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From: Jishnu Mukerji <jis@summit.email

Subject: Question re: IR from the Transit Mailing List

Date: 04 May 1994 17:23:00 -0500


Fellow IR-nauts,

Following is a question that was asked on the Transit mailing list
sometime back. First I started writing up a response, and then I thought
it would be a nice thing to discuss here, and then I could summarize the
discussion and post it on the Transit list thus attempting to
collectively answer the question raised below.

Jishnu.
__________________________________________________________________
Excerpted from the Transit mailing list:


I've seen pictures of Indian railways that seem to back up his
observations, which leads me to one of my own, and a question that may
sound incredibly naive to some of you:

It is quite evident that India relies on its rail network to move people to
a much greater degree than many other developed or developing countries,
and the crush of people on the trains indicates that there is a serious
need to expand capacity.

Assuming (and I think it is safe to do so) that there are ways to improve
the capacity of India's rail network without spending lavishly on new,
high-tech rail transport (because the money can probably still be better
spent meeting more pressing social needs), why has this not happened yet?

-Sandy F. Smith, Jr.------sandy@mac.email smiths@pobox.email
"Exile on Market Street" in the Penn Office of News and Public Affairs
Suite 1B South, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-2615 / 898-8721
(Opinions mine, NOT Penn's. If they want 'em, they gotta pay for 'em.)

From: Pushkar Apte <apte@spdc.email

Subject: Motley crew of topics

Date: 04 May 1994 16:18:00 -0500


Nice to see the group in one its "UP" phases!

* New Shatabdi:
Having argued for this baby in these columns on many occasions - I am
naturally glad to see it. Thanks, Dheeraj for posting the time-table.
It's quite fast except for the "Bermuda 100 KM", which is what I call
the Vadodara-Ahmadabad stretch. For some reason, every train on this
stretch averages little better than 60 kmph. Witness the Shatabdi:
Borivali-Surat = 97 kmph; Surat-Vadodara = 96 kmph; Vadodara-Ahmadabad
= 62 kmph. Why a full double-line, electrified (= good signalling, I
think) stretch should have such miserable speeds is a mystery. It
seems to be running at a 120 kmph max speed between Bombay and
Vadodara to clip in a 97 kmph avg, and therefore must be hauled by a
WDM-2. (What is the max. speed of the WCAM's which run on the
Bombay-Vadodara-Ahmadabad sector?) In summary, TWO CHEERS for the new
(and first non-Delhi) Shatabdi.

* Efficiency & Rationale of Routes & Timings
(Note: Jishnu, can you provide some more background about what
"Transit Rail" is?)
I am sure that the efficiency of IR can be improved by cost-cutting
and optimization. I suspect though, that we are never going to see it
happen in our life-times, for the following reasons
- Such measures require honesty and objectivity, not particularly
noteworthy IR attributes :-).
- Socialism - is anyone going to be party to laying off tens of
thousands of workers through computerization, and then use their
compensation resources for better services, a la U.S. corporations?

Beyond these reasons, I also think there is a fundamental reason why
gains from optimization might not be as spectacular. It is true that
mechanism of starting trains, as we have discussed often here, can be
classified as knee-jerk & pork-barrel. Every two-bit politician who
can twist enough arms, can get a train started where he/she wants it.
So it would appear that efficiency could be improved vastly, if one
were to start with a blank sheet of paper and pose the whole thing as
a massive optimization problem with Locos, rolling stock, speeds etc.
as the input variables. (I have heard that folks in IIM-A and IIM-B
have dabbled in this a bit, but what their results have been, I cannot
say.) The reason *I* feel that efficiency will not be affected much,
is because of India's POPULATION! I am willing to wager that most
trains in India, regardless of the cockeyed reasons they were started
for, run packed over their capacity: we simply have too many people!
(Notable exception: Kumar's cosy little MG passenger!) If this is
true, then the optimization cannot achieve any efficiency gains in
loading, since the system is already running at a loading efficiency
>=1. The optimization will improve material (loco, bogies)
utilization, and that will be the main source of overall efficiency
improvement.

Regards,
Pushkar
-------

From: Pushkar Apte <apte@spdc.email

Subject: Erratum

Date: 04 May 1994 16:37:00 -0500


A mistake in my previous post. The new Shatabdi's average speed on
the Borivali-Surat sector is 85 kmph. I came up with 97 kmph the
first time round, because I used kms ex. BCT rather than BVI. Sorry
for the wrong data!

Regards,
Pushkar
-------

From: Akhtar Jameel <jameel@cs.email

Subject: New Shatabdi, etc.

Date: 06 May 1994 12:30:00 -0500


Thanks for the great news, Dheeraj. We finally have a non-Delhi Shatabdi,
as Pushkar so aptly put it. The fact that it starts from Bombay makes me twice
as excited. A judicious use of make-up time (including extra time due to
engineering restrictions) could have decreased the Bombay-Ahmedabad run-times
by about 15 mts., thus, giving this train a commercial speed of 76.68 kmph.
(492 kms.in 6 hrs. 25 mts.).

