4.07.2007

Lord of the Rails

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!

All photos and videos are the copyright of the respective photograhers/video-takers who have submitted their material in irfca.org

12 comments:

Sidhusaaheb said...

Awesome photos!

I hope you've had a chance to visit the Rail Museum at New Delhi and, if not, I hope you'll have one very soon.

:)

The Smokin' WDM2 said...

@sidhu: Thanx... these are not my pics, but have been shot by fellow-railfans at irfca.org.

My pics are at http://greatindianrailway.fotopic.net

And I havent been to the NRM... yes, gotta do it soon!

Akshay said...

Nice photos and post. You must have had a hard time finding these pics on IRFCA, isn't it? especially the Karnataka one? The videos too are my favorites

Sneha said...

Wow.
Right.
I've never read so much about 'loco's in one go. I must say, very educational post :)
Seriously, what do you plan on doing after high school? interesting career options you must have (i'm guessing mech eng) :)
It always surprises me to see that there are so many people obssessed with so many different things that many others hardly ever think about. you- locos, raghu boy- shadows (of late) ! splendid!
Btw, where did you get that search box from? Did it come with the template? I want the code, i want the code (of the dearch box, ie)!!

The Smokin' WDM2 said...

@sneha: hehe... yes going loco about locos! hm.. but u were wrong int eh mech. engg thing. I heart electronics... and computers. So electronics is wat i think I'll go for. After all, a hobby is a hobby that will keep u engrossed after work! Anyways, I'm in for anything physics.

And the search box, well, I forgot whether It came with the template or not.. but all I remember is my editing the command button code to "the magi c button" at school. I guess u shud wift thru the K2 tempate.

StandbyMind said...

Man diesel engines sure rule...As i travel a lot by the train..I get to see them a lot..I like the engine on the track alone...puffing and roaring...
Wish i could ride one someday..
cool pics btw!

Akshay said...

Some more diesel videos which I like:
http://www.irfca.org/users/jayb/diesel1/Sai_exp.mpeg
for the transition effect after second no. 30

Macabreday said...

I was born in a house, with a railway track bang in front...guess thats where my love for trains began. I faintly remember the black beauties chugging along...the diesels were taking over....and most of my memories revolve around diesels... right now...the line is electrified and u see a lot of WAP's....diesel are slowly becoming less......!!
but as far as diesels are concerned, Im not too fond of WDG.. WDM is ofcourse my fav...like the WDP also.

SP said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Smokin' WDM2 said...

@StandbyMind: Good to see a diesel enthusiast here.. join the club :)

@Akshay: Yes, I have seen that too.. the way the loco picks up after the transisiton is nice.

@Mac: Kerala = diesels; thats wat I remember from my childhood! No black beauties.. just ED and ERS smokers chugging merrily along.

StandbyMind said...

..:)I will..

And about the synth things they use..well it makes them unique..but it makes prob..u cant perform them on stage..or acoustic ..

tis album is quite diff though..

Akshay said...

People interested in WDP-4 horns should definitely watch, rather hear this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsbpEdpiIto