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From: Shriram Revankar <revankar@cs.email

Subject: Re: This and that!! (MG to BG)

Date: 01 Sep 1989 13:01:00 -0500


Thanks Dheeraj, I did not know about the commission findings.

The prime necessity of conversion from MG to BG is not the
speed requirements, but space and comfort of train passengers. Broad
gauge coaches are more spacious. One should only experience the
inconvenience of shifting at BG-MG transition stations. It is
`problemous' to a loner who has luggage > he could carry once, to a
family with little kids especially if the change time is at midnight,
to unreserveds who had just managed to get a seat after 8 to 10 hours
of journey, to old (aged) travelers, to honest TCs to almost
everybody.

Only people who enjoy the harvest are coolies (Rs.10 for a bag,
no other option if you are a loner), TCs ...


Shriram

From: Shaibal Roy <roy@Neon.email

Subject: Hi guys!

Date: 01 Sep 1989 08:46:00 -0500


Let me start by introducing myself.

Shaibal Roy, IIT--KGP, working on CS-PhD at Stanford.
Volleyball, cars, various racquet sports.

That ought to do it.

My interest in trains goes as far back as I can remember. My father
worked for the railways. We used to move from one small railway town
to another once every two years or so. I attended seven different
schools (in three different languages) during the first 10 years of
my schooling. The only theme common to all of these small towns was
the railway system. So the railway system became an essential part
of my identity. Besides, in those young years, I wanted to look like
my father, talk like my father, walk like my father, shave like my
father, and work with trains like my father.

I have travelled extensively by trains in India, and loved every minute
of it. Aren't free passes for railway employees and their families
wonderful.

My favourite trains:

1. The Bhilai--Balod--?? mixed train.

Balod is a tiny town in Madhya Pradesh on a small branch off the Raipur
Nagpur segment of the Howrah--Bombay route. We lived there since I
was 2 till I tuned 5. This is the first train I ever knew, and no other
train will ever have the same emotional impact on me. This train had
only three passenger cars -- the rest were freight cars. The sole first
class compartment was used so rarely that my father used to leave some of
his work realted documents and his tea--cup there. The most interesting
thing about this train was the funny locomotive that used to haul it.
This was a relic used mosty on very slow freight trains. I think they
are called Garrett engines. They make a very distinctive sound -- unlike
any other steam locomotive I have ever seen. The beat was slower, but
more explosive.

2. The (now extinct) Howrah--Bombay deluxe express.

Next we lived in another tiny town Himgiri on the Orissa--Madhya Pradesh
border on the Howrah--Bombay route a few kilometers west of Jharsugura.
The deluxe (its technical name was A/C Exp) used to pass Himgiri at over
100kph late in the afternoon three days every week. I used to be utterly
fascinated by its speed and by the distinctive color of its cars.

3. Utkal Express.

Next we lived in Shahdol -- another small town in Madhya Pradesh on the
Bilaspur--Katni segment of the South Eastern Railways. It was somewhat
lacking in character; but, hey, it was the train that brought us home.

4. Howrah Madras mail.

If you have ever travelled south of Khurda Road, and woken up early
in the morning to see sun rise over the Chilka lake to the left of
the southbound train, then you know why I love this train.

Other favourites:

Most good--old--solid--trustworthy mails (Hwh-bby,Hwh-dlh-Kalka,Frontier,
GrandTrunkExp, ...) OK, GT is not a mail train -- but it is the equiv
on one on the Delhi/Madras route.
The EMU (local) trains on the Howrah/KGP, Sealdah/Naihati, and Sealdah/
Diamond Harbour section (hey, the passengers speak *my* language!).
Assam mail (meter guage, amazingly long 22 cars or so).
Delhi mail (meter guage, Ahmedabad--Delhi).
The non--stop express train between Bangalore and Mysore.
Steel Express (Howrah--Tata)
The Darjeeling and Ooty mountain trains.
<and a lot of others>

Least favourite trains:

Taj express (New Delhi/Agra; too touristy)
Palace on wheels (Yech! But then, we can use the foreign exchange!)
Deccan Queen (Double dekkers? Yuck!)
The EMU (local) trains on the VT--Dadar line (amazingly rude crowd)
The Kalka--Simla mountain train (too touristy)
<and a lot of others>

More later.

-shaibal (roy@neon.email

From: Sanjay Saigal <saigal@rice.email

Subject:

Date: 01 Sep 1989 13:06:00 -0500


Okay, so am I the only *invited* member of IRFCA or what? When Kumar asked
me to join, I couldn't resist! After all how many people can list
membership of this august body on their c.v.? (I know, I know, 15 or so!) In
keeping with precedent, let me give a short bio:

My parents, prob in line with their Congressphilia named me Sanjay before I
could protest. Since my dad is in govt service, we moved around a lot, and
so got into (get the (majorly meek) pun?) trains. After joining the hostel
in Modern School in Delhi, my train travels became more frequent - mainly to
Shimla, where my parents lived then, and later to Kota, Bombay, and Madras.
I must admit that the main reason I used the train to Shimla was that it was
the cheapest mode of transport - there are no concession forms for Haryana
Roadways! However, though slow (5:30 hrs), the Kalka-Shimla line has its
own charm, and certainly beats the (3 hrs) stomach churning bus ride. But
back to the bio - my travels increased somewhat when I got into college
(St.Stephens) and started sparing full time. After stumbling though college
in a Humayunesque fashion, I miraculously found myself in the
Land-of-the-Free doing a PhD in math. Equally mysteriously, I fell in love,
transferred schools, and found myself paying $75 a year for the privilege of
holding a more or less worthless piece of plastic. Not surprisingly (given
my lack of awareness,) I am still doing my Ph.D. and am now married. And
consorting with people who know the difference between EMUs and DMUs! Oh,
and before I forget, my favourite train isn't a train at all, and in fact I
have never actually ridden in it. It is the railcar running on the
Kalka-Shimla line. Now that I have the power of the almighty dollar on my
side, the next time I go to India I intend to correct this grevious lacuna.
And my favorite two sections of track are 1) the part between Surajpur and
Kalka where the Kalka Mail huffs and puffs (or its diesel equivalent) trying
to make the grade and you can see the cable-cars transporting sand to the
Surajpur cement factory, and 2) the verdant section a couple of hours before
Howrah when you realize from the red-splattered posters on the mud walls
that indeed, the proliteriat has risen and taken control!

I have just finished going through the 1500 lines of prev proceedings of the
IRFCA that Vijay sent me, and am quite impressed that some of you actually
have been keeping up with the political winds that buffet trains such as
Gomti. And I suspect some of you even read Trains At A Glance sitting on
the Pot! In fact all this schedule quoting has fired me up to the point
that I have decided to have my cousin, who's coming to the US soon, get me
some timetables - perhaps TAAG and WR and NR. Then I can sit and make
schedules for where'all I'm going to travel when I'm next in India. As it
turns out, both the times my wife and I went to India together, we were
under severe time constraints and had very spotty train travel. We only had
4 short (<= 6hrs) day journeys and one ride from Delhi to Bombay on the
Rajdhani, which isn't really a train at all! So now, after all my sighings
about the wonderfulness of trains in India, she has decided that she wants
to take a long train trip the next time we're there (she's American.)

Let me stop now, so that we can return to our regularly scheduled
programming. Maybe sometime I shall write about that nightmare journey from
Bombay to Delhi in the unreserved compartment in close companionship with
approx 500 people, or my first trip on Amritsar-Howrah Mail from Cal to
Lucknow to visit my then girlfriend, or maybe the time my wife and I got
ahem, intimate somewhere near Barog. Talk about Erica Jong-like symbolic
consummations in tunnels!!

Till then, don't pull that chain!

saigal

From: Shaibal Roy <roy@Neon.email

Subject:

Date: 01 Sep 1989 11:01:00 -0500


Message-Id: <8909012101.AA23063@Neon.Email
To: irfca@amazon.email
Subject: Locomotives used in Indian Railways
Status: RO

I find the locomotives used in Indian Railways fascinating.
Years back, I used to know a fair amount about them. But
that was a while back -- I can't recall all those tiny
details that I used to know once upon a time. I would love
to refresh my memories, and maybe learn a bit more. I
wonder if I could find a good book on the locomotives used
in Indian Railways at the local Hobby Shops.

Here are some of the most commonly used locomotives:

WG: Steam locomotive with flat nose -- workhorse of IR's freight service.
Top speed limited to 88kph.
WP: Steam locomotive with pointed pose -- used on passenger trains.
Top speed limited to 100kph, 110kph allowed in special cases.

