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

Subject: Re: thought trains

Date: 23 Oct 1989 15:44:00 -0500


Hi folks,
Read both Dheeraj's comments on mass transit and Vijay's thought trains.
I wish to comment on Vijay's thought trains.

1) Bombay-Madras Mahasagar Express: Looks fine to me. Howewver I don't
know if the Renigunta halt is necessary. Unless of course there is a
big rush to go to Tirupati. Renigunta is less than 2 hrs. from Madras
and I don't see the point in stopping the train there.No halt at
Dadar? This going to be difficult to sustain.Talking of colors,
the Coromandel used to be orange and yellow and not blue and white.

2) Bombay-Bangalore Lalbagh Express: Looks fine.

3) Bombay-Trivandrum Vivekananda Express: Why not run this train on
the Guntakal-Bangalore-Jolarpettai route? Isn't it shorter than going
via Renigunta? One could combine the Lalbagh with the Vivekananda 5
times a week. The Lalbagh could run twice a week. The Mahasagar could
run daily. Also I would be inclined to stop the train at Salem instead
of Erode. Salem is the size of Tiruchi and Erode is much smaller. Of
course, Erode connects to Tiruchi and Madurai but I still think the
train should stop at Salem rather than Erode. Another contender for
a halt is Olavakkot (Palghat), a fairly good-sized small city.
Remember that there are a number of Palghat-ites in Bombay. Maybe
one could stop at Palghat and skip Quilon depending on which city is
larger.

4) Bombay-Bangalore/Mysore Konkan Express: Why not run it to Mangalore
instead of Bangalore? The Mysore part is fine. There is BG connection
from Bombay to Bangalore. Of course this provides a fast connection
from northwest Karnataka to Bangalore. This may be good enough reason
to run the train to Bangalore. What about a halt at Belgaum?

5) Bombay-Puri Orissa Express: How does the route length compare with
that of the Bombay-Secunderabad-Vijayawada-Puri route?

6) Bombay-Kalka Himnagar Express:This can be confused with the
Jammu Tawi-Howrah Himsagar express in Punjab/Haryana.

7) Bombay-Nagpur Orange Express: I would like halts at Manmad and Wardha

Bye for now, Kumar

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

Subject: erratum

Date: 23 Oct 1989 19:53:00 -0500


Hi folks,
I meant the Howrah-Jammu Tawi Himagiri express when I wrote about
the Himsagar express in response to Vijay's Himnagar express.
Too many Him's eh?
Kumar

From: aravind <aravind@vax135.email

Subject: rail corridors

Date: 24 Oct 1989 12:38:00 -0500


When I was thinking about my thought train from Madurai to points in
Gujurat, it occurred to me that there were very few trains that connected
TN with Gujarat/Rajasthan. The only example that I can recall is
the train from Madras to Ahmedabad - which was only a bi-weekly train
in the early 80s.

The corridor from the south to the west through Daund/Manmad/Bhusaval (almost)/Surat is quite inefficient - it goes miles out of the way.
A much better route IMHO is to go via Kalyan and then to WR if such a link
has been laid. (there was a dotted line to indicate the construction
of some such line in the timetables of yore).

Is this link in place by now? Is it being used as a direct CR-WR link
that bypasses Bombay? Does anyone know? Can the same engines run
on both CR and WR (compatible electrification?)

A major priority IMHO is the doubling of the entire Bombay-Madras
route. The speed of the trains on this route is quite pathetic
compared to that of the TN express, say. What is the status of
this route today? Remember that it also serves Bangalore now.

I have some more questions on the corridors into Assam, but I'll save them for
later.

-Aravind

From: Vijay Balasubramanian <vbs@plumpy.email

Subject: Thought trains!

Date: 24 Oct 1989 14:39:00 -0500


Hi Facirs!

Here is my response to Kumar's interesting observations about my thought
trains:

> 1) Bombay-Madras Mahasagar Express: Looks fine to me. Howewver I don't
> know if the Renigunta halt is necessary. Unless of course there is a
> big rush to go to Tirupati. Renigunta is less than 2 hrs. from Madras
> and I don't see the point in stopping the train there.

Renigunta wasn't in the halt list before. I am making the Mahasagar stop
there for a mere 2 mts now (implies minimal quota). This train cuts down the
down the Renigunta - Bombay traveling time by about 5 hrs. when compared to
the Dadar Madras Exp. Moreover, the slowing down of the Mahasagar in the
Guntakal Madras section (along with other trains in that
route and all over India) by nearly an hour results in a 7 1/2 hrs. traveling
time between the above stations. Hence, the Renigunta halt provides some
sort of a "mini-break".


> No halt at
> Dadar? This going to be difficult to sustain.Talking of colors,
> the Coromandel used to be orange and yellow and not blue and white.

I agree with you. I just wanted some trains towards Bombay V.T. ignoring Dadar.
The train reaches Bombay V.T. around 2.00 p.m., well outside the office-rush-
peak-traffic zone. Hence, commuters could comfortably use the suburban train
facilities to reach their final destination.
Also, would a mere 3-5 halt at Dadar be sufficient to motivate people to
disembark at this station? Maybe so.

About the color, I just meant the similarly in the ARRANGEMENT, not the actual
color. Sorry for this confusion. In other words, the portion of the Mahasagar
coaches above the windows will be white, and the rest will be blue. There will
be white/blue stripes encasing the windows.


> 3) Bombay-Trivandrum Vivekananda Express: Why not run this train on
> the Guntakal-Bangalore-Jolarpettai route? Isn't it shorter than going
> via Renigunta?

Guntakal to Jolarpettai via Krishnarajapuram is about 450 kms., whereas the
one via Renigunta is around 515 kms (about 65 kms. more). However, the entire
stretch via K_puram is single line (except for the 30 odd km. Kuppam Jollarpetai
track) whereas the Renigunta to Jollarpettai is double line. In addition,
traffic on the Gooty - Renigunta single line is somehwhat less as compared to
the former. Hence, the Vivekananda Exp. covers this portion of its run in
around 7 1/2 hrs. (about 45 mts. less than the existant Bombay/Dadar -
Mangalore/Cochin Exp. which goes via K_puram)


> One could combine the Lalbagh with the Vivekananda 5
> times a week. The Lalbagh could run twice a week. The Mahasagar could
> run daily.

Current Madras to Bombay traffic seems to indicate that the five-days-a-week
Mahasagar Exp. should suffice. Running superfast trains on a single line is
bound to dislocate traffic to some extent; hence, increasing the frequency
will take time.


> Also I would be inclined to stop the train at Salem instead
> of Erode. Salem is the size of Tiruchi and Erode is much smaller. Of

You might be surprised to learn that the Bombay/Dadar - Cochin/Mangalore
Netravati Exp. does not stop at Salem but has a 10 mt. halt at Erode.
Maybe Erode is given more importance than Salem, due to its strategic location.
Most of the trains have a 10 -15 mt. halt at Erode, as compared to the 5 mts.
at Salem. I am making the Vivekananda Exp. stop for 6 mts. at Erode.


> a halt is Olavakkot (Palghat), a fairly good-sized small city.

One portion of the Vivekananda Exp., which separates at Coimbatore,
stops at Palghat.
The Combatore - Mangalore Link Exp. halts at Palghat, Shoranur, Calicut
and Cannore. The Coimbatore - Cochin Link Exp. halts at Palghat, Trichur
and Ernakulam.


> Konkan Exp.: ...from Bombay to Bangalore. Of course this provides a fast
> connection
> from northwest Karnataka to Bangalore. This may be good enough reason
> to run the train to Bangalore. What about a halt at Belgaum?

It is indeed so. Also, Bombay Mangalore is now well connected. The tri-weekly
Bombay Mangalore/Cochin Netravati exp., the bi-weekly Dadar-Cochin/Mangalore Exp
(they share the same schedule), the daily Mahalakshmi Exp. and my weekly
(Bombay -) Coimbatore - Mangalore link exp.

