B-B Diesel Electric
Above: Saigon based D9E-251outside Saigon Locomotive Depot in May, 2015.
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.
Above: D9E shunting (switching) at Saigon Station in January 2012
Above: D9E-248 and D9E-251 'On Shed' at Saigon Locomotive Depot, May 2015.
Above: D9E-245 waiting for the road to head towards Saigon at Thap Cham, March 2011. I think the red flag is pretty universal. "Don't move the train while the flag is displayed".
*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: (Left)BB931 at Thap Cham 1967
The following images are screen captures taken from digitised movie film, hence the poor quality.
Above: Left:BB-945 crossing an unknown bridge with a mixed freight, 1967 Right:BB-950 in Saigon Yard, July 1967. Note builders plate under locomotive number. These appear to have been removed or lost in DSVN service.
Above: Both photos from National Geographic Magazine dated 1964. The BB907's are almost brand new. Left: An image of the cab side of BB913. The clasped hands represent the US Agency of International Development apparently while the GE builder's plate is firmly fixed in place. Right: This appears to be BB-929 (my eyes aren't as good as they used to be) which the article says will not be repaired. Apparently they must have changed their minds becuse D9E-229 (BB-929) is listed as being alive and well in Danang in 2011!
Above: Unknown BB-907 class leaves the bridge at Tuy Hoa some time in the 1960's.
Above: The two photos above show what appears to be BB-947 (D9E-247) hauling a short freight train (looks like flat cars with some sort of earth moving equipment) at "Long Binh", near Saigon, in 1972.
Note apparently freshly ballasted track and interesting paint scheme on coach behind. I'm still trying to establish just exactly where the 'Long Binh' referred to is, as there are no rail facilities anywhere near the Long Binh near Bien Hoa these days. Photos by John Beirne from the website of Mike Condren.
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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