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From: aravind <aravind@vax135.email

Subject:

Date: 25 Oct 1992 22:30:00 -0500


[Below are excerpts from an article that appeared in the New York
Times on Wednesday, Oct. 14. It's about life on the last train to
leave New York City's Grand Central terminal for New Haven, Conn.
Reproduced without permission :-) ]

ROLLING HOME: THE LAST-CHANCE TRAIN'S WEARY ALLURE
The ambiance isn't 9-to-5 on the 1:30 (train) out of Grand Central

by Ian Fisher

It was late, just out of Grand Central, the last train to New Haven.
The conductor did not seem to notice the beer bottle rolling at the
feet of three passengers. He politely coaxed the fare from a young
Wall Streeter, who was beyond drunk and perhaps for the first time in
his life unable to manipulate money.

"Where is your wallet?" the conductor said loudly, the way people speak
to children and foreigners. "Sir, your wallet!"

Two hours later, the conductor walked though the six cars littered with
a collection of commuter refuse peculiar to late-night trains from New
York to suburbia: one pair of black pumps, an empty bottle of 1990
Chardonnay, a puddle of vomit covered by a checked handkerchief.

Uniformity gives way:

The 1:30 to New Haven is not quite a rolling drunk tank. But, as on
other late trains out of the city, the dull daytime uniformity of blue
suits, dress skirts and rustling newspapers becomes something chattier,
ruder and decidedly less staid. Late-night partyers sit next to
weary-eyed business executives, who sit next to late-shift workers, who
sit next to people who try to avoid other people who do not normally
make a morning commute.

On one recent trip, Mr. Falk, a 36-year economist, looked warily at a
young man in a red sweater making a boozy, sort of pass at a
24-year-old advertising buyer in the next seat. The young man was not
quite offensive, and Mr. Falk, both concerned and amused, said the
scene was typical.

"I love this train," he said. "On the 1:30 train there is always
something going on."

..

The train's on-the-edge allure rests in a certain casualness.
Jonathan Thompson, a 34-year-old hotel worker, like the train because
he can drink an after-work beer in relative piece. One man felt
comfortable paying his $4 fare in dimes, nickels and pennies jammed
into a cigarette box.

Quirky Behavior

"You get to know the characters", said Steve Lichty, 29, who even at
2:30 looked every inch the banker he is. There is this guy we call the
Antiseptic Man who literally takes out a bottle of alcohol and cleans
the entire seat before he sits down."

"Then there is the Rib Man," said Mr. Lichty. "Rib Man always has a
little red plastic bag that you get in Chinatown. He eats ribs and then
throws the bones on the floor. Then he walks around."

Casey Shain, a 35-year-old art director, has noticed something else.

"There is a lot of, like, uh, sex, really," he said on a trip two weeks
ago. (Two passengers, who claimed first-hand knowledge confirmed this
on a later trip). People are kind of bold. And for every bold one,
there is an oblivious one.

"I'd rather this bunch of deadbeats than upper-middle-class yuppies
desperately trying to beat each other up," said Mr. Shain, whose
five-hour daily commute means most of his social life takes place
on the New Haven Line. "They are just more interesting than the people
who wear the same raincoats and the same shoes and all get into Volvos."

A typical Crowd

At 1:30 last Saturday morning, the train began to fill up with a
typical crowd: the three teen-agers returning to Larchmont, N.Y. after
*not* getting into a bar, a couple going home to West Haven after a
Frank Sinatra and Shirley MacLaine concert.

Joe Tiano, 30, had just spent an evening around Times Square. He was
not happy at spending the next two hours and eight minutes cut off from
his source of bliss.

"You can't smoke on it," Mr. Tiano said. "That bothers me a lot. And
they don't have bar cars, which is against my religion." Mr. Tiano
fell asleep promptly.

"Local train to New Haven," came blaring from the public-address
system. "Making all local stops."

A mostly Quiet Trip

The train was mostly quiet as it chugged north, stopping at a
station every five minutes or so. Five largish teen-agers whooped for
a while. One couple got quite cozy. Some people drank beer, others
slept. Someone threw up on the floor, but this being Connecticut, it
was done discreetly.

In the great tradition of the late-night train, Steve Gillespie, 22,
struck up a conversation with Gey Grider, 23, and his girlfriend,
Aimee Byrd, 21. Mr. Grider, who is from Kansas City, has the long
blond hair and permanent sunglasses to prove that he is in a rock band.

It was his first last train to New Haven. In fact, it was his first
train ride since kindergarten. He fit right in.