I forgot to mention Belgaum, a careless mistake. This has been in the halt
list right from the moment of "introduction".


> 5) Bombay-Puri Orissa Express: How does the route length compare with
> that of the Bombay-Secunderabad-Vijayawada-Puri route?

The former is about 2300 kms. whereas the latter is about 1950 kms. However,
some coaches in the Minar/Konark Exp. provide direct sevice between
Bombay and Bhubaneswar via Secnderabad-Vijayawada. Hence, I decided to run the
Orissa Exp. as discussed earlier. A single line does its dirty job again:-
The Minar/Konark trip takes about 11 hrs. My Orissa Exp. takes about 13 hrs.
The time difference is less than expected for a hefty 350 km difference,
because of the single line Daund-Secunderabad stretch.

The Minar exp. adds on two coaches at Pune for Bhubaneswar, and hence spends
25 mts. at this station; how I hate that. My Minar Exp. stops for 15 mts. at
Pune with no coach addition. The train has increased coaches from Bombay
itself which go till Vishakhapatnam/Bhubaneswar.
I have also speeded up this train, and removed the Tandur and Begumpet halts.
I have extended the daily Howrah-Hyderabad East Coast Exp. to run till Pune
twice a week. All in my fantasy, of course.


> 6) Bombay-Kalka Himnagar Express:This can be confused with the
^^^^^^^^
Himnagri

> Jammu Tawi-Howrah Himsagar express in Punjab/Haryana.
^^^^^^^^
Himagiri (as corrected)

True. But these trains have a lone common halt:-Ambala Cant.
Himnagri:-The Snow Town, seems an appropriate name. Any other suggestions as to
the name?


> 7) Bombay-Nagpur Orange Express: I would like halts at Manmad and Wardha

The daily Kolhapur Nagpur Maharashtra Exp. passes thru Manmad but not via Nasik.
Hence, the choice of Nasik Rd. as a halt.
This train encounters the Bombay Bhusaval section in the night (dep. Bombay
around 11.00 p.m., arr. Bhusaval around 6.00 a.m.; somthing similar in the other
direction). Hence, Nasik Rd. wasn't in the initial halt list and the train had
no stops between Bombay and Bhusaval. Now, it stops at Nasik for 2-3 mts.

There is a fast four-days-a-week Vidarbha Exp. between Bombay and Nagpur
which stops at Wardha (overnight journey), + the daily Bombay-Nagpur
Sewagram Exp. (overnight journey, again). In addition, my bi-weekly Orissa
Exp. stops at Wardha (a day journey here). My modification to the Vidarbha
Exp. is to extend it till Durg beyond Nagpur, thus having a fast Bombay-Durg
train.


I'll be back later, with my dose of comments about Kumar's/Aravind's thought
trains.

Regards,

Vijay

From: Vijay Balasubramanian <vbs@plumpy.email

Subject: Unfinished business!

Date: 24 Oct 1989 18:30:00 -0500


Hi Folks,

This sort-of finishing my list of thought trains (phew!):

1. Muzaffarpur - Bangalore Exp.:- non-superfast, but reasonably low-halt train
shares rakes with Madras-Patna Exp.
similar schedule as M-P Exp. in the Allahabad-Kazipet stretch
weekly
2 AC, 1 & 2
Route:- Muzaffarpur-Barauni-Patna-Mughal Sarai-Varanasi-
Allahabad-Jabalpur-Itarsi-Nagpur-Kazipet-Secunderabad-
Wadi Chord-Raichur-Guntakal-Dharmavaram-Bangalore City

2. Muzaffarpur - Trivandrum Exp.:- shares rakes with above train (+ M-P exp.)
similar schedule as above (+M-P exp.)
weekly
Route:-Muzaffarpur-.........-Nagpur-Warangal-Vijayawada-Madras
Central-Coimbatore-Ernakulam Town-Trivandrum Central


NOTE:- My version of the jaded Madras Varanasi Exp. is the restored Ganga Kaveri
Exp. This is a superfast exp. with Green and Yellow Color
coaches. It leaves Varanasi/Madras in the morning to reach its destination
in the evening. It runs thrice a week. It connects the MAS-Rameswaram at
Madras Beach on two days (direct serive till Rameswaram as before); on the
other day it terminates at Madras Central. Also, the irritating halts at
Katni, Pipariya, Betul and Sirpur Kagaz Nagar are removed (these were not a part
of the original G.K. exp., anyway)

Now, that there is a tri-weekly Varanasi-Tirupati Exp., it makes sense to
remove the above halts. And there is the Patna-Madras Exp., and my
M'pur - Bangalore/Trivandrum Exps.


3. Tinsukia Exp.:- Bombay V.T. - Guwahati - Tinsukia
bi-weekly
1 AC, 1 & 2
non-superfast, low-medium halt train, but fully vestibuled and
has pantry service
Route:- Bombay-Bhusaval-Katni-Singrauli-Chopan-Garwa Rd.-Barkakana-
Gomoh-Asansol-Bardhhaman-Bolpur-Malda Town-New Jalpaiguri-
Guwahati -Lumbding-Mariani-Tinsukia
Color:- White and Blue (original Deccan Queen color)


4. Howrah Firozpur Exp.:- bi-weekly
1 & 2
somewhat slower than Hwh Kalka/Bombay Mails
Route:- Hwh-Dhanbad-Mughal Sarai-Varanasi-Allahabad-Kanpur Cantral
-Delhi-Rohtak-Bhatinda-Firozpur


I am currently working on a weekly fast Ahmedabad-Patna Exp. (via Vadodara-
Ratlam-Kota-Bayana-Tundla-Kanpur Central-Allahabad-Varanasi-Mughal Sarai),

a weekly superfast Pune Guwahati Exp. (via Manmad-Bhusaval-Nagpur-Bilaspur-
Tatanagar-Howrah-Katwa-Malda Town-New Jalpaiguri, more or less same schedule as
the earlier discussed B'by Guwahati Exp. via Nagpur but with more halts),

a weekly superfast Secunderabad Guwahati Exp. (via Kazipet-Balharshah-Wardha
East-Nagpur-.........-New Jalpaiguri),

a tri-weekly Dadar Tirupati Exp. (somwhat slower than the Dadar Madras Exp.),

a tri-weekly superfast Rajkot Exp. (Bombay Central - Rajkot, shares schedule
and rakes with the earlier discussed Anushakti Exp.),

a tri-weekly fast Kalka-Ranchi Exp. (via Ambala Cant -New Delhi- Kanpur Cental -
Lucknow-Faizabad-Varanasi-(bypasses Mughal sarai)-Chunar-Chopan-Garwa Rd.-
Barkakana)

among others.


Besides these thought trains, I also spend considerable time modififying the
existing time-tables. This includes re-routing existing trains, speeding them/
slowing them down, eliminating/introducing halts, besides others. A complete
description would drive you crazy. Hence, I choose to mention an almost
negligible subset of these:

1. Upgrading the Ganga Kaveri Exp., the Bombay Rajdhani Exp., the Gitanjali
Exp. (this should be a daily train) as mentioned before

2. Upgrading the Jammu Tawi Exp. (Bombay Central Jammu Tawi superfast)
(i) Eliminate the recently introduced stupid halts: Borivali, Godhra, Nagda,
Mathura
(ii) Increase coach capcaity to 21 coaches; hauled by single WCAM locomotive
from Bombay to Vadodara (or Valsad instead?), thereafter, by a twin
diesel unit. Hence, train speeded up by nearly 4 1/2 hrs.
(iii) Restore its original color (Blue, Green and Yellow)


3. Rerouting and upgrading the superfast Saryu Yamuna Exp. (New Delhi
- Varanasi)
(i) Goes via Allahabad. Only two halts-> Kanpur Central and Allahabad
(ii) It is a day train (takes about 10 1/2 hrs). 1 AC, AC Chair Car, 1 & 2
(iii) Shares rakes with the earlier described Kailash Exp.
(iv) Takes < 1 hr. more than the Rajdhani between New Delhi and
Allahabad. Is faster than all trains in its route except Shatabdi,
Rajdhani and (my) Brahmaputra


4. Extending the Tata Patna Exp. tri-weekly to Kalka

Route (after Patna):- Buxar-M. Sarai-Varanasi-Faizabad-Lucknow-Moradabad-
Saharanpur-Ambala Cant-Kalka


5. Having two trains instead of the single Magadh Exp. (New Delhi - Patna)
Bi-weekly Magadh Exp. goes via Varanasi
On the other five days, Sonbhadra Exp. goes on the Mirzapur route


6. Upgrading the Himagiri Exp.
(i) Speeding it up by nearly 3 1/2 - 4 hrs.
(ii) Removing Jasidih from the halt list


7. Upgrading most of the mail trains and superfast exps. from Bombay (since I
have introduced back-up trains)


and so on.....



