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From: Apurva Bahadur <iti@giaspn01.email

Subject: Re: Junction

Date: 29 May 1998 00:25:00 -0500


GOODWIN ALCO wrote:

> > >
> > > Dear Poras,
> > >
> > > Miraj used to have a change of guage. Miraj was the meeting point (intrestingly of
> > > all three gauges) of BG from Pune, MG towards Hubli/Goa/Bangalore and the NG
> > > towards Kurduwadi.
>
> How many places in India had three gauges in one location? In Australia
> this was very rare and only to my knowledge happened in two places in
> South Australia.
> Brad Peadon

Hi Brad,

Now the three gauges are found only at New Jalpaiguri (NPJ) at the base
of the Darjeeling
Hill Railway (DHR). Miraj was one more station but there is no meter
gauge any more.

Apurva Bahadur

From: Apurva Bahadur <iti@giaspn01.email

Subject: Re: WDG2 and WDM7 query

Date: 29 May 1998 00:25:00 -0500


Hi Phil,

Unlucky me was standing at Singrauli station in Madhya Pradesh with a
blood red WDG 2 from Katni standing on the middle track, I did not have
a camera at hand ! I have a couple of Indian Railway mags which have
photos of WDG2. I will soon scan these phots and send them to you.
Although I do not wish to commit on a date, but very soon. Also I
wonder what will be the quality of a phot scanned from a magasine ?
About the WDM 7 I have never seen it neither heard about it.Will keep my
eyes peeled for any news or pictures of it.

Apurva Bahadur

Philip Wormald wrote:

> I am looking for pictures of WDG2 and WDM7 types, can anyone point
> me to where I can see some.
>
> Thanks
>
> Phil Wormald
> PWormald@compuserve.email

From: Apurva Bahadur <iti@giaspn01.email

Subject: Duplicate Post

Date: 29 May 1998 00:28:00 -0500


Gang,

I may have sent some mail twice due to Computer Malfunction. Sorry about
that

Apurva Bahadur

From: Vivek Prakash <vp@ihug.email

Subject: Guages Down Under

Date: 29 May 1998 13:48:00 -0500


I know that in New Zealand most of the TranzRail network is standard
guage. There are a handful of independent tourist railways which run on
a
variety of lesser guages. Not so sure about Australia... from my visit
last year, most of the network seems to be standard guage?
The rail scene isn't up to much in New Zealand, especially where I live
(Auckland City). Partially why I derive so much satisfaction from IR
:-)))
Regards
Vivek Prakash

--
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity,
and I'm not sure about the former."
- Albert Einstien
-------------------------------------
* VIVEK PRAKASH * vp@ihug.email *
-------------------------------------

From: Kartik Pashupati <kpashupa@mailer.email

Subject: Military and private railways

Date: 28 May 1998 10:20:00 -0500


As a long-time lurker on this list, I have been following recent postings
with great interest.

Apurva mentioned something about military locomotives and internal railway
lines. I'd like to know more about how these operate -- and how they
interface with IR's lines.

Also, are there any more private railways still operating in India (other
than goods sidings in factories)? If not, which was the last privately
operated railway to function in India? I seem to recall reading some
mention of a "Dehri Rohtas Light Railway" in timetables around the
seventies. Presumably this was run by the Rohtas/ Sahu Jain group of
industries?

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"This message brought to you on 100 percent recycled electrons"

Kartik Pashupati, Ph.D. (kpashupa@mailer.email
Florida State University, Department of Communication
356 Diffenbaugh Building, Tallahassee FL 32306-1531
Ph: 850-644-1809; Fax: 850-644-8642

From: S Pai <

Subject: News item: Indian rail network facing crisis amid huge losses

Date: 28 May 1998 10:31:00 -0500


> NEW DELHI, May 27 (AFP) - India's state-run railway, one of the
> world's largest, is facing a financial crisis as commuters desert
> the trains for buses and cars, Railways Minister Nitish Kumar said
> Wednesday.
>
> [...]
>
> He said the railway's share of freight traffic had declined from
> 89 percent in 1950-51 to 40 percent in 1996-97.
> Kumar said the railway's passenger traffic share had dropped
> from 80 to 20 percent during the same period despite the fact that
> "railways are more than six times as energy efficient as roads ...
> almost four times more economical (and) ... rail construction costs
> are approximately six times lower than road for comparative levels
> of traffic."
> The minister also unveiled a 47-page blueprint for "survival and
> self-sustaining growth" and said state investment in the sector had
> to be raised from the current level from 325 billion rupees (8.3
> billion dollars) in the last five years to 850 billion rupees (21
> billion dollars) in the upcoming ninth five-year plan.
>
> [...]
>
> He said 56 percent of the railways' expenses went towards paying
> more than 1.5 million employees -- of whom more than 42 percent were
> unskilled.
>
> [...]