"We're not in Kansas anymore," he said. "I'm going to click my
heels," he added, hoisting up his black cowboy boots. "I'm going to be
in a big pile of beer."

==================================

Hope you enjoyed it,

Aravind

From: Ajai Banarji <banarji@unixg.email

Subject:

Date: 27 Oct 1992 15:32:00 -0500


Trivia and news

Pushkar and Vijay were both right. The only passenger train with an AC
first class coach is the Bombay-Viramgam passenger, although the coach
runs only between Bombay and Surat. The timings are just right for an
overnight journey.
A somewhat similar case is the New Delhi-Kota AC coach on the Bombay-
Dehradun Express, which is one of the slowest expresses.
I suppose that these AC services have survived because there is no proper
air service to Surat and Kota. (Vayudoot was flying there at one time, but
only with small planes.)
The only NG train with an AC service is the Satpura Express from Gondia to
Jabalpur, which has an AC chair car.
Some other recent news:
25 persons were killed in bomb explosions on a passenger train near
Patiladaha station in Assam on Oct 13. Bodo militants were believed
responsible.
Passenger services on the Diva-Panvel section are now electrified, although
it was not clear whether these are EMUs or locomotive-hauled.
The Bangalore Rajdhani did not actually start running from October 2. It
is expected to start in November. The official reason is that the catering
contractor is not yet appointed. However, it is rumoured that one reason is
protests by people in Madras who feel that their city deserved such a train
before Bangalore.

From: Manish Malhotra <malhotra@cs.email

Subject:

Date: 27 Oct 1992 19:46:00 -0500


Ajai writes that Dehrdun express is one of the slowest
express trains in India. It is quite true. However, it was one
of the first trains to be hauled by electric loco when electrification
of Bombay-Delhi route via western railway (i.e., via Baroda, Ratlam, ..)
was completed. I traveled by it then and found that it was quite
fast between stations although it stopped at many stations.

Can anyone compare the time it took before electrification and
after electrification for this express to cover the distance
between Bombay and N. Delhi ?

Also, does anyone know what criterion is used by the railways
to continue to haul some trains by diesel locos while they
switch to electric on others ? It seemed to me that important trains
(which also stopped at only a few stations) were "converted"
later.

Manish

From: erode <aras@ms.email

Subject:

Date: 27 Oct 1992 22:53:00 -0500


I remember that the Blue Mountain Express running
between Mettuppalayam (near Coimbatore) and Madras
continued to run on coal engines long after all
other trains in the route were running on diesal.
There could have been two reasons:
1.The route passes through Erode which had the
facilities to maintain coal engines.
2. Sentimental reasons. The train was and is
very popular and people did not want change
if it could be avoided.

One other note:
One of uncles who works as a consultant for a
firm in Connecticut is doing a project in China,
250kms west of Shangai. The only way to reach the
place from Shangai (which is the nearest airport)
is by train. He said it took the train nearly
two thirds of a day to cover the distance! The train
stoped in all stations and there were no faster
trains (ie Express trains by our definition).
Also when he got into the train the conductor
realizing he was American, demanded $50 in hard
cash, for a berth, apart from the cost of the
ticket (which was $48)! He refused and the conductor
came down to $2 after it became clear that the traiin
was not going to fill up!

-arasu-

From: apte <apte@glacier.email

Subject:

Date: 28 Oct 1992 07:25:00 -0500


Some notes on the Dehradun Express.

While it is a slow train, I doubt if it will be among the slowest
trains in India - I am sure trains like the Howrah-Delhi janata Exp.,
Dadar Amritsar Express, Bombay Howrah Express etc.. must vie for those
honors. The Dehradun Express is quite fast in the Bombay-Baroda and
Delhi-Dehradun sectors (it is officially designated as a fast passenger
in the Baroda-Mathura section). In the "good old days" the Dehradun
Express used to haul a sleeper coach between Baroda and Bombay before
the advent of the Baroda Express. It provided a convenient overnight
service between those cities - even today, the Dehradun's timings are
pretty close to the Baroda Express.

The Dehradun Exp. has some reverence on Western Railway inspite
of being close to the bottom of the pile with respect to speed.
Quite possibly because it is one of the oldest trains on WR - I believe
that the Dehradun Exp., and the Frontier Mail were the first
Bombay-N.Delhi trains (along with Punjab Mail on CR). Could someone
provide dates that these trains started up? Ballpark will be OK.

I think the chronology is the following
and please correct me if I am wrong since
these are off the top of my head.

