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From: Jishnu Mukerji <jis@summit.email

Subject: Re: Special steel tracks for Eastern Railways

Date: 18 Nov 1994 12:27:00 -0500


Excerpts from personal.IRFCA: 11-Nov-94 Special steel tracks for Ea.. A
S Pai@CS.Email (330*)


> Tracks for sections with heavy-haul traffic of iron ore and other materials
> in the Eastern Railway sector are to have special heat-treated steel rails
> phased in. The rails are to be imported from British Steel, and supposedly
> last 3-4 times as long as ordinary rails under the demanding conditions in
> those sections.

> -Satish

That explains it. Couple of weeks back I saw this huge billboard from
British Steel at the Euston Station in London touting how they are
delivering these heavy duty heat treated rails to India. Now we klnow
what they will be used for.

Jishnu.

From: S Pai <Pai>>

Subject: Fw: [Harsh Kumar ] News about IRFCA to different railways.

Date: 20 Nov 1994 14:12:00 -0500


Looks like our list is getting some publicity back in India. :-)

-Satish

------- Start of forwarded message -------
From: harsh@rscbrc.email (PTA & IT)
To: S Pai
Subject: News about IRFCA to different railways.
Date: Sun, 20 Nov 94 10:26:47 IST

I am very happy to inform you that we have informed about your group to
all railways. All most all were very happy to have friends. Hi from all
of them. We have also mentioned about you in the press conference we had
in college. Press too was thrilled. Please do keep us informed about the
activities. I had requested you about suggestions for the workshop on
IT & IR. yes on IT applications for indian railways. I did not get your
suggestions. Please send them and advise if you had send them earlier.
Please reply early.

Harsh Kumar Phone: DOT : 91-265-551873 (O) 91-265-427375 (R)
Professor IT & AT FAX : 91-265-420067; Auto: 5046 (O) 5047 (R)
Railway Staff College, E-Mail: harsh@rscbrc.email
Vadodara 390 004
------- End of forwarded message -------

From: S Pai <Pai>>

Subject: news snippets

Date: 20 Nov 1994 22:21:00 -0500


1. The Indian Railways Construction Company (IRCON) has secured another
contract for the supply of 11 meter-gauge diesel locomotives to Malaysia,
The deal is worth $6.5 million and was won in spite of competition from
US and Australian companies.

2. Income and expenditure: IR's projected outlay for the 1995/1996 plan year
is Rs 75 billion ($2.5 billion), of which 1/3 is to be provided by budgetary
support. For the current year the outlay is Rs 65 billion, of which about
Rs 11 billion was from budgetary support, Rs 10 billion from market borrowing,
and Rs 43 billion from internal revenue generation.

From: S Pai <Pai>>

Subject: another article on globe-trotting by rail

Date: 20 Nov 1994 22:36:00 -0500


From _The_Independent_ of November 13.

Travel: The new age of the train; 'The train now standing at platform
four is the 10.35 to Ho Chi Minh City, calling at . . .' Tomorrow the
Chunnel opens for passengers, and Jonathan Glancey is making plans.
x
By Jonathan Glancey

BREAKFAST in London, lunch in Paris, simply by hopping on a train at
Waterloo, and no changes on the way: this month's cross-channel Eurostar
service will make Paris easier to reach from London than Edinburgh is. These
185 mph rail-guided missiles will make London and Paris complementary
extensions of one another rather than glowering rivals separated by air, sea
and centuries of chauvinism.

Paris, however, is merely a glittering start to a journey by rail that can
take you, assuming you have iron in your soul and steam in your heart, from a
spot opposite the gents' lavatory at Waterloo to the snows of Siberia and,
bearing south and east, deep into the Orient. Rails from London now lead from
the buffers at Waterloo International as far as Ho Chi Minh City. As Vietnam
is the latest exotic playpen for chic travellers, what better point of
arrival? And from next year, if all goes to plan, the same journey can be
made by Eurostar from Edinburgh via London (Olympia).

Sadly, although Vietnam is within reach, not everyone is playing the new
one-world game. Border disputes, wars and broken economies mean that rail
links across the great land mass connecting Calais to Calcutta are severed at
several points. The Iranians are at present toying with a new line to
Pakistan that would make possible the run from London to the southernmost tip
of India (Kanniyakumani, 400 miles from Madras, via the fashionable beaches
of Cochin).

Even then, a train ride from Turkey to Tehran--essential for a journey to
India--depends on the Iranians and Turks talking to one another in railway-
minded fashion. Since the two countries fell out over the Gulf war, they have
refused to run through-trains between Istanbul and Tehran and vice versa.
Even if political differences are settled, Turkish Railways (TCDD) is in
dispute with Iranian Railways (RAI), because the latter has requisitioned
some of the former's coaches.

The nearest you can get by rail to India for the foreseeable future is
Tatvan in eastern Turkey or Tushanbe in Tajikistan (via Moscow), travelling
courtesy of Central Asian Railway. Tushanbe is roughly half-way between the
Tajik and Afghan borders. You will need to be bloody-minded (and bullet-proof)
to get from here to the North-West Frontier of India, but once you have
arrived at Jammu Tawi, in Punjab, the subcontinent is your Network SouthEast,
courtesy of the daily 10.35 super-express to Delhi and the Jesse tree of
tracks that spreads out from the Indian capital.

Gazing from Asia to Africa, one can only dream of a train running between
Aqaba in Jordan (T E Lawrence's Akaba) and El Suweis in Egypt. Such a link
would bridge Europe and Africa. To Cape Town by train? Not quite. One would
have to abandon the train 546 miles south of Cairo at Aswan and take the ferry
across Lake Nasser to catch the 16.40 (Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays) Sudan
Railways express (hard plastic seats in third class, leather in second, cloth
in first) from Wadi Halfa to Khartoum.

