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From: S. Kumar <>

Subject: (Fwd) Howrah-Madras Mail

Date: 30 Nov 1998 03:51:08 -0500




Apart from the GT express my other favorite train is the Howrah-Madras
(now Chennai) Mail. I have vivid memories of travelling in the "Mail"
as it was affectionately called.

It used to leave Howrah just before dusk from a relatively remote
platform (SE
trains are the pariahs at Howrah; ER trains take pride of place).
Making its way slowly past the yard (often surprisingly with a diesel
rather than an electric engine, even though HWH-KGP was electrified) it
would gently deviate from the ER line towards Liluah and Belur and make
towards Santragachi Jn. Santragachi was from where SE goods traffic
would
go to the Shalimar depot. The Mail would travel parallel to the NG
lines of the
Howrah Maidan - Am/Sheikhpura Light Railway. The two lines were
separated by a
wall running along
the tracks. Often one could get a glimpse of a NG train with coaches
marked
"Upper Class" and "Lower Class" running parallel to the Mail (often with
a Babu or
two reading a newspaper in the Upper Class of course). The Light
Railway was
private and I wonder if it exists today.

Past Santragachi Jn., the Mail would pickup speed and race past the
suburbs of
Calcutta/Howrah...Uluberia...Bir Shibpur etc., with me glued to the
window to catch
passing trains (which would mostly be EMU's running between HWH and
stations
upto KGP). The suburbs of Calcutta would eventually give away to a
verdant
countryside of fields interspersed with little lakes, rivers and canals.
Darkness
would be quickly approaching and I would pray that we reach the Mecheda-
Panskura area for the crossing of our first major river; the Roopnarayan
at Kolaghat
before it became completely dark. Beyond Panskura the EMU's frequency
become less frequent. We would finally make it to Kharagpur after dark
and it
would be time for dinner. Kharagpur's claim to fame is that it has
probably the
longest railway platform in the world. Kharagpur's other claim to fame
is the
presence of one of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT).

The IIT campus is in fact near Hijli, the station just south of
Kharagpur. Leaving
Kharagpur, the Mail leaves the Nagpur/Mumbai-bound tracks and heads
south past
Hijli towards the West Bengal-Orissa border. I would have loved to
catch the
border (one can make this out by looking at the languages used on the
station signs;
Hindi/English/Bengali would become Hindi/English/Oriya) but other
passengers
would want to sleep and I would be forced from my vantage position next
to the
window. One can not only figure out the particular state from a station
sign, but
also the current state of language politics in that state. Bengal has
occasional
outbursts of pro-Bengali fervour; the Hindi signs would be blacked out
so that one
could not read them, and the English signs would be crossed out so that
one could
still read them and, of course, the Bengali signs would be left
untouched. Being a
South Indian and that too a Tamil, and having had to struggle with Hindi
at school, I
would be quietly cheering the Bengali students who defaced the Hindi
signs.

Lying on my berth I would doze off only to be awakened by either the
Mail having stopped
at a station or crossing a long bridge. There would be plenty of
bridges during the
night to wake me up as we made our way past Balasore, Bhadrak, and
Jajpur-
Keonjhar Road to enter the Mahanadi delta. Mahanadi has a number of
distributaries ringed around Cuttack, the largest city in Orissa. The
train would
repeatedly come alive with sounds as we crossed each of these wide
rivers a short
distance from their confluence with the Bay of Bengal. Beyond Cuttack
would be
Bhubaneswar, the site of the famous Lingraj temple and the capital of
Orissa. A
short distance from Bhubaneswar would be Khurda Road Jn. Usually a long
halt at
Khurda Road; it is one of the divisional headquarters on the
Southeastern Railway
and all trains stopped there no matter what. The branch line to Puri
leaves the main
line at Khurda Road; Puri is the site of the famous Jagannath temple
with its chariot,
the origin of the English word Juggernaut, an unfortunate corruption of
a beautiful
name.

Dawn would come an hour after leaving Khurda Road, and I would be up and

getting ready to see the always glorious sunrise over Chilka Lake. The
Mail used to
have a long and fast run between Khurda Road and Berhampur; and would
run
along the Chilka for part of the time. And what a time! The
combination of the
golden sun peeping up over the horizon, a few small fishing boats
bobbing up and
down in the water, the sound and the feel of the wind hitting my face
which was
again glued to the window and the blasting of the horn as we approached
each
station would get me all excited "Get out of the way, you mere
mortals....I am the
Mail, the undisputed queen of this route!"