From: GOODWIN ALCO <alco@planet.email

Subject: Re: Guages Down Under

Date: 29 May 1998 15:39:00 -0500


Vivek Prakash wrote:
>
> I know that in New Zealand most of the TranzRail network is standard
> guage. There are a handful of independent tourist railways which run on
> a
> variety of lesser guages. Not so sure about Australia... from my visit
> last year, most of the network seems to be standard guage?
> The rail scene isn't up to much in New Zealand, especially where I live
> (Auckland City). Partially why I derive so much satisfaction from IR
> :-)))
> Regards
> Vivek Prakash
>
> --
> "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity,
> and I'm not sure about the former."
> - Albert Einstien
> -------------------------------------
> * VIVEK PRAKASH * vp@ihug.email *
> -------------------------------------

Isnt the NZ system all narrow gauge. I know that it is narrow gauge in
the Tranzrail ferries and this is how they used the Queensland units
without gauge conversion.
Brad Peadon

From: Shanku Niyogi <shankun@microsoft.email

Subject: Re: News item: Indian rail network facing crisis amid huge losses

Date: 28 May 1998 07:20:00 -0500


It's unfortunate to see people choosing buses and cars over rail as commuter
transportation, and freight traffic on rails declining as well. It's
definitely not a good sign, because it's been seen before.

In North America in the 50's, society and government gradually de-emphasized
the importance of rail transportation, giving it a back seat to roads - the
Interstate highway system and the overpromotion of the car helped this. The
result today is a car-centric society. Many urban congestion problems, which
could have been solved by a good commuter rail infrastructure, instead
compound every year because such system was never allowed to take root.

Places like Toronto, where I lived until recently, are a good example - it
has a fairly stagnant subway system (very little expansion over the years),
and very low priority for its suburban commuter rail system. My current
home, Seattle, is even worse - roads are unworkable at times, and while
commuter rail would be a huge source of relief, it's not near the top of
anyone's list. It's essentially a different way of thinking about rail in
this continent, one very distinct from Asia or Europe (in fact, Quebec,
which is quite Eurocentric, has far better integration of rail than
average).

I've even heard conspiracy theories (with some evidence) about how much of
the railway lines in the continent are actually owned by subsidiaries of the
big three automakers.

This makes for what I think would be a fascinating discussion - having seen
this pattern happen before, how can we learn from past mistakes and not let
it happen here? The Indian railways need to be preserved and promoted, not
only so that it remains financially stable, but so that railways are not
totally replaced by cars in the minds of the people, as it has in North
America. What can be done to help this? Perhaps we should look to Europe for
some answers.

Shanku

> -----Original Message-----
> From: S Pai [SMTP:
> Sent: Thursday, May 28, 1998 7:31 AM
> To: Indian Railways List
> Subject: News item: Indian rail network facing crisis amid huge
> losses
>
>
> > NEW DELHI, May 27 (AFP) - India's state-run railway, one of the
> > world's largest, is facing a financial crisis as commuters desert
> > the trains for buses and cars, Railways Minister Nitish Kumar said
> > Wednesday.
> >
> > [...]
> >
> > He said the railway's share of freight traffic had declined from
> > 89 percent in 1950-51 to 40 percent in 1996-97.
> > Kumar said the railway's passenger traffic share had dropped
> > from 80 to 20 percent during the same period despite the fact that
> > "railways are more than six times as energy efficient as roads ...
> > almost four times more economical (and) ... rail construction costs
> > are approximately six times lower than road for comparative levels
> > of traffic."
> > The minister also unveiled a 47-page blueprint for "survival and
> > self-sustaining growth" and said state investment in the sector had
> > to be raised from the current level from 325 billion rupees (8.3
> > billion dollars) in the last five years to 850 billion rupees (21
> > billion dollars) in the upcoming ninth five-year plan.
> >
> > [...]
> >
> > He said 56 percent of the railways' expenses went towards paying
> > more than 1.5 million employees -- of whom more than 42 percent were
> > unskilled.
> >
> > [...]

From: S Pai <

Subject: Re: News item: Indian rail network facing crisis amid huge losses

Date: 28 May 1998 14:01:00 -0500


> having seen this pattern happen before, how can we learn from past
> mistakes and not let it happen here? The Indian railways need to be
> preserved and promoted, not only so that it remains financially stable, but
> so that railways are not totally replaced by cars in the minds of the
> people,

The simple answer is that IR should address the problems that people face
in using railways.

There must be sound economic reasons for someone to want one mode of
transport as opposed to another -- in the case of IR, we know about the
complaints of delays, pilferage en route, transshipment problems, etc. The
solution would be for IR to clean up its act there so that it is an
attractive alternative to road freight. If, even after that, it turns out
that rail freight is uneconomic for someone to use, I do not think it
should be imposed from on high. Similarly with passenger traffic, people
weigh the cost, the convenience in terms of schedule and route, etc. before
making a choice of mode of transport. IR can work towards making rail
journeys more attractive and convenient, but this should not, in my
opinion, be forced through by subsidies or other measures that skew the
economic picture.

