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From: Prakash Tendulkar <prakash@us.email

Subject: Railway News

Date: 26 Mar 1997 10:57:00 -0500


Classification:
Prologue: Notes Address: Prakash Tendulkar/Santa Teresa/IBM@IBMUS
VM Address: IBMUSM50(PRAKASH)
Internet Address: prakash@us.email
Phone: (408)463-3536
Epilogue: Have a nice day!
Prakash

MUMBAI, March 25: The Sheriff of Mumbai Usha Kiron inaugurated the
cleanliness campaign launched by Central Railway at the
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus on Tuesday afternoon. The function,
which was held under the aegis of Central Railway in the passenger
concourse, was attended by nearly 15 orphans who earn their living
by selling cold mineral water or sweeping in trains.
=====================
Forty six fined for littering

MUMBAI, March 25: As part of the ongoing Khoob Surat drive,
a BMC squad penalised 46 persons, including railway staff, for
littering the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in a surprise raid
carried out on Saturday. The squad, lead by Additional Municipal
Commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad and other senior civic officials,
raided the CST and held a sizable number of Central Railway
staffers for spitting. A fine of Rs 100 was collected from a
senior guard. According to the civic authorities, the trend of the
offenders fined since January has shown that women spit in public
much less than men. Even in the raid carried out at CST, the
authorities could not find any woman who spat on the premises.

From: S Pai <pai@apollo.email

Subject: Mysore museum

Date: 28 Mar 1997 10:51:00 -0500


I was in India recently and had a chance to visit the Railway Museum in
Mysore. It has a few old steam locos and a miscellaneous collection of
railway equipment (instruments, rail sections, tools, etc.). I got the
impression that although the museum had been originally set up with ambitious
plans, there has been no support for it in recent years. There appears to be
no money even to take care of the things they have now, let alone adding more
items to their collection. Displays are covered with dust; the locos really
need some basic paint and patch work as they're rusting away in many places.
The guides there were pretty enthusiastic in talking about the exhibits and
explaining things. They said that most of the visitors are foreign tourists,
rail fans who seek this museum out specifically. Hardly any Indians seem to
visit it. Admission was Rs 2 (= US $0.06!) a head.

Anyway, below is a list of the locos and coaches they had on display. I took
photographs of these, but I don't know how they'll come out. Some day if I
have the time I might figure out how to scan them (if there are any good ones)
and put them on the net somewhere.

I didn't manage to travel much by train in India, unfortunately. I wanted to
make the Bangalore-Mangalore trip but the route is temporarily shut down for
gauge conversion. I did get to ride the Shatabdi from Mysore to Bangalore. It
makes the trip in 1 h 50 min. The ride is comfortable, although their public
address system on the train is even less intelligible than the ones typically
found at railway stations. :-)

-Satish

Locomotives
-----------

1. An MG Steam Loco ("tank type"??) built in 1932 by W G Bagnall
(UK). Class "TS", 2-6-2. This used to run between Bangalore
and Tumkur.

2. An odd-looking "steam car", built by Merryweather & Co. of
London in 1932. This appears to have been a steam-powered
road vehicle. It wasn't clear how many coaches it might have
pulled, or where it was in service. It's pretty small, about
the size of a small modern automobile, so it probably pulled
just one small coach with half a dozen passengers.

3. A Steam Loco built in 1920 by North British Locomotives
(Atlantic Works) of Glasgow. Class "E", 4-4-4, serial #37244.
This used to pull freight cars carrying iron ore and other
supplies to the Visweswaraya Iron & Steel works at Bhadravathi.

4. A more recent MG Steam Loco (YP class, #2511) decommissioned
as late as 1993. 4-6-2 (8T).

5. A NG Steam Loco built in 1900 by W G Bagnall. 2-4-2. This used
to be in service in NR (not clear where exactly). Serial
# NWR 119-E.

6. A MG Steam Loco, "ES" class, 4-6-2, from SR. Built by Kerr,
Stuart, & Co., London. Serial # 506 ES.

Passenger Coaches
-----------------

1. The Maharani's Saloon, labelled "B" type, CR-7342, built in
1899 by Hurst and Nelson for Rs. 29,000. It's a metre-gauge
coach, with what were once luxurious fittings, comfortable
mattresses and plush carpets, etc. -- it used to be the
private saloon car of the Maharani of Mysore. The carpets are
tattered now and so they don't normally allow visitors inside
the car, unless you ask nicely...

2. A dining car, labelled "G" type, CR-7345, built in 1914 by
Burn & Co. for Rs. 49,000. Again, a metre-gauge coach. This
one was pretty amazing -- it had a full kitchen, a pantry, a
wash room, a real shower stall which used to be supplied with
hot water from a boiler, and air-conditioning (!) throughout
the coach. For the Maharajah and Maharani of Mysore.

