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Southern Railway gets pat from steam railway society

The Golden Rock Railway Workshop in Tiruchi where the over 65-year-old steam locomotive was given a new lease of lifeM. Srinath

Revival of a vintage steam locomotive in Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR) has earned Southern Railway appreciation from New Delhi-based Indian Steam Railway Society.

The Society, a non-profit body comprising steam railway enthusiasts, complimented Southern Railway last month for its contribution to the cause of steam locomotives through revival of an ‘X’ class steam metre gauge locomotive at its sprawling workshop in Tiruchi.

The over 65-year-old steam loco (X 37392), manufactured way back in 1952 by Swiss manufacturer WinterThur, was successfully rejuvenated at the Golden Rock Railway Workshop in Tiruchi and put back into operation in the hilly terrain in March.

The workshop has been nominated by the Railway Board, New Delhi, to carry out periodic overhaul of narrow gauge and metre gauge steam locomotives.

The rejuvenated steam loco, which was originally coal fired, was converted to oil firing system in 2010 at the workshop, which also carries out periodic overhaul of broad gauge diesel locomotives.

Workshop officials said a host of works were carried out in the vintage loco when it came for overhaul so as to revive it again. One of the major works was the complete renewal of the oil firing system and fitting of new link motion components.

A couple of new stainless steel water tanks were installed in the loco to improve corrosive resistance. Cast steel adhesion cyclinder was provided to ensure smooth running as well as improve its hauling capacity, said a senior official associated with the loco's revival.

All geometrical settings, including valve setting, COG wheel setting and forward and reverse settings, were done with experienced staff at the workshop itself. The loco’s frame and its assemblies were overhauled with provision of speedometer and band brake inside.

The exterior of the loco was given a fresh coat of polyurethane painting for better appearance, the official added. The revived loco was sent back in March to NMR section to chug once again in the hilly terrain.

Having come to know of the revival, Indian Steam Railway Society, at its 16th National Steam Congress held last month at the National Rail Museum in New Delhi, presented a certificate to Southern Railway “in recognition of its contribution to the cause of Steam Locomotives by reviving the “X 37392” loco” operating in the NMR section.

The certificate was signed by the Society president R.S. Virdi and presented to Southern Railway last month. The objective of the Society formed in 1999 was to form a common platform for Indian steam railway enthusiasts to exchange views and further their knowledge on the subject of Indian steam railway.

One of the objectives of the Society is to create awareness of the excellence of Indian Steam Railways works and highlight the need for their preservation and preserve a working steam heritage for the future generation to enjoy.


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