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From: Dheeraj Sanghi <dheeraj@cs.email

Subject: Back after a hectic trip to India.

Date: 25 Nov 1992 13:53:00 -0500


I just finished reading all the IRFCA mail for the last few weeks.
I will write more later, but just a small note with reference to
the discussion on new Rajdhani.

IR is developing a new coach type which will be AC II - 3T. The
tickets will be priced between AC CC and AC - II sleeper (which are 2T).
The idea is to have lots of these coaches on trains like Rajdhanis
to the south where AC CC coaches are really painful, and AC II are
quite expensive and have low capacity.

In the meanwhile, the production of FC coaches continues to remain
suspended. It seems that a decision has been taken to abolish First
class based on some survey by travelling public which overwhelmingly
preferred AC-II and AC CC (for shor distances) over FC. IR had
stopped procuring coaches of higher classes 2 years ago under
Chandrasekhar regime. PVN govt. overruled that for all higher classes
except FC.

-dheeraj

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <dheeraj@cs.email

Subject: A new name.

Date: 02 Dec 1992 23:18:00 -0500


The New Delhi-Bombay Rajdhani AC Express has been renamed the
'August Kranti Rajdhani Express' to mark the golden jubilee
celebrations of the Quit India Movement.

Times of India, around Oct 20th.

Another news item from around the same time:

...There is no double broad gauge line between Lucknow and Delhi. This
has been a major drawback all these years until the Railways decided to
convert the Lucknow-Kanpur (72 KM) meter-gauge line to broad-gauge line.
With the completion of this work in March next year, there will be direct
double broad gauge line between Lucknow and Delhi for the first time.

Work on this section is going on at full speed. ... A new Station
Manak Nagar will be commissioned as a part of the gauge conversion
project. Besides a new double-storey passenger shelter will be
constructed at Kanpur Central station on a new platform.

The existing meter-gauge service will be closed around January 7 and the
broad gauge line would be commissioned by March 15.

During the current financial year, the Northern Railway will convert 443 KMs
of meter gauge track into broad gauge track.
------

I didn't even know there is a parallel MG line between Kanpur and Lucknow.
Never travelled that section. Are they going to electrify the section also,
so that Shatabdi, Gomti can go electric all the way. What is a passenger
shelter ? Is it like waiting room, rail yatri niwas oe what ??

-dheeraj

From: Jishnu Mukerji <jis@usl.email

Subject: Article in Nov issue of the Passenger Train Journal etc.

Date: 03 Dec 1992 08:51:00 -0500


Folks,

I would like to draw the attention of the IRFCA crowd to the November
issue of the Passenger Train Journal (PTJ). It contains an article on
travel on Indian Railways, with special reference to steam locomotives,
with a few really nice color & b&w photos, and a few glaring errors (as
usual). All of the travels are in the southern section of the country on
trains like the Nandi Express. Thought you folks might want to check it
out. PTJ is usually available in railroad hobby shops and goes for $3.50
or so.

If there is sufficient interest I will try to excerpt the article in
IRFCA list.

BTW, I just got my 21 day First Class Indrail Pass for my forthcoming
visit to India. Minimally, I will be travelling from Calcutta to
Chandigarh via Delhi, with a possible side trip into Rajasthan (Pilani
via Loharu), and a few local one/two day outings from Calcutta. Should
be fun. On the way to India and on the way back I am stopping at Bangkok
for a couple of days. One of the things I am planning to do is to take
the train from Bangkok to Kanchanburi to see the Bridge on the River
Kwai (actually its more modern incarnation).

Jishnu.

From: Jishnu Mukerji <jis@usl.email

Subject: Indrail Pass info

Date: 03 Dec 1992 14:32:00 -0500


Since I have had a couple of requests for Indrail Pass info, here is
everything that I know:

You can buy them in the USA from Hari World Travel in New York. Their
telephone number is (212) 957 3000. Ask for Ms. Ali, who handles Indrail
Passes. She can give you the most current information on prices. They
ask for payment in the form of cashier checks or MO. They charge a $15
servicing fee, and they Fedex the Indrail Pass to you. They also want a
copy of the title page (i.e. the page with your photo) of your Passport.

Hari World Travel's USMail address is:

30 Rockefellar Plaza
Rm 21, North Mezzanine
New York NY 10112

They will also process any reservations that you want to make on the
Indrail Pass for some fee that I forget. I just got an open Indrail
Pass.

