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From: Harsh Vardhan <>

Subject: Re: Accident at Tada

Date: 06 May 1999 23:30:28 -0500


On similar lines:
Last year NR faced a freak situation when a light WDM2 with a defective
wheelset travelling between Ambala and Delhi fractured over a 100 rails
on
the 200 Km stretch.
There was chaos on this main arterial route of NR and many
trains(including
Shatabdis were diverted through Saharanpur route(part single line) for a
week.
It took a month to replace all the defective rails and for the normal
traffic to be put back.

Harsh

-----Original Message-----
From: Apurva Bahadur <iti@vsnl.email
To: Dr. S. Parthasarathy <m05@anna.email
Cc: Members <irfca@cs.email
Date: Friday, May 07, 1999 10:10 AM
Subject: Re: Accident at Tada


>
>
>
>> 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.
>
>This seems to be quite a serious accident. It takes quite an impact to
snap
an axle !
>No impact that I can imagine.
>I am reminded of a brake van which derailed six times while climbing
from
Karjat to
>Lonavala in the Mumbai - Pune line. The brake down rake from Lonavala
which
followed
>this unlucky wagon also derailed once ! The brake down special at LNL
has
jobs often
>as the ghat with its unstable surface, torrential rainfall and steep
slope
has
>derailments often.
>One of the special group of men homed at Lonavala is the 'boulder gang'
whose job is
>to climb the imposing ghat mountains overlooking the rails and judge
which
boulder is
>unstable. Once the patch of land is identified, it is either reinforced
or
is simply
>blasted or dislodged to eliminate any danger to the passing trains.
>I also remember a half kilometre stretch of concrete sleepers which had
been cracked
>neatly in the centre when a rake of TK wagons jumped the rails near
Nagnath
in the
>Bhor ghats. One side of the overhead masts was also bent but usable.
Apparently the
>driver had no idea that the rake had derailed. I wonder what the guard
was
doing ?
>Holding tight I guess.
>
>Apurva
>
>
>
>

From: Apurva Bahadur <>

Subject: [Fwd: Ladies special EMU

Date: 06 May 1999 23:32:20 -0500


Thanks to Sunil for his 'comments,

I take liberty to forward this mail to the gang

From: Harsh Vardhan <>

Subject: Re: Ladies special EMU

Date: 06 May 1999 23:43:48 -0500



>So this is a slow train from Churchgate to Virar. I wonder if the
driver,
guard and
>the ticket checking staff are women too. Mumbai gang confirm.

I think these are women indeed. At least when inaugurated, this train
made
lot of pomp about all women staff. And a lady motorperson I met
regularly
womans this train. What I would like to know however is, if
Hijiras(Eunuchs)
and child(boys) vendors are allowed to board these trains as they are
allowed in the ladies coaches of the other trains?
Have they never been viewed(proved) as a security hazard?

Harsh

From: Harsh Vardhan <>

Subject: Re: More pictures + FAQ update

Date: 06 May 1999 23:54:45 -0500



>Among the things we are missing because of this:
>- any coverage/pics of the ER's remaining WAM1s, which are, in a sense,
one
>of the few historic locomotive classes still in operation (being seen
both
>in the NRM and in service). It probably won't be long before the WAM1
and
>WAM2 are history.


WCM5 will also become one such class of locos now that it has been
offered
for display at NRM.

>- more coverage of the twin-WDM2 Patna Rajdhani, while it still lasts.
(One
>of my regrets from the trip was not being able to get more footage of
this
>beautiful train.)

I felt that the twin WDM2 powered 24 coach Karnata Express also made a
beautiful sight on a bend/over a bridge.

Harsh

From: Harsh Vardhan <>

Subject: Re: Ladies special EMU

Date: 07 May 1999 00:41:50 -0500



>The CNN (or BBC?) set up their cameras at Churchgate one evening to
capture
>the excitement of departure of this train. But to their bad luck (and
the
>horror and embarrassment of Western Railways) the train was cancelled
by
>the controller! When suburban trains run late, controllers occasionally
cancel
>aservice to bring the schedule in sync with the clock. They work with
train
>numbers and this poor chap made the error quite inadvertently.
>

Bad luck indeed. The BBC world service did cover this train last year
and
the profile of the lady driver(I think this one was from CR) whose name
I
can't recollect at the moment.