And while it is certainly possible to take the thrice-weekly 10.30 from
Khartoum 818 miles further south to Nyala, only a bus or jeep would take you
from there into the very heart of Africa. Much further south, you can ride
from Bulawayo, in Zimbabwe, to Victoria Falls by steam (long trains pulled by
magnificent British-built locomotives). From here you join up with the
excellent South African Railways.

T E Lawrence did for the through services from Istanbul and Baghdad to
Cairo via Jordan when he blew up Turkish trains, troops and stretches of
track during his leadership of the Arab uprising. And trains that once went
all the way to the Egyptian capital, trundling along the coast of Palestine,
stopped running at the end of the Second World War.

Back to Waterloo: the run to Ho Chi Minh City (avoiding Clapham Junction)
is feasible, if not entirely foolproof. The key leg to Peking is remarkably
easy if you want it to be. Trains from London to Paris connect with the long
ride across Europe to Moscow (Yaroslavski), and from there the Thursdays-only,
19.45 "Rossiya" will take you the 5,589 miles to Peking in just six nights
and seven days at an average speed of just below 40mph, calling at 28 major
towns on the way.

It is then possible to ride the 1,598 miles south from the Chinese capital
to Nanning, situated 125 miles north of the Vietnamese border. Although rails
extend south from here across the hills to Hanoi, Vietnam railways (DSVN)
says there will be no passenger trains across the border for the next three
years. An arcane dispute has left only goods trains running between the two
countries. You could try asking for a ride on one of these or else find a
cross-border bus.

However, Thomas Cook, publisher of the famous Overseas Railway Timetable,
the international rail traveller's bible, says trains could begin running at
any time; in which case, book yourself on to the 23.27 Peking to Hanoi (two
nights) arriving at 07.00. From Hanoi, the 09.00 runs 1,072 miles down the
coast of Vietnam, passing through points on the map best known to most
Westerners as US Airforce bomb targets. It arrives at Ho Chi Minh City at
08.15 on the third day.

There is, however, a more beautiful, if tortuous route to Peking from
Moscow and on to Vietnam. The opening of a new line between Alma Ata in
Kazakhstan and Urumqi in north-west China two years ago means that it is
possible to travel the ancient Silk Route to the Chinese capital, taking in
such fabulous cities as Samarkand and Bukhara.

This is the route for adventurers and not for those who believe in the
efficacy of printed timetables. Trains can be delayed at the border between
Kazakhstan and China for up to 24 hours. There is no point waving copies of
English newspapers, saying you were up at Cambridge with the ambassador's son
or threatening to write in and complain about it. Best to take a stroll, chat
to the locals in hand-signs (assuming your Khazakh and Chinese dialects are
not up to much) and, much more effectively, in shared bottles of vodka and
other inscrutable strong spirits.

This journey is as stunning and as awkward as only the true railway buff
could hope for. Best of all, perhaps, is the fact that because the Soviet
Union has broken up, Moscow time--which once gave sense to timetables in
these far-off parts--no longer rules; so timetables are gloriously incompre-
hensible and best tackled by those with at least some grasp of the mathematics
of space-time continuums.

Officially, and according to Moscow time, the 16.40 "Turkmenistan"
express from Moscow (Kayanski) turns off the main line to Astrakhan at
Aksarayskaya (arr. 21.26, day two), follows the north shore of the Caspian
Sea through Kazakhstan to Atyrau (03.31, day three), before turning south to
Beyneu (11.43), Kungrad (20.03) and Chardzou (07.35, day four).

Here, assuming everything is running to plan, there is a long wait until
the 19.22 overnight express to the legendary Silk Road city of Samarkand
(04.10, day five), a place of domes and minarets, coloured tiles and carpets
that makes real Coleridge's opium-induced dream of Kubla Khan's Xanadu.

Connections from Samarkand to Tashkent, the Silk Route city, heading east,
are awkward. The cruelly timed 04.30 will get you to Tashkent (283 miles) at
10.12, where the 13.10 will take you north again to Arys (15.41) where you
make a theoretically nifty cross-platform change to the 16.11 to Alma Ata,
which skirts high mountains and arrives at 09.00 on day six.

From Alma Ata, the 19.00 "Genghis Khan" trundles overnight to Aktogay
(05.23, day seven); it takes more than another entire day to cross the
Chinese border and to reach Urumqi (09.30, day eight), a spell-binding
average speed of 33mph over 655 miles. In mitigation, there are more than a
few barren hills and bleak mountains on the way.

Here, we clamber aboard one of the great green trains of the People's
Republic for the long trail through Chengdu and Zhengzhou to Peking. The
16.49 from Urumqi rumbles night and day across deserts and along riverbeds,
touching mountains and ancient lands better known to Marco Polo and flirting
with the Great Wall of China (on the left-hand side of the train). If the
16.49 keeps time, we should arrive at our destination, ready for a change of
train to Vietnam, at 14.40 on day 12. Of course, if you intend to explore
towns en route, you will need much longer than 12 days.

Sadly, none of these trains is powered by steam. Developing countries are
as keen to rid themselves of the 19th-century image of the steam locomotive
as British Railways was in the Sixties. You will, however, see many mainline
steam locomotives in China. Most date from the Seventies, while some are
brand new. Powerful, efficient and handsome, they seem to be kept well away
from trains that tourists are likely to take.

Once in China, however, if you venture well off the beaten track, you
could spend many steamy weeks riding robust trains through the vast and
staggering hinterlands of this extraordinary country. Elsewhere in the world,
mainline scheduled steam services are confined to the Indian subcontinent,
Zimbabwe (particularly during shortages of imported diesel oil) and to the
astonishing mainline trains running between Asuncion and Encarnacion in
Paraguay. Here, the pre-1914 locomotives are operated by the grandiloquently
named Ferrocarril Presidente Carlos Antonio Lopez. Modern(ish) Argentine
coaches have replaced antique timber passenger cars recently. The line is
likely to remain steam for a few more years.

