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From: venkatar <venkatar@egr.email

Subject: Re: gauge conversion (contd.)

Date: 08 Sep 1994 14:20:00 -0500


> > Vasco da Gama--Londa

> This is probably going to take a lot of time considering the numerous
> tunnels/bridges which are probably on this line. Has anyone travelled
> on this line? If anyone has could he/she give us a feel of how many
> tunnels etc. are on it? Thanks.

> Regards, Kumar

Yup, that too in the loco, thanks to a friendly driver. Were travelling from
Bangalore to Goa, as part of "Industrial Tour" from IIT-M. At Londa I
approached the driver (via his asst.) to let myself and another pal ride in
the loco. After initial hesitation he agreed. Loco was the usual YDM4, and the
driver was nice enough to explain the operations, etc.

As for the route, I do not remember seeing many tunnels, but there were plenty
of bridges, and more importantly fairly steep gradients. The train halts at
many places to "cool the wheels/brakes". There are also signs asking the
driver to watch out for "loss of vacuum"(?). This was fun, as during a long
downward streach, continous application of breaks would lead to falling vacuum
levels, which would lead the driver to shut off the brakes and allow the train
to coast. Brakes would then be applied when the vacuum level was restored.
The MG loco is rather cramped, the ceiling does not permit one to stand erect.
There also exists a dynamic braking system which apparently was not very
effective at low speeds (30-40 kmph), and was very noisy, and not popular with
the driver. During one of the stops we were `crossed' by a goods train,
proceeding towards Londa. It had a YDM4 leading it with two more helpers at
the rear. I remember the driver mentioning that it took 3 locos to power a 900
ton goods train.

There are some nice waterfalls (Dudhsagar?) along the track. We got off at
Madgaon(?) or some such place, as it was plains from there on.

The drivers on this section seem to be a friendly bunch, as my cousin who
travelled this route some time later was also allowed to ride the loco. This
contrasts with my other attempts to ride the loco in south. All my other rides
have been in north/central region.

______________
Sridhar Shankar

From: S Pai <Pai>>

Subject: trams / light rail

Date: 09 Sep 1994 17:16:00 -0500


I saw this article on soc.culture.indian today:

AFX News, September 8, 1994

India to hold global tenders for high-speed trams
--------------------------------------------------

NEW DELHI (AFX) - India will soon hold global tenders inviting foreign
firms to build and operate elevated, high-speed electric tramways in 23
cities, a government official said.
"We will issue the global tenders within one month," said C.S. Khairwal,
joint secretary in the transport ministry overseeing the project. "We expect
the systems to be in place in two years."
He added that his ministry has already received inquiries from German,
U.S. and Asian firms.
Firms responding to the tenders should have expertise in constructing
and operating mass rapid transport projects, he said.
The project is modelled partly on mass transport services in such cities
as Singapore, Manila, Frankfurt and Toronto.

-----

Another article I saw put the cost of constructing tramways at Rs. 17 crore
(US $5.5 million) per kilometre of track. It is still probably far cheaper
than trying to get regular train routes built inside our crowded cities.

For New Delhi I believe the plan is to have a 43 km long circular tramway going
through many of the important parts of the city.

If anyone has more information on the plans, please do post. I'd like to know
which other cities are covered in the proposal, and what the plans are for
Bombay, Bangalore, and Madras, in particular.

For Bombay some time back there was a proposal known as the "Light Rail
Transport" scheme which talked of having tramways on 6 road corridors in the
city linking the southern commercial tip with the suburbs to the north
(western and eastern) and also linking the suburbs among themselves. There
were also to be 13 routes served by electric trolley-buses where constructing
a tramway might have been more difficult. I don't know if that proposal is
alive now or whether something new has been dreamed up by the planners.

Does anyone have any news on the state of the proposed Circular Railway for
Bangalore? Years ago they were talking about carrying out surveys and feasibi-
lity studies, but I've heard nothing about it recently. Actually they may be
better off scuttling that project and concentrating on these tramways. One
hopes that since these trams will be run by private firms who have a big stake
in getting a return on their investment, they will be operated more efficiently
than IR could ever manage. Not to mention that they will probably be in opera-
tion far sooner than they would be otherwise.

