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From: ranand <>

Subject: Bhore Ghat

Date: 18 Jun 1999 12:30:39 -0500


Thanks to ApuB for these wonderful photos. I have had a very
enjoyable time looking at them. I have a question about catch sidings:
have they ever been used recently? That is, have there been any runways
that they have caught?

Some of the catch sidings appears to have a sharp curve. If a train were
to
enter
them at high speed would they not simply leave the tracks?

R. Anand

Internet: anand@watson.email
External tel: (914) 784 7054
Notes: Rangachari Anand/Watson/IBM@IBMUS
Tie-line: 863 7054

From: FyffesFL <>

Subject: Re: Jamaica

Date: 18 Jun 1999 13:32:54 -0500


According to local sources in Kingston, a company called Rail India
Technical
and Economic Services is going to take over the railways on the Island
of
Jamaica. Supposedly it is 30 % owned by the Government of India.

Has any IRFCA member any details of this concern ? Please ?

Or is it some nefarious plot to slowly undermine our West Indies Cricket
Team
?

Regards to all

Richard Yudin

From: S Pai <>

Subject: streamlining [Re: High-speed coaches from RCF et al.]

Date: 18 Jun 1999 15:46:42 -0500


The "Silver Arrow" of 1947 had a steam loco (WL) with aluminium
sheathing to streamline it. I wonder why that was never continued in
any way for any model of loco. It's not just the horns and fittings on
top, there's an enormous amount of energy lost at higher speeds in the
air turbulence at the lower levels near the wheels of a loco (or even
for a road vehicle), and a sheath to partially enclose the wheels and
linkage could save a lot of fuel in the long run. A streamlined profile
at the front and top is also necessary, of course.

--Satish

From: S Pai <>

Subject: RITES [Re: Jamaica]

Date: 18 Jun 1999 15:58:08 -0500


Hello, Richard,

RITES has been in existence for a long time. It's a semi-independent
corporation that comes under the general umbrella of railways under the
central government (you said it was 30% owned by the government; this is
probably due to recent drives towards privatization). They offer
planning, design, and operational support and consultancy services for
railway and related construction or engineering projects. They don't
actually undertake building the projects, as far as I understand; that's
the job of another related organization, IRCON (Indian Railways
Construction Company). Both have worked on contracts in many
third-world countries, including many African nations (Zambia, Zimbabwe,
Botswana, Angola), and some others such as Nepal, Iraq, etc. In Iraq
before the Persian Gulf War they were engaged in turnkey construction of
entire railway lines including laying the track, building bridges, etc.


They may also have nefarious designs on cricket teams around the world,
but that is no doubt a highly classified secret.

--Satish

From: Sridhar Shankarnarayan <>

Subject: Re: Photography -- and idiot restrictions

Date: 18 Jun 1999 16:16:34 -0500


Gang,

In my opinion the whole photography issue has been blown out of
proportion.
I have never used anything other than a SLR, that too with a 70-210 lens
on
at times. The downside to an SLR is that it is bulky and unwieldy at
times,
but in my experience well worth the trouble.

The worst that I have had to endure is incessant gaping. Most people,
including railway staff and the RPF guys look at you as if you are some
kind of a nut, but for the most part leave you alone. That said, my
experience has been mostly in the south and central regions, and perhaps
in
Delhi every one is a suspected terrorist unless proven otherwise.

And you do not need 800 speed film unless you plan to shoot rapidly
moving
objects or under low light conditions. My experience is that with
inadequate or poor lighting, pictures come out terrible in any case
(irrespective of the film). On a bright and sunny day, 100 speed film
will
do fine and is especially good for enlargements (8X12 or larger). 200 or
400 speed film will suffice for most conditions.

So folks, just go ahead and shoot with whatever equipment you have, and
do
put them up in a website. Apurva, thanks for the pointers - great
pictures
of the Bhor ghat and Bhusaval section.

-Sridhar

At 05:04 PM 6/18/99 +0530, Apurva Bahadur wrote:
>Please stop treating the photography as such a big issue. Go ahead and
shoot as
>you wish - just be prepared to get out of trouble when caught. Be
freindly
and
>casual - keep the camera out of view till you just need it. Chat with
people
>including policemen - they are humans too !
>One of the master performers in this art was J.A. Daboo who kept a dead
pan face
>while he fished out the automatic camera from his pant pocket, clicked
a few
>frames and then went back to being dead panned once again. He could
never
>attract attention.
>
>Apurva
>
>Anand Krishnan wrote:
>
>> Hi all,
>> Jesus Christ !!!! the very thought of me being hassled by the
RPF
>> after hearing your experiences send some jitters down my spine. The
sleeping
>> WAM4 snap that i took was infact in the direct viscinity of some RPF
jawans
>> on plat.1. But my cam stayed hidden in my hand. Infact i wanted to
have a
>> word with the driver of 22264 WAP4, but unfortunately he was away it
seems
>> according to some lineman near the loco. He even asked me if i wanted
to
>> shoot, hoping to get something out of me perhaps. But then it was
amber for
>> my train and i had to rush back. Next time i should try getting
permission
>> before hand.
>>
>> Kind regards,
>> Anand
>>
>> ______________________________________________________
>> Get Your Private, Free Email at <A HREF="http://www.hotmail.com">http://www.hotmail.com</A>
>
------------------------------------------------------------------------
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: Photography -- and idiot restrictions

Date: 18 Jun 1999 16:16:34 -0500


Gang,

In my opinion the whole photography issue has been blown out of
proportion.
I have never used anything other than a SLR, that too with a 70-210 lens
on
at times. The downside to an SLR is that it is bulky and unwieldy at
times,
but in my experience well worth the trouble.