The current prices for First Class Indrail Pass are as follow:

7 days $135
14 days $165
21 days $200
30 days $250
60 days $360
90 days $480

Jishnu.

From: Ajai Banarji <banarji@unixg.email

Subject:

Date: 04 Dec 1992 15:01:00 -0500


Indrail pass again

To follow up to Jishnu's comments:
You can also get "Trains at a glance" from Hariworld Travels-but I don't
think it is worth $10.
Anyone wanting to know more about the peculiarities of rail travel in
India (with special reference to the Indrail pass and its regulations)
should read the book "India by Rail" by Royston Ellis (Bradt publishers).
It should be available in the travel section of any decent bookstore.
Some of the information about prices is outdated as it was published in
1989, but it is still very useful.

From: Ajai Banarji <banarji@unixg.email

Subject:

Date: 22 Dec 1992 17:00:00 -0500


News from here and there

This seems to have been the longest ever blank period for irfca. No doubt
people have been shocked into silence by the recent happenings.
It might be a good time to re-read Khushwant Singh's "Train to Pakistan".
There was one incident near Surat where eight members "of a particular
community" were dragged out from a train and killed.
Here is some general news:

A number of superfast trains have lost their status and are now ordinary
express trains. These are:

Netravati Exp (Bombay-Mangalore/Cochin)
Lashkar Exp (Bombay-Gwalior/Agra)
Pragati Exp (Bombay-Pune)
Kurla-Bangalore Exp
Trivandrum-Gandhidham Exp

However, a couple of trains have now been given superfast status. These are:

Madras-Patna Exp
Punjab Mail

(I have a feeling that the Punjab Mail might not be superfast beyond Delhi.
The Frontier Mail and Kalka Mail are not classified as superfast beyond Delhi.
Thus you do not have to pay the surcharge if your journey is on the Delhi-
Amritsar/Kalka section. You would, of course, have to pay it if you are
travelling from, say, Bombay to Amritsar.)
The Punjab Mail had been accelerated quite a bit in the last timetable
change. Many stops were eliminated.

In Kerala, the Alleppey-Kayanakulam line was opened. You might think this
is an unimportant route, but actually it will result in a lot of improvements
in trains to Trivandrum side. Many long-distance trains terminate at Cochin
because of the extreme congestion on the Ernakulam-Quilon-Trivandrum single-
-line section. Now there is effectively a double track between Ernakulam and
Kayanakulam (which is about halfway down the way to Trivandrum).
This line would also serve the NTPC super thermal power station at
Kayanakulam.

The long list of mg lines being converted includes the "forgotten" line
from Allahabad City to Varanasi. Once this is converted, it will give rise
to an alternate route to the congested Allahabad-Mughalsarai section.
Already a number of long-distance trains run via Allahabad-Janghai-Varanasi.
(However, this entails a traction change at Allahabad and is thus not
helpful for trains continuing on the Grand Chord as they would have to
change traction twice.) Anyway, the Allahabad-Varanasi line when converted
may be able to take some of the eastbound long-distance trains. It will on fact
give a saving of about 25 km over Allahabad-Mughalsarai when compared to the
two routes being used now. But then, it will be single track and
non-electrified.

From: VIJAYB <VIJAYB@PK705VMG.EMAIL

Subject: Re: News from here and there

Date: 23 Dec 1992 10:04:00 -0500


Thanks for breaking the silence, Ajai. My comments:

> A number of superfast trains have lost their status and are now ordinry
> express trains. These are:

>Netravati Exp (Bombay-Mangalore/Cochin)
>Lashkar Exp (Bombay-Gwalior/Agra)
>Pragati Exp (Bombay-Pune)
>Kurla-Bangalore Exp
>Trivandrum-Gandhidham Exp

Have they decided to target trains from Bombay or what :-( :-(
Stripping off the superfast stamp from the Lashkar Exp., the Kurla -
Bangalore Exp. and the Trivandrum - Gandhidham Exp. makes sense. Why
has the Netravati Exp. been demoted and other upstarts such as the
Rajkot - Trivandrum Exp., and the Ahmedabad - Cochin Exp. been spared?
And, for heaven's sake, why the Pragati Exp.? It is only 10 mts. slower
than the Deccan Queen and about 20 mts. faster than the superfast Minar
Exp. Trust the IR authorities to have think wierd!
Some other trains that should lose their superfast status, IMHO,
are the Saket Exp. (Bombay - Faizabad) and Ratnagiri Exp (Bombay -
Varanasi).