1. Dehradun, Frontier, Punjab Ml. - British India - 30s-40s ?
2. Delhi Janata Exp. ???
3. Deluxe/Paschim Exp. 60's
5. Rajdhani Exp. Early 70's
6. Jammu Tawi Superfast Express mid-70's
7. A/C Express 1990?

Pushkar
-------

From: Ajai Banarji <banarji@unixg.email

Subject:

Date: 29 Oct 1992 16:03:00 -0500


From here and there

While on the subject of steam engines, does anyone know if the Taj Express
is still hauled by steam.
One of the little-known superfast trains (Agra-Jaipur Express) did have
a steam engine (YP) up to 1987.
The Palace on Wheels used to be hauled by a pair of goods engines (YG). I'm
not sure what they have now. Apparently the new coaches are being used now
and the old saloons have been retired. The charges now (according to India
Today) are ONLY $200 per head per night.
Regarding Pushkar's query:

WR route
Frontier Mail-started in c.1928. Used to continue to Peshawar.
Dehradun Express-there was a 19/20 Bombay-Delhi Express in the 1930s which
would have been its predecessor.
Janata Express-probably early 1950s. Was extended to Ferozepur in c.1980
AC/Paschim-probably late 1950s.
Rajdhani-1972. The Calcutta Rajdhani started in 1969.
Jammu Express-c.1977
AC Express-1991

CR route
Punjab Mail-did exist in 1930s. Used to continue to Lahore via Ferozepur.
(There was also a Punjab Mail from Howrah to Lahore which survives as the
Howrah-Amritsar Mail).
Dadar-Amritsar Express-did exist in the 1930s as the Bombay-Peshawar Express.

From: Manish Malhotra <malhotra@cs.email

Subject: taj express

Date: 29 Oct 1992 20:34:00 -0500


Taj express is hauled by electric loco.
Before that, it used to be hauled by diesel loco.
So I assume that they switched from steam loco for this
train long ago.

Manish

From: VIJAYB <VIJAYB@PK705VMG.EMAIL

Subject:

Date: 30 Oct 1992 15:26:00 -0500


Manish writes:
> Also, does anyone know what criterion is used by the railways
> to continue to haul some trains by diesel locos while they
> switch to electric on others ? It seemed to me that important trains
> (which also stopped at only a few stations) were "converted"
> later.

When a particular section is newly energized, the goods trains are the
first to undergo this "convertion" - these act as test-cases to determine
whether the section is fit for high-speed elec. loco. operation. I am
not sure how it proceeds on after that. Probably, the next to go are
the generic exp. trains (falling in the 100 kmph. max. speed category)
and, finally, the >= 110 kmph. class of trains.
Very often, trains encounter electrified sections for only a small
portion of their journeys. In such cases, they continue running on
diesel so as to avoid time-consuming elec.-diesel changeovers. e.g. the
Jhelum Exp., Goa Exp. and the Karnataka Exp. are hauled by diesel
locos. in the electrified Bhusaval-Manmad stretch. Moreover, Manmad
does not have any loco. shed. I wonder whether the situation has
changed after the electrification of Itarsi-Bhusaval.
There are exceptions to this rule. Consider the Howrah - Kharagpur
section. All the southbound trains change locos. at Kharagpur except
the Dhauli Exp. The Coromandel Exp. used to be diesel hauled upto
Howrah before Kharagpur was added to its halt list. Note that Kharagpur
has adequate facilities to handle such changeover operations.
A classic case is the Bombay - Mahanagri Exp. The original route was
via Mughal Sarai. The train would, thus, change directions at both
Mughal Sarai and Allahabad (now Prayagraj, yuck!!!). Despite the fact
that it employed the Allahabad - Mughal Sarai section and had halt times
of over 30 mts. at both these stations, it never changed locos. between portion of its journey. It was
Itarsi and Varanasi. The same engine would laboriously traverse the
entire length of the train, to change ends at both Allahabad and Mughal
Sarai. Employing a diesel loco. for as short a stretch as Varanasi -
Mughal Sarai (around 11 kms.), probably didn't make sense. Note that
this train now bypasses Mughal Sarai.
Other reasons for trains being diesel hauled on electrified
sections:-
- Dedicated diesel locos. For example, the Vaigai and the Pallavan Exps
have their own YDM4As (samke color as the rakes) and, as such, do not
change locos. at Villupuram. Similar is the case with the Howrah -
Purulia Exp. which halts for a mere two mts. at Kharagpur. Having
dedicated locos. is one way of improving loco. utilization, esp. in
the case of day trains where the loco. turn-around time comes to be
less than a day.

