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From: Dheeraj Sanghi <>

Subject: Re: Taking photos!

Date: 27 Feb 1991 16:55:00 -0500


I had no problems taking pictures this time. Sometimes I would ask
the engine driver but at other occasions I would just shoot. Nobody
ever protested.

On a different note, I recall somebody mentioning here that IR has
only 2 or 3 WAP-1 engines and that was the reason for keeping the
maxm speed of Shatabdis to 130 KMPH or so. (So that in case of some
breakdown WAM-4 or WDM-4 can haul the same train without delaying
it.) This time I noticed that both Howrah and Bombay Rajdhanis
and Shatabdis to Lucknow (electric upto Kanpur) and to Bhopal are
hauled by WAP-1 engines. That makes it a minimum of 4 engines. All
engines were attached to the Ghaziabad loco shed near Delhi. I was
surprised to note that the Bombay Rajdhani was electric only between
Delhi and Ratlam. After that it was hauled by two WDM-4 engines.
I think earlier on, they were using WAM-4 until Vadodra, and WACM-1
between Vadodra and Bombay.

-dheeraj

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <>

Subject: Re: Calcutta Metro

Date: 27 Feb 1991 17:05:00 -0500


I don't think deserts are so bad for the railway lines. It was just
that in the beginning British govt. gave loans to construct only
broad gauge tracks. They leased govt. owned land for free and gave
tax benefits to the railway companies. For some time they even guaranteed
a fixed rate of return. All this only for companies that would build
BG tracks. The poor states could not build railroads even with these
incentives. In 1880s, after some war (Punjab or Afghan or somewhere),
they wanted a much accelerated program to connect every major city
with railroads. At this time they started allowing MG tracks. That is
when railroad construction started in Rajasthan and Gujarat.

-dheeraj

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <>

Subject: Re: This and That

Date: 27 Feb 1991 17:10:00 -0500


Vijay writes:

>As far as the Bhopal Shatabdi is concerned, could you feel the differenc
>in speeds when compared to other trains (~ 40 kmph). Also, what is the
>maximum speed of the Kanpur Shatabdi? 120 kmph. or more?

All the three trains I travelled were hauled by WAP-1, so I guess
their wouldn't be much difference in speeds, except may be the maxm
speed for Shatabdis is probably 10 KMPH higher than Rajdhanis.

>IR was supposed to have set-up links between Bombay-Calcutta and Bombay-
>Madras for return reservations facility. Any idea what stage is it in?

I believe that currently one can make reservations at any of the
four metros for trains starting at any other metro.

-dheeraj

From: Atul A. Patankar <patankar@ms.email

Subject:

Date: 27 Feb 1991 23:17:00 -0500


Hello there,

This thing about talking the railway employees into bending the rules slightly
reminds me of my Kharagpur days. The Bombay Gitanjali had no halt at Kharagpur
in my time. Due to the acute shortage of reservations on the
Bombay-Cal. section, sometimes we were forced to travel by Gitanjali and no
student wanted to go through the pain of changing trains at Tatanagar or
Howrah which meant a delay of at least 5 hours. So we used to sweet talk to the
Gitanjali driver at Tatanagar and he would invariably succumb. He would slow
the train down to a crawl while negotiating the maze of tracks before Kharagpur
station and honk a lot and the waiting students jumped down. Apparently the
train cannot be brought to a standstill because it would then get recorded in
the guard's log as well. Also, we didnt want the guilt of chainpulling on our
conscience. I guess this way everyone was happy. Also, from that point to the
hostel, the rickshaw fare was 2 Rs cheaper, which mattered a lot in those days.
We had to avoid carrying hard casing bags on Gitanjali since they sometimes
needed to be thrown from the train while getting off.

Gitanjali now stops at Kharagpur. But I still preferred those days when it didnt
have so many halts and that kept the local travelers out.

Bye for now.
Atul.

