A number of diesel locomotives are operated by private companies in Vietnam, in particular the Thai Nguyen Steel Works and the 'Apartite' manufacturing complex in Northern Vietnam (Cong Ty Apartite Vietnam-Vietnam Apatite Company). Most locomotives are manufactured by China Southern (CSR) in China. The private locomotives all seem to operate in the North.
I must admit I'd never heard of 'apartite' before setting out on my Vietnam Railway quest. It's a major component of fertilizers apparently and seems to generate plenty of rail traffic.
More information will be added to this page when time allows. All photos by 'Cader' of the Vietnam Railways Forum.
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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