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From: Apurva Bahadur <>

Subject: Re: Mango and other fruit specials

Date: 05 May 1999 01:54:47 -0500


Amongst the other 40 wagon BCN rake of fruits is the Banana dispatch
from
Varangaon yard at Bhusawal. Bhusawal has a special line (kela line)
where the
bananas are loaded for the rest of the country. And it stinks !
I wonder if similar fruit specials work from the likes of Vasco
(Pineapples),
Mangalore (Jackfruit) and Nagpur (Oranges).

Apurva

Vdate@aol.email wrote:

> Railways doing something right. The attached appeared in 5.5.1999
Hindustan
> Times
> Mr. Vinod Bajaj, a trader, said increased supplies may lead to further
fall
> in prices. On Wednesday another 40-wagon rake is expected to arrive.
At
> long last the Railways have linked the country’s biggest market,
Delhi, with
> its mango backyard.
>
> Mr. Chopra says the Railways departed form its usual practice of
allocating
> parcel vans that carry a maximum of 14 tonnes each. A 24-wagon rake
of such
> vans could carry a maximum of 330 tonnes, hardly impacting prices.
This year,
> when traders approached the Railways with a request for bigger wagons,
they
> were offered bogey Covered Air-Brake Vans (BCNs), each rake capable of
> carrying over 1,000 tonnes

From: Apurva Bahadur <>

Subject: Re: Buffer Query & Oddities

Date: 05 May 1999 02:21:29 -0500


> H: The EF/1s are derived from the Swiss Crocodile class of engines, so
> named due to an alleged resemblance to that animal while hugging
curves,
> thanks to a very long wheelbase and low slung profile. The Indian
> crocodiles had a pole in the cab to raise and lower the pantograph.

The staff calls (used to call) the EF/1 / WCG 1 the 'khekda' or crab
unlike the
European nickname the 'crocodile'. The fact that this loco has
articulated hoods
does not impress anyone in the Mumbai division, the ungainly siderod
links is
what the loco is nicknamed about. All the Mumbai division mail / express
drivers
I know had started their apprenticeship on this loco. All are in praise
of its
superior tractive capabilities. Their chief grouse was having to
lubricate the
link motion in all weathers at all stops. The pole was in the corridor
to push
the panto to get the air compressor to get started, once the compressor
kicked
in, the air pressure would hold the panto up. Even today the shed staff
has a
long insulated pole which is used to push up sticking pantos to the
catenary.
The staff first touches the side of the loco body first before pushing
the pole
to the panto. In this way the pole gets earthed first before connecting
to the
OHE potential. I am sure that this is just a precaution which would pay
off in
wet weather.

Please remember the twin engined MLR Jung and Jungenthal NDM 1 is also a
'crocodile'. The Down journey (climbing) is done with both engines
(prime
movers) running while the Up journey is on one engine, the other one is
disconnected by a dog clutch.

>More modern oddities are the ac/dc capability of the WCAMs, the
There are many European locos (and some in USA as well ?) which run on
dual
voltages. I remeber reading somewhere that some Swiss locos cater to 5
different
voltages. Need verification of this fact.

From: Suresh Mutuswami <>

Subject: Re: TRAVELOGUES on IR, and books in general.

Date: 05 May 1999 03:50:36 -0500



On Wed, 5 May 1999, Dr. K.J. Walker & Mrs. M.E, Heath wrote:

> We still desperately need some really good quailty histories and
> travelogues about IR, entertainingly written and informative. How
about it,
> IRFCA members?
> Cheers
> Ken Walker

Regarding histories of IR, there is a book called "Building the Railways

of the Raj" by Ian Kerr. Unfortunately, the book is addressed to
professional historians and does not make for easy reading. But the
references in the book may prove useful.