Both of the above are further classified by subscripts 1 through 4
(I think) depending on various intricate details.

WDM1: Diesel locomotives, pointed nose, low on power
Top speed limited to 88kph
WDM2: The current workhorse of Indian Railways. Both passenger and freight.
Top speed limited to 100kph, 110 and 120kph allowed in sp cases.
WDM4: Same as WDM2 (I think), higher top speed, used on superfast trains.

I think all diesel locomotives generate 17kVolts, and then drive series
motors to get better torque characteristics than the standard IC engines.
Anyone know otherwise?

WAM1-2: Electric locomotives. The most common ones.
WAP1/4: Same as WAM, P means intended for passenger trains.
WAP4 is used on superfast trains.

-shaibal (roy@neon.email

From: Vijay Balasubramanian <vbs@plumpy.email

Subject:

Date: 01 Sep 1989 17:38:00 -0500


Message-Id: <8909012338.AA03297@plumpy>
To: irfca@amazon.email
Subject: Indian Electric Locomotives
Status: RO


Hi folks!

Thought I should get away from time-table talk for a while and get on to
my favorite locomotive in this whole wide world, the WAM-4 Co-Co.
Yes sir, these
are probably the most proliferant among the electric locomotives plying
the 5000 odd miles of electric traction in India.
BTW, I would recommend perusing the following book on World Locomotives:

An Illustrated Guide to Modern Trains
by Brain Hollingsworth
published by Arco Publishing, Inc., NY

Price: around $ 11.00

for details of World locomotives in general, and Indian locomotives,
in particular.


For the uninitiated, the WAM-4 are the twelve-wheeled AC Electric locomotives
with Co-Co type bogies hauling most of the BG exp./mail trains in India. Some
characteristics:

-Mixed traffic locomotive
-Alternating current at 25 kv, 50 Hz on the overhead catenary, is fed to
a step-down transformer via a single pantograph. This is coverted to dc
by solid-state rectifiers, which drives six 600 hp. nose-suspended
traction motors, each geared directly to one of the six axles. Thus, the WAM-4
is able to generate a total of 3600 hp. compared to the 2600 hp. by the WDM-2.
-Max. speed is 120 kmph.

India made the change to from DC to AC electric traction in the mid 1950's.
Since French developments led the field, the ac locomotives supplied at first
followed that country's practice, whether built in India or France. These were
the eight-wheeled WAM-1 locomotives that are still in operation, in the
Howrah-Asansol-Dhanbad-M. Sarai section. They are less frequently found
"upstream" in the Delhi-Kanpur-M. Sarai section, and in the Igatpuri-Bhusaval
section of the Central Railway.
They now haul goods and passanger trains. I believe the WAM-2's were similar
eight-wheeled locos but with a tilt at the front and rear near the
windows, and a slightly different bogie design.
These still haul exp./mail trains on the same route.
In fact, the then white-n-pink colored Asansol Exp. used to be
hauled by such a engine of the same color. (most of my journeys thru' the
Grand Chord whether by the Bombay-Hwh Mail, the Kalka Mail, the Doon Exp.,
the Deluxe Exp., the Coalfield or the Black Diamond Exp. has witnessed
this loco at the front. What I love about it is the very unique quaint whistle,
very different from the WAM-4s). The WAG counterparts are in operation
more or less on the same routes.

The WAM-4 is the first Indian designed and Indian-built electric locomotive
class, which appeared from the Chittaranjan Locomotive Works in 1971.
The fleet of these locos. has now reached over 400. Incidently, silicon-diode
rectifiers are used. I have always been fascinated by the single pantograph
licking the overhead wire. I personify it to a man with outstretched arms
bent at the hips, faithfully discharging his duty of transporting "electrons"
from his head to his feet.

A dual-current series, the WCAM-1 (C= dc) is in service, only in the Bombay
Central - Ahmedabad section. An occasional loco has also appeared on the
Bombay V.T. - Igatpuri route. This is similar in appearance to the WAM-4
and has many components in common. One of the single pantographs on the WCAM-1
is used in dc traction; the other one carries ac current. The two
pantographs are not identical, though similar in design.

The WCG-2s haul freight trains in the Bombay - Igatpuri/Pune sections.
They too are similar in appearance to the WAM-4s with many common components.
Most of these have two identical dc single pantographs although some of them
have single and a double pantograph.

A small group of WAM4s have been given a lower gearing for heavy iron-ore
trains (WAM4B). These are often seeing in multiple operation on sections
such as the Kottavalasa-Kirandul line (brings back memories, right Kumar?).

A high speed verison, the WAP-1 was designed in 1986 excusively for the
Howrah-Delhi Rajdhani Exp. It has a higher tractive effort than the WAM-4
and is equipped with superior bogies that can withstand speeds of upto 160 kmph.
The loco faces are slanted to reduce air drag.
A single WAP-1 is all that is needed to haul the 18-coach Rajdhani at a max.
speed of 120 kmph. and an average speed of around 82 kmph.
It pleases me to no end to inform you that I have traveled in the WAP-headed
Rajdhani once, but that's another story.
The WAP-1 was then used for the Taj Exp.; this even had a name "Jawahar".

The most recent version, the WAP-2, hauls the 7-coach Shatabdi Exp., at a
max. speed of 145 kmph. and an average speed of around 93 kmph.
Again, the bogies have been the target for modification. Also,
a better braking system is employed.

The Bombay-Delhi route has most probably been completely electrified. If so,
when will CLW come up with a WCAP-1 for the Bombay-Delhi Rajdhani? The train
could be hauled by a WCAP-1 between Bombay and Ratlam, after which a WAP-1 could
take over. Any comments?


Time to leave for dinner. I'll be back with my promised comments and
more locomotive-talk.

With regards,

Vijay





From: KUMAR <KUMAR@MPS.EMAIL

Subject: Trains, what else?

Date: 01 Sep 1989 19:40:00 -0500


Hi folks!

Just finished reading thru my mail. Vijay, you seem to have missed the
*sarcasm on* truly great *sarcasm off* Upper India (UI) Express, the ONLY train
linking Delhi to Calcutta. Upper India's motto is "gimme a loop". Ok, ok,
it does travel on the direct Delhi-Aligarh-Tundla route and the Burdwan-
Howrah chord. The time-table maker must have been intoxicated when he
first decided that the Upper India would skip Agra. As for the
Burdhdhaman-Hwh chord the UI takes this till Dankuni Jn. and from here
takes the Vivekananda Bridge to reach Sealdah. I still think that keeping
with UI's tradition and character the UI should proceed on the main line
from B'man till Bandel Jn. and then take the line to Kamarakundu Jn. to
connect to the chord line (cruel aren't I? :-)

I did make a Delhi-Hwh trip on the Janata; no I wasn't trying to kill
myself, but merely trying to comply with orders to leave the IITD campus
due to a karamchari strike. I am dying to relate the journey, but will
spare you guys for now.

Also, I did once take the bus to Benia Bagh from Mughal Sarai. I travelled
on the Hwh-Bby mail and was trying to reach BHU to attend a summer school.
Of course I should have gone by the Upper India but I was overcome by a
moment of sanity while buying my tickets!

Shriram, have you (or anyone else) taken the Londa-Marmagoa route? My aunt
used to tell stories about goa and this route which always fascinated me!

Sanjay, Paul Theroux seems to share your fondness for the Kalka-Shimla
route, if I remember correctly. I have never been on it myself.

Regards, Kumar

From: Deodatta R. Apte <kumar@iec.email

Subject: In defense of the Queen!

