IRFCA Mailing List Archive

Messages 2181 - 2200

Previous 20 Messages          Archive Index          Next 20 Messages

From: Sankar <shankie@emirates.email

Subject: Superfast trains.

Date: 13 Feb 1998 02:21:00 -0500


There has been a lot of interesting e-mail from members of our fraternity
about superfasts:Pushkar,Vijay,Poras et.
A) I read somewhere that the definition of a superfast is an express which
is allowed to travel at the MAXIMUM PERMISSIBLE SPEED over the track.
Just because a train does not stop much does not qualify it to be
classified as a superfast:It should run at the maximum speed permitted
for that length of track/that route.
For a long time,this definition did not make sense to me.Then I started
examining timetables closely.True enough,if you did too,you will notice
that several superfasts (superfasts all have numbers beginning with
2xxx) stop at many,many more places than certain ordinary express
trains,but are still called superfasts because between stops,they pro-
bably run at a much faster speed than normal expresses.
Examples of superfasts with innumerable intermediate stops are:
-Madras-Delhi Grand Trunk Express,(Ganga Kaveri and Madras-Patna
Express seem to stop at fewer places),
-Bombay Central-Amritsar Paschim Express
-Bombay Central-Amritsar Frontier Mail (now Golden Temple Mail),
-Howrah-Delhi-Kalka Mail
-Bombay VT-Ferozepore Punjab Mail etc.
See the timetables,and you will see for yourself what I mean.

B) Special favors for the Hubli region?Someone already beat you to it!
remember that white bearded man Jaffer Sheriff?The ex-railway minister?
Actually,it was he who really speeded up the re-gauging of the
Miraj-Bangalore route.To that extent,he did a good job.
But then,he went and introduced the Bangalore-Hubli Shatabdi Express.
Better sense subsequently prevailed,and that Shatabdi was withdrawn
due to lack of patronage,and replaced with an Intercity Express,

C) I don't know of the Madras-Howrah route,but the track on the Madras-
Bombay route is in a deplorable condition,with vast stretches still
single line and till very recently,still using old type of bull headed
rails.
I understand that the drivers refuse to run superfasts on that terrible
track,refusing to play with their own lives,as well as lives of their
passengers.This story seems unlikely to be true,as ever the IR is not
that callous with safety,but there is every likelihood of political
pressure,which forces the running staff to take a tough stand.

As a matter of fact, two superfasts were introduced on that line in
1988 or so:Dadar-Madras Superfast and Dadar-Cochin superfast.
These trains had a very short life as superfasts, and were soon down-
graded as ordinary expresses.In fact,the Madras train was renamed as
Dadar-Madras Chennai Express, but most people still refer to it as
Superfast, saying, do you want to take the (other) Dadar Express (which]
now runs right upto VT) or the Superfast.But then, in the same breath,
they add: the superfast is a lousy train, its always late!

Best regards.
Shankar.

From: Vijay.Balasubramanian <Vijay.Balasubramanian@xula.email

Subject: Superfast trains.

Date: 12 Feb 1998 10:48:00 -0500


> A) I read somewhere that the definition of a superfast is an express
which
> is allowed to travel at the MAXIMUM PERMISSIBLE SPEED over the track.
> Just because a train does not stop much does not qualify it to be
> classified as a superfast:It should run at the maximum speed
permitted
> for that length of track/that route.

Looking at all the superfasts in the time-table, 55 kmph. (commercial
speed) still seems to be the cut-off point and the sole factor for
qualification as superfast.

The working time-tables of various divisions, indicates that there
are two speeds per train - 1) the booked speed: the max. speed at which
the train should run AS LONG AS it is running on time; 2) the max.
permissible speed: the max. allowable speed at which the train is
allowed to run (if it running late and needs to make up). Typically,
the max. permissible speed is 5-10 kmph. more than the booked speed.
Note that passenger schedules are based on booked speeds.

The difference in run-times between trains is due to the following:
1) They have different booked/max. permissible speeds.
2) They are given different recovery times. Recovery time is the extra
time alloted, typically, at the end of every major section, to allow
for delays. This is the main culprit in reducing the commercial
(overall) speeds of many trains in India.
3) Some of them lose time due to precedence crossings and overtakes.


> For a long time,this definition did not make sense to me.Then I
started
> examining timetables closely.True enough,if you did too,you will
notice
> that several superfasts (superfasts all have numbers beginning with
> 2xxx) stop at many,many more places than certain ordinary express
> trains,but are still called superfasts because between stops,they pro-
> bably run at a much faster speed than normal expresses.
> Examples of superfasts with innumerable intermediate stops are:
> -Madras-Delhi Grand Trunk Express,(Ganga Kaveri and Madras-Patna
> Express seem to stop at fewer places),
> -Bombay Central-Amritsar Paschim Express
> -Bombay Central-Amritsar Frontier Mail (now Golden Temple Mail),
> -Howrah-Delhi-Kalka Mail
> -Bombay VT-Ferozepore Punjab Mail etc.
> See the timetables,and you will see for yourself what I mean.

These trains have better booked/max. permissible speeds than some others
with lesser halts and so they perform better. For example, the GT exp.
has 100/110 booked/max. compared to say, the Navyug Exp. which has
95/105. Here are typical booked/max. speed combos:

BG
--
-130/140 - ONLY Shatabdi Exp. between Faridabad and Agra Cantt.
(unless Kanpur Shatabdi exp. has been recently upgraded)

-120/130 - Rajdhanis/Shatabdis in the following sections:
Delhi-Howrah via Gaya
Delhi-Ratlam
Delhi-Jhansi-Lalitpur

-115/120 - Mumbai Raj/A.K. Raj between Virar and Godhra.
Shatabdi Exp. between Virar and Vadodara

-100/110 - all superfasts and some other trains on the trunk routes
directly connecting Delhi or having a number of trains from
Delhi (why am I not surprised!!!)

- 90/100 - the **other** non-branch routes (Daund-Chennai, Mughal Sarai
-Patna-Sitarampur, Itarsi-Allahabad, etc.)

