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From: S Pai <Pai>>

Subject: Railway Budget '94 : some details

Date: 11 Apr 1994 17:46:00 -0500


I finally went over to our library to look at the back issues of Indian
newspapers, and jotted this stuff down from The Statesman and The Times
of India, dated February 25th.

[ Typos are probably all mine. :-) ]

-Satish

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

Railway Budget, 1994
====================


New Train Lines planned
-----------------------

* Khurda Road -- Bolangir

* Jammu Tawi to Udhampur link to be extended to Srinagar.

About Rs. 50 crores have been allocated for the Udhampur link completion
and for the survey and planning of the link to Srinagar. Projected date
of completion is March 1996 provided funds are provided in the next two
budgets.


New Trains introduced
---------------------

A total of 12 new trains have been introduced.

* New Delhi -- Guwahati, weekly Rajdhani.

* New Delhi -- Bhubaneswar, weekly Rajdhani.

* Bombay Central -- Ahmedabad, Shatabdi.

* Howrah -- Jaipur, daily express.

* Delhi -- Kathgodam, daily express.

* Delhi -- Sultanpur, tri-weekly express.

* Trivandrum -- Bombay, weekly express.

* Saharanpur -- Lucknow, daily express.

* Hazrat Nizamuddin -- Shri Ganganagar, daily express.

* Jodhpur -- Lucknow (via Jaipur), daily express.

* Katihar -- Sealdah express (frequency ??)


Extended Trains
---------------

A total of 10 trains have been extended.

* Hazrat Nizamuddin -- Madras Rajdhani extended to Trivandrum.

* Bhubaneswar -- Secunderabad Konark Express extended to Bombay.

* Howrah -- Gorakhpur Express extended to Kathgodam.

* Puri -- Hazrat Nizamuddin Kalinga/Utkal Expresses extended to Amritsar.

* Indore -- New Delhi Malwa Express extended to Jammu Tawi.


Trains with increased frequency
-------------------------------

A total of 9 trains have had their frequencies raised.

* Delhi -- Jammu Tawi Express from tri-weekly to daily.

* Puri -- New Delhi Purushottham Express from tri-weekly to all weekdays.

* Howrah -- Shipra Express from bi-weekly to tri-weekly.


Other passenger related items
-----------------------------

* Palace On Wheels introduced in 8 new circuits.

* More locomotives and EMUs to be used for segregating long-distance and
short-distance passengers on common routes. (??)


Passenger Fare Revisions
------------------------

* 2nd class ordinary fares unchanged for distances below 100 km,
increased by Re. 1 for distances between 101 km -- 600 km,
increased by Rs. 5 for distances above 600 km.

* 2nd class mail/express fares reduced marginally for 51 km -- 155 km,
increased by Re. 1 to Rs. 20 for distances above 155 km.

* Upper class fares including AC 1st class, AC Chair Car, etc. up by 6%.

* Revised fares for Rajdhani, Shatabdi, and August Kranti trains.

* Suburban commuter fares increased Re. 1 -- Rs. 9 for monthly season
tickets for distances below 90 km. Above 90 km the increases are
Rs. 11 -- Rs. 40.

* Reservation fee formerly charged for computerized reservations is now
charged for all reservations.

* Quarterly season tickets to cost 2.5 times the price of a monthly season
ticket.

* Fare increases in effect from April 1.



[ >>> Note: In the following, "x-y" means formerly Rs. x, now Rs. y.]

Some 1st class and 2nd class mail/express fares:

(These fares are from New Delhi.)

1st class 2nd class mail/express

Bombay 751-797 189-200
Bangalore 1158-1229 245-263
Trivandrum 1402-1487 281-301
Bhubaneswar 928-984 213-231
Bhopal 470-499 128-134
Patna 598-634 162-171
Ahmedabad 630-668 165-175
Howrah 774-821 193-205
Guwahati 981-1040 221-235
Madras Central 1058-1122 231-246
Secunderabad 868-921 205-218
Puri 827-877 199-211
Allahabad 437-464 117-124

Some other selected fares:
AC sleeper 1st class 2nd class

Bombay VT - Madras Central 906-961 714-757 225-239
Bangalore - Bombay 876-929 682-723 222-235
Jammu Tawi - Bombay Central 1170-1241 968-1027 219-235
Bombay VT - Pune 241-256 168-179 46-48


Rajdhani fares:

[HN = Hazrat Nizamuddin]

AC 1st AC Sleeper AC Chair AC 3-T

New Delhi
- Bombay Central 2385 1370 680 840
New Delhi
- Howrah (via Gaya) 2440 1400 705 865
HN - Bhopal 1370 815 405 510
HN - Nagpur 1815 1055 515 645
HN - Secunderabad 2370 1310 625 785
HN - Bangalore 3155 1620 800 1000
HN - Jhansi 940 570 300 375
HN - Vijayawada 2470 1335 635 795
HN - Madras Central 2885 1510 735 920
New Delhi
- Kanpur Central 1150 680 375 465
Bangalore - Jhansi 2745 1460 705 885
New Delhi - Patna 1920 1150 575 720


Season Ticket (monthly):

Kilometers 2nd class 1st class

1 - 5 33-35 132-140
6 - 10 40-45 160-180
11 - 15 58-60 232-240
16 - 20 74-75 296-300

46 - 50 102-110 408-440

91 - 100 144-155 576-620


Freight Tariff Revisions
------------------------

* Revisions to net Rs. 800 crore of additional revenue.

