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From: VIJAYB <VIJAYB@PK705VMG.EMAIL

Subject: Re: LONG NAMES

Date: 25 Nov 1991 15:16:00 -0500


> The longest name of a railway station in India is
>Venkatanarasimharajuvaripeta, on the Arakkonam-Renigunta section of the

The complete name is Venkatanarasimharajuvaripeta Halt. If I remember
correctly, only one passenger train stops here. Some other long
names off the top of my head:-
Karaikkovilpathu (SR) (One stn. away from Karaikkal terminus)
Kunda Harnamganj (NR) (on the Allahabad-Unchchahar line)
Raja-ka-Sahaspur (NR) (on the Aligarh-Chandausi line)
Trivandrum Pettiah (SR) (one stn. away from Trivandrum)

This reminds me of other hyphenated stn. names such as:-
Raja-ki-Mandi (one stn. away from Agra Cant towards Delhi)
Nim-ka-Thana (on the Jaipur-Rewai chord line)

Regards,
Vijay

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <dheeraj@cs.email

Subject: Re: LONG NAMES

Date: 26 Nov 1991 13:33:00 -0500


> This reminds me of other hyphenated stn. names such as:-
> Raja-ki-Mandi (one stn. away from Agra Cant towards Delhi)
> Nim-ka-Thana (on the Jaipur-Rewai chord line)

Well, I have been to "Nim ka Thana" scores of times, and I don't
remember any hyphens in the name as was written on the station.

The mention of this station reminds me of my visit to this place
during my last India visit. (I probably have told it to some of
you, but it does not hurt telling again.)

I got down from the Aravali Express in the night, it was past
9:30 or so. The station was quite deserted. Outside the station,
I asked a tempo wallah to tke me to the "Cantt." During the ride,
I asked a fellow passenger, how far will this guy be dropping me
from "the Hospital." This question was enough for him to guess
where I was coming from, to whose house I was going, and a whole
lot of other details, including the fact that I study in USA.
There are at least a score of houses which can be considered next
to the hospital. In any case, I could be going 100 or 200 meters
from the hospital. How did this guy guessed ? I was impressed.

The guy was my cousin's friend, and a neighbour.


-dheeraj

From: Ajai Banarji <banarji@unixg.email

Subject:

Date: 02 Dec 1991 10:04:00 -0500


RAIL NEWS FROM BOMBAY

The New Kurla terminal has started functioning, with a few locals running
from there to Kalyan. However, the terminal still does not have an access road.
Passengers still have to walk about 250 metres from the existing station at
Kurla.
Long-distance services from this terminal are to be started soon. This will
enable 22-bogie trains to be run from Bombay, since the existing platforms at
VT can only take 16--bogie trains.(Is there any problem at Bombay Central?)
The death roll in the bomb explosion on a train at Kalyan has risen to 13.
This was the worst incident of terrorism in Bombay so far.

From: aravind <aravind@vax135.email

Subject:

Date: 03 Dec 1991 18:32:00 -0500


Hi everybody,

After spending a couple of weeks in the Land of the Rising Sun (with a
little bit of travelling), here are some observations on the
much-vaunted Japanese rail network ...

Facts:

- The old Japanese National Railways (which reportedly accumulated a
big deficit) has now been sold off to ~6 regional companies, which use
the common insignia JR.

- The entire JR network uses a 1.067m gauge, except for the Shinkansen
lines, whose gauge is 1.435m (US+Europe standard).

- Electrification appears to be 100% (all oil is imported). All
important lines are at least doubled.

- In addition to JR, there's a large number of privately operated
railways, each apparently serving a small region. Among them, many
gauges are used.

- The rail network in and around Tokyo is probably the most dense
in the world (includes JR + misc. private lines + subways).

- Sometimes the private lines offer better services between two points
than JR (eg. on Kyoto-Nara).



Observations:

- The "meter" gauge trains seem to run at ~100kph between stations.

- The Shinkansen seem to run at ~210kph. Average speed is 170kph
for a superexpress between Osaka and Tokyo.

