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From: Dheeraj Sanghi <dheeraj@cs.email

Subject: Re: IR, what else?

Date: 04 Oct 1989 13:28:00 -0500


Hi,

Vijay asks:
>Didn't you state in your earlier mail that reservations can be
>made from different parts of the city? This should considerably
>reduce the queue lengths. Are there separate reservation offices
>for this purpose (located at vantage points in the city)?

Well, these reservation centers at various points in Delhi (there were
only 2 or 3 before computerization) had a fixed quota for each train
and was very few seats. It was more of a publicity gimmick than any
real convenience to the passengers.

Shriram Revankar writes:
>Madras to my knowledge is the best place. It has a separate building
>that provides needed isolation from the crowded station, yet close
>enough for one to rush to the rly station within a minute.

New Delhi has a separate reservation building from even before the
computerization. It is next to the Rly. Stn. and takes about 3-4
minutes to walk.

In the same building, there is a room with lots of TV screens. On
those screens, you can see the upto the minute status of reservations
of all trains leaving Delhi (and New Delhi and Hazarat Nizamuddin).
The service was inaugrated, I think, on 27th Nov. last year. I
happened to be there on that day (though after the ceremony). It had a
cute acronym "RAPID" which stands for Reservation Availabilty Position
Information Display. Each TV screen shows the reservation availabilty
position of a specified group of trains relating to a particular
direction. The information is carried on 6 to 7 pages which roll one
after the other at 20 seconds interval on the TV screen. The
reservation position is also telecast by Doordarshan on Teletext. Each
screen is similar to a calendar; the number show the dates while the
colours reflect the availability position - green for available,
magenta for waiting list, and red for non-availability. The
prospective traveller, sitting in his home or office, can obtain
reservation information for the next 28 days. (Of course, he would
need Teletext decoder and a TV.)

Another service that Northern Rly provides at Delhi is the reservation
information by phone. This was also started last Nov. You could call in
and ask for the info. (Of course, you will always get busy tone.) The
information is as good as the person on the other end. I talked to a
person who wasted many hours in coming to Rly Stn and going back because
there was no seat available while he was told that there are many. In
fact, the counter clerk told him that it was booked many days earlier.
He checked that info with the Information clerk at the Station, and got
the same reply.

In a previous mail, Vijay had asked whether computerization had any
effects on job situation, and whether slow typing had been a bottleneck.

Well, since the user interface of the computerization is reasonably
good, there is no technical knowledge required from the clerks. The
only job-training that was needed (apart from familiarizing with the
new system) was typing. Most people now have learnt typing, and for the
new clerks, typing knowledge is the job requirement. But in the
beginning, it was horrible. I remember getting a reservation, and the
clerk was struggling for each character. I was so frustrated that I
asked him whether I could type my name myself. I don't think they have
fired anybody because of increased efficiency. (Firing in a govt owned
establishment, you must be kidding! and that too because of
computerization, I bet no union would have allowed any more computers
in their establishments.) In this regard, I have an interesting story.
(This is a second hand story, and I don't take any responsibility for
its truth value.) When banks started computerizing the customer
service, the bank unions strongly opposed the idea of computers. So the
name of machines to be installed was changed to ALPM "Automatic Ledger
Processing Machine." Another problem was that some of these ALPMs were
supplied by Hindustan Computers Ltd. (now HCL.) Unions objected to the
word "Computers" anywhere on the machine or as a logo in a software. So
the company for forced to use its initials only (which now is their
actual name).

Shriram Revankar writes:
>Good seating is provided, and 26inch color TVs are installed. Most
>of the time the TVs showed Disney type comics, once I even saw
>complete Michel Jacksons "Thriller"!!

To the best of my memory, ther are no TV sets in the reservation
building near New Delhi, but there are many TV sets on all platforms on
all the 3 major Railway Stations of Delhi. I have never tried to spend
my time trying to find out what is being shown, but on Sunday evenings,
I have seen big crowds around these TVs.

By the way, I think having separate queues for all clerks is a very
stupid idea, and I fully support the token system or at least have one
queue only. In fact, I was so pissed off, when the clerk in front of my
queue, disappeared for full 15 minutes, (this is last Nov.), that I
wrote to Divisional Manager (or whoever) of Northern Rlys, suggesting
that have just one queue. (No replies, to date.)


More later,
-dheeraj

From: Vijay Balasubramanian <vbs@silly.email

Subject: Zonal Railways, etc.

Date: 04 Oct 1989 11:30:00 -0500


Hi IRFCAites / FACIRs!

IR has nine zonal railways. These are:

Zonal Rly. Headquarters

1. Northern Rly. Delhi
2. North-Eastern Rly. Gorakhpur
3. Eastern Rly. Howrah
4. South-Eastern Rly. Howrah
5. North-East Frontier Rly. Guwahati
6. Central Rly. Bombay
7. Western Rly. Bombay
8. South-Central Rly. Secunderabad
9. Southern Rly. Madras

In addition, each zonal railway has a certain number of divisions, each having
a divisional headquarter. For example, Western Rly. has seven divisonal
headquarters: Bombay, Vadodara, Ratlam, Kota, Jaipur, Ajmer and Bhavnagar.