>Some months later there was a very sad tragedy. On a day with
particularly
>bad weather power tripped for a few minutes in the city while a train
came
>to halt midway between stations. (The two were unrelated events.) For
some
>reason that remained a mystery, panic spread among the women in the
ladies
>coach that the coach had caught fire!! Many of them jumped on to the
>adjoining track and were run over by a passing train. It was the most
>bizarre of all accidents that I have come across. The motorman of the
train
>that ran over the women was a nervous wreck for some time afterwards.
>

Yes this was one particularly bad accident and the casualty figure was
unusually high. That must have been one of the most horrific day of his
life
for the motorman who could hardly do a thing about this tragedy. I read
an
saddening article/interview on him when he was recuperating at his home
town.

Some section of the press reported that there was smoke coming out from
a
lamp casing and someone shouted, "bomb" which lead to the melee and the
subsequent stampede and jumping out of the coaches. This could have been
true as Bombayites were just recovering from the shock of Dawood's bombs
one
lady's scream could've triggered their herd instincts.

But I guess this proves one point at least that less crowding in the
coaches
might have prevented this situation so the all women train(which I
believe
must be less crowded than the ladies coaches of an ordinary train) are a
step in the right direction. Cheers to WR - the most professional
railway on
IR.

Critics can jump into the well or go to hell.

Harsh

From: Apurva Bahadur <>

Subject: Fire in the EMU was Ladies special EMU

Date: 07 May 1999 01:15:39 -0500


> Some months later there was a very sad tragedy. On a day with
particularly
> bad weather power tripped for a few minutes in the city while a train
came
> to halt midway between stations. (The two were unrelated events.) For
some
> reason that remained a mystery, panic spread among the women in the
ladies
> coach that the coach had caught fire!! Many of them jumped on to the
> adjoining track and were run over by a passing train. It was the most
> bizarre of all accidents that I have come across. The motorman of the
train
> that ran over the women was a nervous wreck for some time afterwards.

I remember this accident well. It was anguish for many of us. No one we
knew
personally was involved in the accident but this sort of incident brings
the IR
in a bad light, although they were not in fault in any way. It also
reflects how
fragile the Mumbaikar's psyche is. The continuos living on the edge
makes panic
set very quickly in a big bad city.
One query - what sustains a fire in an EMU ? Apart from some illegal
combustible
substance that a passenger may be carrying, what can catch fire in an
EMU ? Even
if the whole electric apparatus goes for a toss, can the fire be
sustained ? The
oil in the compressor etc may burn (only in the power car), I have also
heard
that the resistors are insulated with cotton (!) and the thermal lining
between
the coach and roof is also some such material.
Unofficial motorman Prakash should also give us his views.

Apurva

From: Apurva Bahadur <>

Subject: Re: More pictures + FAQ update

Date: 07 May 1999 01:51:04 -0500


>
>
> I felt that the twin WDM2 powered 24 coach Karnata Express also made a
> beautiful sight on a bend/over a bridge.

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

From: Apurva Bahadur <>

Subject: Re: More pictures + FAQ update

Date: 07 May 1999 01:51:04 -0500


>
>
> I felt that the twin WDM2 powered 24 coach Karnata Express also made a
> beautiful sight on a bend/over a bridge.

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

From: Harsh Vardhan <>

Subject: Specials freights and oddities on IR.

Date: 07 May 1999 01:57:17 -0500


>So, is India so fecund all over that there are no places to where fruit
needs
>to be brought in? I don't recall, for example, seeing many orange
groves
around
>Kerala.


Instead of keeping them refridgerated, they keep them insulated. Banana
trains are regularly lined with its huge leaves which are also placed on
the
top of the wagons. Mangoe and grapes are packed before they are fully
ripe.
Apples in crates.

You may be surprised to know that most of eggs consumed up North comes
from
as far as Pune and Secunderabad are never brought refrigerated although
these travel mostly in lorries and not by railway. Never heard of a
chick
popping out of them on the dinner table. Talking of chicks, even these
are
booked very regularly as parcels on IR and the death rate in transit is
a
miniscule 2-4%.

According to source, there are even stations on IR where live turtles
are
booked as parcels. Now what can these be? Puri, Tuticorin ?? Any one ??

Now how is that for oddities on IR.

Harsh

From: Shankar <>

Subject: Re: Specials freights and oddities on IR.

Date: 07 May 1999 04:07:28 -0500


Harsh Vardhan wrote:
>
>
> According to source, there are even stations on IR where live turtles
are
> booked as parcels. Now what can these be? Puri, Tuticorin ?? Any one
??
>
> Now how is that for oddities on IR.
>
> Harsh
*********************

Hello,
Indeed.I also read somewhre about how a live python being carried in a
passenger coach caused panic as it escaped from its basket. How far it
is true I do not know, but that certainly counts among oddities.Might
have been a freak case, though.

