways, subsequently handled the bulk of the railways traffic during
the steam era. A pair of
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meyer_locomotive> Kitson-Meyer 2-6-2+2-6-2
articulated locomotives, classed TD, were supplied in 1928. They quickly
fell into disfavour, as it often took all day for enough freight to be
assembled to justify operating a goods train
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goods_train> hauled by one of these
locos. Shippers looking for a faster service started to turn to road
transport. These 68 ton locomotives were soon transferred to the
<http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Kangra_Valley_Railway&action=
edit> Kangra Valley Railway, and subsequently ended up converted to
metre gauge <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metre_gauge> in Pakistan
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pakistan> .
Michael

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