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From: BSR SHARMA <>

Subject: Re: Favorite train

Date: 16 Nov 1998 09:52:55 -0500


> contribute to - "What is your favorite train and
why?"

My favorite train was (is?) Grand Trunk Express from
Delhi to Madras during 1982-84. (I used to travel
from Kanpur to Madras and board at Jhansi). It was
extremely punctual and reliable with fairly good
on-board service, though not particularly fast. Is it
still around?

B.S.R.Sharma
San Diego

_________________________________________________________
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From: Apurva Bahadur <>

Subject: Re: Pune - Nashik and a few more dream trains

Date: 16 Nov 1998 09:55:45 -0500


Or is it that twin engines are not possible while coming down the
> ghats? or else the railways could have this type of train way back.
> Please add technical info to this, which I lack.

Like Harsh said, the time taken for Pune Nashik by road is less than
the time taken for even a fast train to get from Pune to Manmad. There
are no cargo centers (except the giant sugar factories near Ahmednagar
?) to cater, hence perhaps we will never see a Pune Nashik train. But
there is a talk of a new railway line which would follow the Pune -
Nashik road - the preliminary survey is complete - it would bifurcate
the Mumbai line somewhere near Akurdi. There are people like me who
dread the deadly Pune - Nashik drive due to the bad road and the two
ghats enroute. An overnight sleeping train on the lines of Sahyadri
express to Kolhapur will be nice. After all Pune - Kolhapur is only 4 -
5 hours by a superb road, but the Sahyadri express (which takes over 8
hours) is always in demand.
I am always thinking about the routes which are virtually 'road only' to
be converted to rail travel. Pune - Dombivali - Vasai - Borivali -
Andheri - Bandra Terminus is one such possible train which would replace
20 odd buses to the western suburbs of Mumbai. Pune - Indore is another
such route. A backbreaking (and feet swelling)bus ride of 12 - 15 hours
is the only way to Indore today. Lucky Mumbaikars have the overnight
Avantika express to Indore but no such train from Pune. Pune - Indore
train is not Apu's dream - it is topic of regular discussion in the Pune
newspapers (and promises of many politicians!)
Come to think of it - what would be the shorter route for Pune - Indore.
Here are the alternatives.
1) Pune - Daund - Manmad - Bhusawal - Khandwa - change of gauge to MG -
Indore by MG . This is the shortest route. This must have guaranteed
reservation like BG & MG Goa Express - the MG super waited for the BG
super even if the BG arrived as late as it would.
2) Pune - Kalyan - Dombivali - Vasai - Baroda - Ratlam - Nagda - Ujjain
- Indore (this is almost the route of the Avantika Exp)
3) Pune - Daund - Manmad - Bhusawal - Khandwa - Itarsi - Bhopal - Ujjain
- Indore (most likely route if this train ever materializes)
4) One more - By the little used Jalgaon - Nadurbar - Udhna - Surat link
to the WR.

Harsh - I agree that Pune - Nashik is impractical but Pune Indore is
very much the need of the day. Lobby for this train you Delhi dweller !

Apurva

From: Apurva Bahadur <>

Subject: New types of Diesel locos

Date: 16 Nov 1998 10:28:34 -0500


Gang !

I.S. Anand (the photographer of the mystery train on Daboo's book's
cover) just called me. He was quite upset that we dare discuss the issue
of which train that really was. If I.S. Anand says that this is the Goa
Express then it IS the Goa Express. This must be true gang - this is the
Goa express is some freak livery and with an out of turn KJM loco. He
says that he actually shot this picture last year because of the unusual
livery and the unusual loco. Anand is quite sure that he saw the name
plate he justifies that this train had a pantry car which the Udayan
Express lacks.