Date: 02 Sep 1989 13:52:00 -0500


Dear Fans,
Shaibal mentioned that the Deccan Queen was not one of his favourite
trains since it had double decker coaches. Since I listed the Deccan Queen
(Bombay-Pune) as my favourite, I feel compelled to defend her honour. Shaibal
is referring to the Sinhagad Exp. which has double decker coaches and runs on
the same route. The Deccan Queen is a very prestigious train and the railway
administration regards it as so. It is given preferential treatment so that
there are no fast locals (which run on the same tracks as the through trains)
scheduled on the central railway suburban section in Bombay scheduled for about 15-20 mins. before the Deccan Queen. Until the 70's it was a first class only
train. Now it carries 6 second and 6 first class coaches and is fully reserved.
It is one of the very few IR trains which carries a dining car, and I love the
fried fish that is served on board.
The Deccan Queen was started in 1930 soon after the Bombay-Pune electrification
was completed. It has always been electrcally hauled.
There was a mention of the BBC series `Great Raiway Journeys of the
World' (this is the correct name) in the postings a few days ago. Here is some
more information. The series was made in 1980 and has 7 episodes. Each focuses
on one journey/country. Each has been written by a different person,many of them
famous personalities. The episode on Great Britain was written and narrated by
Michael Palin of Monty Python and `A Fish Called Wanda' fame. There is a
companion book of the same title which should be available in the local
libraries. The series surfaces on PBS from time to time. I have seen 4 episodes
but unfortunately missed the one on India. The Indian episode describes a
journey from Bombay to Kanyakumari with a side trip to Ooty. The other episodes in the series are on Peru (the Central Railway-highest in the world-great
episode!), South Africa (the Blue Train),Australia (the Indian-Pacific Sydney to Perth), Europe (London to Czekoslovakia) and Great Britain ( London Euston to
the Kyle of Lochalsh in North-West Scotland via Edinburgh which includes some
fantastic aerial photography of the Forth Bridge) and one more which I forget.
There is another BBC serie called `Great Little Railways' which is on
narrow guage trains. I have not seen any of the 7 episodes but I had the book
in India. The episode on India describes a journey from Jodhpur to Jaipur on
the Marudhar Exp. It says the the journey took 6 hrs.(in 1982) but I dont know
how long it takes now. Ther is also one episode on steam locos on the sugar
plantations on the island of Negros in the Philippines, and one on the train
from Guyaquil to Quito in Ecuador wriiten by Stanley Reynolds, editor of Punch
magazine.
- Kumar Apte.

From: Shaibal Roy <roy@Neon.email

Subject: Re: In defense of the Queen!

Date: 05 Sep 1989 13:55:00 -0500


> From: Deodatta R. Apte <kumar@iec.email
> Date: Sat, 2 Sep 89 13:52:01 -0400
> Subject: In defense of the Queen!

> Dear Fans,
> Shaibal mentioned that the Deccan Queen was not one of his favourite
> trains since it had double decker coaches. Since I listed the Deccan Queen
> (Bombay-Pune) as my favourite, I feel compelled to defend her honour. Shaibal
> is referring to the Sinhagad Exp. which has double decker coaches and runs on
> the same route. ...

Oops.

Last time (I thought) I saw Deccan Queen was back in '82. We were changing
trains at Pune on our way to Mirage (and Goa). It was early in the morning.
I must have mistaken Sinhagad Exp for DQ.

Somehow, I still don't like DQ.

-shaibal

Now here's something that happened to a friend of mine in IIT-KGP:
He was in a great hurry to buy tickets minutes before Steel Exp is
scheduled to leave Howrah. Panting, he ran up to the ticket office,
spotted the line most likely to be for Steel Exp, and asked the person
at the end of line:
"Sir, is this the line for Steel?" ("Daada, eta ki Steel'er line?")
The gentleman took a very dispassionate and unhurried look at him,
and replied:
"No, this is for tickets." ("Naa, ticket'er.")
I guess you just had to be there (and know Bengali).

From: Selwyn Piramuthu <selwyn@gaea.email

Subject: Hi!

Date: 06 Sep 1989 09:30:00 -0500


Hi!
Vijay, whose enthusiasm/../excitement for Indian Railways spills over to
anyone around him, forced me to join this "Club" - and this made me to be dormant all these days!
I'm from Madras, and am doing my PhD in Operations Research at the U of Ill.
I've been reading all the stuff that I've been receiving from this mailing list
from the beginning - and, it REALLY is fun going thru' the experiences of
IR fans! I have some questions reg. IR which might be obvious for you all.
but....

1. Why are there 2 different guages (sp?) meter and narrow (?) in the IR
system (or, is it found throughout the world?) - Are there any advantages
of one over the other? (although there are other types like the one with 3
tracks - for climbing on mountains..., which are not as common as the main
two types.)

2. I remember having seen people welding pieces of tracks (or, whatever they
are called) together rather than using fish-plates (sp?) to connect them

together - I wonder why they did that! I always thought that the fish-plates
were used to compensate for expansionof the lines....how is this accomplished
if they are welded together?
I hated this welded-stuff since it removed the sound that you can hear
when the wheels of the bogies pass the clearance on the rails where the
fish-plated are.
^s

3. Are there any in-train magazines (like the in-flight ones) in India (like
to collect those if there is any). I remember seeing those in German trains..


Thanks for your patience so far.
selwyn

From: Vijay Balasubramanian <vbs@plumpy.email

Subject: Yetunnuder falls prey!

Date: 07 Sep 1989 14:41:00 -0500


Hi gang!

Why the sudden lull? Thought I should break it before it gets on my nerves.

Please welcome Mr. Sudesh Kannan, a Pink City Exp. enthusiast, who has
promised to indulge in a lot of train-talk. His address: kannan@cae.email.
Dheeraj, thanks a lot for adding him to our mailing list, which now has
14 names! We are yet to hear from Arun, Sridhar and Dhrubes. Common you
guys, let's hear some of your experiences.

And now for some of my expert(?) comments:


> Gomti was started in early 70's under a program to connect Delhi
> with all the state capitals with Super Fast trains.

I am sure the Gomti Exp. would have had its own distinctive color. Could
somebody tell me what it was? (Dheeraj you probably know all about it.)
I remember this train having AC Chair Car service which was removed around
1980.


> or 4 more trains on that route that take an equal amount of time (not
> counting Rajdhani, which is still about 4:45). The other trains on that
> route are: PrayagRaj (Delhi - Allahabad), Magadh (Delhi - Patna), Neelachal
> (Delhi-Puri), NorthEast (Delhi-Guwahati?). All of these take around 6 hours

They now have the Saryu-Yamuna superfast Exp. runnning tri-weekly between
New Delhi and Varanasi. On the remaining four days, Shaheed Exp. (superfast)
runs between New Delhi and Gorakhpur. And please don't forget the other
superfasts, the N. Delhi-Guwahati Tinsukia Mail and the N. Delhi Barauni
Vaishali Exp., not to mention the Deluxe Exp. and Kalka Mail. Gomti is still
one of the fastest trains of the lot; it probably ranks third after the Rajdhani
and North-East Exps.


> and tails when train wriggles through sinuous tracks -- "photography
> restricted" signs boards on some unknown bridges -- trying to guess

I have always wondered whether it is illegal to take photographs of Indian
trains. I admit that the idea sounds absurd. I thought so too, until one fine
day (well..., it was during the Punjab agitation in India)
I decided to photograph my favorite Rajdhani Exp. at Bombay Central station.
I had just finished clicking at the twin-diesel unit, when this hulk approached
me obviously suspecting some foul play; he even threatened to rip off the film.
The Rajdhani had befriended me that day, but that was not to be for long.
I made friends with the Public Relations Officer, Western Rly.; after securing
a written approval from him, I proceeded on finish the job at hand.


> The last time I travelled in Neelachal, it had two versions. One would
> go via Adra and another via Jamshedpur. The one via Adra would skip a lot
> of places in UP and probably rejoin at Mughal Sarai. It also passes via
> Gaya. The one via Jamshedpur is the original Neelachal route. This
> happened when they changed it from a 3-day a week express to a daily

The sequence of events which have led to the present dual Neelachal Exps.,
is an interesting one. The 175/176 tri-weekly Neelachal Exp. was introduced
in the late 70's, and used to run via Varanasi...Jamshedpur.
Intially, the train used to stop only at Tundla between Delhi and Kanpur, and
only at Balasore between Kharagpur and Cuttack.
(BTW, I was surprised to find the Balsore platforms at a very low level)
Then, Aligrah was added to the list of halts.
When Ghani Khan
Chowdhary took over as the railway minister, he decided to reroute the train
via Mirzapur (not a halt) as it would save some time consumed by the locomotive
change-overs at Allahabad and Mughal Sarai (how I HATED him for that); he argued
that Varanasi residents could always catch the train at Mughal Sarai. A letter
for Kamapathiji remedied that, and the train resumed its halt at Varanasi.
The train was then stripped of its superfast stamp, along with many others like
the Ganga-Kaveri Exp. and the Sonbhadra Exp. (now extinct).
A few years later, the 915/916 Delhi - Puri Exp.
was introduced, which used to halt at Mirzapur and Chunar(Dn. dirn. only),
and travel on the Gomoh-Adra-Bankura-Midnapore-Kharagpur route.
A major rerouting then caused the 175/176 Exp. to run via Lucknow-Pratapgarh
and the 915/916 Exp. to run via Varanasi (hence, both the Neelchals had halts at
Varanasi). The Neelachals then started halting at Bhadrakh between Balasore
and Cuttack. The 915/916, now a superfast exp., was brought back to the
Mirzapur route. The 175/176 then blessed Koderma (between Gaya and
Hazaribagh Rd.) with its "halting" presence.
A final change extended the terminus from N. Delhi to H. Nizamuddin, and
erased Tundla from the halt list, for both the trains.


