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From: Jayant S <>

Subject: Re: Siliguri/MG Couplings etc.

Date: 19 Jun 1998 21:48:07 -0500


>Minor correction - the line from the South was a BG line of East Bengal
>Railway from Calcutta (Sealdah) via Sarah Bridge, Haldibari, Jalpaiguri
>that terminated at Siliguri.
This is one amazing piece of history I never came across earlier.
> ...... the old link via Sarah Bridge was severed as a
> result of the creation of East Pakistan.
Is Sarah Bridge what used to be known as the Hardinge Bridge ?
Also, what happened to the remenants of the BG lines in
Bangladesh ?
Slight oversight in my earlier posting: The NG line from SGU Town
ran along the Hill Cart Road, across the Mahananda on a combined
rail/road bridge. Today, the alignment is different: it runs up to
SGU Jn besides the NJP MG line, and actually crosses the Mahananda
on a mixed gauge bridge. Probably the only MG/NG mixed gauge
track in the country ?
Siliguri Town station must have been spectacular in the old days
when the BG track ended there and the DHR was still of commercial
importance. I came across what was evidently a large NG yard
outside SGU Town, now disused. There are hundreds of shops
built over the site, but the track is still there, and I have
come across rusting four-axle open goods wagons of a type
now gone from the DHR.

--
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: Prakash Tendulkar <>

Subject:

Date: 19 Jun 1998 22:34:43 -0500


Hi Apurva,

Except for the first year or two, Rajdhani and Jammu Tavi
rotated among all A-grade drivers. The only catch-22 was,
every attempt was made to ensure that no C grade driver
goes with it. There were no real B grade loco drivers at BCT
those days. All Bulsar/Dahanu - Virar shuttles and passengers
were managed by Bulsar crew. So all B-grade drivers from BCT
worked on mail-express, and were allowed to work as second
driver in Rajdhani and Jammu Tavi but never as the first
driver.

As far as I know, it was literally impossible for A-grade
drivers from Mumbai to exceed the mileage, unless the guy
working Rajdhani or Jammu Tavi at that time decided to work
extra. Since there were enough C-grade drivers based in Mumbai
to cover mail/express and holiday specials, there was no need
to do so. I have heard that this practice (working just
one trip a week and earn 8000 kms) has been stopped for good.

On the other hand, in WR suburban section, working "doubles"
during holiday season was a norm for many. Certain sets or
schedules were reserved for doubles only and anyone following
normal routine would be bumped from his normal set to some
other set. You may be aware that there were some sets that
were reserved exclusively for sportsmen. They usually worked
3-4 hours in the morning. As long as all the sportsman motormen
were working, nobody would get those sets.

The third type of sets were normally called "KC" (Kam Chor) or
singles. They would work normally between 9 am to 5 pm, thus
avoiding halting, late night working, etc.

The last category was "Night shifts". They would start around
10 pm, work for 2-3 hours, rest for 4 hours and then work for
two more hours. Those who were halting, received about 7-8 hours
rest and finished two complete sets, one before halt and the
other after rest, although hours were shorter than singles.
Night shift on the other hand, was just one set.

Prakash

Notes Address: Prakash Tendulkar/Santa Teresa/IBM@IBMUS
VM Address: IBMUSM50(PRAKASH)
Internet Address: prakash@us.email
Phone: (408)463-3536
DB2 Technical Consultant, Vendor Partnership Program

From: Prakash Tendulkar <>

Subject: Inrenational service

Date: 19 Jun 1998 22:34:43 -0500


Don,

There exists a freight service between US and Mexico.

India and Pakistan had a passenger service crossing Wagha
checkpoint (Punjab) but I believe it has been stopped.
Exception was made to some US govt. official.

India - Burma, the answer is no.

India - Bangladesh, I don't know.

Prakash

Notes Address: Prakash Tendulkar/Santa Teresa/IBM@IBMUS
VM Address: IBMUSM50(PRAKASH)
Internet Address: prakash@us.email
Phone: (408)463-3536
DB2 Technical Consultant, Vendor Partnership Program

From: Anne O. <>

Subject: Re: Inrenational service

Date: 19 Jun 1998 23:55:19 -0500


> India and Pakistan had a passenger service crossing Wagha
> checkpoint (Punjab) but I believe it has been stopped.