The 150th anniversary of our railways is now less than four years away:
one hopes that other than the stupid ritual of politicians giving
idiotic
speeches and inaugurating new trains (all of which must of course have
Delhi as a starting point), something constructive like an
authoritative "History of Indian Railways" will come out as well. If
the
State Bank of India can hire a professional economic historian (Prof.
Amiya Bagchi) to write its history, then surely the least that the
Indian
Railways can do is to hire some competent person to write about its own
past. (I hope however that the "competent" person does not turn out to
be
some past (or present) bureaucrat who does a mishmash job.)

Suresh

From: poras p.saklatwalla <>

Subject: Re: TRAVELOGUES on IR, and books in general.

Date: 05 May 1999 04:36:27 -0500


Suresh,
I think you are expecting too much from these mandarins of the Rail
Bhavan. Something like this would not have even touched their brains,
and
right now the politicians must be promising several trains in their
election speeches. I think somebody from the IRFCA should take the onus
and contribute a little, hire someone with expertise and start work.
These
sort of things take time.

IMHO this is possible, but expecting something from RAil Bhavan or from
Rail Ministry is next to impossible.

By the way can someone send me the CR pro's email address as well as
their
website.

Harsh are there is a RAIL MAgazine that comes out every few months.
Can
I
get the next copy. If yes what is the subscription I pay for this ?

Thanking you,

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

From: John Lacey <>

Subject: travel writing

Date: 05 May 1999 04:54:44 -0500


One of the great rail travel books is "All Aboard with E.M.Frimbo" ( the
world's greatest train traveller) by Rogers Whittaker and (Anthony
Hiss?). Frimbo set out to travel over every mile of passenger track in
the USA.
Once he had achieved that ambition, it was to be passenger trains around
the world. I used to take a subscription to the New Yorker just to read
a Frimbo story every few months: they would appear at random, at least
in his last few years.
I don't have my copy at hand to check details, or the extent of Indian
coverage( which from memory is very brief) but the book is very
entertaining and has more for the railway enthusiast than Theroux. It
appeared just before Railway Bazaar and I think Frimbo did not attract
the attention it deserved due to the huge success of the Theroux book,
which I have read I suppose at least twenty times over the years,
appreciating the fine writing ( and ignoring the railway errors: the
railways as such are simply not his subject or interest).
Another Theroux book which involves trains is The Kingdom By the Sea in
which he travels to the English south coast by train and then walks to
the next railhead, meeting varous characters and discoursing on
Thatcher's Britain while the Falklands War is in the background. The
mystery of Duffil from Bazaar is solved along the way.
Another travel book which (surprisingly) does have a section involving
train travel from Kanpur to Calcutta is Alexander Frater's Beyond The
Blue Horizon ( On The Track of Imperial Airways Heinemann 1986). Frater
retraces the 1935 air route from London to Brisbane.

My favourite piece of travel writing involving Indian trains is in Gavin
Young's collection Worlds Apart ( Travels in Peace and War, Hutchison
1987). The article, called Journey on a Perfect little Train
describes a November 1977 journey from Delhi to Palumpur including a
steam cab ride on the Kangra Valley line.
The last essay in the book is a very simple but moving piece called
Tuticorin, the Spirit of the Seas, but it has no real railway interest.

John

From: Apurva Bahadur <>

Subject: Picture of a WP

Date: 05 May 1999 05:50:30 -0500


This is a rare picture on the internet. The picture of a WP !
Check it out on my webpage and get back with your comments
<A HREF="http://members.tripod.com/ApuB/">http://members.tripod.com/ApuB/</A>

Apurva

From: Dr. S. Parthasarathy <>

Subject: Accident at Tada

Date: 05 May 1999 07:23:59 -0500


From THE HINDU 4th May 1999


***QUOTE
CHENNAI, MAY 4.

Eight wagons of a goods train derailed near Tada railway station, about
65 kms from here, in
the wee hours of Tuesday resulting in three to four hours delay in the
arrival of trains in Chennai from Gudur side.

Due to the derailment, both the up and down lines were affected. A
massive effort was on to restore the track
which was affected, at the earliest. The restoration process suffered
delay as a crane which was being taken to
the accident site, derailed on the way, near Ponneri railway station,
about 35 km from Tada.