I am aware of other combinations:
96/105 - Mumbai CST - Kalyan - Karjat, Lonavla - Pune
95/105 - Bhusaval-Badnera-Wardha, some non-superfast trains in the
Nagpur-Balharshah section such as Ganga Kaveri Exp.
95/100 - Rajdhani Exps. between Godhra and Raltam
100/105 - Punjab ML, Pushpak Exp., Goa Exp., etc. in the Bhusaval-Itarsi

Jhansi section
105/110 - Paschim Exp., Frontier Mail between Raltam-Mathura, etc.

For MG
------
- 100 kmph. is max. for Vaigai/Pallavan/Madurai superfast(?) and 75
kmph. for others.


Vijay

From: Sankar <shankie@emirates.email

Subject:

Date: 13 Feb 1998 07:06:00 -0500


Hello Poras,
1. If you love double WDM/s headed superfasts,here are a few that have had
to retire prematurely to make way for the electrics:
Tamil Nadu Express,(now electrically hauled from end to end NDLS-MAS)
Andhra Pradesh Express( -"-- -"-- --"-- NDLS-HYD)
Madras-Bangalore Express( -"-- -"-- --"-- MAS- BLR)
Rajdhani Express ( -"-- -"-- --"-- BCT- NDLS)
to name a few.
The SER was a regular candidate for double, and at times triple WDM/2
hauled ore and coal trains.
As a matter of fact,on the new (1988) Kirandul-Kottavalasa line (near
Vishakapatnam) on the SER was the first to try locotrol (radio control)
using five WDM/2 locomotives,before the line was electrified.
Locotrol is this: although theorotically, an infinite number of locomotives
can be coupled in multiple (with control in the hands of the crew of the
first engine only:other engines need not be manned) by means of the
connecting cable,in practice,experience has shown that joining more than
five engines together puts excessive strain on the couplings,leading to
coupling breakage and failure.
To solve the problem,locotrol was evolved:coupling three to five engines
in multiple at the head of the train, and two more engines MIDWAY in the
rake.As the multiple control cables cannot obviously be joined through the
cars in between,the two engines coupled mid-rake had to be radio controlled
by the crew in the first engine.
The WDM/2s being versatile machines,lent themselves excellently to this
scheme.
Of course,the line is now electrified,and freights hauled by three to four
WAMs or WAGs is not uncommon.The high horsepower 6000 hp imported engines
were tried on this line,I do now know the latest situation there.

More in my next.
Best regards.
Shankar.

From: Sankar <shankie@emirates.email

Subject:

Date: 13 Feb 1998 07:07:00 -0500


Hello Poras,
You haven't travelled in a steam hauled train? Man,you have missed one
of the most sublime and ecstatic pleasures of life.
Steam on the bg? Sadly, alas,steam was completely withdrawn from the bg
as of Dec.1995.The last steam hauled passenger train on the bg on the IR
ran between Ferozepore and Jalandhar on 6-12-95.The train was hauled by a
WL engine # 15005,named 'Sher'e'Punjab', and the engine is now preserved
at the National Rail Museum,Delhi.

This is the OFFICIAL withdrawal of BG steam on the IR:several of our members
out there will assure you that they had seen bg engines IN STEAM
much later than that.By this time they will all be gone.I think someone
once wrote that a WP is undergoing restoration at Lucknow or something.

India built her last bg steam engine in 1970, a WG, tragically named
ANTIM SITARA. Sadly, WG 10560 ANTIM SITARA never really had a chance to do
the type of jobs she was supposed to do, i.e. haul freights.The engine was
in steam till about a year or so back hauling coal trains to and from the
coal washeries to coal mines. A dignified form of shunting.

The last mg steamer built was a YG, simply named YG 3572 (or 73,I'm not
sure).This last mg steamer was outshopped in 1972.

Best regards.
Shankar.

From: Samir K Bhattacharya <skb@hogpa.email

Subject: Re: superfast trains, HWH-Chennai line

Date: 12 Feb 1998 15:32:00 -0500


...
> Express. One has also to mention the grand old lady of this line,
> the HWH-Chennai Mail or simply the "Mail" to people on this route.
> Before the advent of the likes of Coromandel etc., the Mail was the
> undisputed queen of this route. If ever people without reservation
> got on to the train the surest way to get them off was to say "this
> is the Mail!" and they would get off! I have seen this happen many
> times. My best experience travelling on IR has been the early
> morning run on the southbound Mail between Khurda Rd and Berhampur
> along the Chilka lake with a picture postcard view of the sunrise
> over the lake as the train travelled at high speed with engine
> sounding occasionally and the cool wind hitting my face.

Right, very pretty scene indeed.

But in 1993, I was surprised when no TT checked our tickets during our
entire journey from Howrah to Berhampur!

Samir



> Kumar

From: Sundar Krishnamurthy <coolsundar@hotmail.email

Subject: New Train Pix

Date: 12 Feb 1998 11:39:00 -0500


Hello All!

It's been a busy life with no time for trainspotting or other pursuits
(like sending mail). Well, I've found time to scan a few recent
photographs and put them up at
<A HREF="http://members.xoom.com/sundar/itg/pics1.html">http://members.xoom.com/sundar/itg/pics1.html</A>
Send me the reviews.

Its 3 am in Chennai, India now, and this is the only time I find off
coding and work. Regarding the recent discussion on train speeds, I
would like to mention 6009 Mumbai Chennai Mail. According to the time
table (I'll confirm this in 7 hours time), the train leaves Shahabad at
12:00 pm and arrives at Wadi at 13:20 pm. The catch - the two stations
are separated by a mere 10 kms!!!! This would rate the SUPERSLOW stretch
(all time) on any route. An fast man walking at 7 kmph can do the same
distance in a similar time. The railways follow the 2xxx nomenclature
for SF trains. They should start a -1,-2 etc. series for slow trains
(Mail should be -2609 - super slowest of 'em all)

Around 22nd Feb (I'll confirm tomorrow when I visit Chennai central stn)
SR plans to terminate all services out of Egmore on the MG corridor, to
make way for BGisation. BG Madurai trains would now proceed via
Erode-Karur-Trichy, till Villupuram is re-gauged. That spells the
death-knell for the feminine YAM1 locomotives.