From: vijayb <vijayb@pk705vmg.email

Subject:

Date: 28 Feb 1991 10:46:00 -0500


Hi Folks,

Dheeraj writes:
> On a different note, I recall somebody mentioning here that IR has
> only 2 or 3 WAP-1 engines and that was the reason for keeping the
> maxm speed of Shatabdis to 130 KMPH or so. (So that in case of some
> breakdown WAM-4 or WDM-4 can haul the same train without delaying

This was indeed the case about a year back. IR had only two WAP3
locos. Since there was no guarantee that the locos would be available
for both the Bhopal and Kanpur Shatabdis, the declared speed for the
Kanpur Shatabdi was only 120 kmph. I guess this assumed that at least
one WAP1 would be available if needed. I am not sure whether the WAM4
can reach 120 kmph. under normal load conditions; I thought it was more
like 110 kmph. Maybe the situation as far as no. of WAP3 locos. is
concerned, has changed now.

> it.) This time I noticed that both Howrah and Bombay Rajdhanis
> and Shatabdis to Lucknow (electric upto Kanpur) and to Bhopal are
> hauled by WAP-1 engines. That makes it a minimum of 4 engines. All

Whatever happened to the WAP3 loco that was supposed to haul the Bhopal
Shatabdi? WAP1 is geared for a max. speed of only 120 kmph. Has the
speed of the Bhopal Shatabdi been reduced?

> surprised to note that the Bombay Rajdhani was electric only between
> Delhi and Ratlam. After that it was hauled by two WDM-4 engines.
> I think earlier on, they were using WAM-4 until Vadodra, and WACM-1
> between Vadodra and Bombay.

So Ratlam is indeed the loco. changeover station. This is not very
surprising since it has a diesel loco. shed which handles maintenance
of the Rajdhani diesel locos. Diesel locos. are still being employed
in the Bombay Ratlam stretch, since there is no high-speed AC-DC elec.
loco. at present. Earlier the Rajdhani used to be diesel hauled all th
way, with Raltam acting as the loco. changeover station (one twin WDM2
unit replaced by another).

Dheeraj, are you sure that the diesel locos. employed were WDM4 and not
WDM2?

Anand writes:
> I dont ever remember anyone stopping me. The station master saw me
> taking photos but he never seemed to object. I guess that they have
> really tightened up nowadays.

I must have taken more than 100 photos while traveling on IR, and I
never had problems. The only exception was what I had described earlier
I guess I was asking for trouble at that time.

Dheeraj writes:
> incentives. In 1880s, after some war (Punjab or Afghan or somewhere),
> they wanted a much accelerated program to connect every major city
> with railroads. At this time they started allowing MG tracks. That is
> when railroad construction started in Rajasthan and Gujarat.

Lord Dalhousie had a lot of foresight when he insisted that a uniform
gauge be adopted for Indian Railways. Alas, future viceroys deviated
from this norm. Their argument was: "When we have a donkey's load, we
use donkeys; when we have only a horse's load, we should use horses.
This resulted in the construction of an MG line all the way from
Ahmedabad to Delhi, among others.


Regards,

Vijay

From: apte <apte@glacier.email

Subject: Comin' alive

Date: 28 Feb 1991 08:24:00 -0500


Hi folks,

Its great to see the group getting re-galvanized: I guess Vijay's
enthusiasm is infectious :-) (and needed). On the topic of photos, I
too have a treasured picture of the Raj loco and Bombay Central.
Tragedy struck 'cos I lost the negatives, so I have to be content with
the one picture. I didn't have any problems with picture-taking
either. I think that loco drivers are after all professionals
and so they usually don't mind: its the beauraucrats who love to screw
you up. And that, in my opinion is the story behind the generally
prevalent camera-phobia too. I still crack up over the classic
beauraucratic reprieve: "Whatever you are wanting, I am not giving" ;-)

On another note, I was wondering about the letter coding of stations on
IR. Is it widely used? If so, how do they make it consistent? For
instance all international airports have 3 letter codes - SFO (San
Francisco), HKG (Hong Kong), DFW (Dallas) and so on. But in IR
stations, I know that Bombay Ctl is BCT while New Delhi is NDLS, so the
number of letters is at least not constant. Some codes are logical like
KGP (Kharagapur) while some are strange likr BRC for Vadodara. I guess
the BR comes from Baroda, but where the C comes from is beyond me. Any
comments?

Cheers
Pushkar
-------

From: vijayb <vijayb@pk705vmg.email

Subject: Station codes!