According to railway sources, the goods train with 34 wagons carrying
wheat, was on its way to Whitefield near
Bangalore from Bhatinda in Punjab, when the accident occurred around
1.35 a.m as it was entering Tada railway
station in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh. The axle in one of the
wagons got cut resulting in derailment. The
impact of the accident was such that about half-a-dozen overhead
equipment (OHE) masts were damaged, the
sources said. One of the structures was badly twisted. Two `point
machines' were also completely damaged. As a
portion of the derailment was over a small bridge, the wooden sleepers
were crushed. While the OHE was
damaged for nearly a kilometre, the track suffered damage for about two
kms.

Since the masts carrying the electric traction were affected trains
could not be operated on the other line also.

On receipt of information, the Divisional Railway Manager, Chennai,
Mr.M.R.Ramakrishnan, reached the spot and
supervised the restoration process.

Even as the railway workers were trying hard to restore traffic, a
crane, which was on its way to the accident
spot, derailed between Ponneri and Kavarapettai stations. When the
formation, hauled by an electric locomotive,
was just ahead of the Araniyar river bridge, the crane hit a piece of
rail lying by the side of the track, resulting in
the derailment. It was rerailed around 1.15 p.m. and reached the
accident spot.

In view of the derailment, trains from Chennai Central towards Gudur
and in the opposite direction were run via
Arakkonam and Renigunta. The arrival of Bokaro-Alleppey Express, Howrah
Mail, Grand Trunk Express, Tamil
Nadu Express, Charminar Express, Hyderabad Express and Circar Express
arrived here three to four hours late.
The Coromandel Express, Navajivan Express and Lucknow Express which
left Chennai this morning were run via
the diverted route.

The down line was cleared for traffic by 12.45 p.m. Restoration work on
the up-line (on which the goods train was running) is likely to be over
by Wednesday morning, the sources said.

**UNQUOTE

From: Apurva Bahadur <>

Subject: Re: Picture of a WP

Date: 05 May 1999 09:22:41 -0500


Thanks - There are only two left at Charbagh which are being retrofitted
with
airbrakes to possibly haul the Palace on wheels.

"Dipl.-Ing. Nikolaus Sbarounis" wrote:

> On Wed, 05 May 1999 18:20:30 +0530, Apurva Bahadur wrote:
>
> > This is a rare picture on the internet. The picture of a WP !
> > Check it out on my webpage and get back with your comments
> > <A HREF="http://members.tripod.com/ApuB/">http://members.tripod.com/ApuB/</A>
> >
> > Apurva
> >
>
> Beautiful! I'm dying to see them once again in regular service!
>
> ________________________________________________
> Visit my rail website:
> <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/7209">http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/7209</A>
>
> _______________________________________________________
> Get your free, private email at <A HREF="http://mail.excite.com/">http://mail.excite.com/</A>

From: Apurva Bahadur <>

Subject: [Fwd: Picture of a WP

Date: 05 May 1999 10:22:36 -0500


Let me forward this query to the rest of the gang. As far as I know
these are the only
two WPs still in running order. Charbagh is a shed in Lucknow.

Apurva

From: Pradip613 <>

Subject: Re: Picture of a WP

Date: 05 May 1999 10:27:31 -0500



A beautiful picture of the WP in Apurva's web site. Disappointing to
hear
that there are only two left. Is that two in service or just two in all
in
India? Is there any place one can get scale models of the WP, in any of
the
popular hobby sizes? If not, have any one of our hobbyists ever made
one of
them from scratch? Would like to hear from any one with interesting
things
they have done building scale models.

Pradip Rao

From: Shanku Niyogi <>

Subject: Re: [Fwd: Picture of a WP]

Date: 05 May 1999 10:49:22 -0500


To the best of my knowledge (from what I heard from the CPRO and
assorted
other staff), Eastern Railways, which once had a fine collection of WPs,
now
has none in any form - they have all been scrapped. I hope the
information
is incorrect.