* The main change seems to be a more gradual tapering of the tariffs with
distance.

* Minimum distance charged for freight decreased from 100 km to 75 km.

[PDS = Public Distribution System]

* Upward revision of classification of coal, iron ore, limestone, dolomite,
cement, HSD oil, oil cakes, stone NOC, gypsum, other ores, soda ash,
manganese ore, molasses, sugar mills, and sand.

* Non-PDS wheat tariff up by 20%, non-PDS salt, sugar, groundnut oil
tariffs up by 8%, mainly by upward revision of their freight classification.

* PDS wheat and rice tariffs up by 8%.

* Kerosene, LPG, fruits and vegetables, and livestock tariffs unchanged.


Railway Projects, etc.
----------------------

* 5000 hp locomotive production begun at Chittaranjan Locomotive Works.

* Fuel efficient diesel locos, and upgrading work (2600 hp to 3100 hp)
to be done at Diesel Loco Works, Varanasi.

* Rail Coach Factory at Kapurthala and Wheel and Axle Plant at Bangalore
may get ISO 9000 certification soon.

* Konkan Railway project now scheduled to be finished by March 1995. The
Konkan Railway Corp. has already raised Rs. 230 crore in public-issue
bonds ("10.5% tax-free"), and plans to rais Rs. 450 crore more.

* No mention of any new suburban projects. Rs. 30 lakh (!) allotted for
Calcutta Circular Railway, and Rs. 165 crore for Calcutta Metro (revised
budget estimates for the Calcutta Metro are Rs. 1340 crore).

* Gauge conversion target of 1600 km of last year was exceeded.

* Rs. 25 crore for manning 500 previously unmanned level crossings, due to
an "alarming rise" in the number of unmanned level crossing accidents.


Railway Food
------------

* Higher budgetary outlay for hiring professional cooks, and for improved
catering.

* Selective introduction of a new type of pantry cars.

* More outside caterers to be given contracts for supply of pre-cooked food.

* Railway Catering Corporation may be formed in the near future.


Budget details, statistics, etc.
--------------------------------

* Freight projection for 1994-95 is 380 million tonnes.

* Passenger service expected to rise by 2% for the next year.


Railway income percentages

Goods earnings 66%
Passenger earnings 27%
Other coachings 2%
Miscellaneous receipts 3%
Sundry other receipts 2%


Railway expenditure percentages

Fuel 14%
Stores 7%
Miscellaneous 8%
Pension fund 7%
Lease charges 5%
Dividends 9%
Development fund 3%
Staff Wages, etc. 32%
Capital fund 1%
Depreciation Reserve 14%


Railway budget figures

[All figures in crores of rupees.]

Item Actuals Budget Revised Budget
92-93 93-94 93-94 94-95

1. Gross Traffic Receipts 15688 19021 18585 20394
2. Ordinary Working Expenses 10480 11955 11755 13307
3. Appropriations to Deprecia-
tion Reserve Fund 2300 2400 2100 2300
4. Appropriations to Pension
Fund 1200 1500 1500 1700
5. Total Working Expenses
(= 2. + 3. + 4.) 13980 15855 15355 17307
6. Net Traffic Receipts
(= 1. - 5.) 1708 3166 3230 3087
7. Net Misc. Receipts 247 282 264 255
8. Net Railway Revenues
(= 6. + 7.) 1955 3448 3494 3342
9. Dividend payment to
general revenues 1172 1253 1299 1372
10. Deferred dividend payment 341 -- -- --
11. Excess / Shortfall
(= 8. - 9. - 10.) +441 +2195 +2195 +1970
12. Appropriations to
Railway Development Fund 307 235 220 290
13. Repayment, loans & interest 253 -- -- --
14. Development Works 117 235 220 290
15. Appropriations to
Capital Fund - Railways 708? 1960 1975 1680

Operating Ratio 87.4% 83.1% 83.0% 85.4%

Percentage of net revenue
to Capital-at-charge and
investment for Capital Fund 9.7% 15.3% 15.3% 13.1%


Miscellaneous
-------------

* IR has introduced the concept of "weekend holidays". A weekend extends
from Friday evening to the following Monday morning. There is a plan to
introduce one-point booking of rail travel, accommodation, sightseeing
tours, and food arrangements for these special holiday plans for weekends.

* Something about increased workers' participation in management. (??)

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <dheeraj@iitk.email

Subject: News from India.

Date: 15 Apr 1994 11:16:00 -0500


Thanks Vijay for sending me the address. I hope to start
getting IR magazine soon. In the meanwhile, here is the news
from last few days' newspapers.