I am sorry if I have bored you excessively. I guess I got carried away.


Regards,

Vijay

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

Subject: My thought trains (oh no!!)

Date: 24 Oct 1989 18:04:00 -0500


Hi folks,
Vijay's thought trains has stimulated my desire to post some of my
creations. Today I am going to concentrate on the Eastern Rly. with
some incursions to NE, NF and SE Rlys.

My journey into fantasy begins.

1) Mughal Sarai - Asansol "Main Line" Express:
Purpose: To provide a reasonably fast daytime train for short and
medium-distance passengers.Will relieve load on the Udayan Abha
Toofan Express.
Classification: Moderately fast overall, fast between stations,
fairly frequent stops, short stop duration at stations.
Classes: 1 & 2; 2 is completely unreserved.
Speed and duration of journey: Max speed 100 kph, dep 6.00 am,
arr. 6.00 pm.(both ways) Daily.
Rake description: 14-16 coach, regular color, diesel hauled.
Halts: Dildarnagar, Buxar, Dumraon, Arrah, Koelwar, Danapur,
Patna Jn., Patna Saheb, Fatwa, Bakhtiyarpur, Mokameh,
Luckeesarai, Kiul, Jhajha, Jasidih, Madhupur, Chittaranjan,
Sitarampur.

2) Mughal Sarai - Asansol "Grand Chord" Express:
Purpose: To provide a reasonably fast daytime service for short and
medium distance passengers.
Classification: Same as for the sister "Main Line" Express.
Classes: 1 & 2; 2 completely unreserved.
Speed and duration of journey: Max. speed 110 kph, dep 7.00 am, arr
4.30 pm (both ways) Daily.
Rake description: 14-16 coach, regular color, electric hauled.
Halts: Sasaram, Dehri-on-Sone, Sonnagar, Anugrahanarayan Rd., Gaya,
Hazaribagh Rd., Parasnath, Kodarma, Gomoh, Dhanbad, Sitarampur.

3) Danapur-Burddhaman Express:
Purpose: To provide a moderately fast daytime service for short and
medium distance passengers.
Classification: Same as for "Main Line" Express.
Classes: 1 & 2; 2 completely unreserved.
Speed and duration of journey: Max. speed 90-100 kph, dep 8.00 am,
arr 8.00 pm (both ways) Daily.
Rake description: 14-16 coach, regular color, diesel/steam hauled.
Halts: Patna Jn., Patna Saheb, Fatwa, Bakhtiyarpur, Mokamah, Luckee-
-sarai, Kiul, Jamalpur, Bhagalpur, Sahibganj,Baharwa, Farakka,
Bolpur. (More halts to be added)

4) Muzaffarpur - Dhanbad/Ranchi-Hatia Express:
Purpose: To augment existing links between North and South Bihar.
Daytime train with some portion of the journey being done after
nightfall and before sunrise in the other direction.
Classification: Moderately fast, frequent stops, fairly high speed
between stations.
Classes: 1 & 2; 2 completely unreserved.
Speed and duration of journey: Max. speed 90-100 kph except on
grand chord where it is 110 kph. dep 7.00 am, arrDhanbad 8.00 pm,
arr Hatia 12 midnight. dep Hatia 5.30 am, dep Dhanbad 8.20 am,
arr M'pur 10.00 pm.Train splits at Gomoh. 4 coaches bound for
Dhanbad added on to the Bokaro-Haldia Fast passr. (another of
my fantasies). In the northbound direction, the 4 Dhanbad coaches
are brought to Gomoh by the Grand Chord Express. 1/3 of a Dhanbad
coach is 1 class, the rest are 2.
Rake description: 16 coaches, regular color, steam/diesel & electric.
Halts: Samastipur, Barauni, Luckeesarai, Kiul, Gaya, Hazaribagh Rd.
Parasnath, Kodarma, Gomoh, (Dhanbad), Bokaro Steel City, Muri, Ranchi
(More halts to be added).

5) Muzaffarpur-Tatanagar "Shan-e-Bihar" Express:
Purpose: To provide fast service between N. and S. Bihar via Patna
the capital.
Classification: Superfast. Few halts.
Classes of service: A/C 1 (1/2 coach), A/C chair(3 1/2 coaches), 2.
Fully reserved with the 2 class becoming the 2-R class.
Speed and duration: Max. speed 100-110 kph(100 on the M'pur-Barauni
Patna-Gaya and the Gomoh-Tata sections). dep 8.00 am, arr8.00 pm.
3 Days a week; M,W, F southbound and T, Th, Sat. northbound.
Rake description: 16 coaches; green and black denoting the fertility
of N.Bihar and the mineral (coal etc.) wealth of S.Bihar; diesel and
electric hauled.
Halts: Samastipur, Barauni, Patna Jn., Gaya, Hazaribagh Rd., Kodarma,
Gomoh, Bokaro Steel City.

6) Patna-Howrah "Pataliputra" Express:
Purpose: To provide superfast service between the state capitals.
Classification: Prestigious superfast train.
Classes of service: A/C 1 (1/2 coach), A/C chair (6 1/2 coaches), 2.
2 will eventually be 2-R. Fully reserved.
Speed and duration: 110-120 kph, dep Patna 8.00 am, arr Howrah 3.00
pm. dep Howrah 1.00 pm, arr Patna 8.00 pm. No service Monday.
Rake description: Saffron and white with Asoka lions painted on the
coaches; 16 coaches, Diesel & Electric hauled.
Halts: Asansol, Durgapur (odd days only), Burddhaman (even days
only). Durgapur to Howrah fare payable for Howrah-Burddhaman passrs.

Criticism will be welcomed; sorry to have bored you to death.
Kumar

From: aravind <aravind@vax135.email

Subject: Vijay's trains

Date: 24 Oct 1989 21:54:00 -0500


I am unable to respond intelligently to Vijay's thought trains due to
the lack of a recent timetable. One observation is that they generally
serve metropolitan areas (the first list of trains all terminated at Bby).

I repeat the question I asked in an earlier posting: What are the "fun"-
sounding trains like today - ie are there more of the Cochin-Gorakhpur
type freaks? Why not come up with more such fantasies? Particularly
between the south and Gujarat????

-Aravind

From: Vijay Balasubramanian <vbs@plumpy.email

Subject: TN-Gujarat Trains

Date: 24 Oct 1989 21:07:00 -0500


Hi Folks,

Here are some quick responses to Aravind's mail. I have to study Kumar's
thought trains more closely before passing on my comments; it'll take some
time. And that is going to be a looooooong message!

> When I was thinking about my thought train from Madurai to points in
> Gujurat, it occurred to me that there were very few trains that connected
> TN with Gujarat/Rajasthan. The only example that I can recall is
> the train from Madras to Ahmedabad - which was only a bi-weekly train
> in the early 80s.

