It was such a thrill for me to see a fully functional steam engine during my recent trip to Coonoor, which is a famous hill station in the Nilgiri Mountains of Tamil Nadu.
I spotted a couple of these steam locomotives at the steam locomotive maintenance yard, which is situated on the other side of the Coonoor railway station. The maintenance staff were kind enough to allow me in in spite of me not having any necessary permits to visit this place.
These two steam locomotives seemed to be in well-oiled condition. I even got a peek inside. Upon striking a conversation with the maintenance staff, I found out that these steam locomotives were used for the steep terrain between Mettupalayam and Coonoor.
When compared to Diesel engines, these steam locomotives were only capable of pulling a load of 100 tonnes when compared to the Diesel engine’s 1000 tonnes, but had the special ability to brake in extremely steep terrain, while the Diesel engine would tumble down in full speed at such declines.