After Berhampur, I would keenly await the Andhra Pradesh (AP) border.
For the
numerous South Indians on the train, it would be the beginning of a
homecoming.
From now on, one could get South Indian food and of course coffee!
Ichchapuram with its very South Indian-sounding name would be the first
station in
AP. The Mail would ignore it of course, instead heading for Palasa
where one
would have a proper South Indian breakfast of iddlis and coconut
chutney, and
wash it down with South Indian "filter" coffee or should I say "kaapi".
None of the
"chai" nonsense and mercifully no instant coffee (which is the only
coffee available
north of the border).

After Palasa would be Srikakulam Road; Srikakulam periodically flares up
with
"Naxalite" activity. Naxalites are leftist radicals who want to create
a revolution in
India. Mercifully our train would not be revolutionized and we would
keep heading
south. We would approach the town of Vizianagaram, a junction where the

Raipur/Jharsuguda-Sambalpur line would join us. Vizianagaram would
remind me
of Vizzy, a famous Indian cricket commentator. South of Vizianagaram we
would
have to cut through the Eastern Ghats. Not as dramatic as their more
famous
western counterpart near the coast, the Eastern Ghats are nevertheless
home to the
spectacular Kottavalasa-Kirandul BG line built specifically to export
iron ore mined
near Kirandul in Madhya Pradesh to Japan via the port of Visakhapatnam.
Passing
Kottavalasa without stopping, the Mail would head for Waltair (which is
what
Visakhapatnam station used to be called until a few years ago). The
approach to
Waltair would be signalled by the train looping around Simhachalam hill
with its
Narasimha temple sitting atop the hill. Devout Hindus on the train
would offer a
prayer.

Waltair was a major stop enroute; it was also approximately the half-way
point.
Lunchtime and a direction reversal. Also the end of the South Eastern
Railway and
the beginning of the South Central Railway (actually the transition
takes place just
south of Waltair station). Just south of Waltair is the beginning of
one of the most
agriculturally fertile regions in India and probably the world ... the
Godavari and the
Krishna river delta regions. The stops get a little more frequent
signalling a higher
population density. Anakapalle, Tuni (on the banks of the Tuni river),
Samalkot
(famous for its sesame oil), and Rajahmundry. My heart would start
thumping at
Rajahmundry station; I wouldn't have any appetite for either "jidipappu"
(cashews
still in their skin), or "nongu" (palm fruit) or other delicacies being
offered on the
station platform. In minutes we were going to be crossing the mighty
Godavari.

The Godavari bridge was one of the highlights of the journey. An open
bridge and
a long one. Passengers would toss coins into the water. Finally the
bridge would
be crossed and we would make our way past Kovvur to Nidadavole where the

trains using the Bhimavaram-Gudivada loop line would leave the main
line. I remember a particular
Train Ticket Examiner (TT). This gentleman would write down the
availability of
seats/berths at each station on the outside of the compartment with a
piece of chalk
(wonder how many TT's are so open today!). Passengers getting on the
train
would be made aware that they were grtting on to the Mail...most would
meekly get
off.

Tadepalligudem with its rice mandis (markets) would come as dusk was
approaching. Eluru would be next before we reached Vijayawada Junction
around
8 PM for dinner. The main Delhi-Madras line would merge just north of
Vijayawada; however I could never see the line from Gudivada rejoin our
line. After
a half-hour halt at Vijayawada we would cross the Krishna and a couple
of large
canals just south of Vijayawada. The Mail would speed past Krishna
Canal
Junction where the line to Guntur would leave us as we headed south to
Tenali. I
would be forced to sleep but would be awakened at night at station halts
and by the
sound of passengers detraining at Ongole, Nellore and by us finally
entering the Southern
Railway at Gudur after crossing the Pennar river.

