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From: jayakris <jayakris@saathi.email

Subject: Rajadhani Express Flagged Off

Date: 10 Jul 1994 20:05:00 -0500


The first weekly Rajadhani Express between Jammu and Delhi was flagged
of by the minister for Civil Aviation and tourism. The new train will
cover the distance of 578 KM in just 9 hours. The train will help in
freighting out 1000 passengers. The train is expected to boost tourism
and development in the region especially the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine.


_____________________________________________________________________________
Jayakrishnan.B Email: jayakris@saathi.email
National Centre for Software Technology Fax : +91 (22) 621 0139
Gulmohar Cross Road No. 9 Phone: +91 (22) 620 1606
Juhu, Bombay 400 049, INDIA Telex: +81 (11) 78260 NCST IN
______________________________________________________________________________

God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh. -

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

From: S Pai <Pai>>

Subject: Pakistan - Tajikistan rail link

Date: 10 Jul 1994 14:25:00 -0500


A long time back there was some discussion here about railway connections out
of India and beyond to the Middle East or Central Asia. Apparently there is
now a proposal in Pakistan to build a railway connection to Tajikistan through
Afghanistan. The proposed route would continue on from Chaman, a town on the
border of Pakistan (in Baluchistan) and Afghanistan where the present tracks
come to an end. The continuation would be through the Afghan city of Kandahar
to Herat in the west and then northwards to Kushka in Tajikistan where it
would link up with existing tracks (presumably connecting up to other Central
Asian republics from there and the rest of the ex-USSR). 800 km of tracks have
to be laid in Afghanistan, and the existing tracks from Quetta to Chaman have
to be upgraded.

Funding for this might be a problem though the World Bank has promised some
money for it. The situation in Afghanistan is also probably not too conducive
for speedy completion of large projects like this. But such troubles apart,
if this new route were available, how would it change your dream plans for
trans-Asia rail journeys? :-)

-Satish

From: Sameer A. Nene <sameer@cs.email

Subject: Re: Pakistan - Tajikistan rail link

Date: 10 Jul 1994 14:55:00 -0500


On Sunday, Jul. 10, at 2:25pm, S Pai wrote:

if this new route were available, how would it change your dream plans for
> trans-Asia rail journeys? :-)

Wow! This could actually mean that my childhood fantasies of travelling from
Asia (India) to Europe by rail would be feasible :-). I dreamed of travelling
from India to Istanbul thru the middle east, and then there was the Orient
Express. Of course, the above route is a slight change, but equally
delightful, as it would mean travelling by the Trans-Siberian Express(??). By
the way, are there scheduled trains between India & Pakistan (Amritsar to
Lahore?)

Sameer.

+----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| Sameer A. Nene | Home: (212) 864-5125 |
| Vision Lab | Office: (212) 939-7089 |
| Columbia University | Email: sameer@cs.email |
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From: Jishnu Mukerji <jis@summit.email

Subject: Re: Pakistan - Tajikistan rail link

Date: 11 Jul 1994 10:39:00 -0500


Excerpts from personal.IRFCA: 10-Jul-94 Pakistan - Tajikistan rail .. A
S Pai@CS.Email (1142*)

> The proposed route would continue on from Chaman, a town on the
> border of Pakistan (in Baluchistan) and Afghanistan where the present tracks
> come to an end. The continuation would be through the Afghan city of Kandahar
> to Herat in the west and then northwards to Kushka in Tajikistan where it
> would link up with existing tracks (presumably connecting up to other Central
> Asian republics from there and the rest of the ex-USSR). 800 km of tracks have
> to be laid in Afghanistan, and the existing tracks from Quetta to Chaman have
> to be upgraded.

Interesting. I wonder what gauge would be used for this line. Pakistan
of course is 5'6" and CIS is 5'. Maybe the "gauge change on the fly"
technology used on Talgo Pendular trains between Spain and France will
find further use here.

