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From: Balasubramanian, Vijay <>

Subject: Re: Cuttack

Date: 01 Dec 1998 06:32:26 -0500




> -----Original Message-----
> From: Sankaran Kumar [mailto:sankaran_kumar@hotmail.email
> Sent: Monday, November 30, 1998 4:56 PM
> To: irfca@cs.email
> Cc: vbalasubramanian@noblestar.email
> Subject: Cuttack
>
>
>
> Technically trains which don't "halt" at Cuttack do not even pass
> through Cuttack. They use the loop via Narajmarthipur. The

This is something I wonder about. Why take a circuitous path and avoid
the
direct route via Cuttack? Is bypassing a big station better than going
through it? During my trip on the Coromandel Exp. I observed that the
Narajmarthipur loop encounters the Mahanadi way upstream and so we ended
up
crossing just a lone bridge across the river instead of a couple of big
ones
(if one takes the route via Cuttack). Hence, bypassing Cuttack would
also
place less "load" on these bridges. Maybe, that's the reason.


> Falaknuma,
> Sri Jagannath, and now the Howrah-Tiruchi Express use this
> route. The

Falaknuma now halts at Cuttack.


> 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?

Yes, it does.


Vijay

From: Balasubramanian, Vijay <>

Subject: Re: (Fwd) Howrah-Madras Mail

Date: 01 Dec 1998 06:59:21 -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.
>

The Mail now gets overtaken by other trains in the Vijayawada-Chennai
section in both directions. In the Up direction, it is by the
Patna-Cochin/Hwh-TVC exp. In the Dn direction, it is by the GT exp.

Also, it has halts at Balugaon, Chatrapur, Ichchapuram and Somapeta.

The SER map indicates that Vijayawada-Visakhapatnam has been energized,
so
all trains must be changing locos. at Visakhapatnam. This fits in
neatly
with direction reversal so that the same loco. does not have to change
ends
anymore.

Vijay

From: Nalinaksha Bhattacharyya <>

Subject: How toilets were introduced on Indian trains. (fwd)

Date: 01 Dec 1998 07:11:32 -0500


I found this in my archives.

Nalinaksha Bhattacharyya
<A HREF="http://finance.commerce.ubc.ca/~bhatta">http://finance.commerce.ubc.ca/~bhatta</A>
"The lifestyle of the Indian elite is amazing...I've never seen
such opulence even in America"---Noam Chomsky in New Delhi in 1996

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 1997 11:51:24 UTC-0800
From: Nalinaksha Bhattacharyya <bhatta@unixg.email
To: bharat@cs.email
Subject: How toilets were introduced on Indian trains.
Newsgroups: soc.culture.bengali,soc.culture.bangladesh
Resent-Date: Wed, 26 Feb 97 12:06:37 PST8PDT
Resent-From: BHATTACHARYYA@phdlab.email
Resent-To: bhatta@unixg.email

This material below was posted on a thread discussing the pidgin and
broken Hindi spoken by many Bengalis who are not familier with the
language. One netter pointed out that the English of some Bengalis were
also equally hillarious. Happy reading.
Nalinaksha Bhattacharyya
*****************************************************************

Toilets were introduced on Indian trains only after a passenger, Okhil
Chandra Sen, wrote a letter in 1909 to the Sahibganj divisional office
complaining about how he missed the train when he got down to attend to
the call of nature.
The Times of India recently reproduced the unedited letter.

Dear Sir,
I am arrive by passenger train Ahmedpur istation and belly
is too much swelling with jackfruit. I am therefore went to privy. Just
I doing the nuisance that guard making whistle blow for train to go off
and I am running with 'lota' in one hand and 'dothi' in the next when I
fall over and expose all my shocking to man and female women on
platform.
This too much bad, if passengers go to make dung that dam
guard not wait five minutes for me. I am therefore pray your honour to
make big fine on that guard for public sake. Otherwise I am making big
report to papers.

From: Balasubramanian, Vijay <>

Subject: Re: Travelogues required

Date: 01 Dec 1998 07:22:35 -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.

