Darjeeling & Himalayan Rwy

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Model Railroading' started by dottney, Jan 18, 2007.

  1. dottney

    dottney New Member

    Darjeeling Himalayan Rwy

    Do a google search on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and you'll find a really neat operation. Its affectionately known as the Toy Train.
    Here are a couple of links:

    http://www.kurogane-rail.jp/india/edarj5.html -great pic of tight turn- really looks like a model layout

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o61txuhkKSs -funny operating problem





  2. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Cool pics.... And it's given me a cool idea for a 3 level layout as well..... :thumb:
  3. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    In an old edition of Steam Railway (a british magazine), they had a picture of one of their 0-4-0s streamlined like LMS Coronation (british pacific). Those 0-4-0s would supposedly be run up to 90mph...something that I can't really understand...nor can some of the people I know in the 765 crew who happen to also be British rail buffs. There was one (a D & H 0-4-0) in Indiana up until a few years ago.

    I used to play tennis with a guy from Darjeeling...he also went to my church. Unfortunately, he said the local tea is all exported and the locals drink tea from other parts of India...Darjeeling is one of (if not) the finest tea in the world.
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I saw a great show on PBS about the end of steam in India. Very interesting - a complete corporate culture change as well, and working for the railway will never be the same. Example - a man was killed on the job, so the railway gave his wife a job for life as a station agent in order to help his family.

    Luckily, the tea train, and a few other examples of steam, remain. I believe that the at least one of the locos on the tea train is the original loco, and the engineer at the time of the documentary was the great-grandson of the first engineer. He was working literally the same locomotive that his great-grandfather did...!

    I mentioned this special to my grandfather and he said he had ridden almost every major line in India in WW2. He was a major in the British Army and worked the supply lines in the "Far East" theatre...

  5. dottney

    dottney New Member

    Interesting info about your grand father. I've got the PBS show on tape and that's where I first saw the DH Rwy. Then I did a search on the world wild web and found the links I listed.
    Its certainly is a neat little railway. It would make an interesting model rwy.
  6. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    2 foot gauge!
  7. trainman4

    trainman4 Member

    :wave: Thanks for the pictures.
  8. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    This train has been featured at least twice on television - it's a fascinating operation! I really like the two guys who ride on the front of the loco to sand the tracks. :thumb:
  9. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    That's got to be more interesting, as well as more dangerous :rolleyes: than the guy who breaks up the coal with the hammer...!

  10. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Amen to that...:D
  11. Canopus

    Canopus Member

    You've got to remember though that the only reason why this railway is so fascinating is because we've nothing to compare it to. There's no other real working steam narrow gauge railways out there like it. I'd be willing to bet that if we could turn back the clock by about 100 years, we'd see the same type of thing going on all over the world.

    For instance, I know that in the UK where I live, there was a kaolin carrying narrow gauge line where the driver would jam a block of wood between the spokes of the wagon behind the locomotive, in a daring manouver where he actually climbed out of the locomotive while it was in motion, just to help the thing slow down! They had to replace the wheels quite often because they would get flat spots!:rolleyes:

    The DHR is a great railway but I think far too often it steals the limelight from other very interesting railways whose history is quickly fading from memory.
  12. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I think you're right about what's still in existance being elevated because it's still around. For instance, to the mild american narrow gauge fan, the D&RGW of the post-war era...especially the surviving tourist lines...are primarily what narrow gauge railroads are about. I personally find the diversity on the D&RG's roster in 1880 to be way more interesting than 1960 because it once had 4-4-0s, 0-6-0ts, 2-6-0s, and 2-8-0s instead of the fleet of 2-8-2s of the '60s. Yet even the famed narrow gauge circle was small compared to the narrow gauge empire that connected the great lakes to mexico during the same era as the D&RG and DSP&P.
    For the East Broad Top, the same sort of thing exists. I've seen many models of the 2-8-2s, a few of the 2-6-2, and none of any of their earlier 2-8-0s and 4-6-0s. The vast majority of railfan books focus on the twighlight of steam railroading. It's difficult to find pre-war material on most railroads, except as background storyline for the modern incarnation of the road.

    btw, any railway detours you recommend for Cornwall? I'll be in Cornwall around March 23, 24, or so.
  13. Canopus

    Canopus Member

    In England we have the same problem, only it's Wales instead of the durango and silverton. Welsh slate railways seem to dominate the UK NG community in terms of popularity. If you go to a UK NG layout exhibition, you see either hundreds of welsh slate railways with shiny red hunslets buzzing around, or hundreds of "rural passenger lines" and "general carriers". The worst bit is when you explain to someone that garrats, welsh slate and quarry hunslets isn't the be all and end all of narrow gauge, they kinda give you this funny look as if to say "whatchoo talkin' bout boy?". As if it's normal to ignore the vast array of books with wonderful photographs of all the old lines.

    With regard to Cornwall, you're in luck - I do guided tours around "china clay (mining) country", and the railway lines along the way. If you'd be interested in tracing the old lines and seeing the working ones, I'd be more than happy to offer my services. I don't charge anything, I only ask that you provide transport (I'll give directions and help find somewhere to park the car). I can show you a whole load of really interesting abandoned buildings, as well as the old trackbeds, and all the good photography vantage spots on the one remaining working branch line. Also there are a number of good freight spots along the main line, and a small yard (although that's rarely used now). Message me if you're interested and we can work out a time and a place.

    I can also recommend a number of good places to eat and drink. Good old traditional Cornish pubs that serve good local beer and food!

Share This Page