Regards,

-Satish

From: Vijay Balasubramanian <vbalasub@mail.email

Subject:

Date: 10 Sep 1994 13:56:00 -0500


Thanks for the info, Satish. Bombay desperately needs an alternate form
of transportation. Ironically, Bombay did have tram services (till the
late 50s?) and trolley buses (till late 60s) but these were discontinued.

In addition, a few more BG corridors (exclusively for suburban trains) are
sorely needed.

Kumar writes:
>> Bellary - Rayadurga - Chitradurga - Chickjajur - Arsikere - Bangalore

>Was a new line constructed between Chitradurga and Rayadurga/Bellary?
>The MG route was via Hubli.

Yep. A new line is being constructed from Chitradurg to Rayadurg, and
Chitradurg to Challakere has been completed.

>> Dindigul - Madurai - Tuticorin

>I assume that Maniyachi-Tirunelveli is also BG.

Yes.

>> Following BG routes would become available during 1994-95:-
>> Bhatinda - Hissar - Rewari - Alwar - Mathura

>Is it going to be Alwar-Bandikui-Bharatpur-Achnera-Mathura? What
>about Achnera-Agra Fort?

No. A direct line is being constructed from Alwar to Mathura and it has
proceeded till Deeg.

>> Guntur - Nandyal - Guntakal

>Wonder how Bombay-Guntakal-Guntur-Vijayawada-Vizag compares with the
>existing route via Secunderabad.

Wadi-Secunderabad-Kazipet-Vijayawada :- ~547 km
Wadi-Guntakal-Guntur-Vijayawada :- ~580 km

Note that the former is almost completely doubled.

>> Miraj - Bangalore

>> Hopefully, we'll have a decent Bombay - Bangalore
>> superfast Exp. with no interference :-) from Delhi.

>I believe that Bombay-Guntakal-Bangalore is shorter than Bombay-Hubli-
>Bangalore. But considering the sorry state of the Bombay-Guntakal
>line any decent superfast express would probably have to be routed
>via Hubli.

True!

Bombay - Guntakal - Bangalore City :- 1164 km
Bombay - Hubli - Bangalore City :- 1221 km

>It is annoying to note that while every village close to Delhi gets a
>Shatabdi, important routes such as the ones between Bombay-Ahmedabad,
>Bombay-Pune, Madras-Bangalore, Madras-Secunderabad, Howrah-
>Tatanagar/Raurkela etc. get ignored or get trains masquerading as
>Shatabdis. And what about Bombay-Howrah? Surely, it must have
>sufficient traffic to justify a Rajdhani-like train.

It's time that they introduced a Rajdhani-type service between Bombay and
Howrah esp. since the route is now completely doubled and electrified,
and the Gitanjali Exp. has been mangled beyond repair.
Does the existing track structure allow for speeds of 120 kmph.
and beyond? Or do they have to be upgraded?

Regards,
Vijay

From: S Pai <Pai>>

Subject: Another accident

Date: 12 Sep 1994 16:03:00 -0500


[This is from misc.news.southasia. -Satish]

Sent By: S.Ramani, NCST, Bombay

Three killed as Hyderabad-Madras Express Derails, More Causalties Feared

Vijayawada, Sept 12 (PTI) Three persons including a woman
were killed and seven others injured when eleven bogies of
Hyderabad-Madras express derailed between Singarayakonda and
Vulavapadu stations, 30 km from Ongole in Prakasam district on
south central railway section in the early hours today.
More casualties were feared, but the exact number could
not be ascertained due to darkness, railway authorities said.
Seven passenger trains had been cancelled and two express
trains had been partially cancelled due to the derailment, the
authorities said.
A passenger special had been arranged from the accident
spot to Madras, the railway control room here said.
Senior railway officials from Vijayawada and a team of
medical experts from Ongole had rushed to the spot.