Sundar Krishnamurthy


______________________________________________________
Get Your Private, Free Email at <A HREF="http://www.hotmail.com">http://www.hotmail.com</A>

From: Don Dickens <ddickens@e-z.email

Subject: Different by a good bit

Date: 12 Feb 1998 17:25:00 -0500


The Patiala State Monorail Page now has more pictures. Just click on
this link <A HREF="http:/www.e-z.net/~ddickens/monorail">http:/www.e-z.net/~ddickens/monorail</A>

From: Sundar Krishnamurthy <coolsundar@hotmail.email

Subject: Re: Superfast Trains

Date: 13 Feb 1998 01:22:00 -0500


Hello Speed Enthusiasts...

Well, another snail on the IR books. According to my bradshaw, 6529 dn
Udyan Express departs from Bangalore Cantt. at 7:35 am and reaches
Bangalore City (4 kms away) at 8:20 am!!!!!!

This beats Chennai Mail! However, in my last trip, the 6009 mail was
late by 70 minutes when it reached Shahabad. It left Shahabad at 13:10
to reach Wadi at 13:20 - bang on time! I wonder, how this works out!

Only IR can tell ...

Sundar Krishnamurthy



--------------------------------------------------------------------
Sundar Krishnamurthy ("`-''-/").___..--''"`-._
9/66, Welfare Hse, Sion (W), `6_ 6 ) `-. ( ).`-.__.`)
Mumbai 400 022. INDIA (_Y_.)' ._ ) `._ `. ``-..-'
Tel : +91 +22 4071254 _.. `--'_..-_/ /--'_.' ,'
coolsundar@hotmail.email (il),-'' (li),' ((!.-'
<A HREF="http://sundar.home.ml.org">http://sundar.home.ml.org</A>
-------------------------------------------Today is the day of glory
-----------------------------------------The Code is the whole story


______________________________________________________
Get Your Private, Free Email at <A HREF="http://www.hotmail.com">http://www.hotmail.com</A>

From: S. Kumar <s.kumar@qm.email

Subject: Re: Superfast Trains

Date: 13 Feb 1998 15:26:00 -0500


Sundar writes:

> Well, another snail on the IR books. According to my bradshaw, 6529 dn
> Udyan Express departs from Bangalore Cantt. at 7:35 am and reaches
> Bangalore City (4 kms away) at 8:20 am!!!!!!
>
> This beats Chennai Mail! However, in my last trip, the 6009 mail was
> late by 70 minutes when it reached Shahabad. It left Shahabad at 13:10
> to reach Wadi at 13:20 - bang on time! I wonder, how this works out!
>
> Only IR can tell ...

This is exactly the reason why the Mumbai-Chennai mail is scheduled
to take more than an hour between Shahabad and Wadi. This is
standard practice on IR especially on arrivals to stations where
there is a zone change or where the train terminates.

Kumar

From: dheeraj <dheeraj@iitk.email

Subject: superfast trains.

Date: 14 Feb 1998 03:00:00 -0500


If I remember correctly the superfast is defined purely in terms
of commercial speeds. For BG trains, if the speed (end-to-end) is
above 55 kmph, it is a superfast. For MG trains, superfast means
above 45 kmph. In another decision in which courts insisted that
railways provide a specific service, all trains with end-to-end
timing of more than 42 hours (??) must have a pantry car.

The definition of superfast to me is as arbitrary as it was
prior to the court decision. To give an example, two years ago,
North-east had the fastest time from Delhi (NDLS) to Kanpur,
barring Rajdhanis and Shatabdi. According to the timetable,
it took exactly 6:00 hours. Other "superfast" trains took 6:05
or more. And North-east was not a superfast train. It still
isn't because its speed after Mughalsarai and particularly
after Barauni is very slow. So the average is less than 55.

Also they keep playing games with SF status of Pushpak. Right
now, it is giving an avg of 56 or 57 kmph, and is a superfast.
Before that it was 30 minute slower. The avg was 54 kmph, and
it was a non-SF train. Year before that, it was half an hour
faster, and it was an SF train.

The numbering of SF trains, as has already been pointed out
starts with 2. The second digit is the zone that the train
"belongs" to, except in case of Shatabdis, whose second digit is
0. As most of you are aware, each zone has been assigned a digit
(well, there are 8 digits assigned to 9 zones. So two zones
share one digit). 1 is central, 3 is eastern, 4 is northern,
5 is NE, 9 is western, and so on. In case of non-SF trains,
the first digit is zone, second digit is division within that
zone whose primary responsibilit it is to maintain the rake.

How would the numbers change once the six new zones become operational ?

If the new govt is non-UF supported (that is BJP), then would
they scrap the six zones (and setup a reorganization panel to
suggest a new structure)?

-dheeraj

--------------
Dheeraj Sanghi +91 (512) 59-7077 (Off)
Dept. of Computer Science & Engineering +91 (512) 59-8627 (Res)
Indian Institute of Technology +91 (512) 59-0725 (Fax)
Kanpur - 208 016 (UP), INDIA. dheeraj@iitk.email

From: Sankar <shankie@emirates.email

Subject: Re: Baldwins

Date: 14 Feb 1998 01:13:00 -0500


Point # 1:Two corrections: The designations of those bureaucrats there are:
The Secretary,Railway Board, and
The Financial Commissioner,Railways.
These top ranking officials are ace bureaucrats,and don't take
too kindly to people depriving them of their status,however
inadvertantly!

Point#2:I have with me here a copy of the UK publication "Railway World
Yearbook",wherein there is an article about two gentlemen from the
UK,who went out to the Visweswaraya Iron & Steel Works to look at
the BRITISH steam engines there.They went twice,two years in a
row, and the author is Allan Baker.(1990 edition).

Allan says: 'Originally the lines were operated by American locomo-
tives,and a series of 2-6-4 tanks came from Baldwin in 1919-20----
---by 1973,only three of the Baldwins survived---and the narrow
gauge system was replaced by lorries the following year.
Only # 3 survives, 'stuffed and mounted' on a plinth at
Bhadravati etc.
In the same article,there is a picture of one of these 2-6-4Ts.
with the caption 'Baldwin 2-6-4T # 4 (sic) (?) (57920/1919)
stands preserved at the main office block at Bhadravati on 5th
Feb. 1978.This engine had been used at the mines at --until
closure of the lines there in 1973,and was part of the original
motive power of the tramway.'