> change at either Miraj or Guntakal. We always
> used to look out of the window on the metre-guage
> train from Guntakal to bangalore and wonder when
> the broad-guage line which we could see being
> constructed would be ready. Well, it's been

The Broad-gauge line hugs the MG line from Kalluru till Dharmavaram.
I noticed this during my lone journey on the Udyan Exp. from
Dadar to Bangalore.
After Dharamavaram, I could see the bare mound of soil, which had once proudly
supported a single M.G. track. This brought back sweet memories of my
Venkatadri Exp. journey from Bangalore to Secunderabad before the gauge
conversion. Our train joined hands with the Tirupati-Dharamavarm Link
Exp. and a massive 16 coach train emerged from Dharmavaram.


> favorite trains, for instance. Or what about those trips you might have
> made on beauties like the Agra Cantt.-Jhansi passenger through the Chambal
> ravines at slow speed with maybe a "Baghi" (chambal dacoit) or two sitting
> by your side!

I recall the GT Exp. and the now extinct Jayanthi Janata Exp. falling
victims to gang-robbery near Morena. The thugs used to
enter the coaches by prying open the
vestibules, and decamp with the loot after pulling the chain.


> The common postfixes of stations:
> ..pur(Kanpur, Nagpur..)
> ..swar(Bhubaneswar, Baleswar...)
> ..halli(a lot of station in Karnataka, may be some other places too)
> ..pet(begumpet,..., mostly in AP, I think?)
> ..Road(i think I know why)
> ..gachhi(Santragachhi, Belgachhia.. mostly in West Bengal)

Chitta, I do not wish to intrude upon your forthcoming mail, but here are some
other suffixes for stations:
..gaon (Chalisgaon, Pulgaon, Rajnandgaon)
..garh (Aligarh, Titlagarh, Shamgarh)
..ganj (Shahganj, Kishanganj, Narkatiaganj)
..bad (Allahabad, Dhanbad, Daulatabad)
..nagar (Tatanagar, Jamnagar, Nepanagar)
.. Cant (Agra Cant, Ambala Cant, Jullundhar Cant)
.. City (Kota City, Varanasi City, Nawa City)
.. Town (Faridabad N. Town, Kurnool Town, Dibrugarh Town)


> I like the idea of FACIR, but lets see if others have
> more ideas.

How about my earlier proposal, ...INDRA... ?


> More complaining: another train which has been steadily undermined is the
> Madras-Bangalore Brindavan Exp. This used to cover the ~ 350 km route in 5
> hrs. Now, I believe, it takes more than 6 hrs.

The Brindavan Exp. now stops at Bangarapet and Kuppam (even the MAS-B'galore
Mail doesn't halt here). I have traveled twice in this train (from Madras to
Bangalore and back). At that time, it used to change locomotives at Katpadi.
I remember spotting the train with its distintive green-with-yellow-stripes
color way back in 1974 at Madras Central station (the coaches now have the
jaded red color)


> Also, is there an express train on the MG Bangalore-Hasan-Mangalore route.

There is a Exp.-cum-Fast pass from Bangalore to Mangalore via Arsikere-Hassan.
It takes about 13 1/2 hrs. BTW, the Hemavathi Exp. runs between Arsikere and
Mangalore.


> I believe that the Halt stations are just like regular small stations, but
> do not have sidings and interchanges. The tracks just run through the

I have seen "non-halts" without sidings and interchanges. One that comes to
my mind is Karaikovilpathu, one station away from Karaikal on the
Peralam-Karaikal section. BTW, Peralam lies on the Mayiladuturai-Karaikkudi
section.


> I am not sure about the Block. I believe that this is not a station, but a
> signalling cabin without a station attached. Usually these are located at
> stationless junctions. I remember that Vyasarpadi (near Madras) was one.

Kumar, I am still not sure what you mean by stationless junctions. I remember
going thru' a stationless crossover but with a cabin, in the single track
Jukehi(near Katni)-Naini section, more because of the weird manner in which the
crossover was conducted.
As my train (most probably the Varanasi-Dadar Exp.) approached the cabin, a
track "started" some distance away.
My train went off the main track onto the siding. It stopped after all the
coaches had gone off the main track. The train then *reversed*, passed the
track interchange, while still on the siding.
Then the Howrah-Bombay Mail (via Allahabad) thnudered past us on the main track.
Once it had disappeared into oblivion, our train resumed its forward march,
left the siding at the interchange and was onto the main track again.


> I'm back again. Raja's mention of Srirangam brings back memories of my
> trips to Lalgudi (Villupuram-Tiruchi chord line). Only two trains from
> Madras Egmore used to stop at Lalgudi; the Madras-Rameswaram Passenger and
> the Madras-Tuticorin Express. Madras-Tuticorin express was cancelled; but
> I believe that the Rock Fort Express stops at Lalgudi now.

If my memory serves me right, the Madras-Tuticorin Janata Exp. used to take the
Main Line (via Cuddalore-Mayiladuturai-Thanjavur), before it was restricted
between Madurai and Tuticorin. This has been cancelled.
There is, however, a fast train between Madras and Tuticorin using the Grand
Chord line.

I have traveled on the Tiruchchirapalli-Villupuram grand chord section only
once (in 1985, just before I crossed the Atlantic), but by the fastest
train on that route, the Madurai-Madras Egmore Vaigai Exp. (I boarded the
train at Dindigul though). I savored every moment
of the journey. I was thrilled when the train *ignored* Chengapattu and
Tambaram among others. I was fascinated by the YDM-1 diesel-electric locomotive
having the same green-yellow color as the coaches. The train thundered past the
stationary Pallavan Exp. (this uses the same rakes and travels between Madras
and Tiruchchirapalli). About two years back, the Vaigai Exp. used to IGNORE
TIRUCHI. Jn. (this was when the inital Madras-Madurai Pallavan Exp. was
restricted between Madras and Tiruchi.); how's that for an upstart? It now
halts there but for a mere 2 MTS.

The Tiruchi.-Villupuram GC section is heavily tilted towards fast low-halt
trains. Only Vriddhachalam commands respect from all the Exp./Mail trains
in that route (except the Vaigai). The Rock Fort is the only exp./mail train
to stop at Lalgudi and Pennadam among others.
The Pallavan exp. and the MAS-Rameswaram Sethu Exp. stop at Srirangam.
The Madras-Quilon Exp. used to give company to the Rock Fort Exp. before it was
restricted between Tiruchi. and Quilon. Result: pressure on the MAS-Quilon
Mail. I have often imagined this train halting
at Ariyalur and Lalgudi (to directly link them with Quilon).


> railway line, connecting Meeraj -- Bangalore (Famous [?] Mahalaxmi
> Express runs on this route). Hence even now Karnataka transport is

I am surprised that there is no direct train between Miraj and Mysore, which
would go off the Hubli-Bangalore route at Arsikere. I have often imagined the
superfast Konkan Exp. running between Miraj and Mysore/Bangalore (diff. days).
This would connect its Bombay-Miraj BG counterpart at Miraj.


> It has been a mjor demand of people in Haryana connected by MG tracks
> to Delhi (Gurgaon, Patuadi, Rewari, Garhi Harsaru etc.) that the tracks
> be converted into BG, electrified, and EMUs run on them, and every

A new BG line is being constructed between Kota and Chittaurgarh that will
extend southwards till Nimach. (Why Nimach?) I have always wondered why
the 132 km. Sawai Madhopur - Jaipur section is still MG. Converting it to BG
(doesn't seem to be a very tough proposition) would enable
Jaipur to be directly connected to the rest of India via Broad Gauge.
Any comments?


Hoped I haven't pained you to death,

With regards,

Vijay

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <dheeraj@cs.email

Subject: Re: Yetunnuder falls prey!

Date: 10 Sep 1989 15:02:00 -0500


Hi,

>Why the sudden lull? Thought I should break it before it gets on my

Well, here is my contribution.