More news from Anand - Some sheds deep in the SR (where they have a lot
more autonomy and creativity) have moved the dynamic brake grids from
the short hood of WDM 2s and converted the cab to a proper twin
windscreen full width cab loco. The cab has been moved right on the edge
and the dynamic grids and blower are located between the cab and engine
compartment. I have also seen these locos in an Indian Railway mag but
did not pay much attention to them. I could find a picture soon enough
for all of you to see.
He also has pics of WDP 2 which is full width body and shares a cab from
the WAPx ! The prime mover diesel is located inside a body and can be
approached from inside - no catwalks. I have a fleeting suspicion here
- the GT 46 MACs look a lot like WAPx s. Maybe the GE actually looked at
our locos before beginning work :-)
I have a picture of a TKD shed WDP 1 somewhere. It is a Bo Bo loco with
the silly 'balding forehead' short hood of the WDG 1. But a full width
diesel with a WAP like front end would be very nice.

Request to Rajan in Chembur - Please contact I.S. Anand on (022) 5226163
(also Chembur) and lead him to the nearest cyber cafe to give him a few
glimpses of the internet. Better still make him a member of the IRFCA
right away. It appears that I.S. Anand is actually interested in the
internet after all, only need to be guided properly. If Sundar is
reading this - he could also contact Anand and do the needful.

Apurva

From: Madhav Acharya <>

Subject: Re: Program on the Discovery channel

Date: 16 Nov 1998 11:16:16 -0500


Apurva,

I think there are a lot more unmanned level crossings in the US
than in India - simply because there are fewer people you can employ
to do the job of lowering and raising the barrier. Also, most of the
crossings
I've seen are half-crossings (they block one lane of traffic) and not
full
crossings. So people would find it easier to go around unlike India
where
only cyclists/two-wheeler drivers can do so. Some of the accidents
could definitely be avoided and are not due to last minute error
but due to poor design. One that was in the news for a while concerned a
freight train ramming a school bus and killing some kids. The reason
for this was that the bus had stopped at a traffic light immediately
after
the level
crossing - but half the bus was still on the tracks ! when the gates
were
lowered
for the train, the light was still red so the bus couldn't go anywhere.
This led to
a big investigation into why the light was so close to the tracks blah
blah.

Off the topic - I work near a big refinery and we have gasoline and
other
chemicals taken
out by rail. I noticed that the bogies for carrying liquid product here
are
quite a bit longer
than in India (the stuff that is "NOT TO BE LOOSED SHUNTED"). Or do we
have
longer
bogies in India as well ? The bogie looks basically like a cylinder with
rounded caps on either end (I
apologize to those who know the exact name for this type of wagon).
Another
thing
I noticed is that the people assisting with the shunting end up
communicating with the
driver via walkie -talkie instead of flags - probably because of the
distance to the loco.
I recall reading something about intercoms being made standard on
express
trains - has
that gone into effect ?

Madhav

From: Balasubramanian, Vijay <>

Subject: Re: Favorite train

Date: 16 Nov 1998 11:42:03 -0500


> My favorite train was (is?) Grand Trunk Express from
> Delhi to Madras during 1982-84. (I used to travel
> from Kanpur to Madras and board at Jhansi). It was
> extremely punctual and reliable with fairly good
> on-board service, though not particularly fast. Is it
> still around?
>
> B.S.R.Sharma
> San Diego
>

The Grand Trunk Exp. is very much around. You may be pleased to note
that
it has been speeded up by nearly 45-50 mts. Interestingly, you and
Kumar
share the same favorite train. Isn't it so, Kumar?

Vijay

From: Balasubramanian, Vijay <>

Subject: Manmad Jn.

Date: 16 Nov 1998 12:17:15 -0500


Hi Folks,

I was looking at the TAAG map and spotted Ankai next to Manmad. As
Apurva
pointed out, the Nanded and Daund lines are shown diverging from Ankai.
Following is my perception of the lines at Manmad. Please make
corrections,
if necessary:


---------------------Manmad
----------------
From Nasik Rd. -> -------------------- Station
------------------
-> To Chalisgaon
/ \
/
/
\
/
/
\
/
|
|
/
| Ankai Fort |
| /
|
| /
|
| /
|
| /
|
|
|
/
\
/
\
/
\
Daund
Aurangabad/Nanded

So no direction reversals for Nasik Rd.-Manmad-Chalisgaon/Aurangabad
and
Daund-Manmad-Chalisgaon.
A Daund-Nasik train will use the crossover line just before (after?) it
passes Ankai Fort to join the Nanded line and enter
Manmad so that it faces Nasik. On the other hand, this crossover line
could
also be used to bypass Manmad altogether.
Corrections?