As such,the similarity to the Gwalior engines is suspect.However,that
same article says: 'the fine machines(Baldwins) had 12" X 18" cylinders,
and a wheelbase of 20' 3".Weighing 33 tonnes in working order,they were
the staple motive power till after the war.A typical design of their
builder,they followed closely a series of engines built for the Gwalior
Light----.The earliest members of the Gwalior lines dated from 1914,but
were themselves development of earlier designs of the same bulder.There
was a series of similar 4-6-4s too,for passenger working as opposed to
freight.
(This probably means similar technical details and dimensions.These
Mysore engines were TANKS,the Gwalior ones were tender engines).

The article then goes on to trace the incoming of British engines,which
were primarily replacements for the Yanks,and later says even these have
since been withdrawn and stored.

1973 to 1998:25 years past since the Yanks were withdrawn.Don't you think
you're expecting a little too much? At any rate,you could try to lay your
hands on that preserved Yank # 3 (The caption said #4) 2-6-4T at Bhadra-
vati.You should approach the General Manager,Southern Railway,before you
get to the Divisional Railway Manager,Mysore Division.

Point # 3: Do you know about the dimunitive 0-4-0SWT (saddle and well
tank) engines of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway? They are
on the 2' O" gauge, most of them,past their century in age,
are still in steam.Although most were built by North British,
Sharp Stewart (both from the UK) or in-house at the Tindharia
Workshops, three were built by Baldwin in 1917, nos.792-94.

Of these,I think 792 has already been retired and placed atop
a pedestal outside the Indian Railways headquarters at Rail
Bhavan,New Delhi.(where the Fin.Commissioner and Secretary.
Rail Board sit!)

You might stand a better chance of laying your hands on one of
these.I must warn you however, these engines are dimunitive to
the extreme, no larger than the Austin Mini! They have been
lovingly referred to as 'dachshunds with rucksacks,scurrying
up and down the hills'.

That line is still steam worked.Chances are,you might still
have one of the two remaining Baldwins,she may even be restored
for you by the Tindharia Workshops.

As usual,begin at the beginning,(Railway Board), and percolate down to
the North East Frontier Railway (NF),under whose perview this line falls.

Best regards.
Shankar.






At 01:17 PM 2/11/98 -0600, you wrote:
>Shankar, I am going to try the Indian embassy to the USA today and see if
>they can help me. I am going to direct them to Mr. Madhavrao Scindia and
>the railway secretary and financial officer. I wrote to the Chief
>mechanical officer jhansi system Central Railways but as you have said
>before I really don't expect a reply. I also wrote to the Chief Public
>relations officer of Central Railways, he may respond, that's his job.
>
>I have heard from International Railway Author Hugh Hughs of New Zeland
>that the Mysore locomotive was noted as derelect as late as 1973. He said
>the plant is closed there in Mysore. If that loco is still there I will
>need it for parts. Do you know anyone near Mysore who could check it out?
>
>Shankar, If I get those locomotives back over here to the US, you and I are
>going to run them one day, you can count on it.
>
>
>
>

From: Sankar <shankie@emirates.email

Subject: Re: steam

Date: 14 Feb 1998 01:13:00 -0500


Sadly, alas.
Some of our fellow members however have reported spotting a few meter
gauge beauties at Mhow,etc.Two of them had also visited that spot,and
had posted a follow-up.They might be in a better position to tell you.

However, you can rest assured that even if there a handful of mg steam
engines still left on the mg,they are living on borrowed time,awaiting
the fall of the auctioneer's hammer.

One mg line which will CONTINUE on steam traction is the Mettupalayam
to Ootacamund (Ooty, now called Udhagamandalam) line,primarily due to
the intervening rack and pinion section.

But not without change.There is already a diesel on the Coonoor-Ooty
section.Steam will continue only between Mettupalayam (at the foot of
the hills) to the summit at Coonoor.There is talk of the engines them-
selves being converted to oil firing,due to logistic problems:carting
coal all the way from the Eastern coalfields to there just for the sake
of this short stretch.

On the ng, its estimated that only the Darjeeling line will continue on
steam traction.

May the departed souls at least RUST in peace!

Best regards.
Shankar.







At 06:36 AM 2/13/98 +1000, you wrote:
>>The last steam hauled passenger train on the bg on the IR
>>ran between Ferozepore and Jalandhar on 6-12-95.
>
>Has steam finished on the mg and ng (apart from Darjeeling)?
>
>John
>
>
>
>John Browning
>Rockhampton
>Queensland
>Australia
>
>
>

From: Sankar <shankie@emirates.email

Subject: Re: Baldwins

Date: 14 Feb 1998 01:52:00 -0500


Sorry,I stand corrected.
There was another Baldwin,# 10, that same 2-8-2 mentioned in your
earlier post,built 1942,no.64349.Sorry,I goofed the last time round!
Sorry,I have no info.on that engine!But the article says she was
reported derelict in 1973,when only thirty years old!very young
for a steamer to retire by IR standards!
shankar.







Point # 1:Two corrections: The designations of those bureaucrats there are:
The Secretary,Railway Board, and
The Financial Commissioner,Railways.
These top ranking officials are ace bureaucrats,and don't take
too kindly to people depriving them of their status,however
inadvertantly!

Point#2:I have with me here a copy of the UK publication "Railway World
Yearbook",wherein there is an article about two gentlemen from the
UK,who went out to the Visweswaraya Iron & Steel Works to look at
the BRITISH steam engines there.They went twice,two years in a
row, and the author is Allan Baker.(1990 edition).

Allan says: 'Originally the lines were operated by American locomo-
tives,and a series of 2-6-4 tanks came from Baldwin in 1919-20----
---by 1973,only three of the Baldwins survived---and the narrow
gauge system was replaced by lorries the following year.
Only # 3 survives, 'stuffed and mounted' on a plinth at
Bhadravati etc.
In the same article,there is a picture of one of these 2-6-4Ts.
with the caption 'Baldwin 2-6-4T # 4 (sic) (?) (57920/1919)
stands preserved at the main office block at Bhadravati on 5th
Feb. 1978.This engine had been used at the mines at --until
closure of the lines there in 1973,and was part of the original
motive power of the tramway.'