From: venkatar <venkatar@egr.email

Subject: Re: your mail

Date: 12 Sep 1994 19:48:00 -0500


> It's time that they introduced a Rajdhani-type service between Bombay and
> Howrah esp. since the route is now completely doubled and electrified,
> and the Gitanjali Exp. has been mangled beyond repair.
> Does the existing track structure allow for speeds of 120 kmph.
> and beyond? Or do they have to be upgraded?
>
> Regards,
> Vijay

I agree that Gitanjali has been reduced to a sorry state. Now that Bom-How
is completely electrified, I guess the next step is to upgrade the tracks.
Last I travelled by Gitanjali the sections such as Durg-Nagpur were limited to
100 kmph. This route deserves better.

-------------
Sridhar Shankar

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <dheeraj@iitk.email

Subject: new BG train to Jaipur.

Date: 13 Sep 1994 21:21:00 -0500


Inter-city Express between Jodhpur and Jaipur, from
Friday, September 9, 1994.

Train No. Stations Train No.
2466 2465
5:30 AM D Jodhpur A 22:30 PM
6:57 AM D Merta Road D 20:49 PM
9:40 AM D Phulera D 18:20 PM
10:30 AM A Jaipur D 17:30 PM

-dheeraj

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <dheeraj@iitk.email

Subject: weekly fast parcel train.

Date: 13 Sep 1994 21:36:00 -0500


I see this ad almost every day in all major newspapers.
I had been resisting to post it since mostly we don't
talk about parcel trains, but since I am so sick of
seeing this ad, I thought I will bore you all with this.

Northern Railway introduces Weekly fast PARCEL TRAIN to
Bombay, Surat and Baroda with Guaranteed transit time
of 36 hours.
Most economical freight rates of Rs. 133.86 per quintal
for traffic of 4 tonnes and multiples for Delhi - Bombay.

(Why do they have rates of 133.86 ?? why not 130 or 135 ?
and I thought it was Vadodra and not Baroda.)

-dheeraj

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <dheeraj@iitk.email

Subject: Railway Tele-time update.

Date: 13 Sep 1994 21:45:00 -0500


Now Instant Information About Mail/Express Trains
Through New Advance System

Lift the telephone receiver and place it against your ear
Hold up and flex the index finger and dial 3346661
Then after the bip dial train number

You can enquire about the precise arrival and departure timings
of all Mail and Express trains.
Round The Clock Acessibility, plus a host of lines ensure that
you get through the first time. No engaged tones.
No "please hold on." This service covers all the main stations
in Delhi, alongwith all the Express and Mail trains arriving at
or leaving Delhi. You can enquire for 300 Mail/Express Trains.
The train numbers are available in Railway Timetables, at Rly
Stations, and on Train tickets.

----------

I have used the system, and it is quite nice. The voice is clear,
and since it is new, and not many people use it, (and they claim
that there are lots of lines) one gets through in first try. It
works with both pulse and touch-tone. But one can only enquire
about one train, and it disconnects you after that. For trains
which are not daily, it will tell you on what days the train is,
and what is the regularly scheduled time (if the train is not
there on the day you are calling).

-dheeraj

From: Vijay Balasubramanian <vbalasub@mail.email

Subject: Re: your mail

Date: 13 Sep 1994 10:29:00 -0500


> I agree that Gitanjali has been reduced to a sorry state. Now that Bom-How
> is completely electrified, I guess the next step is to upgrade the tracks.
> Last I travelled by Gitanjali the sections such as Durg-Nagpur
> were limited to
> 100 kmph. This route deserves better.

> -------------
> Sridhar Shankar


What is the max. speed of the Gitanjali between Durg and Howrah? 100 kmph.?
The booked/max. speeds for both the Bombay-Howrah Mail (via Nagpur) and the
Gitanjali are as follows (according to the July 1992 working time-table):
Igatpuri - Bhusaval :- 90 kmph. booked / 110 kmph. max.
Bhusaval - Nagpur :- 95 kmph. booked / 105 kmph. max

Both of them have been speeded up by about 20-30 mts. from Igatpuri to
Bhusaval, so their booked speeds might have gone up.