At present, the Shatabdi Exp. has a comm. speed of 73.8 kmph., which puts it
well below the Lucknow Shatabdi (78 kmph.). Since its max. speed is 120 kmph.,
it must be hauled by a WDM-2 all the way. WCAM1s cannot go beyond 100 kmph.

Here are the Bombay-Vadodara timings of the three most prestigious trains from
Bombay Central, for sake of comparison:

1 2 3 Dn. Up 1 2 3

6:25 16:55 17:40 Bombay Central 21:15 8:35 10:10

7:00 ... ... Borivili 20:30 ... ...
7:03 ... ... 20:27 ... ...

9:46 ... 21:07 Surat 17:45 5:21 6:25
9:51 20:03 21:12 17:40 ... 6:20

11:13 21:25 22:35 Vadodara 16:17 3:58 4:55
11:17 21:35 22:53 16:10 3:50 4:35

13:05 Ahmedabad 14:35

1. Shatabdi Exp.
2. Rajdhani Exp.
3. A.K. Rajdhani Exp.


- Why have Borivali as a halt for the Shatabdi Exp. :-( Prestigious trains such
as the Rajdhanis and Shatabdis are not supposed to halt at suburbs. e.g. the
Bhopal Shatabdi does not halt at H. Nizamuddin in contrast to most of the
other trains, and the Kalka Shatabdi does not halt at Subzi Mandi. Plus, we
already have the Karnavati Exp. stopping at Borivali.


Bombay - Surat
--------------
Let us subtract 5 mts. for the Borivali halt (includes 1 mt. each for
acceleration and decelaration).

The Dn.(Up) Shatabdi consumes 8(11) mts. more than the Dn.(Up) Rajdhani.
IMHO, the Shatadbi should have lower run-times than the Rajdhani, since
the latter is a long-distance train and would, typically, be alloted more
recovery time. This is especially true for the Up. trains where Surat-
Bombay is the last lap for the Rajdhani. This is, indeed, the case when
one compares the Lucknow Shatabdi with the Howrah Rajdhani. Both have
identical run-times from N.Delhi to Kanpur, but the Rajdhani consumes an
additional 14 mts. from Kanpur to N.Delhi which could be attributed to
extra make-up time.

The Up A.K. Rajdhani Exp. performs poorly from Surat to Bombay, a whopping
31 mts. more than the Rajdhani. Wonder why?!


Surat - Vadodara
----------------
All the three trains have comparable run-times. As far as the A.K. exp.
is concerned, I suspect that its max. speed has been increased to 120 kmph.
Maybe, its coach strength has gone up to 16-19 and a twin-diesel unit is
being used between Bombay and Vadodara (so that the load per WDM-2 is 8-10)
Can someone confirm this?


Vadodara - Ahmedabad
--------------------
The Up. train takes 1 hr. 35 mts. which is just 7 mts. less than the
1 hr. 42 mt. run-time for the Up. Karnavati Exp. It is obvious that the
Shatabdi Exp. is restricted to a max. of 100 kmph. in this section. Why
should the Dn. train be given an extra 12 mts.? As a result, it performs
WORSE than the Gandhidham Exp. (1 hr. 39 mts. run-time) and the Karnavati
Exp. (1 hr. 45 mts.). Pathetic!


Manish writes:
> It seems to me that the timings of the Shatabdi 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?

This ensures that the Shatabdi gets an overnight's rest at the "bigger"
station which, then, is responsible for maintenance of the rakes and the
loco. I believe Bandra has a shed for handling the Rajdhani/Shatabdi WDM-2s.
A similar situation exists for the Bhopal and Lucknow Shatabdis where the
WAP3/1 locos. are maintained at Ghaziabad.
In addition, the Bombay and Lucknow Shatabdis timings complement those of
the Karnavati and Gomti Exps., respectively.
An exception is the Kalka Shatadbi which gets the night's rest at Kalka.



Regarding Jishnu's mail, here are a few reasons why the possibility of a
dramatic improvement in IR standards is remote. These are similar to what
Pushkar has mentioned.

- Corrpution at all levels. e.g. introduction of new trains to cater mainly
to the whims and fancies of politicians which might inadvertantly help the
public, criminally high recovery times for most of the trains (which
are a direct consequence of inefficiency of the operating staff) resulting
in alarmingly low commercial speeds, etc.

- Population. A classic example is the Bombay suburban system. Running trains
at less than 4 mt. intervals during peak time hasn't solved the problem
of overcrowding.

- The general attitude of the public and a blatant disregard for the rules.
e.g. Chain pulling, lack of cleanliness (Bombay to Varanasi by 3-tier is a
true nightmare), ticketless travel, etc.

Privatization of key components of the IR infrastructure could alleviate
some of these problems. These would, no doubt, result in increased fares
which is the price paid for a comfortable and pleasant journey.