>However, a couple of trains have now been given superfast status. Theseare:

>Madras-Patna Exp

They should promote the Ganga Kaveri Exp. also, since it shares a
major portion of its schedule with the above train.

>Punjab Mail

No surprise. This stamp is most probably between Bombay and Delhi, as
pointed out by Ajai. In addition to the Frontier and the Kalka Mails,
the Paschim Exp., IMHO, is not classified as superfast beyond Delhi.


> The long list of mg lines being converted includes the "forgotten" lie
>from Allahabad City to Varanasi. Once this is converted, it will give rse
>to an alternate route to the congested Allahabad-Mughalsarai section.
>Already a number of long-distance trains run via Allahabad-Janghai-Varaasi.
>(However, this entails a traction change at Allahabad and is thus not
>helpful for trains continuing on the Grand Chord as they would have to
>change traction twice.) Anyway, the Allahabad-Varanasi line when convered
>may be able to take some of the eastbound long-distance trains. It willon fact
>give a saving of about 25 km over Allahabad-Mughalsarai when compared t the
>two routes being used now. But then, it will be single track and
>non-electrified.

The convertion of Allahabad City - Varanasi and Aunrihar - Ballia -
Chhapra would effectively convert the earlier MG routes: Allahabad City-
Madhosingh-Varanasi-Aunrihar- Bhatni/Chhapra completely to BG. One can then
expect trains such as the Allahabad - Gorakhpur Exp. to get back onto
this route. Also, current MG trains such as the Bhagirathi Exp. and
the Allahabad - Guwahati Exp. would give way to BG trains.
At present, there are four trains that travel non-stop between
Allahabad and Varanasi:- Deluxe Exp., Shramik Exp. and Varanasi - Tirputi/Cochin Exps.
These may start using the route via Madhosingh once the convertion goes
thru'.
Once Sitarampur - Mughal Sarai gets electrified, only a very few
trains, if any, from the Allahabad-Mirzapur-Mughal Sarai-Patna route d
would get rerouted via Madhosingh-Varanasi. Again, the deterrent would
be a double change of traction.


I am currently going thru' the informative April '92 issue of Indian
Railways. Will post details soon. Looks like the max. speed on MG
is now, 110 kmph. The likely candidates are the Pink City/Gharib Nawaz
Exps., the Vaigai Exp., the Pallavan Exp., the Ashram/Mandor Exps. and
the Surya Nagri Exp. I wonder which of these are the "chosen few".

Regards,
Vijay

From: C. S. Sudarshana Bhat <B536HIND@UTARLVM1.EMAIL

Subject: Anyone in the Bay Area?

Date: 23 Dec 1992 14:05:00 -0500


Is there anyone in the bay area who can show me something about Indian
Railways? I am asking this because I am here in San Jose right now (too
bad you have deserted the USA, Ajai ;) ;).

BTW, (correct me if I am wrong) but isn't it good that the superfast tag
is being removed from some trains *without their speeds being reduced*?
I certainly would appreciate it if that were the case, since the fares
would be lowered ;-) [not by much, I must admit]. Moreover, I have always
felt that calling any arbitrary train a superfast one, sort of takes the
spark away from the ones which truly deserve that sobriquet (like the
Rajdhanis, and the Shatabdis, and the KK's and the TN's ...).

What do you say, Vijay?

From: VIJAYB <VIJAYB@PK705VMG.EMAIL

Subject: Have a grrrrrrrreat new year!

Date: 05 Jan 1993 14:17:00 -0500


Hi Folks,
A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU. May the IRFCA flourish and prosper in
1993 and the years to come.

In reply to Sudharshana's mail:
>BTW, (correct me if I am wrong) but isn't it good that the superfast tag
>is being removed from some trains *without their speeds being reduced*?
>I certainly would appreciate it if that were the case, since the fares
>would be lowered ;-) [not by much, I must admit]. Moreover, I have always
>felt that calling any arbitrary train a superfast one, sort of takes the
>spark away from the ones which truly deserve that sobriquet (like the
>Rajdhanis, and the Shatabdis, and the KK's and the TN's ...).

What I am afraid is, trains from which tags have been removed are more
susceptible to "downgrading" in the form of increased halts, speed reductions,
and elimination of facilities such as catering, vestibuled coaches, etc.