-------
New weekly Rajdhani to Bhubaneshwar:

08:25 d Bhubaneshwar a 18:30
09:00 a Cuttack d 17:30
09:05 d a 17:25
16:00 a Howrah d 11:05
16:40 d a 10:45
18:53 a Asansol d 08:05
19:03 d a 07:55
19:52 a Dhanbad d 07:00
19:57 d a 06:55
00:45 a Mughalsarai d 02:19
01:00 d a 02:07
05:02 a Kanpur d 21:55
05:07 d a 21:50
10:00 a New Delhi d 17:00

Leaves Bhubaneshwar on Mondays and New Delhi on Thursdays.
5 Chair cars, 2 AC-2T, 1 AC 1st.

Till 31st March, IR had procured 12 AC-3T coaches. All Rajdhani
rakes (except this new one) have 1 or 2 of these coaches. The
plan is to replace AC chair car coaches from all long distance
superfast trains by 1996 (97?).

There was some news item about several new trains from Bangalore,
including one Shatabdi between Madras and Bangalore. Surprisingly,
many of these trains were not mentioned in the budget, and I
have no idea when these trains will be started.

Guwahati to Lumding MG line has been converted to BG and opened
to traffic. It is 181 KM. Brahmaputra Mail has been extended to
Lumding. It leaves Guwahati at 12:15 and reaches Lumding at
10:00 (which is obviously a misprint, it should be 18:00 I believe).
On return, it starts from Lumding at 06:00 and reaches Guwahati
at 11:30. Now Lumding has become the easternmost BG station in
India.

2 trains extended to server Punjab from July 1st. Malwa Express
(Indore- New Delhi) would be extended upto Jammu. Puri - Nizammuddin
Express would be extended upto Amritsar.

Gauge conversion is going full steam. In 1992-93, they converted
1351 KM. In 1993-94, they converted 1619 KM. Jaipur, Bikaner,
Jodhpur are all connected by BG now.
-----

Recently I was reading some tourist book on Sanchi. It said that
only one Express train (Amritsar - ??) stops at Sanchi, but
Punjab Mail can be stopped there on request. I didn't know such a
thing was possible. Anyone with a higher class ticket for a
distance more than some 100 odd KM, could inform the station
masters at Sanchi, Bina and Itarsi some time in advance, and
could board the train there. Similarly in 2nd class, a group
of 10 or more, travelling at least 400 KM, could request boarding
at Sanchi. What is even more curious is why Bina and Itarsi
station masters have to be informed. The immediate stations
on either side are Vidisha and Bhopal.

-dheeraj

From: Akhtar Jameel <jameel@cs.email

Subject: Re: Railway Budget '94

Date: 14 Apr 1994 16:33:00 -0500


Thanks a lot, Satish, for posting the details of the '94 budget.
A Bombay - Ahmedabad Shatbadi!! Wow!!! Another of my train fantasies
is about to come true!! It remains to be seen how closely will the
actual train follow what I had in mind, namely,

Dep. Bombay Central 6.30 am Dep. Ahmedabad 3.30 pm
Arr. Ahmedabad 12.30 pm Arr. Bombay Central 9.30 pm

Two halts -> Surat, Vadodara
Hauled by a WDM-2 (higher gearing) all the way.
Max. speed of 120 kmph. in the Bombay - Vadodara section.


>New Trains introduced
>---------------------

Surprisingly, no new trains connecting Madurai to the North (via
Dindigul - Karur - Erode).


> * Delhi -- Kathgodam, daily express.

Must be employing the new Rampur - Lalkua - Kathgodam BG line.


> * Delhi -- Sultanpur, tri-weekly express.

Is Sultanpur that important a station? The Himgiri Exp. used to
ignore it in its days of glory. This might get extended to Varanasi in
the future.


> * Trivandrum -- Bombay, weekly express.

Two possibilities: (1) it shares schedules/halts with the Rajkot -
Trivandrum Exp. between Kalyan and Trivandrum; (2) it is a true
superfast train with limited halts. It's time they introduced one from
Bombay V.T. towards the South.


> * Jodhpur -- Lucknow (via Jaipur), daily express.

We already have the daily Marudhar Exp. betwen Jodhpur and Lucknow.


> Extended Trains
> ---------------

> * Hazrat Nizamuddin -- Madras Rajdhani extended to Trivandrum.

As predicted, Trivandrum joins the Rajdhani club!


> * Bhubanewswar -- Secunderabad Konark Express extended to Bombay.

At present, the Konark Exp. and Minar Exp. share rakes i.e., the
Dn. Minar Exp. becomes the Konark Exp. at Secunderabad and vice versa.
A total of three coaches have been set apart for Bombay -
Rajahmundry/Bhubaneswar passengers. So this extension is probably
nothing more than eliminating the Minar Exp. altogether and having the
train being known as the Konark Exp. all the way from Bombay to
Bhubaneswar. Of course, this would provide increased accomodation for
passengers traveling beyond Secunderabad in either direction.


> Railway Projects, etc.
> ----------------------

> * 5000 hp locomotive production begun at Chittaranjan Locomotive Works.

These are probably WAG-7s.


