The International Steam Pages

Once upon a time, long ago,
Narrow Gauge, Tiny Engines, Shantipur, December 1981

Wilson Lythgoe has been circulating friends with some steam pictures taken some time back and with his permission and encouragement they are reproduced on these pages and will be added to from time to time. Click here for the index.

The line based at Shantipur, north of Calcutta, was completely different to the Gwalior system.

The gauge was 6 inches larger at 2ft 6in but the locos were tiny. They must have been the smallest engines then being used by the Indian Railways. The CS 2-4-0T shown here had been built by Bagnall in both 1927 and 1935 and weighing in at only 11.75 tons were minute. Their coupled wheels were only 24.5 inches in diameter with the leading wheels a mere 16 inches diameter. They were were dwarfed by the coaches they hauled.

Four passenger trains, with very few riders, ran daily over the 28km line and it took an hour to cover the 10 km from Shantipur to Krishnanagar at a very gentle trundle.

Another one of India's many railway gems!

There were 6 of these locomotives in all, 3 from Bagnall and 3 from Yorkshire Engine Company. 4 were given All-India numbers in 1957. The other two ended up in East Pakistan at the time of partition working on the Khulna - Bagerhat Railway which was converted to BG in 1970. 

(One of these other locomotives is preserved at Saidpur Works in Bangladesh. RD)

Technical Information taken from Indian Locomotives: Part 3 Narrow Gauge 1863 - 1940 by Hugh Hughes.

776 (1935) on shed:

 773, built in 1927, arriving at Shantipur:

776 prior to departure from Shnatipur:


On arrival at Krishnanagar, note the broad gauge electrics on the left:


Rob Dickinson