The International Steam Pages
Surviving Railway Cranes in Asia (West)
This is just one of a series of pages covering surviving Railway Cranes across the world. Click here for the Index.
Chris Capewell (chriscapewell AT googlemail.com) has provided the following data, he would greatly appreciate additions, corrections and confirmation for data with a yellow background.
We would welcome more pictures of cranes in this list which can be used to illustrate the article, as links are notoriously ephemeral.
The disposition of the remaining steam cranes in the country as of March 2013 is:
(( The crane photographed at Laksham is suggested as being sent there from Mymensingh to do that job ))
Heinrich Hubbert has sent these pictures of active steam cranes here:
Lalmonirhat, situated in the Northwest of Bangladesh, this MG shed hosts an oil-fired Hitachi build from 1968. Staff claimed it can be fired up get fully operational within 20 minutes.
Parbatipur (also Parbotipur), on the other side of the Tista river. This picture of an older CS crane was taken by holding the camera over the shed wall to capture this MG crane.
Khulna, BG, Hitachi 1968, oil-fired, the pictures are from March and November 2009 of the same crane.
Subsequently Andreas Illert had the pleasure of seeing another of these Hitachi 1968 cranes at work at Laksam Junction on the Dakha - Chittagong metre gauge main line on 25th January 2013. (This may have been sent there from Mymensingh to do that job.) You can now see a video of this action http://youtu.be/fEEV5lrnB1E (added 5th October 2013). .
Andreas adds (5th October 2013) "There was definitely another metre gauge steam crane with support cars in Bahartoli shed at Chittagong, cold but ready to go. According to Bernds notes its number is 34003, built by Hitachi in 1968. For the Laksam crane Bernd Seiler noted the number 34005."
IMPORTANT By late 2017, very little of the metre gauge system remained (ca 1000km maximum), many of the cranes shown here will have been retired and either preserved or scrapped.
Revised list of mg cranes (18th August 2016), Saharsa crane (19th November 2014), Chruru crane (12th November 2014), Lumding cranes (4th October 2014), Jetalsar Crane (25th April 2014), Link to newspaper article about the NFR, pictures from the WR/SCR 30th May 2013, miscellaneous updates 12th January 2013, updated with definitive 2012 operational information, 30th October 2012, Delhi Museum Crane, 15th November 2012)
This page contains a number of pictures (mainly metre gauge) of steam cranes taken in the 21st century - http://www.irfca.org/gallery/Suburban/AccidentReliefVehicles/. I have provided direct links below (as of October 2011). I have also added a page of collected images from the IRFCA site (another picture 10th November 2011) and also a further page from Heinrich Hubbert (updated 30th May 2013)
Some twenty steam breakdown cranes were still operational on the metre gauge in 2012 (30th October 2012). These are the locations:
A revised list follows, those likely to have been withdrawn by 2016 are indicated thus @. It is not known if Hanumangarh Works is still doing periodic overhauls, more likely surplus cranes will be cascaded as necessary.
The delivery of some 74 no. 140 ton capacity diesel cranes in the last twenty five years has eliminated steam breakdown cranes on the broad gauge; the last being withdrawn ca. 2010.
This is Saharsa's crane courtesy of Andrew Jones (19th November 2014).
Heinrich Hubbert advises (12th November 2014) that Churu's crane is looking immaculate:
With the closure of the Lumding - Silchar section for broad gauging on 1st October 2014, Heinrich Hubbert advises that Lumding's two metre gauge steam cranes have breathed their last.
(Previously this page reported as active Lumding NFR 3807, which is a 1950s 35 tonner CS or CS pattern copy. http://www.irfca.org/gallery/Trips/east/Enchanting+North+East/IMG_1548.jpg.html (added 17th October 2012).
The first picture taken on 28th. September 2014 shows # 1227 "Mahasakti" (Izzatnagar 1975) in steam in Lower Haflong on its last duty, collecting the diesel power units from the stations.
The second picture shows #3807 "Shaktiman" (Izzatnagar 1972) in steam at Lumding shed on 1st October 2014.
The following picture (added 18th April 2013) was taken by Alexander Gillieron at Udaipur in March 2013 and shows regular crane 43049 with 'visitor' 43051 labelled for the Carriage and Wagon Works at Hanumangarh, most likely they are both Izatnagar copies of the CS original design. The Udaipur crane was due to be sent away for overhaul.