- The frequency of the Shinkansen is LESS THAN 10 minutes at peak
hours. (for distances of ~500 km!)

- The punctuality of the entire system is incredible. Trains depart
on the minute, and more likely than not, arrive on the minute.
Waiting period at stations is just enough for passengers to get on and
off (< 1 min).

- I found that there was NO COMPETITION from goods traffic to ANY
passenger train.

On the Shinkansen lines, goods traffic simply doesn't operate.

On the "regular" JR lines, I spotted an occasional goods train,
but very seldom.

On the private lines I travelled, I couldn't spot a goods train.


QUESTIONS (and HOPING for answers):

- Does anyone know if the network is used more for goods traffic at
night? Was the lack of goods traffic the reason for JNR's deficit?

- Does someone know more about electrification on the Shinkansen
lines? The trains gooble up electricity; sparking occurs
constantly at the pantographs.

- Does anyone have more intriguing info?



Aravind

From: Ajai Banarji <banarji@unixg.email

Subject:

Date: 06 Dec 1991 15:02:00 -0500


This and that

Let us hope Vijay has a safe journey. We look forward to his "tour report".
There was a report last month of another runaway goods train. This time it
involved an electric loco running on the North-South trunk line. It started
from Rechni Road while the driver had got out for a cup of tea. It ran for
about 50 km to Peddampet before it stopped by itself.
Have any of you tried timing trains in India? The normal way is to observe
the km-stones. Suppose you take 50 seconds to pass between these stones then
the speed is 3600/50 =72 kmph. It can be easy to overlook the km-stones as they
are rather small (and sometimes missing). An alternative is to observe the
telegraph poles. While they are not quite evely spaced, you can generally
estimate the speed by observing the time taken to go from (say) pole #
110/3 to 111/3.
In my earlier days I used to have to travel between Kerala and UP four
times a year. Finding the train speed was a good way to avoid boredom.
The best speed I recorded was 32 sec for a km, which works out to be
112.5 kmph. This was on the GT express a little north of Madras, in
around 1972 (prior to electrification).
Just wondered if any of you have done the same, especially with the
faster trains like Rajdhani and Shatabdi.

From: Ajai Banarji <banarji@unixg.email

Subject:

Date: 17 Dec 1991 15:12:00 -0500


This and that

You may have seen the report in m.n.s. about the Bangalore-Mysore
line. Trains are to be suspended for 6 weeks from mid-Feb for completion
of conversion work. I don't know why it will take so long. When the Pune-
Miraj and Bangalore-Guntakal lines were converted, the lines were closed
for a couple of days.
One reason why the Bombay suburban systems will never be converted from
DC to the standard 25KV AC is the disruption it would cause to commuter
traffic. It should be remembered, however, that the Madras-Tambaran and
Howrah-Burdwan lines were converted from DC to AC in the 60s.
More on the New Kurla terminal-the Bombay-Varanasi super express has
started running from there.(this is different from the Dadar-Varanasi
and Mahanagari expresses). There is also a new suburban station called
Tilak Nagar adjacent to this terminal. I think it is one station after Kurla
on the Mankhurd/Chembur branch. (Any Bombaywalas out there who know better?)
Finally, a railway puzzle. You must have read the news of the Romanian
diplomat Mr Radu's kidnapping and release. He was released at an unknown
station and boarded a train which reached New Delhi.
He now says that he didn't know what train or what station it was. You
may find it interesting to work out the details based on the following data:
He boarded an unreserved compartment at around 11 pm. The train arrived in
New Delhi around 10 am. Add to this the fact that it must have been somewhere
in Punjab, and that it must have been a rather unimportant station (otherwise
he would have seen the nameboard).
If you have a recent Bradshaw, it is quite easy to identify the train and station. (Apparently his statement that it was somewhere between Jalandhar and
Ludhiana is incorrect.)
Another puzzle: What is the maximum number of zones traversed by any long-
distance train in India? (Hint-there are some trains which cross more zones
than the Himsagar.)