As such,the similarity to the Gwalior engines is suspect.However,that
same article says: 'the fine machines(Baldwins) had 12" X 18" cylinders,
and a wheelbase of 20' 3".Weighing 33 tonnes in working order,they were
the staple motive power till after the war.A typical design of their
builder,they followed closely a series of engines built for the Gwalior
Light----.The earliest members of the Gwalior lines dated from 1914,but
were themselves development of earlier designs of the same bulder.There
was a series of similar 4-6-4s too,for passenger working as opposed to
freight.
(This probably means similar technical details and dimensions.These
Mysore engines were TANKS,the Gwalior ones were tender engines).

The article then goes on to trace the incoming of British engines,which
were primarily replacements for the Yanks,and later says even these have
since been withdrawn and stored.

1973 to 1998:25 years past since the Yanks were withdrawn.Don't you think
you're expecting a little too much? At any rate,you could try to lay your
hands on that preserved Yank # 3 (The caption said #4) 2-6-4T at Bhadra-
vati.You should approach the General Manager,Southern Railway,before you
get to the Divisional Railway Manager,Mysore Division.

Point # 3: Do you know about the dimunitive 0-4-0SWT (saddle and well
tank) engines of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway? They are
on the 2' O" gauge, most of them,past their century in age,
are still in steam.Although most were built by North British,
Sharp Stewart (both from the UK) or in-house at the Tindharia
Workshops, three were built by Baldwin in 1917, nos.792-94.

Of these,I think 792 has already been retired and placed atop
a pedestal outside the Indian Railways headquarters at Rail
Bhavan,New Delhi.(where the Fin.Commissioner and Secretary.
Rail Board sit!)

You might stand a better chance of laying your hands on one of
these.I must warn you however, these engines are dimunitive to
the extreme, no larger than the Austin Mini! They have been
lovingly referred to as 'dachshunds with rucksacks,scurrying
up and down the hills'.

That line is still steam worked.Chances are,you might still
have one of the two remaining Baldwins,she may even be restored
for you by the Tindharia Workshops.

As usual,begin at the beginning,(Railway Board), and percolate down to
the North East Frontier Railway (NF),under whose perview this line falls.

Best regards.
Shankar.






At 01:17 PM 2/11/98 -0600, you wrote:
>Shankar, I am going to try the Indian embassy to the USA today and see if
>they can help me. I am going to direct them to Mr. Madhavrao Scindia and
>the railway secretary and financial officer. I wrote to the Chief
>mechanical officer jhansi system Central Railways but as you have said
>before I really don't expect a reply. I also wrote to the Chief Public
>relations officer of Central Railways, he may respond, that's his job.
>
>I have heard from International Railway Author Hugh Hughs of New Zeland
>that the Mysore locomotive was noted as derelect as late as 1973. He said
>the plant is closed there in Mysore. If that loco is still there I will
>need it for parts. Do you know anyone near Mysore who could check it out?
>
>Shankar, If I get those locomotives back over here to the US, you and I are
>going to run them one day, you can count on it.
>
>
>
>

From: Auroprem Kandaswami <kandaswa@apple.email

Subject: Re:Re: Superfast Trains

Date: 13 Feb 1998 02:51:00 -0500


Sundar,

Your message title is wrong and confusing.

It should have been "Superslow Trains"

- Auro

>Hello Speed Enthusiasts...
>
>Well, another snail on the IR books. According to my bradshaw, 6529 dn
>Udyan Express departs from Bangalore Cantt. at 7:35 am and reaches
>Bangalore City (4 kms away) at 8:20 am!!!!!!
>
>This beats Chennai Mail! However, in my last trip, the 6009 mail was
>late by 70 minutes when it reached Shahabad. It left Shahabad at 13:10
>to reach Wadi at 13:20 - bang on time! I wonder, how this works out!
>
>Only IR can tell ...
>
>Sundar Krishnamurthy
>
>
>
>--------------------------------------------------------------------
>Sundar Krishnamurthy ("`-''-/").___..--''"`-._
>9/66, Welfare Hse, Sion (W), `6_ 6 ) `-. ( ).`-.__.`)
>Mumbai 400 022. INDIA (_Y_.)' ._ ) `._ `. ``-..-'
>Tel : +91 +22 4071254 _.. `--'_..-_/ /--'_.' ,'
>coolsundar@hotmail.email (il),-'' (li),' ((!.-'
><A HREF="http://sundar.home.ml.org">http://sundar.home.ml.org</A>
>-------------------------------------------Today is the day of glory
>-----------------------------------------The Code is the whole story
>
>
>______________________________________________________
>Get Your Private, Free Email at <A HREF="http://www.hotmail.com">http://www.hotmail.com</A>

From: BHARAT VOHRA <bharat@giasbma.email

Subject: Re: Superfast Trains

Date: 13 Feb 1998 10:34:00 -0500


Just for the record, all Western Railways nominated superfast trains
especially Frontier and paschim average above 60kmh which is well above
IRs specification of 55kmh for S/F trains!
Regards,
Bharat Vohra

On Thu, 12 Feb 1998, poras p.saklatwalla wrote:

> On Wed, 11 Feb 1998, Pushkar Apte wrote:
>
> > The recent discussion on train re-routing via KR brings me to a question
> > re: superfast trains. My understanding is that some time ago, a kind
> > soul had sued IR, and wonder of wonders - the courts gave a timely
> > decision in his favor saying that IR could not arbitrarily designate
> > trains as Superfast - they need an objective criterion. This has
> > financial implications - because IR extracts a sizable SF surcharge.
> > The resultant criterion was set to be 55 kmph over the entire run (incl.
> > halts) to merit the 2000 series number and SF designation. Is this
> > still the case? If someone knows more on this issue, can you please
> > post?
> >
> > For the record, I agree heartily with Vijay re: the dearth of Superfast
> > trains for non-Delhi cities. Mumbai has ZERO SF trains to anywhere in
> > the south. Hyderabad recently got an upgrade in this respect, with
> > Falaknuma and Charminar Exps becoming SF, and Chennai-Bangalore have
> > good SF links - but apart from that, the situation for interlinking
> > Southern cities is also pretty bad for SF exp. trains. Calcutta does
> > not have SF links to Guwahati, Barauni, Lucknow, Varanasi. And the list
> > could go on... The point is *not* that Delhi should not have SF and
> > Raj/Shatabdi trains - Delhi is India's capital and it *should* have good
> > trains. The point is that the distribution of SF and Raj/Shatabdi
> > trains ought to be much more equitable. For instance, Delhi-Patna
> > already had a Rajdhani (the Calcutta one via Patna), Delhi-Secunderabad
> > (the Bangalore Raj) - shouldn't linking Mumbai-Chennai-Howrah-Bangalore
> > to each other by Rajdhani-type trains get precedence over double and
> > triple Rajdhani connections between the same city and Delhi?
> >
> > Oh well...
> >
> > -Pushkar
> >
> >
> > Regards,
> > Pushkar
> > -------
> >
> >
>
> P.P.SAKLATWALLA.
> EXTN :4226/4232/4237
>
>
> Pushkar,
> The kind soul who filed a suit against the railway was none other than a
> Parsi gentlemen by the name of Firoze Amroliwalla of Mumbai. He is a
> social worker and an activist , but thanks to him and his filing of suit
> against the railway The MUMBAI- POONA PRAGATI EXP, MUMBAI - POONA
> INDRAYANI EXP, THE MUMBAI - FIROZPUR PUNJAB MAIL AND THE MUMBAI - LUCKNOW
> PUSPAK EXPRESS got converted to ordinary trains. However Punjab Mail and
> Pushpak Express have once again been given the original status as 2137 Dn
> and 2133 DN
> The axe could have fallen on Paschim Express, Frontier Mail and a few
> other trains, but the courts decided against it. I was at the courts when
> the case was being heard and there were hilarious scenes in the court when
> the case was being fought. However Mr.Amroliwalla recently lost his son
> in a road accident and the fan clubs members share his grief with him.
>
> Pushkar one more thing, why are the railways not introducing anymore mails
> and only expresses. I mean thats surprising since, once upon a time the
> mails were considered as prestigious trains. Now all of a sudden why this
> sudden dearth of mail trains ? I distinctly remember that there used to be
> Poona Mail when I was in school and one fine day it was scrapped to give
> way to Double Decker Singhad express later.
> I am sure we can have a Lucknow Mail, Bangalore Mail Etc. Don't know how
> these jokers in Delhi work.
> Please do give your comments
>
> Regards,
>
> Poras Saklatwalla,
>
>
>

From: Pushkar Apte <apte@spdc.email

Subject: The "Wonder Years" of SF Expresses

Date: 13 Feb 1998 09:23:00 -0500


All this talk of SF trains has sent me on a nostalgia trip - one that
Vijay and I have talked about many times. The SF concept caught steam
(no pun intended - these are electric & diesel traction trains!) in the
1970s with the introduction of 5 classic trains:

1. Bombay-Jammu Tawi SF Exp (now Swaraj)
2. Tamil Nadu Exp (AP/Karnataka/Kerala shared timings with TN initially)

3. Gitanjali Exp.
4. Corromondel Exp.
5. Himgiri Exp.

At their inception, and in their early, "Wonder Years", these 5 trains
were truly magnificent, given the technology available to IR in the
70s. They all had average speeds in the range of ~65-70 kmph, max
speeds of 110 kmph (Yes, Kumar I remember fondly the presitigious stamp
of "Fit for 110 kmph" on coaches of these trains), amazing halt patterns
with average inter-halt distances of 200-300 kms and yes, distinctive
liveries. They also provided hitherto unheard of services to 2nd class
passengers like cushioned seats & berths, clean drinking water,
specially packaged food, well-maintained toilets etc. They covered
all the major trunk routes except Mumbai-Chennai, and interestingly
enough, Howrah-Delhi never got a train of this genre.

I have had the good fortune of travelling on #1, then numbered 171/172
and known on WR simply as the Jammu Tawi Superfast. This train had -
in my subjective view - the prettiest livery (it was a unique
blue-green) that I have ever seen on IR, beating even the Rajdhanis and
Shatabdis. I remember the train's majestic departure from Bombay
Central at 6:10, always bang on time, and its solid 110 kmph runs
getting me to Vadodara in ~ 5hrs 15 mins - almost as good as *today's*
AK Rajdhani and Shatabdi.

In this information age, we always find technology improving and things
moving faster: alas, IR moved in the reverse for these 5 beauties over
the past 2 decades :-(. Himgiri and Gitanjali were decimated - the
former even lost SF status. Corromondel and Swaraj, suffered much, but
do retain an iota of prestige and speed. TN perhaps emerged the most
unscathed, although it certainly has shown no improvement. To add
insult to injury, all of them lost their liveries. Still, TN probably
holds the first rank of the fastest and most prestigious long-distance
train, after the Rajdhanis & Shatabdis.

Finally, a request. If anyone in IRFCA has any pictures of these trains
- especially of the blue-green Jammu Tawi SF - or time-tables showing
these trains in their Wonder Years; please send me e-mail! Thank you.

-Pushkar

From: C.L.Zeni <clzeni@elsewhere.email

Subject: Re: The "Wonder Years" of SF Expresses

Date: 13 Feb 1998 11:51:00 -0500


Pushkar Apte wrote:
snip
> Finally, a request. If anyone in IRFCA has any pictures of these trains
> - especially of the blue-green Jammu Tawi SF - or time-tables showing
> these trains in their Wonder Years; please send me e-mail! Thank you.
>
> -Pushkar

Are there any web pages with IR photographs? I'm new to the mailing
list...

Thanks,
--
Craig Zeni - REPLY TO -->> clzeni at mindspring dot com
<A HREF="http://www.mindspring.com/~clzeni/index.html">http://www.mindspring.com/~clzeni/index.html</A>

Helms/Thurmon in 2000 - Don't waste 200 years of experience.