Heinrich Hubbert has sent these pictures of the immaculate crane at Jetalsar, #11268 which is CS 10036/1956 (added 25th April 2014).
Otherwise, the most recent picture I have found here is of former Northern Railway 1236 (CS 1953) which was taken by Bharat Vohra on the metre gauge at Hanumangarh in January 2010, the edge of a second and maybe third crane can be seen. The original report is on http://irfca.org/apps/trip_reports/show/424.
This is Heinrich Hubbert's picture of the Udaipur ART on the road in January 2010, see also http://www.freightcar.jp/9999_photo/9999_6059.htm (added 12th January 2013)
This is Mick Pope's picture of metre gauge TSC 505 at Mysore (South Western Railway) in November 2006. The original picture is on http://www.irfca.org/gallery/Suburban/AccidentReliefVehicles/cranemys.jpg.html.
The following are also shown on the IRFCA site, those indicated with "@" are on Heinrich Hubbert's page:
Other 'recent' sightings:
More pictures here (added 12th January 2013)
Perambur, Chennai, Regional Railway Museum
This is Andrew Naylor's March 2012 picture (added with the entry above, 15th November 2012):
This is Rob Dickinson's 2004 picture of the crane tank (added 27th October 2011):
Kalka (stored for proposed Shimla museum)
This pictures is courtesy of Greig Horman:
Motibagh, Nagpur Railway Museum
Finally, there must be a significant number of hand cranes around the country, for a start this one:
Pathankot (3rd April 2013):
These pictures - in the same order as above - are from February 2015:
These are Thomas Kautzor's pictures from 19th October 2007 (added 14th December 2014) and 28th February 2015 (6th May 2015)
Crane Running Number prefixes:
The following list is not not necessarily completely up- to-date, owing to the numbers involved and likely movements, the last known location is given.... 21xx series is as the pre 1947 NWR numbering, possibly up to 2219?
This picture of #2101 at Malakwal in October 1991 is courtesy of Manfred Schoeler - probably seen on video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uw08mYwDtbY (added 29th December 2011). :
Anuradhapura (added 1st March 2015)
These are Chris Capewell's pictures from January 2015:
Colombo National Maritime Museum - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colombo_Port_Maritime_Museum
Pictures are courtesy of Kris Ward:
Colombo Railway Museum
This is Thomas Kautzor's picture:
Rasika Wickramanayaka has sent the following extra data,
it's in feet ' and inches " of course!:
This is James Waite's picture of the steam crane 5841:
By January 2015 the CS BDC 5841 appears to live in the Diesel Hydraulic depot on the opposite side of the line from the old steam shed which is now used for dmus.. It was in use at Anuradhapura lifting loco and coach for bogie change and later seen on the wheel lathe at Dematagoda. This is Chris Capewell's picture.
This is Thomas Kautzor's picture:
Bridge Department Compound, Dematagoda
(updated 1st March 2015)
The railway's 1991 diesel Gottwald is dumped here - lack of spares and no certified operator.
One of the 7 ton cranes is seen in action here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrUuiXqalJw.
One of the 30 ton cranes (5729) is seen in action here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVwTiqBVa6E and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SmuGpWDf9w. 5728 is seen here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pGWAMsdZEI (added 31st March 2013).
This is Grafton 5597 (Chris Capewell, January 2015):
This is the TSSR crane 5840 (Chris Capewell, January 2015):
This is the R&R crane 5729 (Chris Capewell, January 2015):
Dematagoda Points and Crossings Shop (added 1st March 2015)
Seen in daily use in January 2015 (Chris Capewell):
Ratmalana Works (updated 26th February 2015)
This Grafton crane (1978/1925) was here in January 2015 (Chris Capewell):
These are Clive Hepworth's pictures:
This is Su I-Jaw's picture:
These are Clive Hepworth's 2013 pictures, top is the 4W grab, the 6W grab is wedged between the fence and vegetation and almost impossible to photograph.
These are Clive Hepworth's October 2013 pictures, these are shown in the order above, the Orton is enclosed by vegetation and difficult to photograph.
These are Thomas Kautzor's pictures:
Haydarpasha Station, Istanbul
This is Thomas Kautzor's picture:
Tashkent Railway Museum (added 15th November 2013)