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A Beyer Garrett steam loco

Indian Locomotive fleet consists Electric Locos and Diesel Locos. Steam Locos are no longer used, except for Heritage Trains.

The Bengal Sappers of the Indian Army were the first to run a steam locomotive in India. The steam locomotive named Thompson ran with two wagons for carrying earth from Roorkee to Piran Kaliyar in 1851, two years before the first passenger train ran from Boribunder to Thane in 1853. The steam engine is presently exhibited at Roorkee Railway Station.

Classification of Locomotives[]

Main Article : Classification of Locomotives

In India, locos are classified according to their track gauge, motive power, the work they are suited for and their power or model number. The class name includes this information about the locomotive. It comprises 4 or 5 letters. The first letter denotes the track gauge. The second letter denotes their motive power (Diesel or Electric) and the third letter denotes the kind of traffic for which they are suited (goods, passenger, mixed or shunting).

GIPR ghat loco Y43, SS class 4-6-0ST in 1863

The fourth letter used to denote locomotives' chronological model number. However, from 2002 a new classification scheme has been adopted. Under this system, for newer diesel locomotives, the fourth letter will denote their horsepower range. Electric locomotives don't come under this scheme and even all diesel locos aren't covered. For them this letter denotes their model number as usual.

A locomotive may sometimes have a fifth letter in its name which generally denotes a technical variant or subclass or subtype. This fifth letter indicates some smaller variation in the basic model or series, perhaps different motors, or a different manufacturer. With the new scheme for classifying diesel locomotives (as mentioned above) the fifth item is a letter that further refines the horsepower indication in 100 hp increments: 'A' for 100 hp, 'B' for 200 hp, 'C' for 300 hp, etc. So in this scheme, a WDM-3A refers to a 3100 hp loco, while a WDM-3F would be a 3600 hp loco.

Note: This classification system does not apply to Steam Locos in India as they have become non - functional now. They retained their original class names such as M class or WP class.

See Also[]