From: aravind <aravind@vax135.email

Subject:

Date: 18 Dec 1991 08:52:00 -0500


Yes, I did see the titbit about closing the Bangalore-Mysore line for
SIX weeks from mid-Feb. This attests to the technical difficulties
faced by this conversion project - many sharp curves, etc. Also,
you guys might remember my posting about the space and alignment
problems in Bangalore City itself. Maybe that station is also being
expanded.

Regarding the question of which train traverses the most number of zones,
I believe the South-NorthEast trains take the honors. (SR, SCR, CR, NR, NER
for the Cochin-Gorakhpur Exp; SR, SCR, SER, ER, NFR for Cochin-Guwahati
Exp.)

Merry Xmas,

Aravind

From: VIJAYB <VIJAYB@PK705VMG.EMAIL

Subject: I'm back!

Date: 02 Jan 1992 15:47:00 -0500


Hi Folks,

A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU!

I returned on the 30th of Dec. The good news is, I'm engaged!

I spent all my three weeks in Bombay, itself. I plan to go back in summer
and get married. I should manage a couple of train trips then. The first of
these could very well be from Bombay to Madras, with myself & relatives,
possibly, occupying an entire I class coach. The marriage would be held in
Madras, followed by a reception in Bombay.

I spotted the Deccan Queen at Dadar stn. As Ajai had mentioned, it
has got back it's White and Blue color. In addition, there is a red
strip just above the windows.

The new terminus at Kurla has been opened to passenger traffic, and
the Varanasi-Bombay Pavan exp. (another misnomer) starts from this stn.
The island platform is located on the West side of Kurla, pretty close
to the Kurla-Chembur line.

Also, studied the restructed Bombay V.T. suburban terminus. There
are now 7 double discharge platforms (instead of the original 8).
It seems to me that all the original tracks, except for the first one,
have been shifted around. And I got the feeling that the terminus had
to be extended to accomodate track 7.

Will send you details from the new Bradshaw.

Regards,
Vijay

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <dheeraj@cs.email

Subject: Any info on Pragat Express ??

Date: 09 Jan 1992 23:25:00 -0500


I saw this on misc.news.southasia :

* Bombay-Pune Superfast Train:

A new superfast train "Pragati Express" between Bombay and Pune was flagged off
by the Railway minister Mr.C.K.Jaffer Sharief, at Bombay VT.


Any more info on this, anybody ?

-dheeraj

From: VIJAYB <VIJAYB@PK705VMG.EMAIL

Subject: Nov. 91 Bradshaw!

Date: 10 Jan 1992 17:51:00 -0500


Hi Folks,
I did read about the Pragati Exp. while back in India. The article
did not mention the time schedule or the halts, but said that the new train
would provide accomodation for ~1000 passengers.

I found out that Nagpur-Itarsi has been energized with the result that
trains such as the TN exp. and the GT exp. are now being hauled by elec. locos
all the way (although the halt times at Itarsi and Nagpur suggest the contrary)
It is expected that Bombay-Howrah would be completely electrified by March '92,
and Bombay-Delhi (Central Rly.) by June'92.

Here is some interesting info. from the Nov. 91 bradshaw:-

Southern Rly.
-------------
1. Netravati Exp. (Bombay Cochin) and Dadar-Mangalore exp. now halt at Salem.

2. Bokaro-Allepy Exp. has halts at Arrkonam, Katpadi, Jolarpettai, Salem, Erode
Coimbatore, Palghat, Shoranur, Trichur, and Ernakulam [between Madras and
Alleppey]. Thus, it is the only train not to halt at Alwaye.

3. Madras-Cochin Exp. has been extended till Alleppey.

4. Sethu Exp. (Madras Rameswaram) halts at Madurantakam in the Dn. dirn only.

5. Madras-Quilon Mail halts at Tindivanam in the Dn. dirn only.


South-Central Rly.
-----------------
1. East Coast exp. (Howrah Hyderabad) halts at Mahbubabad and Pithapuram.