If these long-haul journeys sound daunting, it is nice to know that
Eurostar trains will bring much of nearby Europe within easy reach of London.
For those who love railway travel, but find the idea of spittoons, samovars
and armed border guards too much to take (all features of rail journeys
through Central Asia) there is something ineffably appealing about great
European stations. Trains pull in and out of heroic steel and glass sheds,
with carriages of several national railway companies as well as blue
wagons-lits in tow, some enticing you to Venice, others threatening Moscow.
Station buffets and bars remain romantic haunts for watching and meeting
people much more at ease than they are in anodyne airports.

Trains snake into the very heart of Continental towns and cities, offering
intimate views of suburban streets, apartment blocks and famous monuments.
They do not abandon you in the middle of nowhere. They connect with metro
systems, trams and buses. Reassuring things, for the most part, they bore
through mountains, streak across steppes and battle nobly with fog, rain,
sleet and snow.

Inside, a long-distance train can be a place of sanctuary: somewhere to
read weighty novels that otherwise gather dust by the bed, write letters, or
simply daydream while gazing at rolling views or being hypnotised by the roar
of relentless rails. A train is a miniature town on the move: you can walk up
and down, exchange life-stories with complete strangers and eat strange food
with yet more strangers.

The London-Paris Eurostar expresses open up a whole new world (or at least
half the globe) of travel by train. The end of the line is no longer Dover
with its testy customs officers; it is Venezia (Santa Lucia), Istanbul
(Sirkeci), Moscow (Smolenskaya)--and, with a little luck and a few hundred
miles of promised new track, Bombay (Victoria), Madras (Central) and Calcutta
(Howrah). Now you can ask for a second-class return to Ho Chi Minh City at
Waterloo. Try it and see what happens.

From: S Pai <Pai>>

Subject: another article on globe-trotting by rail

Date: 20 Nov 1994 22:36:00 -0500


Travel: The new age of the train; 'The train now standing at platform
four is the 10.35 to Ho Chi Minh City, calling at . . .' Tomorrow the
Chunnel opens for passengers, and Jonathan Glancey is making plans.
x
By Jonathan Glancey

BREAKFAST in London, lunch in Paris, simply by hopping on a train at
Waterloo, and no changes on the way: this month's cross-channel Eurostar
service will make Paris easier to reach from London than Edinburgh is. These
185 mph rail-guided missiles will make London and Paris complementary
extensions of one another rather than glowering rivals separated by air, sea
and centuries of chauvinism.

Paris, however, is merely a glittering start to a journey by rail that can
take you, assuming you have iron in your soul and steam in your heart, from a
spot opposite the gents' lavatory at Waterloo to the snows of Siberia and,
bearing south and east, deep into the Orient. Rails from London now lead from
the buffers at Waterloo International as far as Ho Chi Minh City. As Vietnam
is the latest exotic playpen for chic travellers, what better point of
arrival? And from next year, if all goes to plan, the same journey can be
made by Eurostar from Edinburgh via London (Olympia).

Sadly, although Vietnam is within reach, not everyone is playing the new
one-world game. Border disputes, wars and broken economies mean that rail
links across the great land mass connecting Calais to Calcutta are severed at
several points. The Iranians are at present toying with a new line to
Pakistan that would make possible the run from London to the southernmost tip
of India (Kanniyakumani, 400 miles from Madras, via the fashionable beaches
of Cochin).

Even then, a train ride from Turkey to Tehran--essential for a journey to
India--depends on the Iranians and Turks talking to one another in railway-
minded fashion. Since the two countries fell out over the Gulf war, they have
refused to run through-trains between Istanbul and Tehran and vice versa.
Even if political differences are settled, Turkish Railways (TCDD) is in
dispute with Iranian Railways (RAI), because the latter has requisitioned
some of the former's coaches.

The nearest you can get by rail to India for the foreseeable future is
Tatvan in eastern Turkey or Tushanbe in Tajikistan (via Moscow), travelling
courtesy of Central Asian Railway. Tushanbe is roughly half-way between the
Tajik and Afghan borders. You will need to be bloody-minded (and bullet-proof)
to get from here to the North-West Frontier of India, but once you have
arrived at Jammu Tawi, in Punjab, the subcontinent is your Network SouthEast,
courtesy of the daily 10.35 super-express to Delhi and the Jesse tree of
tracks that spreads out from the Indian capital.

Gazing from Asia to Africa, one can only dream of a train running between
Aqaba in Jordan (T E Lawrence's Akaba) and El Suweis in Egypt. Such a link
would bridge Europe and Africa. To Cape Town by train? Not quite. One would
have to abandon the train 546 miles south of Cairo at Aswan and take the ferry
across Lake Nasser to catch the 16.40 (Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays) Sudan
Railways express (hard plastic seats in third class, leather in second, cloth
in first) from Wadi Halfa to Khartoum.

And while it is certainly possible to take the thrice-weekly 10.30 from
Khartoum 818 miles further south to Nyala, only a bus or jeep would take you
from there into the very heart of Africa. Much further south, you can ride
from Bulawayo, in Zimbabwe, to Victoria Falls by steam (long trains pulled by
magnificent British-built locomotives). From here you join up with the
excellent South African Railways.

T E Lawrence did for the through services from Istanbul and Baghdad to
Cairo via Jordan when he blew up Turkish trains, troops and stretches of
track during his leadership of the Arab uprising. And trains that once went
all the way to the Egyptian capital, trundling along the coast of Palestine,
stopped running at the end of the Second World War.

