The International Steam Pages
Real Steam in India 2004 - Saraya Sugar Factory
Click here for other reports from my trip to India:
Thanks for what is contained here are primarily due to Ashok Sharma of Special Tours of India, firstname.lastname@example.org (Fax ++ 91-11-25512-816 if no reply), who made arrangements for all the visits and accompanied me on this section. Click here for more information. Our visit to Saraya was facilitated by Mr.Robin Lall, Vice-President (Administration), suffice to say the factory's legendary hospitality was extended to us.
Saraya Sugar Factory at Sardanagar near Gorakhpur operated some delightful narrow and metre gauge locomotives until it closed temporarily several years ago. The locos are now all stored in the open and it was good to see that the area has been cleared up. There is just a chance with the increased interest in steam in the country that the narrow gauge line will be revived. Perhaps the most famous of their roster was Tweed, an 1873 Sharp Stewart 0-4-0 which was once claimed to be the oldest commercially working steam locomotive in the world.
I had high hopes that the mill would produce stationary steam in quantity, but in fact apart from several turbines, there were only two stationary steam engines. What the mill lacked in quantity it more than made up for in quality, they were two Fives-Lille Corliss valved engines from 1925. The first drove the crusher AND the first two mills, the second the third and fourth mills. There is a second line of mills here, referred to as the 'Dutch' mills, now operated by 2002 turbines which I believe were previously operated by Stork engines.
This is the first Corliss valved engine, note the extra gear wheel for the crusher:
This shows the Corliss valves in action close-up:
The second engine is a little smaller no doubt:
The twin mills provide a certain symmetry to the picture.
Again thanks are due to my travelling companion Yuehong who thoroughly enjoyed the visit to the mill and its palatial guest house.
Rob and Yuehong Dickinson