2. Nizamuddin link exp. halts at Dornakal.

3. Sirpur Kaghaz Nagar -Secunderabad Bhagyanagar Exp. has AC Chair Car service

4. GT exp. no longer stops at Chirala.

5. Hyderabad - Cochin and - Madras exps. go via Bibinagar-Nadikude.

6. Goa exp. has halts at Satara, Miraj (BG<->MG), Belgaum, Londa, and
Madgaon, between Pune and Vasco. It is a trifle slower than the
Mahalaxmi exp. in the common stretch.

7. Weekly Tirupati - Puri exp. has halts at Sri Kalahasti, Gudur, Nellore
Ongole, Tenali, Vijayawada, Eluru, Tadepalligudem, Nidadavolu,
Rajahmundry, Samalkot, and Annakapalle [between Renigunta and
Visakhapatnam]

8. Cochin - Indore/Bilaspur/Gorakhpur exps. halt at Khammam.

9. All north-south trains, except the Ganga Kaveri Exp., the Madras-Patn
exp. and the Navjeevan exp., bypass Kazipet and halt at Warangal
instead. Note the Ganga Kaveri exp. and the Madras Patna exp. are th
only trains to simultaneously ignore Warangal and Khammam.

Central and Western Rlys.
-------------------------
No discernible changes when compared to the July '91 zonal rly.
timetables.

I will be back with info. on Northern, Eastern, NE, SE, and NEF rlys.

Regards,
Vijay

From: VIJAYB <VIJAYB@PK705VMG.EMAIL

Subject: Manmad-Aurangabad!

Date: 10 Jan 1992 18:02:00 -0500


Hi,
I found out from my uncle (who is the DRM of Bhusaval divsn.) that Manmad
-Aurangabad should be opened to BG traffic pretty soon. I was discussing
about the prospects of a new Bombay-Aurangabad train with him, and was thrilled
to learn that a proposal to extend the Panchavati exp. to Aurangabad was
discarded in favor of the introduction of a new train. Way to go!
The argument was the Panchavati exp. was meant was Bombay - Nasik/Manmad
passengers and a second day exp. would fulfil long-standing demands.
Let's see what happens.

Vijay

From: ruman <ruman@maemaster.email

Subject: Re: Nov. 91 Bradshaw!

Date: 10 Jan 1992 12:09:00 -0500


Hi Guys ,
I am new to this mailing list. I would like to know what sort of
communication occurs across this group. Is it restricted to exchanging
info or does it also involve discussions , say for eg about alternative
routes or schedules that could be followed to speed trains on some
particular route, or maybe about certain services that could be offered,
the economics involved etc. If any of you guys are archiving the posts
on this mailing group, could u send me the past 10-15 posts
so that I can get a flavour of this newsgroup.

> Here is some interesting info. from the Nov. 91 bradshaw:-

[some info deleted]

> 9. All north-south trains, except the Ganga Kaveri Exp., the Madras-Patn
> exp. and the Navjeevan exp., bypass Kazipet and halt at Warangal
> instead. Note the Ganga Kaveri exp. and the Madras Patna exp. are th
> only trains to simultaneously ignore Warangal and Khammam.
>

I think all north-south trains don't touch Kazipet at all, unless they
are interested in going to their destination via Hyderabad. :-) Kazipet
does not lie on the route to Nagpur from Warangal. It lies on the route
to Hyderabad from Warangal.
By the same token Delhi/North bound trains from Hyderabad cannot
touch Warangal.

On another note could any of you junta confirm or debunk a news
report I read in the Times , Bombay edition a few years ago. It said
that the Dadar Madras express took 25 hours to complete its journey
in 1935. Nowadays inspite of all the technology and track doubling on many
sections it takes 26.5 hours for the same. Do any of you have access to
train schedules of the early 20's 30's etc or know someone who might
or know whether thay exist at all. I was told by the person who informed
me of the existence of this newsgroup that a lot of the junta on this
group are children of Railway employees. So I guess u are likely to have
some idea
of the state of the rail routes at the turn of the century and whether the
same are displayed at any railway museum. Are copies available.