From: Kandaswami, Auroprem* <Kandaswami#m#_Auroprem*@msgate.email

Subject: It's Konkan Time Again !

Date: 28 Mar 1997 09:32:00 -0500


Konkan rail project to be completed by July 31

NEW DELHI, March 28 (PTI)

The 760-kilometre-long Konkan Railway project will be completed by July 31 this year at an estimated cost of Rs.3,100 crores, according to an official release.

The delay in completion of project which was originally estimated to cost Rs.1043 crores, has been on account of two main factors: resource crunch and adverse geological conditions in softsoil tunnels in Goa and
Karnataka area, the release said.

The train services on Konkan Railway will be introduced in phases in keeping with the improvement in infrastructural facilities including line capacity, terminal development works and availability of higher speeds.

The train services proposed for introduction on the Konkan Railway line will be: passenger shuttles on Ratnagiri-Mangalore and Mudgaon-Mangalore sections, extension of Kurla-Sawantwadi express upto Madgaon, diversion of 6635-6636 Kurla-Mangalore/Cochin Netravati Express, diversion of 2431/2432 Hazrat Nizamuddin- Trivandrum Rajdhani Express via Goa and diversion of 2617/2618 Hazrat Nizamuddin-Mangalore Mangala Express with the extension upto Ernakulam.

Following completion of line capacity works on Diva-Panvel and other adjoining sections, 6335-6336 Gandhidham-Nagarcoil weekly, 6337/6338 Rajkot-Cochin weekly and 6333/6334 Rajkot-Trivandurm
weekly expresses would be diverted via Konkan Railway route.

With the commissioning of the Konkan Railway project, distance between Mangalore and New Delhi, Mangalore-Mumbai, Mangalore-Ahmedabad and for the matter between Kerala and northern India would be reduced drastically in terms of reduction in journey time. It will also reduce journey time between Mumbai and Goa.

From: S Pai <pai@apollo.email

Subject: WAM4

Date: 28 Mar 1997 17:04:00 -0500


While in India last, I also travelled on the Bangalore Mail (MAS->SBC). Now
that the entire route is electrified (I guess it has been for a while now, but
the last time I travelled on this route there was a change to diesel traction
after Jolarpettai), a single WAM-4 is used all the way. The particular loco
that evening was actually marked "WAM-4D-6P" -- any idea what the extra digit
and letters mean in the classification?

In other places, I saw plenty of the standard WDM-2's; YDM-2's and YDM-4's
on MG sections; and miscellaneous WDS/WAG/WAM locos elsewhere. I didn't
notice any new kinds of locos, or at least nothing caught my eye as being
substantially different from these.

Madras Central has been prominently re-named Chennai Central (the 3 large neon
signs have been changed), although the station code is still MAS. :-) VT, on
the other hand, seemed to have only a small sign tucked away in a corner
announcing its renaming as "Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus".

-Satish

From: db2adm <db2adm@VNET.email

Subject: Railway News

Date: 29 Mar 1997 03:59:00 -0500


Ahmedabad will be linked to Delhi by broad gauge

The Times of India News Service

JAIPUR: The gauge conversion work of the Delhi-Jaipur-Ahmedabad
rail route has been completed and it will be open for passenger
traffic some time next month. At present, Delhi is linked with
Ahmedabad through the meter gauge. The gauge conversion job on the
Ajmer-Mehsana section has been completed and the testing of the
track has been completed. The Ashram Express, which runs between
Delhi and Ahmedabad on the meter gauge, will now run on the broad
gauge and the Delhi Mail, which runs from Sarai Rohilla in Delhi
to Ahmedabad, will also operate on the broad gauge. The Rajdhani
Express, a new train which will link Delhi with Ahmedabad, will
also be run on the broad gauge. Efforts are being made to run
several Mumbai-bound trains from Delhi via Ahmedabad. This will
not only reduce the distance by about 135 km but also make the
journey shorter.
========================
Cellular phones for Western Railway motormen soon

Indian Express

MUMBAI, March 28: With the Western Railway unable to use its
Public Address System (PAS) in absence of a centralized Train
Describer System (TDS) on its suburban line, the authorities have
now decided to provide motormen with cellular phones to improve
their communication with the control tower. Train inspectors, who
used these mobiles on an experimental basis, have already given
their go ahead.