> * Fuel efficient diesel locos, and upgrading work (2600 hp to 3100 hp)
> to be done at Diesel Loco Works, Varanasi.

The upper limit of 18 coaches per WDM2 would be increased.


>* No mention of any new suburban projects. Rs. 30 lakh (!) allotted for
> Calcutta Circular Railway, and Rs. 165 crore for Calcutta Metro (revised
> budget estimates for the Calcutta Metro are Rs. 1340 crore).

Nothing for Bombay? Disaster is around the corner!


BTW, any news about the status of electrification projects?


Vijay

From: Pushkar Apte <apte@spdc.email

Subject: New Trains

Date: 15 Apr 1994 14:34:00 -0500


Thanks Satish, for the detailed info on the budget.
Some comments:

* FINALLY, the Bombay-Ahmedabad Shatabdi! It is worth being called a
Shatabdi, only if it covers Bombay-Ahmedabad in 5 1/2 hours or so -
I'll be looking forward to seeing the timings of this train. (Please
post if anyone sees them!) My guess is that they will set it up as a
counterpart to the Karnavati Exp., thus making it depart Bombay early
morning (6:00 or so), and start from ADI @ 15:00 or so.

* Has the extension of the Konarak Express meant the demise of the Minar
Express (as Vijay suggested)? And is the new train Superfast or not?
(Minar had been de-classified as Superfast, while Konarak was still a
superfast.)

* Does anyone know if there is any serious work going on in doubling the
Bombay-Madras line? Its ironic that the technology hubs of India
(Bombay-Pune-Bangalore) are connected by the most pathetic set of
rails and trains, even within India.

Regards,
Pushkar
-------

From: Pushkar Apte <apte@spdc.email

Subject: Request STops

Date: 15 Apr 1994 15:52:00 -0500


Dheeraj has brought up a point, which I think is one of the quaintest
traditions of IR. viz. "Request Stops". I am pretty sure this is a
relic of the Raj, when visiting "sahibs" (both white and brown) could
stop the fast trains at sidey stations just for their own convenience.
This facility is usually available to 1st class (and higher)
passengers only, and typically is restricted to the old "Mail" trains.
One other "Request stop" that I can think of, is Gotegaon on the
Itarsi-Jabalpur section for the Bombay-Howrah Mail (via ALD). I have
travelled by this train at least 4-5 times, and I observed carefully
whether it would stop at Gotegaon. All those times, the train roared
through station without stopping. Kind of a pity, because I was
curious to see who, if anybody, would actually use this facility. I
imagine that this facility will go away soon - after all its been 47 years
since the Raj!

Regards,
Pushkar
-------

From: Jishnu Mukerji <jis@summit.email

Subject: Re: AC 3-Tier Sleeper, Rajdhani Express trip etc.

Date: 18 Apr 1994 17:30:00 -0500


Excerpts from personal.IRFCA: 1-Apr-94 Re: AC 3-Tier Sleeper, Rajd..
"T.H.Sanyal."@PSUVM.EMAIL. (1273*)

> >BTW they have finally put the Howrah AC Express out of its misery by
> >withdrawing all AC service except 2 AC 2-Tier Sleepers from it and
> >renaming it Poorva Express. Its (intended) color scheme appears to be

> Could you elaborate a little about what you mean by 'misery'
> in the above? Were the AC coaches not getting enough customers?

Oh all that I meant was that here was a train named "Air-Conditioned
Express" with all of 5 AC coaches in a consist of 18 coaches. The
original AC Express when it started was mostly Air Conditioned including
a full AC Restaurant Car no less. The name had outlived its semantic
validity. I guess it was just the misery of the name not the train.

Jishnu.

Ps. Just came back from Europe. Got to ride the German ICE in Germany
from Berlin Zoologische Garten to Frankfurt/Main Hbf. An interesting
experience, a bit bumpy from Berlin to Magdeburg in what used to be East
Germany. Very smooth ride west of Braunschweig in what used to be West
Germany.

From: Jishnu Mukerji <jis@summit.email

Subject: Re: Rake composition of Howrah via Main Line Rajdhani

Date: 18 Apr 1994 17:38:00 -0500


Excerpts from personal.IRFCA: 6-Apr-94 Akhtar Jameel@cs.email. (2128*)

> Jishnu, do you know the rake arrangement of the Howrah Rajdhani via
> Main line? How many coaches does it have? Incidently, the Bangalore

The day I saw it the rake composition was the same as that of the via
Grand Chord Rajdhani except that it had one less Chair Car and it had an
AC 3 Tier Sleeper in its place.

The rake compositions of these trains are changing rapidly these days as
more and more AC 3 Tier Sleepers are brought on line replacing AC Chair
Cars.

Jishnu.

From: Akhtar Jameel <jameel@cs.email

Subject: Rajdhanis, etc.

Date: 21 Apr 1994 15:44:00 -0500


Thanks, Dheeraj, for providing the schedule of the B'neswar Rajdhani.
With the introduction of this train, the concept of complementary-halt
-Rajdhanis would be extended to the Howrah-Delhi trunk route. Asansol
would have Rajdhani service for the first time, besides obtaining a
direct connection to Cuttack and B'neswar. Note that a small quota of
3 AC Chair seats for Asansol currently exists at Dhanbad (applicable only to
the Dn. Rajdhani). Wonder whether this would persist.