The worst that I have had to endure is incessant gaping. Most people,
including railway staff and the RPF guys look at you as if you are some
kind of a nut, but for the most part leave you alone. That said, my
experience has been mostly in the south and central regions, and perhaps
in
Delhi every one is a suspected terrorist unless proven otherwise.

And you do not need 800 speed film unless you plan to shoot rapidly
moving
objects or under low light conditions. My experience is that with
inadequate or poor lighting, pictures come out terrible in any case
(irrespective of the film). On a bright and sunny day, 100 speed film
will
do fine and is especially good for enlargements (8X12 or larger). 200 or
400 speed film will suffice for most conditions.

So folks, just go ahead and shoot with whatever equipment you have, and
do
put them up in a website. Apurva, thanks for the pointers - great
pictures
of the Bhor ghat and Bhusaval section.

-Sridhar

At 05:04 PM 6/18/99 +0530, Apurva Bahadur wrote:
>Please stop treating the photography as such a big issue. Go ahead and
shoot as
>you wish - just be prepared to get out of trouble when caught. Be
freindly
and
>casual - keep the camera out of view till you just need it. Chat with
people
>including policemen - they are humans too !
>One of the master performers in this art was J.A. Daboo who kept a dead
pan face
>while he fished out the automatic camera from his pant pocket, clicked
a few
>frames and then went back to being dead panned once again. He could
never
>attract attention.
>
>Apurva
>
>Anand Krishnan wrote:
>
>> Hi all,
>> Jesus Christ !!!! the very thought of me being hassled by the
RPF
>> after hearing your experiences send some jitters down my spine. The
sleeping
>> WAM4 snap that i took was infact in the direct viscinity of some RPF
jawans
>> on plat.1. But my cam stayed hidden in my hand. Infact i wanted to
have a
>> word with the driver of 22264 WAP4, but unfortunately he was away it
seems
>> according to some lineman near the loco. He even asked me if i wanted
to
>> shoot, hoping to get something out of me perhaps. But then it was
amber for
>> my train and i had to rush back. Next time i should try getting
permission
>> before hand.
>>
>> Kind regards,
>> Anand
>>
>> ______________________________________________________
>> Get Your Private, Free Email at <A HREF="http://www.hotmail.com">http://www.hotmail.com</A>
>
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sridhar Shankar
GSB MBA'99
The University of Chicago
1616 E. 50th Place, Apt. 13A
Chicago, IL 60615
(773) 752 1131

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

Subject: Re: Photography -- and idiot restrictions

Date: 18 Jun 1999 17:47:00 -0500


Hi, everyone,
Yes, this HAS been a long thread, but it has been interesting, and
it is
of vital importance to some of us.
Perhaps I could make a couple of points and retire gracefully?
1. My concern about getting gophered by various "authorities" is
based
on experience. I've never been roughed up by RPF, but they have often
taken
an interest. I've been warned off by SMs, and there have been several
occasions when, while carrying a permit, I have been asked for my
authority,
and being able to produce the permit has saved endless hassles. (And I
have
been arrested in other countries for taking pictures, with and without
permits). At Akola, I was once offered (quite out of the blue) a chance
to
shoot an engine at loco, and then asked for my permit just as I was
setting
up. Nasty!
2. Since I took up movie, and later video, the security of having a
permit has been absent, especially since the permit from Delhi was
amended
specifically to forbid video and movie. This is awkward, since good
video
absolutely requires the use of a quality tripod, solidly built and
preferably with a fluid head. Anything else will result in wobbles and
bobbles that make the finished result hard to look at. (And, by the way,
so-called "palmcorders" suffer very seriously from this problem. I call
them
"wobblecorders": they are toys, not tools.) My camera is quite small,
though
very high quality, but the mike with its windshield, and the tripod, are
unconcealable. Consequently, you are very visible, and a good long take
often requires you to be in one place, undistrubed, for at least several
minutes at a time. There are several dozen shots I've missed because I
simply didn't dare produce such gear!
3. Most Australians not only object strongly to paying bribes,
they
actually lack the cultural conditioning to know reliably when one is
being
asked! (On several occasions I have realised -- often a long time
afterwards -- that some money would have eased an official situation).
You
have to remember that, thirty years ago or so, offering an Australian
taxi
driver a tip was regarded as an insult -- it meant you thought he was a
menial! Result is that we generally don't -- and can't -- do it. It does
mean we miss some shots, but it also means we generally get what is
typical
and normal -- not the unusual.
4. The reason for suggesting adoption of the German model is that
the
fact that photography is permitted anywhere public have access
immediately
removes the incentive for bribes. Many Australian railways, too, adopted
the
view that photographer could have access to the property if they signed
an
indemnity absolving the railway of responsibility for injury, etc.
(These
are also common for fan-trips in hired trains where passengers may get
off
at places other than stations -- e.g. for photo runbys.)
5. I reiterate my comments about "security" wallahs in general
being
complete idiots. Even the intelligent ones seem to know very little
about
the technologies they are interdicting, and what is worse, quite a lot
seem
to know next to nothing about railways and their working, so they don't
even
know what to protect or how! Mutatis mutandis, the same remarks apply to
most insecurity systems everywhere. There is no substitute for equality,
self-respect, and mutual regard.
6. I think everyone must have had some serious problems with
bystanders and busybodies, especially in large cities. Some of them you
can
ignore; others, of course, risk spoiling your pictures and
(particularly)
soundtrack. I have been amazed, though, at how often a simple request to
be
quiet and keep heads down results in willing cooperation, especially in
rural areas. I have a smattering of Hindi, which, north of the
Mason-Tamil
line, has been very useful for this. In the South, if one is using cars,
the
driver can often be very helpful, if properly briefed. I generally make
a
point of thanking everybody afterward. Giving money is a mistake under
these
conditions: it generally results in later arrivals being mobbed, often
for
years afterwards.
7. I've never had any divine help with my pictures. I think it's
because there's no such thing.
By the way, I have recently put up a handful more pictures on my
website (<A HREF="http://www.powerup.com.au/~kjw_meh)">http://www.powerup.com.au/~kjw_meh)</A> and am working on an Ooty
video
to supplement the Darjeeling one already available.
Happy 'cading, everyone
Ken Walker