Regards,
Vijay

From: Ajai Banarji <banarji@unixg.email

Subject:

Date: 08 Jan 1993 17:51:00 -0500


Rail news from India

These items are from December issue of Railway Gazette.

RAIL BUS
RDSO has designed a BG "railbus" which is to be used on low-traffic
lines. It is to have 60 seats and powered by a normal bus engine and suitable
for bi-directional running. The major bus manufacturers have been asked to
build prototypes. A decision on this project's future will be taken after
extended trials.

FUTURE OF STEAM
The present plan is to withdraw all BG steam locos by 1995. At present there
are only 1027 BG locos left. These will vanish in the next 2 years, along with
about 50 steam depots. In the past few years 12 steam depots have been closed.
Presently there are 1398 steam MG locos and 99 on NG. These may survive till
1900, pending gauge conversion and development of better NG diesel locos. But
after 2000 steam locos will continue only on three lines of tourist importance:
the Ooty, Darjeeling and Shimla lines.
(Comment: all those British tourists who come to India just to see the steam
locos will be greatly annoyed. Also, I thought that the Shimla line was
fully dieselised several years ago; has anyone seen steam locos on that route
recently?)

IRCON IN MALAYSIA
In an article on the Malaysian railways, it was mentioned that IRCON had
been involved in a major project of double-tracking the lines around Kuala
Lumpur. There was a picture of a YDM4 with the Indian railways and Ircon
logos on it hauling a work train on this route.
(I hope we can sell our surplus MG locos, coaches and wagons somehere; Malaysia
may be a good bet. I wonder if Bangladesh, Myanmar or Kenya will be interested)
Perhaps our foreign expert Jishnu can think of some other major metre-gauge
networks.

Also, there were a couple of letters to the editor in the "Hindu" which
echoed our earlier comments about the Bangalore Rajdhani being a silly idea.
One point made is that reducing journey time from 42 hours to 37 hours is
not really helpful as the journey still takes two days and a night, so the
premium is not worth it. As we can expect, people in Madras are quite annoyed
that "their" train was hijacked to Bangalore. Although the Madras route would
allow a slightly better speed (as it is electrified and double-tracked all the
way) no drastic improvement would be possible due to the considerable ghat
sections from Bhopal to Nagpur.

From: apte <apte@glacier.email

Subject: Bangalore ...

Date: 18 Jan 1993 09:33:00 -0500


Hi Folks,

Railway routings around, to, and from Bangalore have always been
interesting to me due the rich variety of options.
The new Rajdhani triggered some research by Yours Truly on the subject,
and some unearthed facts were surprising - to me at least.

1. Of the three Bangalore-N. Delhi routes viz.
a. B'lore-Guntakal-Manmad-N.Delhi (Karnataka Exp)
b. B'lore-Guntakal-S'bad-Kazipet-N.Delhi (Raj. Exp)
c. B'lore-Jolarpettai-Gudur-N.Delhi (erstwhile K-K Exp)
route "c", on which no train currently runs, is the shortest. The
distances are c=2501, b=2548, and a=2551. If you look at the map this
is not obvious at all - in fact it appears that route "c" which veers
way east upto Gudur before swinging west, and then north towards
Banagalore, might be the longest.

2. Of the 3 routes in (1); route "c" has the longest double line, and
"a" the longest single line (Manmad-Bangalore). Yet the Karnataka Exp.
maintains a timing close to that achieved by the
comparably fast Kerala Mangala Exp (if you
tagged on additional 2.5 hrs for the Jolarpettai-Bangalore stretch to
the latter). Hmmm., curioser. So I checked the average of the
Karnataka Exp. on the Manmad-Bangalore single line stretch, and it was
60.5 kmph. Now on a fully electrified, double-lined Bombay-New Delhi
stretch, the SuperFast Paschim Exp., and the Frontier Mail are not able to do
much better than that!!! Curioser and curioser...

3. Bombay-Mangalore/Cochin/Trivandrum bound trains now have two
options at Guntakal viz. via Krishnarajpuram(Bangalore), or via
Reningunta-Katpadi. The new Netravati Exp takes the former route, and
the older Bombay-Kanniyakumari Exp. takes the latter. Again looking at
the map, intuitively it seems that the new
Krishnarajpuram route was shorter. Not so!
Guntakal-Reningunta-Katpadi-Jolarpettai is approx 521 kms, while
Guntakal-Krishnarajpuram(Bangalore)-Jolarpettai is approx 598 kms - a
whopping 77 kms more.

