Kabul railway coach photo

Abandoned railway coach in Kabul

Google’s archive of photos from Life has this one (above) captioned “Deserted Afghan railway car after failure to begin rail system”.

Dated 1938 in the caption, the picture shows an overgrown bogie coach from the short-lived narrow gauge railway which ran for 7 km between Kabul and Darulaman.

The number painted at each end is “2” – a vehicle number, or a class number? The coach is noticeably longer than one in labeled “1” in this picture below, which was taken by Wilhelm Rieck in 1923 and is said to show the first train, so perhaps it is a class number, with the bigger coach being second class.

The Life photo shows another coach at the back, apparently a lighter colour, which is presumably the first class car. But is there a third vehicle as well, in front of that one?

This picture below appeared in the February 1930 issue of the German magazine UHU, and shows two coaches plus some wagons.

Train at Darulaman

Amazingly, the locomotives have survived, though only the underframes of the coaches remain.