>Please welcome Mr. Sudesh Kannan, a Pink City Exp. enthusiast,

I have travelled in Pink City only once from Delhi Jn. to Jaipur,
around 10th Jun. 1983. (This was 3-4 days before the Prudential Cup
finals.) The journey was memorable for a very wrong reason. That was
the only time I was travelling without ticket in train and the TT
charged some hefty fine. Well, it happened like this.

My parents had gone to Jaipur to attend a marriage, leaving me and my
younger sister behind. These were summer vacations, and we were
generally getting bored. So the night before marriage, we decided
that we also should also go to Jaipur. The train leaves Delhi Jn.
(more commonly known as Old Delhi Rly Stn) around 6:05 AM. The first
DTC bus from our house to the station is at 5:00 AM and we reached
station at about 5:40 AM. There was a huge line in front of the only
ticket window that was open to sell tickets for Pink City Exp. We had
no option but to stand in the queue. At 6:00, the clerk declared that
the TTs will issue the tickets inside the train and closed the
window. We rushed towards the train. We got a seat, and TT did issue
us a ticket, but also slapped a 30Rs. penalty per person for
travelling without tickets. Lots of people protested, but to no avail.
Rest of the journey was very comfortable. I liked the fact that it
didn't even stop at Rewari, a major junction on the MG network for
catching trains to Bikaner, Jodhpur, Mahendragarh and other places in
Haryana, Rajasthan. The stop at Alwar was less than 5 minutes. There
were Railway hawkers inside the train, selling hot breakfast in the
morning. We reached Jaipur around 10:45 AM, I think. That was the
fastest MG train in those days. I am not sure whether the superfast
trains started in the last 3-4 years on MG network to various places
like Ahemdabad, Jodhpur etc are faster. I am sure Vijay will tell us.
Anyway, the most difficult part was to reach the right place within
Jaipur. The address we had, ABC's haveli, near an old Bargad tree,
close to XYZ bazaar, didn't inspire a lot of confidence, but when we
asked a rickshawallah, he seemed to know exactly where we wanted to
go.


>I am sure the Gomti Exp. would have had its own distinctive
>color. Could somebody tell me what it was? (Dheeraj you probably
>know all about it.)

I seem to recall that Gomti indeed had its own distinctive color, but
I don't remeber what it was. Most trains lost their distinctive
colors in late 70's, some in early 80's, beacuse there was a need to
manage the coaches better. Many rakes were being used exclusively
for a single train, and that sometimes caused the rake to be idle for
upto a day, beyond its regular maintainace period. This was changed
and now, the same rakes could be used for other trains, resulting in
better utilization. Even the Rajdhani didn't have exclusive rakes.
I know that Delhi-Bombay Rajdhani shared rakes with some Bombay -
Ahemdabad superfast train.

regards,
-dheeraj

From: BADDAR <BADDAR@MPS.EMAIL

Subject: kumar

Date: 12 Sep 1989 21:17:00 -0500



Hi Vijay and the rest of the IRFCA gang!
Greetings, I am still alive. I am at a small univ. called Northeast
Missouri State Univ. I am reachable by bitnet at SC10@NEMOMUS
I do not have direct access to an arpanet/internet node. This message
is being forwarded via OSU by a friend.

If you guys cannot access bitnet, you can keep sending messages to my
old OSU address. This is KUMAR@OHSTPY.EMAIL and I will ask
my friend to forward the mail to me as long as the powers that be at OSU
keep my account alive.

I am full of more train stuff and have read some of your mail. I will
respond shortly.

Bye for now, Kumar

From: BADDAR <BADDAR@MPS.EMAIL

Subject:

Date: 13 Sep 1989 14:03:00 -0500



HI IRFCA FOLKS,

SORRY FOR THE CAPITALIZATION; MY NEW EDITOR INSISTS ON
IT!!

>WHY ARE THERE 2 DIFFERENT GUAGES (SP?) METER AND NARROW (?) IN THE IR
>SYSTEM (OR, IS IT FOUND THROUGHOUT THE WORLD?) - ARE THERE ANY ADVANTages
>OF ONE OVER THE OTHER? (ALTHOUGH THERE ARE OTHER TYPES LIKE THE ONE With 3
>TRACKS - FOR CLIMBING ON MOUNTAINS..., WHICH ARE NOT AS COMMON AS THE main
>TWO TYPES.)

ON IR THERE ARE FOUR GAUGES; BROAD 5'6" (SUPPOSEDLY THE BROADEST IN THE
WORLD); METRE 1M; NARROW 2'6";AND NARROW 2'. THE BROADER GAUGE PROVIDES
THE MOST STABILITY AND HENCE FOR A GIVEN SET OF CONDITIONS I.E. TRACK
STRENGTH, BALLAST, GROUND SUPPORT, SLEEPER STRENGTH, WELDED/NON-WELDED
TRACKS, RAKE/CARRIAGE QUALITY ETC. ONE CAN TRAVEL FASTER, THE BROADER
THE GAUGE. SO THE FASTEST TRAINS RUN ON BROAD GAUGE. OF COURSE THE
JAPANESE BULLET TRAINS RUN ON 4'8" TRACKS, BUT THE OTHER TRACK
CONDITIONS ARE SUPERIOR TO INDIAN TRACKS.

METRE GAUGES WERE BUILT TO SAVE $$$$ OR RSRSRSRS. NO OTHER REASON.
STUPID, CONSIDERING THAT THEY ARE EXPENSIVE TO CONVERT TO BROAD; WELL
WE CAN CONVENIENTLY BLAME THE BRITISH FOR THIS!

NARROW GAUGES WERE BUILT TO TAKE SHARP CURVES ON THE LIMITED SPACE ON
MOUNTAINSIDES; GOING FOR BROAD WOULD MEAN LOTS AND LOTS OF $$$$ AND MORE
DIFFICULT ENGINEERING PROBLEMS. THERE ARE TWO EXCEPTIONS; THE NILGIRI
LINE FROM METTUPALAIYAM TO OOTY IS METRE GAUGE, THE INCLINES ARE STEEP
TO AVOID MANY HAIRPIN BENDS. THESE INCLINES ARE TAKEN USING GEARED
WHEELS AND A THIRD TOOTHED TRACK BETWEEN THE REGULAR TRACKS; I BELIEVE
THAT THIS ARRANGEMENT IS KNOWN AS "RACK AND PINION". THE PESHAWAR TO
LANDI KOTAL LINE (NEAR THE KHYBER PASS) IS ACTUALLY BROAD GAUGE! I
BELIEVE THAT THIS IS BECAUSE (I) LANDI KOTAL IS NOT AS HIGH AS OOTY OR
SHIMLA OR D'LING AND (II) THE BRITISH/INDIAN ARMY INSISTED ON A BROAD
GAUGE LINK TO THE KHYBER TO BE ABLE TO TRANSPORT TROOPS QUICKLY TO
PROTECT THE EMPIRE IF THE NEED AROSE. THIS LINE WAS BUILT AT GREAT
EXPENSE WHICH INVOLVED MANY TUNNELS ETC. TO AVOID SHARP CURVES. JUST
REMEMBERED THAT THE KOTTAVALASA TO KIRANDUL LINE IN INDIA IS BROAD GAUGE
TOO; THIS WAS COMPLETED IN THE 70'S. THIS LINE IS FULLY ELECTRIFIED AND
CLIMBS TO OVER 5000'. REASON; TO SELL IRON ORE TO JAPAN VIA VIZAG FOR
FOREIGN EXCHANGE.

THE SHIMLA LINE AND THE DARJEELING LINE ARE SOMETIMES OFFERED AS
EXAMPLES OF CONTRASTING STYLES. THE SHIMLA LINE IS 2'6" AND AVOIDS BENDS
WHEREVER POSSIBLE. THERE ARE MANY TUNNELS AND STEEP GRADIENTS, ALTHOUGH
NOT AS STEEP AS THE NILGIRI LINE. THE DARJEELING LINE TRIES TO AVOID
STEEP GRADIENTS; THE PRICE BEING LOOPS AND BENDS GALORE. IT RUNS ON A 2'
GAUGE. I BELIEVE THAT THERE ARE SIGNS WHICH READ SOMETHING LIKE "OOPS!
WHAT A CURVE, 60' RADIUS!" ALONG THE TRACKS. THE MOST FAMOUS LOOP IS THE
"BATASIA LOOP" WHERE THE ENGINE ALMOST COMES WITHIN HANDSHAKING DISTANCE
OF THE GUARD'S CABIN.