Apurva, if you can get hold of the archives of the 80s and early 90s,
you
will dish out quite a few travelogues.


>
> 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.

In fact, the Mails were the first trains to be dieselized (and their
load
augmented) in their respective sections. The first set of trains to be
speeded up to 110 kmph. were the Frontier Mail, the Howrah-Bombay Mail
via
Nagpur, the Kalka-Delhi-Howrah Mail and the GT exp. (surprisingly, no
mail
train between Delhi and Madras). Back in the 70s and early 80s, I used
to
love traveling on the Howrah-Bombay Mail via Allahabad since it would be
hauled by a WDM2 between Bhusaval and Allahabad and we would encounter
quite
a few steam-hauled trains (Bombay-Lucknow Exp., Bhagalpur Janata Exp.,
etc.)
during the trip. This meant that our Mail was more prestigous and I
loved
it!!

Moreover, Mails would always be given precedence in single-line
crossings
over other express trains.


>
> > 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,

That is correct. The lines towards Kharagpur branch away from the
Barddhaman lines as soon as one passes the road overbridge.


> > 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 ?

Apparently, it does. This was the main reason for introducing Kharagpur
as
a halt for the Coromandel Exp. which used to travel non-stop between
Howrah
and Bhubhaneswar. The Coromandel used to have one of the grandest runs
among all IR train - just three halts for a 1664 km. run - Bhubaneswar,
Waltair (now Visakhapatnam) and Vijayawada, with an average inter-halt
distance of over 400 km.


>
> > 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 ?

Used to be a privately owned rly. Was dismantled in the late-70s(?).
We
once drove from Calcutta to the western suburbs and beyond and I
remember
spotting remnants of NG tracks on the road. I even saw a station sign -
Bargachia - minus the tracks, of course.

Vijay

From: Madhav Acharya <>

Subject: Re: How toilets were introduced on Indian trains. (fwd)

Date: 01 Dec 1998 07:27:07 -0500


Horrible fruit, that jackfruit ! Do they have them in Bengal though ?
I thought they were found only in the south - or are they in all
coastal regions ?

Madhav

From: Balasubramanian, Vijay <>

Subject: Re: More fantasy trains

Date: 01 Dec 1998 07:39:32 -0500


> Dear Vijay
>
> The line is in the process of being upgraded becauses of the
> load of trains
> since March this year, especially the Rajdhani. I infact saw work in
> progress.

That's great. I am looking forward to the Mumbai-Madgaon Shatabdi with
minimal halts to match the Rajdhani. I am hoping that it would live up
to
its name and not be a caricature of a Shatabdi such as the ADI train.


>
> I had mentioned more stops, after observing the BCT - ADI
> Shatabdi which has
> quite a few stops at "smaller" palces like Borivali, Vapi,
> Bharuch, Anand
> and Nadiad compared to the regular expected Surat, Vadodara halts.
> Actually the stops could be Panvel, Ratnagiri, Kudal.
>
> Karmali(Old Goa) was for its proximity to Panjim and North
> Goa as a whole,
> where a lot of tourists may detrain/entrain.
> Chiplun as a industrial centre in the Konkan (Taj has their
> gateway resort
> located here too).
> Kudal serves the important area of Sindhudurg district (and
> if the timetable
> is observed, trains will halt at either Sawantwadi, Kudal,
> Sindhudurg or
> Kankavali stations)

Thanks, Rajan, for pointing out the importance of these stations. I was
not
aware of that. I still maintain that for the substantially higher fares
charged via the Shatabdi, commuters should have a fast, no-nonsense
train,
with minimal halts between Mumbai and Magdaon. As far as other stations
are
concerned, there are three other trains to Mumbai/Kurla and plenty of
'em to
Goa.


>
> But if you noted, taking the harbour line extension from
> Kurla to Panvel (34
> km) compared to Kurla Diwa Panvel
> (54 km), except for the locals, involves only two switches -
> at Kurla (from
> the main line) and Panvel (from the Harbour line to the main
> line. Via Diwa
> would mean a busy mainline till Diwa and more complicated
> crossings at Diwa,
> which can be time consuming.