An hour south of Gudur at about 4 am, the compartment would come alive
with
people getting ready for the imminent approach of Madras. I would, of
course, try
to read the signs on the passing stations. Sullurupeta, close to
Pulicat Lake, would
be the last major community in AP and would be ignored by the Mail. I
would be
keenly await the approach of Tada, the last station in AP and
subsequently
Arambakkam, the first station in Tamil Nadu (TN). It is usually easy to
identify
stations in TN..the Hindi signs are either non-existent or are painted
in small letters
between the much larger Tamil and English ones (depending on the current
state of
the local anti-Hindi feelings)!

After the border crossing, the train would veer close to the coast
(inspite of
traveling along the coast for almost the length of its journey, it would
be only close
to Madras that one could actually see the Bay of Bengal from the train
... the Chilka
is not quite the sea). I would try to make out the coastline, and would
be rewarded
by the lagoon crossing between Minjur and Ennore. Ennore with its Ashok
Leyland
truck/bus manufacturing plant would signal the arrival of Madras city.
We would
run past the northern, rather industrial, suburbs of Madras (oops
Chennai)..
Tiruvottiyur..Tondaiyarpet..Korukkupet and finally the make our
mandatory
unscheduled stop at Basin Bridge Jn. Basin Bridge is where the
Mumbai/Bangalore/Mangalore/Trivandrum line joins up, I would wonder if I
could
catch a sight of either the Mumbai or Bangalore Mails. Finally we would
roll
forward slowly to Central station to the cacophony of coolies (porters).

Kumar

______________________________________________________

From: Balasubramanian, Vijay <>

Subject: Re: Details of tragic accident

Date: 30 Nov 1998 08:06:36 -0500


> The accident occurred at about 0315 hours IST when the Calcutta-
> bound 3152-down Jammu Tawi-Sealdah Express rammed into 10 derailed
> coaches of the Amritsar-bound 2903-up Frontier Mail (recently
> renamed the Golden Temple Express).
>
> Ten coaches of the Frontier Mail got decoupled from the train and
> derailed, six of them falling onto a parallel track where they
> were hit by the oncoming Sealdah Express even as passengers were
> alighting from the other four coaches.


A terrible accident, no doubt. What a way to die :-( :-(
Assuming, that the decoupling happened first, why did the coaches
derail?
Because of the high speed? Is there any way to prevent decoupled
coaches
from derailing even at high speeds? If so, then this could have
avoided
the catastrophe.

.
.
.

>
>
> The remaining nine coaches of the Frontier Mail and its engine,
> however, traveled safely for about 3 km before its drivers Ashwini
> Kumar and Satbir brought the train to a halt.
>
> They claimed to have exchanged signals with the driver and co-
> driver of the Sealdah Express before they heard the thundering
> crash.
>

Were these warning/emergency stop signals or customary exchange signals?
Is
it possible that the drivers of the Frontier Mail were unaware of the
decoupling and subsequent derailment?


Vijay

From: Balasubramanian, Vijay <>

Subject: Re: Falaknuma Express

Date: 30 Nov 1998 08:48:49 -0500


>
> Vijay:
>
> I do stand corrected. The Falaknuma is superfast according to the SR
> Aug 98 TT. However, I remember looking at an older TAAG in
> which it had
> lost SF status. Did the Falaknuma lose SF status and gain it back?
>
> Kumar
>
The Falaknuma got its superfast stamp about a year and a half back. My
Aug.
1997 TAAG shows it as a superfast train. I don't think it ever lost
its
status.

This new Howrah-Trichy exp. competes well with the Coromandel Exp. No
halt
at Cuttack but halts at Eluru, Ongole and Nellore. What's funny is that
the
Dn. train doesn't even halt at Gudur (can someone confirm this?). I
always
thought that Gudur is a more important halt than Nellore or Ongole.

Vijay

From: Shankar <>

Subject: Re: Accident

Date: 30 Nov 1998 08:51:07 -0500


At 04:19 PM 11/30/98 +0530, you wrote:
>
Just wondering why everyone(including the authorities) chooses to call
it
>Frontier now when they had renamed it `Golden Temple Mail' with much
fanfare
>recently??!