-----Original Message-----
From: Apurva Bahadur [mailto:iti@vsnl.email
Sent: Wednesday, May 05, 1999 10:23 AM
To: IRFCA
Subject: [Fwd: Picture of a WP]


Let me forward this query to the rest of the gang. As far as I know
these
are the only
two WPs still in running order. Charbagh is a shed in Lucknow.

Apurva

From: Shankar <>

Subject: Oddities

Date: 05 May 1999 11:11:48 -0500


Hello Apurva,Dr.Walker and other friends,
To answer Apurva's question, yes, there do exist electric engines in
Europe (notable France) which can run on four different voltages:1500V
dc, 3000V dc, 15,000V ac and 25.000V ac.These used to power the Trans
Europe Expresses (TEE) and were conceived to run through different
countries using different voltages. These engines were called
"quadricurrent" locomotives.As such, the ac/dc WCAMs are not oddities
per se, but are unusual on the IR.
Same goes for the rack and pinion Nilgiri trains, fireless
locomotive,and the double decker cars. The first dd car was introduced
on the erstwhile East Indian Railway in 1862. Wooden bodied and
4-wheeler, a model is preserved at the NRM in Delhi.
To Dr. K.J.Walker, yes indeed, I thought a series on oddities would be
fun.
But surprisingly, the response has only been very lukewarm.

Here are a few more oddities I could think of:

A.Two are in the NRM itself: One, the double decker wooden bodied sheep
van with overhead water tank and accommodation for one attendant, and
two, the box car from the erstwhile Oudh and Rohilkhund Railway, with
unusual circular doors (locked from the INSIDE!).
Also the railmotor (passenger car with built-in steam locomotive) which
once worked on the East Indian Railway. The engine portion was later
removed and is now in the NRM as 'Phoenix'.

B:The Tata lorries fitted with train wheels and used as self propelled
sundry items carriers on the Madras-Arakonam line (during
electrification) and later on teh Konkan Railway. I think Apurva has
posted a pic of one such contraption in his website.

C: SOme ng cars on the WR, notably in the Dabhoi area have special dog
boxes with doggie-level lookout windows, usually closed with exquisitely
shaped grillework.A pic of one of these lookouts is featured in the book
'India-No Problem Sahib".

D. SOme of the wartime MAWD engines on the SR had their headlight
fitted to the middle of the smokebox door, (somewhat like the WP, but
without
the streamlining. This greatly enhanced their typical Yankee appearance.

E: The crude hand-built ng diesel railcars on the Bangarapet-Yelahanka
line near Bangalore. (now defunct after the line was regauged to bg. I
don't think you will see such crude workmanship anywhere else in the
world!

f: The hand pulled fire trolleys placed on the platforms of several
stations on the GIP Rly (now CR): notable Lonavle, Khandala,
Yadgir.There had to be pulled manually on the platform by two men.A
rudimentary hand-pump was provided to pump water.Withdrawn as recently
as 1992, two are now in the NRM in delhi.

Other non-rolling stock oddities on the IR are:

1. Serving chai in earthern cups all over the ER and lunch on banana
leaves on the SCR and SR.
2.Solar semaphore signal on the SR.
3. Sandhurst Road station on the Bombay (oops:Mumbai) suburban section
is the only one in the country to be situated on two levels:regular, and
upper level.I think the upper level station must be the only station in
India to be built completely on top of a bridge.
4. The approach to the upper level station is by a steep incline (all
harbor line trains take this). This is supposed to be the steepest
UN-AIDED climb for bg on the entire IR network.
5.THe drive through platforms of Madras Egmore station, where one could
(and still can, for a fee) drive right upto the train car.Such a
facility also existed on a very limited scale at Howrah station, though
I do not know if it is still used.
6.The wooden foot overbridge at Madras Egmore must also be one of a
kind.
7.Shunting by elephant in certain areas, I think on the NF or ER.
8. The longest station platform in India is Kharagpur at 2733 ft.This
may not be an odditty in itself as worldwide, I think one can see even
longer platforms.
But try this. The longest station name on the IR network (certainly an
oddity) is VENKATANARASIMHARAJUVARIPETA: The station immediately after
Renigunta (whenproceeding towards Bombay) on the Madras-Bombay
line.However, its only a flag station, and is not listed.
THe shortest name must be IB, on the SER.
Will post if I can think of anything else.
Cheers.(with due apologies to Dr.Walker!)
Shankar