The train uses the high speed electrified Howrah-Delhi section to the
maximum and manages to stay above 72 kmph. (commercial speed) despite
its unimpressive performance in the Howrah - B'neswar stretch, where its
run time is about the same as the Coromandel express. Note that the latter
has an additional 15 mt. halt at Kharagpur for change of locos.

I wonder where the Guwahati Rajdhani would branch off from the trunk
route. This could be at (1) Andal near Asansol (line going to Sainthia and then
to Rampurhat - Malda Town), (2) at Gaya (-Kiul-Bhagalpur-Malda), (3) at Mughal
Sarai (-Patna-Barauni), (4) at Kanpur, or it could proceed all the way to Howrah
and then take the Bandel-Katwa-Azimganj route. A rough calculcation tells me
that (2) and (3) would probably give the minimum run times with (1)
coming in a close second.


> There was some news item about several new trains from Bangalore,
> including one Shatabdi between Madras and Bangalore. Surprisingly,

IMHO, this Shatabdi Exp. would not offer an appreciable improvement in
run times over the Lalbagh Exp. (comm. speed of 74-75 kmph.), unless
it operates at a max. speed of 120 kmph. or above. I wonder whether the tracks
have been designed to handle such speeds.


Pushkar writes:
> One other "Request stop" that I can think of, is Gotegaon on the
> Itarsi-Jabalpur section for the Bombay-Howrah Mail (via ALD). I have

This is now a regular passenger halt. Maihar used to be a request halt
about 7-8 years back, and got upgraded as well. The Punjab Mail used
have a similar halt at Nepanagar, but this has been eliminated altogether
from the halt list.


Vijay

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <dheeraj@iitk.email

Subject: Rajdhanis.

Date: 22 Apr 1994 20:40:00 -0500


> I wonder where the Guwahati Rajdhani would branch off from the trunk
> route. This could be at (1) Andal near Asansol (line going to Sainthia
> and then to Rampurhat - Malda Town), (2) at Gaya (-Kiul-Bhagalpur-Malda),
> (3) at MughalSarai (-Patna-Barauni), (4) at Kanpur, or it could proceed
> all the way to Howrah and then take the Bandel-Katwa-Azimganj route. A
> rough calculation tells me that (2) and (3) would probably give the
> minimum run times with (1) coming in a close second.

I would suspect that the train would go via Patna, and then they
would stop diverting the current Delhi-Howrah Rajdhani via Patna.

There is a large demand for AC coaches to Assam. Right now, in
North-East Express, the AC-2T coaches are full usually 40 days in
advance. (The reservation opens only 45 days in advance.)

There was also a talk about starting non-stop train between Delhi
and Bombay. (Initially, one of the Rajdhanis on one of the days
could be made non-stop, well, no commercial stop really.) This
will presumably cut down travel time by more than an hour.

There was another newspaper report that they are considering another
Shatabdi for Punjab (where to ? they don't even have electrified
tracks or double tracks to most places. And anyway they have a
Shatabdi that stops at Chandigarh.) Last year we also heard of
another Shatabdi to Allahabad. It was to be complimentary to
Lucknow Shatabdi. It would start from ALD in morning and leave
NDLS in afternoon. It was to start from Feb 1st or Mar 1st, but
it hasn't and there was no mention in the budget either. I wonder
if they have enough AC coaches and WAP-1/3 engines to run all
these proposed Shatabdis.

-dheeraj


-dheeraj

From: S Pai <Pai>>

Subject: Private sector TTE's soon?

Date: 23 Apr 1994 14:52:00 -0500


(From a Reuters report)

LENGTH: 132 words

INDIA CONSIDERS PRIVATISING RAILWAY TICKET CHECKS

NEW DELHI, April 21

Indian railways, one of the largest rail networks in the world, is
considering handing over its massive ticket control job to private
agencies, a senior railway official said on Thursday.

Railway Board chairman M.K. Rao said the move would help cut losses
incurred by people travelling without tickets. Private agencies would
be expected to be more diligent in examining tickets, he said.

Rao told reporters officials were ''seriously thinking of handing
over ticket examination work to private agencies to increase income.''

He said maintenance of the Bombay railway station had already been
handed over to private agencies.

He said the government had several other plans to improve travel
facilities for passengers, a sizeable number of whom are low-budget
foreign tourists.

LANGUAGE: ENGLISH

TYPE: International news, analysis, profiles
LOAD-DATE-MDC: April 22, 1994

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <dheeraj@iitk.email

Subject: Re: Private sector TTE's soon?

Date: 25 Apr 1994 09:12:00 -0500


Well, they also have private guy putting up reservation charts in New
Delhi. Now, the charts are on the coaches within couple of minutes of
rake coming to the platform. There is lot of talk of contracting out
as much of the work as possible. But the problem is that by Railways'
own admission, it has 18 lakhs employees (not counting casual labour),
out of which 8 lakhs are excess. Since these employees cannot be
removed, there is no sense in contracting jobs out.