In the early 80s, the Gitanjali used to cover the 1960 km. Bombay-Howrah
stretch in about 29 hrs. What would have been its max. speed at that time?
110 kmph?

Ironically, Bombay-Howrah was one of the sections identified for high-speed
operation in the early 70s. In fact, on November 1971, the max. speeds of the
following trains were increased from 100 kmph. to 110 kmph:
Frontier Mail, Howrah - Bombay Mail (via Nagpur), GT Exp.,
Howrah - Kalka Mail.


Vijay

From: Rangachari <anand@watson.email

Subject: Origins of our diesels

Date: 15 Sep 1994 16:17:00 -0500


I recently saw a picture of a WDM4 in an illustrated book on railways.
As soon as I saw it I thought EMD! The bogies on the WDM4 are a ditto
clone of those found on the SD series of locomotives made by EMD
(Electromotive Division of General Motors). EMD is one of the two
manufacturers of diesel locomotives in the US. The other is GE.

As is probably well known, the WDM2 is actually an ALCO-GE (built by
ALCO GE electricals. Take a look at any of the 6 axle ALCO units
and the bogie design will be instantly familiar to you.

The main difference between GM and GE has been that GM has 2 stroke
diesels (the 567) while GE has 4 stroke (the 251).

I recall that both types of locomtotives were compared in the early 60s
and the ALCO design was selected. Does anyone know the details about
the selection process? Also, I am almost sure that the YDM4a is
a two-stroke diesel. Can anyone confirm?

Thanks
Anand

From: venkatar <venkatar@egr.email

Subject: Re: Origins of our diesels

Date: 15 Sep 1994 22:51:00 -0500


> I recently saw a picture of a WDM4 in an illustrated book on railways.
> As soon as I saw it I thought EMD! The bogies on the WDM4 are a ditto
> clone of those found on the SD series of locomotives made by EMD
> (Electromotive Division of General Motors). EMD is one of the two
> manufacturers of diesel locomotives in the US. The other is GE.
>
> As is probably well known, the WDM2 is actually an ALCO-GE (built by
> ALCO GE electricals. Take a look at any of the 6 axle ALCO units
> and the bogie design will be instantly familiar to you.

WDM2 was the export version of ALCO century series, with the diesel
power plant and mechanical components from ALCO, transmission and
electrics from GE, as you mentioned. WDM2 is the v16 cyl 2400 hp (251B)
version of the design. IR also tested a 12 cyl 1800 hp version of the
same design (WDM1).

> The main difference between GM and GE has been that GM has 2 stroke
> diesels (the 567) while GE has 4 stroke (the 251).
>
> I recall that both types of locomtotives were compared in the early 60s
> and the ALCO design was selected. Does anyone know the details about
> the selection process? Also, I am almost sure that the YDM4a is
> a two-stroke diesel. Can anyone confirm?
>
> Thanks
> Anand

IR did evaluate designs from EMD, and in fact some of the prototypes were
in service untill recently (do they still exist?) with Northern Railway
as class WDM4. These were 2640 hp units, but had poorer tractive effort
and performance compared to WDM2. They look ugly too. IR also evaluated
another design form a German consortium (Henschel?)- WDM3, but these had
hydraulic transmission, and were not competitive. I think IR made
a great choice, as ALCO diesels have a hard charging reputation and the
charming ability to belch out smoke when doing so!
It is a pity that ALCO was forced out of business by GE.

YDM4 and YDM4a are basically the same loco, the former from ALCO and the
later from MLW (Montreal Locomotive Works), which manufactured some ALCO
products after ALCO closed. It is a 6 cyl 1200 hp engine (4 stroke I think).
Perhaps some one can fill in more details. I don't think they evaluated
a EMD product for the MG.

-------------
Sridhar Shankar

From: S Pai <Pai>>

Subject: news : cargo sector plans

Date: 19 Sep 1994 13:51:00 -0500


This is taken from misc.news.southasia (article by John Perry, Sep 18).