- Shortage of WAM4s. e.g. the Punjab Mail is the only train to be
elec. hauled in the recently energized Bhusaval - Itarsi section. I
was told that the situation would change after August '92.

- Minimization of loco. idle time at changeover point. e.g. before the
electrification of Itarsi - Nagpur, the bi-weekly Ganga Kaveri Exp.,
the weekly Patna - Varanasi Exp., and the tri-weekly Varanasi - Tirupati /
Cochin Exps. changed locos. at Kazipet itself (instead of Nagpur).
Kazipet was a better choice b'coz it has a diesel shed and there are
plenty of trains needing loco. changeovers at this stn.

- Lower speed potential of dual-current elec. locos., the WCAM1s ->
this is unique to the Bombay Rajdhani and the AC exps. They are
hauled by diesel locos. in the Bombay - Vadodara section due to the
unavailability of a high-speed dual-current loco.


Ajai writes:
> While on the subject of steam engines, does anyone know if the Taj Exress
> is still hauled by steam.

It is now hauled by a WAP1 loco. having a white'n'blue color similar
to that of the coaches.

> One of the little-known superfast trains (Agra-Jaipur Express) did hae
> a steam engine (YP) up to 1987.

The tri-weekly Deluxe Exp. via Varanasi and Gaya used to be steam hauled
between Allahabad and Mughal Sarai. My last encounter with this train
was in summer of 1980 when I had gone to see-off some relatives at
Varanasi stn. I recall a WG hauling the red-and-white exp.


Regards,
Vijay

From: Jishnu Mukerji <jis@usl.email

Subject: Re: etc.

Date: 30 Oct 1992 15:13:00 -0500


Excerpts from personal.IRFCA: 30-Oct-92 VIJAYB@PK705VMG.EMAIL (4247*)

> Very often, trains encounter electrified sections for only a small
> portion of their journeys. In such cases, they continue running on
> diesel so as to avoid time-consuming elec.-diesel changeovers. e.g. the
> Jhelum Exp., Goa Exp. and the Karnataka Exp. are hauled by diesel
> locos. in the electrified Bhusaval-Manmad stretch. Moreover, Manmad
> does not have any loco. shed. I wonder whether the situation has
> changed after the electrification of Itarsi-Bhusaval.

Speaking of changing locomotives at the drop of a hat, I was surprised
to see how often and how efficiently the Europeans change engines, in my
various jaunts across Europe. For example on the night express from Roma
Tiburtina to Zurich Hbf a distance of less than 1000km, three different
engines were used:

The train originated in Napoli and came into Roma Tiburtina pulled by a
standard FS electric engine. That engine was taken off at Roma Tiburtina
and .....

Roma Tiburtina - Firenze SMN High speed electric ER400 for 160-200 kmph
running on the Rome - Florence Diretissima,
the new high speed line.

Firenze SMN - Chiasso Standard FS electric.

Chiasso - Zurich Hbf Standard SBB/CFF electric.

This train then continued onto Stuttgart, with I don't know how many
more engine changes. Incidentally, this train which does not even rate a
name is an example of a European equivalent of a Janata Express. If the
Italians had their way it would probably run signifcantly behind
schedule, but the Swiss insist on running everything on time. Also
incidentally,in one of my postings in the past you have read about the
trouble that I had to go through to find this train in Rome.

Then I got on the "Le Corbusier" an EurCity Express (definitely a more
respectable express than the Rome - Zurich train) from Zurich Hbf to
Paris Gare de l'Est. This is less than 600 km and still took three
different engines as follows!:

Zurich Hbf - Basel/SBB Standard SBB/CFF electric

Basel/SBB - Belfort Standard SNCF CC electric

Belfort - Paris Est SNCF 4000HP diesel electric

Now when you think of France you don't normally think of diesel electric
engines, but this CO-CO diesel electric was really something! It
accelarated a 14 car train to full speed of 160kmph effortlessly! I was
impressed.

Excerpts from personal.IRFCA: 30-Oct-92 VIJAYB@PK705VMG.EMAIL (4247*)

> The tri-weekly Deluxe Exp. via Varanasi and Gaya used to be steam hauled
> between Allahabad and Mughal Sarai. My last encounter with this train
> was in summer of 1980 when I had gone to see-off some relatives at
> Varanasi stn. I recall a WG hauling the red-and-white exp.

