B-B Diesel Hydraulic
This Russian combined locomotive and passenger accommodation lives on the Dalat to Trai Mat tourist railway. It's still very much alive and is used to pull two 4 wheel passenger cars the 7 km to Trai Mat. There only appears to be one and there is no DSVN class or number. It still retains it's Russian builder's designation, but does not display the builder's number (All Russian machines appear to have a number as well).
It belongs to the same family of narrow gauge locomotives as the D4H class which is classified as TU7 and built by the same manufacturer. In fact it uses the same underframe and bogies as the D4H (TU7).
Interestingly the passenger section is actually 3 driver's cabs side by side, the first being the driver's compartment and the second and third making up the passenger accommodation. Unlike the TU7, the drive is only to one rear axle. Very clever. So basically it's a TU7/D4H with passenger accomodation!
The locomotive was built by Kambarka Engineering Works in the former Soviet Union. Apparently 56 TU6Ps where built between 1985-1989, but it would appear that only one went to Vietnam. This source also states that all other TU6Ps were designed for 750 mm gauge and that the DSVN machine was numbered TU6P-0001.
Another source suggests that it was built in 1990 ( I think that's what it says-after production had finished?) and was moved to Dalat on 15-07-1994.
Some people don't believe this is a locomotive but rather a railcar. I prefer to think of it as a locomotive with passenger accomodation.
It is certainly used to haul coaches at Dalat.
It seems to have been imported around 1988-89 and one source (on the Vietnam Railways Forum) says that it was initially used on the Hanoi to Hai Phong line but that due to it's light weight, rough ride and poor brakes (!) was moved to Dalat after only 12 months. The same source says that while the passenger accomodation is airconditioned, the drivers cab is not, therefore very hot!
When I saw it at Dalat the only airconditioning seemed to be the open windows! However Dalat having such a mild climate compared to the rest of Vietnam I don't think this is a problem.
This image clearly shows the three segments which make up the driver/passenger accomodation. I took this image at Trai Mat as the locomotive ran around the two carriages ready for the return to Dalat.
Above: Passenger accomodation.
TU6P at Da Lat August 2010
I took these images at Dalat and Trai Mat during August 2010. Note that there is a lot of rust on the body but mechanically it seems to run OK. (Sounds like a truck!)
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. Pretty straight forward, except what did if two classes had a 2-8-2 wheel arrangement I'm not sure. It didn't happen so wasn't a problem?
Diesel locomotives have a completely dfferent clasification system.
All diesel classes start with the letter 'D' (for diesel?) 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.
Again, what happens if two classes are the same I don't know.
I am still investigating pre 1975 classifications. Some are the same e.g. 141 steam class, and some are different e.g. 'BB' class instead of D9E.
Railways in Vietnam
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