Also could someone throw light on the history of the different gauges.
Why is it that while the British have Standard gauge over almost their entire
country we have everything but standard gauge.

I look forward to your replies
Thanx
ruman

PS: The Mankhurd Belapur track was scheduled to be completed by April 1992,
any updates on the status.
PPS: There was a mention of an alternate route proposed for the Bombay-Pune
trip, via Mankhurd Panvel to Karjat. Anyone has any info on this. I remember
seeing in the Indian Express Saturday magazine a 100 year proposal
in which there was shown a Karjat-Panvel line. Does this really exist.
Certainly no passenger trains make this trip .

From: Ajai Banarji <banarji@unixg.email

Subject:

Date: 12 Jan 1992 16:00:00 -0500


A few points

Nice to have a new active member like Ruman of Macmaster. To reply to
some of his queries:
Sorry to disappoint you, but most of the prominent posters on irfca are
not sons of railway employees (though a few of us have uncles/cousins who
are).
The Mankhurd-Belapur line is expected to open in the middle of the year.
There is no line between Panvel and Karjat, and there is no proposal for one.
Regarding old timetables-I saw a few pages displayed as exhibits at the Rail Museum in Delhi. The museum has a small library, though I think you need
special permission to use it.
There is also a library at the Railway Board, though I don't know any
details.
If you want to see old maps and timetables, you may (if you are lucky) find
some in the major university libraries in the US. Regarding timetables,
the Stanford library did possess the Bradshaws of 1934 and 1942, besides
some older regional timetables going back to the 1880s. A few
photocopies exist in the hands of fanatic IRFCAites. I will write
something about these timetables soon.
The following books may be useful for those interested in railway history.
They should be available in any good univ library (if not, try the inter-
library loan system.

The Railways of India, J.N. Westwood (published in mid-70s)
Railways of Asia and the Far East, O.S. Nock (mid-70s)
Railways of the Raj, Michael Satow (around 1980)
History of the Indian Railways, G.S. Khosla (around 1988): (This one may not
be available here)
Couplings to the Khyber, P.S.A. Berridge,(late 60s)-about the North Western
Railway, thus mostly covers areas now in Pakistan
Indian Railways: One hundred years, J.N.Sahni, published by the railway
board in 1953 (the official history)
There are a few more, for which I do not presently recall the exact titles.

It may be interesting to see the annual reports of the railways which go
back to 1859. These generally include maps and details of the construction
projects of the day. These reports were originally published as part of the
British parliamentary papers upto 1915 and are available on microfiche in most major univ libraries. Some libraries (like Berkeley and Stanford) have copies
of reports for subsequent years. There are also periodicals like "History of
Indian Railways-Constructed and in Progress" and "Report of the Railway Inspectorate" which some may find interesting.
More later.

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <dheeraj>>

Subject: Re: Nov. 91 Bradshaw!

Date: 12 Jan 1992 23:15:00 -0500


> I am new to this mailing list. I would like to know what sort of
> communication occurs across this group.

Everything concerning Indian Railways and then some. (We have had some
knowledgeable posters posting about foreign railways too.)

> Is it restricted to exchanging info or does it also involve
> discussions, say for eg about alternative routes or schedules
> that could be followed to speed trains on some particular route,
> or maybe about certain services that could be offered, the
> economics involved etc.

We have had discussions on topics such as suggestions for new trains,
economic feasibility of new projects, etc. But, unfortunately, it has
mostly remained a source for news and information.

By the way, we even had an IRFCA Convention in New Jersey last summer,
and we plan to have another one in the next summer.

> If any of you guys are archiving the posts on this mailing group,
> could u send me the past 10-15 posts so that I can get a flavour
> of this newsgroup.

Myself, and Vijay B. keep complete archive of all posting from day 1.
I will send you the archives of last 1 month.

> On another note could any of you junta confirm or debunk a news
> report I read in the Times, Bombay edition a few years ago. It said
> that the Dadar Madras express took 25 hours to complete its journey in
> 1935. Nowadays inspite of all the technology and track doubling on
> many sections it takes 26.5 hours for the same.