-----Original Message-----
From: Shankar <shankie@emirates.email
To: Apurva Bahadur <iti@vsnl.email
Cc: Anand Krishnan <krish_nand@hotmail.email shankun@microsoft.email
<shankun@microsoft.email irfca@cs.email <irfca@cs.email
Date: Saturday, 19 June 1999 1:35
Subject: Re: Photography -- and idiot restrictions


>Hello,
>You are probably right, Appu. As I said in the last line of my post,do
>not be paranoid, take the lord's name and shoot.
>Nontheless, as a veteran in this field, don't you think a few tips and
>notes would be in order, especially for those who might come from
abroad
>and then innocently point a camera at something nice and then get
>rattled? Imagine, they might never take another train pic in India
>again!
>But yes, I do agree that maybe this thread was beinning to get a teeny
>weeny bit prolonged, and recommend that we end it at this point.
>Best regards.
>Shankar
>Apurva Bahadur wrote:
>>
>> Please stop treating the photography as such a big issue. Go ahead
and
shoot as
>> you wish - just be prepared to get out of trouble when caught. Be
freindly and
>> casual - keep the camera out of view till you just need it. Chat with
people
>> including policemen - they are humans too !
>> One of the master performers in this art was J.A. Daboo who kept a
dead
pan face
>> while he fished out the automatic camera from his pant pocket,
clicked a
few
>> frames and then went back to being dead panned once again. He could
never
>> attract attention.
>>
>> Apurva
>>
>> Anand Krishnan wrote:
>>
>> > Hi all,
>> > Jesus Christ !!!! the very thought of me being hassled by
the
RPF
>> > after hearing your experiences send some jitters down my spine. The
sleeping
>> > WAM4 snap that i took was infact in the direct viscinity of some
RPF
jawans
>> > on plat.1. But my cam stayed hidden in my hand. Infact i wanted to
have
a
>> > word with the driver of 22264 WAP4, but unfortunately he was away
it
seems
>> > according to some lineman near the loco. He even asked me if i
wanted
to
>> > shoot, hoping to get something out of me perhaps. But then it was
amber
for
>> > my train and i had to rush back. Next time i should try getting
permission
>> > before hand.
>> >
>> > Kind regards,
>> > Anand
>> >
>> > ______________________________________________________
>> > Get Your Private, Free Email at <A HREF="http://www.hotmail.com">http://www.hotmail.com</A>
>

From: Don Mills <>

Subject: Re: Jamaica

Date: 18 Jun 1999 17:51:26 -0500


Is there any way to confirm this. don in WV
-----Original Message-----
From: FyffesFL@aol.email <FyffesFL@aol.email
To: shankie@emirates.email <shankie@emirates.email
krish_nand@hotmail.email <krish_nand@hotmail.email
Cc: irfca@cs.email <irfca@cs.email
Date: Friday, June 18, 1999 4:41 PM
Subject: Re: Jamaica


>According to local sources in Kingston, a company called Rail India
Technical
>and Economic Services is going to take over the railways on the Island
of
>Jamaica. Supposedly it is 30 % owned by the Government of India.
>
>Has any IRFCA member any details of this concern ? Please ?
>
>Or is it some nefarious plot to slowly undermine our West Indies
Cricket
Team
>?
>
>Regards to all
>
>Richard Yudin