From: Jishnu Mukerji <>

Subject: Re: Oddities

Date: 05 May 1999 12:03:59 -0500


Shankar wrote:
>
> Hello Apurva,Dr.Walker and other friends,
> To answer Apurva's question, yes, there do exist electric engines in
> Europe (notable France) which can run on four different voltages:1500V
> dc, 3000V dc, 15,000V ac and 25.000V ac.These used to power the Trans
> Europe Expresses (TEE) and were conceived to run through different
> countries using different voltages. These engines were called
> "quadricurrent" locomotives.As such, the ac/dc WCAMs are not oddities
> per se, but are unusual on the IR.

Now there are entire TGV sets, the four system Thalys sets that travel
from Paris to Brussels/Amsterdam/Cologne that have quidricurrent
capabilities. they also have to handle 5 different automatic train
control/signalling interfaces (French TVM430 and Crocodile, Belgian
something, Dutch something and German Indusi). They are a veritable
museum of European automatic train control technologies.

This brings up a question.... Are there any stretches of IR where any
ATS or ATP are currently deployed, or any sor tof Cab Signalling
anywhere?

Continuing on the multi-voltage theme, in the USA Amtrak AEM7s can run
on 11.5kV 25Hz, 12kV 60Hz and 25kV 60Hz, and change supply current on
the fly across phase gaps. The new 8000HP Alstom electrics and the new
Acela high speed trainsets also have the same capability.

New Jersey Transit ALP-44s can run on 25kV 60Hz, 11.5kV 25Hz and 12kV
60Hz and change supply on the fly across phase gaps to.

Metro-North (Connecticut DOT) EMUs can run on 12kV 60Hz and third rail
600vDC and change supply on the fly near Pelham on their run from New
York Grand Central Terminal to New Haven CT.

> Other non-rolling stock oddities on the IR are:
>
> 5.THe drive through platforms of Madras Egmore station, where one
could
> (and still can, for a fee) drive right upto the train car.Such a
> facility also existed on a very limited scale at Howrah station,
though
> I do not know if it is still used.

The last time I was there at Howrah about 15 months back, the cabway was
operational. I don't know if anything has changed since then... probably
not. They built a completely new exit incline to connect to the new
bridge across Howrah station recently.

Jishnu.

From: Henry Posner III <>

Subject: Re: Picture of a WP

Date: 05 May 1999 14:06:41 -0500


I believe there are WP plinthed at at least one location besides the
Rail
Museum in Delhi. One of the Indian Steam Sunset videos (excellent, by
the
way)includes a WP being Black Beauty-fied in advance of a plinthing.

-----Original Message-----
From: Apurva Bahadur [mailto:iti@vsnl.email
Sent: Wednesday, May 05, 1999 12:23 PM
To: Dipl.-Ing. Nikolaus Sbarounis
Cc: IRFCA
Subject: Re: Picture of a WP


Thanks - There are only two left at Charbagh which are being retrofitted
with
airbrakes to possibly haul the Palace on wheels.