> Kumar said the railway's passenger traffic share had dropped
> from 80 to 20 percent during the same period despite the fact that
> "railways are more than six times as energy efficient as roads ...
> almost four times more economical (and) ... rail construction costs
> are approximately six times lower than road for comparative levels
> of traffic."

I rather doubt these figures that the minister quotes!

If, as the minister for railways maintains, the railways are indeed so much
more efficient and cheaper than road transport, they should easily be able
to pass on the savings to customers, and still make a huge profit as well as
aggressively expand into new areas/routes, even without any government
subsidies. If they aren't, the fabulous profit opportunity implied by the
figures on efficiency must be getting swallowed up in waste or corruption,
right? So then maybe that is a problem to be addressed.

The article also mentioned the huge percentage of expenses that is taken up
by the payroll. Perhaps a move towards more automation and a reduced
workforce is also in order, to free up money for expansion projects. After
all, IR does have one of the highest requirements of manpower among the
major railways of the world.

-Satish

From: Shanku Niyogi <shankun@microsoft.email

Subject: Re: News item: Indian rail network facing crisis amid huge losses

Date: 28 May 1998 08:03:00 -0500


For more on the conspiracy theory info - you're correct, the Red Cars were
one of the examples cited in the material I read. It also seems unusual that
a government which is supposed to be so vigilant about antitrust issues were
so lenient in letting the car and petroleum companies run amok destroying or
buying out viable competitors in the transportation industry. Perhaps
because petroleum imports were a big part of the way the US government did
its international business in those days. If I find the references where I
read this stuff, I'll post it here for those interested.

I think one of the key strategies in preserving rail in the hearts of the
people is an aggressive attack on the idea that automobiles equals wealth
and comfort. In the 50s, American car companies enticed people with very
misleading advertising, and spent much of their resources bringing novelty
items to cars. This gave people the idea that they could get ahead in life
by buying a car, and things like commuter rail became symbols of drudgery.
And today, we still believe that, even while sitting around in endless rush
hour jams.

Today in India, as the middle class grows, and buying power increases, this
same thing may be happening - people may be using cars more mainly because
they can afford to buy them, and that makes them cool. And, with more cars
come better roads, with better roads come more trucks and buses, more
economical road goods transport, etc.

One of the problems of this ingrained thought is that today in North
America, it's no longer practical to get people back out of cars and into
more sensible transport, or return freight to the railways. Perhaps the
solution is to impose restrictive taxes/laws on cars and gasoline now, while
the car-centric sentiment has not yet fully sunk in - much like many
European countries, where cars have never been allowed to become the core of
commuter travel.