Northern Rly., no doubt, handles the maximum passanger traffic. I believe
Eastern Rly. handles the maximum goods traffic, most of which is accounted for
in the Mughal Sarai - Sitarampur Grand Chord section. Western Rly. has long
been the most efficient, at least, in terms of passanger service and
punctuality. Did you know that the total length of M.G. track within this
rly. is more than that of the B.G. sections combined?

Central Rly. is the most widespread; in fact, the Delhi-Bombay
stretch via Jhansi-Itarsi-Bhusaval lies almost entirely within this rly.,
except for the small Delhi-H. Nizamuddin section.

Southern Rly. has the only electrified M.G. stretch in India! This is the
160-odd. km. Madras Egmore to Villupuram section. A fleet of about 20 YAM
AC Electric locomotives is all that is required here.


I am not sure about the distance markers on electric poles. I do know
that the distance between two consecutive poles is roughly one tenth of a km.


Igatpuri is also know for its chikkis, as well as Aloo Bondas. Other
stations that come to my mind are Bhusaval (bananas), Allahabad (guavas),
Varanasi (mangoes, more specifically, banarasi "langras"), Bhadohi, in the
Allahabad-Varanasi section (ginger tea).


As I prepare to wind up this segment, I see that others too have responded
to Sridhar's queries. Maybe I am repeating a lot of stuff.


With regards,

Vijay

From: Shriram Revankar <revankar@cs.email

Subject: Re: questions

Date: 04 Oct 1989 13:52:00 -0500


Oops, I had written Hubli as Zonal HQ, well, I stand corrected. It is
just a Divisional HQ.

Shriram.

From: SC10000 <SC10%NEMOMUS.BITNET@ricevm1.email

Subject:

Date: 04 Oct 1989 11:13:00 -0500


Hi guys,

In response to Sridhar's questions:

1. There are 9 zonal railways on IR.

Zone Headquarters

Northern Delhi (Delhi Jn.)
Northeastern Gorakhpur
Northeast Frontier Guwahati
Eastern Calcutta (Howrah)
Southeastern Calcutta (Howrah)
Southcentral Secunderabad
Southern Madras (Madras Central)
Central Bombay (Bombay VT)
Western Bombay (Bombay Central)

2. Both Bombay and Calcutta have two zonal railways at their command.
However, Howrah is the head-station for both the Eastern and the
Southeastern railways. Bombay has two separate head-stations.

New Delhi is close to the Central-Northern border which is
Tughlakabad.

3. The distance markers on the poles: I don't know what the reference
point is. Does anyone else know?

4. More stations with associated with things to buy: Agra (Peta, which
is a pumpkin sweet), Allahabad (guavas), Maddur on the Bangalore-Mysore
line (Vadas), Rajahmundry (jidipappu-cashewnuts), Samalkot on the Howrah
Madras line (Gingelly oil), Nellore on the Vijayawada-Madras line (Rice)
, Burdhdhaman-Howrah line (Masala Muri, a mouthwatering combination of
puffedrice, spices and dressing) etc. etc.

Bye for now, Kumar

From: Vijay Balasubramanian <vbs@plumpy.email

Subject: Trainm numbering!

Date: 04 Oct 1989 14:39:00 -0500


Hi Folks!

Bombay Central, too, has a separate reservation building located next to the
main station. As far as I know, there are separate queues for on-site and
advance reservations. A separate reservation counter for the Rajdhani Exp.
exists in one corner of the main station itself. The last time I used the
reservation building was in 1983; the scenario might have changed after the
recent computerization.

Bombay V.T.'s Victoria Terminus definitely is one of the world's
most magnificent railway stations. There are separate (but connected)
buildings for suburban trains and long distance trains. The reservation office
is located in the first floor of the latter building. Conveniently located
video displays give up-to-date information about recently arrived trains as well
as those ready to depart within the next hour. Again, my description of the
reservation procedure could well be outdated.


Getting away from reservations, something which has been bothering me for a
while now, is the seemingly inconsistent numbering of trains (In fact, Rob and
I were discussing this some days back). I have noticed
certain trends, but not without exceptions:

1. All trains sharing both their terminii are consistently numbered. For
example, all trains going from say, A to B, are numbered odd, and those in the
other direction are numbered even (odd +1). Some sort of pre-established
precedence between stations A and B governs this numbering. In this case, the
numbering indicates that A takes precedence over B.

As an example, all trains except the Hwh.-Bombay Ml. via Allahabad, are
numbered odd from Bombay to Howrah, and odd+1 from Howrah to Bombay. The above
Mail train is numbered 4 from Bombay to Hwh. and 3 in the other dirn. Why is
that so? Are there other criteria that determine the numbering? Is there
some historical significance attached to it? Is it because the Mail via
Allahabad started its maiden run from Howrah?

2. All trains leaving/entering a common terminii
are numbered either odd or even.
Not quite true. All trains leaving Bombay, except the 170 Bombay-Bhagalpur
Janata Exp. and the 4 Hwh. Mail, are numbered odd. What could be the reason?

3. All trains leaving Howrah, except those towards Bombay (excluding the
via-Allahabad Mail) are numbered odd, which sort-of makes sense. Howrah has
been given precedence over all relevant stations except Bombay. However,
all trains leaving Delhi towards Madras or Howrah are even numbered. The 120
N. Delhi-Lucknow Gomti Exp. is an example. Has Lucknow 'preceded' Delhi or am I
missing something?