Actually, nothing like the good old names. Most re-namings in most cases
are
only on the behest of individuals with a very narrow outlook.
Look at the cities too. Mumbai:instead of Bombay, Pune instead of Poona,
Chennai instead of Madras. Fanatics and rogues like Bal Thakeray are
behind
these.
Call me conservative, but I always prefer the good old names anyday.
Vt will always be VT for me. No CSTM for me.
I still write to my parents addressing as POONA-411016, and not Pune.
Best regards. An by the way, where were you all these days? Nice to hear
from you again.
Best regards.
Shankar

>
>
>
>

From: Balasubramanian, Vijay <>

Subject: Re: More fantasy trains

Date: 30 Nov 1998 09:13:42 -0500


>
> The CSTM Madgaon Shatabdi is already on the board.
> I think its just waiting for the Rlys to actually introduce
> it and get it
> running.

Has the Panvel-Roha line been upgraded? According to an article
posted a
while back, a Shatabdi is possible only if Mumbai-Madgaon can be covered
in
8 hrs. or less - it went on to mention that Panvel-Roha needs to be
upgraded.

>
> Here's my shot ...
>
> Via TNA Thane - DW Diva Jn.
> CSTM d 0515 DR d 0530 (*via TNA+DW*) TNA d 0605 PNVL d 0700
> RN d 1055 MAO a
> 1350
>
> MAO d 1415 RN d 1710 PNVL d 2100 (*via DW+TNA*) TNA d 2155 DR
> a 2245 CSTM a
> 2305

IMHO, too many halts for a Shatabdi. A genuine Mumbai-Madgaon Shatabdi
should halt at Panvel and Ratnagiri only. It could leave CSTM around
6.00
am or 2.00 pm depending on which end would house the rake overnight.
What's
irritating is that the train would end up crossing the TVC Raj on a
single
line section. One solution is to time the train so that it crosses the
NZM-bound Raj. at Sawantwadi Rd. (a halt for the Raj.) and arrives at
Madgaon around 2.00 pm. I would love to have a Mumbai Shatabdi whizz
past a
Delhi Raj. at a single line crossing.

Vijay

From: Shanku Niyogi <>

Subject: Re: HINDI VERSION OF WINDOWS 98

Date: 30 Nov 1998 11:03:17 -0500


Priceless! Since NT 5.0 will be eventually available in a Hindi version,
perhaps I'll forward these ideas to the localizers! ;)

-----Original Message-----
From: Shankar [mailto:shankie@emirates.email
Sent: Friday, November 27, 1998 9:32 AM
To: irfca@cs.email
Subject: Fwd: HINDI VERSION OF WINDOWS 98


Hello,
Sorry if you find this bordering on the spam.Although NOWHERE connected
to
the IR, doesn't this remind you of IR's bi-lingual stance everywhere:
Pantry car/rasoi yaan, tourist car/paryatan yan, sleeper/shayan yaan
coach/dibba, airconditioned chair car/vaataanukool kursi yaan, etc.etc.
Worst come to worst, enjoy a hearty laugh before you tell me to lay off!
Best regards.
Shankar