BTW, much before this line sees the light of the day, the Kerman -
Zahedan link in Iran will be completed. The inauguration of the Kerman -
Bam segment of that line is imminent. It actually appears already in the
Thomas Cook timetable, but with no train timings. However, given the
difficulty in obtaining tourist visas from Iran it is not clear that
this line will be usable for the Europe to India train trip by random
travellers anytime soon.

Also BTW, anyone given any thoughts to what a rail link between India
and China would look like to the east? That has been another one of my
fantasies. Now that Indian BG line is advancing well up the Brahmaputra
valley, and the Chinese standard gauge rail-head is moving progressively
west, and relations between India and China are (sort of) on the mend,
all sorts of possibilities open up.

Excerpts from personal.IRFCA: 10-Jul-94 Re: Pakistan - Tajikistan r..
"Sameer A. Nene"@cs.email (1013*)

> I dreamed of travelling
> from India to Istanbul thru the middle east, and then there was the Orient
> Express. Of course, the above route is a slight change, but equally
> delightful, as it would mean travelling by the Trans-Siberian Express(??). By
> the way, are there scheduled trains between India & Pakistan (Amritsar to
> Lahore?)

Actually this route would most probably not involve significant travel
by the Trans-Siberian (the number and name of the train is 1/2 Rossyia).
I will post the most likely routing for such a trip in a day or two.
Yes there is one train per day connecting Amritsar and Lahore (sometimes
it runs on three times a week, I don't know whether it is running daily
again).

As far as travelling to Europe via Iran is concerned, there really are
two route choices even for that. One is of course through Turkey viz.
Tehran - Tabriz (Iran)- Lake Van (Turkey, ferry) - Ankara - Istanbul
(Turkey) - Budapest (Hungary) - Western Europe. The other one is Tehran
- Tabriz - Djulfa (Iran-CIS) - Baku (CIS) - (direct train from Djulfa to
Moskow once a week) - Moskow - (direct daily train to Brussels) -
Brussels. Choice 2 above is all rail. The route through Turkey involves
two non-rail segments - ferry across lake Van and crossing the Bosphorus
at Istanbul.

BTW, the regularly scheduled Orient Express now connects Paris with
Budapest via Strasbourg - Stuttgart - Munich - Salzburg - Vienna. It is
an overnight train. I have travelled this route (Paris - Vienna segment)
by the day train - Eurocity Mozart. Beyond Budapest I believe there
still is a daily train to Istanbul. The schedules in the sector have
changed drastically in the June time-table and I have not had the time
to study it. I did notice that he direct train from Munich to Istanbul
has been discontinued.

Jishnu.

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <dheeraj@iitk.email

Subject: The Romance of Metre Gauge Bids Farewell.

Date: 13 Jul 1994 04:10:00 -0500


There was this following ad in the Times of India a couple of
days ago. (Almost covered 20% of the page.)

THE ROMANCE of Metre Gauge bids FAREWELL

Metre Gauge Service
at
Delhi Main Railway Station
replaced with Broad Gauge


Metre Gauge Service commenced at the Delhi Main
Station in 1873. Jaipur was the first among a long
line of link station which were connected to Delhi
by metre gauge. Under the Unigauge Policy of Indian
Railways, metre gauge services were lifted from
Delhi Junction Station on May 15, 1994, and Broad
Gauge line was opened on July 1, 1994. We thank
the commuters of Delhi for bearing with us.


Gauge Conversions are in progress today to
welcome the broad gauge trains of tomorrow.



NORTHERN RAILWAY
At Your Service

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <dheeraj@iitk.email

Subject: misc.

Date: 13 Jul 1994 04:21:00 -0500


Jammu-Valley rail link by 1997.

The work on Jammu-Udhampur railway line is likely to be
completed by March 1997. The 54 KM line is under construction
since 1982, and is estimated to cost Rs. 250 crore.

The aerial survey for Udhampur-Srinagar would be carried out
soon. The 225 KM project was recently sanctioned. The estimated
cost is Rs. 1500 crore.

(Somewhere I had read that they plan to link Srinagar by
year 2000. I think it will be more like 2010 or even later,
and that too, if we can hold on to Kashmir for that long.)