There was a recent report on future of IR. It suggested that IR
should be corporatized. There should be one holding company, and
each divisional railways, and all production units be separate
companies under the holding company, something like SAIL (??).

-dheeraj

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <dheeraj@iitk.email

Subject: Palace on wheels.

Date: 27 Apr 1994 18:39:00 -0500


IR is going to introduce "Palace on wheels" train on 8 BG circuits.
The first train will be introduced early next year and will follow
more or less the same route as the current MG "Palace on Wheels"
takes, except couple of places like Udaipur which would not have
been connected by BG till then, and they will add a couple of
places in Gujarat instead. The trains will be 21 coaches each,
out of which only 13 coaches will be passenger coaches having 8
tourists each. Other than that, there will be a generator car, bar,
restaurant, lounge, etc. Each coach will have closed circuit TV,
piped music, and some other goodies. The coaches are being built
by ICF. The MG train will then run on a shortened circuit, until
they find out what to do with those coaches.

What is new and interesting about the BG train is that IR is planning
on a global tender for managing these trains. The manager will be
responsible for advertising, selling tickets, making all arrangements
for the tourists, hire their own personnel for services on-board,
interior decoration of coaches, etc. IR only runs the train on its
tracks and charges some money for that.

In case, the response to the global tender is not so good, the state
tourism departments will be expected to provide some support.

-dheeraj

From: S. Kumar <kumar@quandsn.email

Subject: Hi!

Date: 28 Apr 1994 16:30:00 -0500


Hi, I am "rejoining" the irfca email network after a fairly long
lapse. I believe that I am one of the "founding members" of irfca,
and I still remember Vijay's (Vijay Balasubramanian) response to my
account of a trip by one of the famous "Holiday Specials" on
soc.india. I couldn't believe then that any other human being would
have the insane habit of reading railway time tables as I did. To
my pleasant surprise, a number of us did share interest in Indian
trains and we decided to form an email network. Vijay took a much
more active role and he is, in my opinion, the "founding father". In
light of this, I am glad that he found access to our network, even
though it is through a friend.

Since I have been away from the network for so long, I request the
rest of you to be indulgent, since I may be repeating news which has
already been in circulation.

MG to BG conversion: Madras Egmore to Tambaram suburban section was
being converted last October. Work has reportedly started on the
Dindigul-Tiruchi and the Tiruchi-Madras sections. When completed this
will provide some relief to the saturated Madras-Tiruchi-Madurai
section, where trains literally are run in convoys. The big hurdle
in the Tiruchi-Madras section is the two long bridges over the Kaveri
and the Kollidam rivers at Srirangam. The other major conversion
project of the Southern Railway is the Bangalore-Hubli section.
Conversion is reportedly complete upto Arsikere (from B'lore).

New lines: There is a second route between Ernakulam and Quilon
running via Alleppey (or Allapuzha) in addition to the older Kottayam
route. This second route is a little shorter and has smaller
gradients than the Kottayam route. Also, the temple town of Guruvayur
has a BG line linking it to Trichur.

Proposed conversions/new lines: Is there a proposal to extend the
Cuttack-Talcher line to Sambalpur? This will directly link interior
Orissa with the coastal region instead of having to go via
Vizianagaram in AP or via Kharagpur. Has the Varanasi-Allahabad MG
line been converted to BG?

Does the Satpura express still run between Jabalpur and Gondia? It
used to be the only NG express on Indian Railways. Does anyone know
what happened to the various "light railways" (e.g., Howrah Maidan-
Sheikpura, Dehri-on Son - Ara etc.)?

By the way, has anyone else heard of H.R.F. Keating, the creator of
mystery novels involving Inspector Ganesh Ghote of the Bombay Police?
One of the books is titled "Inspector Ghote goes by Train" (I think)
and involves him (Ghote) going to Calcutta and bringing back a
prisoner to Bombay. This amusing novel involves the Mail (via A'bad)
for the onward journey and the other Mail (via Nagpur) for the return
trip. Keating's details of the trip including the stations enroute
are fairly accurate, and I recommend it to Indian rail buffs.

That's all for now, Regards,

Kumar

From: S Pai <Pai>>

Subject: Fw: [Sanjay Kumar] Re: Some recent messages

Date: 29 Apr 1994 00:28:00 -0500


We have a new member, Mr. Sanjay Kumar <skumar%rdlv01@gmr.email. He sent me
this message just now, which I believe he intended to send to the list, so
I am forwarding it.

-Satish


------- Start of forwarded message -------

From: "Sanjay Kumar (517)885-3665 [8-265]" <SKUMAR%RDLV01@gmr.email
To: Pai
Subject: Re: Some recent messages
Date: Fri, 29 Apr 1994 00:20:04 -0500 (EST)

Thanks for the recent postings. They certainly did stir up some
fond memories.

