B-B Diesel Electric
Above: D9E-217 shunting (switching) at Saigon Station, 2010
These locomotives were originally built by General Electric in the US as their model U8B (not by General Motors as stated in Tim Doling's book) and were supplied to the then southern system in the early 1960's. Building commenced in 1963 (again not in 1960 as stated in Tim Doling's book). The 'handshake' logo on the cabs of the BB's suggests some sort of donation? Apparently they were purchased (along with 200 "20 ton and 30 ton" freight wagons) using part of a US$7.8 million grant from the US. They were originally classified as BB907 class and were numbered 907 to 954. After 1975 they became part of the new unified rail system and were re-classified as D9E class, numbered from 207 to 254*. They have Caterpillar D398 12 cylinder engines rated at 900 hp/678 kw. They appear to be a pretty rugged and reliable machine as quite a few are still in operation nearly 50 years after delivery. These machines seem to operate mainly in the south of the country, around Sài Gòn. An attempt has been made to re-engine several with new Caterpillar engines giving a slight increase in power. The modified machines are classified as D10E class, but the road numbers appear to stay the same.No furher locomotives have been converted.
Similar locomotives are/were in operation in a number of countries including New Zealand and The Philippines.
* I originally assumed that these locomotives were numbered from 201 but have since discovered that they are actually numbered from 207. I have a photo of D9E-254 but no photos of any locos before 207 so it makes sense.
Above: D9E shunting (switching) at Saigon Station in January 2012
*The above list of locomotive allocations is taken from 'The Railways and Tramways of Việt Nam' by Tim Doling. However Mr. Doling lists D9E-233 as still active when all other sources list it as scrapped (there is a photo of it's remains so I guess the scrapping is correct)
The following images are taken from wartime military films and photos taken at the time. They are posted purely for historical purposes.
'BB907' class locomotives in southern service
Above: BB931 at Thap Cham 1967
The following images are screen captures taken from digitised movie film, hence the poor quality.
Above: BB945 crossing an unknown bridge with a mixed freight, 1967
Above: BB950 in Saigon Yard, July 1967. Note builders plate under locomotive number. These appear to have been removed in DSVN service.
Above: This fuzzy image shows an unidentified D9E class in a red and white colour scheme, similar to the D13E class and D12E class. There were some coaches also in this colour scheme. I'm guessing sometime in the 1980's or early 90's, before the establishment of the DSVN. More information needed.
Inside the Cab of D9E/D10E -250
Click on thumbnails for fullsize image
Steam Locomotives generally used the traditional French classification system. A steam locomotive with a 2-8-2 wheel arrangement is classified as 141 class, a locomotive with 4-6-2 wheel arrangement is classified as 231 class etc. To differentiate between different locomotives with the same wheel arrangement, the initial road number was added, e.g. 231-400 and 231-500. Some northern locomotives of Chinese origin were also known by their Chinese classification. e.g. 141 also known as ZL.
Diesel locomotives have a completely dfferent clasification system.
All diesel classes start with the letter 'D' (for diesel or possibly dau may for engine?) then a number which I believe is related to the locomotives power output. The third character defines Electric' (E) or hydraulic (H).
e.g. D5H class = Diesel + 500 hp + hydraulic.
Before 1975 in the south diesels used the French system , e.g. BB for Bo-Bo type locomotive then the initial road number. e.g. BB901 class.
In the North there appears to have been a mixture of different systems.
There is also a semi-official system where locomotives are classified by their country of origin. e.g D5H is also known as 'Ừc' (Australian).
Railways in Vietnam
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