-Satish

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

Source : News India-Times, New York, Sept 18, 1994

US Firm to Help Revamp Indian Cargo Sector

The government has agreed to the proposal from a United States firm to
transform India's time consuming cargo transporting sector by introducing
railroad carriages which could carry nearly 200 trucks between major
metropolitan cities, Surface Transport minister Jagdish Tytler announced
yesterday.

The new mode of transport, using the spare time available with the railroad
when the tracks are not in use, will transform the Indian cargo sector by
reducing costs and valuable time, Tytler said without divulging the name of
the US firm.

He said the US company has also agreed to set up a dedicated rail network for
carrying goods from key cities in the country and was willing to invest the
required amount.

From: Vijay Balasubramanian <vbalasub@mail.email

Subject: Auto Train

Date: 23 Sep 1994 12:38:00 -0500


Hi Folks,

Thought I'll describe my journey on the Auto Train from Florida to
Virginia, an interesting experience, no doubt.

The Auto Train is the only train in America to carry passengers as well as
automobiles (are there any other such trains across the world?). It is the
longest passenger train in the world with a fleet of 45 coaches hauled by two
powerful 4000 hp. diesel locos. The number of passanger coaches is about the
same as the no. of auto carriers. The train goes at a top speed of 70 kmph.,
and travels between Sanford, Fl and Lorton, VA. It has no passenger halts in
between but has technical halts at Florence, SC and Richmond, VA. The first
of these is for change of crew and is also a watering station. The train
leaves Sanford every evening at 4.30 pm and arriv at Lorton by 9.00 a.m., the
next day.

It was interesting to note how cars/vans get loaded into the carriers.
Cars are not loaded on a first-come-first-serve basis, but according to size
and weight. Hence, we were advised to arrive at Sanford atleast two hours
before departure. In addition, they would not accept cars after 3.30 pm.
There are height restrictions for cars and vans -> max. height for cars / vans
is 65" / 85". Each auto carrier is slightly wider than a van and tall enough
to house vehicles at two levels. Since there are only two ramp sets (each
consisting of a flat and an inclined ramp meant for the lower and upper
levels, respectively), the carriers are grouped in rakes of four before being
shunted to the loading point. Naturally, the first car to enter a rake has to
traverse four carriers before being lodged for the night.

The train departed a cool 10 mts. before schedule. We were traveling in
an Amfleet II coach which is similar to our AC Chair Car, except that the
seats are spaced comfortably apart and have bigger leg-rests. After crossing
Deland, Pierson, and Palatka, the train made its first stop at Jacksonville,
FL.Pierson is the "Fern Capital of the World" and grows much of the nation's
commercial crop. In fact, we spotted plenty of black tents which are meant to
protect the plants from frostbite and sunstroke.

I was surprised to learn that Jacksonville is the 2nd largest city in the
U.S.,geographically. However, the station looked pathetic and lifeless with
an island platform serving two tracks, and practically empty. In contrast,
the marshelling yard was huge and had all kinds of goods wagons to offer.
This confirmed the dominance of freight over passenger traffic.

BTW, the Auto Train has three observation cars which have glass domes and
two rows of chairs set close to the roof, so as to provide a panoramic view
of the train and surroundings. One of these is meant exclusively for
passengers traveling by sleeper class and has dining arrangements.
Fortunately, an observation car was right next to my coach and I made full
use of it.

Night travel in an AC Coach is a fairly uneventful affair. And this was
no exception. We arrived at Florence around 1.00 a.m. I could not resist
the temptation to glance out of an open door, and was rewarded with the
smell of fresh air. Needless to say, the station was deserted.

We pulled out of Florence around 1.45 am, and crossed the southbound
Auto Train around 2.00 a.m. This meant that the latter had been
delayed by nearly 2 1/2 hrs. and I wondered why. We stopped somewhere
near Rocky Mount to enable the Tampa-bound Silver Meteor to crossover.

