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Bo-Bo Diesel Hydraulic


These five Russian built standard gauge (1435 mm) diesel hydraulics were built around 1985 and were  numbered 2001 to 2005 at some point. They were rated at 800 hp. They are examples of the Russian TGM8 and were built by Lyudinovo in the then USSR.

However there is a photo of one of these units in Vietnamese service numbered 38-150 around 1989 (See photo below), so they appear to have carried two different numbering systems.  Various numbers have been identified. In a German language publication numbers 115 and 38-182 are seen

D8H 38-150

Above: This photo appeared in the book "Illustrated Book of Steam and Rail" by Colin Garratt and Max Wade-Matthews. First published in 1998. The caption states "Standard gauge 800 hp diesel electric locomotive 38-150 of Vietnam Railways shunting at Luu Xa in 1989". The machines are in fact diesel hydraulics not diesel electrics.

Other reports suggest that the 5 locomotives were either abandoned or under repair at Yen Vien in 1989.

A further source suggests they were originally imported to be used for the construction of the Thanh Long Bridge in 1982-3 and continued to be used until about 1994. Another source says that the first locomotive was delivered in 1983 (a model TGM8EK) and the other four were delivered between 1985 - 86 (Model TGM8E). Stranger and stranger......

 The fate of these locomotives is unknown but they certainly look the worse for wear in the image above. Whatever happened to them they didn't last very long. It has been suggested that their low power, low speed and constant need for maintenance saw their early demise.

D8H 001
Above: Unknown D8H (possibly 2002) at Yen Vien. Photo Mr Dang Thanh Son

D8H refurbishing
Above: Unknown D8H being refurbished at Gia Lām Works in 1995.

If they were only used until 1994 the question is why was this one being refurbished in 1995 and what happened to it? Also the colour scheme seems to be different to the original.

Number in class
Road Numbers
2001-2005 (Appear to have originally carried builders numbers as road numbers e.g 38-115, 150, 182)
1435 mm
Lyudinovo, USSR 1985 (or 1 in 1983 and 4 1985-6 depending on which source you believe)
 800 hp diesel hydraulic

Similar locomotives were built for Cuba as seen below. It's interesting to note the number on the long nose "38161" so the number 38-150 may in fact be a builders number not a Vietnamese Railway number. DSVN may have used the builder's numbers until renumbering at some point.

Locomotive Classifications

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. Within a wheel arrangement locomotives recieved unique road numbers e.g 141-500

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.

Southern diesels before 1975 also used the French System + road number, so BB 907 for what is now the D9E class.

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Railways in Vietnam website © 2009-2014 David Gurnett
  Updated February 19,  2014
All images remain the copyright of their original owners and are reproduced purely for the purposes of research.

Please feel free to contact me at railwaysofvietnam@gmail.com