Kabul – Darulaman railway locomotive photo

Another photograph of one of the Henschel steam locomotives on the Kabul – Darulaman railway has been found, in the book “Джанг: Восстание в Афганистане” (War: Uprising in Afghanistan) by journalist Евгений Шуан (Yevgeniy Shuan) which was published in Leningrad in 1930.

Steam locomotive in Kabul

The picture was spotted by Markus Hauser, who alerted me to it. His full thread is worth a read, with a lot of interesting pictures of 1920s Afghanistan from the book.

Colourised photo of Darulaman train

Someone has written a bot which automatically colourises photos that are sent to it via Twitter. This is what it did with a photograph of the Darualman railway. Note that this is just for fun, and it is not intended to be historically accurate!

“Two ancient steam engines…”

Some things that touring President Eisenhower and his retinue didn’t have a chance to see during their six-hour trip to Kabul last December:
The country’s only railroad – well, railroad equipment. Two ancient steam engines and tenders given Afghanistan by the late Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany. The train used to make miniature runs from the Parliament building to the palaces in the center of town. Now there’s not even a track and the engines are kept as curiosity pieces.

Source: Contrasts Plentiful In Afghanistan, AI Goldberg of AP’s Moscow staff, in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune of 1 February 1960.

Another mention of there only being two locomotives in the past – however today there are three locomotives in the museum. It might be noted that the Kaiser had abdicated in 1918, while the locomotives date from 1923.

King Amanullah’s 1920’s Train

King Amanullah's 1920's Train

Amanullah sought German companies and engineers into the country to build roads, bridges, dams and royal palace in Darulaman, a suburb of Kabul. The locomtives were transported by ship to Mumbai and then pulled by elephant in passes through the Hindu Kush, where a couple of hundred metres of rail were laid. After 20+ years of civil war turmoil and the destruction of Kabul, they’re overgrown by thistles and thorn bushes are three rusty steam engines and the carriage labelled “Made in Germany”

Flickr photo by Tanya Murphy (username “turnip!”, © All Rights Reserved), taken on 2 November 2009.