Since I do not have access to old timetables, I cannot answer this
query for the specific train, but there are indeed trains which were
faster 50 years ago. But that is not telling even half the story.
While Frontier Mail and G T Express may be running at about the same
speed as they ran 50 years ago, we do have Rajdhani and T N Express
now, which are faster than any train in those time. We have Shatabdis
which can run at 140 KMPH. Also, 50 years ago, there was usually only
one mail train between the two important cities which went at that
high speed. Now there are many trains running at those speeds. Further,
while steam engines of 30's could haul 8-10 coaches at that speed,
today electric engines can haul 20 coaches at the same speed. And
finally, while tracks have doubled on many trunk routes, the traffic
has gone up many times more, causing more congestion than ever before.


> Also could someone throw light on the history of the different gauges.
> Why is it that while the British have Standard gauge over almost their
> entire country we have everything but standard gauge.

In the beginning, there was only broad gauge. The first railway companies
were all privately owned. British were able to force standardization
across different railways companies in the subcontinent by supporting
only those companies who will follow the standards. The support usually
included free land grant, guaranteed minimum returns on the investments,
cheap loans etc. The British decided that only a wide guage of 5' 6"
would be stable for the terrain and winds in some parts of the country.

After initial enthusiasm in 1840's to 60's, the investment in Railway
companies started a decline. The pace of laying down tracks slowed
down considerable in 1870's much below the goal of 1000 KM every year.
Around the time, I think British had some war in the North West.
(with Afghans ??) British forces could not move fast enough because of
lack of Railways. There was also some famine somewhere, and grain could
not be moved fast enough from the areas where it was in access. After
this British decided to support construction of meter gauge also, since
they cost significantly less.

Narrow gauge was mostly allowed in hilly areas where other gauges
were not feasible.


-dheeraj

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <dheeraj@cs.email

Subject: News from misc.news.southasia

Date: 13 Jan 1992 10:51:00 -0500


TRACK CONVERSION WORK HIT
MYSORE - The exodus of Tamilians from Mysore Dist. in the wake of
disturbances on the Kaveri issue has had an adverse impact on the
broadguage conversion work between B'lore & Mysore.

------
Does that mean that the final leg (when the route was to be closed for
over 6 weeks for all traffic) would be delayed, or will it make the
closure longer.
------

MAJOR RAIL CONVERSION DURING 8TH PLAN
Indian Railways has set itself an ambitious scheme of converting
6,000 km of Railway track from metre gauge to broad gauge at a cost
of Rs 5,000 crore during the eighth plan.

------
Is it really needed ? Don't we have more pressing needs like track
renewals, another manufacturing plant for locomotives, coaches, etc.
Shouldn't electrification be accorded higher priority ?
------

RAILWAYS ANNOUNCE 30% HIKE IN LUGGAGE RATES

------
This is of course non-sense. Why couldn't they wait until the Budget.
Now, I am sure, the Railway Minister would present a budget with no
more hikes, and claim that he is not hiking the prices because he cares
about the public.

And, how come, in India, we can increase the prices by just announcing
them in the gazette. Shouldn't there be some discussion in public before
the prices go up so steeply.
------

On another note, Vijay had some time ago mentioned that Delhi-Bombay
Central Railway route cannot be completely electrified since there
was some new bridge being planned on some river on the route, or some
such thing. And unless the alignment of that bridge is decided, the route
will not be electrified. How come, he reports now that the route will be
electrified by June.

-dheeraj

From: VIJAYB <VIJAYB@PK705VMG.EMAIL

Subject: This and That!