The Madras - Ahmedabad Navjeevan Exp. has been re-routed to go via Vijayawada-
Kazipet-Wardha-Akola-Bhusaval. This saves about 1 1/2 - 2 hrs. It runs four
days a week.

The weekly Rajkot Trivandrum Exp. (recently extended from Ahmedabad), and
the weekly Ahmedabad Cochin Exp. follow the original Navjeevan route. They
leave the Bombay - Madras main line at Gooty and proceed on to Jollarpettai
via Krishnarajapuram (a recent re-routing causes them to bypass Bangalore City
instead of reversing directions there).

The weekly Rajkot Secunderabad Exp. also shares a major portion of its
route with the above trains.

And there is the recently introduced weekly Cochin Indore Ahilyanagri Exp.
(via Madras) which shares its schedule with the Cochin Gorakhpur Exp. The third
train to share schedules is the bi-weekly Cochin Bilaspur Exp.

My fantasy is to make the Ahilyanagri Exp. biweekly and have a portion of it
go till Kota from Ujjain, thus, providing a direct link between Rajasthan and
TN/Kerala.


> The corridor from the south to the west through Daund/Manmad/Bhusaval
> /Surat is quite inefficient - it goes miles out of the way.
> A much better route IMHO is to go via Kalyan and then to WR if such a link
> has been laid. (there was a dotted line to indicate the construction
> of some such line in the timetables of yore).

You are quite right. However, the Kalyan to Borivali(?) construction is
not yet complete, as far as I know.
The same engines (WCM-1) can run on both the DC sections of
CR and WR. In fact, a single WCAM (AC-DC) can run from Pune right upto
Ahmedabad.

To add credibility to your conjecture, I have fantasized a second
Navjeevan Exp. as running via Bombay Central twice a week (the other Navjeevan
Exp. via Wardha would now run twice a week).
This saves nearly 2 HRS. between Surat and Daund.
This train would be very similar to the original bi-weekly Navjeevan Exp. except
for the Surat-Daund stretch.
The route is Ahmedabad-Vadodara-Surat-Valsad-Borivali-Bombay Central-Lonavla-
Pune-Daund-Wadi-Guntakal-Madras Central. The train would be hauled by a WCAM
locomotive between Ahmedabad and Bombay Central. It would reverse directions
at Bombay Central, with the same locmotive in use. It would then change
tracks to the CR side just before Dadar.


> A major priority IMHO is the doubling of the entire Bombay-Madras
> route. The speed of the trains on this route is quite pathetic
> compared to that of the TN express, say. What is the status of
> this route today? Remember that it also serves Bangalore now.

Why is it that the Bombay to Madras route has been callously neglected?
Political reasons? The traffic certainly justifies a double track.
The current status is: Bombay to Daund is double track; the Bombay Pune
portion is DC electrified. Madras to Renigunta is double track and is AC
electrified. Guntakal to Gooty is double track as well as the tiny
Shahabad to Wadi stretch. There exist one or two double track "islands"
between Wadi and Guntakal. The rest is all single line.
There doesn't seem to be any immediate plan to double this portion; and that
sucks (for want of a better word)!


My comments on Kumar's thought trains in the next mail.


Regards,

Vijay

From: Sridhar Krishnamurthy <ksri@wafer.email

Subject: Thought Trains

Date: 25 Oct 1989 09:24:00 -0500


While on the subject of Thought Trains how about introducting
a class of trains called the 'sub continental' trains
similar to the Euro-Rails.

One can conceivably think of trains running between

New Delhi -- Karachi

New Delhi -- Kathmandu

Howrah --- Dacca

Madras --- Colombo (via Rameshwaram ?)

Kathmandu --- Dacca

Dacca --- Rangoon

Lahore -- Kabul.


Any suggestions or Comments?

Sridhar

From: Vijay Balasubramanian <vbs@plumpy.email

Subject: Kumar's trains!

Date: 25 Oct 1989 14:36:00 -0500


Hi folks,

Here are my comments on some of Kumar's thought trains:

1) Mughal Sarai - Asansol "Main Line" Express:

I am reminded of the weekly Varanasi Tatanagar Exp. (II only) with a
similar halt pattern as this train. This had additional halts at Zamania,
Bhaduara and Jamui, and did not halt at Dumraon, Koelwar and
Sitarampur(most of the exp. trains do not halt here). This was also a day
train. The train was cancelled about 1 1/2 years back.

My fantasy is to restore the Varanasi Tata Exp., but make it a bi-weekly
train with some I class coaches. Perhaps, on the other days, this
could be restricted
between Varanasi and Asansol, to provide a reasonably fast daytime service
for passangers in the Varanasi/M. Sarai - Asansol main line stretch.

BTW, the Hwh. Delhi Janata Exp. now halts at Chittaranjan for 2 mts.


2) Mughal Sarai - Asansol "Grand Chord" Express:

I like the name. It uniquely identifies this train. The tri-weekly
Varanasi Dhanbad Exp. used to have a similar halt pattern. This was combined
with the Ganga Sutlej Exp. (Varanasi Ludhiana) and now runs as the Dhanbad
Ludhiana Exp. However, this is an overnight train in the Dhanbad-M. Sarai
section. It does not have halts at Anugrahanarayan Rd. and Sonnaagar,
but stops at Bhabua Rd.

I used to notice the fact that all the trains between Dhanbad and Mughal
Sarai, except the Deluxe Exp., were overnight trains (or had very odd times at
these stations). Hence..., the culmination of my Hwh-Firozpur Exp. This has
the same halt set as the Dhanbad Ludhiana Exp. (additional halt at
Rafiganj, no halt at Sitarampur) but is a day train in the Hwh-M. Sarai stretch.

Of course, my Kailash Exp. is a superfast day train.

Dehri-on-Sone, Sonnnagar and Anugrahanarayan Rd. are consecutive stations.
As such the Sonnanagar halt seems unnecessary (no exp. train stops here).
How about additional halts at Bhabua Rd., Rafiganj and Barakar?

Also, this train could have some reserved II class day coaches.

BTW, the longest rail bridge over a river in India, is between
Dehri-on-Sone and Sonnagar stations, and goes over the Upper Sone river. It is
around 2 1/4 miles in length. I have been on this route lots of times and
trains spend nearly 4-5 mts. on this bridge. Before 1979 or so, the Deluxe
Exp. was faster on this section, and did not stop at Dehri-on-Sone, Koderma
and Durgapur. In fact, my Varanasi to Asansol journey on this exp. (in
summer of 79) was the first time I ever traveled alone in a train.

Fantasy trains do materialize. In fact, the recently introduced
Shirpa Exp. between Hwh. and Indore (has halts only at Dhanbad, Gomoh,
Parasnath and Gaya between Asansol and M. Sarai) is quite similar to
a once fantasized train of mine.


3) Danapur-Burddhaman Express:

Durgapur is a bigger city than Bardhhaman and has no exp. service to
stations on the Kiul-Bhagalpur-Sahibganj-Rampurhat-Barddhaman section
(known as the Sahibganj loop). How about reversing the train at Barddhaman
and terminating it at Durgapur?

Could have some reserved II class coaches. Also the train could be
diesel hauled right till Barddhaman.

Note that the train will not pass thru' New Farakka.



More later on other thought trains,


Regards,

Vijay

From: Vijay Balasubramanian <vbs@plumpy.email

Subject: Kumar's trains!

Date: 25 Oct 1989 14:36:00 -0500


Hi folks,

Here are my comments on some of Kumar's thought trains:

1) Mughal Sarai - Asansol "Main Line" Express:

I am reminded of the weekly Varanasi Tatanagar Exp. (II only) with a
similar halt pattern as this train. This had additional halts at Zamania,
Bhaduara and Jamui, and did not halt at Dumraon, Koelwar and
Sitarampur(most of the exp. trains do not halt here). This was also a day
train. The train was cancelled about 1 1/2 years back.