Around 8.00 am came the nasty announcement that a fault in the signalling
system (somewhere near Petersburg) would result in a delay of about 2 hrs.
No wonder the train had stooped to a crawl. The train reached Richmond
around 9.30 am. The layout was not much different from Jacksonville -> an
impressive marshelling yard followed by a tiny station. I see a pattern
emerging....

Believe it or not, I was glad when the train pulled into Lorton around
11.30. We had been warned that the vehicle unloading process would go on for
atleast two hours, so the worst case scenario was a wait-time of > 2 hrs.
Lady luck was with me again, and we got our car in about 15 mts. And that
meant an end to my first long distance trip by Amtrak. A memorable one,
indeed!!


Regards,

Vijay

From: Vijay Balasubramanian <vbalasub@mail.email

Subject: Re: Auto Train

Date: 23 Sep 1994 14:00:00 -0500


> Thanks for your article.
>
> I believe the top speed should be 70 mph (113 kmph), not 70 kmph
> hs you had said.
>
> Udayan
>
> udayan@virginia.email

Oh goodness my!!!! I was thinking more in terms of Indian speeds :-).
The max. speed is, indeed, 70 mph.

Vijay

From: Jishnu Mukerji <jis@summit.email

Subject: Re: Auto Train, and also recent TGV experience

Date: 23 Sep 1994 16:05:00 -0500


Very nice travelogue of the Auto Train ride....

Excerpts from personal.IRFCA: 23-Sep-94 Auto Train V. Balasubramanian@mail.
(4292*)

> The Auto Train is the only train in America to carry passengers as well as
> automobiles (are there any other such trains across the world?).

There are many trains (typically overnight trains, but there are
exceptions) in Europe that carry autos and passengers. But none of them
are done in as grand a style as the Auto Train. The fact that the Auto
Train is the only one in the USA perhaps makes it a much more noticable
operation.

Speaking of Europe, and entirely of no relevance to Indian Railways I
might add:-), weekend before last I travelled both the new TGV lines in
France. I took a Paris - Marseilles TGV to Valence. This train runs
non-stop from Paris to Valence in the Rhone Valley south of Lyon, and it
bypassed Lyon on the new LGV Rhone - Alpes. There is one station on this
new line at the Lyon Airport called Lyon-Satolas-TGV. The equipment was
a TGV Sud-Est Orange train.

On the return trip I hopped onto a Montpellier - Lille TGV that bypassed
Paris on the LGV "Jonction". This is the new Paris by pass line that
runs East of Paris and has just been innaugurated. It connects the TGV
Sud-Est line (Paris(Gare-de-Lyon) - Lyon(Part-Dieu)) to the TGV Nord
line (Paris(Gare-du-Nord) - Lille(Europa) - Calais(Frethune) and then
through th Chunnel onto Folkstone(Dolands Moor) - London(Waterloo)).
There are two new stations on this line - Marne-La-Valley-Chessy (at the
entrance to Eurodisney) and Aeroport-Charles-de-Gaulle (at the Paris
airport of the same name). The latter station has not been opened yet.
The train zipped through it at some ungodly speed. It did stop at
Marne-La-Valley though. I continued on to Lille-Flandres and took
another TGV back from there to Paris-Gare-du-Nord. The equipment for the
Valence - Lille and the Lille - Paris trips were TGV- Reseau, which are
more spacious and the newest of the TGVs. Suprisingly, the TGV from
Valence took the Rhone-Alpes line and then diverted into Lyon for its
stop at Lyon Part-Dieu even though that route is considerably longer in
distance than the direct main line from Valence to Lyon, but then on the
other hand it took 15 minutes less to do that than if it had travelled
on the regular main line.

Each time I ride the TGV I am just left in awe at the sheer regularily
and mundaneness of the operation of these fastest trains of the world,
and I hear they are now working on 350kmph TGVs! They are also working
on upgrading the original TGV line between Paris and Lyon to 300kmph,
while they are also building two new lines - the TGV Est from Paris to
Strasbourg and the TGV Mediterrenee from Valence to Marseilles and
Montpellier. Very impressive....

Oh also, just outside Gare-du-Nord at La-Landy TGV yard I saw four
Eurostars standing next to each other. Service to London using these
trains is scheduled to begin in October.

