IR History: Part - VI (1995 - 1999)

Chronology of railways in India, Part 6 (1995 - 1999)

  • 1995
  • January 16: First regularly scheduled services on trains hauled by locos using the 2*25kV 'dual' system of traction (Bina-Katni on CR).
  • January: First prototype of the CONCERT passenger reservation system developed at Secunderabad.
  • Gauge conversion of Purna-Nanded / Manmad-Mudkhed MG section breaks the MG network's north-south connection. (Mudkhed-Secunderabad is left as an isolated MG line.)
  • Khodiyar-Mehsana MG section converted to BG.
  • DLW and GM sign contract for technology transfer for GM's GT46MAC and 710 series locos, and the purchase of 31 GT46MAC/GT46PAC locos.
  • April: The first WDP-1 loco is commissioned.
  • April 2: New Madras Beach - Tambaram BG line.
  • July 18: The first WDG-2 loco is commissioned.
  • December 6: Last official BG steam service (Jalandhar-Ferozepur).
  • Hassan-Mangalore MG line dismantled in parts for gauge conversion.
  • Miraj-Bangalore line converted to BG.
  • Gauge conversion of Hissar-Rewari, Rewari-Jaipur, Phulera-Marwar, Jodhpur-Jaisalmer, Chikjajur-Hubli, Hubli-Londa, Londa-Miraj, Hospet-Hubli, Donakonda-Giddalur, Muzaffarpur-Raxaul, Birpur-Shimoga, Parbhani-Purna, Arjuni-Wadsa, Purulia-Kotshila (planned completion dates -- some may have taken longer).
  • Sep. 27: End-to-end through service on the Calcutta Metro begins (Tollygunge to Dum Dum) with 16 of the planned 17 stations.
  • Delhi-Panipat MEMU service begins.
  • Eleven WAP-5 locos imported from ABB (AdTranz), the first locos with 3-phase AC technology in India.
  • IR begins a big push to convert passenger coaches from 24V electricals to 110V systems.
  • Dec. : DLW exports 2 WDM-2 locos to Sri Lanka.
  • Pune division of CR created.
  • Mumbai's Harbour line is extended to Khandeshwar.
  • Diva - Veer DMU services inaugurated.
  • IR launches 'Exhibition-on-Wheels', a special train with various IR-related material forming a travelling exhibition.
  • IR signs agreement with Linke Hoffman Busch (LHB, now part of Alstom) for supply of, and technology transfer for, passenger coaches.
  • [Disaster] May 14: 52 killed as Madras-Kanyakumari Exp. collides with goods train near Salem.
  • [Disaster] June 1: 73 killed in two separate accidents (West Bengal, Orissa).
  • [Disaster] Aug. 20: 358 killed as Delhi-bound Purushottam Express rams into the stationary Kalindi Express at Firozabad, UP. Initial reports said 302 were killed; some sources claim the death toll was 400+. This is India's second worst railway disaster going by the death toll (the 1981 accident in which a train fell into a river in Bihar being the worst).
  • 1996
  • Six WAG-9 locos and 16 more in kit form imported from ABB (AdTranz), the second batch of 3-phase AC locos for IR. First one is commissioned on Dec. 27.
  • Feb. 11: The last of the 17 stations of the first phase of the Calcutta Metro (Mahatma Gandhi Road) is commissioned.
  • March 4: Victoria Terminus is renamed Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.
  • April: DLW exports 10 YDM-4 locos to Bangladesh.
  • July: Six new railway zones proposed and approved in principle.
  • Sep.: The Union Cabinet approves the first phase of the Delhi Metro.
  • September: CONCERT system of computerized reservations fully deployed at New Delhi.
  • Telecom cubicle provided on the Mumbai Rajdhani for on-board telephone and fax service.
  • [Disaster] April 18: 60 killed as Gorakhpur-Gonda passenger train rams into stationary goods train at Domingarh near Gorakhpur, UP.
  • [Disaster] May 14: 35 in a bus killed as Ernakulam-Kayamkulam Express collides with the bus at an unmanned level crossing near Alappuzha, Kerala.
  • [Disaster] May 25: 25 killed when Allahabad-bound passenger train rams into a tractor-trailer at an unmanned level crossing near Varanasi.
  • [Disaster] Dec. 30: 33 killed in bomb blast on Brahmaputra Mail between Kokrajhar and Fakiragram in lower Assam.
  • 1997
  • Freight services begin on Konkan Railway.
  • Third Godavari bridge built, to replace the first one built in 1897, near Rajahmundry.
  • RCF begins manufacture of MEMU coaches.
  • Mehsana-Palanpur MG section converted to BG.
  • Ahmedabad-Ajmer MG section converted to BG.
  • Radio communication between driver and guard introduced on the Delhi - Mughalsarai route.
  • An experimental system interconnecting Vyasarapadi, Korukkupet, and Washermanpet stations' signalling systems to Basin Bridge Jn. (Chennai) using fibre-optic links is in place.
  • October 18: Fairy Queen back in regular revenue service.
  • Madras MRTS begins running with service between Beach and Luz.
  • Oct. 19: Beach - Thirumayilai (Mylapore) construction completed.
  • DMU services begin on KR (Karwar-Pernem).
  • Jan. 11: Salem - Bangalore BG conversion.
  • DLW exports one WDS-6 shunter to Puttlam Cement Co. in Sri Lanka, and 6 WDM-2 locos to Sri Lanka Railways.
  • CONCOR buys 1300 BFKI flat wagons from IR in an effort to increase its container transport capacity.