Then we have the Up. and Down. characterization of sections which, too, has
puzzled me somewhat:

All sections starting from Bombay and Madras are marked Dn. Looks like
they have been given precedence over others.
All sections leaving Howrah are marked Up. Why is that so?
The precedence argument doesn't seem to make sense, here.
The Delhi to Howrah section is marked Dn., whereas the one towards Madras is
Up.! This thwarts the assumption that all sections leaving a particular
station are marked consistently. The Bombay-Madras section changes stamps at
Wadi; it's as if neither of the terminii wants to step down! As a result, all
Bombay to Madras trains are Dn. trains till Wadi, and Up. trains, thereafter.


The world is full of complexities! And with that, ends another session of
mine.



With regards,
Vijay

From: Shriram Revankar <revankar@cs.email

Subject: Re: Trainm numbering!

Date: 04 Oct 1989 18:17:00 -0500


Basically numbering makes sense only if there are more than one
trains of the same name or if there are too many trains transiting the same
route.

Numbers like 303-Dn 302-Up do not make sense unless the direction
of travel is embedded in the numbers.

One good numbering scheme may be "Zone-direction-serial Number"

OR

One other way may be to give different names. Say Bombay-Pune Shiva Exp.
and Pune-Bombay Parvati Exp.


I am suggesting all this because, even though I used to love railway
time tables, and used to spend hours to get minimum spanning trees and
Hamiltonian paths, I never liked the numbers that were related with the
train names.

Sometimes while reserving for train, I had to leave the queue just to
get the right number, and whenever I leave the queue, the queue moves
so fast that by the time I return, the person whom I said NEXT-to
would no longer be there.


If one could suggest a meaningful alternative, even IR might
like it and implement it.



FACIR Shriram.

From: SC10000 <SC10%NEMOMUS.BITNET@ricevm1.email

Subject:

Date: 05 Oct 1989 11:14:00 -0500


HI FOLKS,

READ VIJAY'S COMMENTS ABOUT TRAIN NUMBERING.

1. THE HWH-BBY MAIL VIA ALLAHABAD TRAVELS ON THE EASTERN RLY BEFORE
ENTERING THE NORTHERN AND THEN THE CENTRAL RLY. THE EASTERN RLY MIGHT
HAVE INSISTED ON GIVING THE MAIL AN ODD NUMBER JUST LIKE ALL OTHER
E.RLY TRAINS TRAVELLING ON THE HOWRAH-MUGHALSARAI SECTION. THE E.RLY
MAY HAVE PREVAILED OVER THE OBJECTIONS OF THE CENTRAL RLY. IN FACT THIS
NUMBERING SCHEME PROBABLY GOES BACK TO THE DAYS OF BRITISH RULE THE
ZONAL RLYS DID NOT EXIST IN THE PRESENT FORM, BUT ONE HAD THE LIKES OF
THE BENGAL-NAGPUR RLY AND THE GREAT PENINSULAR INDIAN RLY (?) AND THE
LIKE. ALL OTHER HWH-BBY TRAINS (WITH THE POSSIBLE EXCEPTION OF THE
HWH-BBY JANATA IF IT STILL EXISTS) TRAVEL VIA NAGPUR, OR IN OTHER WORDS
TRAVEL ON THE SOUTHEASTERN RLY. THE SAME EASTERN VS CENTRAL ARGUMENT
COULD HOLD FOR THE BHAGALPUR-BOMBAY JANATA.

2. If I remember correctly trains going to Delhi from Madras are up
trains. GT is 15up towards New Delhi etc.Trains going to B'lore,
Trivandrum etc. are down trains.

3. The Howrah-M'sarai section is an up section. So is the Howrah-Nagpur
section (I think). So the Madras-bound train (according to the S.E.Rly)
travels on the main "up" Howrah-Nagpur line till Kharagpur and then
branches off to the Kharagpur-Visakapatnam (Waltair) line.

4. I guess Wadi is the border between the SC Rly and the C Rly. The
C. Rly probably insists on the calling the Bombay VT-Wadi section a
down section out of deference to Bombay. I have no clue as to why
the Wadi-Guntakal-Renigunta section should be an up section for the
SC Rly. Of course past Renigunta, the S.Rly out of deference to Madras
calls the Renigunta-Madras Central section an up section.

5. To make things even more confusing you have dual numbering. The old
NDLS-HWH Toofan Express was an example. It was 64/8 (N+CRly/E Rly) from
N.Delhi to Howrah and 63/7 in the reverse direction. Are there any other
current examples?

Confusedly yours, Kumar

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <dheeraj@cs.email

Subject: Stations famous for something.

Date: 05 Oct 1989 15:50:00 -0500


Hi,
How could you guys miss Mathura for its famous Pedas (or
should it be Peras?). Another station that comes to mind is Rewaari
for revari.

-dheeraj

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <dheeraj@cs.email

Subject: Route KM in each zonal division.

Date: 08 Oct 1989 14:47:00 -0500


Hi,
Here is the number of Route KM in each zonal division.

Northern 10977
Western 10295
South Central 7137
South Eastern 7075
Southern 6722
Central 6472
North Eastern 5163
Eastern 4270
North East Frontier 3739

This is as on 31st Mar. 1985. The total route kilometerage is 61850 KM.
In financial year 1984-85, IR carried 3.33 billion passengers, and 265
million tonnes of freight.

-dheeraj

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <dheeraj@cs.email

Subject: First Rail journeys and the early electrification.