4. Finally I used to wonder why they don't consider routing some
New-Delhi-Kerala bound trains via
Kazipet-S'bad-Gunkakal-K'puram-Jolarpettai. Intuitively it seems like
this route should be comparable to the
Gudur-Reningunta-Katpadi route followed by the Kerala Exp.
Not quite: the former is approx 180 kms longer than the latter!

Well, I guess if we had trusted our intuition, we would have believed
that the world is flat :-)

Pushkar
-------

From: aravind <aravind@vax135.email

Subject: Re: Bangalore

Date: 18 Jan 1993 18:54:00 -0500


Hi,

I think the distance quoted by Pushkar for the Guntakal-Jolarpet
route via Kpuram is too large. I remember clearly that the Bangalore-
Guntakal distance is 280 km, and that the Bangalore-Jolarpet distance
is 145km. (The 280km number was for the old MG route, which is probably
close to length of the current BG alignment). So the total distance
is less than 280+145 = 425km (considering the distance saved by using the
bypass).

I think the source of the confusion is that the CHARGEABLE distance on
the Bangalore-Guntakal route is quite a bit higher than the ACTUAL distance.
Vijay should be able to confirm this by checking his SR timetable.
I have no idea why the authorities levy this extra fare on passengers on
this section; it does not pass through particularly difficult
terrain.

Regards,

Aravind

From: apte <apte@glacier.email

Subject: Re: Bangalore

Date: 19 Jan 1993 07:17:00 -0500


Aravind writes:

> I remember clearly that the Bangalore-
> Guntakal distance is 280 km, and that the Bangalore-Jolarpet distance
> is 145km.

That number makes more sense, but Trains-at-a-glance quotes
the BG Bangalore-Guntakal distance as 466 kms. I don't have the
regional time-table - maybe someone who does can clear up this
confusion.

Pushkar
-------

From: Ajai Banarji <banarji@unixg.email

Subject:

Date: 20 Jan 1993 13:54:00 -0500


Miscellaneous news

Readers of s.c.i. would have seen the news about the accident to the
Rajdhani Express. The accident site was near Rura station, which would
be about 50 km west of Kanpur.
It was mentioned that the express had collided with a derailed goods train.
I suppose this means that it collided with a goods train which had derailed
while running on the adjacent track. This type of accident is very difficult
to prevent unless the adjacent station gets a prompt report about the
obstruction. Track circuiting may have prevented the accident as the
derailed wagons would have shorted the circuit on the adjacent track.
There have been a few similar accidents in India earlier. Incidentally,
the two worst accidents on the British railways (Gretna, 1915 and Harrow, 1952)
both involved double collisions. In each case two trains collided and the
wreckage fell on an adjacent track just before another train arrived and
hit the wreckage.
Other news-it appears that the Sawai Madhopur-Jaipur broad gauge section
has already been opened.
Meanwhile, here are some more "research topics" for Pushkar:

3 different trains from Delhi to Guwahati on different routes
3 different trains from Delhi to Puri on different routes
4 different trains from Hyderabad/Secunderabad to Tirupathi
and finally, there are 7 or 8 expresses between Calcutta and Delhi. All of
them have slightly different routes.
Consider the possibilities. Howrah vs Sealdah. Delhi vs New Delhi. The
Grand Chord vs Main Line. Howrah to Barddhaman via Dankuni or via Bandel.
Moghalsarai to Allahabad via Mirzapur or via Janghai. Tundla to Delhi via
Aligarh or via Agra.

From: VIJAYB <VIJAYB@PK705VMG.EMAIL

Subject: Re: Bangalore

Date: 21 Jan 1993 11:47:00 -0500


Aravind writes:
>route via Kpuram is too large. I remember clearly that the Bangalore-
>Guntakal distance is 280 km, and that the Bangalore-Jolarpet distance
>is 145km. (The 280km number was for the old MG route, which is probably
>close to length of the current BG alignment). So the total distance
>is less than 280+145 = 425km (considering the distance saved by using the

I checked my South Central and Southern Rly. time-tables and found out that
- Guntakal to Dhramavaram is 142 km.
- Dharmavaram to Bangalore City is 189 km. (actual)
is 235 km. (chargeable)
So Guntakal - Bangalore is 331 km. approx. This is greater than the number for
the old MG route, since the BG route veers off towards Gooty at Kalluru.
Now, Jolarpettai - Krishnarajpuram is about 133 km., which indicates that
Guntakal - Jolarpettai via K'puram is about 460 km. This is shorter than the
route via Renigunta. In addition, the S'bad - Jollarpettai route via Guntakal -
K'puram is not much longer than the route via Vijayawada - Gudur (about 40 kms.)


