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International Railroad Discussion > U8Bs in Vietnam


Date: 01/26/21 06:10
U8Bs in Vietnam
Author: gbmott

Almost four years ago I received a request from a Vietnamese railfan/railroader (?) for photos of U8Bs I had taken when serving there in 1966-7.  Today I received the following, "Thank you for your images of GE U8B locomotives. As information, after 58 years of excellent service through wartime and peacetime alike, it's time to bid farewell to GE-U8B locos. They had stopped working since 31 December 2020. I send you some photos of them, now gathering in the end of locomotive depot. Hope this information is useful to you!"  He did not indicate the location.  

Any of you that are old enough to have served there and ever saw a train will certainly recognize these.

Gordon








Date: 01/26/21 08:58
Re: U8Bs in Vietnam
Author: rfdatalink

Interesting story and photos Gordon.  I've bee watching cab ride videos from Vietnam and their operations are intersting.
Any idea where the dual gauge track in the top photo is located?

Stephen



Date: 01/26/21 10:36
Re: U8Bs in Vietnam
Author: kbs651

Hello all,

the pictures apparently were taken in the shops in Yen Vien. The railway station itself is a little to the south. This is to the north of Hanoi proper. About one year ago I posted some pihotos of the same area in "Hanoi closes Railway Street". The connection to Nanning, China is standard gauge. The locos are serviced in Yen Vien. Therefore the tracks in the shop are partly three rails.

Cheers

kbs651



Date: 01/26/21 11:50
Re: U8Bs in Vietnam
Author: Lurch_in_ABQ

Welcome Home, gbmott. I was with the 3rd RRU Mobile Det later Det-1 at DaNang and Phu Bai, late '62 to late '63. I've posted a few VN train pix on TO Int'l, all steam, no diesel..
I suppose that makes me a Steam Era VN Vet.



Date: 01/26/21 16:25
Re: U8Bs in Vietnam
Author: lynnpowell

The U8B was the workhorse of Vietnam Rys for 50+ years.  Eastern European diesels came and died, while the U8B trundled on.  I was in Nam in 1969, and my Brigade Main Base (199th Light Infantry Brigade) was on the north side of the tracks in Ho Nai, just east of Bien Hoa.  Ho Nai station was the end of operational track for the southern division of the railway.  The line was not operating in January when I arrived, but by mid-year, one freight train a day was running, Saigon area to Ho Nai and return.  A single U8B powered the train, and it shoved an armored car and two flatcars full of sandbags in front of it;  spaced among the fifteen or so freight cars  were a couple of more armored cars.  Apparently free of attacks and sabotage, around September they began running two passenger trains and a freight train, less the armored cars, from Saigon to Ho Nai in the morning;  the trains returned to Saigon in the afternoon, all were U8B powered.  The passenger trains brought hoards of workers that were employed by the huge US Government reclaimation yard Ho Nai.  The freight train brought carloads of damaged military equipment destined for the reclaimation yard, as well as troop supplies to several warehouses in the immediate area.  The longest freight train that I remember seeing was a U8B with around 38 cars in tow, with a pair of U8Bs midtrain, what a sight and sound!!!  By the way, most of the freight cars were US-built Whitehead and Kales rolling stock (boxcars, mechanical reefers, flatcars, and gondolas), but pre-war French-built 4-wheel cars were seen every once in a while, too. 



Date: 01/26/21 17:38
Re: U8Bs in Vietnam
Author: usmc1401

Would some of these be good for the Colorado narrow gauge.



Date: 01/26/21 20:19
Re: U8Bs in Vietnam
Author: JimBaker

The 'Narrow Gauge" is 3.28 feet, also known as meter gauge.

James R.(Jim) Baker
Whittier, CA



Date: 01/27/21 03:20
Re: U8Bs in Vietnam
Author: 55002

Excellent report and photos - much appreciated. chris uk



Date: 01/29/21 01:18
Re: U8Bs in Vietnam
Author: jmt

usmc1401 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Would some of these be good for the Colorado
> narrow gauge.

Also different traction motors

764 for 3', 761 for Cape and metre.
 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/29/21 01:19 by jmt.



Date: 01/29/21 06:05
Re: U8Bs in Vietnam
Author: march_hare

I wonder if you look under the hoods, whether there is visible war damage on some of these units. I'm thinking they would have been prime targets during the war?



Date: 02/01/21 07:30
Re: U8Bs in Vietnam
Author: D9E248

march_hare Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I wonder if you look under the hoods, whether
> there is visible war damage on some of these
> units. I'm thinking they would have been prime
> targets during the war?

Yes, they were prime targets of VC during the war. 




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