Shanku

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Donald L. Mills, Jr [SMTP:dmills@MARSHALL.email
> Sent: Thursday, May 28, 1998 10:44 AM
> To: Shanku Niyogi
> Subject: Re: News item: Indian rail network facing crisis amid huge
> losses
>
> Theres probably some metit to many of the conspiracy thoeries you here.
> Just look what happeneed to the Red Cars (street cars ) in Los Angeles
> during the 50's. Those of you in India keep your eyes open. For an
> energy
> starved world, we seem to be heading straight to nowhere. Whats the
> highway system like? Do you see any major highway works coming through
> your parliment. If so, see what financial backers are behind them. You
> might also look to see if a certain quadrant of land is being purchased by
> one or more major land developers. Have you seen any large population
> displacements in any of your states. These are just a few clues I use to
> check on those who try to change the norm (so to speak). I live in the WV
> coal country, these are a few of the basic signs I watch for when major
> change is about to happen. Find out where the money is and you will see
> where the change will start.
>
> ----------
> > From: Shanku Niyogi <shankun@microsoft.email
> > To: 'S Pai' < Indian Railways List
> <irfca@cs.email
> > Subject: RE: News item: Indian rail network facing crisis amid huge
> losses
> > Date: Thursday, May 28, 1998 1:20 PM
> >
> > It's unfortunate to see people choosing buses and cars over rail as
> commuter
> > transportation, and freight traffic on rails declining as well. It's
> > definitely not a good sign, because it's been seen before.
> >
> > In North America in the 50's, society and government gradually
> de-emphasized
> > the importance of rail transportation, giving it a back seat to roads -
> the
> > Interstate highway system and the overpromotion of the car helped this.
> The
> > result today is a car-centric society. Many urban congestion problems,
> which
> > could have been solved by a good commuter rail infrastructure, instead
> > compound every year because such system was never allowed to take root.
> >
> > Places like Toronto, where I lived until recently, are a good example -
> it
> > has a fairly stagnant subway system (very little expansion over the
> years),
> > and very low priority for its suburban commuter rail system. My current
> > home, Seattle, is even worse - roads are unworkable at times, and while
> > commuter rail would be a huge source of relief, it's not near the top of
> > anyone's list. It's essentially a different way of thinking about rail
> in
> > this continent, one very distinct from Asia or Europe (in fact, Quebec,
> > which is quite Eurocentric, has far better integration of rail than
> > average).
> >
> > I've even heard conspiracy theories (with some evidence) about how much
> of
> > the railway lines in the continent are actually owned by subsidiaries of
> the
> > big three automakers.
> >
> > This makes for what I think would be a fascinating discussion - having
> seen
> > this pattern happen before, how can we learn from past mistakes and not
> let
> > it happen here? The Indian railways need to be preserved and promoted,
> not
> > only so that it remains financially stable, but so that railways are not
> > totally replaced by cars in the minds of the people, as it has in North
> > America. What can be done to help this? Perhaps we should look to Europe
> for
> > some answers.
> >
> > Shanku
> >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: S Pai [SMTP:
> > > Sent: Thursday, May 28, 1998 7:31 AM
> > > To: Indian Railways List
> > > Subject: News item: Indian rail network facing crisis amid huge
> > > losses
> > >
> > >
> > > > NEW DELHI, May 27 (AFP) - India's state-run railway, one of the
>
> > > > world's largest, is facing a financial crisis as commuters desert
> > > > the trains for buses and cars, Railways Minister Nitish Kumar said
> > > > Wednesday.
> > > >
> > > > [...]
> > > >
> > > > He said the railway's share of freight traffic had declined from
>
>
> > > > 89 percent in 1950-51 to 40 percent in 1996-97.
> > > > Kumar said the railway's passenger traffic share had dropped
> > > > from 80 to 20 percent during the same period despite the fact that
> > > > "railways are more than six times as energy efficient as roads ...
> > > > almost four times more economical (and) ... rail construction costs
>
> > > > are approximately six times lower than road for comparative levels
> > > > of traffic."
> > > > The minister also unveiled a 47-page blueprint for "survival and
>
>
> > > > self-sustaining growth" and said state investment in the sector had
>
> > > > to be raised from the current level from 325 billion rupees (8.3
> > > > billion dollars) in the last five years to 850 billion rupees (21
> > > > billion dollars) in the upcoming ninth five-year plan.
> > > >
> > > > [...]
> > > >
> > > > He said 56 percent of the railways' expenses went towards paying
>
>
> > > > more than 1.5 million employees -- of whom more than 42 percent
> were
>
> > > > unskilled.
> > > >
> > > > [...]

From: S Pai <

Subject: Re: News item: Indian rail network facing crisis amid huge losses

Date: 28 May 1998 14:52:00 -0500


I love trains, but I think you should see the other point of view too.

> Today in India, as the middle class grows, and buying power increases, this
> same thing may be happening - people may be using cars more mainly because
> they can afford to buy them, and that makes them cool. And, with more cars
> come better roads, with better roads come more trucks and buses, more
> economical road goods transport, etc.

No doubt about that, but keep in mind that one of the drivers of this
phenomenon in the US has been the desire of people -- as they become
wealthier -- to move to suburbs away from the city core. It is impractical
to have a train grid that connects all N points to the remaining N-1 points
for all suburban areas around any reasonable sized city. The usual radial
and concentric arrangements, or others, tend to be way too inconvenient if
you want to get from one place to another. So then you get a car to go
where you want; but once you have a car, why not also use it for the routes
that are covered by the trains (suburb <-> downtown)? You have already
paid for the big costs (price of car, insurance, etc.) and the marginal
cost of driving it to all the other places is extremely low (I estimate it
can be as much as 1/3 or 1/4 of the transit ticket cost). It is often
faster and certainly more convenient -- no need to walk many blocks to or
from the train station, no need to worry when the last train is. I am sure
this sort of reasoning is behind the use of cars even when transit is
available. These concerns must be addressed.

> One of the problems of this ingrained thought is that today in North
> America, it's no longer practical to get people back out of cars and into
> more sensible transport, or return freight to the railways. Perhaps the
> solution is to impose restrictive taxes/laws on cars and gasoline now, while
> the car-centric sentiment has not yet fully sunk in - much like many
> European countries, where cars have never been allowed to become the core of
> commuter travel.

I do not think restrictive taxes of any kind should be imposed on any
system. Taxes to cover estimated environmental costs or infrastructural
costs are fine. But beyond that, punitive taxes or subsidies are
guaranteed to skew the system into a state where the consumer is not served
well. Much though I love railways, I would say they have to stand on their
own; if they can't, they go. Steam goes for the same reason, steamers have
great romantic appeal to railfans, but the economics of the situation don't
justify keeping them instead of diesels or electrics, right?

Gasoline is highly taxed in the USA already (of a dollar-odd of the price
at the pump, something like 40 to 50 cents are taxes); much more so in
Europe and certainly quite highly in India. How much more do you want to
tax gasoline in India? I would say that the railways already have more
than a fair break in that their diesel supplies are extremely subsidized
relative to the gasoline used by the truckers. If that still doesn't help,
I don't know why you think increasing the subsidy will change things.
(Does anyone have figures on the subsidies / taxes for petrol vs. HSD in
India?)

