Vince Sherwood’s


The Guildford Rally each July can be relied upon for the unusual. One of those in 2014 was the delightful award-winning Kalka-Shimla Railway KC class narrow gauge 0-6-0  tank locomotive.

The railway is a in North-west India travelling along a mountainous route from Kalka to Shimla with dramatic views. Shimla (then spelt Simla) became the summer capital of British India in 1864, and was also the headquarters of the British army in India. Prior to construction of the railway, communication with the outside world was via village cart.

The loco was produced in 1905 by The North British Locomotive Company.  The KC520 was built to ferry British soldiers, bureaucrats and their families from the sweltering Indian plains in summer to a cooler hilly Himalayan retreat. The advent of diesel engines resulted in the decommissioning of the engine in 1971. It was brought to the Shimla Railway station in 2001, and then turned out from Amritsar Workshop after major repair in early 2011.