The tri-weekly AC Express via Grand Chord used to be steam hauled on the
Grand Chord long after trains like Kalka Mail and most other self
respecting express trains had been converted to diesel or electric.
Remember, Grand Chord was electrified in bits and pieces, and even when
all of Grand Chord was electrified Asansol - Burdwan was not, awaiting
the conversion of Burdwan Howrah via Main Line from 3000V DC to 25kV AC.
During this period many trains were diesel hauled from Howrah to
Asansol, and then changed to electric there. But then many other trains
were steam or diesel hauled all the way to MGS. 81up/82dn AC Express was
one of the last trains to be taken off steam power on this route!

I vividly remember standing at a level crossing gate at Koderma and
seeing the red and white train zoom by behind a magnificent WP. Too bad
I did not have a camera with me. Right after it some dinky little
passenger train came in pulled by a WAM1 or some such, one of those
imported green Bo-Bo engines.

Oh well.... those were the days.

BTW, I occasionally post experiences from my trips in Europe assuming
there is some interest in this group. If European stories upset the
population of this group let me know. I will cease and desist from
posting them here.

Ciao

Jishnu.

From: Ajai Banarji <banarji@unixg.email

Subject:

Date: 30 Oct 1992 15:36:00 -0500


Name Changes and all that....

A few years back the government of Kerala officially renamed all the major
cities there. Well, it was not actually renaming, but the "pure" Malayalam
names were substituted for the English names.
Earlier, one would see the destination boards of buses with "Alleppey" or
"Quilon" in English as well as "Alappura" or "Kollam" in Malayalam. I suppose
they they now have "Alappura" or "Kollam" written in English as well.
However, the Kerala government does not seem to have convinced the Central
government about the need for these changes. The railway timetables continue
to show the old names.
An interesting point is that while these name changes were made during the
left front government in 1989-90, the present Congress front government is
trying to reverse the decision. Perhaps Njan can bring us up to date :-)

Here are some of the place names in Kerala which may have puzzled readers:

English name Malayalam name

Trivandrum Tiruvananthapuram
Quilon Kollam
Alleppey Alappura
Cochin Kochi
Trichur Trishoor
Palghat Palakkad
Calicut Kozhikode
Cannanore Kannoor (?)
Alwaye Aluva

Since there seems to be a lot of interest in this topic, I will post a long
list of place names which have been changed in the sub-continent in the past
50 years. For instance, the following station names appear in the 1942
Bradshaw. See if you can recognize their present names:

Bowringpet
Chicacole Road
Broach
Manipur Road
Olavakkot
Lyallpur
Fort Sandeman
Muttra

There used to be a station called Hindu Bagh in Baluchistan. No prize for
guessing its present name.

From: Ajai Banarji <banarji@unixg.email

Subject:

Date: 02 Nov 1992 11:25:00 -0500


Place Names and all that.....(Contd)

Old Name New name
Bowringpet Bangarapet
Chicacole Road Srikakulam Road
Broach Bharuch
Manipur Road Dimapur
Olavakkot Palghat Jn
Lyallpur Faisalabad
Fort Sandeman Zhob
Muttra Mathura
Hindu Bagh Muslim Bagh

While there is so much fuss about the renaming of Allahabad and Faizabad,
it may be noticed that trains called the Prayag Raj Express (New Delhi-
Allahabad) and Saket Express (Bombay-Faizabad) have been running for the
last few years. No one complained about their names. Don't blame the BJP
either, since these trains started running in the Congress days :-)

From: Ajai Banarji <banarji@unixg.email

Subject:

Date: 05 Nov 1992 15:52:00 -0500


Miscellaneous railway news

The Bangalore Rajdhani is to finally start running on Nov 5. It will
run once a week to the following timings:

Bangalore-Nizamuddin
09.00 21.15
Nizamuddin-Bangalore
06.50 19.20

The "consist" is one AC first, 5 chair cars, 2 AC sleepers, a pantry car
and two power cars.
The stoppages are (apparently) at Bhopal, Nagpur, Secunderabad and
Dharmavaram. There may be technical halts in addition to this.
Some amusing news from Northern Railway: they will now "strictly" impose
control over the entry of unreserved passengers into reserved compartments.
A conductor/TTE will be posted in each coach to prevent outsiders from
getting in. As a pilot project this will be inplemented on selected trains
like the Rajdhanis, Shatabdis etc.
Big deal. Even 15 years ago they did have TTEs on all reserved coaches and
there was some control even in the North. Now they say that they are doing
the passengers a big favour by keeping unreserved travellers out of
reserved coaches. Perhaps they will even charge extra for keeping someone
else from occupying your berth!
A Northern Railway advertisement mentioned the following conversion
schemes in progress:

Bikaner-Merta Road 176 km To complete by Mar 31 93
Bikaner-Kolayat 55 Nov 30 92
Kot Kapura-Fazilka 80 Feb 28 93
Lucknow-Kanpur 72 Mar 15 93
Delhi-Rewari 83 Mar 31 93

I thought the Kanpur-Lucknow mg section was under NER. Anyway if it is
converted there will be a double (triple?) line on this section.
There should be a lot of interesting timetable changes now. All the
long-distance mg trains from Delhi will have to start from Rewari.