-Satish

From: S Pai <

Subject: conspiracy theories

Date: 28 May 1998 15:16:00 -0500


Donald Mills writes:

> Those of you in India keep your eyes open. For an energy starved world,
> we seem to be heading straight to nowhere.

I am not sure I understand what "energy starved world" means. India has
lagged behind in energy production and availability, but that's a topic
that's off-charter for this list, although I'd be happy to discuss it with
you by private e-mail. I do not see any general lack of potential energy
supplies in the world for the foreseeable future.

> Do you see any major highway works coming through your parliment. If so,
> see what financial backers are behind them. You might also look to see
> if a certain quadrant of land is being purchased by one or more major
> land developers. Have you seen any large population displacements in any
> of your states.

There will always be people waiting to garner profits by lobbying
government to legislate in their favour. But that can happen equally well
with railway developments as with roads or automobiles. Do you suppose
that railway companies are run by a different kind of business people? We
have to be vigilant against such manipulation and lobbying by the railways
as much as by the road developers and automakers. Today IR is run by the
government, and politicians can and do sanction railway projects simply to
get votes regardless of the merits of the projects. I view that as being
as evil as lobbying and manipulation by private companies.

-Satish

From: Steven Brown <able@ricochet.email

Subject: Re: conspiracy theory

Date: 28 May 1998 17:47:00 -0500


Readers interested in the demise of public transportation in the US will
find the following links interesting: <A HREF="http://www.pbs.org/pov/press/910.html">http://www.pbs.org/pov/press/910.html</A>
<A HREF="http://www.hooked.net/users/verdant/natlcity.htm">http://www.hooked.net/users/verdant/natlcity.htm</A>
<A HREF="http://www.cakemagazine.com/archive/54/cars.htm">http://www.cakemagazine.com/archive/54/cars.htm</A>
<A HREF="http://www.erha.org/plot.htm">http://www.erha.org/plot.htm</A>
<A HREF="http://www.tlio.demon.co.uk/nclchoms.htm">http://www.tlio.demon.co.uk/nclchoms.htm</A>

The conspiracy to destroy public transit is well documented, however all it
did was get the ball rolling, later other factors such as the growth of
suburbs and the decline of the inner city further damaged public transit.
Streetcars only survived in 2 cities in the US (Boston and San Francisco)
but are now making a comeback in several other US cities. In India only the
Calcutta system is in service.

Conspiracy buffs will also like to consider the intercity passenger train,
some railroads, most notably Southern Pacific went out of their way to
discourage passenger travel by train( specifics: allowing bus stations on
railroad land and negative advertisements in travel magazines), while others
were actively upgrading the train service. But nothing was ever proved in a
court of law.

There was even an effort to bring steam into the conspiracy picture: why
did some railroads dieselize quickly after WW2 yet others retained steam
for 15 more years? Could it be pressure to get lucrative automoble traffic?
or maybe there is not that much economic advantage to diesel?! Maybe both
are true! If diesel is so great why all the tests of steam turbine
locomotives etc?.

In the case of Indian Railways who is gaining when IR loses market share? I
was told that intercity bus fares are now lower than IR, is that true?

Got to go, time for X-Files on TV.

Have Fun , Steve

From: sank <sank@telco.email

Subject: [Fwd: Guages Down Under

Date: 29 May 1998 19:25:00 -0500


--
Jayant S : ID Studio
Tata Technologies India Limited
Telco Premises : Pimpri TEL: 91 (212) 774261 ex 2534
PUNE : 411 018 : INDIA FAX: 91 (212) 773191

From: dheeraj <dheeraj@iitk.email

Subject: Railway Budget.

Date: 30 May 1998 00:22:00 -0500


Just came back from lunch. Was expecting that someone would have
already posted the details on Rail budget. But since I haven't
received any, here is what I heard.

Steep hike in Rajdhani/Shatabdi fares: 20%
Small hike in other fares.
second class (ordinary):
Rs 1 hike for distances upto 50 km
Rs 2 hike for distances 51-100 km
Rs 3 hike for distances 101-300 km
Rs 5 hike for distance > 300 km

FC/SL ordinary: 1-750 km increase of 5 Rs
751-1500 km increase of 10 Rs
1501 and above increase of 20 Rs

Mail/Exp:
2nd class Rs 5 to 25 depending on distance
SL Rs 10 to 45
FC/ACCC Rs 20 to 60
AC-3T Rs 40 to 120 (bedroll will be free)
AC-2T Rs 60 to 180
AC class Rs 180 to 540

Reservation charges increased by Rs 5
Superfast charges raised from 5-25 to 10-50.
(Though the news bulleting at 02:00 PM said that it is 50 Rs for
all classes now.)