>
> India - Bangladesh, I don't know.
>

A couple years ago my guru bhai commented to me that she'd crossed
the border from Bangladesh to Indian in a train. She said the officials
never ask hijras for either passports or tickets on that train.

From: Anne O. <>

Subject: A,B,C drivers

Date: 19 Jun 1998 23:56:25 -0500


Another good thing for the FAQ - can somebody explain the whole A,B,C
business?

From: Apurva Bahadur <>

Subject: Re:

Date: 20 Jun 1998 01:15:43 -0500




Prakash Tendulkar wrote:

> Hi Apurva,
>
> Except for the first year or two, Rajdhani and Jammu Tavi
> rotated among all A-grade drivers. The only catch-22 was,
> every attempt was made to ensure that no C grade driver
> goes with it. There were no real B grade loco drivers at BCT
> those days. All Bulsar/Dahanu - Virar shuttles and passengers
> were managed by Bulsar crew. So all B-grade drivers from BCT
> worked on mail-express, and were allowed to work as second
> driver in Rajdhani and Jammu Tavi but never as the first
> driver.
>
> As far as I know, it was literally impossible for A-grade
> drivers from Mumbai to exceed the mileage, unless the guy
> working Rajdhani or Jammu Tavi at that time decided to work
> extra. Since there were enough C-grade drivers based in Mumbai
> to cover mail/express and holiday specials, there was no need
> to do so. I have heard that this practice (working just
> one trip a week and earn 8000 kms) has been stopped for good.
>
> On the other hand, in WR suburban section, working "doubles"
> during holiday season was a norm for many. Certain sets or
> schedules were reserved for doubles only and anyone following
> normal routine would be bumped from his normal set to some
> other set. You may be aware that there were some sets that
> were reserved exclusively for sportsmen. They usually worked
> 3-4 hours in the morning. As long as all the sportsman motormen
> were working, nobody would get those sets.

Hi Prakash,I used to know a Mumbai division A spl driver (retired now)
who was in the sportsman (national weight lifting champ) category. He
had never worked as a goods or passenger driver but got promoted to mail
/ express driving after a short stint as a motorman. Most of the time he
should have spent as a goods driver, he was off to some competition or
athletic meet. Hence showed hardly any aging even when he retired. No
doubt he was extremely skilled in his job, but I just wish to point out
the privileges of being a sportsman in the IR.

Apurva Bahadur

>
>
> The third type of sets were normally called "KC" (Kam Chor) or
> singles. They would work normally between 9 am to 5 pm, thus
> avoiding halting, late night working, etc.
>
> The last category was "Night shifts". They would start around
> 10 pm, work for 2-3 hours, rest for 4 hours and then work for
> two more hours. Those who were halting, received about 7-8 hours
> rest and finished two complete sets, one before halt and the
> other after rest, although hours were shorter than singles.
> Night shift on the other hand, was just one set.
>
> Prakash
>
> Notes Address: Prakash Tendulkar/Santa Teresa/IBM@IBMUS
> VM Address: IBMUSM50(PRAKASH)
> Internet Address: prakash@us.email
> Phone: (408)463-3536
> DB2 Technical Consultant, Vendor Partnership Program

From: Apurva Bahadur <>

Subject: Re: Inrenational service

Date: 20 Jun 1998 02:00:15 -0500




Prakash Tendulkar wrote:

> Don,
>
> There exists a freight service between US and Mexico.
>
> India and Pakistan had a passenger service crossing Wagha
> checkpoint (Punjab) but I believe it has been stopped.
> Exception was made to some US govt. official.
>
> India - Burma, the answer is no.
>
> India - Bangladesh, I don't know.