  • April 30: The infamous 'Platinum Pass' is instituted, which allowed all current and past Railway Board members to free travel on IR by Air-conditioned First Class. This perquisite was later withdrawn on court order following a successful public interest lawsuit.
  • WDM-2 #16859 of Ernakulam shed becomes the first Indian loco to get air-conditioning as a permanent feature (excluding locos specially provided with such equipment just for the 'beauty contests').
  • Erstwhile Moradabad steam shed is dismantled to make way for a Concor depot.
  • [Disaster] July 8: 33 killed in bomb blast on passenger train at Lehra Khanna station in Bhatinda district, Punjab.
  • [Disaster] July 28: 12 killed in collision between Karnataka Exp. and Himsagar Exp. near Faridabad, Haryana, near New Delhi.
  • [Disaster] Sep. 14: At least 81 killed as five coaches of Ahmedabad-Howrah Express derail and fall into a river at Bilaspur, MP. Some sources claim a death toll of 120.
  • 1998
  • Konkan Railway construction is completed, and the first passenger train is flagged off on Jan. 26.
  • IR begins upgrading communication links along high traffic routes to optic fibre.
  • November 14: CLW begins production of indigenous versions of WAG-9 (first one is "Navyug").
  • April 29: CLW also manufactures its 2500th electric loco (a WAG-7, "Swarna Abha").
  • June 14: CONCERT system of computerized reservations deployed at Kolkata.
  • 10 YDM-4's sent to Tanzania under a 10-year full-service lease by RITES.
  • Diva-Panvel doubling inaugrated; EMU services begin from Panvel.
  • Coupon Validating Machines (CVMs) introduced at Mumbai CST.
  • Aug. 22: Tambaram-Tiruchirappalli BG conversion.
  • Thanjavur- Tiruchirappalli BG conversion.
  • Oct. : The first WDP-2 (#15501) is commissioned.
  • 'Buddha Parikrama', a tourist train for Buddhist sites, launched.
  • A seventh new railway zone (in addition to the six proposed in 1996) is proposed.
  • [Disaster] April 4: 11 killed as Howrah-Danapur Express derails between between Fatuha and Bankaghat stations.
  • [Disaster] April 24: 24 killed, 32 injured as a goods train with 15 wagons collides with the Manmad-Kacheguda Exp. at Parli Vaijanath (Beed) station, MP.
  • [Disaster] Aug. 13: 19 killed, 37 injured as the Chennai-Madurai Exp. collides with a bus at an unmanned level crossing on the New Karur - Salem bypass.
  • [Disaster] Sep. 24: 20 killed (14 children) and 33 injured as a locomotive collides with a bus at an unmanned level crossing near Bottalapalem, AP.
  • [Disaster] Nov. 26: At least 212 killed Jammu Tawi - Sealdah Express rams into three derailed carriages of the Amritsar-bound Golden Temple mail at Khanna, near Ludhiana, Punjab.
  • 1999
  • WDG-4 locos imported and homed at Hubli.
  • Briganza Ghat opened to traffic [10/99] with Vasco - Madgaon - Londa services.
  • NDM-6 locos procured for the Matheran and Darjeeling Himalayan railways.
  • WDP-2 locos in service on Konkan Railway.
  • Jan. 11: CLW begins manufacture of 3-phase AC traction motors 6FRA 6068 for WAG-9 locos.
  • Jan. 11: CONCERT system of computerized reservations deployed at Mumbai.
  • The seventh new zone (South East Central) is approved in principle.
  • Apr. 12: CONCERT system of computerized reservations deployed at Chennai. The complete networked nationwide system became operational on April 18.
  • July 2: MRVC incorporated to execute suburban rail projects in the Mumbai area.
  • Sep 19: HGS 26761 hauls a train from Howrah to Tribeni and back.
  • Nov 10: ICF's first stainless steel coach prototype.
  • Dec 2: Darjeeling Himalayan Railway becomes the second railway site in the world to be designated a World Heritage site.
  • New diesel locos introduced on New Jalpaiguri - Darjeeling section of the DHR.
  • Jan. 6: Tiruchirappalli-Dindigul BG conversion.
  • DLW turns out its 4000th locomotive.
  • Credit cards accepted for booking tickets and reservations in some stations (including Mumbai CST).
  • Konkan Railway begins roll-on roll-off (RORO) freight services on the Kolad-Verna section.
  • [Disaster] June 4: 12 killed and 60 injured when 14 coaches of the Secunderabad-bound Godavari Exp. derail near Kazipet.
  • [Disaster] July 16: 17 killed and 200 injured as Delhi-bound Grand Trunk Express collides with derailed wagons of a goods train near Mathura.
  • [Disaster] Aug. 2: The Gaisal disaster, a head-on collision between the Guwahati-bound Awadh Assam Express and the Delhi-bound Brahmaputra Mail at Gaisal in North Dinajpur district, West Bengal, kills 288 persons and injures 360. One of India's worst rail accident ever, it was caused by a signalling and routing error that put the two trains on the same track. Only the Purushottam Exp. tragedy (1995) and the 1981 disaster of a train falling into a river were worse.

Continue to the next part covering 2000 and beyond.

The chronology begins in Part 1 (1832 - 1870). Part 2 covers 1870 - 1899.

Part 3 lists events from 1900 to 1947. Part 4 covers 1947 to 1970
Part 5 covers 1970 to 1995, while Part 7 covers 2000 to the present

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