MULTI-GAUGES ARE FOUND IN MANY COUNTRIES; OFTEN THE REASONS ARE
POLITICAL. AUSTRALIA IS ONE OF THE WORST EXAMPLES; EVEN TODAY, I BELIEVE
THAT GAUGES CHANGE AT STATE BOUNDARIES EXCEPT FOR A FEW TRUNK LINES. IN
FACT, THERE ARE SOME DUAL GAUGE SECTIONS; THERE ARE THREE PARALLEL RAILS
ONE RAIL IS COMMON AND THE OTHER TWO ARE USED RESPECTIVELY BY THE BROAD
AND NARROWER GAUGE TRAINS! I FOUND THIS AMUSING.


>I REMEMBER HAVING SEEN PEOPLE WELDING PIECES OF TRACKS (OR, WHATEVER they
>ARE CALLED) TOGETHER RATHER THAN USING FISH-PLATES (SP?) TO CONNECT Them
>TOGETHER - I WONDER WHY THEY DID THAT! I ALWAYS THOUGHT THAT THE FISH-plates
>WERE USED TO COMPENSATE FOR EXPANSIONOF THE LINES....HOW IS THIS ACCOmplished
>IF THEY ARE WELDED TOGETHER?
>I HATED THIS WELDED-STUFF SINCE IT REMOVED THE SOUND THAT YOU CAN HEAr
>WHEN THE WHEELS OF THE BOGIES PASS THE CLEARANCE ON THE RAILS WHERE The
>FISH-PLATED ARE.

WELDED TRACKS ARE NOT GAPLESS; ONLY THE GAPLESS SECTIONS ARE MUCH
LONGER. THE GAPS ARE ESSENTIAL TO AVOID THE BUCKLING OF THE RAILS DUE TO
EXPANSION. UNWELDED TRACKS WERE USED BEFORE BECAUSE THE IN-SITU WELDING
TECHNOLOGY WAS NOT AVAILABLE. ONE HAS TO LAY SHORT SECTIONS OF THE TRACK
AND BRING ON THE TRACK WELDER TO WELD THE SECTIONS TOGETHER. WELDED
TRACKS ARE SAFER BECAUSE OF THE DECREASE IN THE USE OF FISHPLATES AND
CONNECTORS; THESE ARE THE WEAK LINKS ON THE TRACK. CONSEQUENTLY, ONE CAN
GO FASTER ON WELDED TRACKS. TRUE ONE DOES MISS THE CLACKETTY-CLACK! BTW,
DID YOU KNOW THAT A LOT OF THE NOISE ON A MOVING TRAIN IS WIND-RESONANCE
UNDER THE COMPARTMENT?

KUMAR

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <dheeraj@cs.email

Subject: Railway Gauges.

Date: 13 Sep 1989 14:30:00 -0500



Kumar writes:

THE PESHAWAR TO LANDI KOTAL LINE (NEAR THE KHYBER PASS) IS
ACTUALLY BROAD GAUGE! I BELIEVE THAT THIS IS BECAUSE
(I) LANDI KOTAL IS NOT AS HIGH AS OOTY OR SHIMLA OR D'LING AND
(II) THE BRITISH/INDIAN ARMY INSISTED ON A BROAD GAUGE LINK
TO THE KHYBER TO BE ABLE TO TRANSPORT TROOPS QUICKLY TO
PROTECT THE EMPIRE IF THE NEED AROSE. THIS LINE WAS BUILT AT
GREAT EXPENSE WHICH INVOLVED MANY TUNNELS ETC. TO AVOID SHARP CURVES.

Here is a quote from "The Great Railway Bazaar" by Paul Theroux,

"And there is the Khyber Railway, a further pleasure. Built fifty
years ago at great cost, it is an engineering marvel. It has
thirty-four tunnels, ninety-two bridges and culverts, and climbs to
3600 feet. The train is well-guarded: on bluffs above the track,
in little garrisons and pillboxes, the Khyber Rifles stand sentry
duty, staring blankly at the plummeting blue black ravines on
Afghanistan's inhospitable edge.

There is only one train a week on the Khyber Railway, ... and they
use the train for their weekly visit to the bazaar in Peshawar. It is
an outing for them, ... so the platform in Landi Kotal station in
Khyber Pass is mobbed with excited tribesmen tramping up and down
in their bare feet, waiting for the train to start."

Paul travelled in 1974, hence the construction must have taken place
in 20's. The train was well guarded since Pakistan was expecting an
invasion from Afghanistan at that time, and this was a crucial train
link with the border.

MULTI-GAUGES ARE FOUND IN MANY COUNTRIES; OFTEN THE REASONS ARE
POLITICAL. AUSTRALIA IS ONE OF THE WORST EXAMPLES;

In this country, almost every city has a different gauge for its
metros. I am not sure about the trunk routes though, whether
Amtrak uses the same gauge as CSX, same as MARC, and others.

-dheeraj

From: SC10000 <SC10%NEMOMUS.BITNET@ricevm1.email

Subject:

Date: 13 Sep 1989 13:27:00 -0500


Hi gang:

{Vijay writes: WHEN GHANI KHAN
CHOWDHARY TOOK OVER AS THE RAILWAY MINISTER, rain
HE DECIDED TO REROUTE THE TRAIN
via Mirzapur (not a halt) as it would save some time consumed by the locomotive
change-overs at Allahabad and Mughal Sarai (how I HATED him for that); he argued
that Varanasi residents could always catch the train at Mughal Sarai. A letter
FOR KAMAPATHIJI REMEDIED THAT, AND THE TRAIN RESUMED ITS HALT AT i.
VARANASI}

THANK THE GODS THAT THE TRAIN WASN'T RE-ROUTED THRU MALDA BY GHANI KHAN
(NO OFFENCE MEANT TO MALDA-ITES).

{Vijay writes:
HOW ABOUT MY EARLIER PROPOSAL, ...INDRA... ?}

ANYTHING BUT AMTRAK !!

{Vijay writes:
Kumar, I am still not sure what you mean by stationless junctions. I remember
going thru' a stationless crossover but with a cabin, in the single track
Jukehi(near Katni)-Naini section, more because of the weird manner in which the
crossover was conducted.
My train went off the main track onto the siding. It stopped after all the
coaches had gone off the main track. The train then *reversed*, passed the
track interchange, while still on the siding.}

By stationless junctions I mean track junctions with no station
following immediately; there is just a cabin. This Jukehi interchange
reminds me of something similar I read about the Andean railways; here
some gradients are too steep even for hairpin bends and they have to
reverse the train with the help of a siding {sort of like a Y }.

{Vijay writes:
If my memory serves me right, the Madras-Tuticorin Janata Exp. used to take the
Main Line (via Cuddalore-Mayiladuturai-Thanjavur), before it was restricted
between Madurai and Tuticorin. This has been cancelled.
There is, however, a fast train between Madras and Tuticorin using the Grand
Chord line.}

The Madras-Tuticorin Janata is an upstart; its ancestor was the Madras-
Madurai Janata. The now defunct Madras-Tuticorin Express was an oldie.
It was the oldest express train to run the V'puram-Tiruchi chord (I
think). It was affectionately referred to as "Thoothukkudi" after the
Tamil name for Tuticorin. Half the train would split at Maniyachi Jn. to
run to Tirunelveli. The Madras-Rameswaram Passr. was called
"Dhanushkodi" as it really used to go past Rameswaram to Dhanushkodi.
Then sometime in the 60's a cyclone blew part of Dhanushkodi away; and
the train no longer goes to Dhanushkodi. In fact, there is a terrible
train accident associated with the Pamban bridge linking Rameswaram to
the mainland. {BTW, Rameswaram is linked ONLY by a railway bridge; they
are building a road bridge.} This unfortunate train was washed away by a
tidal wave.

Another oldie is the Madras-Rameswaram Express (via the main line). This
used to be called the "Boat Mail" because it connected to the Steam boat
at Rameswaram pier; this steam boat crossed the Palk Strait to
Talaimannar in Sri Lanka.

{Vijay writes:
The Tiruchi.-Villupuram GC section is heavily tilted towards fast low-halt
trains. Only Vriddhachalam commands respect from all the Exp./Mail trains
in that route (except the Vaigai). The Rock Fort is the only exp./mail train
to stop at Lalgudi and Pennadam among others.}

The chord line is devoid of major cities; Vridhdhachalam derives
some importance from its proximity to Neyveli (of lignite fame). The
main line on the other hand is full of important towns/cities.

