Vintage locomotives to be displayed at Bandra, Nalasopara station
To honour 50 years of its service, vintage diesel-hydraulic series of locomotives that were once used as 'shunters' will now be displayed at Bandra Terminus and Nalasopara station
The classic diesel-hydraulic locomotive was first manufactured in 1967
Fifty years after India's only classic diesel-hydraulic series of locomotives -- popularly known as Pappu -- first made their debut on Mumbai's railway tracks, they have finally hit the brakes. But, instead of being shunted to a yard, the locomotives will now be stationed outside Bandra Terminus and Nalasopara station for public display. The WDS4 class diesel-hydraulic locomotives were originally produced by the Chittaranjan Loco Workshop in 1967, with bulk production taking off two years later.
While its production was finally discontinued in 1993, the existing locomotives continued to remain in service.
Until a few years ago, the locomotives, which have a horsepower of 600 to 700, were mainly used as "shunters," to shunt empty trains between yards and stations. But, as trains became longer, they were replaced with another class of powerful locomotives and many ran into disuse. The Railways began withdrawing them from service in a phased manner, starting 2015.
"These locomotives had a special charm. Their rotating side-rods gave you the feel of a steam engine. Railway staff named it Pappu since the loco was quick and agile, when it came to moving all kinds of trains," said a railway official.
Confirming the development, an official said that the Railways was planning to display these locomotives outside Bandra Terminus and Nalasopara station on the Western Railway line. "The locos will be put up on plinths near the new station building at Bandra Terminus and the circulating area outside Nalasopara station," the official added. The initiative is part of the station upgrade plan.
When contacted, Ravinder Bhakar, WR's chief public relations officer, said, "The locomotives have been part of our heritage. Putting them on public display will evoke a sense of nostalgia."
Meanwhile, railway enthusiasts are also looking forward to the display, and hope that the Railways undertake such initiatives in future too. "With most vintage locomotives losing their battle for survival, the effort to retain a part of these engines purely for posterity and heritage reasons is commendable," said Akshay Iyer, a heritage enthusiast.
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