Date: 08 Oct 1989 16:06:00 -0500


Hi guys,
I am reading the book, "Indian Railways: One Hundred Years,
1853-1953" by J N Sahani and published by Ministry of Railways. Here
are some quotes from that book.

"The Bengal Hurkuru of 23rd August 1854, gives some amusing `first
impressions of railway travel' of some of its readers. `Roop Chand
Ghose, a flourishing dealer in piece-goods and purfumery,' when sat
down at the end of the journey after he had arrived at Hooghly, felt
strongly suspicios and went down the street asking several people as to
the name of the place he had reached. It took a long time before the
conviction gained upon him that verily he had come to Hooghly.' Pandit
Radhalunkur Banerjee, `after duly consulting the stars,' undertook his
trip up to Hooghly `but declined to undertake the return journey,'
because said he, `too much travelling on the car of fire was calculated
to shorten life. Seeing that it annihilates time and space and curtails
the length of every other journey, it must shorten the journey of human
life.' There was then the case of one Mr. Jones who had made trips to
Hooghly and back three successive days. `Having acquired a notion of
speed, such as he never knew before, he can no longer reconcile himself
to the jog trot of his buggy horse, and accordingly does nothing but
whip the poor brute in the vain hope of making it go at something like
railway speed'."

"British experts apprehended that a large number of classes will have
to be provided because of the prevailing religious caste and racial
differences."

Did you know that Chittaranjan Locomotives produced only 3 engines
in its first year of operation, 1950 and that electrification of routes
was stopped in 1936, and wasn't undertaken at least until 1953.

The first electric train ran between VT and Kurla in 1925, a distance
of 9.5 miles. (Till 1953, India did not use SI units, so the book give
figures in miles only.) In 1926, Thana and Mahim were connected. In
1929, electrification was complete up to Kalyan. In 1928, Borivili in
the north was connected. In 1929, Kalyan - Igatpuri section was
commissioned. In 1930, Kalyan - Poona tracks were opened to electric
trains. In 1931, metre gauge track between Madras Beach and Tambaram
was electrified. After that the only electrification project undertaken
was Borivili - Virar, finished in 1936.

The earlier reason for electrification was primarily steep grade and
hence steam engines were incapable. e.g. in case of Bombay (where
almost all the electrification was done), Municipality had developed a
scheme to house industrial workers along what is now known as Harbour
Branch. Since it was realized by that time that suburban trains would
be the most practical way of transporting people locally [Why they
didn't do the same thing for Delhi then?] there was a need to connect
that area by trains. The only practicable manner in which this
connection could be effected was by taking the track on a series of
masonary arches and steel viaducts for a distance long enough to enable
it to cross the Wadi Bunder goods yard and the quadruple track of the
main line entering the Bombay Terminus. This necessitated a short
stretch of gradient of 1 in 34 on a heavy curve where the Harbour
Branch line descended to the level of the main line. It was felt that
an intensive suburban service could not obviously be operated by steam
traction on such a gradient. This was one of the important reasons
which determined the decision to electrify the entire suburban track up
to Kalyan.

The reason for electrification upto Igatpuri and Poona was to be able
to move traffic faster over Ghat inclines. e.g. The steam engines could
haul only half the goods train over the Ghat, which have a maximum
gradient of 1 in 37. So the goods train were divided into 2 and joined
again later. Also passenger traffic to and from Poona was increasing,
and electrification helped removed the bootleneck of the Ghats. Now
Deccan Queen could make the journey from Bombay to Poona in 3 hours.

The reason for electrification of Bombay-Virar and Madras-Tambaram was
to provide fast suburban traffic.

All these electric routes were served by 1500 Volts DC power. This
brings me to a question to Vijay. He had mentioned earlier that the
only DC track is between Churchgate-Virar and VT-Igatpuri. When was
Igatpuri - Poona (Pune now) track was converted to AC power?


Will write more when I read more from this book,

-dheeraj

From: SC10000 <SC10%NEMOMUS.BITNET@ricevm1.email

Subject:

Date: 09 Oct 1989 10:59:00 -0500


HI FOLKS,

DHEERAJ'S POSTING ABOUT THE HISTORY OF RAIL ELECTRIFICATION REMINDS
ME OF THE INCIDENT WHICH WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE PROMPTED THE INDIAN
RAILWAYS TO HAVE PROVIDED FOR A TOILET IN EVERY COMPARTMENT.

THIS INCIDENT PROMPTED A LETTER FROM THIS GENTLEMAN TO THE RAILWAY
AUTHORITIES. IT WAS WRITTEN IN NON-IDIOMATIC ENGLISH AND HAS BEEN
SUPPOSEDLY PRESERVED BY THE RAILWAY BOARD. I READ ABOUT THIS MANY
YEARS AGO IN THE MAGAZINE "SUNDAY". UNFORTUNATELY, I DON'T REMEMBER
THE GENTLEMAN'S NAME, HIS DESTINATION OR THE TRAIN HE WAS TRAVELLING IN.
THIS HAPPENED BEFORE INDEPENDENCE IN THE PROVINCE OF BENGAL. I HAVE
FORGOTTEN MUCH OF THE TEXT OF THE LETTER EXCEPT FOR ONE KEY SENTENCE.
I AM GOING TO TRY AND PARAPHRASE THE LETTER PUTTING IN INCORRECT
DESTINATIONS ETC. FOR COMPLETENESS.