From: Sankar <shankie@emirates.email

Subject: Re: The "Wonder Years" of SF Expresses

Date: 14 Feb 1998 06:52:00 -0500


Indeed.
And do you remember the handful of STEAM hauled superfasts?Yes,
hauled by those magnificent WPs,sporting a huge star up front,
tearing over the tracks at the then maximum allowed speed of
100 kmph.(96 kmph to be exact).
Two names spring to mind immediately:
The Taj Express (NDLS-Agra :now WAP hauled right upto Gwalior) &
the Airconditioned Express (Howrah-Amritsar).
Actually,those days we used to live in Durgapur,and the Doon Express
(Howrah-Dehradun) used to fly past,so also the Bombay Mail,both of
which are now quite slow by today's standards.
On the mg, the Madras Egmore-Trivandrum Express used to be referred
to as the Super Express,and at the time of its introduction,the
Madras Egmore-Madurai Pandyan Express was the FASTEST train on the
route,beating even the Super Express.Hauled by YPs,these trains did
the maximum permissible speed (then) on the mg of 75 kmph.
The mg was really upgraded in the early 1980s,as it was then decided
to upgrade mg to bg standards,and not to try re-gauging the whole thing.
That was before the unigauge program was launched.
At that time the mg Ashram Express between Delhi and Ahmedabad used to
be cleared for a maximum speed of 120 kmph!But whether it really touched
that speed,I do not know.
Of course the Ashram was diesel hauled.Coming back to steam,the Madras-
Bangalore Brindavan Express was once a steam hauled superfast too!

And now to the SuperSLOWs:Some of the SLOWEST trains on the IR (its a
shame to call them express trains actually) are:

Howrah-Delhi Janata Express (withdrawn and then re-introduced last year),
Amritsar-Dadar Express
Bombay Central-Dehradun Express:this is even slower that the
Bombay Central-Ferozepore Janata and Saurashtra Janata,
Udyan Abha Toofan Express
Bombay-Kolhapur Sahyadri Express, to name a few.

Best regards.
Shankar.













At 11:23 AM 2/13/98 -0600, you wrote:
>All this talk of SF trains has sent me on a nostalgia trip - one that
>Vijay and I have talked about many times. The SF concept caught steam
>(no pun intended - these are electric & diesel traction trains!) in the
>1970s with the introduction of 5 classic trains:
>
>1. Bombay-Jammu Tawi SF Exp (now Swaraj)
>2. Tamil Nadu Exp (AP/Karnataka/Kerala shared timings with TN initially)
>
>3. Gitanjali Exp.
>4. Corromondel Exp.
>5. Himgiri Exp.
>
>At their inception, and in their early, "Wonder Years", these 5 trains
>were truly magnificent, given the technology available to IR in the
>70s. They all had average speeds in the range of ~65-70 kmph, max
>speeds of 110 kmph (Yes, Kumar I remember fondly the presitigious stamp
>of "Fit for 110 kmph" on coaches of these trains), amazing halt patterns
>with average inter-halt distances of 200-300 kms and yes, distinctive
>liveries. They also provided hitherto unheard of services to 2nd class
>passengers like cushioned seats & berths, clean drinking water,
>specially packaged food, well-maintained toilets etc. They covered
>all the major trunk routes except Mumbai-Chennai, and interestingly
>enough, Howrah-Delhi never got a train of this genre.
>
>I have had the good fortune of travelling on #1, then numbered 171/172
>and known on WR simply as the Jammu Tawi Superfast. This train had -
>in my subjective view - the prettiest livery (it was a unique
>blue-green) that I have ever seen on IR, beating even the Rajdhanis and
>Shatabdis. I remember the train's majestic departure from Bombay
>Central at 6:10, always bang on time, and its solid 110 kmph runs
>getting me to Vadodara in ~ 5hrs 15 mins - almost as good as *today's*
>AK Rajdhani and Shatabdi.
>
>In this information age, we always find technology improving and things
>moving faster: alas, IR moved in the reverse for these 5 beauties over
>the past 2 decades :-(. Himgiri and Gitanjali were decimated - the
>former even lost SF status. Corromondel and Swaraj, suffered much, but
>do retain an iota of prestige and speed. TN perhaps emerged the most
>unscathed, although it certainly has shown no improvement. To add
>insult to injury, all of them lost their liveries. Still, TN probably
>holds the first rank of the fastest and most prestigious long-distance
>train, after the Rajdhanis & Shatabdis.
>
>Finally, a request. If anyone in IRFCA has any pictures of these trains
>- especially of the blue-green Jammu Tawi SF - or time-tables showing
>these trains in their Wonder Years; please send me e-mail! Thank you.
>
>-Pushkar
>
>
>
>
>

From: Sankar <shankie@emirates.email

Subject: Re: WAM1/4

Date: 14 Feb 1998 06:52:00 -0500


The WAM/4s are actually rather mundane,run-of-the-mill machines.
You may be aware that France (SNCF) were electrification consultants to
the IR at a time ,in the late 1950s.It was due to the French
that ac traction was introduced on theIR,starting with the Howrah-Delhi
route,which included conversion of the Howrah-Burdwan (now Bardhamman)
section to ac.

The French brought with them a whole fleet of ac engines,notably WAG/1
and WAM/1.Both are typically French machines,with a Bo-Bo wheel arrangement
and low strung profile etc.The Frenchies were 'indianized' by regauging
them to 5'6",fitment of a cowcatcher,CBC couplers in place of the hook,a
large search-light style roof mounted headlight instead of two waist-level
ones etc. The French engines were tested intensively,and some of themwere
later built in India.(Notably WAG/4:the first of which was called BIDHAN.)

Although the French engines were sterling performers,it was soon found
that some of their more sophisticated features like spring-borne traction
motors etc. did not suit Indian conditions.