Regards,
Vijay

From: S Pai <Pai>>

Subject: New Shatabdi

Date: 09 May 1994 13:10:00 -0500


According to a news report I just saw, a new all A/C Shatabdi Express will
commence running on the Madras-Bangalore-Mysore route from May 11. It will
run on all days of the week except Tuesdays.

-Satish

From: S. Kumar <kumar@quandsn.email

Subject:

Date: 10 May 1994 11:25:00 -0500


Hi, I think I didn't succeed in properly sending this message before,
hence my repeat attempt. My apologies if you've already received the
message.

(1) Good old Janatas:

How many Janatas still run today? I can think of three; Firozpur-
Bombay, Saurashtra, and the Tirunelveli/Madurai-Madras Janata.
(Wonder if someone has correlated the vanishing rate of the Janatas
with the creation rate of the Shatabdis and the rate of
liberelization of the Indian economy!)

(2) "Thought" Shatabdis:

A Hyderabad-Bangalore Shatabdi via Wadi, Guntakal and Dharmavaram.
A Hyderabad-Madras Shatabdi via Nadikudi, Guntur and Nelloor.
A Bombay-Howrah Shatabdi stopping at Tatanagar, Raurkela, Durg,
Nagpur, Bhusaval and Manmad.
A Bangalore-Howrah Shatabdi stopping at Madras, Vijayawada,
Vishakapatnam and Bhubaneswar.
*A Bangalore-Bombay Shatabdi stopping at Dharmavaram, Guntakal,
Shahabad, Sholapur and Pune.
*A Madras-Bombay Shatabdi stopping at Renigunta, Cuddapah, Guntakal,
Shahabad, Sholapur and Pune.
*A Hyderabad/S'bad-Bombay Shatabdi stopping at Wadi, Sholapur and
Pune.
A H'bad/S'bad - Howrah Shatabdi stopping at Warangal, Rajahmundry
(bypass V'wada), Visakhapatnam and Cuttack (no halt at B'war).

The * Shatabdis are real fantasies considering the state of the Bby-
Mas line.

Also, a Char(minar)Hawa (Mahal) SuperFast express (MG) from Jaipur to
Kacheguda.

Thanks, Kumar

From: Jishnu Mukerji <jis@summit.email

Subject: Re: Random thoughts on Shatabdis and Rajdhanis

Date: 12 May 1994 16:43:00 -0500


A quick glace at the latest time-table suggest the following algorithm:

If the new fast limited stop train between two cities runs overnight it
is called "Rajdhani Express", and it typically carrier many Sleepers and
vanishingly few Chair Cars (as time goes along and more and more AC
3Tier Sleepers are deployed. On the other hand such fast trains that run
only during the daytime, and typically on a schedule that allows the
same rake to go out and come back in the same day (there may be a few
exceptions to the last condition) then they are called Shatabdi Express.

Excerpts from personal.IRFCA: 10-May-94 S. Kumar@quandsn.email (1398*)

> (2) "Thought" Shatabdis:

> A Hyderabad-Bangalore Shatabdi via Wadi, Guntakal and Dharmavaram.
> A Hyderabad-Madras Shatabdi via Nadikudi, Guntur and Nelloor.
> A Bombay-Howrah Shatabdi stopping at Tatanagar, Raurkela, Durg,
> Nagpur, Bhusaval and Manmad.
> A Bangalore-Howrah Shatabdi stopping at Madras, Vijayawada,
> Vishakapatnam and Bhubaneswar.
> *A Bangalore-Bombay Shatabdi stopping at Dharmavaram, Guntakal,
> Shahabad, Sholapur and Pune.
> *A Madras-Bombay Shatabdi stopping at Renigunta, Cuddapah, Guntakal,
> Shahabad, Sholapur and Pune.
> *A Hyderabad/S'bad-Bombay Shatabdi stopping at Wadi, Sholapur and
> Pune.
> A H'bad/S'bad - Howrah Shatabdi stopping at Warangal, Rajahmundry
> (bypass V'wada), Visakhapatnam and Cuttack (no halt at B'war).

Given the algorithm for train naming observed in current time-tables and
described above. It would appear that all the "Thought Shatabdis" are
actually "Thought Rajdhanis", with the exception of the first two
(maybe)..

Now then, if they were to start a 14 hour non-stop Rajdhani between New
Delhi and Calcutta or New Delhi and Bombay (Hey we are doing "Thought"
experiments right?), a rumor that has flown around off and on, and the
train is scheduled to leave its origin early in the morning and arrive
at its destination in the evening, I guess one could call those
Shatabdis. Although, if they were to do such a non-stop fast train I
don't have the foggiest idea why it would make more sense to run it
during the day rather than at night.

On the other hand, if booked speeds can be increased sufficiently and
dwell times at stops can be reduced sufficiently so as to make a 14 hour
train, say between Howrah and New Delhi possible with short stops at
Dhanbad, Mughal Sarai, Allahabad, and Kanpur, then it could make ample
sense to run that as a second train on 14 hour daytime schedule,
complementing the 14 hour nighttime schedule.