Date: 13 Jan 1992 18:03:00 -0500


Welcome to the club, Ruman! Here are my comments->

>I think all north-south trains don't touch Kazipet at all, unless they
>are interested in going to their destination via Hyderabad. :-) Kazipet
>does not lie on the route to Nagpur from Warangal. It lies on the route

Not quite true! The Ganga Kaveri Exp., Madras Patna Exp., the
Navjeevan Exp., and the Varanasi Tirupati/Cochin Exps. change dirns. at
Kazipet. In fact, a year back, other trains such as the Himsagar Exp.,
and the Jammu Tawi/Lucknow - Madras exps. did the same. At that time,
all trains were still running diesels on the Nagpur-Itarsi section
and diesel-to-electric loco changeovers were being done at Kazipet
itself (for the above mentioned trains). Note that Kazipet has a
sizeable diesel loco. shed.

>report I read in the Times , Bombay edition a few years ago. It said
>that the Dadar Madras express took 25 hours to complete its journey
>in 1935. Nowadays inspite of all the technology and track doubling on mny

I took a look at the 1937 Bradshaw and found out that the Dadar Madras
Exp. took about 27 1/2 hrs. between Dadar and Madras.
Incidently, the Deccan Queen used to have a runtime of only 2 1/2
hrs. in the pre-independence days. Wonder how that was accompalished?!

>PPS: There was a mention of an alternate route proposed for the Bombay-une
>trip, via Mankhurd Panvel to Karjat. Anyone has any info on this. I remmber
>seeing in the Indian Express Saturday magazine a 100 year proposal
>in which there was shown a Karjat-Panvel line. Does this really exist.

The Oct. 1990 issue of Indian Railways indicates that there exists
a Belapur-Panvel line for goods traffic only. There is indeed a proposal
to construct a new line from Panvel to Karjat. This would result in
an alternate route between Bombay and Karjat/Pune once the Mankhurd-
Belapur line is commissioned.


Dheeraj writes:
>On another note, Vijay had some time ago mentioned that Delhi-Bombay
>Central Railway route cannot be completely electrified since there
>was some new bridge being planned on some river on the route, or some
>such thing. And unless the alignment of that bridge is decided, the roue
>will not be electrified. How come, he reports now that the route will b

It is true that Bhusaval-Itarsi electrification was held up due to a
possibility of diversion of tracks near Harsud be'coz of the Narmada
Sagar project. However, future changes brought things back to normal
and the electrification is proceeding at a steady pace. Should find
out more about it during my Bombay-Varanasi trips in summer.


Regards,
Vijay

From: Ajai Banarji <banarji@unixg.email

Subject:

Date: 13 Jan 1992 13:04:00 -0500


More about the Pragati Express

Here is some info I got from the Times of India

The train started running from Dec 27. It is to act as a duplicate of the
Deccan Queen, as the timings are fairly close.

VT-> Pune Pune -> VT
16.25 20.05 07.30 11.05

No details about the stops.
It is clasified as super-fast. It has 120 first class seats and 794 in second
class, besides a dining car. The colour scheme is blue and white, with a red
streak.
A few months ago it was reported that the Deccan Queen's colour scheme was
changed to grey and white. Vijay mentioned seeing it in blue and white; perhaps
it was the new train which he saw?
This is an example of running two fast trains in close proximity so that they
can use the same path without disrupting the other traffic.

From: VIJAYB <VIJAYB@PK705VMG.EMAIL

Subject: Nov. '91 Bradshaw!

Date: 14 Jan 1992 17:22:00 -0500


Continuing from where I had left off:

Northern Rly.
-------------
1. Paschim Exp. halts at Sirhind and Khana (experimental). They have ruined
this train.

2. Ganga Sutlej Exp. has been extended till Firozpur.

3. Lohit Exp. (Jammu Tawi - Guwahati) halts at Kathua, Laksar, and Hardoi (up.
only)

4. Jammu Tawi Gorakhpur Exp. halts at Laksar, Shahjahanpur, and Hardoi (dn.
only)

5. Sarnath Exp. (Varanasi - Durg) halts at Janghai.

6. Shan-e-Punjab Exp. halts at Beas and Panipat.

7. Rajdhani Exp. halts at Allahabad (for 3 mts.).

8. Shramik Exp. (Varanasi - Kanpur), New Delhi - Puri Exp. and North East Exp.
halt at Fatehpur.

9. Shaheed and Saryu Yamuna Exps. (Delhi Muzaffarpur) halt at Amroha.

10. Unchahar Exp. (Allahabad - New Delhi) has been extended till Ambala Cant.
This is the only exp. to originate from / terminate at Ambala Cant.

