3064   4-4-0  North Western Railways of India/ Pakistan Railway


This 4-4-0 locomotive was built in 1911 by the Vulcan Foundry Ltd, Newton-le-Willows, for the North Western Railway of India. Its works number was 3064.

The order specified that the engine must have a superheater, which was a very recent innovation. This locomotive is one of the oldest surviving superheated locomotives. It was built as a coal-fired locomotive, but was later converted to oil.

It is wider than locomotives used in Britain, because the railway gauge in north-west India (now Pakistan) is 5 ft 6 in.

It was shipped to Mumbai (then Bombay) for service on the G.I.P Railway.

The locomotive was used to pull express mail trains until 1947. From 1947 it was operated by the newly formed Pakistan Railways and had the serial number 3157. It was retired in 1982 and given to the Museum by the Pakistan government


Extract from a book by Mr Qutbuddin Aziz an ex Pakistan Diplomat in the UK posted by Owais Mughal

In 1981 the director of Manchester Museum of Science and Industry, Dr. R.L. Hill came to the Embassy of Pakistan in London. His exact words to Q Aziz are hard to recall but basically he told him that:

Steam locomotives are fast becoming a thing of the past. People of Britain take lot of interest and pride in their preservation and consider it their national heritage. We’ve come to know that a steam locomotive which was built in 1911 at Vulcan Factory (near Manchester) is currently the property of Pakistan Railway. It is getting ready to be retired from service and will be sold as scrap metal after that. Can the Government of Pakistan give this locomotive as a gift to the museum? The museum will display this locomotive all year round and the new generation of Britain which is not familiar with Steam locomotives will learn about their glorious past.

Dr. Hill also told Q. Aziz that South Africa and India also have British made Steam locomotive but both countries want to keep these locos in their own countries. Since Pakistan is moving fast towards Dieselization therefore steam technology will soon become archaic there and Manchester Museum would like to preserve this steam locomotive for everyone’s benefit. Mr. Hill also offered to bring the locomotive to UK aboard a ship and sponsor its transportation.

While talking to the Q. Aziz, Dr. Hill gave more details of the steam locomotive as:

it was built in 1911 at Vulcan Factory and the same year it was shipped to Mumbai (then Bombay) where it remained in service with G.I.P Railway. The locomotive did great service during World War I and II where it was used to move thousands of troops from one place to other. This locomotive had seen every nook and corner of India. In 1947, this locomotive was given to Pakistan Railway where it continued to serve the passengers for more than 30 years and was now on the verge of retirement. It was estimated that if sold as scrap metal, the locomotive would’ve fetched upto Rupees 500,000. If Government of Pakistan could donate it to the museum then it would be great for coming generations.

Pakistan’s Federal Secretary of Communications, Lt Gen Mujeeb-ur-Rehman was visiting London in 1981. Q. Aziz told him to ask Pakistani Government to give this locomotive to UK. This was the time when USSR had invaded Afghanistan and Pakistan badly needed support of USA, UK and other Western Countries. Margaret Thatcher was already against USSR’s invasion and at such time a donation like this to Manchester Museum could certainly create good will for Pakistan along with preserving the locomotive’s historical value.

Few days later the then President of Pakistan, Gen Zia-ul-Haq asked Pakistan Railway Board to look into the merits of donating the loco to Manchester museum as well as to get its scrap value appraised. The appraised value came out to be around Rupees 500,000 and the Railway Board decided to donate the locomotive to Manchester Museum.

Embassy of Pakistan in UK in the mean time announced the decision of Government of Pakistan to donate the locomotive to Dr. Hill who thanked Pakistan on behalf of Manchester Museum. Sir Fredrick Bent who was the then President of Pakistan Society (UK) and a member of Parliament in UK called this a landmark decision in the relationship of UK and Pakistan. British press also gave due coverage to this announcement and several stories were carried out in the press. Embassy of Pakistan also issued an old photo of the loco to the press.

The locomotive was then sent to Moghalpura workshops in Lahore where it was rehabilitated including a new coat of paint. The embassy was told the locomotive was in running condition and as a test it was successfully driven on a long route in Baluchistan.

Dr. Hill told Q. Aziz that his museum was working with a shipping company called ‘P&O’ to transport the locomotive from Karachi to Liverpool when one day suddenly the company closed its service to Karachi.

Dr. Hill became very sad and came to Q.Aziz and told him the story. Few days later the then CEO of Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) Rear Admiral Bhombhal came to London. In the meantime embassy people found out that possible freight of transporting the loco from Karachi to Liverpool via ship could cost as much as ten thousand pound sterlings. Q. Aziz talked to Bhombhal who told him that since this is a good cause, PNSC will bring the loco from Karachi to Liverpool free of charge. When President of Pakistan heard about this gesture of PNSC, he became happy and himself went to see the locomotive after its rehabilitation was completed at Moghalpura Workshops. A farewell party was arranged to see off the locomotive from Lahore. Black paint was done on with a coat of wax (polish) to make it look shiny.

The book claims that:

“The locomotive was then brought from Lahore to Karachi (a distance of 1220 km) on its own locomotion. Coal and Water were especially made available for the loco enroute.”

I am unable to verify this claim by any other source. Most likely the locomotive was dragged from Lahore to Karachi either as dead weight behind another loco or in ‘light steam’. This was probably done to avoid any untoward damage to the loco before it was to be sent to UK. One of my friends Nick Lera has told me in an email message that # 3157 definitely ran under its own steam into the Karachi docks and right up to the quay before embarkation. Therefore we can say for sure that the loco covered atleast some part of its long journey on its own power.

Big cranes at Karachi port lifted the locomotive and put it on the deck of a PNSC ship. Pegs were inserted on the deck and ropes were used to make sure engine does not move during sea journey’s turbulations. 3 weeks later, the ship arrived at the port of Liverpool. Dr. Hill was waiting for this arrival impatiently because he had told the Buckingham Palace about the locomotive’s arrival and he wanted to get an appointment with the queen after knowing the date of engine’s arrival at Manchester with some surity.

The PNSC ship docked at Liverpool in the evening and Dr. Hill called Q. Aziz to invite him to the port next day so he could also watch locomotive’s unloading from the ship. Q.Aziz wanted to go to the port too but next morning Dr. Hill called him again and asked not to come to Liverpool yet. He told Q. Aziz that British Customs had come to know that a large amount of narcotics (heroin) were hidden in the locomotive. Customs was therefore planning to inspect the whole engine with drug smelling canines at 10:00 a.m. and then decide on its future. Around 6 p.m Dr. Hill called Q. Aziz again and told him that Customs looked at every inch of the locomotive and no narcotics were found. Customs cooperated with the embassy and this news was not given to the press. Q. Aziz also didn’t tell this news to anyone – not even to the then President of Pakistan – because he thought it was probably done to malign Pakistani Government by some bad wisher. The news bacame public in 1989 with the publication of this book.

This locomotive then travelled by road on two loaders to Manchester. One loader was used for the engine and other for the tender. The locomotive was then parked in Manchester museum using an electromotive which pushed # 3157 to its permanent place in its new home.

Dr. Hill was then given a date from the Queen about when she could come to Manchester and receive the locomotive on behalf of British people. The day finally arrived. Queen and Prince Philip came from the Royal family. Pakistan’s ambassador and PNSC’s CEO were also present.


The locomotive remains on static display at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry

3064 Manchester 2107.jpg 3064 in the Manchester Museum of Science & Industry-2017

Back to Locomotives

National Railway Museum Collection