"RESPECTED SIR,

I had the occasion to travel from Burdwan to Howrah in the
past week. Before my journey I had eaten a full meal which consisted
of a large quantity of ripe jackfruit. I am feeling heavy as the train
started from Burdwan. Soon nature started calling. I try and try to
control it. But soon too much pressure builds up. So at Chandannagore
I get off the train and go into the toilets at the station with my
lota. But as I am in the middle, the train whistle sounds. (Here is
the key sentence) I right away rush into the platform lota in one
hand and dhoti in another. All the passengers are looking.This causes
me much embarassment.

Please sir, could there be toilets provided on the trains so that it
will be useful to the passengers?

Respectfully etc."

I have not made this up; this incident supposedly happened and the
railways have preserved the original letter!

Bye for now, Kumar

From: Vijay Balasubramanian <vbs@silly.email

Subject:

Date: 09 Oct 1989 23:11:00 -0500


Message-Id: <8910100511.AA01339@silly>
To: irfca@amazon.email pai@vanity.email
Subject: Please welcome......
Status: R


Hi folks!

Mr. Devdas Pai is our newest FACIR! I have responded to him at
"pai@vanity.email and I think he has received my mail. We now have a total
of 17 members. The IRFCA seems to be flourishing, with interesting and
informative mail from all of you. BTW, let's hear from the silent ones, too.

The book mentioned by Dheeraj seems to have a wealth of information about
the early IR days, as was evident from his recent articles.
Was the book available locally (from the library, perhaps?) or was it acquired
from India? Another book that I would very much recommend for info. on World
Railways (included our own system) is:

"Railways of the World" by (none other than) Brian Hollingsworth

published by Gallery Books (a division of W. H. Smith Publishers Inc.), NY

This book provides a country-by-country account of the world's railways,
and has numerous photographs and maps.


Dheeraj writes:
> Western Rly. 10295 km.

The total B.G. mileage under Western Rly. is about 3300 km., on a rough
estimate. The total length of N.G. track, I feel, should not exceed 300 km.
This leaves about 6700 km. of M.G. track, which means that the total M.G.
mileage is nearly double that of the B.G. sections combined! Amazing! Are there
other zonal rlys. which have their total M.G. mileage exceeding that of the
B.G. sections? Southern Rly., perhaps?


> Did you know that Chittaranjan Locomotives produced only 3 engines
> in its first year of operation, 1950 and that electrification of routes
> was stopped in 1936, and wasn't undertaken at least until 1953.

I recall having seen the Howrah-Gaya stretch as being electrified in a
mid-60s Indian Atlas. My guess is the Howrah-Burdwan (via Bandel)
electrification started in 1953 (and one of the earliest sections to employ
AC traction).
This is because of the similarity in the design of the electric poles
when compared to those in the the Bombay-Igatpuri/Virar/Poona and
Madras-Tambaram sections. Electrification till Kanpur (on the Howrah-Delhi
route) was completed in the early 70's (maybe by 1972). I had traveled on the
now-extinct Upper India Exp. between Varanasi and Delhi around that time, and
could see bare poles all thru' the Tundla-Delhi stretch. The first train to be
hauled by an electric locomotove from Delhi Jn. was the Assam Mail; I remember
having seen a front-page photo of the WAM locomotive in the Hindustan Times.
I forget the year though, maybe 1976.


> trains. In 1931, metre gauge track between Madras Beach and Tambaram
> was electrified. After that the only electrification project undertaken
> was Borivili - Virar, finished in 1936.

The Madras-Tambaram track has AC traction which goes all the way till
Villupuram. This is contrast to all the other eletrified sections in the 1930's
which have DC traction. Why is that so? Was this section DC electrified in the
beginning and then converted to AC traction? Seems highly unlikely!


> All these electric routes were served by 1500 Volts DC power. This
> brings me to a question to Vijay. He had mentioned earlier that the
> only DC track is between Churchgate-Virar and VT-Igatpuri. When was
> Igatpuri - Poona (Pune now) track was converted to AC power?

A mistake on my part. The Kalyan-Pune stretch also has DC traction.



That's all for now folks,

Ragards,

Vijay

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <dheeraj@cs.email

Subject: Somebody help me with the timetable query.

Date: 10 Oct 1989 13:53:00 -0500


Hi,
I want to know the timing of trains between Delhi and
Lucknow, and between Delhi and Kanpur.

The problem is to reach Lucknow by the afternoon on the
day one lands in Delhi. Is there some train that leave Delhi in
the early morning and reaches Lko in the afternoon. (I don't
remember any.) It is a thursday (Dec. 14) and one should be out
of IGIA by 5:00 AM. The other option would be to take some train
to Kanpur and take some other mode of transport from there.
What all trains go to Kanpur in the early morning. I remeber
Kalka, North East only. What is Shatabdi's time? I have heard
that it leaves ND early morning (same as its Jhansi counterpart).

thanks,

-dheeraj

From: Chitta R. Baral <chitta@cs.email

Subject: Re: Somebody help me with the timetable query.

Date: 10 Oct 1989 14:18:00 -0500


I think Neelachal starts early in the morning from ND(6.00AM).
Any one else want to expand on this.
---
Chitta
p.s--- I am currently reading Paul Thearoux(not sure of the spelling)'s
Great Railway Bazaar, about his experiences in trains in Asia.
I will give my opinion on it when I am done.