This will sort of reflect the practice that is slowly getting put in
place in Europe, where typically there is a daytime EuroCity (EC)
Express and now a complimentary night time EuroNight (EN) all sleeper
express is being added. The EC tends to stop a lot. The EN's have very
few stops on the way. Even before the introduction of EN's there have
been in existence night-time sleeper trains but often with many stops,
although there are exceptions.

Another European practice that IR seems to be slowly adopting is the
sense of a brand name for an overall service concept. For example
"Rajdhani" service has a distinct meaning that distinguishes Rajdhani
trains from all others. Similarly for "Shatabdi" - fast and all
air-conditioned (interestingly same as EuroCities to some extent,
although none of the trains in India have sit down Dining Cars anymore,
unlike the EuroCities - for a good reason I might add). Although in the
past there have been "Mail" and "Express" trains they did not typically
have distinguishing set of services (other than fewer stops) that
distinguished them from others. The Suburban EMU's have of course always
been a class of service all by themselves.

OK thats all for now.

Jishnu.

From: Vic Thomas 951-7470 <thomas@orion.email

Subject: Re: Random thoughts on Shatabdis and Rajdhanis

Date: 12 May 1994 15:53:00 -0500


Jishnu Mukerji writes
>
> A quick glace at the latest time-table suggest the following algorithm:
>
> If the new fast limited stop train between two cities runs overnight it
> is called "Rajdhani Express", and it typically carrier many Sleepers and
> vanishingly few Chair Cars (as time goes along and more and more AC
> 3Tier Sleepers are deployed. On the other hand such fast trains that run
> only during the daytime, and typically on a schedule that allows the
> same rake to go out and come back in the same day (there may be a few
> exceptions to the last condition) then they are called Shatabdi Express.
>

Hmmm...I always thought that the Rajdhani trains were so named because they
ran between the nation's capital (the rajdhani) and another city. Are there
Rajdhani expresses that don't connect N. Delhi?

I presumed Shatabdis were so named because the first of these trains were
introduced during the 100 anniversary year of IR.

< Vic

From: S Pai <Pai>>

Subject: Re: Random thoughts on Shatabdis and Rajdhanis

Date: 13 May 1994 01:37:00 -0500


>>> On Thu, 12 May 1994 16:43:17 -0400 (EDT), in a mail message
>>> "JM" == jis@summit.email (Jishnu Mukerji) wrote:

JM> (interestingly same as EuroCities to some extent, although none of the
JM> trains in India have sit down Dining Cars anymore, unlike the EuroCities -
JM> for a good reason I might add).

What is the reason? I should have thought it would be nice to have a facility
on the train where one can eat at a table rather than having to use the seats
to eat off, or else having to balance the whole meal in one's hand as one eats
it (I'm thinking of 2nd class compartments -- the 1st class ones have some
sort of a small table-like attachment near the windows, don't they?).

Is it the number of people on board and the problem of scheduling their access
to the dining car that is the problem?

JM> Although in the past there have been "Mail" and "Express" trains they did
JM> not typically have distinguishing set of services (other than fewer stops)

Was this always true for the Mail trains? My impression is that Mail trains
have over time come to have fewer and fewer stops and have been running
faster, till they have become indistinguishable from the Express trains -- but
many many years ago, didn't Mail trains have an excessively large number of
halts, in fact to deliver mail to every intermediate station and not just for
the termini? (At least I understood that was the origin of the "mail"
designation.)

Which brings up the question, how does mail reach small towns in India, if the
so-called "Mail" trains don't stop there at all? Are the local passenger
trains used for delivering mail? Or has the Dept. of Posts moved to road
transport of mail? RMS carriages seem to be attached to several of the Express
trains, but I don't recall seeing any in the rakes of local passenger trains.

-Satish

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <dheeraj@iitk.email

Subject: more news.

Date: 14 May 1994 00:38:00 -0500


This is really very old news, but I never heard of it before.
IR has started an incentive program for ticket examiners. If
they collect fines between 20,000 and 39,999, they get Rs. 1000.
For fines between 40K and 60K (-1), they get Rs. 1500, and for
amounts more than that, they get Rs. 2000. There are several
hundred examiners who collected fines of more than 20K last
year. The minimum fine for anything is 50 Rs. So an examiner
has to catch 20 people in a day, assuming a 20 day working month,
to get 1000 Rs. Not a very difficult job in suburban Bombay.

This has made ticket examiners quite strict. They would love
to fine all those people in the sleeper class who have a regular
ticket, thus the number of unreserved people is definitely less.
(Of course, it doesn't help much in a train that stops at every
other station. Since people know when do these guys would check
the ticket. They would enter the compartment, when the examiner
is gone. But still it is a positive development.)

Since I didn't get newspaper for last 4 days, I didn't come
to know of the Madras-Bangalore-Mysore Shatabdi.
The train was mentioned in the budget, but no date was given.