From: VIJAYB <VIJAYB@PK705VMG.EMAIL

Subject: Re: Bangalore Rajdhani

Date: 09 Nov 1992 15:21:00 -0500


Ajai writes:
> The Bangalore Rajdhani is to finally start running on Nov 5. It will
>run once a week to the following timings:

>Bangalore-Nizamuddin
>09.00 21.15
> Nizamuddin-Bangalore
> 06.50 19.20

The time schedule is in agreement with my conjecture that the Rajdhani is
hauled
(1) by a WAP3 between N.Delhi and Bhopal - commercial speed <=> Shatabdi
(2) by a WAM4 between Bhopal and Kazipet - " " <=> Tamilnadu.
(3) by a WDM2 between Kazipet and B'lore - commercial speed equivalent to
various superfast trains in this route. e.g. AP exp., Minar Exp., etc

> The stoppages are (apparently) at Bhopal, Nagpur, Secunderabad and
> Dharmavaram. There may be technical halts in addition to this.

N.Delhi to Bhopal is 705 km. and I would be very surprised if the new
Rajdhani Exp. did not have any technical halts in between. There should be
one for change of crew and, maybe, on-the-run maintenance operations. I would
go for Gwalior since it is situated somewhere in the middle -> 313 km. from
N.Delhi and 388 km. from Bhopal. Kazipet would be the 2nd tech. halt for
change of locos. Secunderabad to Dharmavaram is about 540 km., so maybe
there is a 3rd tech. halt -> Guntakal? I am surprised that Dharmavaram was
chosen as a passenger halt instead of Guntakal, since the latter is more
towards the centre of the S'bad - B'lore stretch.


Regards,
Vijay

From: narayan <narayan@thoth.email

Subject: Longest Distance between two scheduled halts

Date: 09 Nov 1992 08:44:00 -0500


Vijay writes:

> N.Delhi to Bhopal is 705 km. and I would be very surprised if the new
> Rajdhani Exp. did not have any technical halts in between. There should be
> one for change of crew and, maybe, on-the-run maintenance operations.


1. Is this stretch the longest distance between two successive scheduled
halts on any train journey in the Indian railway system ? How about
Delhi-Howarah Rajdhani - I believe the Mughalsarai stop has been
discontinued so there is a uninterrupted stretch from Kanpur to
Dhanbad (I might be wrong about this) ?

2. I have a question regarding what happens when the locomotive drivers want
to use the restrooms on such long stretches. Are the locomotives equipped
with appropriate facilities ? I could not find any special seats etc. when
I looked into a diesel loco once. I wonder what their standing orders
are !! (Passengers in the first few coaches - watch out !!)

Anybody want to shed more light on this ?

Sanjiv
(narayan@ics.email

From: VIJAYB <VIJAYB@PK705VMG.EMAIL

Subject:

Date: 09 Nov 1992 17:45:00 -0500


>1. Is this stretch the longest distance between two successive scheduld
> halts on any train journey in the Indian railway system ? How about

This is, indeed, the current longest distance between two consecutive
passenger halts. Some other records w.r.t. looooong stretches:-
1. Longest distance between consecutive halts, passenger or technical -> 524 km.
between Vadodara and Ratlam, held by the Bombay - N.Delhi AC exp. In other
words, this is the longest scheduled non-stop run for any Indian train.
The new Rajdhani might have acquired this distinction as well, if there
happens to be no halt between Secunderabad and Dharmavaram.

2. Longest distance, ever, between consecutive halts -> a massive 1008 km.
between Kanpur Central and Howrah. The Rajdhani used to have a lone
passenger halt at Kanpur when it was introduced in July '69; Mughal Sarai
and Dhanbad were tech. halts. The Bombay Rajdhani came a close
second with a 982 km. run between Vadodara and N. Delhi, at the time of
introduction (March '72); Raltam and Gangapur City were tech. halts.


>2. I have a question regarding what happens when the locomotive drivers want
> to use the restrooms on such long stretches. Are the locomotives equipped
> with appropriate facilities ? I could not find any special seats etc. when
> I looked into a diesel loco once. I wonder what their standing orders

I don't think Indian locos. have restrooms, at least, not the WAM4 and the WDM2.
How about the locos. out here? Long stretches seem fascinating only on paper.
I am sure there would be quite a few unscheduled halts due to signals at danger,
etc. ...and this could be the God given opportunity for relief :-).