Date: 28 Feb 1991 13:53:00 -0500


Hi,

In reply to Pushkar's mail: I have a vague feeling that the C in BRC stands
for Central, although I can't think of a logical reason. Was Baroda ever a par
t of the Central Rly. (formerly the GIPR, Great Indian Peninsular Railway) ?
Also, what could the "S" in NDLS stand for? Why can't they simply have NDL as
the code for New Delhi?

Confusedly Yours,

Vijay

From: Vicraj T. Thomas <vic@cs.email

Subject: Round-houses and Turn-abouts.

Date: 28 Feb 1991 15:41:00 -0500


A discussion about round-houses and turn-abouts on rec.railroad sometime ago
had me wondering if they ever existed in India. I remember seeing steam loco
sheds including the "Home of the Iron Horses" (near Arkonam, TN??) but don't
remember them being in the shape of a round-house. I have however seen
turn-abouts -- even got to see one of them being used in Tambaram, Madras many
many years ago.


< Vicraj

--------
vic@cs.email Dept. of Computer Science
..!{uunet|noao}!arizona!vic University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721

From: anand <anand@top.email

Subject: Re: Round-houses and Turn-abouts.

Date: 28 Feb 1991 19:50:00 -0500


The place is Bitragunta on South Central railway (about 50 km north
of Nellore). Sadly, the shed seems to have all but disappeared since
the line was electrified. I dont remember any other roundhouses in
India but I have seen numerous stations with Wyes for turning around
steam engines.

Given the increasing cost of diesel fuel, I wonder if it is a wise
decision on the part of the Railways to decommision the remaining steam
engines. I for one will really miss them.

Anand
anand@top.email

From: Manish Malhotra <malhotra@cs.email

Subject: Re: Station codes!

Date: 28 Feb 1991 20:44:00 -0500


I would guess BRC to be Baroda city. I know it is porr guess,
but what the heck !

NDLS - should be New Delhi station.

From: Sanjay Saigal <saigal@rice.email

Subject: Re:Re: Round-houses and Turn-abouts.

Date: 01 Mar 1991 09:29:00 -0500


I'm not sure what a round-house is, but I'm aware of two turn-abouts. There
is one at Kalka - wait! There must be two. The one I was thinking of is for
the BG locos. Of course, as y'all well know, Kalka's a BG terminus. There
must be another one for the Kalka-Shimla NG railcars. I don't recall seeing
it though. The second turnabout I was thinking of as I started this email
is the railcar turnabout at Shimla. As a kid, it was always a major thrill
to see 'em use it! I think two guys would huff and puff and wheel the railcar
around. By the way, am I the only person who thought that the Shimla-Kalka
railcars were rather ungainly? I'd even go so far as ugly, actually. Needless
to say, I still liked 'em a lot. Part of their mystique was that I'd never
actually got onto one (still haven't!). They were just too bloody expensive.
The next trip to India, that's definitely on the agenda. Hail the mighty
dollar!!

Which brings me to an unrelated question. Now we all know about the "mile-
high club". What is the corresponding "club" for trains? (I don't call
myself a "train-lover" for nothing!!)

Saigal

From: anand <anand@top.email

Subject: Railcars

Date: 01 Mar 1991 12:11:00 -0500


After reading Sanjay's posting, I remembered that Kalka-Simla is not
the only place where railcars are used in India. If I remember
correctly, there used to be diesel railcar service on some MG sections of
Northern railway. Perhaps they ran from Lucknow to somewhere near
Kathgodam.

Does anyone know of any other place where diesel railcars used to run?

Anand
anand@top.email

From: Sanjay Saigal <saigal@rice.email

Subject: Re:Re: Railcars

Date: 01 Mar 1991 10:39:00 -0500


Is there a technical difference between Railcars and DMUs? I've seen some
of the latter outside IITK. Perhaps some ex-IITK irfca'ite can say more?

Saigal

From: Shriram Revankar <revankar@cs.email

Subject: Re: Railcars

Date: 01 Mar 1991 12:59:00 -0500


>>From saigal@rice.email Fri Mar 1 12:52:47 1991
>>Subject: Re: Railcars

>>Is there a technical difference between Railcars and DMUs? I've seen some
>>of the latter outside IITK. Perhaps some ex-IITK irfca'ite can say more?
^^^^^^^^^^-oops
thats rough! thats why I suggested "FACIR" (pronounced Fakeer) name for
our group ... looooong back. Any takers?? (FA-n C-lub of I-ndian R-ailway or
any permutation of this)

>>Saigal

Shriram.