-dheeraj

From: Pushkar Apte <apte@spdc.email

Subject: Nature's Calls

Date: 13 May 1994 12:57:00 -0500


With all this talk of non-stop Rajdhanis and Shatabdis and what-not,
an old curiosity of mine has been rekindled. How do engine drivers
deal with nature's calls? In most locos that I've seen, there are no
toilets. It amazes me that the Rajdhani can run - for instance - from
Bomaby-Vadodara (4.5 hrs), Kota-N. Delhi (5.5 hrs, DN) or
N.Delhi-Kanpur (5 hrs) and so on, without any driver/ass. driver ever
needing to go to the bathroom. Or do WDM-2's and the new WAP's have
toilets ? If anyone can shed light on this point, I'd much appreciate
it!

Regards,
Pushkar
-------

From: Akhtar Jameel <jameel@cs.email

Subject: Thought Rajdhanis and Shatabdis

Date: 16 May 1994 11:55:00 -0500


Hi,

Any of you folks planning on a summer trip to India? I am interested in
getting hold of a few July 1994 time-tables, in particular EASTERN,
SOUTH EASTERN, NORTH EASTERN and NORTH EAST FRONTIER. Please let me if you
would be able to get one or more of the above and I'll give you the details
regarding mailing, etc. Thanks in advance!


My first long distance journey by Amtrak is about to come true. My wife and
I are planning to take the Auto Train (on May 26) from Sanford, Florida to
Lorton, Virginia, and then drive upto Boston, where I'll be working at GTE Labs.
for a month. I plan to be in New York/New Jersey around June 25 - July 4.
Maybe, we could arrange a get-together at that time.


Satish writes:
> According to a news report I just saw, a new all A/C Shatabdi Express will
> commence running on the Madras-Bangalore-Mysore route from May 11. It will
> run on all days of the week except Tuesdays.

This probably travels non-stop between Madras Central and Bangalore Cantt.
I wonder whether the tracks can currently support speeds beyond 110 kmph.


Kumar writes:
> How many Janatas still run today? I can think of three; Firozpur-
> Bombay, Saurashtra, and the Tirunelveli/Madurai-Madras Janata.

There is the Ahmedabad Janata Exp. between Bombay Central and Ahmedabad.
On the subject of Janata trains, I wonder why IR decided to replace the
names of all Jayanti Janata Exps. These are now known as the Vaishali Exp.
(N.Delhi-Barauni), Aravali Exp. (Delhi-Ahmedabad), etc.


> (2) "Thought" Shatabdis:

>> 3Tier Sleepers are deployed. On the other hand such fast trains that run
>> only during the daytime, and typically on a schedule that allows the
>> same rake to go out and come back in the same day (there may be a few
>> exceptions to the last condition) then they are called Shatabdi Express.

At present, all the Shatabdi Exps. have rakes going out and coming back
the same day. Since the Bhopal Shatabdi is a daily train and the Lucknow
Shatabdi is five-days-a-week, I have a feeling that the former "borrows"
the rake from the latter, once a week, so that both of them effectively
are on the rails, six-days-a-week.


> Given the algorithm for train naming observed in current time-tables and
> described above. It would appear that all the "Thought Shatabdis" are
> actually "Thought Rajdhanis", with the exception of the first two

>> Hmmm...I always thought that the Rajdhani trains were so named because they
>> ran between the nation's capital (the rajdhani) and another city. Are there
>> Rajdhani expresses that don't connect N. Delhi?


All Rajdhani exps. originate from N.Delhi/H.Nizamuddin. I do have a few
non-Delhi Rajdhani-type thought trains, and I call them "Bharat Exps.".
Some of these are similar to what Kumar has described.
They are:

1. Bombay V.T. - Howrah Bharat Exp., weekly
Passenger halts:- Nagpur, Tatanagar
Technical halts:- Kasara (Up. only), Igatpuri (Up. only),
Bhusaval, Bilaspur

Dep. Bombay V.T. 4:15 p.m. -> Arr. Howrah 6:50 p.m., next day
Arr. Bombay V.T. 12:15 p.m. <- Dep. Howrah 9:50 a.m., prev. day

Hauled by WDM2 between Bombay V.T. and Bhusaval
by WAP1 between Bhusaval and Howrah

Speeds
------ Booked Max.
Bombay V.T. - Kalyan 96 kmph 105 kmph.
Kalyan - Igatpuri 90 96
Igatpuri - Nagpur 100 110
Nagpur - Howrah * 110 120

* Not too unrealistic, since this section was the testbed for trial
runs in the early 70s, in which the "high-speed" train ran at a max.
speed of 120 kmph. and averaged about 94 kmph. (had a run-time of about
12 1/2 hrs. including 40 mts. for halts). I dished out this info. from
one of the old Indian Railways magazines at the New York public library.


2. Howrah - Madras Bharat Exp., weekly
Halts:- Bhubaneswar, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada.
Hauled by WDM-2 all the way.
Max. speed of 110 kmph.
25 - 25 1/5 hrs. run-time.