In another news, I read that Konkan Railway will be ready
for goods traffic by March 1995, and passenger traffic will
start around July 1995. I think the more likely date for
passenger traffic is Dec. 1995, and I am planning to travel
that section as soon as it is opened, since I get one-month
vacation in December.

The metre gauge trains from Delhi now start from Delhi Sarai
Rohilla (DEE for the station code buffs). They have one BG
track between Delhi and Rewari, and now they are converting
one of the MG tracks into BG. There are couple of BG passenger
trains in a day between Delhi and Rewari right now.

-dheeraj

From: Pushkar Apte <apte@spdc.email

Subject: MG

Date: 12 Jul 1994 13:48:00 -0500


I am curious about this MG->BG conversion @ Delhi. I have heard that
Delhi-Rewari is now MG. How does this affect the long-distance trains
from Ahmedabad/Udaipur/Jaipur/Jodhpur/Bikaner etc.? Do people
actually have to change over to a BG train @ Rewari? If anyone knows,
please post.

If and when Ahmedabad-Delhi gets converted to BG, there will be a 3rd
route between Bombay-Delhi, besides the WR and CR main lines. If I am
not mistaken, the road between Bombay-Delhi (NH-8) already goes
(sorta) via this 3rd route. I am sure that the current WR route via
Vadodara-Ratlam-Mathura will still be the shortest, but I wonder how
Bombay-Vadodara-Ahmedabad-Ajmer-Jaipur-Delhi will compare with the CR
route (in distance) ? I am already envisioning a Bombay-Delhi
Superfast Express (can't get enough of those :-)) with stops @ Surat,
Vadodara, Ahmadabad, Palanpur, Abu Rd., Ajmer, Jaipur and Alwar.

Regards,
Pushkar
-------

From: Jishnu Mukerji <jis@summit.email

Subject: Re: misc.

Date: 12 Jul 1994 16:18:00 -0500


Excerpts from personal.IRFCA: 12-Jul-94 misc. Dheeraj Sanghi@iitk.email (1158*)

> The metre gauge trains from Delhi now start from Delhi Sarai
> Rohilla (DEE for the station code buffs). They have one BG
> track between Delhi and Rewari, and now they are converting
> one of the MG tracks into BG. There are couple of BG passenger
> trains in a day between Delhi and Rewari right now.

I hope they are laying the new Broad Gauge tracks on an embankment that
is at least 10 feet higher than the one that the MG line was on around
Khalilpura, Inchapuri, Pataudi Road and Patli. This area has
traditionally been subject to annual inundation during monsoon
disrupting rail service on the Delhi - Rewari line.

BTW, this move eliminates a serious bottleneck that existed at Subzi
Mandi where the BG line from NDLS towards Rohtak and Panipat had to
cross the MG line from DEE to DLI, as well as at DLI where the same MG
line had to cross the BG line connecting NDLS to DLI. This might improve
timekeeping on trains entering NDLS from the north a bit. Of course the
NDLS RRI (Route Relay Interlocking) still continues to be a mess. I
wonder when they will get around to fixing that.

When MG is finally gone from the Delhi area do they plan to convert the
two MG lines out of DLI to the west into BG lines? Also, when MG lines
are removed there will be space for an additional BG line on both the
New Delihi Chord and the Subzi Mandi Chord. I am assuming that Sadar
Bazar MG station will be or already is gone too.

Another area that seriously needs an additional track or two is the
southern approach to NDLS. I noticed that a new track was being laid
from Nizamuddin to Pragati Maidan. Of course there is lack of space
beyond there towards NDLS for additional tracks, short of widening the
right of way through a densely populated area. This will become
important with the completion of the additional platforms on the east
side of NDLS.

Keep the news coming! I will get to check all this out in Feb 95.

Jishnu.

From: Sridhar Venkataraman <sridhar@asuvax.email

Subject: Information on WWW..