"Dipl.-Ing. Nikolaus Sbarounis" wrote:

> On Wed, 05 May 1999 18:20:30 +0530, Apurva Bahadur wrote:
>
> > This is a rare picture on the internet. The picture of a WP !
> > Check it out on my webpage and get back with your comments
> > <A HREF="http://members.tripod.com/ApuB/">http://members.tripod.com/ApuB/</A>
> >
> > Apurva
> >
>
> Beautiful! I'm dying to see them once again in regular service!
>
> ________________________________________________
> Visit my rail website:
> <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/7209">http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/7209</A>
>
> _______________________________________________________
> Get your free, private email at <A HREF="http://mail.excite.com/">http://mail.excite.com/</A>

From: Sridhar Shankarnarayan <>

Subject: Re: More pictures + FAQ update

Date: 05 May 1999 15:23:59 -0500


At 02:21 PM 5/7/99 +0530, Apurva Bahadur wrote:


>Does that mean that the KK runs from NDLS to Manmad also on diesel
power ? If
>can you guess where the twin Itarsi powers are attached to this train
if
this
>train is electrically hauled from NDLS. Also can a single WAM 4 handle
a 24
>coach load ? What is the weight of this rake - 24 coaches = 1200 T ?
>Maybe Sridhar (who has travelled on this train from SBC to MMR) can
tell
us with
>the WDM 2s were indeed changed at MMR.
>
>Apurva

The Diesels go all the way to Itarsi (well the train left Manmad with
the
Diesels in place). My understanding is that an average coach weighs
about
60T, so a 24 coach rake would come in at about 1400 T. So I guess it
would
be within the capabilities of a WAM4 (and certainly a WAP3/4).

BTW, this train does make for a fabulous sight on curves.

-Sridhar
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sridhar Shankar
GSB MBA'99
The University of Chicago
1616 E. 50th Place, Apt. 13A
Chicago, IL 60615
(773) 752 1131

From: Sridhar Shankarnarayan <>

Subject: Re: More pictures + FAQ update

Date: 05 May 1999 15:23:59 -0500


At 02:21 PM 5/7/99 +0530, Apurva Bahadur wrote:


>Does that mean that the KK runs from NDLS to Manmad also on diesel
power ? If
>can you guess where the twin Itarsi powers are attached to this train
if
this
>train is electrically hauled from NDLS. Also can a single WAM 4 handle
a 24
>coach load ? What is the weight of this rake - 24 coaches = 1200 T ?
>Maybe Sridhar (who has travelled on this train from SBC to MMR) can
tell
us with
>the WDM 2s were indeed changed at MMR.
>
>Apurva

The Diesels go all the way to Itarsi (well the train left Manmad with
the
Diesels in place). My understanding is that an average coach weighs
about
60T, so a 24 coach rake would come in at about 1400 T. So I guess it
would
be within the capabilities of a WAM4 (and certainly a WAP3/4).

BTW, this train does make for a fabulous sight on curves.

-Sridhar
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sridhar Shankar
GSB MBA'99
The University of Chicago
1616 E. 50th Place, Apt. 13A
Chicago, IL 60615
(773) 752 1131

From: Auroprem Kandaswami <>

Subject: RAILWAYS OPEN MANGO FLOODGATES

Date: 05 May 1999 17:01:44 -0500


RAILWAYS OPEN MANGO FLOODGATES

By Udayan Namboodiri
The Hindustan Times
Wednesday, May 5, 1999

Nayee Dillee, May 4, 1999 - Mango prices, to the
delight of Delhiites groaning under a harsh summer, are
currently unusually low. Indications are they will
plunge further.

The reason: a bumper crop, and a unique handshake
between traders and the Indian Railways that has
resulted in the largest ever south-to-north movement of
the fruit.

Over the last 10 days, some 40,000 tonnes of the summer
delight have arrived at the fruit mart of Naya Azadpur
to the north of the Capital. Wholesale prices of a 12
kg basket of the Safeda variety was Rs 130 Tuesday,
compared to Rs 250 a year ago.

Dedicated rakes have been bringing them in every day
from orchards more than 2,000 km away - in Andhra
Pradesh.

"We have never handled such fruit volumes before," says
Mr M.N.Chopra, executive director (Coaching) of the
Railway Board. The president of the Delhi Mango
Merchants' Association, Mr Sudesh T.Sachdev, is all
praise for the Railways' flexibility in approach and
efficiency in service.

