Ever since man invented machines, there has been no stopping him... from the polygonal wooden wheel to the huge atomic reactors, man and his machine have been inseperable friends.
The steam engine was the most wonderful machine ever invented by man. Some say 'twas J. Watt,.. while others shook their heads and hailed Carnot. As for me, I don't give a damn except for the machine, which was crude and primitive and rather without glory, until it hit the rails... and when it did, boy! IT WAS GOD! Starting with the 'Rocket' it grew in size and glory and attaining its height in the golden age of steam, with these huge metal beasts chuffing with authority. And with the introduction of diesels and the dumb electrics, steam was definitely hurtling to its fall. And the stupid government did not even think of preserving a few lines to be run on steam, in India. I was born too late to hear a whistle blow, but I can imagine what the elders called with a gleam in their eyes, "The magic of steam". Now, when all the world is beginning to remember with nostalgia that age, our govt wakes up with a start and brings out their few preserved WPs, WGs and does nothing more than a parade of these locos.
Ok... past is past.. we still have better (ok, different, though) beasts that rule the Indian rails!
And undoubtedly, they are the mighty DIESELS
For a bit of history of diesels in India and more, chew on this
First of all, the oldest surviving, but the most rugged and undoubtedly the most awesome loco... the inimitable WDM2. Built as ALCo's DL560C, it entered India in 1962 and changed the face of diesel traction forever. With its rugged looks, awesome, simply awesome sound and a bit (rather a whole lot of) smoking action, this one was, and still is, the favourite of thousands of loco-lovers both in India and abroad.
(This is the Karnataka Express with twin Etarsi WDM2s)
Watch a WDM3A smoking off from Londa Jn. with a hell lot of smoke and a wonderful exhaust sound
For all who thought that old is gold, well, ladies and gentlemen, introducing the killer on rails, God of diesel, the mighty WDP4.
Imported as GM EMD GT46PAC from, as you might've guessed, General Motors, these beasts are homed at Hubli and Krishnarajapuram and haunt the rails in the Goa-Bangalore-Hyderabad area. Its acceleration sound is similar to a jet plane doing the same, and it gives very little smoke.. as a fellow loco-lover put it, a WDP4 at full throttle gives less smoke than an ALCo [WDMx] at idle. See and hear the beast here!
Its goods-cousin, the GT46MAC, or the WDG4 as its is known to us, is the ultimate diesel freighter, but I personally prefer to be awed by a freight train hauled by three screaming, rumbling WDM2s or WDG3A "shaktis" than a lone WDG4.
(Location: Near Doodhsagar Falls)
With the making of more WDP/G4s and of the newer cousins of the WDM2, the WDM3Ds , diesels are here to stay. And RULE!
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