From: Vijay Balasubramanian <vbs@silly.email

Subject: Delhi-Lucknow Trains

Date: 10 Oct 1989 13:18:00 -0500


Hi Folks,

This is in response to Dheeraj's queiry with regard to day trains from Delhi
to Kanpur/Lucknow. I am listing the day trains from Delhi towards
Kanpur/Lucknow. I can provide info. on other trains, if needed.

Delhi N. Delhi Kanpur Central Lucknow
dep. dep. arr. arr.

922 North East Exp. 6 25 12 20

2 Kalka-Hwh. Mail 7 55 14 55

8 Udyan Abha Toofan Exp. 8 00 18 35

510 Avadh Assam Exp. 9 00 17 40

802 Amritsar Tata Exp. 12 25 20 00

158 Kashi Vishwanath Exp. 13 30 22 55

120 Gomti Exp. 14 45 22 50


The Neelachal Exps. have changed their timings. They now leave H. Nizamuddin
at 11.00 p.m.

All the above mentioned trains are daily trains. Avadh Assam Exp. seems
to be the most convenient as far as the timing goes. However, it is a long
distance train (goes to Guwahati); it travels via Morababad-Bareilly.

North East Exp. is a superfast Exp. between Delhi and Guwahati. It travels
non-stop between Delhi and Kanpur except for a 2-mt. halt at Tundla.

Other trains from Delhi to Lucknow are all night trains: Ganga-Yamuna Exp.,
Saryu-Yamuna Exp., Shaheed Exp., Delhi-Lucknow Mail, Vaishali Exp., Neelachal
Exp. (via Lucknow-Varanasi).

Dheeraj, just out of curiosity, are you planning to go to India in Dec.,
or is this for someone else? I too am leaving for India on the 13th of Dec.,
nearly three years after my last trip in Dec. '86. I hope to bring back
loads of train stuff.


Regards,

Vijay

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <dheeraj@cs.email

Subject: Re: Please welcome......

Date: 10 Oct 1989 17:36:00 -0500


Hi,

Vijay writes:
>The book mentioned by Dheeraj seems to have a wealth of information
>about the early IR days, as was evident from his recent articles.
>Was the book available locally (from the library, perhaps?) or was
>it acquired from India?

It was available in our library.

Did you know that among the four metropolitan cities, the two to be
connected first were Delhi and Calcutta in 1866. The first train
between the two cities were run in 1864, but at that time the bridge
at Allahabad wasn't complete and coaches crossed the river on big
boats. The bridge finished in 1865. The train at that time used to
stop before Jamuna in Delhi. The Jamuna bridge in Delhi was finished
in 1866, and that is when the train started coming to what is now
known as Delhi Junction.

-dheeraj

From: Vijay Balasubramanian <vbs@plumpy.email

Subject: Delhi-Kanpur Shatabdi Exp.

Date: 11 Oct 1989 15:15:00 -0500


Hi Folks,

A friend of mine had been to India last Dec., and I had lost no time
requesting him to bring photos, booklets, etc. about Indian Railways. He was
kind enough to bring back some stuff, but had misplaced it somewhere.
Fortunately, this was recently unearthed, and includes a booklet about the
second Shatabdi Exp., and some calenders.

Some relevant material from this booklet follows (note that the actual
booklet was published before March):

The 2003 Up./ 2004 Dn. Shatabdi Exp. was introduced in March 24, 1989, within
a span of just nine months after the first one. This runs faster than the
Rajdhani Express to Howrah, by about 20 mts. Within the
capacity of 140 kmph, the train runs at the maximum speed of 120 kmph
and cover the distance of 435 kms. in just 4 hrs. and 50 mts. in both
directions, against about 6 hrs. taken by the other mail/express trains.

The 2003 Up. leaves New Delhi at 6.20 a.m. and arrives at Kanpur Central
at 11.10 a.m. Its return service 2004 Dn. leaves Kanpur Central at 5.00
p.m. and reaches New Delhi at 9.50 in the night. The train runs non-stop
between New Delhi and Kanpur.

These trains run five days a week on Mon., Tu., Wed., Thu, & Fri.

The fully vestibuled train has nine coaches - seven AC chair cars and
two generator-cum-guard brake vans (does the Bhopal one also have nine coaches?)
There is provision of pantry in each coach, equipped with hot cases, water
heaters, water coolers and bottle coolers. Each AC Chair Car has a capacity
of 67 seats. The train caters to the needs of over 20,000 additional passangers
in a month on the New Delhi - Kanpur route.

The chargeable fare for the AC Chair Car travel between New Delhi and Kanpur
is around Rs. 175 per adult. This includes reservation and superfast charges
as well as the charges for breakfast/tea-cum-dinner.

The rake of the Shatabdi Exp. has high technology inputs such as capacity
couplers, underframe water filling system and stronger shock absorbers to
ensure smooth and comfortable jerk-free travel. Coaches fitted with air-brake
and locomotive with twin-pipe graduated release air-brake system operate
with higher speed and safety. Telephonic communication links between the
guard and the driver ensure safe train operation.

A new WAP-3 electric locomotive with 4000 hp., developed indigenously at
CLW hauls the Shatabdi Exp. This is an improved version of the WAP-1
type locomotive used to haul the Rajdhani Exp. trains and has innovative
features of auxiliary warning system, flasher lights and electric alarm chain
apparatus.