Jishnu.

From: S Pai <Pai>>

Subject: news items

Date: 02 Oct 1994 23:32:00 -0500


It's been really quiet on this list lately... I guess everyone's busy.

Here are a couple of IR-related news items I saw recently.

-Satish

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

Four railway candidates killed in train accident
New Delhi, Sept 25, Reuter

Four students riding on the roof of an overcrowded express train were
killed on Sunday when their carriage sped underneath a low bridge, knocking
them off, local news agencies reported.

The students were among 48,000 who descended on Chandigarh, capital of
northern Punjab state, on Sunday to take a national examination to become
railway ticket collectors, they said.

So many candidates had forced their way into the victims' train that they
climbed on to the roof. Another 12 students were injured in the same accident.

The railway services recruitment board delayed the examination by four
hours due to the accident.


Rail pact signed with Indian firm
Riyadh, Sept 22 (?), Reuter

The Saudi Railway Organization (SRO) signed a consultancy agreement
with the Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES) on Saturday in
Dammam to study as to how far Saudi railways could be further improved.

The president of the SRO, Faisal Al Shuhail, and the managing director of
the RITES, Vijay Kanwar, signed the agreement on behalf of their respective
organizations. The others who were present at the signing ceremony on behalf
of the RITES included, finance director T.P. Mani and Joint General Manager
V.C.Sharma.

Speaking to newsmen during a dinner reception hosted by Indian Embassy
Charge d'Affaires Rakesh Kumar here Tuesday, Kanwar said that the agreement
will be for a period of three months to cooperate with the Saudi railways in
exchanging experiences regarding track and wheel wear, mismatch between the
wheel and the track, sand-flow into the track and design of coaches. RITES
will submit a computerized report on the findings in three months.

Initially three distinguished engineers from RITES will be sent to study
the set up of the 575 kilometers rail track between Dammam and Riyadh, Kanwar
said. He added that this is not the first time that an Indian railway
organization has come into technical cooperation with the Saudi government.
He recalled that a couple of years ago the Indian Rail Construction (IRCON)
built a diesel locomotive workshop in Dammam.

The managing director said that RITES has rich experience in providing
consultancy services to 33 countries including 14 in Africa.

From: S Pai <Pai>>

Subject: signalling

Date: 03 Oct 1994 00:20:00 -0500


A while back there was some discussion here of CTC vs. ATS, etc. I found some
description of the versions of these schemes used by IR in "Railway Management
in India" by G. S. Khosla (Thacker & Co., Bombay). This book was published in
1972 so no doubt this information is *extremely* out of date. If anyone has a
better idea of the signalling systems used now, please do post.

About CTC (Centralized Traffic Control) it says:

"As an experimental measure, CTC has been installed on the 179 km
Gorakhpur--Chupra section of the North Eastern Railway, and on the
110 km Bongaigaon--Changsari section of the Northeast Frontier Rail-
way. [CTC] enables 30 to 40 roadside stations to be controlled from
one central location."

About ATC/ATS it says:

"[ATC] has not yet been considered by the Indian Railways. Under the
system being introduced in India, a train is automatically brought
to a halt, if a signal it is approaching is not lowered. The equipment
is in two parts, one being permanently fitted in the track at an
adequate distance short of the first approach signal and the other in
cab of the engine. An audible, and sometimes, a visual warning also,
is given to the driver in the cab of the engine, when a train approaches
a signal at danger. On receiving this warning, the driver is required
to press an acknowledgement button and apply brakes. If he fails to
do so, the brakes are applied automatically and the train comes to a
halt. The installation of the automatic train control system on the
770 km Howrah--Burdwan--Gaya--Mughalsarai section of the Eastern Railway
at an estimated cost of about Rs. 5.5 million is in progress, and
[... IR] propose to provide this system on the high-speed trunk routes
between Delhi, Bombay, and Calcutta and on the busy suburban sections
in Bombay and Calcutta at a cost of Rs. 50 million."