Back to Waterloo: the run to Ho Chi Minh City (avoiding Clapham Junction)
is feasible, if not entirely foolproof. The key leg to Peking is remarkably
easy if you want it to be. Trains from London to Paris connect with the long
ride across Europe to Moscow (Yaroslavski), and from there the Thursdays-only,
19.45 "Rossiya" will take you the 5,589 miles to Peking in just six nights
and seven days at an average speed of just below 40mph, calling at 28 major
towns on the way.

It is then possible to ride the 1,598 miles south from the Chinese capital
to Nanning, situated 125 miles north of the Vietnamese border. Although rails
extend south from here across the hills to Hanoi, Vietnam railways (DSVN)
says there will be no passenger trains across the border for the next three
years. An arcane dispute has left only goods trains running between the two
countries. You could try asking for a ride on one of these or else find a
cross-border bus.

However, Thomas Cook, publisher of the famous Overseas Railway Timetable,
the international rail traveller's bible, says trains could begin running at
any time; in which case, book yourself on to the 23.27 Peking to Hanoi (two
nights) arriving at 07.00. From Hanoi, the 09.00 runs 1,072 miles down the
coast of Vietnam, passing through points on the map best known to most
Westerners as US Airforce bomb targets. It arrives at Ho Chi Minh City at
08.15 on the third day.

There is, however, a more beautiful, if tortuous route to Peking from
Moscow and on to Vietnam. The opening of a new line between Alma Ata in
Kazakhstan and Urumqi in north-west China two years ago means that it is
possible to travel the ancient Silk Route to the Chinese capital, taking in
such fabulous cities as Samarkand and Bukhara.

This is the route for adventurers and not for those who believe in the
efficacy of printed timetables. Trains can be delayed at the border between
Kazakhstan and China for up to 24 hours. There is no point waving copies of
English newspapers, saying you were up at Cambridge with the ambassador's son
or threatening to write in and complain about it. Best to take a stroll, chat
to the locals in hand-signs (assuming your Khazakh and Chinese dialects are
not up to much) and, much more effectively, in shared bottles of vodka and
other inscrutable strong spirits.

This journey is as stunning and as awkward as only the true railway buff
could hope for. Best of all, perhaps, is the fact that because the Soviet
Union has broken up, Moscow time--which once gave sense to timetables in
these far-off parts--no longer rules; so timetables are gloriously incompre-
hensible and best tackled by those with at least some grasp of the mathematics
of space-time continuums.

Officially, and according to Moscow time, the 16.40 "Turkmenistan"
express from Moscow (Kayanski) turns off the main line to Astrakhan at
Aksarayskaya (arr. 21.26, day two), follows the north shore of the Caspian
Sea through Kazakhstan to Atyrau (03.31, day three), before turning south to
Beyneu (11.43), Kungrad (20.03) and Chardzou (07.35, day four).

Here, assuming everything is running to plan, there is a long wait until
the 19.22 overnight express to the legendary Silk Road city of Samarkand
(04.10, day five), a place of domes and minarets, coloured tiles and carpets
that makes real Coleridge's opium-induced dream of Kubla Khan's Xanadu.

Connections from Samarkand to Tashkent, the Silk Route city, heading east,
are awkward. The cruelly timed 04.30 will get you to Tashkent (283 miles) at
10.12, where the 13.10 will take you north again to Arys (15.41) where you
make a theoretically nifty cross-platform change to the 16.11 to Alma Ata,
which skirts high mountains and arrives at 09.00 on day six.

From Alma Ata, the 19.00 "Genghis Khan" trundles overnight to Aktogay
(05.23, day seven); it takes more than another entire day to cross the
Chinese border and to reach Urumqi (09.30, day eight), a spell-binding
average speed of 33mph over 655 miles. In mitigation, there are more than a
few barren hills and bleak mountains on the way.

Here, we clamber aboard one of the great green trains of the People's
Republic for the long trail through Chengdu and Zhengzhou to Peking. The
16.49 from Urumqi rumbles night and day across deserts and along riverbeds,
touching mountains and ancient lands better known to Marco Polo and flirting
with the Great Wall of China (on the left-hand side of the train). If the
16.49 keeps time, we should arrive at our destination, ready for a change of
train to Vietnam, at 14.40 on day 12. Of course, if you intend to explore
towns en route, you will need much longer than 12 days.

Sadly, none of these trains is powered by steam. Developing countries are
as keen to rid themselves of the 19th-century image of the steam locomotive
as British Railways was in the Sixties. You will, however, see many mainline
steam locomotives in China. Most date from the Seventies, while some are
brand new. Powerful, efficient and handsome, they seem to be kept well away
from trains that tourists are likely to take.

Once in China, however, if you venture well off the beaten track, you
could spend many steamy weeks riding robust trains through the vast and
staggering hinterlands of this extraordinary country. Elsewhere in the world,
mainline scheduled steam services are confined to the Indian subcontinent,
Zimbabwe (particularly during shortages of imported diesel oil) and to the
astonishing mainline trains running between Asuncion and Encarnacion in
Paraguay. Here, the pre-1914 locomotives are operated by the grandiloquently
named Ferrocarril Presidente Carlos Antonio Lopez. Modern(ish) Argentine
coaches have replaced antique timber passenger cars recently. The line is
likely to remain steam for a few more years.

If these long-haul journeys sound daunting, it is nice to know that
Eurostar trains will bring much of nearby Europe within easy reach of London.
For those who love railway travel, but find the idea of spittoons, samovars
and armed border guards too much to take (all features of rail journeys
through Central Asia) there is something ineffably appealing about great
European stations. Trains pull in and out of heroic steel and glass sheds,
with carriages of several national railway companies as well as blue
wagons-lits in tow, some enticing you to Venice, others threatening Moscow.
Station buffets and bars remain romantic haunts for watching and meeting
people much more at ease than they are in anodyne airports.

