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Steam returns to the Kangra Valley

STEAM returned to the Kangra Valley 762mm- (2ft 6in-) gauge line in the Himachal Pradesh region in the north of India on November 16, 2018 for the first time in two decades. 

The train was worked by 2-6-2 No. ZB66, the only surviving steam loco on the system, and operated on the 14km section between Palampur and Baijnath Paprola, with multiple stops for photography.

The first steam train on the Kangra Valley line this century pictured on November 16, 2018. AMIT CHOPRA

No. ZB66 was built in Stafford, England by W G Bagnall in 1952 (W/No. 2984). The loco was restored to working order by Indian Railways at Amritsar Works, following the suggestion of Indian travel specialist TravelPals, which organised the inaugural charter. 

The only other surviving Kangra Valley steam loco is Henschel-built 2-6-2T No. ZF78, which is at the National Railway Museum in Delhi.

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