11. Sarvodaya Exp. halts at Kathua.

12. The Tinsukia Mail has been renamed the Brahmaputra Mail.


North East Frontier Rly.
------------------------
1. All trains halt at Barpeta Rd. except the North East and Lohit Exps.

2. All trains halt at Dhupguri except the North East Exp.

3. The North Exp. halts at Barsoi, Jalpaiguri Rd. and New Alipurduar.


More later on the North Eastern, Eastern, and South Eastern Rlys.


Regards,
Vijay

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <dheeraj@cs.email

Subject: News from M.N.S.

Date: 17 Jan 1992 22:06:00 -0500


* LAUNCHING OF PALACE ON WHEELS POSTPONED

BANGALORE - The inauguration of the Palace on Wheels, a railway
journey through important places of tourist attraction in Karanataka
and Goa states, scheduled to start earlier this month, has been postponed.

-------
I didn't know they had any such plans. I think such trains run only
to Rajasthan and some places in Bihar. When did they plan the third one ?
Are there more planned ? Are they using regular AC coaches or custom-built
coaches for such trains. I know that they recently removed all old royal
coaches from Palace on Wheels (the one that goes to Rajasthan) and replaced
it by a new coach-set.

-dheeraj

From: Ajai Banarji <banarji@unixg.email

Subject:

Date: 17 Jan 1992 19:30:00 -0500


More news

The Pragati Express runs non-stop between VT and Pune, thus becoming the
first non-stop train on this section. It should therefore be faster than the
Deccan Queen. However, unlike the Deccan Queen it does not have coaches set
aside for season ticket holders, so the commuters were quite annoyed and
staged a demonstration at the inaguration ceremony.
The "Week" of a couple of months ago carried an article about the problems
faced by the Konkan Railway in Goa. It appears that some politicians are
creating a fuss without any logical reason. Anyway the Konkan Railway Corpora-
-tion has changed the route more than once and are refusing to make any more
changes unless the Goa government pays for the additional cost which is quite
substantial. As things stand the new line will cross the existing line at
Madgaon. There does not seem to be any major problem in the segments in
Maharashtra and Karnataka. But if the problems are not sorted out in Goa,
the project may be delayed beyond the schedule of mid-1994.
It is curious to know what the public in Goa feels-after all, they are
going to benefit by the new line which will make it much faster to reach
Bombay.
There are some instances where the public did not want a railway. The
classic case was one place in eastern China where the British set up a
line in the 1860s. The local government tolerated the line for a few years,
and then purchased it from the owners so that they could break it up. The
engines were given a ceremonial burial and exorcised as they were considered
to be evil spirits.
Closer to home, remember the case of the feeder lines to connect the
Northeastern states. Some have been commissioned already e.g. Balipara-
Bhalukpong (Arunachal) and Silchar-Jiribam (Manipur). One of these lines
was to run from Guwahati to Burnihat in Meghalaya. Now, Meghalaya is one
of the states like Kashmir where there are restrictions on outsiders owning
land (as protection to the local people). Now a number of people in Meghalaya
did not want the railway to be built as it would help outsiders to come to
Meghalaya. There was some agitation a few years back and it appeared that
the line would be ended short of the Meghalaya border. I don't know what
happened after that. (Any mention in IR magazine?)
Vijay pointed out that a number of fast trains have started stopping at
Fatehpur (between Kanpur and Allahabad). This could have some connection with
the fact that it is V.P. Singh's constituency. However, it is not that small
a place and several express trains used to stop there earlier. It is not like
Amethi which was an extremely obscure station where no express used to stop,
until Sanjay Gandhi discovered it in 1977. Now a big new station has been
constructed and almost all trains (like the Howrah-Amritsar Mail) now stop
there.

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