We have discussed this before but why don't we have any local trains
that go
via CSTM-Dadar-Sion and then branch off to the Kurla-Chembur line and
proceed to Vashi-Panvel? At present, there is NO direct service between
Navi Mumbai and Dadar, Byculla, etc. Granted that this would
necessitate a
crossover to the Harbor Branch lines (between Kurla and Chunabhatti),
but if
we are talking about fast locals, the disrpution to main line traffic
would
be minimal. Any comments on why this is not being done?

BTW, the Belapur-Andheri locals via Vadala Rd. still exist. Three such
trains operate everyday with a 6 mt. halt at Vadala for direction
reversal.

Vijay

From: Kartik Pashupati <>

Subject: Re: Bhowani Junction and Julie

Date: 01 Dec 1998 08:19:11 -0500


Harsh Vardhan wrote:

>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.'

In the book, the name of the fictional railway is the "Delhi Deccan
Railway." Since it is set circa 1946, the concept of the "frontier"
would
be different from present-day interpretations (although India was moving
toward partition even then). I got the impression from the book that
the
locale was primarily Hindi-speaking, rather than Punjabi-speaking,
although
there are a good number of Sikh characters as well as Hindus and
Muslims.

The names of some of the other stations in the book (e.g. Gondwara) are
ambiguous enough to be either in UP or Punjab. I have not seen the movie
yet.

>Another such hindi movie was `Julie'.
>Both are a must for all Indian railfans.

I have not seen "Julie," but does the movie have any railway references?

Kartik.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
-----
"Only Robinson Crusoe had everything done by Friday."

Kartik Pashupati, Ph.D. (kpashupa@mailer.email

Florida State University
Department of Communication
356 Diffenbaugh Building
Tallahassee FL 32306-2064
Phone: 850-644-1809; Fax: 850-644-8642
------------------------------------------------------------------------
-----
Website: <A HREF="http://mailer.fsu.edu/~kpashupa">http://mailer.fsu.edu/~kpashupa</A>

From: Madhav Acharya <>

Subject: Re: Bhowani Junction and Julie

Date: 01 Dec 1998 08:21:27 -0500


More rail references in movies - the darjeeling toy train
appears in "Aradhana" in the famous "mere sapnon ki rani"
song. bit of trivia for those interested - Sharmila is reading
"When Eight bells toll" (Alistair Maclean) while Rajesh Khanna
is belting out the song on the road alongside.

Madhav

From: Vdate <>

Subject: Re: How toilets were introduced on Indian trains. (fwd)

Date: 01 Dec 1998 09:43:11 -0500


There is an exhibit in the National Railway Museum in New Delhi, on this
very
subject. Thanks.

From: Jishnu Mukerji <>

Subject: Re: Travelogues required

Date: 01 Dec 1998 09:50:10 -0500


Apurva Bahadur wrote:

> 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.

Indeed! I will try to conjure up a few of these as time permits.

. . . .

> > 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 ?

SER trains always used the South side of the station. This eliminates
the necessity of SER trains crossing the main ER traffic to get to the
SER tracks at Tikiapara. Before the new section was built to the south
i.e. platforms > 13, trains like the Howrah Bombay Mail via Nagpur used
to depart from platform 10. As it turns out long long distance trains
cannot really use any platform < 7 due to lack of length of platforms.
The platforms next to the cabway are 8 and 9. Rajdhani usually uses 9,
Poorva express 8.

> SE rail in indeed a pariah in Howrah,
> which is 'owned' by the ER. What is grandest station under the SER ?
> Is its Kharagpur ?

Or possibly Tatanagar? SER is headquartered in Garden Reach across the
river from Shalimar.. . . .

> > 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 ?

That was the Howrah Maidan - Amta and Howrah Maidan - Sheakhala Light
Railway, which was operated by Martin-Burn & Co. It does not operate
anymore. There has been a move afoot to build a BG line to Amta. I don't
know what progress, if any, has been made on it.