Platform ticket is Rs 3 (since the minimum 2nd class fare is 3 rs now)

Very minor changes in freight rates, mostly revenue neutral.
Hikes in passenger fares to yield 450 crores in 9 months.

A few new trains, some increases in frequency, a couple of
extensions. Some services on BG which were on MG earlier.
A few MEMU and DEMU and Rail bus services. It was difficult
to catch all the places and note them down. A few trains
diverted via Konkan route. Mangala Express and some weekly
trains originating from Rajkot and some other place in Gujarat.

Several trains to become 24-coach trains this year, and study
feasibility of 26-coach trains.

Tatkal reservation scheme to be extended to all superfast trains.

First class coaches to be reintroduced. There will be composite
coaches with half FC and half SL.

Amritsar-NDLS Swarna Shatabdi to replace current Shatabdi.
(Don't understand how this train would be any different.)

Senior citizen discount increased from 25% to 30% and is
now available in all classes in all trains, including Rajdhani/Shatabdi.

Couple of new tourist trains.
Fairy Queen to run twice a month instead of once a month.

All 5 passenger reservation systems to be connected.
(This was announced last year also.)

-dheeraj
--------------
Dr. Dheeraj Sanghi (0512) 59-7077/7638 (Off)
Dept. of Computer Science & Engineering (0512) 59-8627 (Res)
Indian Institute of Technology (0512) 59-0725/0413 (Fax)
Kanpur - 208 016 (UP), INDIA. dheeraj@iitk.email

From: Vivek Prakash <vp@ihug.email

Subject: Re: Guages Down Under

Date: 30 May 1998 14:46:00 -0500


One of my friends has an insider who works at TranzRail. I apologise for
posting wrong info, I have indeed confirmed that most of the lines are
infact 3'6''.
Regards,
Vivek

sank@telco.email wrote:

> > I know that in New Zealand most of the TranzRail network is standard
> > guage.
>
> Funny: I thought NZ runs 3'6" gauge lines ?
>
> Australian gauges include 3'6", 5'3" and 4'8.5".
>
> --
> Jayant S : ID Studio
> Tata Technologies India Limited
> Telco Premises : Pimpri TEL: 91 (212) 774261 ex 2534
> PUNE : 411 018 : INDIA FAX: 91 (212) 773191



--
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity,
and I'm not sure about the former."
- Albert Einstien
-------------------------------------
* VIVEK PRAKASH * vp@ihug.email *
-------------------------------------

From: GOODWIN ALCO <alco@planet.email

Subject: Re: News item: Indian rail network facing crisis amid huge losses

Date: 30 May 1998 13:51:00 -0500


Hi guys,
Rail in Australia has fared little better. For many years
services have been cut or just discontinued. It has been a choice which
only now is starting to be regretted.
There is no solution to transport problems within the road system.
Dont let this happen in India.
Best Wishes
Brad Peadon



Shanku Niyogi wrote:
>
> It's unfortunate to see people choosing buses and cars over rail as commuter
> transportation, and freight traffic on rails declining as well. It's
> definitely not a good sign, because it's been seen before.
>
> In North America in the 50's, society and government gradually de-emphasized
> the importance of rail transportation, giving it a back seat to roads - the
> Interstate highway system and the overpromotion of the car helped this. The
> result today is a car-centric society. Many urban congestion problems, which
> could have been solved by a good commuter rail infrastructure, instead
> compound every year because such system was never allowed to take root.
>
> Places like Toronto, where I lived until recently, are a good example - it
> has a fairly stagnant subway system (very little expansion over the years),
> and very low priority for its suburban commuter rail system. My current
> home, Seattle, is even worse - roads are unworkable at times, and while
> commuter rail would be a huge source of relief, it's not near the top of
> anyone's list. It's essentially a different way of thinking about rail in
> this continent, one very distinct from Asia or Europe (in fact, Quebec,
> which is quite Eurocentric, has far better integration of rail than
> average).
>
> I've even heard conspiracy theories (with some evidence) about how much of
> the railway lines in the continent are actually owned by subsidiaries of the
> big three automakers.
>
> This makes for what I think would be a fascinating discussion - having seen
> this pattern happen before, how can we learn from past mistakes and not let
> it happen here? The Indian railways need to be preserved and promoted, not
> only so that it remains financially stable, but so that railways are not
> totally replaced by cars in the minds of the people, as it has in North
> America. What can be done to help this? Perhaps we should look to Europe for
> some answers.
>
> Shanku
>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: S Pai [SMTP:
> > Sent: Thursday, May 28, 1998 7:31 AM
> > To: Indian Railways List
> > Subject: News item: Indian rail network facing crisis amid huge
> > losses
> >
> >
> > > NEW DELHI, May 27 (AFP) - India's state-run railway, one of the
> > > world's largest, is facing a financial crisis as commuters desert
> > > the trains for buses and cars, Railways Minister Nitish Kumar said
> > > Wednesday.
> > >
> > > [...]
> > >
> > > He said the railway's share of freight traffic had declined from
> > > 89 percent in 1950-51 to 40 percent in 1996-97.
> > > Kumar said the railway's passenger traffic share had dropped
> > > from 80 to 20 percent during the same period despite the fact that
> > > "railways are more than six times as energy efficient as roads ...
> > > almost four times more economical (and) ... rail construction costs
> > > are approximately six times lower than road for comparative levels
> > > of traffic."
> > > The minister also unveiled a 47-page blueprint for "survival and
> > > self-sustaining growth" and said state investment in the sector had
> > > to be raised from the current level from 325 billion rupees (8.3
> > > billion dollars) in the last five years to 850 billion rupees (21
> > > billion dollars) in the upcoming ninth five-year plan.
> > >
> > > [...]
> > >
> > > He said 56 percent of the railways' expenses went towards paying
> > > more than 1.5 million employees -- of whom more than 42 percent were
> > > unskilled.
> > >
> > > [...]