>Date: Thu, 26 Nov 1998 16:51:06 -0800 (PST)
>>Date: Thu, 26 Nov 1998 09:28:10 +0530
>>Subject: HINDI VERSION OF WINDOWS 98
>>
>>
>>Subject: HINDI VERSION OF WINDOWS 98
>>
>>
>>
>> Hindi version of Windows 98 = Atyant Mulayam Khidkiyan 98
>>> >
>>> > Atyant Mulayam = Microsoft
>>> > Khidki = Window
>>> > Phaail = File
>>> > Bachao = Save
>>> > Aise Bachao = Save as
>>> > Subko Bachao = Save All
>>> > Mujhe Bachao = Help
>>> > Madad Pe Madad = Help On Help
>>> > Dhoondo = Find
>>> > Firse Dhoondo = Find Again
>>> > Hilao = Move
>>> > Chaara = Options
>>> > Bura sandesh yaa phail naam = Bad command or file name
>>> > Garbh girao,firse koshish karo,naakaamyab = Abort,retry,fail
>>> > Bichhavo = Tile
>>> > Thar Bhejo = Send Mail
>>> > Daak = Mail
>>> > Daakiya = Mailer
>>> > Bhaago = Run
>>> > Chhaapo = Print
>>> > Dekh Ke Chhaapo = Print Preview
>>> > Chipkao = Paste
>>> > Khaas Chipkao = Paste Special
>>> > Mitaoo = Delete
>>> > Kagaz Ooper = Page Up
>>> > Kagaz Neeche = Page Down
>>> > Anth = End
>>> > Saaf karo = clear
>>> > Sab kuch saaf karo = clear all
>>> > Ghar (Or Makan) = Home
>>> > Topi Ka Tala = CapsLock
>>> > Hathiyaar = Tools
>>> > Khuli Chaadar = Spreadsheet
>>> > Futaas Ki Goli Kha = Exit
>>> > Ped = Tree
>>> > Chooha = Mouse
>>> > Chooha Chalak = Mouse Driver (Software)
>>> > Tik-Tik Karo = Click
>>> > Idhar-se-Udhar.Udhar-se-Idhar wala danda = Scrollbar
>>> > Pardha = Screen
>>> > Pardha Bachanewala = Screen Saver
>>> > Krimi = VIRUS
>>> > Tika = Anti Virus
>>> > Karo = Do
>>> > Galthi = Error
>>> > Ghusao = Insert
>>> > Pahale Ghusao = Insert Before
>>> > Beech Mein ghusao = Insert Between
>>> > Baadhme Ghusao = Insert After
>>> > Chabi Phalak = Key board
>>> > Choohha Ka Bisthar = Mouse pad
>>> > Avaaz Phodney Wali Cheez = Sound Blaster
>>> > Antarjatiya Jaal = InterNet
>>> > Baath-cheeth Dabba = Dialog Box
>>> > Chale? = Exit?
>>
>>
>>
>
>
>______________________________________________________
>Get Your Private, Free Email at <A HREF="http://www.hotmail.com">http://www.hotmail.com</A>
>

From: Sankaran Kumar <>

Subject: Gudur

Date: 30 Nov 1998 13:49:11 -0500





>
>
> This new Howrah-Trichy exp. competes well with the Coromandel Exp. No

halt
>at Cuttack but halts at Eluru, Ongole and Nellore. What's funny is
that the
>Dn. train doesn't even halt at Gudur (can someone confirm this?). I
always
>thought that Gudur is a more important halt than Nellore or Ongole.
>
>Vijay

Nellore and Ongole are district HQ's of Nellore and Prakasam districts
respectively. Gudur is much smaller compared to Nellore and Ongole but
is a more important railway station (a junction and a zonal crossover
point).

My SR TT indicates that the HWH-Tiruchi Express doesn't halt at Gudur in

either direction.

Kumar


______________________________________________________
Get Your Private, Free Email at <A HREF="http://www.hotmail.com">http://www.hotmail.com</A>

From: Sankaran Kumar <>

Subject: Cuttack

Date: 30 Nov 1998 13:55:34 -0500



Technically trains which don't "halt" at Cuttack do not even pass
through Cuttack. They use the loop via Narajmarthipur. The Falaknuma,
Sri Jagannath, and now the Howrah-Tiruchi Express use this route. The
Coromandal used to go via Naraj until political pressure was presumably
applied to route it through Cuttack with a halt. Cuttack is tha largest

city in Orissa. Does the Bhubaneswar Raj halt at Cuttack?

Kumar



______________________________________________________
Get Your Private, Free Email at <A HREF="http://www.hotmail.com">http://www.hotmail.com</A>

From: VIRAF P.. MULLA <>

Subject: Re: (Fwd) Howrah-Madras Mail

Date: 30 Nov 1998 18:09:49 -0500



That was GREAT Kumar.

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

From: Harsh Vardhan <>

Subject: Re: Accident

Date: 30 Nov 1998 22:45:16 -0500


Hi Shankar and others,

>Just wondering why everyone(including the authorities) chooses to call
it
>>Frontier now when they had renamed it `Golden Temple Mail' with much
fanfare
>>recently??!
>
>Actually, nothing like the good old names. Most re-namings in most
cases
are
>only on the behest of individuals with a very narrow outlook.
>Look at the cities too. Mumbai:instead of Bombay, Pune instead of
Poona,
>Chennai instead of Madras. Fanatics and rogues like Bal Thakeray are
behind
>these.
>Call me conservative, but I always prefer the good old names anyday.
>Vt will always be VT for me. No CSTM for me.
>I still write to my parents addressing as POONA-411016, and not Pune.