> > 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 !

and then there is Malatipatpur if memory serves me right, just before
you get to Puri.

Jishnu.

From: Balasubramanian, Vijay <>

Subject: Electrified sections

Date: 01 Dec 1998 10:10:41 -0500


Hi Folks,

While looking at IR map that comes with the TAAG timetable, I noticed
that
the following sections have been electrified:
Ludhiana-Ambala-Saharanpur,
Visakhapatnam-Vijayawada, Sitarampur-Kiul, Coimbatore-Trichur. Can
someone
let me know as to whether these have been energized for passenger
traffic?

Here are my conclusions by looking at the halt-times:
- Halt times for all South-North East train are 15 mts. or more at
Vijayawada, suggesting that locos. are still being changed at this
station.
- Halt times for all long-distance trains via Delhi-Ambala-Ludhiana are
20
mts. or more, indicating that these trains are being hauled by elec.
locos.
till Ludhiana
- Most of the main line trains from Howrah seem to be changing locos. at
Asansol itself; so they must be diesel-hauled in the Asansol-Kiul
section.
Others such as the Poorva / Rajdhani are diesel-hauled right from
Howrah.
-I have no idea about the situation in the Coimbatore-Trichur and
Ambala-Saharanpur sections.

It is clear that most of these electrified sections are part of ongoing
projects to completely electrify trunk routes such as Delhi-Amritsar,
Howrah-Chennai, and Chennai-Trivandrum. However, how does IR plan to
extend
Ambala-Saharanpur? via Meerut-Ghaziabad to Delhi or via
Moradabad-Lucknow-Varanasi to Mughalsarai?


Vijay

From: Nalinaksha Bhattacharyya <>

Subject: Re: How toilets were introduced on Indian trains. (fwd)

Date: 01 Dec 1998 11:37:09 -0500


They do have jackfruit in Bengal.

Nalinaksha Bhattacharyya
<A HREF="http://finance.commerce.ubc.ca/~bhatta">http://finance.commerce.ubc.ca/~bhatta</A>
"The lifestyle of the Indian elite is amazing...I've never seen
such opulence even in America"---Noam Chomsky in New Delhi in 1996

On Tue, 1 Dec 1998, Madhav Acharya wrote:

> Horrible fruit, that jackfruit ! Do they have them in Bengal though ?
> I thought they were found only in the south - or are they in all
> coastal regions ?
>
> Madhav
>
>
>

From: Nalinaksha Bhattacharyya <>

Subject: [naeembdnews

Date: 01 Dec 1998 12:01:33 -0500



This article is about how CIDA is reshaping Bangladesh Railways.

Nalinaksha Bhattacharyya
<A HREF="http://finance.commerce.ubc.ca/~bhatta">http://finance.commerce.ubc.ca/~bhatta</A>
"The lifestyle of the Indian elite is amazing...I've never seen
such opulence even in America"---Noam Chomsky in New Delhi in 1996

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 1998 09:51:45 -0500
From: "Mohaiemen, Naeem" <Naeem.Mohaiemen@hbo.email
Reply-To: naeembdnews@onelist.email
Subject: [naeembdnews] CIDA moves to bigger fish in Bangladesh

From: "Mohaiemen, Naeem" <Naeem.Mohaiemen@hbo.email

THE GLOBE AND MAIL (CANADA)
Canada's new way to lend a hand
Village wells are fine but as CIDA turns 30 it wants bigger fish to fry.

Tough love for Bangladesh's railway.

Monday, November 30, 1998
JOHN STACKHOUSE
Development Issues Reporter

Dhaka -- There is not a poor person in sight as coffee and biscuits are
served
to Bangladesh Rail's top managers, who
have gathered for a training session -- and a peek into the future of
Canada's
foreign-aid program.

Cut jobs, they are told in an air-conditioned office well above the
chaos of the
Bangladeshi capital. Identify your
customer. Get a new accounting system. And, for heaven's sake, be
"inclusive"
when you rip your institution to shreds
in order to save it.