Trains snake into the very heart of Continental towns and cities, offering
intimate views of suburban streets, apartment blocks and famous monuments.
They do not abandon you in the middle of nowhere. They connect with metro
systems, trams and buses. Reassuring things, for the most part, they bore
through mountains, streak across steppes and battle nobly with fog, rain,
sleet and snow.

Inside, a long-distance train can be a place of sanctuary: somewhere to
read weighty novels that otherwise gather dust by the bed, write letters, or
simply daydream while gazing at rolling views or being hypnotised by the roar
of relentless rails. A train is a miniature town on the move: you can walk up
and down, exchange life-stories with complete strangers and eat strange food
with yet more strangers.

The London-Paris Eurostar expresses open up a whole new world (or at least
half the globe) of travel by train. The end of the line is no longer Dover
with its testy customs officers; it is Venezia (Santa Lucia), Istanbul
(Sirkeci), Moscow (Smolenskaya)--and, with a little luck and a few hundred
miles of promised new track, Bombay (Victoria), Madras (Central) and Calcutta
(Howrah). Now you can ask for a second-class return to Ho Chi Minh City at
Waterloo. Try it and see what happens.

From: Rangachari <anand@watson.email

Subject: A request for help

Date: 21 Nov 1994 09:29:00 -0500


Hi All,

As a hobby project, I am now creating software to animate railway
timetables. My idea is to have a graphical representation of a railway
map and show the position of trains on it at any time. This will run under
Windows as of now and I hope to finish this in about two months. Initially,
this will merely show the postions of trains but in the future, I hope to
add bells and whistles slowly to permit what-if simulations.

I have a few requests:

1) What would be a good timetable to start with? My initial target is
Southern Railway between Madras and Arakkonam.

2) What would be a good way to convert a timetable to an
ASCII representation? Would OCR programs be good enough to do the job?

Thanks
R. Anand
anand@watson.email

From: Shriram Revankar <revankar@wrc.email

Subject: Re: A request for help

Date: 21 Nov 1994 06:51:00 -0500


> From: Rangachari <anand@watson.email
>
> 2) What would be a good way to convert a timetable to an
> ASCII representation? Would OCR programs be good enough to do the job?
>
> Thanks
> R. Anand
> anand@watson.email

If you or someone else has few pages of time table scanned, please mail
it to me. I will send you back OCR performance results in a week or so.
A greyscale scan of the pages will be useful as opposed to binary.

Shriram

From: manish <manish@hogpa.email

Subject: Need AP express timings

Date: 29 Nov 1994 08:25:00 -0500


Folks,

Could someone please email me the departure time of Andhra Pradesh
express from Delhi and its arrival at Hyderabad? Also, if it doesn;t
run weekly, could you also tell me which days it runs on?

(Also, the departure time from Hyderabad for the AP express going
towards Delhi)

Thanks very much,
Manish

manish@hogpa.email

From: Murali D Boyapati <mboyapat@engr.email

Subject: Is there an email to RDSO, Lucknow

Date: 02 Dec 1994 21:00:00 -0500


Hello Friends,
Just wondering if my RDSO (yes, I spent my 23 years in RDSO) is
connected to email network. Any info in this regard would be appreciated.
Murali

ps: RDSO - Research Designs and Standards Organization, Lucknow
R&D for Indian Railways.

From: PTA & IT <harsh@rscbrc.email

Subject: RSCBRC

Date: 05 Dec 1994 02:51:00 -0500


I have not been in touch with the group for some time. I think I must
write about railway staff college (rsc) vadodara (brc). We are the only
management training institute of Indian railway (IR). We have 25 faculty
members from the different departments of railways - electrical, mech,
Sig & telecomm, accounts and operating commercial and civil engg.
The institute is headed by Principal in the rank of general manager.
At present Mr. RK Bhansali is the principal. He is a great one for
Information Technology. We are on this network because of him.
I must give you the different E-Mail addresses which might be handy to
get correct information from a direct source.
Financial Advisor & Chief Accounts Officer's of western and central
railway have E-Mail accounts these are

Western Railway fawr@soochak.email
Central Railway facr@soochak.email
Konkan Railway rajaram@soochak.email
Wheel & Axle Plant saraf@wheelind.email
and our Guru Mr. Murali Executive Director Accounts Railway Board
murali@doe.email
RSCNET - railway staff college network is on and three units are on it.
Soon all the units will be connected i.e., all 9 zones and 60 divisions
and the production units. It is based on UUCP facility which is a part of
any Unix system. It allows copying files across, mail, executing commands
and news. UUCP of the Unix system can be configured so that any system
can exchange the above facilities with the other systems.
Most of the machines in divisions are 386 based PC's with 40 Mb hard
disk. These divisions have STD connections on Railway line and P &T
lines. Replacing these machines would have required money of the order of
Rs. 120000 each machine. Total about 10 million rupees or so. What we
have proposed is to use one of the software which simulates UUCP on a DOS
machine. Waffle, xMail, UUlink are some of the available softwares. The
advantage of UUCP type link is that it is a store and forward and one can
type etc. at his own pace. Phone charges are paid only for the duuration
of the connection. Dialing, exchanging the pass word sending and
receiving the messages is done by the machine and is very fast.
We have put one machine as the central hub of the network and it is on
all the time in receive mode. Any node can contact it and dump messages
and pick its messages. Since we only need the DOS machines so no new
investments are required. We can tast the benefit by connecting the
modem. We train and set up the software for all these units. This is a
free network for railway units. They are linked to us and through us to
each other. We enjoy the organisation wide Network by installing only
modems so the cost is very low. How do you react to this low cost
solution. At present there are only three units on it. Soon we will have
all the units on it. This is RSCNET. I have also told the railways that
we could establish SRNET, WRNET, CRNET etc. for each railwayso that they
are connected to their divisions. The central machines of these units can
in turn be conected.
I have gone through the old mail sent to me by Satish. I have also
received a message from Dheeraj Singh and will contact him soon. Please
do let us know your ideas and suggestion for IR.
With best wishes.