Hats off to the new non-stop Superfast Exp.! (although I am a bit sad that
*my* Rajdhani Exp. now plays second fiddle to this new train)


Regards,

Vijay

From: Vijay Balasubramanian <vbs@plumpy.email

Subject: Delhi-Kanpur Shatabdi Exp.

Date: 11 Oct 1989 15:16:00 -0500


--text follows this line--

Hi Folks,

A friend of mine had been to India last Dec., and I had lost no time
requesting him to bring photos, booklets, etc. about Indian Railways. He was
kind enough to bring back some stuff, but had misplaced it somewhere.
Fortunately, this was recently unearthed, and includes a booklet about the
second Shatabdi Exp., and some calenders.

Some relevant material from this booklet follows (note that the actual
booklet was published before March):

The 2003 Up./ 2004 Dn. Shatabdi Exp. was introduced in March 24, 1989, within
a span of just nine months after the first one. This runs faster than the
Rajdhani Express to Howrah, by about 20 mts. Within the
capacity of 140 kmph, the train runs at the maximum speed of 120 kmph
and cover the distance of 435 kms. in just 4 hrs. and 50 mts. in both
directions, against about 6 hrs. taken by the other mail/express trains.

The 2003 Up. leaves New Delhi at 6.20 a.m. and arrives at Kanpur Central
at 11.10 a.m. Its return service 2004 Dn. leaves Kanpur Central at 5.00
p.m. and reaches New Delhi at 9.50 in the night. The train runs non-stop
between New Delhi and Kanpur.

These trains run five days a week on Mon., Tu., Wed., Thu, & Fri.

The fully vestibuled train has nine coaches - seven AC chair cars and
two generator-cum-guard brake vans (does the Bhopal one also have nine coaches?)
There is provision of pantry in each coach, equipped with hot cases, water
heaters, water coolers and bottle coolers. Each AC Chair Car has a capacity
of 67 seats. The train caters to the needs of over 20,000 additional passangers
in a month on the New Delhi - Kanpur route.

The chargeable fare for the AC Chair Car travel between New Delhi and Kanpur
is around Rs. 175 per adult. This includes reservation and superfast charges
as well as the charges for breakfast/tea-cum-dinner.

The rake of the Shatabdi Exp. has high technology inputs such as capacity
couplers, underframe water filling system and stronger shock absorbers to
ensure smooth and comfortable jerk-free travel. Coaches fitted with air-brake
and locomotive with twin-pipe graduated release air-brake system operate
with higher speed and safety. Telephonic communication links between the
guard and the driver ensure safe train operation.

A new WAP-3 electric locomotive with 4000 hp., developed indigenously at
CLW hauls the Shatabdi Exp. This is an improved version of the WAP-1
type locomotive used to haul the Rajdhani Exp. trains and has innovative
features of auxiliary warning system, flasher lights and electric alarm chain
apparatus.


Hats off to the new non-stop Superfast Exp.! (although I am a bit sad that
*my* Rajdhani Exp. now plays second fiddle to this new train)


Regards,

Vijay

From: Vijay Balasubramanian <vbs@silly.email

Subject: Current status of IR electrification!

Date: 12 Oct 1989 14:48:00 -0500


Hi guys!

In additon to the booklets, my friend (whom I had mentioned in the previous
mail) also gave me typed answers (from some Rly. Board officials)
to some questions I had posed to him before his journey. His father was in
the railways for quite a long time, and knew the right people to refer to as
regards my questions. Here is the IR electrification scene:


(i) 1. The Bombay - Delhi (Western Rly.) route is fully electrified from Dec.
1987. The AC-DC locos (WCAM-1) are changed at Valsad, about 200 km.
from Bombay Central. This has a new shed for AC-DC locos. Earlier, the
changeover was done at Vadodara.

2. The Bombay - Delhi (Central Rly.) route is not fully electrified
mainly because of the likelihood of diversion of tracks due to a dam on
the Tapti river between Itarsi and Bhusaval. Delhi-Itarsi and
Bhusaval-Bombay are electrified.


(ii) There is no immediate plan to design a new AC-DC (high speed) loco. The
new 3-phase technology loco. will have provision to changeover to AC-DC
operation if required.

Since the railways are short of AC-DC locos,
there is a possibility of taking up the manufacture of WCAM, based on
the old design with sped potential of 120 kmph. The present loco speed
potential is only 90 kmph.

The Rajdhani Exp. on the Western Rly. route is still hauled by diesel
engines mainly because of the shortage of AC-DC locos and, again, the low
speed potential of this loco. With nine WAP1 locos coming out, changeover
between diesel and electric locos. may take place at Ratlam, since this has
a diesel shed. At present, there is a shortage of WAP1 locos. as well.

WAP1 - Six axle load speed potential - 120 kmph.

WAP2 - is a converted WAM2/WAM3 loco (4 axle) with higher ratio used on
Eastern regions

WAP3 - is 140 mkph. loco with fabricated bogies


(iii) 1. WAP3 is cleared for 140 kmph. WAP1 is cleared for 120 kmph.

Since there are only two WAP-3 locos available at present, there is no
guarantee of the loco being available for both Delhi-Bhopal and
Delhi-Kanpur Shatabdi routes. Therefore, the declared speed on the
Delhi-Kanpur route is only 120 kmph.