BG Line exists between India and Bangladesh, I remember that there was a
news of some freight traffic but I am confident that there is no
passenger traffic

Apurva Bahadur

>
>
> Prakash
>
> Notes Address: Prakash Tendulkar/Santa Teresa/IBM@IBMUS
> VM Address: IBMUSM50(PRAKASH)
> Internet Address: prakash@us.email
> Phone: (408)463-3536
> DB2 Technical Consultant, Vendor Partnership Program

From: Donald L. Mills, Jr <>

Subject: Re: Inrenational service

Date: 20 Jun 1998 03:17:46 -0500


I do know there is freight service between Mexico mainly Union Pacific
and
Kansas City Southern and Tex Mex with some BNSF but I have never heard
of
passenger rail. Don in WV

----------
From: Prakash Tendulkar <prakash@us.email
To: dmills@MARSHALL.email
Cc: irfca@cs.email
Subject: Inrenational service
Date: Saturday, June 20, 1998 1:34 AM

Don,

There exists a freight service between US and Mexico.

India and Pakistan had a passenger service crossing Wagha
checkpoint (Punjab) but I believe it has been stopped.
Exception was made to some US govt. official.

India - Burma, the answer is no.

India - Bangladesh, I don't know.

Prakash

Notes Address: Prakash Tendulkar/Santa Teresa/IBM@IBMUS
VM Address: IBMUSM50(PRAKASH)
Internet Address: prakash@us.email
Phone: (408)463-3536
DB2 Technical Consultant, Vendor Partnership Program

----------

From: Dr. K.J. Walker & Mrs. M.E. Heath <>

Subject: Re: Siliguri/MG Couplings etc.

Date: 20 Jun 1998 14:47:26 -0500


Hi Sank and others,
The history of "wrong-way" Assam stock goes a lot further back than
the
Assam Rail Link. Remember that the Assam Bengal Railway (ABR) was
isolated
from the main system prior to construction of the Assam Rail Link. Thus
it
had gone its own sweet way without reference to the universe outside. On
completion of the ARL, the problem of orientation came up. In my
researches, I have come across a couple of references to the orientation
problem. One was sometime in the nineteenth century, when one line (I
think
the BBCI, but not certain) was rather brusquely ordered to turn all its
stock; and the second was around 1948, when the ARL was under
construction,
when the matter reached the Railway Board. So it can't have been the
layout
at SIliguri that determined the orientation of Assam MG stock; most
probably, the Siliguri arrangement was a cheap response to the problem!
By the way, there's a lovely book called "Line of Communication" by
a
military officer who served with the ABR/BAR during WWII (Tojo
division).
He describes the problems the line faced trying to get military materiel
over a single MG line to the front. Orientation of the line was quite
different in those days of course, running north-south, with the link
from
Chittagong up through Lumding to Tinsukia being of especial importance.
Steeply graded, it offered serious obstacles to heavy traffic. Some of
the
methods adopted by the American military in particular were most
unusual.
Cheers from KJ
----------
> > (Assam, e.g., used to
> > have its MG stock the other way round from the rest of India, so
every
> > train had to reverse at Siliguri after the Assam rail link was
built.)
> I think Assam had reversed stock BECAUSE of the peculiar layout
> of Siliguri Junction. Earlier, the MG line from the south used
> to terminate at Siliguri Town, and the DHR NG line started from there.
> A little further, the Kalimpong line brached off to the right and
> still further, the Kishanganj NG line went left. I think SGU Jn lies
> at what used to be this point; the Kishanganj line became the MG
> line to Katihar, and a straight MG line was built through Sevoke
> to Gauhati. Just outside Siliguri, this line is crossed by the
> DHR proceeding to Darjeeling.
>
> Fascinating histories.....
>
> --
> 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: sank <>

Subject: [Fwd: International Trains

Date: 20 Jun 1998 20:13:05 -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: sank <>

Subject: Siliguri/DHR continued:

Date: 20 Jun 1998 20:32:21 -0500


More on that Siliguri historical stuff: I was
reading some old stuff last night from 1922.
In that year, passengers travelling between
Sealdah and SGU had to change to MG at Santahar
(in Bangladesh now ?). When did the Santahar
to SGU line become BG ?

Also, it seems there were THREE independent
rail systems in North Bengal then: the DHR
(with branches to Kishanganj and Teesta
Valley), the Bengal Dooars Railway and
the Cooch Behar Railway. I guess today
the DHR Kishanganj Branch has linked up
with the BDR to form the NFR MG line from
Katihar to Assam, while the CBR has become
the BG line from NJP to Assam........
In 1922 all three systems were unconnected.
The BDR went south from Mal into East Bengal.
Today, a branch of the NFR terminates at Mal.

