Based on the success of WM class 2-6-4 tank engines of 1940, a new engine was designed for hauling the heavy suburban trains around Calcutta area. It was a large 2-8-4 tank design called WT,later a new variant was developed for the lightly laid branch lines, this light pacific engine was designed with only 163 ¾ ton axle load and boiler interchangeable with the WT class. They had 67" coupled wheels, 19.25 x 28" cylinders and weighed amere 88 tons. Vulcan Foundry built the first 10 engines of this class and five went to Northern and Southern Railway each.Chittaranjan built the next 94 locomotives in the period 1966-68 and these were numbered from 15014-15107. These engines worked the branch lines around Firozpur, Jalandhar, Godhra,Rajahmundry and Shoranur and were known for their high-pitched boiler and sweet sounding whistle.
This class is not to be confused with the earlier WL class of 1939-40, only four engines of which were ever manufactured by Vulcan Foundry, and all went to Pakistan after partition, the Indian WL 4-6-2 was a new class built in 1955. Initially, 10 locomotives were built by Vulcan Foundry, UK. They were designed to operate passenger trains on lines denied to the WP class, and are lighter and smaller. While the new standard express WP class weighed 102 tons, the WL weighed 89 tons,giving an axle load of 16 ¾ tons, against the WP's 18.5 tons. Ten years later, production began at CLW, and WL 15014-15107 were built there in the years 1966-1968. The WL reached a holding of 63 locomotives on the Northern Railway system in the year 1977 after which the holdings declined gradually.
The WL 15005 (VF 6193/1955) homed in Rewari Steam Loco Shed is from the first lot of this class of Locomotives manufactured by the Vulcan Foundry, UK in 1955. This Loco was initially allotted to the Southern Railway and was based at the Shoranur shed. Later the loco was transferred to Northern Railway, where it was based at Bhatinda, then Ludhiana and finally Firozpur shed, from where it retired from active service on 6th December 1995.
This Locomotive has the distinction of hauling the last broad gauge steam passenger train on the Indian Railway system when it worked train no. 4JF between Firozpur and Lohia Khas, in Punjab on 6th Dec. 1995, post which the steamers rode into the sunset. This Locomotive is aptly named SHER-E-PUNJAB, the Lion of Punjab. Enjoy your moment with this piece of history while at Rewari Steam Loco shed.
|Cylinders (Dia. X Stroke) in inches
|Outside 19 ¼ x 28
|Total Heating Surface (Tubes + Fire Box)
|2063 sq. ft.
|Tractive Effort at 75% of Boiler Pressure
|38 Sq. ft.
|Vulcan Foundry, Chittranjan Locomotive Works.
|1955 and 1966-1968