3. Bombay V.T. - Secunderabad Bharat Exp., weekly
No passenger halts, one technical halt at Solapur
Hauled by WDM-2 all the way
Max. speed of 110 kmph.
Approx. run-time: 12 hrs.


And then, I have the following Shatabdi Exp.:-

4. Howrah - Varanasi Shatabdi Exp., six-days-a-week.
Halts:- Dhanbad, Gaya, Mughal Sarai
Hauled by WAP-1 between Howrah and Mughal Sarai
WDM-2 between Mughal Sarai and Varanasi
Dep. Howrah 5:35 am -> Arr. Varanasi 1:10 pm
Arr. Howrah 11:15 pm <- Dep. Varanasi 1:40 pm
Max. speed of 120-130 kmph.


Regards,
Vijay

From: Jishnu Mukerji <jis@summit.email

Subject: Re: Thought Rajdhanis and Shatabdis

Date: 17 May 1994 13:59:00 -0500


Excerpts from personal.IRFCA: 16-May-94 Thought Rajdhanis and Shata..
Akhtar Jameel@cs.email. (4759*)

> 1. Bombay V.T. - Howrah Bharat Exp., weekly
> Passenger halts:- Nagpur, Tatanagar
> Technical halts:- Kasara (Up. only), Igatpuri (Up. only),
> Bhusaval, Bilaspur

> Dep. Bombay V.T. 4:15 p.m. -> Arr. Howrah 6:50 p.m., next day
> Arr. Bombay V.T. 12:15 p.m. <- Dep. Howrah 9:50 a.m., prev. day
>
> Hauled by WDM2 between Bombay V.T. and Bhusaval
> by WAP1 between Bhusaval and Howrah

If the timings are changed to:

Dep. Bombay V.T. 6:15 p.m. -> Arr. Howrah 8:50 p.m., next day
Arr. Bombay V.T. 10:15 p.m. <- Dep. Howrah 7:50 a.m., prev. day

then a single rake homed in Howrah could run a bi-weekly service.

Also politically, a train such as this will probably have halts at
places like Durg and Rourkela, if not initially at introduction - soon
thereafter because of the large influential upper middle class
population related to very large steel plants (Bhilai and Rourkela).

Excerpts from personal.IRFCA: 16-May-94 Thought Rajdhanis and Shata..
Akhtar Jameel@cs.email. (4759*)

> Nagpur - Howrah * 110 120

> * Not too unrealistic, since this section was the testbed for trial
> runs in the early 70s, in which the "high-speed" train ran at a max.
> speed of 120 kmph. and averaged about 94 kmph. (had a run-time of about
> 12 1/2 hrs. including 40 mts. for halts). I dished out this info. from
> one of the old Indian Railways magazines at the New York public
> library.

Based on what I have heard from a few acquaintances in SER even 130kmph
max is not unrealistic between Nagpur and Kharagpur, if IR wanted to run
such a train. The problem of course is interference with goods trains
(ore and coal drags on SER). Incidentally Bombay and Howrah are both
state capitals so the Rajdhani monicker might still work for this train.

Excerpts from personal.IRFCA: 16-May-94 Thought Rajdhanis and Shata..
Akhtar Jameel@cs.email. (4759*)

> 2. Howrah - Madras Bharat Exp., weekly
> Halts:- Bhubaneswar, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada.
> Hauled by WDM-2 all the way.
> Max. speed of 110 kmph.
> 25 - 25 1/5 hrs. run-time.

The track between Vishakhapatnam and Vijaywada used to be one of the
worst pieces of main line track in India as late as last year. I
travelled by Coromandal Express last year and was dismayed by the amount
of lateral motion that one had to suffer through even at 90kmph on most
of that section. Hopefully the tracks have improved wince then.

Excerpts from personal.IRFCA: 16-May-94 Thought Rajdhanis and Shata..
Akhtar Jameel@cs.email. (4759*)

> And then, I have the following Shatabdi Exp.:-

> 4. Howrah - Varanasi Shatabdi Exp., six-days-a-week.
> Halts:- Dhanbad, Gaya, Mughal Sarai
> Hauled by WAP-1 between Howrah and Mughal Sarai
> WDM-2 between Mughal Sarai and Varanasi
> Dep. Howrah 5:35 am -> Arr. Varanasi 1:10 pm
> Arr. Howrah 11:15 pm <- Dep. Varanasi 1:40 pm
> Max. speed of 120-130 kmph.

Actually, once the elctrification of Main Line is completed I would like
to see a Howrah - Patna Shatabdi.

Jishnu.

From: Jishnu Mukerji <jis@summit.email

Subject: Re: Random thoughts on Shatabdis and Rajdhanis

Date: 17 May 1994 14:20:00 -0500


Excerpts from personal.IRFCA: 13-May-94 Re: Random thoughts on Shat.. A
S Pai@CS.Email (1837*)

> >>> On Thu, 12 May 1994 16:43:17 -0400 (EDT), in a mail message
> >>> "JM" == jis@summit.email (Jishnu Mukerji) wrote:

> JM> (interestingly same as EuroCities to some extent, although none of the
> JM> trains in India have sit down Dining Cars anymore, unlike the EuroCities -
> JM> for a good reason I might add).

