Coal-fired steam locomotive to remain in service on Ooty line

INDIAN Railways decided in February to retain Nilgiri Mountain Railway 0-8-2RT X-37384 in working order at Coonoor shed as it is the only surviving coal-fired steam locomotive of its class.

Originally, it had been planned to plinth the loco along with another now withdrawn coal-fired sister loco at Udhagamandalam (Ooty) and Coimbatore.

Last-surviving coal-fired loco X 37384 at Ooty station on February 23. CHRIS LEWIS/LCGB

The rack section of the Mettupalayam to Ooty line is now entirely operated by oil-fired steam locos; four new X Class oil-fired locos have been built by Indian Railways at Golden Rock works in Ponmalai, Tamil Nadu in recent years. Loco X 37384 was built by Schweizerische Lokomotiv- und Maschinenfabrik (SLM) in Winterthur, Switzerland in 1914.

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It will now be generally used only for occasional special trains.

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