I find nothing wrong in us railfans using the old names. It is quite
obvious
otherwise what really is the meaning of heritage ? But I was quite
surprised
to see the media and the railway authorities blaring about the `Frontier
Mail disaster'.

I really hate all these politicians. Iam sure we'd be much better off
without them, especially the railways. It was funny to see last week's
mail
and find that someone was trying to use the IRFCA to canvass for the
Gandhi
and Kashmir issues. I was further shocked to notice that the person
behind
was from LBSNAA, Mussoorie, or in other words a budding bureaucrat ! No
wonder the country is going to the dogs.


>An by the way, where were you all these days? Nice to hear
>from you again.


I have just returned from Darjeeling after a week of hectic shooting a
programme(Extreme Machines) on the DHR with a Discovery Channel
production
company. It was really great fun. I will inform all when this is
telecast,
probably sometime early next year in India and Gulf but earlier in the
states and Europe.

The railway is in particularly bad shape this year after disasterous
monsoons. But iam sure that it will bounce back as usual in good time.

Regards,

HARSH

From: Harsh Vardhan <>

Subject: Re: Accident

Date: 30 Nov 1998 22:45:16 -0500


Hi Shankar and others,

>Just wondering why everyone(including the authorities) chooses to call
it
>>Frontier now when they had renamed it `Golden Temple Mail' with much
fanfare
>>recently??!
>
>Actually, nothing like the good old names. Most re-namings in most
cases
are
>only on the behest of individuals with a very narrow outlook.
>Look at the cities too. Mumbai:instead of Bombay, Pune instead of
Poona,
>Chennai instead of Madras. Fanatics and rogues like Bal Thakeray are
behind
>these.
>Call me conservative, but I always prefer the good old names anyday.
>Vt will always be VT for me. No CSTM for me.
>I still write to my parents addressing as POONA-411016, and not Pune.


I find nothing wrong in us railfans using the old names. It is quite
obvious
otherwise what really is the meaning of heritage ? But I was quite
surprised
to see the media and the railway authorities blaring about the `Frontier
Mail disaster'.

I really hate all these politicians. Iam sure we'd be much better off
without them, especially the railways. It was funny to see last week's
mail
and find that someone was trying to use the IRFCA to canvass for the
Gandhi
and Kashmir issues. I was further shocked to notice that the person
behind
was from LBSNAA, Mussoorie, or in other words a budding bureaucrat ! No
wonder the country is going to the dogs.


>An by the way, where were you all these days? Nice to hear
>from you again.


I have just returned from Darjeeling after a week of hectic shooting a
programme(Extreme Machines) on the DHR with a Discovery Channel
production
company. It was really great fun. I will inform all when this is
telecast,
probably sometime early next year in India and Gulf but earlier in the
states and Europe.

The railway is in particularly bad shape this year after disasterous
monsoons. But iam sure that it will bounce back as usual in good time.

Regards,

HARSH

From: poras p.saklatwalla <>

Subject: Hi Gang ! I am back

Date: 30 Nov 1998 23:22:56 -0500


Please put me up again on your mailing list once again, I am back with
excellent memories of travelling in North india by good trains. will
give
a tour report very soon.

PORAS P.SAKLATWALLA
TEL :5773535/3636
EXT :4226/4232/4237

From: Harsh Vardhan <>

Subject: Re: More Plinthed locos

Date: 30 Nov 1998 23:35:28 -0500


Hi Ron and welcome on board.

>Another plinthed loc is at Baroda outside the Western Railway office
>at Paraptnagar probably mispelt but where the 2'6" system runs and
>the works. The loco is a type T tramway loco built by Bagnalls of
>Stafford misdescibed as German built but with a Bagnall worksplate.
>The worked a loacal Tramway and are unusual in that they have outside
>Wheels of a 2-8-o arrangement, more detailes are here if anyone wishes
>me to find out for them.
>

Thanks. As per my information and records, this is T 603(4-8-0), made by
WB
in 1935. Makers No. 2538. Ex Morvi, No. 4 of Saurashtra Railway.

If you have any more info on this or a photograph, It would be most
welcome
indeed.