Vijay

From: ranand <>

Subject: Re: Favorite train

Date: 16 Nov 1998 12:18:22 -0500


My favorite train is the old single headed TN express
(121/122) with the 29 hour schedule (now followed by the
current Rajdhani). This train had a shortened rake (only 11
coaches in all) with two generator cars. I travelled by this
train several times between 1976 and 1979 before double heading
and the big slowdown (precipitated by the big accident of 1982).
It was a real superstar on the route at the time and gave me
no end of pleasure to go through stations that all other trains
stopped at.

While looking through the timetables kindly sent by Apurva,
I realized that the old Bombay-Madras Janata express (13/14)
has been replaced by the Chennai-Dadar Express (1063/1064) and
the old Dadar-Madras express has now become Mumbai-Chennai
(6611/6612?) express. When did these changes occur? Amazingly,
the latter still follows the same timings practically unchanged from
1970!!! My first memory of the old 11Dn/12Up was in December 1970
by the old second class.

Anand

Internet: anand@watson.email
External tel: (914) 784 7054
Notes: Rangachari Anand/Watson/IBM@IBMUS
Tie-line: 863 7054

From: Balasubramanian, Vijay <>

Subject: Re: Pune - Nashik and a few more dream trains

Date: 16 Nov 1998 12:42:41 -0500


> 1) Pune - Daund - Manmad - Bhusawal - Khandwa - change of
> gauge to MG -
> Indore by MG . This is the shortest route. This must have guaranteed
> reservation like BG & MG Goa Express - the MG super waited for the BG
> super even if the BG arrived as late as it would.

I am sure that Ratlam-Indore-Khandwa-Akola-Purna will eventually be
converted to BG so that
this becomes the shorest BG route.


> 2) Pune - Kalyan - Dombivali - Vasai - Baroda - Ratlam -
> Nagda - Ujjain
> - Indore (this is almost the route of the Avantika Exp)

Should take about 18 1/2 hrs. Is the shortest BG route, at present.


> 3) Pune - Daund - Manmad - Bhusawal - Khandwa - Itarsi -
> Bhopal - Ujjain
> - Indore (most likely route if this train ever materializes)

Should take about 20 1/2 hrs.

Here's another reason why route 2 may be preferred. At present, there
is
only the triweekly(?) Ahimsa Exp. and the weekly Rajkot-Coimbatore Exp.
to
connect Pune with the Vasai-Vadodara route. Pune-Indore Exp. via WR
(route
2) will provide an additional train between Pune and
Valsad, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, and will be the first to connect
Godhra,
Ratlam, Nagda, Ujjain
with Pune. We already have three trains employing Route 3 till Bhopal
-
Jhelum, Goa and Swarnajayanti, so stations between Daund-Bhopal are
well-connected with Pune.

Vijay

From: Prakash Tendulkar <>

Subject: IR Website

Date: 16 Nov 1998 13:07:13 -0500


IR website is a good start (except the picture of ugly US loco).
There are some typo errors, though, that make fun of the original
intentions.

On <A HREF="http://www.indianrailway.com/railway/tourist/hill.html#matheran">http://www.indianrailway.com/railway/tourist/hill.html#matheran</A>
it states: "Matheran: Closed to the business city of Mumbai, "

Is Matheran CLOSED to Mumbaiwallahs?

I wish they ask Apurva to "loan" tem some good pictures.