From: Shankar <>

Subject: Re: Jamaica

Date: 18 Jun 1999 20:51:42 -0500


Hello,
Actually, the Rail India Techical and Economic Services (RITES) is an
autonomous organization of the IR, which provided technical and
consultancy services to railways worldwide.
As such, it does not have any authority to actually 'take over' the
railways of any foreign country: it is just beyond the scope of that
organization.
If one stretches one's imagination to its wildest corners and assumes
that it actually did, then another IR organization: the IRCON would be
required to take on constructions, and the IR themselves would be
invovled in providing rolling stock etc.
In myopinion, RITES might have been awarded a major consultancy job in
Jamaica. Some of the more cynical officials of the JR as well as some
'public spitrited citizens' might be yelling blue murder: our beloved
JR is going to be swamped by IR technicians etc.
India has no dearth of such fanatics: the notorious Bal Thakeray and
L.K. Advani are two such idiots. The Govt. merely has to allow Pepsi to
put up a plant somewhere inPunjab when these fanatics will yell
themselves hoarse: India has sold itself to the multinationals, and
multinationals are all set to rule the country etc.
Or as many say: the Iraqi Railways are virtually run by Indian
engineers. India provides consultancy in Iraq, thats all.Iraq does not
even buy Indian rolling stock.
So no sweat, RITES just doesnot have the authority or capacity to do
takeovers, nor is it within the scope of RITES to do so.
I'm sorry if I sound like a RITES spokesman, but thats the way it
is.Nonetheless, its better to read the actual takeover story first
before drawing inferences.
Best regards.
Shankar


FyffesFL@aol.email wrote:
>
> According to local sources in Kingston, a company called Rail India
Technical
> and Economic Services is going to take over the railways on the Island
of
> Jamaica. Supposedly it is 30 % owned by the Government of India.
>
> Has any IRFCA member any details of this concern ? Please ?
>
> Or is it some nefarious plot to slowly undermine our West Indies
Cricket Team
> ?
>
> Regards to all
>
> Richard Yudin

From: hvc <>

Subject: Re: Photography -- and idiot restrictions

Date: 19 Jun 1999 01:49:04 -0500


Well, I don't think the issue is `how to manage photography on IR' and
many
speakers already have had their say on this in the past few days.

The burning question is why a simple thing like photographing the
innocuous
trains and stations should hurt the feelings of IR folk - security
reasons
or whatever. One can somewhat try to understand this ill-logic about
photography of strategic stations, workshops, bridges and dams but why
in
heaven should it result in ban on photography on entire IR.

Dr. Walker mentioned Anuj Dayal. Well, he is one reasonable person and
he is
now the CPRO of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. Iam doing my bit to
convince
the DMRC that taking pictures of a metro rail is not such a bad idea
after
all and that DMRC should not take after the highly paranoid Calcutta
Metro
in this regard. Those concerned can put pressure by writing to AD.
Better
still if we can sent a
joint plea from IRFCA. Elders?!?

Harsh

P.S. To answer your question Sridhar, Yes you do need high speed
films(ISO
400 to begin with) for compact zoom camera if you want to capture depth
of
field also. The compacts have an aperture range of 4 -11 and a fastest
shutter speed of 1/400. You do lose some quality with high speed films
but
then you can't have everything under the Sun.

-----Original Message-----
From: Sridhar Shankarnarayan <msshanka@gsbpop.email
To: Apurva Bahadur <iti@vsnl.email Anand Krishnan
<krish_nand@hotmail.email
Cc: shankie@emirates.email <shankie@emirates.email
shankun@microsoft.email
<shankun@microsoft.email irfca@cs.email <irfca@cs.email
Date: Saturday, June 19, 1999 3:17 PM
Subject: Re: Photography -- and idiot restrictions


>Gang,
>
>In my opinion the whole photography issue has been blown out of
proportion.
>I have never used anything other than a SLR, that too with a 70-210
lens on
>at times. The downside to an SLR is that it is bulky and unwieldy at
times,
>but in my experience well worth the trouble.
>
>The worst that I have had to endure is incessant gaping. Most people,
>including railway staff and the RPF guys look at you as if you are some
>kind of a nut, but for the most part leave you alone. That said, my
>experience has been mostly in the south and central regions, and
perhaps in
>Delhi every one is a suspected terrorist unless proven otherwise.
>
>And you do not need 800 speed film unless you plan to shoot rapidly
moving
>objects or under low light conditions. My experience is that with
>inadequate or poor lighting, pictures come out terrible in any case
>(irrespective of the film). On a bright and sunny day, 100 speed film
will
>do fine and is especially good for enlargements (8X12 or larger). 200
or
>400 speed film will suffice for most conditions.
>
>So folks, just go ahead and shoot with whatever equipment you have, and
do
>put them up in a website. Apurva, thanks for the pointers - great
pictures
>of the Bhor ghat and Bhusaval section.
>
>-Sridhar
>
>At 05:04 PM 6/18/99 +0530, Apurva Bahadur wrote:
>>Please stop treating the photography as such a big issue. Go ahead and
>shoot as
>>you wish - just be prepared to get out of trouble when caught. Be
freindly
>and
>>casual - keep the camera out of view till you just need it. Chat with
people
>>including policemen - they are humans too !
>>One of the master performers in this art was J.A. Daboo who kept a
dead
>pan face
>>while he fished out the automatic camera from his pant pocket, clicked
a
few
>>frames and then went back to being dead panned once again. He could
never
>>attract attention.
>>
>>Apurva
>>
>>Anand Krishnan wrote:
>>
>>> Hi all,
>>> Jesus Christ !!!! the very thought of me being hassled by
the
RPF
>>> after hearing your experiences send some jitters down my spine. The
>sleeping
>>> WAM4 snap that i took was infact in the direct viscinity of some RPF
jawans
>>> on plat.1. But my cam stayed hidden in my hand. Infact i wanted to
have
a
>>> word with the driver of 22264 WAP4, but unfortunately he was away it
seems
>>> according to some lineman near the loco. He even asked me if i
wanted to
>>> shoot, hoping to get something out of me perhaps. But then it was
amber
for
>>> my train and i had to rush back. Next time i should try getting
permission
>>> before hand.
>>>
>>> Kind regards,
>>> Anand
>>>
>>> ______________________________________________________
>>> Get Your Private, Free Email at <A HREF="http://www.hotmail.com">http://www.hotmail.com</A>
>>
>-----------------------------------------------------------------------
-
>Sridhar Shankar
>GSB MBA'99
>The University of Chicago
>1616 E. 50th Place, Apt. 13A
>Chicago, IL 60615
>(773) 752 1131
>