Harsh Kumar Phone: DOT : 91-265-551873 (O) 91-265-427375 (R)
Professor IT & AT FAX : 91-265-420067; Auto: 5046 (O) 5047 (R)
Railway Staff College, E-Mail: harsh@rscbrc.email
Vadodara 390 004

From: Pushkar Apte <apte@spdc.email

Subject: Indrayani

Date: 05 Dec 1994 06:43:00 -0500


A (fortunately) amusing incident happened on the Bombay-bound
Indrayani Exp. last week. At 20:50, the driver and guard smelt a minor
fire and stopped the train. While they had got down from the train to
investigate, the Indrayani decided to take off on her own, leaving
behind a panic-stricken driver/guard pair. The passengers were
blissfully unaware that their train was running headless. The train
ran in this fashion from Thakurwadi to Karjat, before CR stopped it by
pulling the plug on it, literally, by switching off the overhead
power. Reminds one of Speed, Bullet Train, Airport etc.!

Some questions:

Where is Thakurwadi? I could not find it in my Bradshaw, but I am
trying to figure out whether the train went backward or forward. If
Thakurwadi is bet. Khandala and Karjat, it makes sense that the train
went forward, since the ghat slopes downward there.

Also, what if the track had not been electrified? How would one have
stopped the train?

Regards,
Pushkar
-------

From: Shrikant Ranade <sranade@hpcuhe.email

Subject: Re: Indrayani

Date: 05 Dec 1994 09:42:00 -0500


>Where is Thakurwadi? I could not find it in my Bradshaw, but I am
>trying to figure out whether the train went backward or forward. If
>Thakurwadi is bet. Khandala and Karjat

I'm pretty sure Thakurwadi is between Khandala and Karjat. One of those
tiny stations one slowwwwly goes past in the ghat region.

>it makes sense that the train
>went forward, since the ghat slopes downward there.

But then I wonder how they could stop it by shutting off power. Does
that trigger an automatic application of the brakes?

>Also, what if the track had not been electrified? How would one have
>stopped the train?

Umm... like they did in Silver Streak (i.e. the buffers at VT) :-)

--Shrikant

From: S Pai <Pai>>

Subject: Re: Indrayani

Date: 05 Dec 1994 20:41:00 -0500


Regarding runaway trains, Pushkar asks:

PA> Also, what if the track had not been electrified? How would one have
PA> stopped the train?

You may recall an incident that happened a couple of years ago where a goods
train drawn by (I think) a diesel loco took off by itself when the driver and
guard were inspecting something at the rear of the train. The train received
automatic signal clearances for a couple of hundred kilometres before anyone
realized there was something wrong! Finally they had to do a James-Bond-style
mission by getting some brave soul to jump on to the cab of the loco from a
vehicle driven on the dirt path alongside the track. The man managed to get
into the cab without killing himself, and stopped the train.

Of course, this is not a general solution. :-)

For a goods train where no loss of human lives is involved, I guess in a pinch
one could always divert the train on to a dead-end siding and let it crash...
Kind of like the "Runaway truck ramps" one finds on highways in hilly places.
Otherwise I suppose one just has to divert it on to a sufficiently long clear
stretch of track and let it run out of fuel. Possibly even a looping route so
with the right combination of switches thrown the train would just keep going
around the loop?

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

Administriva: Tomorrow (Dec 6) some of the computers here are undergoing some
sort of upgrade/maintenance, so while mail sent to the irfca list shouldn't
really be affected, it *may* get delayed by a few hours or at most by a day.
Add/delete/modify requests will also be handled by me a day later.

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

-Satish

From: S.Ramani <ramani@saathi.email

Subject: Konkan Rail News

Date: 06 Dec 1994 06:50:00 -0500


Newsgroups: misc.news.southasia
Subject: India - Konkan railway to extended train services

Sent By: S.Ramani, NCST, Bombay

* * * * * *

Bombay, Dec 4 (PTI) Train services would be extended to
Bijur on the Mangalore-Udupi line in Karnataka and to Khed
from Veer in Maharashtra within the next three months, the
chairman and managing director of Konkan Railway Corporation
Ltd (KRCL), Mr E Sreedharan, has said.
The latest extension from the Mangalore side was
significant since it would bring the famous Mukambika temple
and Sringeri mutt on the railway map, Mr Sreedharan told PTI
here yesterday.
By the end of next year, the entire 760 kms Konkan
railway line, which would pass through backward areas of
Maharashtra (382 kms), Goa (105 kms) and Karnataka (273 kms),
would be opened for passenger traffic. However, movement of
goods traffic would begin by the middle of next year, he said.
Though work in Goa was suspended for a few months
following an agitation last year, Mr Sreedharan said work was
now in full swing.
The project, which proposed a broad guage single line
connecting Roha and Managalore, when completed, would curtail
the distance from Bombay to Goa, Mangalore and Cochin
substantially, thereby reducing travelling time by significant
margins -- by 10 hours to goa, 12 hours to Cochin and 26 hours
to Mangalore, Mr Sreedharan said.

From: Vijay Balasubramanian <vbalasub@mail.email

Subject: News from the Indian Railways magazine!