From: aravind <aravind@vax135.email

Subject: railcars etc

Date: 01 Mar 1991 13:10:00 -0500


I have travelled on a diesel MG railcar from Trichy to Thanjavur on SR.
On the timetable, it was listed as a "fast passenger". It consisted
of two coaches (not exactly a "multiple unit") and was about as
fast as a bus.

Isn't steam still prominent on MG?

Aravind

From: vijayb <vijayb@pk705vmg.email

Subject: Roundhouses, DMUs, ..

Date: 01 Mar 1991 13:29:00 -0500


Hi Folks,

I am confused about the terminology being employed here.
Are roundhouses the "turn-tables" present in steam loco sheds which are used to
physically turn the engine around so as to achieve the proper directionality?
If so, then what are turn-abouts? Are these tracks that loop around so that
direction reversal is achieved?

I, too, am not sure as to what a diesel railcar is. Is this something to so
with the "rack-and-pinion" arrangement used in NG mountain routes?


Vijay

From: anand <anand@top.email

Subject: Re: Roundhouses, DMUs, ..

Date: 01 Mar 1991 13:48:00 -0500


There was a discussion about roundhouses recently on rec.railroad. A
roundhouse is a place where steam engines are serviced. There is a
turntable in the center by means of which engines can be sent to stalls
in the shed. It is a bit hard to draw with ASCII graphics, so I am
afraid that you guys will have to see a book to understand my cryptic
description.

You can have a turntable without a roundhouse. It is used to rotate
steam engines because as you all know steam engines have a distinct
preference about the direction that they travel. A simpler alternative
is a wye which looks thus:


|
/ \
/ \
/ \
--+-------+--

The problem with a wye is that it takes up a lot of space. This is of
particular importance for two reasons,
1. Since we have broad guage in India, the minimum turning radius is high.
2. Steam engines have long rigid wheel bases hence they can not
negotiate turns as sharp as diesels whose bogies are much shorter.

Anand

From: Sanjay Saigal <saigal@rice.email

Subject: Diesel railcar

Date: 01 Mar 1991 12:14:00 -0500


Vijay asks about what railcars are, exactly. I have no technical details,
but they look rather like old-fashioned lorries, very boxy. They seat, I'd
guess about 25 people, and the fare on the Kalka-Shimla route is the A/C fare.
Of course, there are no A/C coaches on any of the trains on that section.

Re turn-abouts. I guess I took it to mean turn-table. If it's not that,
what is it?

Saigal

From: vijayb <vijayb@pk705vmg.email

Subject: Working Time-Tables!

Date: 01 Mar 1991 14:56:00 -0500


Hi Folks,

Let me change the subject and move onto Working Time-tables. These are
essentially enhanced versions of the regular passenger time-tables that you
are aware of. Every division has its own working time-table. The following
info. (among others) is typically present:

1. Halt/Passing times for the relevant trains at each station. By passing
time, I mean the time that a train is scheduled to pass the stn. (when the stn.
is not in its halt list).

2. Times at technical halts. These are non-passanger halts and could be for
precedence (time spent in order to be overtaken by a faster train),
crossing in single line sections (waiting time given to allow train
traveling in opposite dirn. to cross-over), etc.

3. Make-up time provided for each train, and the stretch alloted for this
purpose. e.g. the working time-table that I have with me (relates to the
Bhusaval divsn. of the Central Rly.) indicates that an extra time of ~25 mts
has been included in the schedule for the Gitanjali Exp. in the Igatpuri-
Bhusaval stretch. Hence, if the train is running late by < 25 mts. in this
stretch, it will not be delayed at the end of this portion of its journey.

Typically, in double line routes, the make up time is alloted at the end
of the section, so as to prevent the train arriving before the scheduled
time at intermediate stations. Continuing on my example, Bhadli is one
station before Bhusaval. The normal running time is around 20 mts.,
although the Gitanjali Exp. is scheduled to take ~45 mts. because of the
extra time provided.

TT -> time-table
3. In contrast to the regular TTs, both the arrival as well as the departure
times are indicated for every stn. You might have noticed lots of stns. in
the regular TTs, that have only the departure times indicated. Get this;
these are actually the arrival times as per the working TT. This
enables the guard to permit the train to leave a stn. earlier than its
scheduled departure time, if the train were to arrive before time. Note
that this would not be possible if the indicated departure time was the
scheduled departure time (as per the working TT), due to obvious reasons.