Date: 12 Jul 1994 10:23:00 -0500


Since I am offering the India Page on the World Wide Web (the link to
which has been for a while on GNN and Virtual Tourist pages -
<A HREF="http://enuxsa.eas.asu.edu/~sridhar/places/india.html)">http://enuxsa.eas.asu.edu/~sridhar/places/india.html)</A>, I thought it would
be useful to provide information on IR as well. Towards that end, I have
been collating information from this list and I have talked with Satish
about this but the only problem (if at all) with this is the credits which
I have no problem providing but it will end up with people mailing
randomly to ask such contributors by email or on this list. Having had
the experience of handling such mails for about 3 yrs. now (I usually
redirect them to an FAQ or a WWW link), I wouldn't want such a thing to
happen to other innocent people. :)

Let me know if you have strong opinions on any issue. It is available at
<A HREF="http://enuxsa.eas.asu.edu/~sridhar/info/sci/">http://enuxsa.eas.asu.edu/~sridhar/info/sci/</A> as a link. I have planned
to put up a Southern Railways/IR map (the format of which will be quite
similar to the tamilnadu map available using
<A HREF="http://enuxsa.eas.asu.edu/~sridhar/places/indiastates/tamilnadu.html)">http://enuxsa.eas.asu.edu/~sridhar/places/indiastates/tamilnadu.html)</A>.
Hope I am not reinventing the wheel! If anyone else has done
work towards that, please let me know. Thanx.

Sridhar.

From: S Pai <Pai>>

Subject: Fw: [Tom Standage] Steam Trains again!

Date: 14 Jul 1994 13:44:00 -0500


More questions from Mr. Standage, whose question about steam trains I had
forwarded to this list a few days ago.

Pleast post any replies to the list; I'll collect them and send them to him.

Regards,

-Satish

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

From: Tom Standage <thomas@primrose.email
Subject: Steam Trains again!

- ---

I'm a writer/photographer interested in coming to India in August/September
with a view to photographing steam trains - I'll be working in black-and-white
with an "end of an era" kind of approach. I'd be very grateful for any advice
on the following points:

1. Timing

Is August/September a particularly good/bad time of the year to do this? I
haven't a clue when the rainy season is, whether it's a hot time of year,
etc. I have travelled in the Near East (Turkey, Morocco, Egypt) and Thailand
but I've never been to India. Would next spring be a better time? From a
photographic point of view, strong sunlight is actually a bad thing - -
overcast skies are preferable. But it doesn't make all that much difference.

2. Itinerary

Whenever I do make the trip, my intention is to get an Indrail pass - not
because it saves money or anything, but because it saves hassle and lets me do
what I want. I would like to cover the following: at least one long rail trip
under steam power (is this possible? are there two cities I should travel
between? is there a particularly famous route/train? Are major routes served
by diesel or a combination of the two?); a visit to a major junction (is
Lucknow the place to go?); and a visit to wherever the old locos end up (do
they get used for tourist rides, or broken up for scrap?).

3. Clearance

Is it worth approaching the authorities? Will I need any clearance to
photograph trains (ie do they count as military installations like they do
in some countries)? Is there any advantage to be gained from some kind of
official endorsement, or will it not make any difference at ground level?

4. Background

On a more general note I am doing some background reading so I'd be very
grateful for any suggestions of books I should read or people I should talk
to. I understand that there is a political dimension to the phasing out of
steam in favour of diesel. Where can I find out more? Is there a society
involved in the preservation of the steam trains whose members/officials I
could speak to? I should perhaps point out that I am not a train enthusiast,
and that I will be trying to sell any words/pictures resulting from the trip
to a general, rather than a specialised, audience (broadsheet newspapers,
travel magazines). Finally, has this story been done to death?

Tom Standage
London, England
thomas@primrose.email

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

From: S Pai <Pai>>

Subject: Freight operations to be computerized

Date: 14 Jul 1994 23:37:00 -0500


> The Indian Railways is set to launch a computerized information
> system to manage its freight operations. The pilot network of the
> Freight Operations Information System (FOIS) has already been set up
> with 25 terminals being installed in 18 stations. The formal launch
> of the system in the Delhi division of the Northern Railways would
> be in July or August, according to executive director of the Centre
> for Railway Information Systems, Mr A. J. Kumar.