Date: 06 Dec 1994 11:12:00 -0500


Hi Folks,

Thanks to Satish, Harsh, Pushkar, Kumar...... for some interesting news.

My comments about the Indrayani incident.

I checked the Working Time-Table and found out that Thakurwadi is indeed
between Khandala and Karjat. Khandala, Monkey Hill, Thakurwadi, Jambrung,
Palasdari and Karjat. None of these are passenger halts. Many trains stop
at two or more of these for a couple of minutes, for testing their brakes
(as I learnt from Pushkar).

I am surprised that a Monkey Point was not used to stop the runaway train.
Monkey points are sidings that branch off from the downward-sloped track
and are forced to go uphill so as to stop runaway locos, wagons, etc.
Maybe, they are too dangerous when passenger trains are involved, or there
probably wasn't one between Thakurwadi and Karjat.


And now, news snippets from the August issue of Indian Railways:-

- New Shatabdi to be introduced between Delhi and Jaipur [once the BG line
is opened]. Why am I not surprised?!!


NF Railway
----------

-Gauge conversion of Chaparmukh - Haibargaon would be completed by Oct. 1994
[not sure whether the line has been opened to traffic]. Lumbding-Dimapur
to be completed by end of this year. Entire Lumbding-Dibrugarh line to
be converted by 1996-97.

-Work on Jogighopa bridge to be completed by year end. [this would provide
an alternate route between New Bongaigaon and Guwahati]

-Work on Eklakhi-Balurghat new line to commence soon.


Eastern Rly.
------------

- Modified EMU services introduced between Asansol and Bardhamman. They
consist of new types of EMU coaches, each with a width of 10' 8".
These are narrower than the conventional 12' wide EMU coaches, which
could be used due to limited setting distances of tractions masts at
some locations on the section. New EMU coach has all the facilities
of the existing coach plus the vestibuled system [great!!!] and
footboards provided for the low-level platforms.

******************************************************************

Stuff from the June-July issue
------------------------------

- Following conversions to take place in 1994-1995:
Hissar-Rewari, Rewari-Jaipur, Phulera-Marwar, Jodhpur-Jaisalmer,
Chikjajur-Hubli, Hubli-Londa, Londa-Miraj, Hospet-Hubli,
Donakonda-Giddalur, Muzaffarpur-Raxaul, Birur-Shimoga,
Parbhanii-Purna, Arjuni-Wadsa, Purulia-Kotshila.


Bid for Super Luxurious Tourism Trains From Private Sector
----------------------------------------------------------
[this has also appeared in India Today]

- Palace-on-wheels type trains proposed on five circuits.

1. Delhi-Jaipur-Agra-Gwalior-Jhansi-Varanasi-Lucknow-Delhi; 2330 kms.

2. Bombay-Aurangabad-Nanded-Secunderabad-Hyderabad-Pune-Bombay; 1876 kms.

3. Calcutta-Gaya-Varanasi-Gorakhpur-Bhubaneswar-Puri-Calcutta; 2701 kms.

4. Goa-Mangalore-Mysore-Hospet-Bangalore-Goa; 3312 kms.

5. Bangalore-Mysore-Madras-Kodaikanal Rd.-Kanyakumari-Trivandrum-Cochin-
Mettupalaiyam-Bangalore; 2118 kms.

- There were 23 bids when the bids were opened on July 25. Max. number
has been for the Goa-Bangalore circuit, followed by the Northern circuit
which includes the Golden triangle of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.

- Among the prominent bidders are the Taj group, East West Airlines,
U.K based Orient Express, and the Swedish railways.

- The train will have 21 coaches. The passenger section will have 13
sleeper cars, 2 dining cars and a lounge car fully air-conditioned and
vestibuled. The rest of the train will comprise a staff car, luggage car,
two generator cars and a standby car.

-Each sleeper car will have just four coupes with two lower berths, complete
with attached bath, a pantry, a mini fridge, CCTV, 2-channel music, and a
public address system. Besides, there will be a family lounge in each
sleeper car with a cabin steward for every eight people. The two dining cars
will resemble gourmet restaurants and the lounge car will be just like a
5-star hotel lobby. The train will also have its own post marking facilites,
safe deposits and money changing facilites. [is this for real?!!!]


More later,

Vijay

From: Pushkar Apte <apte@spdc.email

Subject: Re: News from the Indian Railways magazine!

Date: 06 Dec 1994 11:06:00 -0500


Vijay writes:

> Palasdari and Karjat. None of these are passenger halts. Many trains stop
> at two or more of these for a couple of minutes, for testing their brakes
> (as I learnt from Pushkar).
>
> I am surprised that a Monkey Point was not used to stop the runaway train.
> Monkey points are sidings that branch off from the downward-sloped track
> and are forced to go uphill so as to stop runaway locos, wagons, etc.

In the ghat between Igatpuri and Kasara, there are two points where
every train must come to a complete halt before proceeding. (this
applies to downhill, i.e. Bombay-bound trains only) These halts are
just before the "monkey points" described by Vijay, and if the train
fails to halt there, it is automatically routed to the side-track
running uphill. At least thats what's supposed to happen in
principle - don't know if there have been any actual incidents that
used this feature...

Regards,
Pushkar
-------

From: S. Kumar <kumar@quandsn.email

Subject: runaway trains

Date: 06 Dec 1994 15:34:00 -0500


I remember being told that there is some switch that the driver has
to depress/activate periodically in the engine; if not the train
automatically comes to a halt. However, the evidence of the
runaway trains suggests that the engines in India are not equipped
with this safety feature. I believe that such a switch exists in the
trains running in the US. The main purpose of the switch is to
prevent the driver from snoozing while the train is in motion. This
switch would also prevent runaway trains. However I also remember
reading sometime ago that it was not uncommon among drivers in the US
to jam the switch (illegally) so that they wouldn't have to do what
they considered to be a tedious chore. Does anyone else know more
about this?