It could be a scene right out of the CN Rail reorganization (though the
Bangladeshi chief executive won't get a
million-dollar bonus), but this is the handiwork of the Canadian
International
Development Agency.

After 30 years of fighting poverty and, more recently, fighting for its
own
future, the federal agency is moving much of
its effort upstairs. Instead of tackling the symptoms of poverty on the
streets
of Dhaka, CIDA is trying to reform
institutions, such as Bangladesh Rail, that may be part of the cause.

The process is called "institutional reform" and can be seen across the
developing world -- in the power industry in India
and the postal service in Guatemala, for example -- because these
organizations,
when run properly, are increasingly seen
as vital to their countries' growth.

A Canadian team has been busy for four years helping the state-owned
Bangladesh
Rail stand on its own feet. As with
CN, the goal is to ease it out of political hands and endow it with
financial
and accounting systems to match all the
equipment donated over the past 20 years.

For CIDA, which turned 30 this fall, the overhaul provides a glimpse of
where it
is headed in a world where commerce is
more important than government grants.

But it is also a chance to correct one of its less successful programs
in a
country that has received more than $1-billion in
Canadian aid.

"One of the big lessons of the past is this: You cannot do technical
training or
build something and walk away from it,"
CIDA president Huguette Labelle said in an interview.

And so Bangladesh Rail has chopped inefficient routes and workshops
built for
political reasons. Intercity ticketing
services have been privatized, ending an era of ticketless travel on
train tops.
And golden handshakes have been given to
17,000 employees, cutting Bangladesh Rail's bloated work force by 30 per
cent
(with 10,000 more to go).

An organization raised on foreign aid also talks of marketing, finding
new
customers and competing with trucks and river
boats to survive. If all goes according to plan, Bangladesh Rail, once a
bastion
of inefficiency, will become its own
corporation free from political and bureaucratic interference.

Many development thinkers used to believe that the right laws, policies
and
regulations were enough to allow people to
develop at their own pace. But now CIDA and many other organizations
believe you
also need well-run institutions such
as central banks, courts, police forces, universities and railways, each
with
strong people and strong systems independent
of political whims.

That was not always the case in Bangladesh, where Canada has spent
$200-million
to help develop a railway that until
recently provided little service and became a serious drain on the
national
treasury.

>From the outset, CIDA argued that an efficient railway was essential to
Bangladesh's future, both for industrial growth
and jobs, and to transport food and other essentials around the crowded
country
of 120 million people with little room for
road expansion.

But most of the Canadian money went toward expensive locomotives that
the
Bangladeshis did not know how, or could
not afford, to maintain. Millions more were spent on training people in
a system
that did not change and building
workshops in locations dictated by a military-backed government. Even
with all
the outside help, Bangladesh Rail lost as
much as $20-million a year entering the 1990s.

The Asian Development Bank, which also helped build Bangladesh Rail,
called the
whole experience "very
disappointing."

"Up to five years ago, the financial performance was worsening every
year," said
Hans Carlsson, a rail expert at the
Manila-based bank. "With assistance from us, Canada and Germany, it has
at least
halted. But more has to be done."

Now that preventive maintenance, economic routes and cost recovery are
the new
buzzwords, some results are showing.
This year, revenues will exceed expenses for the first time; three years
ago,
they fell short by 40 per cent.


The roots of Bangladesh's rail troubles can be seen in the northwestern
tip of
the country, in a vast complex that rises
unnaturally from the emerald-green rice paddies like an oil rig on the
high
seas.

Here at the Parbatipur workshop, maintenance crews dismantle and repair
locomotives using state-of-the-art equipment
that Canadian advisers say would put most CN facilities to shame. The
facility
was completed six years ago, a
post-Persian Gulf war gift from Saudi Arabia, where hundreds of
thousands of
Muslim Bangladeshis toil on construction
sites and oil rigs and as domestic servants.

The sprawling shop, warehouse and leafy campus came as a surprise to the
Canadians who had spent more than a decade
developing the railway, and they did not like the location.