Another amusing story is told by one Mr. R.V.Vaidyanathan or some such
South Indian gentleman, who has written an article about bloomers
(mostly with the English language) on the IR.

He relates the story (not concerning the English language) about how an
elephant, being carried on an open flat car on the erstwhile GIP Rly,
(now CR) somehow got a bit curious about the overhead catenary.So he
reached out with his trunk and touched it.
The resulting shock made the jumbo fall flat on his face,which all but
flattened the unfortunate freight wagon! Happily, the elephant survived
to continue his journey by another train.

Talking of carrying elephants by train, several pachyderms were carried
in parcel wagons from Trichur (oops:Tirussur) to New Delhi in 1982 for
the 9th Asiad games. Thats an oddity.

Thanks to additional inputs from Harsh,Dr.Walker,Apurva,Jishnu and
others,this oddities post is warming up slightly,and I think definitely
needs to go on our irfca webpage, though in a highly condensed form.

What say,all ye learned co-members?

Here are a couple of more oddities I could think of:

1.When the great steel plants were under construction, the IR
constructed a massive 16 wheeler well wagon to convey a massive furnace
or somthing. This impressive car also had a brakesman's cabin at either
end.I do not know if this car is still in service, but its certainly an
oddity, possibly never to be repeated again.

2. COnveying concrete sleepers in converted KC class 4-wheel cars is
another IR oddity. (KCs were the erstwhile 4-wheel open high sided cars.
The sides were removed converting the KC into flat sleeper carriers.)

3.Is the modern double decker Maruti car carrier an oddity, or do the
likes of them exist overseas? (esp. in the US).

4.One absurdity on the IR is the way the enquiry office at Patna station
is run. THe officials sit at a height, and shout the information out to
the waiting public below. Sort of like the judge's high perch you see oh
so often in Hindi movies. I've never seen anything else like that
anywhere else in the country.

Will post if I can think of anything else.

Best regards.
Shankar

From: Shankar <>

Subject: Re: More pictures + FAQ update

Date: 07 May 1999 04:07:45 -0500


Hello,
I travelled by the Karnataka from Delhi to Daund (whence I had to change
trains for Poona) in Nov. 1997.
The train left Delhi behind electric power.
Twin WDM/2s took over somewhere at Itarsi, I think, and when I detrained
at Daund, the train was still diesel hauled. I was givento understand
the diesels contiue all the way till Bangalore.
What I couldn't understand was, why hook on the diesels at Itarsi
itself, when the line is electrified all the way till Manmad? (from
where it takes the branch to Daund?)
Best regards.
Shankar



Apurva Bahadur wrote:
>
> >
> >
> > I felt that the twin WDM2 powered 24 coach Karnata Express also made
a
> > beautiful sight on a bend/over a bridge.
>
> 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

From: Harsh Vardhan <>

Subject: 24 COACH TRAINS.

Date: 07 May 1999 05:17:18 -0500




>>
>> I felt that the twin WDM2 powered 24 coach Karnata Express also made
a
>> beautiful sight on a bend/over a bridge.


>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. .
>

I have not travelled in this train personally for a long time but saw it
from my Nizammudin-Goa Exp. when it was being hauled by the light blue
Guntakal locos. My train stopped at some station between
Belapur-Daund(possibly Rahuri) and I thought it would pass the Karnataka
Exp. But the K Exp. also arrived and waited on the third line. For some
unknown reason they had decided to hold two superfasts for letting the
nondescript Gyanganga Exp. go past us which was running many hours late.
It
is almost certain that K Exp. changes powers at Itarsi (and not Manmad)
where a 15 min stop has been provided.


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

I don't think WAM4 is that capable. It must be a Jhansi WAP3/4 between
Delhi-Itarsi. Will try to find out and let you know.

Harsh

From: Harsh Vardhan <>

Subject: Re: More pictures + FAQ update

Date: 07 May 1999 05:43:06 -0500



>What I couldn't understand was, why hook on the diesels at Itarsi
>itself, when the line is electrified all the way till Manmad? (from
>where it takes the branch to Daund?)

Because it is either Guntakal or Itarsi powers and the timing of the
up/down
trains at Manmad are such that locos arriving from SBC would miss the
train
arriving from NDLS(by a short margin of 45 mins.) and would have to wait
for
the next 23 hours for the next train to arrive. So might as well use
them
till ET and let the electrics be utilised elsewhere.

Don't look at me. Its IR's logic. Between ourselves I'd prefer to adjust
the
train timings.

Harsh

From: Harsh Vardhan <>

Subject: Re: Specials freights and oddities on IR.