> What is the reason? I should have thought it would be nice to have a facility
> on the train where one can eat at a table rather than having to use the seats
> to eat off, or else having to balance the whole meal in one's hand as one eats
> it (I'm thinking of 2nd class compartments -- the 1st class ones have some
> sort of a small table-like attachment near the windows, don't they?).

> Is it the number of people on board and the problem of scheduling their access
> to the dining car that is the problem?

The short answer is yes. Even in the old days when the then new
Air-Conditioned Express (the old 81up and 82dn via Grand Chord with
stops at Asansol, Dhanbad, Gaya, MGS, ALD, CNB and Tundla) had a AC
Restaurant Car, it was very difficult to get a set in it. Eventually for
a while they created these two car set one car just for dining area and
the second for kitchen. Even then is was tough, and these were short
trains 3 or 4 Chair Cars and one AC I pulled by a WP.

Now with these behmoths of 17 to 20 car trains with 13 to 16 revenue
cars it would take an enormous amount of Restaurant Car space to
accommodate even a small fraction of all the travellers. BTW this
problem is observed even on sold out long Amtrak trains e.g. the Coast
Starlight - so much so that they are seriously talking of adding a
second Superliner Diner to the train.

Excerpts from personal.IRFCA: 13-May-94 Re: Random thoughts on Shat.. A
S Pai@CS.Email (1837*)

> JM> Although in the past there have been "Mail" and "Express" trains they did
> JM> not typically have distinguishing set of services (other than fewer stops)

> Was this always true for the Mail trains? My impression is that Mail trains
> have over time come to have fewer and fewer stops and have been running
> faster, till they have become indistinguishable from the Express trains -- but
> many many years ago, didn't Mail trains have an excessively large number of
> halts, in fact to deliver mail to every intermediate station and not just for
> the termini?

Before the advent of the likes of AC Express, the Mail train used to be
the fastest and highest priority train on the route, mainly because they
carried mail. In folklore trains like Bombay Mail, Punjab Mail, Frontier
Mail and Kalka Mail were the fast trains of those days. Of course the
best of them was the Imperial Mail which ran from Howrah to Bombay to
connect directly with boats sailing for England and vice versa. To keep
this train moving fast, at each watering stop the engine was replaced by
a new watered and coaled engine, rather than wait around for the tender
to be filled from a watering spout. My Grandfather used to work as a
Permanent Way Inspector on the Bengal Nagpur Railway (now SER), and I
have heard smy Father describe how my Grandfather used described this
operation to him. This was an incredibly high priority operation.
Nothing like it exists today in the more egalitarian society.

Some Mail trains used to pick up and drop off mail bags on the fly at
small stops so they could just speed by and stop only at large stations.
On other routes slower local Parcels Expresses used to pickup and drop
off mail at small stations and transfer through mail to the Mail train
at the next big stop.

Mail was sorted in the RMS vans as the train speeded along dropping off
and picking up mail on the way. Mail trains carried what would today be
called First Class mail only. Parcels were carried by slower Parcels
Expresses that stopped everywhere to pick up and drop off stuff. Now all
sorts of trains carry all sorts of mail and parcels. Even Rajdhani
Expresses carry perishable goods and electronic/computer equipment and
such.

Jishnu.

From: Jishnu Mukerji <jis@summit.email

Subject: Re: Random thoughts on Shatabdis and Rajdhanis

Date: 17 May 1994 14:26:00 -0500


Excerpts from personal.IRFCA: 12-May-94 Re: Random thoughts on Shat..
Vic Thomas@orion.email (953*)

> Hmmm...I always thought that the Rajdhani trains were so named because they
> ran between the nation's capital (the rajdhani) and another city. Are there
> Rajdhani expresses that don't connect N. Delhi?

Well, in spirit no, but technically yes. The Madras, Bangalore and the
August Kranti Rajdhani Express terminate at Nizamuddin:-) I suppose the
highest priority is to connect New Delhi with as many state capitals as
possible as soon as possible. The name Rajdhani of course owes its
origin to the fact that the original Rajdhani Express connected the
earstwhile Capital of India to the present Capital of India.

Excerpts from personal.IRFCA: 12-May-94 Re: Random thoughts on Shat..
Vic Thomas@orion.email (953*)

> I presumed Shatabdis were so named because the first of these trains were
> introduced during the 100 anniversary year of IR.

That is correct. Since then almost all very fast day time single day
round trip all airconditioned trains that have been introduced have been
called Shatabdi Express.

Jishnu.

