Darjeeling & Himalayan 0-4-0 Locomotives in India

Class Details by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Class B (Locobase 4798)

Details of how this little saddle-tanker (works number 3518) ran on the D & H come from the unlikely site of the La Porte County Historical Steam Society ([]). Data supplemented by Baldwin's DeGolyer specification, Volume 60, pp. 333.

Photos show an unusual tank layout that has a saddle tank over the forward part of the boiler and coal bunkers flanking the boiler ahead of the cab. The design has an outside frame with valve gear farther outside and wheels inside. A full crew in this manpower-rich country included two sanders on the pilot, a coal breaker, a coal passer, the fireman, and the engineer.

LPCHS's notes say that this class amassed 1,200-1,300 miles per month, working at 2/3 to full throttle and at 60% cutoff (burning 1 1/2 tons of coal -- 2 bunkers full -- per run) to scale a line that ascended from Tindharia (2,280 ft) to Darjeeling (7,000 ft) in 44 miles. So curvy was the alignment that the track described four 60-ft radius loops and swung through five switchbacks. Coming back down the line, the engine ran backward.

John Raby ([]) gives us the B class's construction history. It was the mainstay of the DHR and grew slowly, but steadily, over the years. Sharp, Stewart delivered the first 9 -- 2 each in 1889 and 1892, 3 in 1899, and 2 more in 1903. Six more came from the same shop (then a part of North British) in 1904 (1), 1913 (2), and 1914 (3). Baldwin supplied three in 1917, the railroad built three of its own (1 each in 1919, 1923, and 1925) and North British finished off the class with 9 more (7 in 1925, 2 in 1927). Obviously the class was durable as it survived several railroad renamings and consolidations as well as Indian independence.At least 7 were still operating in regular service in 1997.

In 1960, the Donnelleys of Lake Forest, Ill bought engine 778, named it India, and ran it on Elliott's estate. In 1982, the LPCHS received the locomotive as a donation. After a disastrous file that leveled the engine house, volunteers repaired the India in 89 days. A cracked knuckle in the copper firebox sidelined the India two years later and it has stood as a static exhibit ever since.

Class unknown (Locobase 14110)

Data from Killingworth Hedges, "The Darjeeling Narrow-Gauge Mountain Railway," Industries (5 August 1887), p. 140.

This small well tank had a small saddle tank to take the water that was about to be admitted to the boiler.

Hedges notes that an arrangement known as a "rudder coupling"--a curved plate on each of the cars that had links at each end--were designed to reduced slippage in the many curves: "The engines fitted with this coupling seldom slip when taking the curves, but, as a leading engineer described it, 'waltz round them' in a very easy manner. Some careful trials showed that an engine fitted with a rudder coupling and hauling ordinary stock would take some 23 per cent. more gross weight than a similar engine with an ordinary coupling and hauling Clemenson's radial axle cars."

The locomotives pulled passenger carriages and freight waggons that had the same wheelbase as the engines.

Principal Dimensions by Steve Llanso of Sweat House Media

Locobase ID4798 14110
RailroadDarjeeling & HimalayanDarjeeling & Himalayan
Number in Class30
Road Numbers777-806
Number Built30
BuilderseveralSharp, Stewart
Valve GearWalschaertStephenson
Locomotive Length and Weight
Driver Wheelbase (ft / m) 5.50 / 1.68 4.19 / 1.28
Engine Wheelbase (ft / m) 5.50 / 1.68 4.19 / 1.28
Ratio of driving wheelbase to overall engine wheelbase11
Overall Wheelbase (engine & tender) (ft / m) 5.50 / 1.68 4.19 / 1.28
Axle Loading (Maximum Weight per Axle) (lbs / kg)
Weight on Drivers (lbs / kg)34,360 / 15,58524,640 / 11,177
Engine Weight (lbs / kg)34,360 / 15,58524,640 / 11,177
Tender Loaded Weight (lbs / kg)
Total Engine and Tender Weight (lbs / kg)34,360 / 15,58524,640 / 11,177
Tender Water Capacity (gals / ML)456 / 1.73390 / 1.48
Tender Fuel Capacity (oil/coal) (gals/tons / Liters/MT) 0.80 / 1
Minimum weight of rail (calculated) (lb/yd / kg/m)29 / 14.5021 / 10.50
Geometry Relating to Tractive Effort
Driver Diameter (in / mm)26 / 66025.25 / 641
Boiler Pressure (psi / kPa)140 / 9.70140 / 9.70
High Pressure Cylinders (dia x stroke) (in / mm)11" x 14" / 279x35610" x 14" / 254x356
Tractive Effort (lbs / kg)7753 / 3516.716598 / 2992.81
Factor of Adhesion (Weight on Drivers/Tractive Effort) 4.43 3.73
Heating Ability
Tubes (number - dia) (in / mm)65 - 1.625" / 41
Flues (number - dia) (in / mm)
Flue/Tube length (ft / m)10.10 / 3.08
Firebox Area (sq ft / m2)40 / 3.7236 / 3.34
Grate Area (sq ft / m2) 8.90 / 0.83
Evaporative Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)316 / 29.36264 / 24.53
Superheating Surface (sq ft / m2)
Combined Heating Surface (sq ft / m2)316 / 29.36264 / 24.53
Evaporative Heating Surface/Cylinder Volume205.21207.44
Computations Relating to Power Output (More Information)
Robert LeMassena's Power Computation1246
Same as above plus superheater percentage1246
Same as above but substitute firebox area for grate area56005040
Power L120332055
Power MT260.88367.73

All material Copyright © SteamLocomotive.com
Wes Barris