About signalling for automation in marshalling yards:

"[IR's] pivotal marshalling yard at Mughalsarai, which deals with
6,000 wagons daily, is the nearest example to complete automation,
as this yard, with track-circuited tracks, has not only push-button
arrangements for humping and sorting out wagons, but is also fitted
with power-operated retarders, which control the speed of the wagons
moving down the hump, and by thus cushioning impact, reduce damage
to wagons and their contents. Indian Railways have not yet advanced
to the stage of automatic control of the speed of the wagons rolling
down the hump by the use of radar, which eliminates damage. In many
marshalling yards, however, a talk-back facility for ready communica-
tions between the control tower and the groundsmen has been provided."

About IR's radio communications:

"Since 1964 microwave radio relay stations have been commissioned
over 4,000 route kilometres including Bombay--Kalyan--Pune--Igatpuri
(Central Railway), Gorakhpur--Katihar (North-eastern Railway), Chakra-
dharpur--Bhilai--Bilaspur--Katni (South-eastern Railway), Madras--
Vijayawada, Mysore--Hubli--Guntakal, and Olavakkot--Madurai--Tiru-
chirapalli (Southern and South-Central Railways) which form the largest
single microwave network in the developing countries of Asia. Microwave
schemes covering an additional route kilometrage of 5,500 are in hand.
[...] another 7,500 route kilometres covering the remaining trunk routes
of Indian Railways [are proposed for the Fourth Plan]. [...] The long-
haul narrow-band microwave radio equipment used on Indian Railways has
a capacity of 120 channels, sufficient for immediate needs. [...] Voice-
frequency telegraph equipment [...] has been employed for splitting a
single voice channel into a maximum of 24 teleprinter channels."

In those days of second-generation computers (!), there is also mention of the
single computer that was used by the freight dispatchers' office to record
and analyze the movements of goods wagons: apparently it took until the
afternoon of the following day to get 85% of the data for one day, and the
complete picture couldn't be presented until 4 days later; the blame for this
was laid on the unreliability of the communications channels, whether wires
or radio links.

-Satish

From: Pushkar Apte <apte@spdc.email

Subject: signalling (fwd)

Date: 03 Oct 1994 14:33:00 -0500


Forwarded message:

> halt. The installation of the automatic train control system on the
> 770 km Howrah--Burdwan--Gaya--Mughalsarai section of the Eastern Railway
> at an estimated cost of about Rs. 5.5 million is in progress, and
> [... IR] propose to provide this system on the high-speed trunk routes
> between Delhi, Bombay, and Calcutta and on the busy suburban sections
> in Bombay and Calcutta at a cost of Rs. 50 million."

It is indeed heartening to note that they are actually going to spend
some money on improving the signalling in Bombay and Calcutta's
suburban systems. From all the reports I am getting, the Bombay
suburban system is genuinely deteriorating. A couple of instances:

- There was massive stoning of Churchgate station for 3 consecutive
days by irate commuters last week to protest train delays

- A goods train derailed near Mahim on Harbour Branch and this
disrupted harbor line services for an *entire* week.

My commuting experiences in Bombay upto '87 were far superior. In
those days, Western Railway used to claim that you could set you
watch by their locals. And in fact, I rarely remember trains being
more than 5 mins late, even in peak hours.

One hopes that some investment is made to restore that level of
performance for Bombay's harried commuters.

Regards,
Pushkar
-------

From: venkatar <venkatar@egr.email

Subject: Konkan Rail .............

Date: 03 Oct 1994 21:34:00 -0500


Hi,

I was wondering if any one knows about the Railway zones involved with
the Konkan Rly. Is Mangalore-Udupi part of Southern Rly?

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

Regards,

Sridhar.

From: Rakesh Mullick <rakesh@cc.email

Subject: Palace on Wheels

Date: 04 Oct 1994 15:54:00 -0500


Dear friends,

I would like to get any and every piece of information concerning the
Indian Railways "Palace on Wheels" - the train, the package, the
sites/cities it stop in, and any other information that I can collect.
Thanks for you help and time.

Regards,

-Rakesh

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