2. Following is the track limitation of speed:

Delhi-Jhansi 140 kmph.
Jhansi-Bina 120 kmph.
Bina-Bhopal 110 kmph.
Delhi-Kanpur 130 kmph.


(iv) The 21-coach Tamilnadu Exp. is hauled by a single WAM4 loco. Ultimately
WAP1 loco will be used. The speed potential of a WAM-4 loco is 105-110
kmph.


(v) 1. The Delhi-Madras route will be fully electrified by Dec. 1989. At
present, Nagpur-Itarsi is still under electrification.

2. The Bombay-Howrah route (via Nagpur) will be fully electrified by June
1990. At present, Nagpur-Bhusaval and Nagpur-Durg are still under
electrification.

3. There is no proposal at present to electrify the Kharagpur-Vijayawad
route.

4. Both Jollarpetai-Bangalore and Jollarpetai-Erode routes will be
electrified by 1991-92. There is no plan to electrify beyond Erode.


That's all for now,


Regards,

Vijay

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <dheeraj@cs.email

Subject: Indian Railways: One Hundred Years

Date: 12 Oct 1989 22:41:00 -0500


Hi guys,
Here is some more information from the book.

The first train in India was NOT in 1853, but in 1852. The first train
went from Bombay to Thana on 18th Nov. 1852. It covered the 21 mile
distance in 45 minutes. The train was formally inaugrated on 16th Apr.
1853. The day was observed as a public holiday.

The first train could very well be in the East. 38 miles of track were
ready by 1853, but two mishaps prevented the running of the first train.
The ship bringing the first railway carriages, HMS Goodwin sank at
Sandheads. The ship bringing the first locomotive was misdirected to
Australia. There was also some boundary problem with France. (Chander-
nagore was under French control, and tracks were found to be encroaching
its boundary. The locomotive finally reached India in 1854. The coaches
were constructed in India, and the first trial trip was done from
Howrah to Pundooah on 28th June 1854. On 15th Aug, Howrah to Hooghly
section was formally inaugrated.

The railroads were started by British capitalists in the beginning.
In fact, State assumed the administration only in 1925. The terms that
were offered to them were: Free land, no taxes, company's responsibility
for doing surveys and making plans, govt. has to approve all plans, all
lines were to constructed according to one specification, worked on
one system, company has to maintain all works in perfect repair, and
after a certain timeframe (about 20 years) the Govt would have right
to become the proprietors of the railroads. The Govt ensured a minimum
return of 5 percent. The return of 5 percent was more than the interest
rate at that time, and anybody who had any money bought shares in the
railroad compaanies. As a result, the companies were flush with funds
and were very extravagant. In fact, the cost of laying tracks in India
at that time was more than twice the cost in Canada, which is surprising
even though in India, the terrain was uneven, and presented many
engineering challenges.

As of 1953, there were seven railway platforms of length more than
2000 feet. Five of them were in India. Sonepur - 2415, Kharagpur - 2350,
Lucknow - 2250, Bezwada - 2100, Jhansi - 2025. The other two were
Bulawayo (Zimvabve, then Rhodesia) - 2302, Manchester (England) - 2194.
In fact, the 22 longest platforms in the world are all in India or
England except 3 (in Zimbabve, Burma and Pakistan) which were also
constructed by British. Does anyone know of current position in this
regard.

Here is an interesting quote from the book:
"In the early stages it was difficult to convince people that
a fast moving railway train would continue on its tracks and was not
likely to run off the rails and become a danger to the life and property
of those living in the neighbourhood of the railway line. To obviate
some of the dangers, various alternative inventions were tried. In
England, an inventor introduced what was then known as the Atmospheric
System. This was based on the general principle that trains should be
propelled forward by means of atmospheric pressure acting on a piston
working in a tube from which the air had been pumped by stationary
engines situated at intervals along the line of route. The system was
not a passing fancy. It was actually tried at many places, and even an
act of Parliament was passed authorising the construction of an
Atmospheric Railway from Croydon to Epsom."

Gauges: It was in 1870 that meter gauge was allowed by the British Govt.
to speed up laying down of tracks. (It saves money and therefore more
miles could be laid for the same money. By now, the capitalists had
invested enough in railroads, and there was shortage of money for fresh
investments.) In 1953, India had 16000 miles (25600 KM) of broad gauge,
15000 miles (24000 KM) of meter gauge and 3000 miles (4800 KM) of narrow
gauge. Does anyone have current divisions. In the last few decades
lot of money was spent on gauge conversion.

Rails: The standard of rails is expressed in terms of weight in pounds
per yard. The broad gauge tracks were laid with 90 lb standard, while
the meter gauge tracks were laid with 50-60 lb standard. [I think the
Delhi-Kanpur and Delhi-Jhansi tracks are now 120 lb standard.] The length
of rails varies from 30 ft in branch lines to 42 ft for main lines.

In the beginning, the centre to centre distance in case of two parallel
tracks on the Western Ghats, was 12 feet. In 1940s, Indian railways decided
to use modern wider rolling stock. That caused problem of shifting the
tracks. The centre to centre distance was established at 15 ft and 6
inches. The book gives an interesting description of the work involved,
and the novel schemes of widening tunnels when the traffic on one track
is moving normally.


Those who are already bored of these historical details, I sympathise
with you, for I have finished only 40% of the book so far.

-dheeraj

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