From: Jishnu Mukerji <jis@summit.email

Subject: Re: Motley crew of topics

Date: 17 May 1994 14:30:00 -0500


Excerpts from personal.IRFCA: 4-May-94 Motley crew of topics Pushkar
Apte@spdc.email (2885*)

> (Note: Jishnu, can you provide some more background about what
> "Transit Rail" is?)

Transit is a very active BITNET mailing list that discusses urban
transit related issues. the address of the mailing list is
TRANSIT%GITVM1.BITNET@uga.email.

Jishnu.

From: S Pai <Pai>>

Subject: loco deal problem?

Date: 17 May 1994 22:19:00 -0500


I heard that the Comptroller & Auditor General's office has come out strongly
against the locomotive deal signed between IR and the Swedish company (ABB).
What's happening there, does anyone know? Is it some financial mismanagement
problem? I suppose an adverse audit or report by the CAG can result in a
cancellation of the deal. What would this mean in real terms to IR?

-Satish

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <dheeraj@iitk.email

Subject: Re: Thought Rajdhanis and Shatabdis

Date: 19 May 1994 01:04:00 -0500


> There is the Ahmedabad Janata Exp. between Bombay Central and Ahmedabad.
> On the subject of Janata trains, I wonder why IR decided to replace the
> names of all Jayanti Janata Exps. These are now known as the Vaishali Exp.
> (N.Delhi-Barauni), Aravali Exp. (Delhi-Ahmedabad), etc.

I believe that Janata Expresses were so-called because they were
supposed to be exclusively for masses ("janata"). They only had
2nd class. But soon there were demand for higher classes on these
trains (after all, there was no other fast train on the route that
Aravali Express took, for example), and IR succumbed to it. They
added first class coach to Delhi-Ahemdabad Janata, and since it
was no longer for "janata," they changed its name to Aravali Express.
I guess similar thing has happened to other Janatas as well.


> 4. Howrah - Varanasi Shatabdi Exp., six-days-a-week.
> Halts:- Dhanbad, Gaya, Mughal Sarai
> Hauled by WAP-1 between Howrah and Mughal Sarai
> WDM-2 between Mughal Sarai and Varanasi
> Dep. Howrah 5:35 am -> Arr. Varanasi 1:10 pm
> Arr. Howrah 11:15 pm <- Dep. Varanasi 1:40 pm
> Max. speed of 120-130 kmph.

How could it be that Vijay describes his thought trains and there is
no train connecting Varanasi, even if the train has to
reach Howrah at an ungodly hour of 11:15 PM. :-)

-dheeraj

From: C.S. Sudarshana Bhat <ceindian@utacnvx.email

Subject: This and that

Date: 22 May 1994 01:14:00 -0500


This is my first mail on irfca in _ages_. So, I had better say "Hello" to
everyone - several dudes seem to have left in the last month or so. Not
many have joined :-(.

Anyway, I just wanted to say a few things.

The last I heard (in this forum, of course!) from Ajai, he was in Vancouver.
This is reply to Dheeraj's query.

Kumar's thought train from Bombay to Howrah (Shatabdi) sounds so like the
Geetanjali when it was first inaugurated that I got to wonder if this IR
thing is gonna become like a "Back to the Future" episode!!

Someone wrote about Mail trains being speeded up now to match the Express
train speeds. The implication I got was that Mail trains are actually
slower than Express trains (or at least that they had been, until recently).
My point is that the only Mail trains which I've ever been familiar with -
the Howrah Madras and the Madras Mangalore - used to be comparable to, or
even faster than, the next Express train (of course, this was before the
era of the Coromandels and such trains). Trivia question: Could someone
help me draw the evolutionary picture of the Hyderabad Howrah train (does it
still exist?) which - along the way - had the name East Coast Express?
Thanks! :-)

These New York/New Jersey/New ... get-togethers are getting monotonous. You
guys oughta visit the Lone Star state sometime. But then, over here, guys
are too busy. :-( :-( Pushkar has not called me _once_ in _ages_ - OK, I
am complaining. I quit!! :-)

Hey Vicraj! I wonder how you missed a fantabulous pun which Jishnu posted the
other day. I quote, for your benefit (and to the others' misery ;) -

"I travelled by Coromandel Express last year and was dismayed by the amount of
lateral motion that one had to suffer through even at 90kmph on most of that
section. Hopefully the tracks have improved wince then."

Ciao.
Sudarshana (Porky!).

PS: Satish (or whoever is maintaining this list!), could you please change
my email address from b536hind@utarlvm1.email to this one
(ceindian@utacnvx.email please? THANKS!

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <dheeraj@iitk.email

Subject: Another new train.

Date: 24 May 1994 20:19:00 -0500


Sadbhavna Express between Sultanpur and Delhi, via Ghaziabad, Moradabad,
Chandausi, Shahjahanpur, Hardoi, Lucknow, Nihalgarh (Jagdishpur).

4008 DN (Wed, Fri)
Delhi dep. 16:45
Sultanpur arr. 05:50

4007 UP (Thu, Sat)
Sultanpur dep. 14:50
Delhi arr. 04:50

-dheeraj

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