Industrial Locomotives of South Asia (ILSA)

Compiled by Simon Darvill

Introduction to the second online edition of ILSA

This has taken longer than I thought... The first online version of this listing became available in April 2000. It was my intention to put some of the things that are contained in this 2nd edition sooner. However, I have finally done so.

A list of the changes I have made from the first edition are summarized here. One of the main changes since last the 1st edition is the appearance of the information. Raw text files are put up instead of pages that have HTML put on them. This will hopefully ease with the effort that the IRFCA administrators go to when they kindly do the physically transferring of the data so it can be seen by everyone who reads it.

An audience that I never considered to be interested with the information contained herein are family historians. I have had a number of emails from people who have reached the site after typing a company name into a search engine. It is an avenue of research I never thought the information would be used for. If your avenue has ended here because of this reason, I hope that the information you find answer more questions than it poses!

I am currently working on the third edition however have no idea how long it will take. In the nearly ten years since I started this, information has become readily available. In the four years since its first online version, the number of company web sites of Indian companies has multiplied unaccountably. I have recently started finding more information out this way. It'll happen some time...

Simon Darvill
London, January 2004

Introduction to the first online edition of ILSA

This site is an attempt to list all locomotives that have been used in India and the surrounding countries. I started because when I went to India in 1992, the only details of industrial locations with railways I could find were sugar cane lines in Bihar, a couple of Port Trusts and a few collieries. After I came back, I sat down with a few locomotive builders works list and started to extract the information about locos that they had delivered to Indian industry. Sometimes I wish I had never started!

It has grown from being a few pages of scribbled notes to this web site.I make no claims for the information in this site to be complete. One of my reasons for placing this information on the web is the hope that other people will contribute information to it. If you have any information that you think may be relevant, then please contact me. It doesn't matter if it is historical or current information, large or small, I would like to hear. Without the interaction of others, it is going to stay much as it is at the moment.

The other thing I would like to appeal for is photographs. At present, I have a few photographs of locos working in industry but not many. I would like to be able to at some point to include photographs - if you have any suitable photographs, please let me know (acknowledgement will of course be given). (A word of warning about photography though - railways can be difficult to photograph in India. Check the IRFCA FAQ for advice on this. I would add to this that photographing at factories could land you in even hotter water. Please take particular care if you do.)

Updates of the site will be done as and when new information is received (for a short while there may be quite a lot of updating going on as I still have some pages to add) so please check the site. If you are about to embark on an epic (or not so epic) journey around India by train, take at look for any locations where you might be passing and see what you can see at those factories.

I would welcome any comments that you may have about this site.

Simon Darvill <>
London, April 2000