Prakash

From: Balasubramanian, Vijay <>

Subject: Re: Manmad Jn. (2nd attempt)

Date: 16 Nov 1998 13:10:02 -0500


The layout got messed up, so here's another attempt:

> Hi Folks,
>
> I was looking at the TAAG map and spotted Ankai next to
> Manmad. As Apurva
> pointed out, the Nanded and Daund lines are shown diverging
> from Ankai.
> Following is my perception of the lines at Manmad. Please
> make corrections,
> if necessary:
>
>
-----------Manmad------------
From --------- Station------------ -> To
Nasik / \ / Chalisgaon
/ \ /
/ \ /
| | /
|Ankai Fort | /
| |
| / |
| / |
| / |
| / |
|/ |
| |
/ \
/ \
Daund Nanded

> So no direction reversals for Nasik
> Rd.-Manmad-Chalisgaon/Aurangabad and
> Daund-Manmad-Chalisgaon.
> A Daund-Nasik train will use the crossover line just before
> (after?) it
> passes Ankai Fort to join the Nanded line and enter
> Manmad so that it faces Nasik. On the other hand, this
> crossover line could
> also be used to bypass Manmad altogether.
> Corrections?
>
> Vijay
>

From: Shanku Niyogi <>

Subject: Re: Favorite train

Date: 16 Nov 1998 13:17:52 -0500


My favorite train would have to be the Doon Express from Howrah to Dehra
Dun, mainly because I took it so many times. If you're religious, you've
gotta love a train that goes through Gaya, Varanasi, and Haridwar (all
during daylight too!). And the adventure with ticketless passengers
between
Varanasi and Lucknow is quite, well, interesting.

Although I'd have to agree with Annie, there's nothing like the Calcutta
locals for drama and intrigue. Unlike, say, the Mumbai locals, where
there
isn't much physical space for drama and intrigue, unless the back of the
shirt of the guy your face is pressed against is very exciting. :) For
example: My father once discovered 3 minutes after boarding a train that
there was another man inside his shirt - the guy had crouched down and
crept
in from the bottom, and was working away at the pocket with the wallet
in
it. He got a vocal reprimand from my father, and a cheery beating from
everyone else - luckily for him, the next station was not too far away.

Of course, if you really want to experience the bizarre side of Bengal
suburban travel, take one of the longer distance commuter trains, like
the
Gede Fast Passenger....now that's good stuff for the senses.

-----Original Message-----
From: ranand@us.email [mailto:ranand@us.email
Sent: Monday, November 16, 1998 12:18 PM
To: irfca@cs.email
Subject: RE: Favorite train


My favorite train is the old single headed TN express
(121/122) with the 29 hour schedule (now followed by the
current Rajdhani). This train had a shortened rake (only 11
coaches in all) with two generator cars. I travelled by this
train several times between 1976 and 1979 before double heading
and the big slowdown (precipitated by the big accident of 1982).
It was a real superstar on the route at the time and gave me
no end of pleasure to go through stations that all other trains
stopped at.

While looking through the timetables kindly sent by Apurva,
I realized that the old Bombay-Madras Janata express (13/14)
has been replaced by the Chennai-Dadar Express (1063/1064) and
the old Dadar-Madras express has now become Mumbai-Chennai
(6611/6612?) express. When did these changes occur? Amazingly,
the latter still follows the same timings practically unchanged from
1970!!! My first memory of the old 11Dn/12Up was in December 1970
by the old second class.

Anand

Internet: anand@watson.email
External tel: (914) 784 7054
Notes: Rangachari Anand/Watson/IBM@IBMUS
Tie-line: 863 7054

From: Balasubramanian, Vijay <>

Subject: Re: Favorite train

Date: 16 Nov 1998 13:49:04 -0500



> My favorite train is the old single headed TN express
> (121/122) with the 29 hour schedule (now followed by the
> current Rajdhani). This train had a shortened rake (only 11
> coaches in all) with two generator cars. I travelled by this
> train several times between 1976 and 1979 before double heading
> and the big slowdown (precipitated by the big accident of 1982).
> It was a real superstar on the route at the time and gave me
> no end of pleasure to go through stations that all other trains
> stopped at.