Date: 07 May 1999 06:00:53 -0500



>4.One absurdity on the IR is the way the enquiry office at Patna
station
>is run. THe officials sit at a height, and shout the information out to
>the waiting public below. Sort of like the judge's high perch you see
oh
>so often in Hindi movies. I've never seen anything else like that
>anywhere else in the country.
>


I think it is just a precaution against the hazard of working in a
public
dealing office in the Bihar/Bengal area. The incidents
mobbing(lynching?!!?)
by irate public must be the order of the day here.
Talking of Patna station, I read a news report many years back when
closed
circuit TVs were first installed there. One brainwave operator got an
idea
and arranged for a private show of a blue(XXX) movie for his friends on
VCR/TV in the control room of CCTV network. But in all the excitement
they
forgot to switch off the terminals on various platforms.
A free for all melee ensued - porters dumped the baggage, women turned
away
the faces of their children, RPF left their guard and everyone jumped
over
each other just to get a glimpse.
It didn't last very long and the officials ended the party in a haste.

Harsh

From: Dr. S. Parthasarathy <>

Subject: Re: Specials freights and oddities on IR.

Date: 07 May 1999 06:58:10 -0500


> I think it is just a precaution against the hazard of working in a
public
> dealing office in the Bihar/Bengal area. The incidents
mobbing(lynching?!!?)
> by irate public must be the order of the day here.
> Talking of Patna station, I read a news report many years back when
closed
> circuit TVs were first installed there. One brainwave operator got an
idea
> and arranged for a private show of a blue(XXX) movie for his friends
on
> VCR/TV in the control room of CCTV network. But in all the excitement
they
> forgot to switch off the terminals on various platforms.
> A free for all melee ensued - porters dumped the baggage, women turned
away
> the faces of their children, RPF left their guard and everyone jumped
over
> each other just to get a glimpse.
> It didn't last very long and the officials ended the party in a haste.

We get what we deserve -- or rather -- they get what they deserve !

From: Krishnan Anand <>

Subject: Re: 24Coaches and some SR news

Date: 07 May 1999 07:02:56 -0500


Hi all,

>I don't think WAM4 is that capable. It must be a Jhansi WAP3/4 >between
>Delhi-Itarsi. Will try to find out and let you know.
As a regular traveller on the Chennai-Hyderabad route
sometimes, due to non-availability of WAP1/4s, i have seen WAM4s(BZA
shed)
hauling the 2759/60 Charminar Exp which has a 21/22 rake formation. Will
2/3
additional carriages force the need for extra power. But the T.N and GT
Expresses are very regularly hauled by WAP4s from Jhansi shed.
BTW i need inputs on something very surprising that i saw very
recently(last
weekend) in Chennai. May be the southerners can help. There has been a
drastic re-location of A/C locos to the ERODE shed. I could not beleive
my
eyes when i saw 7 out of the 12 A/C locos at Chennai yard painted with
ERODE
markings, 3 were from Arakonam(2 WAM4s and a WAP1) and 1 each from
Lallaguda(WAP4) and Jhansi(WAP4). What would be the plight of the deisel

shed there at ERODE or is it going to be shifted to GOC. Additionally i
spotted atleast 3 WDM2s in GOC(2) and ERODE(1) livery at the Tondiarpet
Diesel Loco Shed. I guess this would be due to the BG converted southern

chord line to Trichy via Villupuram.
Anyone to clarify on this


regds,
Anand





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From: Apurva Bahadur <>

Subject: Re: 24 COACH TRAINS.

Date: 07 May 1999 07:55:08 -0500


> I have not travelled in this train personally for a long time but saw
it
> from my Nizammudin-Goa Exp. when it was being hauled by the light blue
> Guntakal locos. My train stopped at some station between
> Belapur-Daund(possibly Rahuri) and I thought it would pass the
Karnataka
> Exp. But the K Exp. also arrived and waited on the third line. For
some
> unknown reason they had decided to hold two superfasts for letting the
> nondescript Gyanganga Exp. go past us which was running many hours
late. It
> is almost certain that K Exp. changes powers at Itarsi (and not
Manmad)
> where a 15 min stop has been provided.

Gyan Ganga shares the rake (rakes now - biweekly remember ?) with PA -
HWH Azad Hind,
so if the 1032 arrives late to PA from VNS/BSB/MUI, the 1620 departure
of the 1029
also leaves late and the vicious cycle continues. So the Solapur
division must have
been a friendly neighbour for Pune division and allowed Pune's own rake
through first.
Also I feel that Goa and KK must have been well in time or even before
time, so a few
minute's sacrifice on their schedules would help the railways run a lot
smoother.