I spent a good 7 years in Lucknow where we lived in the RDSO (Research
Design and Standards Organization of IR). I spent some time going with
my father looking at new train designs, he talked about things like
continious rail, high speed diesel engines etc.. It was all great fun.
We would walk to the level crossing and watch trains go by. The Lucknow
Kanpur commuter (2 coach train) was fun to watch in the evenings. then
there was the local train which was really 'local' - a stem engine
slowly pushing 3-4 coaches along. This was its last stop so it would go
backwards - and we just could not help be fascinated by it.

I really love trains. The experience of travelling in 3rd class to AC
1st class is so diverse and astounding. I was working for ONGC in
'83-'84 after graduating from IIT-D and it was something going from
Mehsana, gujrat to Old Delhi - packed like sardines, Cinni fans running
away in the silence of the night, delays sometimes upto 4-5 hours -
walking around on some unknown town's platform!

Well, I did not realize what an experience it was until I say this fan
club. Anyway, I'm glad to be a part of this club. If there is anyone
there from RDSO please respond to me, I'd like to see if I can locate
some old friends

Currently I'm working for EDS in Lansing, Michigan and have been in the
US for almost 10 years.

Looking forward to the irfca news digests!!

- -Sanjay

------- End of forwarded message -------

From: S Pai <Pai>>

Subject: A couple of news items

Date: 30 Apr 1994 11:28:00 -0500


1. The public-sector Indian Railway Construction Co. Ltd. (IRCON) has
signed a US $5 million contract with Malaysian Railways for the supply
and maintenance of seven MG diesel-electric locos, manufactured by
Diesel Loco Works, Varanasi, for a period of two years on a leasing
basis. Supply of the locomotives will be completed by this month.

2. There is a proposal for a joint Indo-Nepali project to construct a
broad gauge railway link from Raxaul in India to a point within Nepal.
(Point was not specified in the news report that I saw.)

Scanning some news reports of the last few weeks on the wire services
I found mention of proposed railway projects to be carried out by IR
in Sri Lanka, Iran, and Vietnam. There were no details on these that I
could find, however.

There was also one report about some US companies bidding for contracts
to modernize the Indian Railways telecom network.

-Satish

From: S. Kumar <kumar@quandsn.email

Subject: lesser known routes on IR

Date: 30 Apr 1994 17:46:00 -0500


Since one hears that a lot of activity is going on regarding track
modernization, gauge conversion, electrification, track doubling
etc., I thought that it may be appropriate to focus a little on
some little known sections on IR which probably even today are
practically untouched by the race to modernity.

My personal favorite is the Bangalore (now Yeshwanthapur) - Cuddalore
MG line, particularly the B'lore - Salem section. One wonders why
this route to Salem was created, since a BG line via Jolarpettai
exists and handles almost all the traffic from B'lore. True, the MG
section is about 30 km shorter, but to the best of my knowledge is
used only by two trains. One of these trains is the Bangalore-Nagore
Fast Passenger. Many years ago I travelled on this train when it
originated/terminated at Tiruppadipuliyur (near Cuddalore) instead of
going further to Nagore. My father and I had gone to Pondicherry and
had missed the return bus to Bangalore. We were then made aware of
this train, and since T'yur was only an hour away by bus we decided
to go for it. The ticket master at T'yur strongly suggested that we
shouldn't bother about reservation etc., since hardly anyone used the
train. It left practically empty at about 3 pm, stopping first at
Cuddalore where it left the Tiruchi-Villupuram main line.

We were now on the Cuddalore-Vriddhachalam section. Neyveli, famous
for the lignite mines and a electric power plant is on this section,
and we were surprised by the greenness as we approached the
town. Our companion in the compartment (a "regular" on the train)
told us that there is a lot of underground water which has to be
pumped out to carry out the mining operations. The farmers make good
use of the free water.

We reached Vriddhachalam Jn around 6 pm. Vriddhachalam is a fairly
busy station since it is on the Madras-Villupuram-Tiruchi chord line.
Our companion advised us to buy dinner here, since Salem (the next
"food" station) was atleast 5 hours away. It got dark by the time we
left Vriddhachalam and proceeded to Salem. There was no electricity
in the compartment, but since the compartment was practically empty
cool breeze filtered in. The train made good speed since the stations
were far apart.

Our companion suggested that both of us spread out on the benches and
go to sleep. He laughed when we asked if anybody else would get into
the train at the wayside stations. However, we were woken up at Attur
by the sounds of people getting into our compartment. They turned
out to be a couple of college students, and on seeing the three of us
in the compartment exclaimed "What! people seem to be getting to know
that this train exists!" I went back to sleep but was again woken up
after a while by the sounds of somebody chanting "Ettappur
Road....Ettappur Road.....Ettappur Road" It turned out that this
wasn't a variation of "kaapi....kaapi....kaapi" or "chai....chai-o-
garam....chai", but the station assistant trying to alert passengers
who wanted to detrain.

I went back to blissful slumber before being rudely awakened by a
public announcement speaker. This was Salem Jn, one of our few
brushes with the modern world along the route. From the comfort of
my unreserved berth, I looked across the platform at a crowded train,
with its compartments packed to full capacity. People on the
platform showed little interest in our MG train.