Pushkar writes:
>the latter). Hmmm., curioser. So I checked the average of the
>Karnataka Exp. on the Manmad-Bangalore single line stretch, and it was
>60.5 kmph. Now on a fully electrified, double-lined Bombay-New Delhi
>stretch, the SuperFast Paschim Exp., and the Frontier Mail are not able to do
>much better than that!!! Curioser and curioser...

Let's check out the commercial speeds (includes the halt times)
Frontier Mail (Bombay - N.Delhi) - 63.39 kmph
(N.Delhi - Bombay) - 61.28 kmph.
Paschim Exp. (Bombay - N.Delhi) - 60.17 kmph.
(N.Delhi - Bombay) - 62.44 kmph.
Karnataka Exp.(N.Delhi - B'lore) - 57.38 kmph. (assuming the distance to be
(B'lore - N.Delhi) - 57.61 kmph. 2410 km.)

There you go! Note that the Frontier Mail and the Paschim Exp. have a booked
speed of 90 kmph. whereas the Karnakata Exp. has a HIGHER booked speed of 100
kmph. between N.Delhi and Itarsi and 95 kmph between Itarsi and Manmad. So,
the Manmad - B'lore stretch is somewhat of a retarder as far as the Karnataka Exp.
avg. speed is concerned.


Regards,
Vijay

From: apte <apte@glacier.email

Subject: Re: Bangalore

Date: 21 Jan 1993 07:59:00 -0500


Vijay, thanx for providing the accurate distances, and so much for
trusting the stuff in Trains-at-a-glance.
Once the Guntakal-K'puram distance is set at 331 kms instead of the 466
kms that I used, all the puzzling pieces get resolved.


1. B'lore-N.Delhi via Guntakal is now ~ 2415 kms vs 2501 via Gudur.

2. Consequently the average speed of the Karnataka Exp. falls from my
orig. calculations.

3. Guntakal-J'pettai via K'puram is now 463 kms vs 521 via Reningunta.

This is much more consistent with the map, single-line sections etc.
I guess in this case at least intuition proved more correct than
the printed word ;-).

Pushkar
-------

From: ruman <ruman@meroot.email

Subject: Bombay-Bhubaneshwar

Date: 23 Jan 1993 22:46:00 -0500


Talking of routes reminds me, can Pushkar or Vijay check out if a
rail route from Bombay to Bhubaneshwar be feasible and shorter
via Manmad-Aurangabad. i remember contemplating this route many
years ago when manmad-aurangabad was still MG. Am not sure, but I
think a few tens of miles of track to connect this line to the
kazipet-nagpur line are needed, if memory serves me right. The
current route followed by the Minar-Konark express seems rather
roundabout, going way south to Hyderabad, northerly to Kazipet,
south to Vijaywada and finally northwards to Bhubaneshwar..

Besides this route would be aesthetically (sp?) more appeal-
ing. the east-west counter to the north-south Himsagar (if it
still exists).

BTW a former railway officer in charge of planning
(an irfca member's dad) is in town (LA). I am
planning to ask him a few q's. pl send any
questions u guys might have and would like to ask
of him before monday evening.

ruman










================================
ruman ruman@maemaster.email
just another grad mech engg student

From: Ajai Banarji <banarji@unixg.email

Subject:

Date: 25 Jan 1993 13:18:00 -0500


Questions to ask....

I don't know if it is too late, but here are a few questions which could be
asked:

1) Comprehensive list of routes being converted to BG.
2) Whether the railway administration plans to do anything about the
chaos prevailing in 2nd class sleepers in North India. On many routes
there is absolutely no control over the unreserved passengers getting in.
3) Details of any new long-distance train services planned.
4) What is going to happen to all the surplus MG locos, wagons and coaches?
5) Isn't there going to be a severe shortage of BG locos, wagons and coaches
in a couple of years when the conversions are complete?