To the drawing board it was then,and then emerged India's FIRST HOME
DESIGNED and HOME BUILT multipurpose electric, the WAM/4.
All are fitted for multiple unit capability,have a maximum speed of 120
kmph, have a Co-Co wheel arrangement for better power and stability,
and more importantly,use the same undercarriage & power bogies as the WDM/2
diesels,meaning that the builders (Chittaranjan) could benifit from
economies of scale.The first WAM/4 was outshopped in 1971.
The WAM/4s were mass-produced and were the undisputed masters of the elec-
trified lines of the IR till the more specialized engines came in.They are
at home with all sorts of trains,right from the lowly parcel or stopping
passenger trains right till the heaviest of freights (4-5 WAM/4s used to
haul freights on the Kirandul-Kottavalasa line on the SER:on the SER,
double WAM/4 headed ore trains are very common)normal express trains,or
superfasts. Of course,heavy freightsand superfasts are now being taken over
by WAG/5s andWAPs respectively.
Most other electrics till very recently were basically invariably
derivatives of the WAM: WAM/4B (Later WAG/5) had a lower gearing for
freight operations,these were further improved and modified as WAG/5B,
WAG/5HA etc.,WCG/2 was a dc freight version, WCAM/1 was a ac/dc dual
current version, WAP was a streamlined version etc.In fact,India's home-
built 5000 hp heavy haul,(outshopped when the ASEA imported engine
controversy was at its hottest), the WAG/7, is also a new upgraded version
of the WAM.
The WAMs follow basically the same body profile and outward appearance as
the earlier French engines.
I hope to have been of some help.
Best regards.
Shankar.
















At 03:02 PM 2/3/98 +0530, you wrote:
>Could anyone let me know more about these speedsters ! Recently on my
>trip to Cal by Gitanjali express I timed the run between Igatpuri and
>Bhusawal and again between Badnera and Nagpur when the train was doing
>roughly around 110 kmph. The train was late at Badnera by an hour and a
>half but we still made it before time to Nagpur by 10 mins. This was on a
>Tatanagar WAM 4 LOCO. PLEASE write if you have further details on this
>locos.
>
>
>P.P.SAKLATWALLA
>
>
>
>
>
>
>

From: Auroprem Kandaswami <kandaswa@apple.email

Subject: More on Superfast trains

Date: 13 Feb 1998 06:55:00 -0500


Talking of "real" Superfast Trains, with more halts than
non-Superfast trains, I would like to mention about
2639/2640 Chennai-Coimbatore Kovai Expresses
(Another Pride of Tamil Nadu!)

This train was started in the late '70s as a convenient
Inter-City Express connecting the South Indian Industrial/
Commercial city of Coimbatore to Chennai, the State Capital.
It had started with just 5 stops :

Katpadi, Jolarpettai, Salem, Erode & Tiruppur.

Today it retains the same total journey time of about
7 hours, 35 minutes - but with a whole lot of more stoppages,
at small towns, villages ...

So, in the last 7-8 years this train has added halts at :

Arakkonam Junction (Major Junction in SR)
Ambur (Small Town)
Morappur (Village)

So, the performance in terms of running time has not
degraded (unlike a lot of other long-distance Superfasts)
BUT, by halting at more hamlets, it is at least serving
the interests of a lot more of travelling public from
these places.

Auro

---------------- Begin Forwarded Message ----------------
Date: 02-12 3:30 AM
Received: 02-12 12:02 PM
From: S. Kumar, s.kumar@qm.email
To: irfca, irfca@cs.email

Apart from the "speed" of the train, the "superfast" trains are all
supposed to have only reserved accomodation.

As Sankar points out, superfasts do not necessarily have the minimum
number of stops between destinations. This is particularly true of
the "grand oldies" such as the Grand Trunk Express, the Kalka, the
Golden Temple (Frontier) and the Mumbai-HWH mail via Nagpur.

I remember the excitement when the max speed for the non-Rajdhani
trains was increased to 110 kmph, and the trains which were permitted
to run at these speeds were first classified as superfast. The
coaches on these trains were marked "fit for 110 KPH".

The grand oldies have done well in maintaining their halt pattern
without much deterioration. I would classify the GT express, the
Kalka (only between Delhi and HWH) and the GT mail (only between N.
Delhi and Mumbai) in one category, followed by the Mumbai-HWH
mail in a lower category. I never thought that the Punjab Mail fit
the superfast bill unless they have speeded it up.

In contrast to the oldies, many of the relatively new "upstarts" have
fallen by the wayside.
Examples are the Ganga Kaveri Express, the Jhelum Express, the
Amritsar Howrah Himgiri Express etc.

As far as the HWH-Chennai line is concerned, I believe
electrification is continuing both on the SC Rly north of Vijayawada
and on the SE Rly between Kharagpur and Vizag (HWH-Kharagpur and
Vijayawada-Chennai are already electrified). The line is double
track throughout. The HWH-Chennai Coromandel Express is the fastest
train, and
is comparable to the NDLS-Chennai TN express in speed and halt
frequency. I remember when the Coromandal express had just three
(yes just three!) scheduled halts on its nearly 1700 km run; Bhubaneswar
(2
minutes in the middle of the night), Visakapatnam (then called
Waltair, for 20 minutes for breakfast and reversal of direction) and
Vijayawada (for 12 minutes for lunch). They have murdered the train
especially on SE Rly by adding many more halts. Other fast trains
include the HWH-Hyderabad Falaknuma Express (surprisingly not
classified as superfast) and the superfast Bhubaneswar-Hyderabad Konarak
Express. One has also to mention the grand old lady of this line,
the HWH-Chennai Mail or simply the "Mail" to people on this route.
Before the advent of the likes of Coromandel etc., the Mail was the
undisputed queen of this route. If ever people without reservation
got on to the train the surest way to get them off was to say "this
is the Mail!" and they would get off! I have seen this happen many
times. My best experience travelling on IR has been the early
morning run on the southbound Mail between Khurda Rd and Berhampur
along the Chilka lake with a picture postcard view of the sunrise
over the lake as the train travelled at high speed with engine
sounding occasionally and the cool wind hitting my face.

Kumar

----------------- End Forwarded Message -----------------

The content of the individual messages displayed here is subject to copyright by the original authors and may not be reproduced outside the context of IRFCA without permission.
Note: This site is not officially affiliated with Indian Railways! The official web site of Indian Railways is: http://www.indianrailways.gov.in
Site contact: webmaster@irfca.org
Copyright © 2010, IRFCA.org. About IRFCA  Contact Us  Search this site  Site Map  Links   Acknowledgements  Legal Information & Disclaimers