{Vijay writes: I have always wondered why
the 132 km. Sawai Madhopur - Jaipur section is still MG. Converting it to BG
(doesn't seem to be a very tough proposition) would enable
Jaipur to be directly connected to the rest of India via Broad Gauge.
Any comments?}

Excellent idea!

Kumar

From: SC10000 <SC10%NEMOMUS.BITNET@ricevm1.email

Subject:

Date: 13 Sep 1989 19:11:00 -0500


HI GANG:
YOU GUYS DIDN'T HAVE ME ON FOR 10 DAYS AND NOW I INTEND TO MAKE UP FOR
LOST TIME. SO BE PREPARED TO BE BORED TO DEATH!

HERE ARE SOME CRAZY "THOUGHT" TRAINS:

(1) DELHI-SECUNDERABAD "SALARJUNG" EXPRESS: SUPERFAST METRE GAUGE TRAIN
WITH SUGGESTED STOPS AT JAIPUR, AJMER, NAGDA(?), AKOLA, AURANGABAD(?).
NAMED FOR THE FAMOUS SALARJUNG MUSEUM IN HYDERABAD. SUGGESTED RUNNING
TIME = 24 HRS. CONNECTS HISTORIC CITIES OF DELHI, JAIPUR, AURANGABAD
(AJANTA/ELLORA) AND HYDERABAD. HAS A RAJPUT/MOGHUL FLAVOR.

(2) VARANASI-RAMESWARAM "SANGEET/ISAI" EXPRESS: IT MAY SEEM THAT THIS
JUST DUPLICATES THE GANGA-KAVERI/MADRAS-RAMESWARAM EXPRESS, BUT I
PROPOSE A DIFFERENT SCHEME OF THINGS. BTW, ISAI IS THE TAMIL WORD FOR
MUSIC; I WILL EXPLAIN THE NAMING SCHEME BELOW. THIS WILL BE TWO TRAINS;
A BG TRAIN WILL LEAVE VARANASI NAMED THE "SANGEET" EXPRESS. THIS IS IN
HONOR OF BANARAS'S REPUTATION AS A GREAT CENTRE OF CLASSICAL MUSIC.
THE SANGEET EXPRESS COULD GO FROM VARANASI TO CHUNAR BYPASSING M'SARAI;
REVERSING AT CHUNAR AND USING THE CHUNAR-GARWA RD-CHOPAN LINE TO CONNECT
TO JHARSUGUDA (HOPEFULLY WITHOUTTOUCHING TATANAGAR). FROM JHARSUGUDA IT
COULD PROCEED VIA TITAGARH AND SAMBALPUR TO VISAKHAPATNAM. FROM VIZAG
IT COULD FOLLOW THE MADRAS LINE TILL GUDUR AND PROCEED TO ARAKKONAM VIA
RENIGUNTA. THE SANGEET EXPRESS WOULD TERMINATE AT ARAKKONAM; FROM HERE
THE ISAI EXPRESS TAKES OVER TRAVELLING ON METER GAUGE VIA KANCHIPURAM,
VILLUPURAM, MAYILLADUTHURAI, PERALAM, THIRUVAIARU (THE BIRTHPLACE OF
THYAGARAJA, THE SAINT OF CARNATIC MUSIC) AND REACHING MANAMADURAI. IT
THEN COULD PROCEED TO RAMESWARAM. THE SANGEET HAS AVOIDED MADRAS AND ITS
AUTOWALLAHS; SO PILGRIMS ETC. CAN DIRECTLY CHANGE TO THE ISAI AT
ARAKKONAM. ALSO MADRAS BOUND PASSENGERS WONT USE THE SANGEET UNLESS THEY
ARE DESPERATE.

(3) GUWAHATI-AHMEDABAD "BRAMHA-SABAR" EXPRESS: THIS BG TRAIN NAMED AFTER
THE RIVERS FLOWING THROUGH THE TWO CITIES WILL BE A SUPERFAST TRAIN
RUNNING VIA BARAUNI, PATNA, MUGHALSARAI, ALLAHABAD, KATNI, BINA, KOTA
(I THINK THERE IS A BG LINE BETWEEN KOTA AND BINA) AND VADODARA. THIS
TRAIN WILL PROVIDE A LINK BETWEEN ASSAM AND BIHAR IN THE EAST AND
RAJASTHAN AND GUJARAT IN THE WEST.

THAT'S ALL FOR NOW. CRITICISMS ARE WELCOME!

KUMAR

From: Vijay Balasubramanian <vbs@plumpy.email

Subject: Gauges, tracks, trains, ...

Date: 14 Sep 1989 12:21:00 -0500


Hi Guys,

Just cocked up something amusing:
Q. Why is Mr. X *only* interested in trains?
A. Because he has a *one-track* mind.

(Does this apply to you?)

Getting back to the main-stream....

Kumar writes:
> world); metre 1m; narrow 2'6";and narrow 2'. the broader gauge provides
> the most stability and hence for a given set of conditions i.e. track

Talking of coach stability, I remember having felt my MG coach actually
rock to the tune of gusts at Peralam Jn.; this was when I had boarded the
Tiruturaipundi-Mayuram (now Mayiladuturai) passenger.


Kumar writes:
> metre gauges were built to save $$$$ or rsrsrsrs. no other reason.
> stupid, considering that they are expensive to convert to broad; well
> we can conveniently blame the british for this!

Viceroys Lawrence and Mayo, did not maintain the insistence on a uniform
gauge (imposed by their predecessor Lord Dalhousie)
and introduced the Metre-Gauge for secondary lines. In fact, Mayo is reputed
to have said `When we have an elephant's load, we may use an elephant, but
when we have only a donkey's load, we have to use a donkey'. This dubious
analogy led not only to much MG construction but much narrow-gauge as well,
even in plains where there was little advantage.


Kumar writes:
> remembered that the kottavalasa to kirandul line in india is broad gauge
> too; this was completed in the 70's. this line is fully electrified and
> climbs to over 5000'. reason; to sell iron ore to japan via vizag for

A new line between Rayagada (in the Raipur-Vizianagaram section) and Koraput
(in the Kottavalasa-Kirandul section) completed around the end of last
year, has now acquired the distinction of having the highest BG station in
India. I don't remember the station, though. Details would be welcome.


Kumar writes:
> gauge. i believe that there are signs which read something like "oops!
> what a curve, 60' radius!" along the tracks. the most famous loop is the

The 2' Neral-Matheran line reduces problems on the mountainside to a minimum
by having even sharper curves than the Darjeeling line. I have
traveled once on this line, and vaguely recall having observed
"oops! what a curve, 45' radius!" signs. This line is completedly dieselized.

Kumar writes:
> political. australia is one of the worst examples; even today, i believe
> that gauges change at state boundaries except for a few trunk lines. in

Did you know that Australia has the longest dead straight stretch of railway
track in the world? This 300-odd miles of track runs across the Nullarbor
plains and is part of the Port Augusta - Kalgoorlie line.


Kumar writes:
> THANK THE GODS THAT THE TRAIN WASN'T RE-ROUTED THRU MALDA BY GHANI KHAN
> (NO OFFENCE MEANT TO MALDA-ITES).

Our great(!@@#$%) Ghani Khan Choudhary had plans to slice off a part of
Eastern Rly. in order to open up a new zonal division with Malda as the
headquarters. Thank God, it didn't materialize. Well, he did introduce the
Kanchenjunga superfast Exp. between Howrah and New Jalpaiguri (now extended
till Guwahati), and the Gour Exp. between Sealdah and Malda Town.


> Vijay writes:
> The Tiruchi.-Villupuram GC section is heavily tilted towards fast low-halt

An inane remark on my part; why the hell did I confuse the Tiruchi-Villupuram
chord with the Sitarampur-Mughal Sarai Grand Chord section?!!


Kumar writes:
> train accident associated with the Pamban bridge linking Rameswaram to
> the mainland. {BTW, Rameswaram is linked ONLY by a railway bridge; they
> are building a road bridge.} This unfortunate train was washed away by a

Wasn't this the worst train disaster in the history of IR? The fact that the
bridge was open on both sides (unlike the truss bridges) must have contributed
to the disaster. Another tragedy that comes to my mind is the derailment of the
overloaded Samastipur-Banmakhi passanger *ON* a bridge resulting in the coaches
falling into the river, with more than 300 fatalities.