From: Apurva Bahadur <>

Subject: [Fwd: Webpage on Bhusawal Jn.

Date: 19 Jun 1999 01:55:51 -0500


Gang !

I have added the WP picture just now - have a look.

Apurva

From: hvc <>

Subject: Re: streamlining [Re: High-speed coaches from RCF et al.]

Date: 19 Jun 1999 02:06:49 -0500


Streamlining of locos(steam) did not prove to be successful worldwide
and
after intial experiments the top casings were quietly removed and put at
the
back of the sheds.
They did not serve the purpose for which they were designed and more
than
that they came in the way of essential maintenance.

harsh

-----Original Message-----
From: S Pai <s_pai@bigfoot.email
To: Indian Railways List <irfca@cs.email
Date: Saturday, June 19, 1999 2:47 PM
Subject: streamlining [Re: High-speed coaches from RCF et al.]


>The "Silver Arrow" of 1947 had a steam loco (WL) with aluminium
>sheathing to streamline it. I wonder why that was never continued in
>any way for any model of loco. It's not just the horns and fittings on
>top, there's an enormous amount of energy lost at higher speeds in the
>air turbulence at the lower levels near the wheels of a loco (or even
>for a road vehicle), and a sheath to partially enclose the wheels and
>linkage could save a lot of fuel in the long run. A streamlined
profile
>at the front and top is also necessary, of course.
>
>--Satish
>

From: Apurva Bahadur <>

Subject: Re: Bhore Ghat

Date: 19 Jun 1999 04:31:57 -0500




ranand@us.email wrote:

> Thanks to ApuB for these wonderful photos. I have had a very
> enjoyable time looking at them. I have a question about catch sidings:
> have they ever been used recently? That is, have there been any
runways
> that they have caught?

A train getting into the catch siding is a major accident. The catch
siding is
a last ditch attempt to prevent a runaway on the main line. So the
quality of
track or its curvature has little relevance. In fact the last tens of
meters of
the catch siding track is actually buried in the ground to desperately
stop a
rolling train. The railways would have absolutely no objection if a
train were
to derail there.
The last accident in which a catch siding (I think it was Monkey Hill)
was
involved was over 25 years ago. Another factor about the geometry of the
catch
siding is the availability of the suitable hill, it is a natural
structure and
there is no choice in the sharp curves on the slope. The lack of BG
sized catch
sidings is preventing the Briganza ghat between Castle Rock and Kulem
being
opened for passenger traffic. The old MG catch sidings have to surplus
land for
expansion. How do you create a hill, where there is none ? The SCR feels
that
while sending a monster diesel hauled freight train down the ghat is an
acceptable risk, the passenger train cannot be sent without the catch
siding.
The infamous Indrayani Express runaway would have been prevented if the
point
at the Thakurwadi catch siding had been set for the hills rather than on
the
main line. Thank god we had no derailment or causality in that accident,
or
that would have been the worst accident on the IR. I knew the driver
personally
and I always felt that had I been in his place, I would have died on the
spot
due to tension, seeing my train with the loco ablaze running down the
ghat at
breakneck speed.

Apurva

>
>
> Some of the catch sidings appears to have a sharp curve. If a train
were to
> enter
> them at high speed would they not simply leave the tracks?
>
> R. Anand
>
> Internet: anand@watson.email
> External tel: (914) 784 7054
> Notes: Rangachari Anand/Watson/IBM@IBMUS
> Tie-line: 863 7054

From: Nitin Joshi <>

Subject: Indrayani Express

Date: 19 Jun 1999 08:31:22 -0500


I do not remember hearing or reading about the Indrayani incident in the
Bhore Ghat's. Can somebody enlighten me!!!
 
Thanks
 
Nitin Joshi

----- Original Message -----
From: Apurva Bahadur <mailto:iti@vsnl.email
To: ranand@us.email <mailto:ranand@us.email
Cc: IRFCA <mailto:irfca@cs.email
Sent: 19.June.99 07:31
Subject: Re: Bhore Ghat



ranand@us.email <mailto:ranand@us.email wrote:

> Thanks to ApuB for these wonderful photos. I have had a very
> enjoyable time looking at them. I have a question about catch sidings:
> have they ever been used recently?  That is, have there been any runways
> that they have caught?