Regards,
Vijay

From: apte <apte@glacier.email

Subject: Longest Run, Restrooms and Clinton

Date: 09 Nov 1992 13:06:00 -0500


While on historical longest runs, I believe that the Bombay - New Delhi
Rajdhani when first introduced was NON-STOP, although I suspect that it
had technical halts at Vadodara, Ratlam, and Gangapur City anyway.
That would make for the longest non-stop run in time and space
:-) on IR - 1384 Kms. Currently, I guess the new Raj's New Delhi
-Bhopal run is the longest.

The point of restrooms on locos is a very good one - I think it is
downright stupid to not have them - after all they are there in coaches,
so how much harder can it be to put them on locos? It makes good sense
from the human angle, as well as for punctuality of trains.

Switching tracks here, I think rail fans should give Clinton a cheer
for winning, as he is the only candidate in recent U.S. elections who I
have heard mention a high-speed rail system as an important program.
Now if he actually implements any of these plans then he may deserve a
rousing three cheers.

Pushkar
-------

From: Ajai Banarji <banarji@unixg.email

Subject:

Date: 17 Nov 1992 16:16:00 -0500


Miscellaneous news

The BG line between Bangalore and Mysore seems to be operational now.
A non-stop service called the Tippu Express has been introduced. This
is certainly an improvement as all the metre-gauge expresses used to
have at least 10 stops.
Any news about long-distance services from Mysore? The only one seems to
be the Mysore-Tirupathi Express.
The Bangalore Rajdhani does indeed have 4 technical halts, but the news
report did not name them. However, a commercial halt at Guntakal would
have made more sense than the stop at Dharmavaram, since the connnections
from Guntakal are better (e.g. people bound for Hubli or Cuddapah side
could have used it). Dharmavaram by itself is a rather unimportant place
and does not have any good connection except a mg line to Tirupathi.
At least 8 people were killed in an accident near Agra. A coach on an
eastbound train caught fire. The passengers were able to get off safely,
but were promptly knocked down by a locmotive (without lights, naturally)
on the adjacent track. There seem to be a lot of different ways in which
nasty things can happen to you on an Indian train, such as:

Derailments (plain and sabotage)
Collisions
Fires (plain and sabotage)
Bomb explosions
Hitting road vehicles (sometimes there are victims on the trains)
Rocks falling on trains (this happened to the Karnataka Express last year)
Storms hitting trains (this is supposed to be the official cause
of the Quilon derailment a few years ago)
Flash floods (this happened to the Dakshin Express a few years ago)
Hitting runaway wagons (for variety, runaway buffaloes or elephants may
be substituted)

There are a lot of studies on accidents which go into more detail, but the
conclusion seems to be that in India human failure seems to be the most
common cause of accidents. Going through red lights seems to be a common
cause of collisions. Derailments can be caused by track failure as
well as overspeeding and faults in the locomotive or rolling stock.

From: Arun Kumar <kumar@wucs1.email

Subject: narrow guage

Date: 19 Nov 1992 11:55:00 -0500


A while ago PI Arasu wrote:
> 1. Any one ever travelled by narrow gauge trains? When I lived
> in Baroda I could see them often (Actually near Baroda. At the
> station called Vishwamitri, just adjacent to the Palace boundary).
> The sight of the trains combined with the backgroud of the Baroda
> Palace takes one back in time! Vishwamitri actually has two stations
> on two levels. On the upper level is the broad guage platforms where
> quite a few trains stop (since it is easier to reach some parts of
> Baroda from here) and on the lower level (and at 90 degrees to
> the platform above) is the narrow gauge platform. All engines
> are steam driven and the coaches are a pathetic site more
> resembling match boxes. However there is inevitably quite a
> crowd... Does any one know how far on either side (of Baroda) these narrow
> gauge trains go? I have also seen quite a few narrow gauge tracks in
> Bharuch (on the Narmada, about 70kms(?) south of Baroda. Is there any
> other place in India where there are narrow gauge tracks?

I have travelled this route from Baroda to Chandod. Chandod
is a little town by the banks of the Narmada, and is on a
branch from the main line that goes on to Chhota Udaipur. I hope
to travel that main route sometime into the heart of tribal country.
The line to Chandod branches off at a big junction (big, i.e. relatively
speaking) whose name I fail to recall. You have to change trains.
At the junction you can get aerated soda water in bottles that have
a marble trapped in the neck by way of a valve --- I remembered those
from my childhood in the narrow streets of Old Delhi. The route
from the junction to Chandod is no great shakes, and I wonder why
I didn't travel along the main artery after my first trip. Actually,
it was the Narmada that drew me to Chandod. Chandod is a pilgrimage
spot. I am as religious as Mao Tse Tung, but rivers I love.

