Saraiya Sugar Mill

by Vikas Singh

Saraiya sugar factory was started in 1926. A new mill was added in 1933.To facilitate transport of machinery meter gauge tracks were laid. For movement of cane to factory narrow gauge track was laid up to a distance of 30 kms from the factory. Four cane purchase sidings were established at Banchara, Bhrangwna, Karmaha and Hatimpura. The most famous of the steam locos there, Tweed was purchased by the owner Sir Surinder Singh from BNR. SSF-52 was purchased from DHR.

The locos are in very bad shape. They were practically covered with wild bushes. The original builder plate of Tweed was missing. A replica of the original adorns the sitting room of the present day owner. Though it was right middle of cane season, the mill was not operational. The mill owes money to the government and is probably in bad financial condition. The wagons had been sold off last month. Tenders have been floated for sale of the rails.

I got to meet Mr. Mohan Singh, who is the works manager there. He has been with the factory since 1948. He told that every year the boiler of five steam locos are inspected by an inspector from Kanpur. The original parts of Tweed are safely locked up in store and the engine can be started in 20 days flat.

The following five locos were sighted at the factory:

Railway No. Builders Builders' No. Year Manufactured Wheels Gauge
OT-54 Vulcan Foundry Co .Ltd 1033 1884 4-4-0 Meter gauge
No-8 (Tweed) Sharpe Stewart & Co. Ltd N/A 1873 0-4-0 Meter gauge
NWR-145 Kitson & Co. 5175 1918 4-6-2 Narrow gauge
SSF-52 Hudswell Clarke 1485 1922 0-6-0 T Narrow gauge
SSF-54 Kitson & Co. Ltd 3971 1900 0-6-2 T Narrow gauge

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