"They rose to the occasion when the road transportation
people could not ensure enough trucks to handle
nature's windfall this year."

Mr Vinod Bajaj, a trader, said increased supplies may
lead to further fall in prices. On Wednesday another
40-wagon rake is expected to arrive. At long last the
Railways have linked the country's biggest market,
Delhi, with its mango backyard.

Mr Chopra says the Railways departed form its usual
practice of allocating parcel vans that carry a maximum
of 14 tonnes each. A 24-wagon rake of such vans could
carry a maximum of 330 tonnes, hardly impacting prices.
This year, when traders approached the Railways with a
request for bigger wagons, they were offered bogey
Covered Air-Brake Vans (BCNs), each rake capable of
carrying over 1,000 tonnes.

Moreover, the Railways offered to break the speed
barrier of 50 hours by a whole day .

"This is part of the Railways turning to a more
oriented approach. We adopted a flexible approach
earlier on the passenger front when it was clear that
given the existing pressure on the limited tracks we
could not increase the number of trains whatever the
demand," Mr Chopra pointed out.

The solution -- simply extend the trains. Already in
force, this system will be extended tomorrow to cover
two Chennai bound trains: the Grand Trunk and Tamil
Nadu Expresses. Both will leave New Delhi with 24
coaches each.

The season for southern mangoes extends till mid-June.
After that it will be the turn of the Dasheris, Chausas
and Langras from Maliabad and eastwards. "We are ready
to offer this service to traders there too," Mr Chopra
said. But a trader in northern mangoes wondered how the
railways will tackle truckers' competition.

***

From: Dr. K.J. Walker & Mrs. M.E, Heath <>

Subject: Re: TRAVELOGUES on IR, and books in general.

Date: 05 May 1999 17:35:08 -0500


Dear Suresh,
To be fair to Ian Kerr, it was always intended as a scholarly
work,
directed mainly at labour historians. I have had the book since
publication,
and in my opinion, it is a very good scholarly work, even though it
quite
definitely isn't bedtime reading! I don't entirely agree with Kerr's
Marxist
positions, but he makes a good case for them. THere is no faulting his
detailed research, or the care he has taken.

As the post was about popular, easily-read books, I naturally
concentrated on those. There are a couple of other scholarly works of
distinction. Note especially

Derbyshire,·I.,·"The·Building· of· India's· Railways:· The· Application·
of·
Western·Technology·in·the·Colonial·Periphery·1850-1920,"·Ch.·7·in·
MacLeod,·
R.,·&·Kumar,·D.,·(Eds.)·Technology·and· the· Raj:· Western· Technology·
and·
Technical·Transfers·to·India,·1700-1947,· pp.· 177-215.· New· Delhi:·
Sage,·
1995.·15·x·23cm,·pp.·347,·bibliog.,·index.

MacPherson,·W.J.,·"Economic·Development·in·India·under·the· British·
Crown,·
1858-1947,"·Ch.·7·in·Youngson,·A.J.,·Economic·Development·in·the· Long·
Run·
(London,·Allen·&·Unwin,·1972).

Thorner,·D.,·Investment·in·Empire,·Chs.·1·&·7.

The best popular account so far is:
Westwood,· J.N.,· The· Railways· of· India.· Newton· Abbot:· David·
&·
Charles,_1974.·Written·by·a·historian·who·is· also· an· enthusiast.·
Now· a·
little·dated,·but·a·very·good·short·description·and·history.

More specialised, but very readable:
Thomas,·John,·Line·of·Communication.·London:· Locomotive· Publishing·
Co.,·
1947.·pp.·86.·("Excellent·acount·of· the· situation· in· Assam· and·
Bengal·
during·World·War·(sic:·actually·WWII)· Numerous· illustrations· of·
railway·
scenes.