Kumar writes:
> Another oldie is the Madras-Rameswaram Express (via the main line). This

The recently introduced Kamban Exp. runs between Madras and Karaikkudi;
the train branches off the main line at Mayiladuturai and goes via
Peralam, Tiruvarur and Tiruturaipundi.


Bye for now,

More later,

Vijay

From: Vijay Balasubramanian <vbs@plumpy.email

Subject: Rake sharing!

Date: 14 Sep 1989 15:35:00 -0500


Hi Folks!

Carrying on the rambling.......


Dheeraj writes
> manage the coaches better. Many rakes were being used exclusively
> for a single train, and that sometimes caused the rake to be idle for
> upto a day, beyond its regular maintainace period. This was changed
> and now, the same rakes could be used for other trains, resulting in

The problem of rake misutilization usually arises in the case of
non-daily trains. Daily trains have a gap of around 8-12 hours at their
terminii needed for maintenance activities. There seems to be no apparent
reason to strip off their colors. e.g. the white'n'brown Kalka and Frontier
Mails which now don the red monotone. (Of course, some coaches in the Frontier
Mail used to get transfered to the Jammu Tawi Mail)

As far as the non-daily superfasts are concerned, rake utilization could be
enhanced by intelligent rake sharing among superfasts (as pointed out
by Dheeraj) rather than adopting the cheap solution of color stripping. In
fact, the Ganga-Kaveri Exp. and the Varanasi-Durg Sarnath Exp. used to share
rakes (intially Orange-Blue colored, changed to Green-yellow) before
they changed their schedules.

...and yes, the Bombay-Delhi Rajdhani Exp. used to share its rakes with
the weekly Bombay-Ahmedabad superfast, Week-end AC Exp. This was around 1981
when the Rajdhani had only 9 coaches to its credit, and was on the rails
four days every week. Within a year, the Rajdhani acquired a brand new
set of 18 coaches fitted with air-braking (for superior braking); this put an
end to the rake sharing. The Rajdhani's frequency was then increased to five
days a week. Simultaneously, the Week-end AC exp. was cancelled.


Watch out for my next mail! Kumar's "new" trains have motivated me to
describe my "introductions", which number nearly thirty!

Bye for now,

With regards,
Vijay

From: SC10000 <SC10%NEMOMUS.BITNET@ricevm1.email

Subject:

Date: 14 Sep 1989 20:46:00 -0500


HI FOLKS!

COULDN'T RESIST THE TEMPTATION OF POSTING MORE THOUGHT TRAINS.

I HAVE FELT THAT GOA WAS KIND OF NEGLECTED BY IR. I AM A STRONG
SUPPORTER OF THE KONKAN RAILWAY; I THINK THE STRETCH OF THE COAST
BETWEEN B'BAY AND M'LORE LOOKS NAKED WITHOUT A BLACK LINE RUNNING
ALONG THE COAST ON MAPS. HERE ARE SOME TRAINS TO GOA ON EXISTING
TRACKS.

(1) NEW DELHI/BOMBAY - MARMAGOA"GOA/MANDOVI EXPRESS": A BI-WEEKLY
GOA EXPRESS DEPARTS FROM NEW DELHI VIA AGRA CANTT., JHANSI, BHOPAL,
ITARSI, BHUSAVAL, MANMAD, DHAUND, PUNE, KOLHAPUR TO REACH MIRAJ.
THE PART TILL PUNE DUPLICATES THE JHELUM EXPRESS FROM NDLS. A MG
GOA EXPRESS TAKES OVER AND RUNS TO MARMAGOA VIA LONDA AND MADGAON.
THE OTHER FIVE DAYS, THE MANDOVI EXPRESS RUNS FROM B'BAY VT TO MIRAJ
TO CONNECT TO THE MG MANDOVI EXPRESS. MANDOVI IS A RIVER IN GOA.

(2) BANGALORE CITY-MARMAGOA "BAGH-SAGAR" EXPRESS: THIS MG TRAIN
CONNECTS THE GARDEN CITY WITH THE LAND OF BEACHES. THIS COULD HAVE
STOPS AT HASAN, SHIMOGA(?), HUBLI/DHARWAR, BELGAUM, LONDA AND MADGAON.

MULL OVER THIS FOLKS,

KUMAR

From: SC10000 <SC10%NEMOMUS.BITNET@ricevm1.email

Subject:

Date: 15 Sep 1989 16:22:00 -0500


HI FOLKS!

VIJAY, I AM EAGERLY AWAITING YOUR "THOUGHT" TRAINS. DID YOU FOLKS KNOW
THAT THE FRENCH RAILWAYS ARE SOON GOING TO OPEN A NEW TGV LINE FROM
PARIS TO LE MANS (I THINK) TO BE EVENTUALLY EXTENDED TO BORDEUX. THIS
LINE IS GOING TO BE CALLED "TGV ATLANTIQUE" AND WILL HAVE TRAINS RUNNING
AT CLOSE TO 200 MPH SPEEDS MAKING IT FASTER THAN THE OLDER TGV LINE FROM
PARIS TO LEON? AN INTERESTING FACT: ON THE PARIS TO LEON LINE, THE TGV'S
SHARE THE TRACKS WITH THE REGULAR TRAINS FOR SOME DISTANCE FROM PARIS TO
THE SUBURBS. THEY THEN SWITCH TO THE TGV LINE WHICH HAS A DIFFERENT
POWER SUPPLY. THE TGV ENGINES CAN RUN ON EITHER POWER SUPPLY; BUT HAVE
TO CHANGE PANTOGRAPHS. FOR A SHORT DISTANCE WHILE SWITCHING TRACKS AND
PANTOGRAPHS THE TGV ROARS PAST *WITHOUT* POWER.

THE FRANCE TO ENGLAND "CHUNNEL" UNDER THE ENGLISH CHANNEL IS GOING TO BE
ONLY FOR PASSENGER AND CAR CARRYING TRAINS. THE TRAIN FROM PARIS WILL
ROAR TOWARDS THE CHANNEL AS A TGV AT SPEEDS OF 200 MPH OR MORE. HOWEVER
ONCE IT CROSSES THE CHANNEL IT WILL PLOD ALONG TO LONDON AT SPEEDS OF
100 MPH OR LESS. THIS IS BECAUSE OF OPPOSITION TO HIGH SPEED TRAINS
AMONG BRITONS LIVING IN SOUTH LONDON. MY FEELING IS THAT BRITONS ARE
DEEPLY SUSPICIOUS OF ANYTHING THAT THREATENS TO END THEIR GEOGRAPHIC
ISOLATION AND HENCE DON'T WANT TO WELCOME ANY DIRECT PARIS TO LONDON
TRAIN.

ALSO THE POSSIBILITY OF A TGV TYPE TRAIN ACROSS WESTERN EUROPE SEEMS DIM
AT THE MOMENT. IT SEEMS THAT THE W. GERMANS CONSIDER THEMSELVES AS
HIGH SPEED TRAIN RIVALS TO THE FRENCH AND ARE REFUSING TO STANDARDISE
THEIR TRACK EQUIPMENT TO THE FRENCH (TGV) SPECIFICATIONS.

SOUTH KOREA IS ACTIVELY CONSIDERING A HIGH-SPEED LINE TO LINK SEOUL WITH
PUSAN (THE 2ND LARGEST CITY) ON THE SOUTH-EASTERN COAST. THERE IS NO
CERTAINTY THAT THIS LINE WILL MIMICK THE SHINKANSEN: THE JAPANESE HAVE
BEEN INVITED TO SUGGEST A PLAN BUT SO HAVE THE FRENCH AND THE
W. GERMANS. HISTORICAL REASONS WOULD SEEM TO SUGGEST THAT THE KOREAN
PEOPLE WOULD WANT SOMETHING DISTINCT FROM THE JAPANESE SHINKANSEN.

THE PROSPECTS FOR HIGH-SPEED TRAINS IN THE US SEEM DIM. TO CALL THE
BOSTON-WASHIGTON DC LINE A HIGH SPEED LINE IS STRETCHING ONE'S
IMAGINATION. THE ONLY PROPOSAL WITH SOME PROMISE SEEMS TO BE A LINE
BETWEEN LOS ANGELES AND LAS VEGAS; THIS LINE IS INTENDED TO SHIP
TO BE GAMBLERS TO LAS VEGAS, RELIEVE THEM OF SOME CASH AND THEN
QUICKLY SHIP THEM BACK TO LA BEFORE THEY KNOW WHAT HIT THEM!

KUMAR

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