I travelled this route thrice during a summer just for the fun of
it. It is a very beautiful route, and the people are magnificent
-- very poor but very gentle and proud and happy. The stations
along the way are straight out of some picture book, little
structures from where you can see entire villages with their few
pucca dwellings, little ponds ringed by trees, beautiful women
in backless cholis who can effortlessly heft a full pitcher or two,
and who will on occassion flirt shamelessly with the conductor
or a stray passenger. The conductors seem to know many passengers
on fairly personal terms. You can run right along with the train
if you wish. The whole carriage rocks when someone climbs in
or out. The carriages are all very old and run down, but you can't
beat the company. Those are some journeys I cherish above most.

Arun Kumar (kumar@sbctri.email

From: VIJAYB <VIJAYB@PK705VMG.EMAIL

Subject: Bombay - Vadodara run times!

Date: 20 Nov 1992 13:32:00 -0500


Hi Pushkar,
Thanks for your messages.

> the AC Exp is hauled by a WDM2 from Bombay to Vadodara. Maybe they
> have slowed it down now, but at inception at least the Bombay-Surat run
> used to be 3:13, and Surat-Vadodara 1:29. Now Bombay-Surat is 262 Kms

I have come to the conclusion that the speed
scenario for the Bombay - Vadodara sector is as follows:

Rajdhani Exp. - Twin WDM2 unit hauling an 18 coach train
booked speed - 110 kmph. max. speed - 120 kmph.
The WDM2 is a modified version with higher gearing.
AC Exp. - One (regular) WDM2 hauling a 11 coach train
booked speed - 100 kmph. max. speed - 110 kmph.
Other exp./mail trains - One WCAM1 hauling a [max. 21] coach train
booked speed - 90 kmph. max. speed - 100 kmph.

Let's look at the run times between Bombay & Surat, and Surat & Vadodara, in the
last 6-8 years.

Bombay - Surat (263 km) Surat - Vadodara (129 km)
now best now best

Rajdhani Exp. 3:09 3:03 1:21 1:18 <- time
83.49 87.64 95.56 99.23 <- avg. speed

AC Exp. 3:27 3:13 1:30 1:29 <- time
76.23 81.76 86 86.97 <- avg. speed

Others 3:39 3:33 1:33 1:33 <- time
72.05 74.08 83.23 83.23 <- avg. speed
Frontier Mail Jammu Tawi Exp. Avantika Exp.


> Borivali-Virar sector). So it would seem that the AC exp was expected
> to run at about ~87 kmph avg - which would put its max speed close to
> Raj (120 kmph). Can a WCAM do 120 kmph with 9 coaches? If so, what's the
> point in WDM2's for Raj either? Or is there an additional problem of
> double-heading with WCAM's?

The WCAM1 is geared for a max. speed of 100 kmph. only. No wonder the Rajdhani
and AC exps. are hauled by WDM2s.


Vijay

From: apte <apte@glacier.email

Subject: Raj, A/C Express speeds

Date: 20 Nov 1992 10:05:00 -0500


Vijay writes that the current max speeds of Raj and A/C Exps on the
Bombay-Vadodara section are 120, and 110 kmph respectively. This is
unfortunate, since in the initial
schedule at least, I do believe that the A/C Express was scheduled to
run pretty close to the Raj - since it covered Bombay-Baroda in
4:47 - only 17 mins slower than Raj including the 5 min Surat halt. I
guess they have now slowed it down. If WCAM1's are only capable of 100
kmph max, they should be moved off somewhere else, and faster locos
purchased for the Bombay-Ahmedabad section. I have a feeling that the
signalling, and all other support systems are probably state-of-the-art
on that section w.r.t. India. I have clocked the Raj almost
consistently doing 120 except for very specific sectors like the bridge
over the Narmada near Bharuch, where it slows down to 90 kmph, and
going thru Surat station, where it slows down to a mere 15 kmph
(obviously unrelated to track/signal conditions).
I am sure this sector compares well to N.Delhi-Kanpur, and
New-Delhi-Bhopal, which I guess are IR's showpiece sectors with
maximum superfast train density. Its too bad that Bombay Ahmedabad trains
run slow simply because of slow locos.

Pushkar
-------

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