Interestingly, at that time there were serious
plans to build extensions to the DHR: up to
Gangtok in Sikkim, and from Naxalbari to Mirik.
Obviously these never came to pass.
--
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: Dr. Shirish Yande <>

Subject: Shirish Yande introduces himself

Date: 20 Jun 1998 20:39:05 -0500


Hi everyone at the IRFCA,

Ever since I have been a member of this amazing group of IR
enthusiasts,( introduced by my personal friend Apoorva Bahadur), I am
deeply impressed by the amount of knowledge that has been exchanged over
such a short period of time.

I am 46 and a keen Railway buff for almost as many years. By profession
I am a Urosurgeon (Surgeon of the Urinary organs such as Kidney and
Bladder) but that has never come in the way of my first love. After all
nothing has created more fascination in my life than the Railways in
India. I am a modest collector of Model railways and one of the founder
members of the Model Railway Society, Pune , which you all are aware of.
My specialc interest though is Railway Engineering particularly the
Electric Traction. Of course no part of Indian Railways is excluded from
my interest. Railway Time Tables for instance are my constant companions
in my toilets.

I am sure this movement of Indian Railways Information grows to a
formidable proportion in the very near future.

I look forward to keep in constant touch.

Dr. Shirish Yande

From: Jayant S <>

Subject: Re: Hardinge/Sarah Bridge

Date: 21 Jun 1998 03:54:08 -0500


To Dr K J Walker & IRFCA
> Yes, Sarah Bridge is Hardinge Bridge.
I found on reading some old references that in 1922 Santahar to
Siliguri was still MG: which side of Santahar is the bridge on ?
Or did the bridge go through MG-BG gauge conversion later ?
> ......... through freight traffic between Bangladesh and India...
There appears to be an MG link somewhere: sometime in the 1980s
I saw a couple of MG BR closed goods vans parked somewhere
between Siliguri and Katihar. Apart from the ID, they appeared
almost identical to IR stock. Is there still an interchange
in North Bengal ?

BTW is there still MG Passenger/Goods traffic on the NFR
between Katihar and Dibrugarh ? The through trains are
now gone (Assam Mail, AT Mail etc)........

--
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: Dr. K.J. Walker & Mrs. M.E. Heath <>

Subject: Re: Hardinge/Sarah Bridge

Date: 21 Jun 1998 13:05:08 -0500


To Jayant, and all,
Yes, Sarah Bridge is Hardinge Bridge. Reason the BG connection to
Bangladesh was broken at (BD's) Independence was that the Pak army under
that delightful gentleman Tikka Khan had bombed it. There are two or
three
articles in the contemporary press describing the rebuilding, which was
done by IR engineers as a rush job, given the dire straits Bangladesh
was
in. My understanding was that through freight traffic between Bangladesh
and India was quite common, mostly to an from Calcutta on the BG.
Certainly
BR vans are not seen there often. I don't suppose there'll be a
connection
to Burma until the present regime is removed.
Cheers KJ

----------
> >Minor correction - the line from the South was a BG line of East
Bengal
> >Railway from Calcutta (Sealdah) via Sarah Bridge, Haldibari,
Jalpaiguri
> >that terminated at Siliguri.
> This is one amazing piece of history I never came across earlier.
> > ...... the old link via Sarah Bridge was severed as a
> > result of the creation of East Pakistan.
> Is Sarah Bridge what used to be known as the Hardinge Bridge ?
> Also, what happened to the remenants of the BG lines in
> Bangladesh ?
> Slight oversight in my earlier posting: The NG line from SGU Town
> ran along the Hill Cart Road, across the Mahananda on a combined
> rail/road bridge. Today, the alignment is different: it runs up to
> SGU Jn besides the NJP MG line, and actually crosses the Mahananda
> on a mixed gauge bridge. Probably the only MG/NG mixed gauge
> track in the country ?
> Siliguri Town station must have been spectacular in the old days
> when the BG track ended there and the DHR was still of commercial
> importance. I came across what was evidently a large NG yard
> outside SGU Town, now disused. There are hundreds of shops
> built over the site, but the track is still there, and I have
> come across rusting four-axle open goods wagons of a type
> now gone from the DHR.
>
> --
> 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: VIRAF P.. MULLA <>

Subject: Re: Siliguri/MG Couplings etc.