At present IR monitors freight manually, through telephone communication
between individual stations. Some control offices keep track of the movements
of entire goods trains, but the information on the status and location of
individual goods wagons does not reach the control offices immediately if they
(the wagons) are disconnected or added on at intermediate stations. This FOIS
will apparently allow the control offices to keep track of each individual
wagon and locomotive accurately and continuously.

Regards,

-Satish

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <dheeraj@iitk.email

Subject: Re: misc.

Date: 15 Jul 1994 21:56:00 -0500


> When MG is finally gone from the Delhi area do they plan to convert the
> two MG lines out of DLI to the west into BG lines? Also, when MG lines
> are removed there will be space for an additional BG line on both the
> New Delihi Chord and the Subzi Mandi Chord. I am assuming that Sadar
> Bazar MG station will be or already is gone too.

The two MG lines between DLI and DEE are BG now. Sadar Bazaar is
also a BG station now. There is no MG track east of DEE.

> Another area that seriously needs an additional track or two is the
> southern approach to NDLS. I noticed that a new track was being laid
> from Nizamuddin to Pragati Maidan. Of course there is lack of space
> beyond there towards NDLS for additional tracks, short of widening the
> right of way through a densely populated area. This will become
> important with the completion of the additional platforms on the east
> side of NDLS.

They have opened the new track between Tilak Bridge and Nizammuddin
just last month. Between Tilak Bridge and NDLS, there are only 4
tracks. I don't think there are any plans to add any tracks there.
As you said, it won't be easy. The additional platforms on the
east side of NDLS are almost ready. There is a new overbridge. The
existing 2 bridges used to be very congested. The one that used to
be only upto platform 9, now has been extended to allow you to leave
on the East side (Ajmeri Gate side) as well.

-dheeraj

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <dheeraj@iitk.email

Subject: Re: MG

Date: 15 Jul 1994 22:08:00 -0500


> I am curious about this MG->BG conversion @ Delhi. I have heard that
> Delhi-Rewari is now MG. How does this affect the long-distance trains
> from Ahmedabad/Udaipur/Jaipur/Jodhpur/Bikaner etc.? Do people
> actually have to change over to a BG train @ Rewari? If anyone knows,
> please post.

As of now, there is a BG track and an MG track between Delhi Sarai
Rohella and Rewari. There is an additional MG track between Saria
Rohella and Garhi Harsaru Jn, which is halfway to Rewari. Currently
there are only a couple of passengers and one BG express train go
on the BG track. All MG trains start from Sarai Rohella. I would think
that during the conversion they will leave one MG track upto Rewari
intact, so they are converting the current MG track between Sarai
Rohella and Garhi Harsaru, and possibly adding another BG track from
there on. (But I am not sure, they may just keep one BG track from
there on, until they plan to remove MG completely.) They are also
adding (or converting) the Rewari-Alwar-Jaipur BG track. The MG
track will remain for some time for allowing important trains to
start at Delhi. Only after at least some important stations are
on BG map, will they remove MG between Delhi and Rewari, and then
it will be as you suggest. BG train between Delhi and Rewari, and
MG from there on, if the station is not on BG. (Similar to what they
do with Tinsukia Mail. It goes upto Lumbding on BG tracks, and on
MG tracks after that.)

By the way, they have changed the route for Pink City Express. I
was just checking the latest timetable. It now goes via Rewari-Ringus
Chord. I guess the Rewari-Alwar line might have speed restrcitions
due to BG work going on there. The pink city now stops at Rewari,
Ringus and Jaipur.

-dheeraj

From: S Pai <Pai>>

Subject: Fw: [venkatar@egr.email

Date: 15 Jul 1994 13:36:00 -0500


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

From: venkatar@egr.email
To: Pai
Cc: venkatar@egr.email
Subject: Re: Fwd: [Tom Standage] Steam Trains again!
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 1994 11:32:04 +0500


Hi,
There is an excellent book on IR called "No problem, Sahib" by a couple of
Britishers. I think one of them is Hugh Ballentyne. It has excellent
photographs and good general info about railways in each state. It also covers
the steam scene in India very well.