A train getting into the catch siding is a major accident. The catch siding is
a last ditch attempt to prevent a runaway on the main line. So the quality of
track or its curvature has little relevance. In fact the last tens of meters of
the catch siding track is actually buried in the ground to desperately stop a
rolling train. The railways would have absolutely no objection if a train were
to derail there.
The last accident in which a catch siding (I think it was Monkey Hill) was
involved was over 25 years ago. Another factor about the geometry of the catch
siding is the availability of the suitable hill, it is a natural structure and
there is no choice in the sharp curves on the slope. The lack of BG sized catch
sidings is preventing the Briganza ghat between Castle Rock and Kulem being
opened for passenger traffic. The old MG catch sidings have to surplus land for
expansion. How do you create a hill, where there is none ? The SCR feels that
while sending a monster diesel hauled freight train down the ghat is an
acceptable risk, the passenger train cannot be sent without the catch siding.
The infamous Indrayani Express runaway would have been prevented if the point
at the Thakurwadi catch siding had been set for the hills rather than on the
main line. Thank god we had no derailment or causality in that accident, or
that would have been the worst accident on the IR. I knew the driver personally
and I always felt that had I been in his place, I would have died on the spot
due to tension, seeing my train with the loco ablaze running down the ghat at
breakneck speed.

Apurva

>
>
> Some of the catch sidings appears to have a sharp curve. If a train were to
> enter
> them at high speed would they not simply leave the tracks?
>
> R. Anand
>
> Internet: anand@watson.email <mailto:anand@watson.email
> External tel: (914) 784 7054
> Notes: Rangachari Anand/Watson/IBM@IBMUS
> Tie-line: 863 7054

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

Subject: Re: streamlining [Re: High-speed coaches from RCF et al.] PLUS RITES, photography

Date: 19 Jun 1999 17:30:31 -0500


Dear Satish and everyone,
The thing to remember about the "Silver Arrow" was that it was a
prototype for the proposed -- but never built -- 11ft 8in wide BG stock.
Several coaches were built by various railway workshops; they were also
on
static exhibit at Delhi. The "Silver Arrow" train itself toured India;
the
one photo of the whole train that I have seen suggests (I'm not at all
certain) that the 11ft 8in stock didn't go with it, as I'd guess that
the
stock was either 10ft or, more likely, 10ft 8ins (the present standard)
in
width. Arranging clearances for the wider stuff would have been a
nail-biting experience!
And the engine was NOT a WP; they weren't built at that stage. It
was
a WL, one of the NWR's pre-war batch, and rather different from the
post-war
build. Harsh is quite right to emphasise that streamlining is of little
value at the modest speeds associated with steam traction; it was some
use
for the British high-speed trains of the 1930s, and of course it is
essential for modern superfast trains such as Shinkansen, TGVs, APTs,
etc.
Hence the de-streamlining of many steam classes in the post-WWII period.
Mind you, the bullet nose and skyline casing of the WPs was worth its
weight
in gold -- but in PR terms, not fuel savings.
For the "Silver Arrow" photo, see Hughes' "Indian Locomotives
Part
4 -- 1941-1990", p. 13. Quite impressive!
RITES, as others have noted, is purely advisory. I think one
reason
it has done very well over the years is that it is sensitive to the
sorts of
issues that concern railway administrations in non-wealthy countries --
it
doesn't just come in and recommend that the high-tech junk available
from
its home country be adopted holus-bolus, as some European and North
Amercian
"consultants" do. Threats to Jamaica's sovereignty come form much closer
at
hand, and probably have far more to do with genetic engineering and
"free"
trade than railways -- or cricket!
On photography, I have to disagree with Harsh. I do think it's
a
policy question, especially if the Indian Government want to encourage
foreign tourism. Tourists in general, even those quite uninterested in
railways as such, generally assume they are free to photograph where
they
like. Being hassled by jacks-in-office will tend to lead to ill-feeling
and
a reluctance to return, especially when more hassle-free destinations
beckon. (And, as I pointed out, if Indian hotels charge European/North
American prices, an important competitive advantage is lost, especially
as
service generally doesn't measure up). You also get hordes of
video-camera'd enthusiasts roaming the system and breaking the rules
wherever they can -- this was particularly noticeable in the early
1990s.
What is so damn silly about the whole thing is that satellite
imagery
is now quite freely available, even to the general public, and that
shows
most "strategic" targets -- such as bridges -- far more clearly and
effectively, from a military point of view, than an army of grounded
enthusiasts' pictures could. In any case, enthusiast pictures often tend
to
emphasise the aesthetic, not the enginnering or military aspects.
I still think the German idea, of permitting photography freely
from
any point normally accessible to the general public, is by far the best
policy. It eliminates opportunities for corruption (see Bill AItken's
"Exploring Indian Railways" for some interesting comments on local,
small-time rackets), but serves legitimate concerns about safety and
trespass in hazardous locations. Anything else is plain stupid.
Cheers
Ken Walker

-----Original Message-----
From: S Pai <s_pai@bigfoot.email
To: Indian Railways List <irfca@cs.email
Date: Saturday, 19 June 1999 9:07
Subject: streamlining [Re: High-speed coaches from RCF et al.]


