The International Steam Pages


Preserved Steam Locomotives in Bangladesh

Torsten Schneider has been to one of the surprisingly least visited of Asian countries. He writes:

Researching the internet in preparation of a trip over the New Year 2009/10 I came across three documents listing a total of four steam locomotives: metre gauge YD-718 in Dhaka, plus three 762 mm gauge locomotives, cl.CS no.15 at Saidpur Works, cl.CB no 7 at Pahartali, and cl.CB no.8 alternatively at Paksay, Raksay and Pahartali. In one of the documents (http://www.irfca.org/docs/locolists/industrial/display.php?file=PreservedBangladesh.txt&title=Bangladesh%20-%20Preserved and http://www.ilsa.org.in/pdf/locations/BANG.pdf and http://www.irfca.org/docs/locolists/steam-pbn.html) there is a remark that the last locomotive, no.8. 'remained numbered CB7 throughout this period'. Very confusing. Misprint? If yes, then the numbers 7 and 8 are mixed up in all three documents. And 'other 2’6” locos are believed to be stored at Khulna'. The limited availability of data in the internet implicates that there might be quite a few more state railway and industrial steam locomotives stored and forgotten at various places in Bangladesh.

I did not go to Pahartali (Chittagong) and Khulna. In the three places visited I was nevertheless able to take pictures of four plinthed steam locomotives, one more than expected. It was not always easy to find them, because the term “steam locomotive” seemed unknown to most locals. Some understood “old locomotive”, though.

At Dhaka Railway Headquarters is metre gauge YD 718, one of 25 delivered to East Pakistan by Nippon in 1952, and withdrawn in 1983.

At Saidpur Works there are two plinthed steam locomotives. The area is restricted, but finally I was allowed to enter where I found NG 762 mm CS no.15, Bagnall 2539/1935 or 1936, withdrawn 1969. To my surprise not listed in any of the three documents, though positioned right next to the CS was Broad Gauge (1676 mm, 5ft 6in) SGC-2 240 made by Vulcan in 1921, 1936 converted to oil, and afterwards used for shunting at Saidpur Works until its withdrawal in 1983.

At Paksay Railway HQ, obviously an old British colonial government building, far away from the railway station, narrow gauge (762 mm, 2ft 6in) CB with 7 displayed on it, but no plates to help identification, it may be Vulcan Foundry 1756/1900.

The narrow gauge locomotives originate from the Rupsa-Bagerhat railway, the only 762 mm line in East Pakistan at the time of partition of colonial India in 1947. It was re-gauged to broad gauge in 1970.


Rob Dickinson

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