4. The booked speed and the maximum permissible speed for each train. I had
mentioned earlier that the booked speed of a train is the maximum speed at
the driver needs to proceed in order to adhere to the schedule, provided the
train is running on time. The maximum permissible speed is the maximum
speed permitted on a particular section. This depends on various factors
such as the train, normal load, type of loco. used, speed restrictions on
stretches, etc. The difference in the booked speed and the max. perm.
speed of a train is about 10 %. This difference provides some make-up time
in case the train is running behind schedule. Note that this is in addition
to the extra time provided as mentioned in 3.

e.g. most of the exp.trains in the Igatpuri-Bhusaval stretch are shown to
have a booked speed of 90 kmph. when hauled by a WAM-4. The max. perm.
speed is 100 kmph. However, the corresponding figures for passenger trains
are more like 70 and 80 kmph. In the Bhusaval-Badnera section, all exp.
trains except the Gitanjali Exp. and the Bombay Mail have booked/max. p.
speed of 90/100 kmph., for a WDM-2 loco. The figures for these two trains
are 95 and 105.

5. Speed restrictions. These could be temporary, for example, due to some
construction work at certain points or seasonal requirements. Permanent
restrictions could be due to presence of gradients, curves, distant locatio
n of approach signals (referred to as Warner Signals), etc. In such
situations, the max. permitted speed w.r.t. the location is indicated.


Finally, let me present an interesting situation. Assume that train A is
to overtake train B at stn. S. Suppose the normal halt time for B at S. is
5 mts. (this is what is indicated in the regular TT). However, additional
time of, typically, 20-25 mts. is needed at S to ensure that B leaves stn.S
at least 10-15 mts. after A has overtaken it. The working time-table then
has two dep. times indicated: one assuming an overtake and one without.
In case, train A gets delayed before it arrives at stn. S, train B can then
be allowed to proceed at the "non-overtaking" (sic!) dep. time, so that it
gets some extra time in the process. Note that the overtake might actually
take place at a stn. ahead, in which case these extra minutes are precious
to our Mr. loser.


My sincere apologies, if I bored you with this stuff!


Regards,

Vijay

From: Vicraj T. Thomas <vic@cs.email

Subject: Re: Roundhouses, DMUs, ..

Date: 01 Mar 1991 11:32:00 -0500


vijayb@pk705vmg.email writes:
>
> Hi Folks,
>
> I am confused about the terminology being employed here.
> Are roundhouses the "turn-tables" present in steam loco sheds which are used to
> physically turn the engine around so as to achieve the proper directionality?
> If so, then what are turn-abouts? Are these tracks that loop around so that
> direction reversal is achieved?


Since I am responsible for starting this roundhouse and turn-about thread I
guess I should explain what I meant.

By turn-about I meant the turn-table used to physically turn a steam engine
around. I now remember that we used to call them turn-tables also. Perhaps
turn-about is American for turn-table.

As for round-houses, these were sheds where steam locos were repaired. The top
view of a round-house looked something like a slice of pizza but without the
tapered end. So from the top a round-house looked like a sector off a flat
ring. A track would enter the round-house from the smaller end and from there
would branch out to multiple tracks going along the radius of the round-house.
This way, when the engines were in the round-house, the distace between their
front-ends would be much greater than the distance between their backs (the
cab). Since almost all the repair work on steam engines was at the boiler end,
this gave work crews much more room to work just where they needed to be the
most.

Tucson, has a round-house which of course is no longer in use (it is now a big
factory outlet). I am told that such round-houses were fairly common and
almost always had a turn-table at the entrace to turn the engine from the
incoming track onto one of the radial tracks in the round-house. I don't
recall seeing anything like this in India and hence asked if any of you did.

Often you see photographs of many steam-engines in a roundhouse with their
boiler end facing the narrow end of the round-house. Apparently these are
turned around and posed that way to make a nice picture. I suppose they look
like they belong to one happy family if they all point towards each other
instead of pointing in diverging directions!


< Vicraj

--------
vic@cs.email Dept. of Computer Science
..!{uunet|noao}!arizona!vic University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721

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