Date: 21 Jun 1998 20:36:22 -0500


Hello Gang,

> I think Assam had reversed stock BECAUSE of the peculiar layout
> of Siliguri Junction. Earlier, the MG line from the south used
> to terminate at Siliguri Town, and the DHR NG line started from there.
> A little further, the Kalimpong line brached off to the right and
> still further, the Kishanganj NG line went left.


Was there a line to Kalimpong? when was this and what was the route?
Can
anyone throw some light on this.
> --
> 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
>

==========================
Viraf Mulla
C-20/14, Jeevan Bima Nagar,
Borivali (West)
Mumbai 400103
Tel: +91-22-8954510
E-mail: sncf@godrejnet.email
==========================

From: Jayant S <>

Subject: Re: Siliguri/MG Couplings etc.

Date: 21 Jun 1998 20:37:08 -0500


> Was there a line to Kalimpong? when was this and what was the route?
Can
> anyone throw some light on this.

The Teesta Valley Railway branched off from the DHR a couple of
miles outside what is now Siliguri Town It entered the Teesta
Valley at Sevoke, then ran up the right bank of the Teesta
through Kalijhora and Riang up to Gelkhola (earlier referred
to as Kalimpong Road Station) where it ended, two miles from the
Teesta bridge. I am a little unsure about the dates: I think
it opened in 1919 and closed sometime in the '50s. Can
tell you more tomorrow about the distances after I read
some old references at home.

The only remaining sign I have seen of this line are
the embankments in some places which were built seperately
from the highway level. In 1922 there was serious intent
to extend this line to Gangtok, which never came about.

Incidentally, I read somewhere last year that IR was surveying
a possible rail route to Sikkim. Does anyone know of this ?
It would be a spectacularly difficult job of construction.

--
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: Jayant S <>

Subject: Re: Inrenational service

Date: 21 Jun 1998 21:26:58 -0500


> I think Apuva wrote and told me that no train service has come from
> Pakistan since the war.
I was under the impression that the Amritsar-Lahore Samjhauta
Express was restarted during Mr Gujral's tenure as PM, and
is running to date.
--
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: Donald L. Mills, Jr <>

Subject: Re: Inrenational service

Date: 21 Jun 1998 22:02:24 -0500


I think Apuva wrote and told me that no train service has come from
Pakistan since the war. to the people who commented on Burma and India
thanks. Don in WV

----------
> From: Anne O. <anniepoo@netmagic.email
> To: Prakash Tendulkar <prakash@us.email
> Cc: dmills@MARSHALL.email irfca@cs.email
> Subject: Re: Inrenational service
> Date: Saturday, June 20, 1998 2:55 AM
>
> > India and Pakistan had a passenger service crossing Wagha
> > checkpoint (Punjab) but I believe it has been stopped.
>
> >
> > India - Bangladesh, I don't know.
> >
>
> A couple years ago my guru bhai commented to me that she'd crossed
> the border from Bangladesh to Indian in a train. She said the
officials
> never ask hijras for either passports or tickets on that train.
>

From: Jayant S <>

Subject: Sikkim Rail ?

Date: 22 Jun 1998 01:44:56 -0500


Just found out at:
<A HREF="http://m-web.com/rh001.html">http://m-web.com/rh001.html</A>
That a (presumably MG ?) line from Sevoke
to Gangtok was to be surveyed according
to last year's rail budget. Is this
still on the agenda ?

(Someday, a preserved YP may yet puff
its way up to Gangtok. Will steam echo
in the Teesta Valley again ?
Dreams.......... )
--
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: Vadi Elumalai <>

Subject: Re: Shirish Yande introduces himself

Date: 22 Jun 1998 12:18:21 -0500


Dr. Shirish Yande writes:

> Hi everyone at the IRFCA,
...
...
> my interest. Railway Time Tables for instance are my constant
companions
> in my toilets.


Huh! Gotta tell my wife that creatures like me DO exist!

-Vadi

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