Regarding the question posed by Ruman (or whatever his name is), one can
imagine a future route for a Bombay-Orissa train as:

Bombay-Manmad-Aurangabad-Mudkhed-Adilabad (conversion is going on beyond
Aurangabad)
Adilabad-Pimpalkuti (new line under construction)
Pimpalkuti-Wani (new line under construction)
Wani is connected to Majri (near Balharshah)
After this, one could either travel down to Kazipet and Vijayawada and thence
to Orissa. Another possibility would be north to Wardha and Nagpur and thence
east to Calcutta side and Orissa.
But don't expect too much of improvement in long-distance services with
these new lines and conversions. They will mostly be non-electrified
and single track. Moreover, as they pass through rather underdeveloped areas
the spacing between stations is more, which means less speed as there will
be more crossing delays.
BTW, the Himsagar express still runs between Jammu Tawi and Kanniyakumari
once a week. On 3 other days it runs between Jammu Tawi and Madras. Apart
from this, there is a once-weekly Navyug Express from Jammu Tawi to Mangalore.
The closest counterpart in an east-west direction would probably be the
Dadar-Guwahati Express. It might be extended to Dibrugarh after a few years.
However, the Himsagar Express (at about 4000 km and 80 hours) is not the
longest run in Indian railway history. In the late 1920s the Grand Trunk
Express used to run from Peshawar to Mangalore in around 96 hours.
This experiment didn't last too long, and the service was soon curtailed
to between Lahore and Mettupalaiyam and then to it's present route between
Delhi and Madras. However, my father travelled on this train in around
1945 and remembered seeing some Peshawar-Madras coaches on it.

From: ruman <ruman@meroot.email

Subject: q's posed by Ajai

Date: 01 Feb 1993 19:54:00 -0500


emae/rail/15:25-day-25
:>From: Ajai Banarji <banarji@unixg.email
:>Message-Id: <9301252318.AA16586@unixg.email
:>To: irfca@cs.email
:>
:> Questions to ask....
:>
:> I don't know if it is too late, but here are a few questions which could be
:>asked:
:>
:>1) Comprehensive list of routes being converted to BG.

Will be faxed after he reaches India and I will
post it then.

:>2) Whether the railway administration plans to do anything about the
:> chaos prevailing in 2nd class sleepers in North India. On many routes
:> there is absolutely no control over the unreserved passengers getting in.

didn't ask him this. felt uncomfortable.
thought it would be rude . btw the chaos is
not restricted to north India, very prevalent
in s india also, although probably to a lesser
extent.

:>3) Details of any new long-distance train services planned.

details later along with the conversion list.

:>4) What is going to happen to all the surplus MG locos, wagons and coaches?

surplus locos etc will go to scrap yard. complete
bg-isation of railways not planned in the near
future. production of mg stuff has stopped.

:>5) Isn't there going to be a severe shortage of BG locos, wagons and coaches
:> in a couple of years when the conversions are complete?

Severe shortage is not forseen :-). This is
because production of MG stuff has totally been
stopped and the excess capacity will be taken over
for BG.


In this context an interesting anecdote.

Rajiv Gandhi had publicly announced that by a
certain date, the first coach out of Kapurthala
would roll out. However by this date the factory
was nowhere near production schedule. So an entire
disassembled coach was rushed to Kapurthala
post-haste from Perambur and then assembled there.
And there was the grand rolling out of that coach
covered extensively on Doordarshan :-)

some other facts/anecdotes .

-----

1) Delhi-Bhopal Shatabdi has the highest maximum speed of any train
in India : 140 kmph. This upgradation was one of the last acts
of Madhav Rao Scindia as Rly Minister.

2) Time between two stations is computed assuming the max speed
is X % (X is usually 10%) lower than the maximum assigned speed.
Thus, while determining the time to travel between Delhi and Kanpur
on the Rajdhani, it is assumed that the max speed of the train will
be 130 - 10% = 127 kmph. This allows some slack for the Rly's to
make up for unexpected delays.

3) Late running trains are determined if delayed by more than 5 minutes.
Lots of scope for fudging punctuality statistics. The statement:

"Rajdhani Exp from Delhi to Howrah is 98% punctual"

can mean a lot of things to different people. For example, to the

DRM (divisional rly mgr), Delhi division : the train left
from the station and Delhi division as scheduled 98%.

