The history of one locomotive: a rarity in the Ashgabat Depot

The history of one locomotive: a rarity in the Ashgabat Depot

Every year on December 28, the International Film Day is celebrated all over the world. In 1895, in a Paris cafe on the Boulevard des Capucines, the Lumiere brothers presented to the general public a black-and-white short film “Arrival of the train at the station”.

And although the plot of the silent film shows only a train stop at the railway platform – this film will remain in the history of cinema as a canonical one, thanks to the expressive transfer of movement on the screen ultimately. The life-size train, coming with all its power on the first cinema audience in the history of mankind, scared the spectators, leaving an indelible impression of viewing.

It’s marvelously, that the Ashgabat Locomotive Depot retains a real historical relic – the “E732-85” steam locomotive, manufactured in the last century – in 1938. It is known hardly anything about the previous fate of this train, but its unprecedented beauty and involvement in the creation of railway communication in Turkmenistan, have become a kind of symbol for the current employees of the depot.

– Initially, this locomotive located in a desolated tract of Bukhara and it cost a lot of work for us to drive the rarity to the city of Turkmenbashi, and then to Ashgabat. It was delivered as a cargo, by means of two modern locomotives, besides one of them was fixed in front of the locomotive, and the other – behind it, – says Sergey Arustamov, head of the Technical Department of the Ashgabat Locomotive Depot. – Everyone understood that this is our historical heritage and memory. As it turned out, the running gear of the locomotive is on the run and, if preventive measures are carried out, it is quite possible to drive it today.

Steam locomotives of the “E” type were produced since 1912 and had different nicknames – “Ekhovsky”, “Echo”, “Eshka”. Designed according to the drawings of the famous engineer, designer of steam locomotives Vaclav Lopushinsky, these machines worked on steam haulage. In the course of constant testing, new modifications appeared, which took into account the demerits of previous models.

Manufactured by the Kolomna Plant, locomotives had high sides, a large light lamp on the roof of the booth, which visually lowered down the boiler, fixed in the head of the “Eshka”.

The engines of this series were fantastically employable sustaining up to 400% of the recommended loads, and were the last models in the history of steam transport on the railways. These grandiose locomotives have been filmed in many movies.

Delivered to the Ashgabat Locomotive Depot, the “veteran” of the railway service was restored by the company’s employees and now it stands in the most honorable place. Employees of the depot dream that one day the residents and guests of the capital will see the historic locomotive.

– This is the only preserved oldest steam locomotive on the territory of Turkmenistan. It is the personification of the very spirit of the railway, and we are very proud that such an exhibit is stored in our department, – says engineer-technologist Dovrangelen Babajanov.

Ashgabat Locomotive Depot was built in1958 and has been operating uninterruptedly to the present time. Many depot employees are veterans of labor and carefully treasure retro photos, old postcards, newspaper notes about their enterprise and everything related to the history of railway transport in Turkmenistan. Now one of the main exhibits in the depot collection is the legendary “E732-85” steam locomotive.

Selbi CHARYEVA