My fantasy is to restore the Varanasi Tata Exp., but make it a bi-weekly
train with some I class coaches. Perhaps, on the other days, this
could be restricted
between Varanasi and Asansol, to provide a reasonably fast daytime service
for passangers in the Varanasi/M. Sarai - Asansol main line stretch.

BTW, the Hwh. Delhi Janata Exp. now halts at Chittaranjan for 2 mts.


2) Mughal Sarai - Asansol "Grand Chord" Express:

I like the name. It uniquely identifies this train. The tri-weekly
Varanasi Dhanbad Exp. used to have a similar halt pattern. This was combined
with the Ganga Sutlej Exp. (Varanasi Ludhiana) and now runs as the Dhanbad
Ludhiana Exp. However, this is an overnight train in the Dhanbad-M. Sarai
section. It does not have halts at Anugrahanarayan Rd. and Sonnaagar,
but stops at Bhabua Rd.

I used to notice the fact that all the trains between Dhanbad and Mughal
Sarai, except the Deluxe Exp., were overnight trains (or had very odd times at
these stations). Hence..., the culmination of my Hwh-Firozpur Exp. This has
the same halt set as the Dhanbad Ludhiana Exp. (additional halt at
Rafiganj, no halt at Sitarampur) but is a day train in the Hwh-M. Sarai stretch.

Of course, my Kailash Exp. is a superfast day train.

Dehri-on-Sone, Sonnnagar and Anugrahanarayan Rd. are consecutive stations.
As such the Sonnanagar halt seems unnecessary (no exp. train stops here).
How about additional halts at Bhabua Rd., Rafiganj and Barakar?

Also, this train could have some reserved II class day coaches.

BTW, the longest rail bridge over a river in India, is between
Dehri-on-Sone and Sonnagar stations, and goes over the Upper Sone river. It is
around 2 1/4 miles in length. I have been on this route lots of times and
trains spend nearly 4-5 mts. on this bridge. Before 1979 or so, the Deluxe
Exp. was faster on this section, and did not stop at Dehri-on-Sone, Koderma
and Durgapur. In fact, my Varanasi to Asansol journey on this exp. (in
summer of 79) was the first time I ever traveled alone in a train.

Fantasy trains do materialize. In fact, the recently introduced
Shirpa Exp. between Hwh. and Indore (has halts only at Dhanbad, Gomoh,
Parasnath and Gaya between Asansol and M. Sarai) is quite similar to
a once fantasized train of mine.


3) Danapur-Burddhaman Express:

Durgapur is a bigger city than Bardhhaman and has no exp. service to
stations on the Kiul-Bhagalpur-Sahibganj-Rampurhat-Barddhaman section
(known as the Sahibganj loop). How about reversing the train at Barddhaman
and terminating it at Durgapur?

Could have some reserved II class coaches. Also the train could be
diesel hauled right till Barddhaman.

Note that the train will not pass thru' New Farakka.



More later on other thought trains,


Regards,

Vijay

From: aravind <aravind@vax135.email

Subject: misc

Date: 25 Oct 1989 17:39:00 -0500


Re Vijay's response to some of my questions/thoughts:

I don't think that passenger trains can cross from WR to CR at Dadar.
>From what I remember, a yard separates the two systems. I tried to
see if there was any connection when I traveled thru Dadar on a couple
of occasions I was in Bombay. It wasn't clear that there was ANY meeting
(of the tracks in the yard) of the two systems. Is it a case of
"Ne'er the twain shall meet"???? (Harbor branch commuter line excepted)

I suppose that FREIGHT trains from both systems have to eventually go to
the common tracks at the harbor. Is this the case?

About running trains across national boundaries in S. Asia: This presents
the thorniest problems of them all. Relations between nations are quite
strained these days.

Anyhow,

- Is there a rail link to Katmandu? I recall that Raxaul was the point where
you had to get a bus to go to Kathmandu.

- (Hwh-Dacca): I suppose a link existed before 1947. Is it still there?

- Lahore-Kabul: Apparently there is a line to the top of the (infamous) Khyber
Pass that was built by the British to move troops there in the event of a
Russian attack; too bad they weren't around in 1979.
If the Mujahadeen will let you, a bus (or camels)
is the only way to proceed beyond the pass to Kabul..

-Dacca-Rangoon: No idea what is happening in this part of the world. Burma
has pursued a very isolationalist course.

-Madras-Colombo: The boat mail conveyed passengers between these two cities
until a cyclone wiped out the Dhanuskodi section in the sixties....

Regards,

-Aravind

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

Subject: thought trains (contd.)

Date: 25 Oct 1989 14:45:00 -0500


Hi,

Here are two more of my "creative additions".

7) Varanasi-Rajgir "Gautam Buddha" Mail:
Purpose: (i) To provide a link for Buddhist pilgrims between holy
sites. (ii) To provide a train between Patna and the Rajgir area
which is a popular tourist spot. (iii) To link the Mughal Sarai-
Gaya section with Patna.
Classification: Overnight train, moderately fast, prestige level
above my trains (1) to (4) but below (5) and (6). Sort of like
the Madras-Bangalore mail.
Classes: A/C 1 (1/2 coach), A/C 2 (3 1/2 coaches) on M, W, F
eastward and T, Th and Sat westward; 1 (1 coach) and A/C 2
(3 coaches) other days. 2 (3-tier--5 coaches, remaining coaches
unreserved + brake van). 2 A/C 2 coaches and
4 3-tier coaches disconnected at Patna Jn. Replaced by 1 A/C
chair car and three 2 (reserved seats coaches). Also 1 reserved
seat 2 class coach added in Gaya. (towards Rajgir)
Speed and duration: Max. speed on Grand Chord 110 kph. Patna-
Bakhtiyarpur 110 kph. Bakhtiyarpur-Rajgir, Varanasi-Mughal
Sarai and Gaya-Patna 90 kph. dep Varanasi 10:45 pm, arr Rajgir
10:30 am; dep Rajgir 6:30 pm, arr Varanasi 6:15 am. Daily.
rake description: 15 coaches from Varanasi (16 from Gaya and 13
beyond Patna). Saffron-colored. Diesel and Electric hauled.
Halts: Mughal Sarai, Sasaram, Dehri-on-Sone, Gaya, Jehanabad,
Patna Jn., Patna Saheb, Bakhtiyarpur, Biharsharif, Nalanda.

8) Diamond Harbour-Kharagpur "24 Parganas" Express.
Purpose: To provide a link between 24 parganas, the industrial
belt of eastern W. Bengal and Midnapore district bypassing much
of metro-Calcutta.
Classification: Moderately fast utility train. Fast between
stations. Fair number of stops.
Classes: 1 & 2; 2 completely unreserved.
Speed and duration: 110 kph on electrified sections; 90 kph on
other sections.dep 1.00 pm, arr 9.00 pm both ways.
Halts: Ballygunj*, Dankuni, Kamarakundu, Burddhaman, Raniganj,
Waria, Andal, Durgapur, Asansol, Midnapore, Kharagpur.
* Ballygunj is in metro Calcutta. The train bypasses both Sealdah
(North and South) and Howrah. The Ballygunj halt is a 4 minute
one.More halts to be added in the Ballygunj-D.H. and the Asansol
to Kharagpur sections.