DRM, Allahabad division : The train was 98% punctual in my division.
which means that even if the train entered his division 2 hours
late, and leaves his division no more than 2 hours late, his
division is still considered to have been punctual !!! (i.e. he
did not delay the train anymore than it was when handed to his
division).

DRM, Howrah : same rationale as that of DRM Allahabad. But overall
the train may be late, but still punctual in my division.

Basically, each divison/zone maintains punctuality stats for its
own operations. The blame for delays goes to the division which
screws up on the way.

4) Trains carrying VIPs are never delayed. In fact they may cover
the distance in unbelievable times. A case in point in summer 1992:

Due to computer downtime, the reservation charts for the Lucknow Mail
(DLI-Moradabad-Bareilly-LKO) were not available on time.
The passengers included the Chairman and several members of the
Railway Board on an official visit to LKO. Several coputer reservation
related staff were "reprimanded" on the spot for the delay.
The train was delayed by 2.5 hours leaving Delhi. Suitable messages
flashed to divisions enroute ensured that the train arrived in LKO
right on time.



-------------------------------------------------------

I just read a very interesting article in the
winter 1993 issue of American Heritage and
Invention which might be of interest this group.

It has a 7 page article on the various gauges of
the early American railroads and the politics
behind it and how finally the standard gauge was
decided on. It is interesting to note that at one
time there were nearly 7 different gauges having
1000 or more miles of track. There are also some
old drawings of the procedure involved in
transferring a railroad car from wheels of one
gauge to wheels of another gauge. The procedure
itself is very easy and doesn't involve much
inconvenience to the contents of the railroad car
be it man or goods.


----------------------------------
ruman ruman@maemaster.email

From: VIJAYB <VIJAYB@PK705VMG.EMAIL

Subject: B'by - B'neswar routes, etc.

Date: 03 Feb 1993 17:03:00 -0500


At present, there are three possible ways of traveling from Bombay V.T. to Bhubaneswar -

1. B'by-Wadi-S'bad-Kazipet-Vijayawada-V'patnam-B'neswar - ~1950 kms.
(used by the Minar/Konark Exps.)

2. B'by-Bhusaval-Nagpur-Kharagpur-B'neswar - ~2200 kms.

3. B'by-Wadi-S'bad-Kazipet-Nagpur-Kharagpur-B'neswar - ~2740 kms.

The trip by Route 1 takes about 35 hrs. whereas Route 2 could be covered in
about 36 hrs. A single line does its dirty job again - the time difference
is less than expected for a hefty 250 km difference, b'coz of the single line
Daund-Vikrabad stretch. Once the Sambhalpur - Talcher link gets completed,
one could expect a reduction of atleast 400 kms. in the Route 2 distance,
since Jharsuguda - B'neswar could then be traveled via Sambhalpur, Talcher,
Cuttack. Who knows, maybe they'll have a Bombay - Puri Exp. via this route
after the completion of Sambhalpur - Talcher (Talcher - Angul is now
operational).
From the map, it seems to me that Manmad - Wardha via Aurangabad-Adilabad-
Balharshah (when completed) is about 200 kms. more than via Bhusaval. In
other words, a future B'by - B' neswar route via Manmad-Balharshah and
Sambhalpur-Cuttack would be around 2000 kms. Is this enough to give it an
edge over Route 1?

Ajai writes:
> Regarding the question posed by Ruman (or whatever his name is), one can
> imagine a future route for a Bombay-Orissa train as:

> Bombay-Manmad-Aurangabad-Mudkhed-Adilabad (conversion is going on beyond
> Aurangabad)
> Adilabad-Pimpalkuti (new line under construction)
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> Pimpalkuti-Wani (new line under construction)
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> Wani is connected to Majri (near Balharshah)

I don't recall these two new construction projects being mentioned in the
1992-93 budget. Ajai, could you give us further details?


Ruman writes:
> 2) Time between two stations is computed assuming the max speed
> is X % (X is usually 10%) lower than the maximum assigned speed.
> Thus, while determining the time to travel between Delhi and Kanpur
> on the Rajdhani, it is assumed that the max speed of the train will
> be 130 - 10% = 127 kmph. This allows some slack for the Rly's to
> make up for unexpected delays.

Typically, the booked speed is 10 kmph. lower than the max. permissible speed.
So, the booked speed of the Rajdhani Exp. in the N.Delhi - Kanpur section is
most probably 120 kmph.


Regards,

Vijay

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