I actually have the article on the inaugural run of the TN exp. on Aug.
7,
1976.
The Tamilnadu Exp. would cover the 2188 km. distance in about 30 hrs.
With only four passenger stops - Jhansi, Bhopal, Nagpur and Vijayawada-
and
two service stops at Amla and Balharshah, this is the fastest train
covering
such a long distance over some of the most difficult terrain travesed by
the
Indian Railways. The train has 13 coaches consisting of one AC First
Class
(18 berths), one AC 2-tier sleeper coach (48 berths), two AC Chair Cars
(146
seats), two non-AC First Class coaches, four non-AC 2nd 2-tier sleeper
coaches, one kitchen car and two power cars. Madras to New Delhi
passengers
would get South Indian meals for lunch and North Indian meals for
dinner,
and vice versa in the other dirn. Water coolers are available in the
coaches of this train. Meals prepared in the base kitchens at
Vijayawada,
Balharshah, Jhansi and Amla are collected in stainless steel thali sets
and
kept in hot cases provided in the kitchen car. Closed circuit TV is
operated in the AC chair cars providing interesting documentary and
feature
films. Passengers also have the facility of a mobile
library-cum-bookstall.
[Anand, did you avail of all these facilities?]


> While looking through the timetables kindly sent by Apurva,
> I realized that the old Bombay-Madras Janata express (13/14)
> has been replaced by the Chennai-Dadar Express (1063/1064) and
> the old Dadar-Madras express has now become Mumbai-Chennai
> (6611/6612?) express. When did these changes occur? Amazingly,
> the latter still follows the same timings practically unchanged from
> 1970!!! My first memory of the old 11Dn/12Up was in December 1970
> by the old second class.

The Janata Exp. was terminated soon after the introduction of the
Chennai
Exp. (mid-80s?) It used to skip Khadki and Shivajinagar but halt at Dehu
Rd.
instead. A couple more halts were added to the Dadar-Madras Exp. (in
the
Gooty-Renigunta section) to compensate for this. The extension of the
Dadar-Madras Exp. to Mumbai happened about 5 years back.

When I was very young, I was told by some of my friends that the
Dadar-Madras Exp. is more prestigious than other trains in its route
since
it is operated by a 'Blue Diesel' as opposed to a 'Red Diesel'. And I
believed them :-)

Vijay

>
> Anand

From: ranand <>

Subject: Re: Favorite train

Date: 16 Nov 1998 14:39:51 -0500



> [Anand, did you avail of all these facilities?]

Actually I did. The library worked on the interesting principle
that you actually bought the book and then sold it back
to the library at the end of the journey! I once realized
that I forgot to return the book and had to run back to
the library located at the end of one of the second
sleepers at Basin Bridge.

The closed circuit TVs showed movies and documentaries but
the sound was broadcast over the speakers so you had to see the
movie whether you wanted to or not. Also, the TVs were held
up by rather rickety looking steel bars from the roof so I was glad that
never had to sit under one of them!

All the people from AC sleeper used to crowd the chair car during
the movies. While the movies were being played, the AC sleeper
could listen to the sound over the PA system. AC First class
had the additional nice feature that there was a volume
control for each compartment.

>When I was very young, I was told by some of my friends that the
>Dadar-Madras Exp. is more prestigious than other trains in its route
since
>it is operated by a 'Blue Diesel' as opposed to a 'Red Diesel'. And I
>believed them :-)

Amazing! I too was told the same story! Incidentally, the blue
WDM2s from my memory had better sounding horns. While
the red WDM2s has flat sounding horns went "parp", the
blue engines had multi-trumpet melodious horns.

Anand

Internet: anand@watson.email
External tel: (914) 784 7054
Notes: Rangachari Anand/Watson/IBM@IBMUS
Tie-line: 863 7054

From: VIRAF P.. MULLA <>

Subject: Re: IR website

Date: 16 Nov 1998 18:30:01 -0500



> Even the ads of Central Railway in June 1998
> for the Kurla Mangalore Superfast Express - now the Matsyagandha
Express
> in major papers here showed a loco cruising down the coast
> The loco was like one of those Union Pacific or Santa Fe diesels.
> A shame here too....

It seems our railways are very conscious to feature their locos or the
PRO
doesn't seem to have enough pictures of our locos. Might be we can help.
Central Railway always show the Australian Diesels.

==========================
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: Manmad Jn. (2nd attempt)

Date: 16 Nov 1998 19:02:58 -0500


> > Following is my perception of the lines at Manmad. Please
> > make corrections.

Looks correct from whatever I have seen.

Does anyone remember the period of time, during
the conversion, when there was a mixed gauge line
running out of Manmad ? It featured some interesting
concrete sleepers to take three rails.