Responding to Sridhar's suggestions about international links,
unfortunately no rail link exists to Kabul and Kathmandu. There are two
branch lines which just jut into Nepal. There is not a single inch of
railway tracks in Afghanistan. Dhaka, to the best of my knowledge, has
only meter gauge. There is a daily Dhaka-Chittagong Ulka Express.
There is no BG crossing on the Indo-Pak border in Gujarat or Rajasthan.
There is a MG crossing at Khokhrapar-Munabao (sp?) in Rajasthan-Sind
which the Pak govt. is reluctant to open. There are a number of BG
crossings in the Punjab but only the Atari crossing is open. Pakistan's
major trunk line is the Peshawar-Rawalpindi-Lahore-Sukkur-Hyderabad-
Karachi line with loops via Multan and Faisalabad. The line is never
very far from the Indus from Rawalpindi to Karachi. Two bridges cross
the Indus: one near Jhelum (where the Jhelum joins the Indus) and one
near Sukkur/Kotri in Sind. The oldie is the Peshawar-Karachi Khyber
Mail, but it has been upstaged by upstarts like the Lahore-Karachi
Subak Raftar. There is a line to Zahedan in Iran from Quetta.
Given the political situation in Sri Lanka running a Madras-Colombo
Express may not be practical, but we can always dream about it!

Kumar

From: aravind <aravind@vax135.email

Subject: MG-BG conversion in Gujarat

Date: 26 Oct 1989 09:53:00 -0500


Vijay mentions that BG trains now run to Rajkot. Rajkot used to
be an MG-only town sometime back. Could some knowledgeable soul
post the latest info on MG-BG conversion in WR? Not too long ago,
the only BG track in Gujarat used to be the Vadodara-Ahmedabad-Viramgam-
Gandhidham(sp?) link. There's LOTS of MG in WR - witness the high
MG-BG mileage ratio.....

Also, what kind of dislocation is this conversion causing to MG
traffic?

Regards,

-Aravind

From: Deodatta R. Apte <kumar@iec.email

Subject: my own thought trains

Date: 26 Oct 1989 11:00:00 -0500


Dear Railfans,
After reading all the recent discussion on fantasy trains, I would like
to contribute my own fantasies. All the recent discussion seems to have focused
on long distance fast trains serving routes which are not considered main line
routes, such as Madras/Gujarat. While these trains may be useful, I would like a
more rationalised approach to train scheduling on IR. The trend seems to be to
introduce trains which serve some political/prestige purpose (such as the
exploits of Ghani Khan Choudhary) without considering the conveinience of
passengers. New trains are introduced touting their high speeds etc. and after a
few years more and more stops are introduced due to local pressures which slows
the trais down, as well as increasing the number of short distance passengers.
I am sure you have all experienced the phenomenon of office goers and commuters
using the Mail and Express trains for short distance journeys. I come from
Jalgaon, which is just before Bhusawal as one goes from Bombay to Calcutta.
I have frequently travelled from Pune to Jalgaon on the Maharashtra Exp. which
travels from Manmad to Bhusaval between 6 and 9 a.m. There are about 2000 daily
commuters on this sectorand most of them travel by either the Maharashtra Exp.
or the Dadar-Amritsar Exp. It is official policy (as far as I know) that these
season ticket holders can travel in the II sleeper coaches in this sector. This leads to massive overcrowding, slowing down of the trains etc. The commuters
have been agitating for the past 10-15 years for a shuttle train between Manmad and Bhusaval, but no action has been taken. I also noticed the same problem whenI went to Bhopal on the Punjab Mail, which seems to have a stop every 15
minutes or so when approaching Bhopal.
Another example is the Geetanjali Exp. Initially this train went
non-stop from Bombay to Bhusaval and Bhusaval to Nagpur. Now, I beleive that at
least 3 stops have been introduced between Bombay and Nagpur (confirm please).
What I would like to see is a change in the thinking of IR. For example,
consider the Bombay-Nagpur section. We could have trains which travel for a
short distance ( Igatpuri-Manmad, Manmad-Bhusaval, Bhusaval-Akola, Akola-Nagpur)
which are frequent (1 per hour, 2 per hour during peaks), less frequent but
longer distance trains (Igatpuri-Bhusaval,Bhusaval-Nagpur,Bombay-Nagpur). All
these trains will stop at the stations at which the express trains such as
Dadar-Amritsar normally stop. These will take care of short distance passengers.
The long distance trains such as Geetanjali will stop only at major stations,
Bhusaval and Nagpur. Thus, if someone from,say, Akola wants to go to Calcutta,
he/she will take a train (which has high frequency) to Nagpur and catch the
Geetanjali Exp. there. Schedules could be arranged such that convienient
connections are available at Bhusaval and Nagpur for all the long distance
trains.
I see many advantages to such a scheme :
1) The long distance trains will run at their peak speeds and thus will cut down
journey times. Thus, someone from Akola will travel to Nagpur at medium speed,
but from Nagpur to Calcutta, having eliminated all the unnecessary stops, the
journey time will be much reduced.
2) Overcrowding in long distance trains will be avoided, with both commuters and
long distance passengers travelling in more comfort.
3) As passengers are forced to make connections, they will travel with less
luggage. IR is always telling passengers to travel light, but nobody listens.
4) More frequent trains will be available for short distance travel, increasing
flexibilty.
One important point to note here is that all these trains must travel at
the same top speed, so that the fast trains are not slowed down by the slower
trains. The slower trains will be slow only because they have more stops. Having
the top speed the same means the overall speed of the railway network goes up.
Freight speeds should also be increased.
I do not think that IR has the technical capabilities at the present
time to implement such a program today. For example, better coaches (for higher
speeds) are necessary. Increasing Freight speeds is very tough given the state
of IR wagons. The number of coaches and locos will have to be increased a lot.
Also, political guts are required to implement such a plan.
Since the Bombay Bhusaval section is electrified, EMUs could be used
there. In this regard, does anyone know whether Jessops of Calcutta still
produce EMUs? If yes, do they produce both 1.5kV dc and 25kV ac models?
I beleive that in Europe, train schedules are organised and co-ordinated
in this manner so that you have frequent trains to almost anywhere, but you have
to change trains a lot of times. I think such a rationalisation is necessary in
India too.
I would appreciate some discussion on the subject.
Thanks and hope I did not bore you to death.
- Kumar Apte.

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

Subject: one more!

Date: 26 Oct 1989 13:33:00 -0500


Hi,
Thanks to Vijay for his thoughtful comments on some of my creations.
My responses:

1) Mughal Sarai - Asansol "Main Line" Express:
This train has its origins in one of my trips on the Toofan Express.
My reserved coach was crowded from Buxar to Asansol. The universal
complaint of the short distance passengers was that this was the only
day train on the main line and they had no other option. Weekly trains
are bound to flop as many commuters want to travel daily. Hence the
demise of the Varanasi-Tata Express. I think that it is pointless to hav
reserved 2 class coaches as it is never enforced in Bihar in non-sleeper
coaches.
2) Mughal Sarai - Howrah "Grand Chord" Express:
As per Vijay's suggestion, the train will not halt at Sonnagar but will
halt at Bhabua Rd, Rafiganj and Barakar.

3) The Danapur-Burddhaman express is extended to Durgapur as the Danapur
Durgapur Express. It does not go via new Farakka (my mistake),but
has additional halts at Tinpahar and Rampur Hat. It reverses at B'man.

Modifications/clarifications:

The "24 Parganas" Express is primarily to connect south 24 parganas with
the industrial belt of western W.Bengal. A secondary purpose is to
provide an express between Asansol and Kharagpur. It is not for
commuters wishing to go from Diamond Harbor to Kharagpur as two short
bus rides interspersed with a ferry ride would suffice! Additional
halts at Burnpur and Bankura on the Asansol-Kharagpur stretch and at
Bally Bridge between Ballygunj and Dankuni (to provide a get off point
for passrs. with destinations on the Howrah-Burddhaman main line.

At this time, my last E.Rly based creation is:

9) Lalgola - Purulia "Seema" Express:
Purpose: To provide a reasonably fast link between E. & W. W. Bengal
without having to change in metro-Calcutta.
Classification: Similar to the 24 Parganas Express.
Classes: 1 & 2; 2 completely unreserved.
Speed and Duration: 90-100 kph max., dep. Lalgola 11:00 am, arr.
Purulia 9:00 pm. dep. Purulia 7:00 am, arr Lalgola 5:00 pm.
Rake description: 14 coach, regular color, electric & diesel/steam
hauled.
Halts: Krishnanagar, Ranaghat, Barrackpore, Dakshineswar*,
Bally Bridge, Dankuni@, Kamarakundu, Burddhaman, Raniganj,
Durgapur, Waria, Andal, Asansol, Burnpur, Purulia.