>The "Silver Arrow" of 1947 had a steam loco (WL) with aluminium
>sheathing to streamline it. I wonder why that was never continued in
>any way for any model of loco. It's not just the horns and fittings on
>top, there's an enormous amount of energy lost at higher speeds in the
>air turbulence at the lower levels near the wheels of a loco (or even
>for a road vehicle), and a sheath to partially enclose the wheels and
>linkage could save a lot of fuel in the long run. A streamlined
profile
>at the front and top is also necessary, of course.
>
>--Satish
>

From: Muhammed Khan <>

Subject: Catch siding

Date: 19 Jun 1999 18:11:19 -0500


Hi Apurva Bhadur:
The discussion going on regarding catch siding is interesting. As far as
I
remember, the catch siding has a definite profile and has been
standardized
by RDAs Lucknow, based on the approaching grades. It is not essential to
have a natural hill or grade, it can be artificially created grade. But
normally since the catch siding is required in hilly terrain the
availability of a rising grade is an asset. The entry into the siding
is
normally on a straight line from the switch which is locked in the
normal
position till it is ensured that the train has come to a halt. In case
the
train is unable to stop or the driver is inattentive the train is taken
into
the siding. It is incorrect to say that the the railways do not care if
the
train derails in the catch siding. The very design is to "Catch" the
train.
The provision of sand is to arrest,or technically to absorb the
energy,thereby bringing the train to a halt. Remember that though the
train
under worst conditions, is under,or is being put in braking mode.The
design,length,the construction and the grade of the siding is such that
the
train is prevented from derailing. Imagine a passenger train entering
the
siding at that speed and energy and derailing. The very purpose is
defeated
if the train is not caught.
I was involved in various departmental inquiries where in goods trains
have
entered the catch sidings on the Alma-Tarsi section of the Nagpur
division.
There are catch sidings in the hat sections over the Vindya Mts. The
main
function of the inquiries was to analyze the causes, which in most cases
was
due to the driver, in the early hours of the morning dosing off,
especially
with the pleasant breeze of the mountain air a long long day. But there
were
cases when it was pure mechanical failure.
Muhammed

From: Apurva Bahadur <>

Subject: Re: Webpage on Bhusawal Jn.

Date: 19 Jun 1999 21:33:49 -0500


Thanks to Muhammed for his kind comments. The hose pipes you have
mentioned on the
side of a WDM 2 cab can be seen in my 'departure from Karad' page. I
would soon have
pics of the token picked up using the pickup rod in the the WDM 2.

Apurva


Muhammed Khan wrote:

> Apurva Bahadur:
> The pictures of Bhusawal are beautiful and reminded me of the times I
was
> posted in Bsl Division. It was the time when I had started my career
in the
> electrification project of Igatpuri- Bhusawal section and was
stationed at
> Chalisgaon. Many of the signaling changes including Bhusawal was done
under
> a team of dedicated engineers, some of them now no more.
> I also saw the picture of the Neal's token being handed over to the
train.
> Infact it reminds me of a tragic incident in connection with picking
up of
> token. The person handing over the token held it for a moment longer
and was
> pulled into the speeding train. The instructions were clear that only
for
> slow or trains stopping at the station were to be handed the token by
hand.
> For all other trains it was to be properly put on the pickup stand
(which is
> also seen in the picture) and the person to stand with a green flag by
the
> side of it. I still remember the times the token was wrongly placed
causing
> missing of the token and the consequent delays. For the WDM engines
there
> was a pickup rod which picked up the token hoop. Since the token
banged
> against the side of the engine thereby breaking the pouch, the desidn
was a
> sort of packing attachment by the side filled with used hose pipes cut
to
> length, that absorbed the shock. Drivers took it as a personal pride
in
> picking up the token both on diesel and steam locos.
> Muhammed
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Apurva Bahadur <iti@vsnl.email
> To: IRFCA <irfca@cs.email
> Date: Friday, June 18, 1999 10:53 AM
> Subject: Webpage on Bhusawal Jn.
>
> >Gang !
> >
> >Check out the new Bhusawal Jn webpage.
> >Go to: <A HREF="http://members.tripod.com/ApuB/">http://members.tripod.com/ApuB/</A>
> >and click on the Bhusawal link right at the end.
> >Some steam pics inside !
> >
> >Apurva
> >
> >

From: hvc <>

Subject: Re: Catch siding

Date: 19 Jun 1999 22:22:40 -0500


Most interesting stuff. I always felt that the PW gang takes special
care in
maintaining the catch sidings for otherwise the peculiar monsoons of the
ghats would simply wash them off. I have never heard of a derailment on
a
catch siding. Instances of failure to arrest - many.

Could you please enlighten us about the No. and locations of catch
sidings
in the Amla-Itarsi section. I seem to recollect only one - at
`Ghudkhand'.