Apparently Pratapnagar still has about 10 locos and there is a talk of
running special steam trains on this section as opening of a museum.
Does
anyone have any more info on this or the exact identity of these locos.

Regards,

HARSH

From: VIRAF P.. MULLA <>

Subject: Re: Last of Indian Steam

Date: 30 Nov 1998 23:49:09 -0500



Hello Bharat,

I was informed by the CPRO W.Rly that Wankaner is the only place in
India
where MG steam still exists. Sarosh, Shriniwas and Apurva have planned a
short trip there from January,9th.

Mhow shed houses a couple of Steam locos for banking duties only.

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

From: Harsh Vardhan <>

Subject: Re: Bhowani Junction

Date: 30 Nov 1998 23:58:07 -0500


Hello all,

> Re Bhowani Junction, I pondered long and hard over what it was
meant to
>represent, and finally came to the conclusion it was based pretty
closely
on
>Jhansi. Bhowani appears in other Masters novels, also in situations
>analogous to Jhansi.


I am under the impression that the book mentions `Bhowani' to be a
frontier
town with a mix of Hindu, Muslim and Sikh population. That would
certainly
place it to be close to Lahore on the NWR where it was actually
picturised.
The film is shown quite frequently on the TNT movie channel here and has
good performance by Ava Gardener and Stewart Granger both of whom are
Anglo-Indians in turmoil about their future after partition. Highly
recommended.

Another such hindi movie was `Julie' with a touching performance by
Lakshmi,
Nadira and Om Prakash(and a teen Sridevi as well).

Both are a must for all Indian railfans.

> Also by the way, there was a so-so film made of it back in the
1960s.
>They used Lahore station for Bhowani; the famous peeing scene was shot
at
>Platform 1. There was some quite good footage of HGS 2-8-0s in typical
North
>Indian/Pak scenery (dry, with prickle trees!) but in the scene where
>Victoria Jones runs away on the train, they had made up the length with
some
>very poor footage shot on BR, complete with third rail and
blood-and-custard
>cariages on passing trains. I know filmies think no-one ever notices
>technical details, but this was a worse insult than usual!

It also had SPS 4-4-0s, SGS 0-6-0s and an XC 4-6-2 which was derailed by
saboteurs.

I agree about the need of placing the railway stuff authentically in the
films. A recent example was the film based on Khushwant Singh's book
`Train
to Pakistan' based around the partition turmoil. They actually used YPs
and
YGs which were not even built at the time of partition !

> The book is much better than the film, and I value it for the
quite
>sensitive depiction of the various stresses and strains in the
different
>"railway" communities. Recommended, I agree.


The book is great as well, no doubt.

HARSH

From: Apurva Bahadur <>

Subject: Re: Diva Dombivali Sketch

Date: 01 Dec 1998 01:18:31 -0500


Thanks Rajan for this excellent sketch, you could show the routes taken
by the
Mangala Exp as well by the TVC Rajdhani by highlighting on the same
sketch.

Apurva

Rajan Mathew wrote:

> I had made a diagram some time back on this stretch.
> Here it is
>
> Some points on the diagram
> 1. The numbers on the scale are distance from Mumbai CST as indicated
on the
> nearest poles.
> 2. All additional lines besides the suburban and through lines are
indicated
> in red.
> 3. Note that the first line from Diva platform has no connection to
the
> Panvel line but joins with the main line. It is used for the Diva
Vasai DMU.
> The evening service of the DMU is scheduled just after the Pune bound
Deccan
> Queen passes on the Main line (1750 hrs).
>
> Rajan
>
>
----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Name: diva dombivali sketch.jpg
> diva dombivali sketch.jpg Type: JPEG Image (image/jpeg)
> Encoding: base64

From: Apurva Bahadur <>

Subject: Travelogues required

Date: 01 Dec 1998 01:38:47 -0500


Gang !

What a refreshing experience to read this mail. I think a railway
enthusiast need to read good railway travelogue from time to time. We
on the IRFCA should positively encourage travelogue writing
as we encourage engine spotting and timetables discussions etc. as an
essential activity. I would request travelogues from our non Indian
friends even if the travel is not on the IR. We had a great report
from Porus recently and now this from Kumar. Thanks a lot Kumar.
What I feel at this moment:
I should be dropping everything and traveling in this country by the
railways at next to nothing
costs. Instead I am sitting on this desk and contemplating about job
satisfaction.