* This halt and reversal is necessary if there is no interchange
between the southbound Barrackpore-Sealdah line and the Vivekananda
Bridge. Otherwise the Seema will bypass Dakshineswar.
 Station is on a bridge over Bally station on the Howrah-Burddhaman
main line. For commuters to change for points on that line.
@ To connect to local stations on the Howrah-Burddhaman chord.

That'sall for now, Kumar

From: Vijay Balasubramanian <vbs@plumpy.email

Subject: WR!

Date: 26 Oct 1989 15:24:00 -0500


Hi Folks,

Aravind writes:
> I don't think that passenger trains can cross from WR to CR at Dadar.
> From what I remember, a yard separates the two systems. I tried to

>From the WR side (proceeding towards Bombay Central), there is yard which
starts just after Matunga Rd. and ends a short distance beyond Dadar.
I believe that there are a few WR CR track interchanges (maybe 1-2) after
this point at Elphinstone Rd. station (hardly used though).


> I suppose that FREIGHT trains from both systems have to eventually go to
> the common tracks at the harbor. Is this the case?

Wadi Bunder between Sandhurst Rd. and Masjid on the Central Rly. is the main
depot for freight activities. This occurs off the main line and is located
beyond the Passanger Yard for Bombay V.T. A reasonably sized yard off Bandra
on the Western Rly. handles freight traffic for this zone . There
is also one near Wadala Rd. on the Harbour Branch line. Maybe, a portion of
WR freight goes there too via the Mahim-King's Circle-Vadala Rd. branch line.
I am not sure whether Wadi Bunder handles goods traffic on the WR.
Seems unlikely, as the Mahim(on WR)-Vadala Rd.-Masjid branch line meets the
CR main line AFTER this depot.


> Vijay mentions that BG trains now run to Rajkot. Rajkot used to
> be an MG-only town sometime back. Could some knowledgeable soul
> post the latest info on MG-BG conversion in WR? Not too long ago,

True. But the Viramgam-Rajkot-Okha section is fully broad-gauged now, along
with branches to Sikka and Porbandar. As a result, there are direct trains
between Okha/Porbandar/Hapa and Bombay Central (Saurashtra Exps/Mail).
In fact, there is a direct tri-weekly superfast train between Hapa
(on the Rajkot-Jamnagar section) / Ahmedabad and Jammu Tawi.
There is also a daily Rakjot-Bhopal superfast exp. via Viramgam-Ahmedabad-Ratlam
-Nagda-Ujjain. The other major BG section is, of course, the
Viramgam-Gandhidham stretch on which the daily fast Bombay-Gandhidham Exp. runs.
A small BG branch off Jhund Jn. just after Viramgam goes to Kharagoda, on the
edge of the (in?)famous Rann of Katch.


> Also, what kind of dislocation is this conversion causing to MG
> traffic?

The Ahmedabad-Mahesana-Abu Rd.-... M.G. line is very much operational. In fact,
there are superfast trains from Ahmedabad to Jodhpur (Marwar Exp.) and Delhi
(Ashram Exp.). The M.G. network in Southern Gujarat is connected to
the Ahmedabad - Viramgam - Okha/Porbandar B.G. lines at various places such as
Rajkot, Surendranagar, etc.
Some imp. places like Bhavnagar and Veraval (where the Somnath temple
is located) are not on the BG map, but have direct MG trains to Ahmedabad.

That's all for now,

Regards,

Vijay

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <dheeraj@cs.email

Subject: Any Railroads Magazine in India?

Date: 26 Oct 1989 18:38:00 -0500


This has probably been asked earlier in this forum.

Is there any magazine in India that would give us railway nuts
lot of latest information about Indian Railways.

If yes, how do we subscribe to it?

-dheeraj

PS: Even if it is a Railway Board Newletter or some official
stuff than independent magazine, it would be better than
nothing.

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

Subject: one more train!

Date: 27 Oct 1989 10:26:00 -0500


Hi,
Thanks to Vijay for his thoughtful comments on some of my creations.
My responses:

1) Mughal Sarai - Asansol "Main Line" Express:
This train has its origins in one of my trips on the Toofan Express.
My reserved coach was crowded from Buxar to Asansol. The universal
complaint of the short distance passengers was that this was the only
day train on the main line and they had no other option. Weekly trains
are bound to flop as many commuters want to travel daily. Hence the
demise of the Varanasi-Tata Express. I think that it is pointless to hav
reserved 2 class coaches as it is never enforced in Bihar in non-sleeper
coaches.
2) Mughal Sarai - Howrah "Grand Chord" Express:
As per Vijay's suggestion, the train will not halt at Sonnagar but will
halt at Bhabua Rd, Rafiganj and Barakar.

3) The Danapur-Burddhaman express is extended to Durgapur as the Danapur
Durgapur Express. It does not go via new Farakka (my mistake),but
has additional halts at Tinpahar and Rampur Hat. It reverses at B'man.

Modifications/clarifications:

The "24 Parganas" Express is primarily to connect south 24 parganas with
the industrial belt of western W.Bengal. A secondary purpose is to
provide an express between Asansol and Kharagpur. It is not for
commuters wishing to go from Diamond Harbor to Kharagpur as two short
bus rides interspersed with a ferry ride would suffice! Additional
halts at Burnpur and Bankura on the Asansol-Kharagpur stretch and at
Bally Bridge between Ballygunj and Dankuni (to provide a get off point
for passrs. with destinations on the Howrah-Burddhaman main line.

At this time, my last E.Rly based creation is:

9) Lalgola - Purulia "Seema" Express:
Purpose: To provide a reasonably fast link between E. & W. W. Bengal
without having to change in metro-Calcutta.
Classification: Similar to the 24 Parganas Express.
Classes: 1 & 2; 2 completely unreserved.
Speed and Duration: 90-100 kph max., dep. Lalgola 11:00 am, arr.
Purulia 9:00 pm. dep. Purulia 7:00 am, arr Lalgola 5:00 pm.
Rake description: 14 coach, regular color, electric & diesel/steam
hauled.
Halts: Krishnanagar, Ranaghat, Barrackpore, Dakshineswar*,
Bally Bridge, Dankuni@, Kamarakundu, Burddhaman, Raniganj,
Durgapur, Waria, Andal, Asansol, Burnpur, Purulia.

* This halt and reversal is necessary if there is no interchange
between the southbound Barrackpore-Sealdah line and the Vivekananda
Bridge. Otherwise the Seema will bypass Dakshineswar.
 Station is on a bridge over Bally station on the Howrah-Burddhaman
main line. For commuters to change for points on that line.
@ To connect to local stations on the Howrah-Burddhaman chord.

That'sall for now, Kumar

From: Vijay Balasubramanian <vbs@plumpy.email

Subject: Thought trains!

Date: 27 Oct 1989 14:57:00 -0500


Hi guys!

First some comments on Kumar's trains:

1) Varanasi - Tata Exp.

Could have it as a bi-weekly train. On the remaining five days, could
restrict it till Asansol.


2) The Danapur-Durgapur Exp.

Could have more halts in the Kiul-Bardhhaman section such as Abhaipur,
Bariapur, Sultanganj, Kahalgaon, Pirpainti, Pakur, Naihati Jn.(for Azimganj),
Sainthia Jn. (for Andal-Asansol), Ahmadpur, Bolpur (Santiniketan). How about
halts at Khana Jn. and Panagarh (has an army cantonment) in the
Burdhhaman-Durgapur section?