Sridhar Shankar

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

From: Sridhar Venkataraman <sridhar@asuvax.email

Subject: Southern Railway stylised map available on WWW

Date: 16 Jul 1994 18:48:00 -0500


For those who have access to WWW, I have traced out a Southern Railway
map (dated 1993). It is mainly intended for those travellers who want to
take a quick look at a railway map. The copyright I retain on it is
mainly for preventing any commercial abuse.

Let me know of any glaring errors!

Sridhar.

From: Sridhar Venkataraman <sridhar@asuvax.email

Subject: Reg. the SR map..

Date: 16 Jul 1994 18:50:00 -0500


Oops.. I forgot to include the WWW URL..

IRFCA items are present in a menu under
<A HREF="http://enuxsa.eas.asu.edu/~sridhar/info/sci/">http://enuxsa.eas.asu.edu/~sridhar/info/sci/</A>.

I don't want to give the final URL since it is likely to be moved at
short notice.

Sridhar.

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <dheeraj@iitk.email

Subject: AC Chair cars to go.

Date: 17 Jul 1994 23:06:00 -0500


The Railways have decided to phase out air-conditioned chair cars
from Rajdhani Express trains and replace them by AC three-tier
sleeper coaches. Accordingly, 65 AC three-tier sleeper coaches have
been programmed (sic) during 1994-95, according to an official release.

(Source: Economic Times, July 15, 1994.)

From: venkatar <venkatar@egr.email

Subject: Re: Southern Railway stylised map available on WWW

Date: 19 Jul 1994 00:30:00 -0500


Hi,
Just checked out the Southern Railway map. Looks great.
Couple of minor points:
Mettupalayam-Ooty is MG
Renigunta-Guntakal-Gooty is South-Central Railway
Jolarpet-Bangalore is electrified.

Are there any GIF or JPEG pictures of IR available?

Sridhar Shankar

From: manish <manish@hogpa.email

Subject: Re: Steam Trains again!

Date: 18 Jul 1994 10:22:00 -0500


Here is some feedback for Tom Standage:

Timing: Depends upon which part of the country you want to
go to. I think September is a good month overall. Many places
continue to have monsoon showers well into August.

Itinerary: There are several small routes over which steam engines
are still used. Not necessarily scenic routes. I believe that one
is likely to find more steam engines on Metre gauge lines
(not in absolute numbers but as a percentage of total engine
population). I am not certain but my gut feeling is that there
hasn't been as strong a push to phase out steam locos from MG lines
as it has been on broad gauge lines.

In the city of Ujjain (in the state of MP) is a loco shed where one
can find plnety of defunct steam locos. Some steam locos are still
in use. Mostly on trains making short trips. Like the one between
Indore and Ujjain or Indore and Mhow.

The best bet to find steam locos is where a loco shed is. If I am not
mistaken, there is one in Katni (again in the state of MP) as well.

Clearance: If I recall correctly, long time ago Vijay had sent an email
in which he had mentioned about getting clearance to take pictures
from a station master. It won't be a problem, however. I am pretty sure
that if you manage to speak to the person in authority, they will
willingly give you the clearance to shoot (from the camera that is).

Misc: There is indeed a steam loco preservation society in India.
And I think it is based in Delhi. There is a railway museum in
Delhi. Your best bet is to get more info from them about this
society and its activities.

Good luck and enjoy your trip...

Manish

From: Jishnu Mukerji <jis@summit.email

Subject: Re: AC Chair cars to go.

Date: 18 Jul 1994 10:30:00 -0500


Excerpts from personal.IRFCA: 18-Jul-94 AC Chair cars to go. Dheeraj
Sanghi@iitk.email (313*)

> The Railways have decided to phase out air-conditioned chair cars
> from Rajdhani Express trains and replace them by AC three-tier
> sleeper coaches. Accordingly, 65 AC three-tier sleeper coaches have
> been programmed (sic) during 1994-95, according to an official release.

So it is official now. I had heard this back in February from my
cousin's husband who works in the commercial department of Eastern
Railway. He was one of the managers responsible for the implementation
of the computerized reservation system in Calcutta.

Jishnu.

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