But they had little choice. The "Central" Locomotive Workshop was built
in the
far northwest because General Hussein
Ershad, the military-backed president at the time, wanted it there. It's
his
home district.

Having locomotives cross the country for repair isn't the only problem.
Despite
all the electronic gadgetry, the crews
must repair a veritable United Nations of rolling stock -- equipment
from
Canada, Germany, Eastern Europe and India
that dates back to the early 1950s.

The Canadian advisers in Parbatipur hope that management reforms, rather
than
more money, can ease the situation. The
emphasis now is on keeping track of locomotives and the distance they
travel,
persuading workers to accept more than
one task and developing inventory systems. As a result, the average
maintenance
job has been cut to less than 60 days. It
used to be about one year.

The Canadians also feel that better management could allow Bangladesh
Rail to
drop as many as 50 of its 280
locomotives. "They've got $60-million in assets they don't need," said
adviser
Jim Foster, a retired CN official.

CIDA's reforms probably would have failed without the help of the much
larger
Asian Development Bank. Having put
$350-million into the railway with perhaps $80-million more to come for
the
reform program, the ADB led the charge in
cutting jobs (80 per cent of the budget goes to salaries) and hopes to
free up
funds for spare parts and maintenance.

The reform program also might have failed had it not paid attention to
history
and local politics.

Traffic on what is now Bangladesh's railway began in 1862, under British
administration. After the partition of India in
1947 and then the liberation of East Pakistan in 1971, newly formed
Bangladesh
inherited a hodgepodge of broad-gauge
and narrow-gauge tracks that prevented a truly national system. There
was also
no link over the Jamuna River, which
slices the country in two and forced Bangladesh Rail to transport rail
cars by
barge.

The government and aid donors eventually agreed to build a 4.8-kilometre
bridge
across the Jamuna, which opened this
year, but included a rail line only after intense Canadian lobbying.

The bridge will cut 12 hours and thousands of dollars in costs from the
average
rail shipment of petroleum to the
northwest and of rice to the south. It will also save the railway about
100 days
a year in down time at the river's edge
because of flooding and bad weather.

More important, it will speed the integration of Bangladesh Rail with
India's
rail service, and the vast Indian economy.


Despite the positive signs, the reforms also have had their pitfalls.
The
rapid-fire staff reduction led, as often happens in
Canada, to the loss of more talented people -- welders, electricians,
locomotive
drivers -- who happily took the severance
package and found better-paying jobs in the private sector.

So the railway, which has had a hiring freeze since 1985, is short 256
drivers
-- 15 per cent of its designed strength -- but
has a surplus of clerks, who can be seen throughout head office reading
newspapers and sipping tea.

Also, the job cuts did not mean better compensation for the remaining
staff, who
are paid about one-third what they
would earn in the private sector. (A typical mid-level rail manager
makes only
$150 a month, although the housing is
usually free.)

Because of the low pay -- a curse of public institutions in the
developing world
-- working hours are short and theft is
common. Many train radiators are damaged because drivers sell passengers
a spot
on the catwalks, blocking the engine's
ventilation. Most freight wagons have no brakes, so trains have to go at
half-speed.

Now, the advisers also are discovering how much work still needs to be
done at
the top, where senior managers still
prefer to leave the tough decisions to the Canadians.

"My experience is the ideas we have, we can't get them to our bosses,"
said K.
M. A. Rob, a Bangladesh Rail official on
secondment to the Canadian project.

"When a foreign consultant is there, our bosses give him their undivided
time
and implement what he says. Those people
have the money and the suggestions. I have only the suggestions."

AID OR TRADE?

Since Bangladesh's independence in 1971, Canada has provided food
assistance to
its destitute women, financed
family-planning programs, invested in rural credit schemes and supported
grassroots organizations that have grown to
become a powerful alternative to the government.

But is that enough to reduce poverty?

"It seems to me the 1990s has been a more typical CIDA mixed bag --
still strong
support for NGOs [non-governmental
organizations], but always concern for what's in it for Canada," said
Roger
Young, a B.C.-based development consultant
and author of a study on CIDA in Bangladesh.