This one is thin, but a nice coffee-table book:
Satow,·M.,·&·Desmond,·R.,·Railways·of·the·Raj.·London:·Scolar·Press,_198
0.·
A·whimsical·selection·of·photos·and·engravings,·some·very·old,·preceded·
by·
a·short·essay.·Thin.

There HAVE been two official histories of Indian Railways, one for the
centenary in 1953, and one written by G.S. Khosla in 1988. The first is
not
bad, but has virtually nothing on rolling stock development, relatively
little on engineering development in general, and is necessarily very
general. A curious offshoot was the more recent appearance of a Pakistan
Railways book in 1962 (Malik: 100 Years of Pakistan Railways) which had
many
passages identical with the Indian book! Plagiarism? Probably
bureaucratic
sloth! However, the pictures are different. Khosla enjoys a very high
reputation because of his book on management; unfortunately, the history
is
nothing like as good, and not only are sections abbreviated from the
1953
history, but some photos are reprinted from the same source, while there
is
the same neglect of engineering history. The whole book bears signs of
haste
and inadequate research.

The problem is that there is a massive literature on the economics
and
administration, plus numerous detailed studies of special aspects, but
very
little on engineering and on social history. (Compare, e.g.,
Swivelbusch's
magnificent The Railway Journey with the available literature on India).
There are some stirrings of interest in social history, but engineering
and
its significance continue to be neglected.

I'm working on a history of rolling stock, earliest days up to
about
the 1970s, but don't hold your breath: there is a lot of writing still
ahead. However, I hope to model it on Hamilton Ellis' wonderful Railway
Carriages of the Nineteenth Century, though I plan to make the coverage
more
systematic, and introduce social, economic, and engineering factors to
the
analysis.

LIke you, I'd love to see more (and better!) books on IR. And
yes,
let's keep the bureaucrats to bureaucratising.

Cheers
Ken Walker


-----Original Message-----
From: Suresh Mutuswami <suresh@math.email
To: irfca@cs.email <irfca@cs.email
Date: Wednesday, 5 May 1999 9:04
Subject: Re: TRAVELOGUES on IR, and books in general.


>
>On Wed, 5 May 1999, Dr. K.J. Walker & Mrs. M.E, Heath wrote:
>
>> We still desperately need some really good quailty histories and
>> travelogues about IR, entertainingly written and informative. How
about
it,
>> IRFCA members?
>> Cheers
>> Ken Walker
>
>Regarding histories of IR, there is a book called "Building the
Railways
>of the Raj" by Ian Kerr. Unfortunately, the book is addressed to
>professional historians and does not make for easy reading. But the
>references in the book may prove useful.
>
>The 150th anniversary of our railways is now less than four years away:
>one hopes that other than the stupid ritual of politicians giving
idiotic
>speeches and inaugurating new trains (all of which must of course have
>Delhi as a starting point), something constructive like an
>authoritative "History of Indian Railways" will come out as well. If
the
>State Bank of India can hire a professional economic historian (Prof.
>Amiya Bagchi) to write its history, then surely the least that the
Indian
>Railways can do is to hire some competent person to write about its own
>past. (I hope however that the "competent" person does not turn out to
be
>some past (or present) bureaucrat who does a mishmash job.)
>
>Suresh
>
>
>

From: Vdate <>

Subject: Re: Mango and other fruit specials

Date: 05 May 1999 20:23:30 -0500


Are the BCNs climate controlled or is the fruit picked a little unripe
to
stand hot closed wagon for many hours under hot summer sun?

From: Tony Bailey <>

Subject: Apologies

Date: 05 May 1999 22:48:46 -0500


My apologies to the mailing list for my recent transmission of a virus
to
everyone.

If this e-mail has a copy with an attachment, please ignore it and hit
me
over the head.

I usually manage to avoid opening anything that has an attachment - but
this
time was misled by the fact that this was from a major Australian travel
wholesaler.

After being off the air for nearly 24 hours, I have taken steps to make
sure
that it does not happen again!

Once again - apologies for the inconvenience to everyone and many thanks
to
the large number of people that let me know.


Tony Bailey

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