Harsh

-----Original Message-----
From: Muhammed Khan <ashiane@erols.email
To: Apurva Bahadur <irfca@cs.email
Date: Sunday, June 20, 1999 4:47 PM
Subject: Catch siding


>Hi Apurva Bhadur:
>The discussion going on regarding catch siding is interesting. As far
as I
>remember, the catch siding has a definite profile and has been
standardized
>by RDAs Lucknow, based on the approaching grades. It is not essential
to
>have a natural hill or grade, it can be artificially created grade. But
>normally since the catch siding is required in hilly terrain the
>availability of a rising grade is an asset. The entry into the siding
is
>normally on a straight line from the switch which is locked in the
normal
>position till it is ensured that the train has come to a halt. In case
the
>train is unable to stop or the driver is inattentive the train is taken
into
>the siding. It is incorrect to say that the the railways do not care if
the
>train derails in the catch siding. The very design is to "Catch" the
train.
>The provision of sand is to arrest,or technically to absorb the
>energy,thereby bringing the train to a halt. Remember that though the
train
>under worst conditions, is under,or is being put in braking mode.The
>design,length,the construction and the grade of the siding is such
that
the
>train is prevented from derailing. Imagine a passenger train entering
the
>siding at that speed and energy and derailing. The very purpose is
defeated
>if the train is not caught.
>I was involved in various departmental inquiries where in goods trains
have
>entered the catch sidings on the Alma-Tarsi section of the Nagpur
division.
>There are catch sidings in the hat sections over the Vindya Mts. The
main
>function of the inquiries was to analyze the causes, which in most
cases
was
>due to the driver, in the early hours of the morning dosing off,
especially
>with the pleasant breeze of the mountain air a long long day. But there
were
>cases when it was pure mechanical failure.
>Muhammed
>
>

From: Apurva Bahadur <>

Subject: Re: Indrayani Express

Date: 19 Jun 1999 22:33:24 -0500


 

Nitin Joshi wrote:
 

On the 1st December 1994, the Indrayani Express rolled down the ghats from Thakurwadi to Karjat yard (13 Kms) without a driver/ assistant in the loco or the guard in the brake van.
This is what I have understood of the circumstances leading to the disaster. The official verdict, I suppose we will never know.
The train was late, it was 2200 Hrs at Thakurwadi (normal is 2000 Hrs). As soon as the WCM 5 loco stopped at TKW, a fire started in the control compartment. The driver dropped the pantograph fearing that the presence of high voltage would aggravate the fire. With the dropping of the panto, the air compressor stopped.
The Indrayani was converted to air brake rake only a month back and the drivers were newly converted from vacuum brakes with training given only for one day. The reasoning was that all the drivers of the Mumbai division have worker air braked EMUs for many years before promotion to the passenger and mail driver grade. However the air brakes of the EMU are of electro-pneumatic type, while the mail/express have twin pipe graduated release brakes.
As per the driver, wooden wedges were put on the wheels of the dead loco. The fire intensified and the driver went to the TKW cabin to call the power controller (sitting in CSTM building) to appraise him of the emergency. All this time the point controlling the TKW catch siding, were set for the hills. But the timer ran out and the points were now set for the main line and the line clear signal was given.
The situation was that the loco was really ablaze by now and the assistant was also out of the cab. Apparently, the brake valve of the air braked loco (which itself was converted from pure vacuum brakes), had its 'sense' reversed. So if the vacuum braked loco, the lever was pulled to operate the brakes, now the lever was pushed to operate the brakes. The assistant was 'from the ranks' - a person who joined the IR in a clerical trade and got a transfer to (higher paying) driving category much later in his career. Maybe he saw the brake valve in the applied position and thought that the driver had forgotten to operate the brakes and actually released the brakes.
In any case the brake pressure was now zero and the brakes released.
The train started to roll from TKW to Karjat Yard at over estimated 100 Kmph (max permitted speed in 55 Kmph) on 1in 37 gradients. The was also a report of an electrical fire within the first or second coach. Many of the passengers had no idea that the train had no driver, they just thought that the train was going quite fast. The brake blocks on many coaches had molten and fallen off, when some of the  passengers tried to apply the brakes by the alarm chain.
The drivers/ guard and some of the passengers were trapped at TKW till 0300 Hrs when the line was reopened. In the meantime the police party at TKW walked 13 Kms in the night to Karjat to check for any causalities thrown off from the train, or any damage to the tracks.
The driver was suspended from the footplate for 2 years and was subsequently cleared to drive mail/express trains. He retired with a clear service record.
Failures as I see :

The driver and the assistant, their training on how to handle multiple emergencies.
The administration on their failure to provide adequate training on air braked locos and rakes in difficult ghat section. The rules that apply on the rest of the IR do not necessarily hold true in the steep ghats
The station master of the TKW cabin for allowing the clearly dead and burning WCM 5 on the main line. He could have put back the point to the catch siding position and train would have rolled into the hill.

Maybe many such incidents have taken place on the IR but they do not come into the public notice.
The Mumbai division tried many times to duplicate the conditions with the same rake and loco at the same spot, but could not succeed in rolling the Indrayani Express once again. So what really happened that day is still a bit of mystery.

Apurva

I do not remember hearing or reading about the Indrayani incident in theBhore Ghat's. Can somebody enlighten me!!!

From: Apurva Bahadur <>

Subject: [Fwd: Intermediate Block Section

Date: 19 Jun 1999 22:46:18 -0500


Some notes from Muhammed - Thanks !

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