Mr. Young argued that, after spending more than $1-billion in
Bangladesh, the
agency has yet to cut to the heart of the
country's endemic poverty. As well, it has failed to persuade Canada to
make
broader trade reforms that would ultimately
create jobs and economic development in Bangladesh.

"My belief still is that the best thing you can do for a country like
Bangladesh
is sign a free-trade agreement," he said.

However, some Bangladeshis prefer a deal with neighbouring India, which
supplies
them with almost everything from
yarn to rocks for road construction.

For example, Bangladeshi garment producers want faster, cheaper access
to Indian
textiles and ports. Last year, Canada
removed restrictions on cotton T-shirts from developing countries, and
Bangladesh lost about 95 per cent of its orders to
China.

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From: skb <>

Subject: Re: Travelogues required

Date: 01 Dec 1998 18:03:17 -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

I second this motion:-)

> > 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 !

Sorry to disrupt the mood, but, AFAIK, the place is "sakkhi Gopal"
(though
I don't recall any station, always went there by bus from Puri).
"Saakkhi",
meaning "witness" (as an often unwilling character in a court
proceeding,
not very "evocative" by the way, there is some story how Gopal became
witness to something)...

Samir

PS: This from vague memory, eager to stand corrected!

From: Anne Ogborn <>

Subject: Re: Bhowani Junction and Julie

Date: 01 Dec 1998 21:05:20 -0500




Madhav Acharya wrote:

> More rail references in movies - the darjeeling toy train
> appears in "Aradhana" in the famous "mere sapnon ki rani"
> song. bit of trivia for those interested - Sharmila is reading
> "When Eight bells toll" (Alistair Maclean) while Rajesh Khanna
> is belting out the song on the road alongside.
>
> Madhav

Some film I saw when I first was learning hindi had the young couple
standing up in an amusement park "joy train" style train and singing. I
was suprised
at how much track this little train had., it seemed an extensive setup.
Anybody know what film this was? (Salman Khan was male lead).

From: Harsh Vardhan <>

Subject: Re: Bhowani Junction and Julie

Date: 01 Dec 1998 22:24:14 -0500


`Julie' was based on the story of an anglo indian girl(whose father is a
steam locomotive driver) falling in love with a high caste bengali
brahmin
boy(whose father is the Sr. railwayman of that area). Remember, british
used
to reserve skilled jobs for anglo indians in the railways since indians
could not be entrusted with the same !

The film is shot at Shoranur Jn.(one of the former great sheds with a
roundhouse) with glimpses of AWD, WP, WG and HPS class locos. It is
shown
frequently on the Zee and Star network although this version is censored
in
many places.

HARSH

-----Original Message-----
From: Kartik Pashupati <kpashupa@mailer.email
To: Harsh Vardhan <champa@del3.email Indian Railway Fan Club
Association <irfca@cs.email
Date: Wednesday, December 02, 1998 8:11 AM
Subject: Re: Bhowani Junction and Julie


>Harsh Vardhan wrote:
>
>>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.'
>
>In the book, the name of the fictional railway is the "Delhi Deccan
>Railway." Since it is set circa 1946, the concept of the "frontier"
would
>be different from present-day interpretations (although India was
moving
>toward partition even then). I got the impression from the book that
the
>locale was primarily Hindi-speaking, rather than Punjabi-speaking,
although
>there are a good number of Sikh characters as well as Hindus and
Muslims.
>
>The names of some of the other stations in the book (e.g. Gondwara) are
>ambiguous enough to be either in UP or Punjab. I have not seen the
movie
>yet.
>
>>Another such hindi movie was `Julie'.
>>Both are a must for all Indian railfans.
>
>I have not seen "Julie," but does the movie have any railway
references?
>
>Kartik.
>
>-----------------------------------------------------------------------
----
--
>"Only Robinson Crusoe had everything done by Friday."
>
>Kartik Pashupati, Ph.D. (kpashupa@mailer.email
>
>Florida State University
>Department of Communication
>356 Diffenbaugh Building
>Tallahassee FL 32306-2064
>Phone: 850-644-1809; Fax: 850-644-8642
>-----------------------------------------------------------------------
----
--
>Website: <A HREF="http://mailer.fsu.edu/~kpashupa">http://mailer.fsu.edu/~kpashupa</A>
>
>
>

From: Apurva Bahadur <>

Subject: Re: How toilets were introduced on Indian trains. (fwd)

Date: 02 Dec 1998 00:58:27 -0500


My code word for Jackfruit (available aplenty in Pune) to my wife
Shyama
is 'big dung' !