From: GOODWIN ALCO <alco@planet.email

Subject: Re: Guages Down Under

Date: 30 May 1998 14:26:00 -0500


Vivek Prakash wrote:
>
> GOODWIN ALCO wrote:
>
> > Vivek Prakash wrote:
> > >
> > > I know that in New Zealand most of the TranzRail network is standard
> > > guage. There are a handful of independent tourist railways which run on
> > > a
> > > variety of lesser guages. Not so sure about Australia... from my visit
> > > last year, most of the network seems to be standard guage?
> > > The rail scene isn't up to much in New Zealand, especially where I live
> > > (Auckland City). Partially why I derive so much satisfaction from IR
> > > :-)))
> > > Regards
> > > Vivek Prakash
> >
> >
> > Isnt the NZ system all narrow gauge. I know that it is narrow gauge in
> > the Tranzrail ferries and this is how they used the Queensland units
> > without gauge conversion.
> > Brad Peadon
>
> I dont know? Perhaps? TranzRail have been of absolutley no help when I tried
> to pry technical information out of them. I'm just guessing because the
> tracks struck me as standard guage, but looking at the condition on the
> trains here, narrow guage wouldnt be surprising. I know that diesel units
> were imported from Queensland Rail in Australia quite a while ago for use on
> the interislander ferries, but I'm not entirely sure if they use it on land
> lines. I will inquire with TranzRail again but they're not terribly nice to
> railfans like me for some reason. Keep you posted.
> Regards,
> Vivek Prakash.
>
> --
> "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity,
> and I'm not sure about the former."
> - Albert Einstien
> -------------------------------------
> * VIVEK PRAKASH * vp@ihug.email *
> -------------------------------------
I know how you feel with Tranzrail. They usually send you replies with
info on everything except what you ask. I recently got a video from a NZ
friend and this showed heaps of action with ex QR units. The apparently
get used on everything.
You probably know that ex West Australian units are now also there for
rebuilds. This is either for NZ or Tasrail.
Best Wishes
Brad Peadon

From: Donald L. Mills, Jr <dmills@MARSHALL.email

Subject: Re: conspiracy theory

Date: 29 May 1998 11:20:00 -0500


One of the reasons many Raillines held onto steam in the US after WWII was
to endear themselves to the coal industry. Especially in WV. The
Chesapeake and Ohio RR openly flaunted their steam engines because they
also controlled many of the mines. The Norfolk & Western RR was the last
class I RR in the US to give up Steam as it had a large ownership in the
Pocohantas Coal fields of Southern WV. This also costs us dearly when it
came to building highways. By the way Steam was kept for Freight. Most
major passenger rail ceased in the early 50's and 60"s.

----------
> From: Steven Brown <able@ricochet.email
> To: irfca@cs.email
> Subject: Re: conspiracy theory
> Date: Thursday, May 28, 1998 11:47 PM
>
> Readers interested in the demise of public transportation in the US will
> find the following links interesting:
<A HREF="http://www.pbs.org/pov/press/910.html">http://www.pbs.org/pov/press/910.html</A>
> <A HREF="http://www.hooked.net/users/verdant/natlcity.htm">http://www.hooked.net/users/verdant/natlcity.htm</A>
> <A HREF="http://www.cakemagazine.com/archive/54/cars.htm">http://www.cakemagazine.com/archive/54/cars.htm</A>
> <A HREF="http://www.erha.org/plot.htm">http://www.erha.org/plot.htm</A>
> <A HREF="http://www.tlio.demon.co.uk/nclchoms.htm">http://www.tlio.demon.co.uk/nclchoms.htm</A>
>
> The conspiracy to destroy public transit is well documented, however all
it
> did was get the ball rolling, later other factors such as the growth of
> suburbs and the decline of the inner city further damaged public transit.
> Streetcars only survived in 2 cities in the US (Boston and San Francisco)
> but are now making a comeback in several other US cities. In India only
the
> Calcutta system is in service.
>
> Conspiracy buffs will also like to consider the intercity passenger
train,
> some railroads, most notably Southern Pacific went out of their way to
> discourage passenger travel by train( specifics: allowing bus stations on
> railroad land and negative advertisements in travel magazines), while
others
> were actively upgrading the train service. But nothing was ever proved in
a
> court of law.
>
> There was even an effort to bring steam into the conspiracy picture: why
> did some railroads dieselize quickly after WW2 yet others retained steam
> for 15 more years? Could it be pressure to get lucrative automoble
traffic?
> or maybe there is not that much economic advantage to diesel?! Maybe
both
> are true! If diesel is so great why all the tests of steam turbine
> locomotives etc?.
>
> In the case of Indian Railways who is gaining when IR loses market share?
I
> was told that intercity bus fares are now lower than IR, is that true?
>
> Got to go, time for X-Files on TV.
>
> Have Fun , Steve
>
>
>