Kumar

From: S Pai <Pai>>

Subject: Re: runaway trains

Date: 06 Dec 1994 18:35:00 -0500


SK> I remember being told that there is some switch that the driver has to
SK> depress/activate periodically in the engine; if not the train
SK> automatically comes to a halt.

Yes, I think some of the WAP series locos have some such feature, but I don't
know the details.

In some US commuter trains, e.g. the cabs of the New York subway and those of
the Metro-North railroad I think there is a lever on a handle that has to be
gripped or squeezed continuously by the driver, and relaxing the hold brings
the train to a halt after a while (after some warning beeps, etc.). (In
addition the train slows down by itself if the driver does not reduce speed
when it passes through a more restrictive signal indication; so there is some
protection against inadvertently ignoring a signal.)

Similar other devices (e.g. pedals to be depressed continuously) also exist.
They have the rather picturesque name of "deadman", or "dead-man's pedal",
etc.

Those of you who have seen the movie "Speed" might remember the subway train
at the end; it continued to move (and in fact seemed to speed up) after the
driver was killed. I guess cinematic licence allows for safety devices to be
ignored or bypassed. :-)

-Satish

From: venkatar <venkatar@egr.email

Subject: Re: runaway trains

Date: 06 Dec 1994 19:46:00 -0500


The device does exist in most indian locos including WDM2, but is not
used. They are invariably disconnected according to the drivers I spoke to.


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

From: J.J. Rainbow <J.J.Rainbow@newcastle.email

Subject: Indian Railways

Date: 09 Dec 1994 02:27:00 -0500


Dear Satish,

Thank you for your prompt action to add me to the newsgroup. I will
add some news about Indian railways, emanating from England. The relationship
might be somewhat tenuous.

1) I am sad to report that the Indian Railways Study Group has ceased
to operate. It was run as a one man operation by Kelvin White. The dual
demands of job and editing the newsletter became too much.

2) If you have not heard of it, there is a quarterly magazine
published by the Continental Railway Circle. this usually includes
information on Indian railways. The address is Mr L.King, 25, Woodcock Dell
Avenue, Kenton, Harrow, Middlesex HA3 0PW. I am not sure of the subscription
rates. They also publish a series of books by Hugh Hughes on Indian
locomotives to 1940. there are 3 parts Pt1 BG 1851 - 1940, Pt2 MG 1872 - 1940,
Pt3 NG 1863 - 1940. part 4 is in preparation and will cover all remaining
steam engines.

3) Continental Modeller
Peco Publications & Publicity Ltd
Beer
Seaton
Devon EX12 3NA

UK subscription rates 23.40 pounds sterling. Overseas rates 33.60 pounds
sterling by accelerated surface mail.

It has published a number of articles on the prototype scene in India

4) The British Overseas Railways Historical Trust
260 Wricklemarsh Road
Blackheath
London SE3 8DW
UK

Subs 7.50 pounds for UK overseas 9.00 pounds. Its journal has published three
articles on India, two on the rules for construction of railways in 1893 and
one on the Futwah-Islampur Light rly. The editor (i.e. me!) will welcome any
well written and researched articles on the subject

As regards Tom Standages' questions, if they haven't been answered
already. My only trip to India was in December/January when I found that the
climate from Delhi to as far south as Madurai as fine, not too hot and not
cold at night.

Indian Railpasses are available in Uk from SD Travel, 103 Wembley
Park Road, London. They cost about 130 pounds for a thirty day first class
pass, this includes all reservations.

The CRJ (see above) is a good source of what is happening, and the
current need for photography permits. On my visit I had no problems takeing
photos on stations and the one shed I visited, however some peolpe have been
stopped. It is possible I believe to get a permit from Rail Bhavan at the
Indian Embassy. You will find that this takes a long time.

There are two books worth taking, firstly Lonely Planet's "India, A
travel survival guide", secondly Royston Ellis' "India by Rail", Brandt
Publications. Try Motor Books just off Charing Cross Road.

There is also a small Rail Museum at Mysore, on the far side of the
station.

There are also a number of preserved steam locos scattered around,
one at Jaipur, one at Ajmer? and some in a museum in Calcutta. This town still
has trams I believe.

I am off to India on Monday 12.12.94 for about 3 weeks, so will post
a letter/report to the newsgroup on my return. I will include a list of the
locos in Delhi Museum.

Next a list of books on Indian railways, not all in English:

Jules Vernes Express, Solch alba Press
Relics of the Raj, Gammell
Steam Locos in India (BG), Hughes
Steam Locos in India (MG)
Steam Locos in India (NG)
Steam in India, Hughes Bradford Barton (a different set from
those mentioned above)
Indian Locos of Yesterday Pt1 (BG), Harrison
The Nizams State Railway Commerative Book (about 1940)
Eisenbahnen in Indien
Ceylon Govt Railway Cave (1910)
Permnament Way through the Kyber, V. Bayley
Railways of India, Westwood
Railways of India & Far East, O.S. Nock
India, No Problem Sahib.
Western Railway Metre Gauge system, R.R. Bhandari
The Blue Chip Railway (SER) "
Exotic Indian Mountain Railways "
Kalka-Simla & Kangra Valley lines "
History of Indian Railways, Khosla (all the above used to be
available from the museum at Delhi)
Indian Rlys, Rao
Indian railways, Amba Prasad
" " Problems & Prospects, Saxen
" " Enquiry Committee 1936-7
" " Rates and Regulations, Mehta

State Management and Control of Railways in India, Natesan
The Celyon Railway, Perera (1920)

Sorry I cannot give publishers etc, but am at University and my
books are at home. Most of these books are out of print

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