One of my creations via the Kiul-Barharwa stretch is the weekly fast
Jammu Tawi - Guwahati Exp. In fact, there was such a train, about a year
back, and was primarily meant to transport border security forces. This used to
go via Lucknow-Gorakhpur-Barauni-Katihar. My creation is a rerouted version
and goes via Allahabad-M. Sarai-Gaya-Kiul. The complete route is as follows.
Jammu Tawi-Pathankot-Jullundhar City-Ambala Cant-Panipat-Delhi-Kanpur
Central-Allahabad-Mughal Sarai-Gaya-Kiul-Bhagalpur-Malda Town-New Jalpaiguri-
Guwahati. It not only provides a direct service between Jammu/Punjab/Haryana
and Assam, but also is the only direct train connecting Jammu/Pathankot with
intermediate stations on the Delhi-M. Sarai section, and connecting
Dehri-on-Sone/Gaya/Kiul with Assam.


3) Muzaffarpur - Dhanbad/Ranchi-Hatia Exp:

There are a decent number of N.-S. Bihar trains. There is a daily
train between Gorakhpur (U.P.) and Hatia, the Maurya Exp.,
which goes via Muzaffarpur-Barauni-Kiul-Jha Jha-Chittaranjan-(Sitarampur
Bypass) -Dhanbad-Gomoh-Bokaro Steel City-Muri-Ranchi. However, it is an
overnight train. There are two daily Patna-Hatia Exps. via
Jehanabad-Gaya-Gomoh-Bokaro-Muri, one a day train and the other one an overnight
train. In addition, there is the daily Ganga Damodar Exp. between Patna and
Dhanbad (via Jehanabad-Gaya-Gomoh), a night train, and the daily Patna-Dhanbad
Pataliputra Exp. via the Main Line and the Sitarampur Bypass, a day train.

Looks like Ranchi/Hatia is well connected with Dhanbad, Patna and
Muzaffarpur. How about running your train just between Muzaffarpur and Dhanbad?


4) Muzaffarpur Tatanagar Shan-e-Bihar Exp.

There is a daily Muzaffarpur - Tatanagar Exp. running via Samastipur-Barauni
-Jha Jha-Asansol-Adra-Purulia, which is a medium fast night train. How about
running your train between Gorakhpur and Tatanagar? This would directly
link Gorakhpur with Gaya, Koderma, Hazaribagh, Gomoh and Bokaro.
Would take an additional 4 hrs., and so, it would be preferable to have an
overnight trip. Suggested halts between Gorahkpur and M'pur: Bhatni, Siwan,
Chhapra and Sonpur. I think a halt at Muri is inevitable due to reversal of
dirn. (I am not sure though).

Shan-e-Bihar sounds Punjabish. How about Mishra Dhatu (a mixture of
minerals) Exp.?

Incidently, the WAM-1/2 four-axle AC locomotives operating in the
Hwh.-M.Sarai section have a green and black (more like dark blue) color with a
red strip. This train could have the same color.


Let me now express my views on Dear_Apte's mail:

> New trains are introduced touting their high speeds etc. and after a
> few years more and more stops are introduced due to local pressures
> which slows the trains down.

How very true! Many trains have suffered this fate, the Gitanjali Exp., the
Coromandel Exp., and the Himagiri Exp. to name a few. To repeat a previous
assertion, I believe in a well-graded train system in different sections.
For example, there could be one superfast in a particular section (say A-B)
stopping at a maximum of one station between A and B. Then we could have a
couple of fast/superfast trains with 3-5 halts in that section, followed by
a fast but higher-frequency-of-halts Mail or express train. This could be
backed up by some slow Expresses or Janata Exps. The sequence could end
with some passanger trains and short distance shuttles. In many sections,
the absence of multiple superfast/fast trains leads to slowing down of the lone
superfast exp.

My fantasies tend to follow this line of thought!

> I come from Jalgaon, which is just before Bhusawal as one goes from Bombay to
> Calcutta.

I heard that Jalgaon is fast becoming an industrial town. Is this true?
The Jhelum Exp. now has a 2 mt. halt here.


> The commuters have been agitating for the past 10-15 years for a shuttle
> train between Manmad and Bhusaval, but no action has been taken.

There are only two passanger trains on the Bombay V.T.-Bhusaval section, and
both of them travel between the above stations. Bombay-Manmad commuters have
the services of the daily double-deckered Panchavati Exp. to avail of.
There could be two Manmad-Bhusaval shuttles running per day, so that the same
rake set is used.


> I also noticed the same problem whenI went to Bhopal on the Punjab Mail,
> which seems to have a stop every 15 minutes or so when approaching Bhopal.

The prestigious Punjab Mail (Bombay V.T. - Firozpur) irritates me no end with
all those stupid stops in the Itarsi-New Delhi section, most of which are
recently introduced. My version has no halts at Habibganj, Ganj Basoda,
Dhaulpur and Faridabad. Instead, I have a "back-up" train in the form of the
North-West Exp. between Bombay and Jammu Tawi.


> Another example is the Geetanjali Exp. Initially this train went
> non-stop from Bombay to Bhusaval and Bhusaval to Nagpur. Now, I beleive
> that at least 3 stops have been introduced between Bombay and Nagpur
> (confirm please).

Bhusaval and Akola used to be the intial halts, between Bombay and Nagpur.
Then Dadar and Kalyan were added. This is one of my favorite trains
(I had talked about this in my SCI posting) and I have haplessly watched it
being mercilessly slowed by the authorities. Initially, this had only 6 halts
between Bombay V.T. and Howrah:- Bhusaval, Akola, Nagpur, Durg, Raurkela and
Tatanagar, and used to cover the 1950 odd km. distance in about 29 hrs.
Dadar and Bilaspur were the first ones to latch on this train. This was the
scenario in 1981 when I first traveled on this train. At that time, it still
donned the yellow-and-orange color. Within a year Raipur was added to the halt
list. Kalyan and Gondia joined in around 1987. The train had lost
its color and had been slowed down by nearly 3 hrs. The final blow was dealt
last year when the train succumbed to Jharsaguda and Kharagpur.

This is because of the absence of any other superfast train thru
Bhusaval-Nagpur-Bilaspur...... My Gitanjali Exp. gets rid of the
Kalyan, Gondia, Jharsaguda and Kharagpur halts (+ takes around 30 hrs.)
The next in line is my superfast Bombay-Guwahati Exp. via Nagpur-Howrah,
having halts at these stations (- Kalyan + Manmad and Nasik Rd.).
And then there is the Orissa Exp. serving imp. stations on the
Bombay-Kharagpur route. Then comes the Bombay-Hwh. Mail (via Nagpur)
followed by my Dadar-Ranchi Exp. The last on the list is the Hwh.-Bombay Exp.
Thus, a well graded pattern emerges.


> consider the Bombay-Nagpur section. We could have trains which travel for a

This section has three passanger trains: two between Bhusaval & Nagpur,
and the other one between Bhusaval and Wardha. The other two short
distance trains are the Bombay Nagpur Vidarbha and Dadar Nagpur Sewagram exps.
The Maharashtra Exp. is another train which is probably heavily used in this
section, as it does not cater to a major portion of the Bombay Howrah trunk
route. IMHO, train services in this section are adequate. A fantasy train of
mine runs between the railway junctions of Bhusaval and Vijayawada via
Wardha. It is a slow exp. train catering mostly to short distance commuters
on the Bhusaval-Wardha, and Balharshah-Vijayawada sections.


> I do not think that IR has the technical capabilities at the present
> time to implement such a program today. For example, better coaches
> (for higher speeds) are necessary. Increasing Freight speeds is very tough

Nearly one of every twelve coaches in IR need to be replaced, with the
ratio increasing to an alarming one-out-of-five for the MG system. There is a
shortage of locomotives as well, at least, the WAP and WCAM ones.


I hope I haven't bored you with minute details,

Regards,

Vijay

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