From: Shanku Niyogi <shankun@microsoft.email

Subject: Re: News item: Indian rail network facing crisis amid huge losses

Date: 29 May 1998 07:32:00 -0500


Satish wrote:

"No doubt about that, but keep in mind that one of the drivers of this
phenomenon in the US has been the desire of people -- as they become
wealthier -- to move to suburbs away from the city core. "

That is true, but this trend was also heavily encouraged by the planners of
the day, and most of them agree that this strategy today has encouraged a
complete collapse of city cores in most American cities. By contrast,
Toronto has had, until recently, a fairly stable inner city, mainly due to
years of freezing property taxes.

"It is impractical to have a train grid that connects all N points to the
remaining N-1 points
for all suburban areas around any reasonable sized city. The usual radial
and concentric arrangements, or others, tend to be way too inconvenient if
you want to get from one place to another."

Again, this is valid, but certainly other arrangements can be made. After
all, it is far more impractical to allow all these suburban commuters to
drive into the city as they are able to afford cars. As a former native of
Calcutta, I can say that city would not be much better off with even, say,
50 more cars on its streets. It could, however, gain vastly from an expanded
subway system and better co-ordinated suburban transit (both rail and bus).

One only needs to compare Europe and North America (or even, as I said, a
Eurocentric city like Montreal and the rest of North America) to see two
ways this can be handled. One can create a well co-ordinated rail and
transit system, providing parking facilities and other amenities like
shopping at station on rail lines, and encourage people to drive to their
nearby station instead of into a congested city core or hub. Or one can
throw up huge parking garages, build ever-expanding roads, and live with
traffic congestion.

A city like Seattle provides a good example. Seattle is a city with a lot of
suburban growth, and very decentralized business development - people work
not only in downtown, but in many centers of growth around the area as well.
They are working towards an enviable transit system to handle this pattern,
with novel ideas, such as co-operative vanpools, where the riders during the
week get to keep the van for the weekend. With wider adoption of these
ideas, transit is becoming quite practical for many people. But what remains
the big problem in getting from A to B is the bulk of the trip - travel from
one growth area to another. For this, even a small network of rail
transportation would be greatly helpful. In fact, the city has considered
such systems, but the idea of commuter rail has become such a distant memory
that it is not yet viewed as essential.

"Gasoline is highly taxed in the USA already (of a dollar-odd of the price
at the pump, something like 40 to 50 cents are taxes); much more so in
Europe and certainly quite highly in India. How much more do you want to
tax gasoline in India?"

<Curiously, there's been some debate over this recently (for our
non-American readers) - due to environmental concerns, there was some talk
of improving gasoline to reduce emissions and make other environmental
improvements, and the car and gasoline industry made some pretty outrageous
predictions about gasoline price increases if those measures were taken. The
show "60 Minutes" had a report on this where they asked these predictors to
show the basis for their figures.>

I am not necessarily suggesting increasing taxes on gasoline in India. The
idea of making the owning of an automobile more difficult, expensive, or
restrictive may be detrimental to an Indian consumer who can afford to buy a
car, but I would debate whether its any more detrimental to the general
population than the idea that one should buy a car if they can afford one,
and then drive it around everywhere to get their value out of it.

"Much though I love railways, I would say they have to stand on their
own; if they can't, they go. Steam goes for the same reason, steamers have
great romantic appeal to railfans, but the economics of the situation don't
justify keeping them instead of diesels or electrics, right?"

I don't think the two analogies are necessarily equivalent - there are far
more factors to commuter transport than economics and romantic appeal.
Commuter transport poses many issues, some quite ambiguous - for example, I
own a car and I need it to get around, but whenever I find myself surrounded
in a traffic jam by five or six sport utilities, I can't help feeling that
such vehicles have not served consumers like me very well at all!

I would be curious to hear from our European readers on this topic - many
countries there have kept their rail systems flourishing, and it would be
interesting to hear of differences, both in practice and in philosophy, that
have led to this trend.

Regards,
Shanku

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