At dawn, we were at Hosur just east of the TN-Karnataka border. We
had reahed Hosur via Dharmapuri; Bangalore is only about 35 km by
road from Hosur. However the train route took us well north of
Bangalore to eventually enter the city from the north instead more
directly from the southeast. This more than doubled the distance to
Bangalore.

We reached Bangalore City at about 8 am. This was one of the most
pleasant and comfortable train journeys I had experienced, in an
unreserved (then) third class powerless compartment. The train
remained practically empty for the whole length of its journey!

Has anyone else travelled more recently on this section?

Kumar

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <dheeraj@iitk.email

Subject: New Shatabdi.

Date: 03 May 1994 04:47:00 -0500


There is a new Shatabdi between Bombay and Ahmedabad from may 1st.
The timings are:

6:25 Bombay Central 21:15
7:00 Borivili 20:30
7:03 20:27
9:46 Surat 17:45
9:51 17:40
11:13 Vadodra 16:17
11:18 16:10
13:05 Ahmedabad 14:35

It is daily except Friday. It has a max speed of 120 KMPH.
(I would guess it is diesel run.)

-dheeraj

From: Rangachari <anand@watson.email

Subject: Re: lesser known routes on IR

Date: 02 May 1994 07:21:00 -0500


Thanks for your excellent article Kumar. I have often seen this route
on the southern railway timetable but have always wondered who would
travel on it. Particularly in the south, the bus system being as well
developed as it is, there is in my opinion, little passenger train
traffic on most MG branch lines. The mainlines are still very busy
of course. Even though, I am a proponent of rail travel, I wonder if it
might not make sense to close some of these little used lines.

Incidentally, the southern railway timetable that I bought two months ago
on my recent trip to India, still lists the Bangalore Cuddalore line.

R. Anand
anand@watson.email

From: Akhtar Jameel <jameel@cs.email

Subject:

Date: 02 May 1994 15:11:00 -0500


Hi Folks,

First of all, let me extend a warm welcome to the two Kumars :-) .
(Sankaran) Kumar's mail certainly brings back fond memories of how
it all began. IRFCA would be completing five years in Sept.(?) since its
inception in 1989. And now, the club has acquired an international flavor with
Dheeraj providing us regular updates from India. Keep it up!


Dheeraj writes:
> There was another newspaper report that they are considering another
> Shatabdi for Punjab (where to ? they don't even have electrified
> tracks or double tracks to most places. And anyway they have a

Once Delhi - Ambala - Ludhiana gets electrified, we could expect a
Delhi - Ludhiana Shatabdi. Another political stunt, no doubt!


> another Shatabdi to Allahabad. It was to be complimentary to
> Lucknow Shatabdi. It would start from ALD in morning and leave
> NDLS in afternoon. It was to start from Feb 1st or Mar 1st, but
> it hasn't and there was no mention in the budget either. I wonder
> if they have enough AC coaches and WAP-1/3 engines to run all
> these proposed Shatabdis.

I find it hard to believe that the 24 coach(?) Prayagraj Exp. is unable
to adequately satisfy the needs of Allahabad - Delhi commuters. Plus there
are plenty of day trains: Kalka Mail, Delhi - Puri Exp., North East Exp., etc.


Satish writes:
> Indian railways, one of the largest rail networks in the world, is
> considering handing over its massive ticket control job to private
> agencies, a senior railway official said on Thursday.

If only privatization could be extended to other areas such as
introduction of new services, doubling and electrification projects,
and rake management, ..... Oh, well!


Dheeraj writes:
> IR is going to introduce "Palace on wheels" train on 8 BG circuits.

I wonder why the current MG trains are not mentioned in the regular
time-tables. Do they accept passengers only at tourist sites? How long
is the halt at one site? 1-2 days, or more? I wonder whether the BG trains
will be hauled by electric/diesel locos. with max. speeds beyond 100 kmph., or
whether the good ol' steam engines will be used to create a more traditional
setting.

BTW, is the Great Indian Rover still in existence?


Kumar writes:
> MG to BG conversion: Madras Egmore to Tambaram suburban section was
> being converted last October. Work has reportedly started on the
> Dindigul-Tiruchi and the Tiruchi-Madras sections. When completed this

This conversion would mean the end of the only (long distance) MG electrified
section in India. Those quaint YAM1s will certainly be missed! Not to
mention superfast MG trains such as the Vaigai and Pallavan Exps.


> Proposed conversions/new lines: Is there a proposal to extend the
> Cuttack-Talcher line to Sambalpur? This will directly link interior

Yes. The Talcher - Angul line is the first step in this direction. This
should be nearing completion.


Regards,

Vijay

From: manish <manish@hogpa.email

Subject: Re: New Shatabdi

Date: 04 May 1994 16:57:00 -0500


It seems to me that the timings of Shatabdis are such that
the train leaves the bigger city (Bombay, Delhi) early
in the morning and returns in the evening. Is there a
reason for doing so? Does the IR carry out some analysis
if it is beneficial in terms of revenue generation?

Manish

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