Hunting (successfully) for interesting pictures of my daughter ready for the wedding, I came across a number of railway shots. A lot come from Redhill, but there are some wider afield. Todays selection start with a visit to Lahore, Pakistan, in 1990, for a water supply project. An interesting trip, in the days when Pakistan was fairly safe to visit – I drove myself to work and there was an American Club that flew in all its corn-fed beef and chicken. And Budweiser to drink that was even worse than the Murree beer brewed in-country specially for non-Muslim expatriates.
The first two pictures are of an old locomotive and coach parked, if I remember correctly, next the station that I passed most days to and from work.
The next two are taken from the Railway Club golf course. I walked round the course with a colleague and (mis)hit the occasional shot. The railway ran next the golf course, and the bird watching was good – Hoopoes in the bunkers, and a stack of vultures circling overhead to penalise slow play. You didn’t go in the heavy rough, in case of snakes, but you could pay a small boy a few rupees to get it for you and throw it back into the middle of the fairway. Even I could play golf like that!
Driving to work, I crossed a modern hump-back bridge over the railway. It had obviously been modernised and raised to clear the overhead on the railway, but the approaches had also become rather steeper. Or perhaps it was originally a level crossing. A likely true story going round was that a donkey pulling a load of steel reinforcement couldn’t make it to the top, and lay down and died. A young gentleman driving his BMW sportscar at high speed on the wrong side of the road flew over the hump and was terminally impaled on the reinforcement. The picture below gives you the idea (of the donkey.)
The second set of pictures are from a work visit nearer home. Cuxton, next to the Medway estuary near the Medway bridge. A fine old signal box and signals, and a ‘Jaffa Cake’ liveried EMU. And a load of condemned hoppers parked on a siding.
Nice to see the Pakistan stock! Here’s some further information on the steam locomotive 54:
It’s from what was originally the Zhob Valley Railway in Balochistan, later merged into Pakistan Railways northwest region. The line was 2′ 6″ narrow gauge and 294 KM long. Built during the Raj period, it ran up to 1986, then sat derelict until 2007 when it was all lifted and sold for scrap.
Locomotive 54, a 2-8-2, dates from 1913 and was built by Nasmyth Wilson. It’s one of 86 preserved locos in Pakistan, 25 of which are in the Lahore area in various places and conditions. 54 is at the golf course of the Pakistan Railways Yard in Lahore where you played golf.
This information comes from two very interesting websites: http://www.steamlocomotives.info,  and the IRFCA.org website. IRFCA is the Indian Railways Fan Club site, great for all things IR – prototype, travel and modelling. So, what’s the “A” for? Originally the website was the Indian Railways Fan Club of America, since that’s where it started. As more international members joined, the A was dropped, but the group decided to keep the acronym anyway.
Paul Ingraham, AsiaNRail modellers group, California
Thanks, Paul, for placing those photos. It’s a long time ago!