RAILDATE 2024.03.08

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Raildate is again from India this week.

Plenty of India news below.

The early WDP-4 class locos were built by GM EMD. This WDP-4B was built in India (in 2010 or so) and is a 4,000hp Co-Co intended for passenger haulage. We see 40086 at the terminus of Pathankot (Punjab, NW India) preparing to run round a train of 22 coaches. Date: 05/03/2024.

India is about to achieve 100% electrification in 2024 on the 5' 6" broad gauge network, but modern diesels like this are still running under the wires for now.

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Thank you to this week's contributors.

The Weekly Poser: Where is this?

More from the RCTS Collection: 66 045 is hauling a stone train - where?

Last week's Where is this?

Three major stations and three secondary stations are visible in this 1920s map. A seventh had already closed and is not marked. A well-served city. Where is it?

Answer: Leicester. Congratulations are due to the following for their correct answers: Colin Penfold, Dave Goodyear, Jeremy Herrison, Bryn Pitcher, Neil Spencer, Chris Neale, Andrew Treves, Andy Foster, Simon Wass, Paul Hopper, Richard Maund, Peter Tisdale.

The question picture was inverted; otherwise it would have been too easy.

West Bridge was the first station, opening as early as 1833 on the Leicester-Swannington coal railway. It was acquired by the Midland, who also built three of the "Road" stations - Welford (closed 1918), London, and Humberstone (Road). The Great Northern found a way into Leicester in 1883, terminating at the not-very-central Belgrave Road station. But it was the Great Central who trumped the lot (in terms of location and name) by opening Leicester Central in 1899.

Electrification of the Midland mainline to (and beyond) Leicester is a sorry tale of delays, replanning, lost strategic intent etc. I understand wires will end just before Leicester, at South Wigston, for the foreseeable future, with all the cities on the line (Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, and Sheffield) dependent on bi-modal trains to complete passenger services. The proposed electrified freight corridor between Southampton and Sheffield via an electrified Oxford-Bedford line is a distant memory.

Writing this in India, it is worth noting that 100% electrification of the entire broad gauge network is approaching completion. Diesels still run under the wires, but adding 2,000 new electric locos per annum will resolve that soon enough. Cost over last five years to do 50% of the network is £4.5bn (vs £2.8bn just for London-Cardiff). How India electrified 45% of its railway network in just five years


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©  Matthew Shaw 2024