S. Kumar wrote:

> Apart from the GT express my other favorite train is the Howrah-Madras
> (now Chennai) Mail. I have vivid memories of travelling in the "Mail"
> as it was affectionately called.

There are "mails" in every section. From Mumbai towards NE and all the
way to Howrah the 8001 is referred to as 'mail'. Towards Pune the 6009
is know as the 'mail'. The 'mails' used to be the crack trains before
the the advent of these superfasts upstarts.

> It used to leave Howrah just before dusk from a relatively remote
platform (SE
> trains are the pariahs at Howrah; ER trains take pride of place).

I have noticed that the SE trains usually leave from the new building
while the ER trains leave from the old building. Is it something to do
with the geography of the place like the lines towards Kharagpur and
the lines towards Burdwan ? SE rail in indeed a pariah in Howrah,
which is 'owned' by the ER. What is grandest station under the SER ?
Is its Kharagpur ? What I mean is the showpiece edifice like Chennai
Central for SR, Mumbai CSTM for CR - what is the edifice for the SER ?

> Making its way slowly past the yard (often surprisingly with a diesel
> rather than an electric engine, even though HWH-KGP was electrified)

The diesel loco would work majority of the journey. Does it make sense
to have an electric loco only for the first 116 Kms of a really long
journey ?

> The Mail would travel parallel to the NG lines of the Howrah Maidan -
Am/Sheikhpura Light Railway.

What is this railway ? I have never heard about it. Any details ?

> Puri is the site of the famous Jagannath temple with its chariot,
> the origin of the English word Juggernaut, an unfortunate corruption >
of a beautiful name.

There a beautiful station name on the way to Puri - "Sakhi Gopal" -
very evocative !

> >From now on, one could get South Indian food and of course coffee!

Many North Indians like me and my Bengali wife Shyama are hopelessly
addicted to filter 'Kaapi' !

Apurva

From: S. Kumar <>

Subject: Re: (Fwd) Howrah-Madras Mail

Date: 01 Dec 1998 02:19:42 -0500


Thanks.

Kumar

From: Sachin P Keshavan <>

Subject: Re: Bhowani Junction

Date: 01 Dec 1998 06:12:59 -0500


Hi all,
Bhowani indeed comes in many Master's novels. The movie "Bhowani
Junction" was shot in pakistan since India refused permission, since
there were supposed to be some scenes insulting and the congress. I have

seen the movie, and I did'nt find any anti-Gandhi stuff, but there is a
scene in which the hero throws water from the station latrine, which
forces the Congress party workers to leave (they were blocking a train
brining in soldiers).
There were also lots of TV Serials which portrayed Indian Railways very

well. There was a serial "Yathra" on DD4, which is about a Keralite
Soldiers (Om Puri) experience on his journey from Kanyakumari to Jammu
Thawi.

Sachin.

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Get Your Private, Free Email at <A HREF="http://www.hotmail.com">http://www.hotmail.com</A>

From: Balasubramanian, Vijay <>

Subject: Re: (Fwd) Howrah-Madras Mail

Date: 01 Dec 1998 06:23:41 -0500


> -----Original Message-----
> From: S. Kumar [mailto:s.kumar@qm.email
> Sent: Monday, November 30, 1998 6:51 AM
> To: irfca@cs.email
> Subject: (Fwd) Howrah-Madras Mail
>
>
>
>
> Apart from the GT express my other favorite train is the
> Howrah-Madras
> (now Chennai) Mail. I have vivid memories of travelling in
> the "Mail"
> as it was affectionately called.
>
...
...
...


Kumar, your mail brings back fond memories of the IRFCA of the late 80s
when
we used to post extensive travelogues. In fact, you had elicited a few
responses from current members because of stuff that you had posted on
soc.culture.indian. And that led to the formation of this club. I
never
realized that it would grow to such mammoth proportions and be a source
of
so much information, technical as well as non-technical. Let's hope
that
IRFCA doubles by year 2000...

Vijay

P.S. I am still curious about the favorite train(s) of folks who have
not
responded to my "call" yet.

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