As the train has to work atleast 50 % of its journey in unelectrified
territory (MMR -
DD - SBC), it is prudent to allot power from somewhere at the end of its
electric
journey. And ET is the only shed nearby, the other nearest shed being
Pune or
Guntakal. Guntakal is the logical choice as there is no diversion or
light working for
the locos, it is very much on the way.
Earlier the train was hauled by a pair from Krishnarajapuram, then it
was Itarsi and
now as Harsh mentions the loco pair homes to Guntakal. I feel that there
are subtle
changes in the SR and SCR diesel shed allocations. The Gooty shed has
virtually
stopped sending any WDM 2s, now they home a huge number of WDG 2s. Hubli
shed is will
be famous for the only home of the new WDG 4s. All the WDM 2s from Gooty
have been
sent to Guntakal to home in its MG converted to BG shed.
If the loco was to be changed at MMR as is done for Jhelum, Goa, Azad
Hind, Gyan
Ganga, the Pune loco in charge would have to wait for its return
journey. Which may
not be acceptable. Hence the logical alternative is to go to ET and get
hauled by a
WAM 4 again from ET (?).
Maybe a double header waiting in a non maintenance dump like MMR and
that too meant
for powering such a crack train is too much of a risk. So ET it is.

Apurva

From: Shankar <>

Subject: [Fwd: Re: More pictures + FAQ update

Date: 07 May 1999 08:59:10 -0500

From: Vijay Balasubramanian <>

Subject: WAP locos.

Date: 07 May 1999 10:17:00 -0500


Hi,

I am curious about the various WAPx locos. that are in use today and
would like more information on these. Also, please correct any info.
that I have indicated below (some of this is from the FAQ):

WAP1 - 3900 hp, largest of all WAP fleets, used all over IR, 130 kmph.
max speed, Mark III bogies?
WAP2 - ?? hp, regeared version of WAM2/3, how many in operation?, what
section of Hwh-MGS? max. speed?
WAP3 - 3900 hp, 140 kmph., what other differences from WAP1 besides
speed?, used only on Bhopal and LKO Shatabdis?
WAP4 - 5000 hp, 140 kmph., Mark IV bogies? where are these being used?
WAP5 - 6000 hp, 160 kmph., ABB imports, used only on Mumbai/Hwh.(via
Gaya)/B'neswar Rajs., Prayagraj, Gomti, any other trains?
WAP6 - 5000 hp, 160 mkph., Mark IV bogies, where are these being used?

I am curious about the necessity of having WAP6s since current speeds on
IR do not exceed 140 kmph. - WAP4s can do the job equally well. Are
WAP5 three-phase AC locos.? I believe this has been discussed before
but how are 3-phase AC locos. better than conventional AC locos.? Do
the former use AC traction motors?

Vijay

From: Apurva Bahadur <>

Subject: Re: 24Coaches and some SR news

Date: 07 May 1999 10:32:31 -0500





> BTW i need inputs on something very surprising that i saw very
recently(last
> weekend) in Chennai. May be the southerners can help. There has been a
> drastic re-location of A/C locos to the ERODE shed. I could not
beleive my
> eyes when i saw 7 out of the 12 A/C locos at Chennai yard painted with
ERODE
> markings, 3 were from Arakonam(2 WAM4s and a WAP1) and 1 each from
> Lallaguda(WAP4) and Jhansi(WAP4). What would be the plight of the
deisel
> shed there at ERODE or is it going to be shifted to GOC. Additionally
i
> spotted atleast 3 WDM2s in GOC(2) and ERODE(1) livery at the
Tondiarpet
> Diesel Loco Shed. I guess this would be due to the BG converted
southern
> chord line to Trichy via Villupuram.
> Anyone to clarify on this

Great observation ! With dedicated spotters like Anand on our forum the
future of
IRFCA is dazzlingly bright, keep 'em coming Anand ! I read this stuff
over and over
just because I like the sound of what he has written. At last the Indian
Railways is
being discussed in the glory it deserves.
Yes I am quite sure that ED shed will be handed over to the AC locos and
GOC shed
would home the diesel locos in the future. Afteall the line till
Trivandrum will be
electrified soon. What is this shed at Tondiarpet ? Do locos home to
this shed (what
is the station code ?) or is this just a trip shed ? From the time table
this seems
like the diesel shed nearest to Chennai Central. However in my last trip
to Chennai I
was surprised to see hardly any diesels on the Renigunta - Arkonam -
Chennai Central
line.
My colleague has just returned from Ernakulum to Pune on the 1082 Up
Jayanti Janata
Express, has told me that the '82 Up comes to Ernakulum north and not
Ernakulum Jn.
Any one with a better insight / explanation ?

Apurva

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