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

From: Jayant S <>

Subject: Huh ?

Date: 16 Nov 1998 19:25:12 -0500


<A HREF="http://www.indianrailway.com/railway/tourist/hill.html#matheran">http://www.indianrailway.com/railway/tourist/hill.html#matheran</A>

I wonder what on earth the little NRM train is doing here......
I always found it cute that they put a dummy chopper-type
coupler on the loco, visible in this photo.

Could those of us who have great IR shots contribute to them ?
IR have made a good start by putting up a website. Some help
from IRFCA would help.

JS

From: Anne Ogborn <>

Subject: Re: IR website

Date: 16 Nov 1998 20:51:36 -0500




Apurva Bahadur wrote:

> The loco shown in the
> <A HREF="http://www.indianrailway.com/railway/overview/statcont.html">http://www.indianrailway.com/railway/overview/statcont.html</A>
> is some green American loco ! Shame.

Sadly, yes, it's a Burlington Northern U-boat (I'm horrid at identifying
dismals, I'm
unsure what # - maybe a U-33)

Of course, the Burlington Northern is no more, having merged with the
Santa Fe
as BNSF (really an SF takeover).

Sigh - does this mean IR is going to become part of SF too? =8X

From: Anne Ogborn <>

Subject: Re: IR website

Date: 16 Nov 1998 20:55:43 -0500




Shankar wrote:

> Indeed.
> What on earth is a Burlington Northern diesel unit doing on an
OFFICIAL IR
> website?
> It should be replaced with something to do with the IR pronto.
> Best regards.
> Shankar
>
> At 02:26 PM 11/16/98 +0530, you wrote:
> >The loco shown in the
> ><A HREF="http://www.indianrailway.com/railway/overview/statcont.html">http://www.indianrailway.com/railway/overview/statcont.html</A>
> >is some green American loco ! Shame.
> >
> >

I tried to contact them, but the contact button doesn't work - looking
at the
source, it's not
even wired up!

From: Anne Ogborn <>

Subject: Re: Discovery channel

Date: 16 Nov 1998 21:38:18 -0500


>
> Forgive this ignorant nerd but what on earth is PBS??!!?
>
> HARSH

Sorry, Harsh - PBS is the "Public Broadcasting System", the US
equivilant of Doodarshan.

From: Anne Ogborn <>

Subject: Re: Program on the Discovery channel

Date: 16 Nov 1998 21:51:57 -0500


>
> Off the topic - I work near a big refinery and we have gasoline and
other
> chemicals taken
> out by rail. I noticed that the bogies for carrying liquid product
here are
> quite a bit longer
> than in India (the stuff that is "NOT TO BE LOOSED SHUNTED"). Or do we
have
> longer
> bogies in India as well ? The bogie looks basically like a cylinder
with
> rounded caps on either end (I
> apologize to those who know the exact name for this type of wagon).

It's a tank car. Far as I know the trucks are the same as any other
freight car

trucks, but yes, tank cars can be quite long. If they have rounded caps,
they
may be
propane tankers, carrying propane under pressure, in which case they'll
be
quite long.

> Another
> thing
> I noticed is that the people assisting with the shunting end up
> communicating with the
> driver via walkie -talkie instead of flags - probably because of the
> distance to the loco.
> I recall reading something about intercoms being made standard on
express
> trains - has
> that gone into effect ?
>
> Madhav

Yes, there's some new rule about requiring certain train personnel to
have
radios.
But, the RR's have had them for a long time anyway - they vastly
increase the
amount
of switching a small crew can do.

Near where I work there's a siding that angles away from the main line,
cutting
through an
industrial area (and crossing near my building, lucky me!). It services
a
couple of industries
to the north, then swings sharply south and runs down a street,
servicing
several more, including
a very active plant that ships something in tank cars.

Sometimes I'll see them pull a manuver where the brakeman will get off
on the
street
in front of our office, walk down the sidewalk, cutting the corner while
the
train trundles down
to the turnaround and back, and throw the switch ahead of them at the
plant on
our street.
They'd never be able to coordinate that without the radio!

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