Apurva

Madhav Acharya wrote:

> Horrible fruit, that jackfruit ! Do they have them in Bengal though ?
> I thought they were found only in the south - or are they in all
> coastal regions ?
>
> Madhav

From: Apurva Bahadur <>

Subject: Re: Travelogues required

Date: 02 Dec 1998 01:07:17 -0500


> Back in the 70s and early 80s, I used to
> love traveling on the Howrah-Bombay Mail via Allahabad since it would
be
> hauled by a WDM2 between Bhusaval and Allahabad and we would encounter
quite
> a few steam-hauled trains (Bombay-Lucknow Exp., Bhagalpur Janata Exp.,
etc.)
> during the trip. This meant that our Mail was more prestigous and I
loved
> it!!

Vijay,

My vote for the favourite train goes to -----The 3004 / 3003 ! As
much as everyone hates this train, I find this 'two sides of a
traingle' route from Mumbai to Howrah an extremely intresting and an
epic journey. It traverses two long sections of the IR - Mumbai -
Allahabad via Itarsi & Allahabad - Howrah via MGS.

Apurva

From: Apurva Bahadur <>

Subject: Re: Bhowani Junction and Yatra

Date: 02 Dec 1998 01:07:58 -0500


> 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.

I have a copy of Yatra on video tape. The director Shyam Benegal and
his team had all the privileges that they could ask for - their own
rake
and facility to shoot as they pleased. But I am sorry to say that they
let such a golden opportunity go by. It is quite evident that while
the first few episodes are shot with a lot of care, the rest are just
dragged on to complete the mandatory 13 episodes. Actually if you cut
out the human story crap out the episodes, the railway bits would not
cover even 15 minutes over the 13 episodes. There are some
extraordinary shots of a WDM 2 starting in pre dawn light and of YPs &
YDM 4s in desert environment. Although the story is half witted and
full of holes, the serial is a must see for the all of you. Maybe in
some time I could
have a facility to copy a VHS clipping onto the internet for all of
you to see. Maybe in 2 years time with a cable modem or ISDN or
something like that. The travel is from Kanya Kumari - Jammu -back to
Pathankot - NG to Joginder Nagar - switch to MG to Rajasthan - jump to
Assam on BG & MG. Actually I have seen this a long time ago and will
have to see it once more to get the correct details. There is no BG
steam in this serial.

Apurva


Apurva

From: S.B.Mehta <>

Subject: Great Journeys

Date: 02 Dec 1998 01:12:50 -0500


Hi,

This is especially for steam lovers of the IR. Viraf and I are
giving a detailed account of our Tryst with Steam. Please open the
attachment which is in plain text.

Incidentally, this very article has been forwarded to Harsh,
alongwith photographs, by Viraf and will be published in instalments
in the forthcoming issues of FNRM Newsletter.

We, Viraf and I, request you all to give us your feedback, criticisms
are welcome, as well. This will only help us in covering our next
trip to Wankaner early next month where MG steam is very much active.



======================
Sarosh Bakhtyar Mehta
M/s. Godrej & Boyce Mfg.Co.Ltd.
Machine Tool Division
Pirojshanagar, Vikhroli,
MUMBAI 400 079
INDIA
Tel:(Office) 577 3535 / 577 3636 Extn: 3917/3907/3909
Tel:(Residence) 389 3150
Fax:(Office) 91 22 517 2229 / 91 22 518 2289
Email sarosh@godrej.email
=======================
Wisdom dawns only after knowledge is gained

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