The TDS will be a direct connection between motormen and the main
control tower. It will come in handy when a train is stopped
between two stations with neither the motorman nor the guard aware
of the reason for the unscheduled stop. Officials said TDS would
cost WR over Rs 200 crore and it will be operational by the end of
1998. ``The cellular phones will be used only in times when trains
gets delayed or are stopped between two stations,'' a senior
official said, adding that ``the motormen in such a situation can
get in touch with the control tower and find out the reason why
the train has been stopped. Later, he can pass on the information
to passengers over the PAS,'' he added.

Meanwhile, the WR is adopting the optical fiber technology between
Churchgate and Virar. The technology will help them in improving
the signaling systems. However, it will at least take three years
before motormen start making announcement for passengers.
Presently, the PAS is being used by motormen and guards for their
internal communication. The WR had installed PAS on most of its
trains in 1996. Soon after it was installed on 11 trains, seven of
the assemblies were stolen. Meanwhile the motormen fraternity has
said that introduction of cellular phones will add to their
already heavy workload. However, WR officials claim that
technological advancement is necessary for WR's development.

From: S Pai <pai@apollo.email

Subject: YDM's

Date: 29 Mar 1997 08:36:00 -0500


No, I didn't see any YDM-3 or YDM-5 locos. I was travelling around only
in the south (and Bombay), and didn't get anywhere close to Ahmedabad.

Something that I wasn't able to confirm despite spending time in Bangalore,
is whether there are any of the diesel "rail-cars" left on the Yelahanka
section. Perhaps someone here knows?

Another route I travelled on was the Ernakulam -- Trivandrum one (I took the
6:30am inter-city express between the two points, a very convenient and
popular train). This route appears to have a lot of traffic and considerable
potential for further development (but not electrified, and apparently single-
tracked in some parts?).

-Satish

From: S Pai <pai@apollo.email

Subject: Forwarded message

Date: 29 Mar 1997 17:42:00 -0500


Original-From: Dheeraj Sanghi 4D-216 <dheeraj@surfer.email
Message-Id: <199703291433.JAA28509@surfer.email
Subject: Delhi-Ahmedabad BG

I also read in ToI the news about completion of gauge conversion
between Delhi and Ahmedabad. But the last but about possibility
of diverting some trains through this new route caught me by
surprise. When this gauge conversion was starting, we had discussed
this possibility on this list, and the impression I got was
that even though this route will be shorter by some 100 KM,
but since it is non-electrified, and single line in most places,
the speed will be substantially lower, and the time taken
will be much higher. But the report seems to suggest that
the time taken through this route will be less. Have they
done doubling of tracks also, along with gauge conversion ?

-dheeraj
--------------
Dheeraj Sanghi
Computer Science & Engineering, IIT Kanpur, India
Visiting Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies, Holmdel, NJ (12/96 -- 7/97)
Off: 908-949-4667 Fax: 908-949-1317 Res: 908-441-7155
Email: dheeraj@bell-labs.email

From: Prakash Tendulkar <prakash@jps.email

Subject: Railway News

Date: 30 Mar 1997 04:57:00 -0500


Cash-strapped Rlys groan under Paswan's media blitz

EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE

NEW DELHI, March 29: Savvy advertisements, which have become an
integral part of Railway Minister Ram Vilas Paswan's publicity
blitz, is causing tremendous burden for the cash-strapped
railways. The total advertising expense since last June has
already crossed the Rs 8 crore mark. Sources disclose that the
funds spent on railway advertisements are debited against the
concerned projects. Whether it be the introduction of a new train
or merely the launching of a survey to assess the feasibility of
building a new railway line, huge advertisements are promptly
inserted in the newspapers.

Full-page newspaper advertisements for the inauguration of new
projects are a common feature. Since several of these projects are
concentrated in Karnataka, the Prime Minister manages to get some
publicity as he is invariably invited to lay the foundation stone.
According to political observers, Paswan's photographs appearing
alongside the Prime Minister's in these advertisements serve to
further boost the Railway Minister image as the ``number 2 '' in
the Cabinet. The objective of these advertisements is to drive
home the point that the Railway Minister is introducing several
projects and there is a ``flurry of development activity.''

Apart from the expenditure on advertisements connected with the
inauguration of these events, the government has to often incur a
lot of expense on the VIPs air travel and organization of the
entire program. According to senior officials, the minister is not
above using the railways for his political ends. He is in fact
already facing a public interest litigation over the trains he
provided for the use of his supporters during the Dalit rally in
Delhi recently.

Officials have also complained to the Minister over the use of
railway guest houses by his supporters, amounting to tremendous
harassment of officers on duty, who often find it difficult to get
accommodation.

From: S Pai <pai@apollo.email

Subject: two books by Aitken

Date: 30 Mar 1997 12:52:00 -0500


Some of you may already be familiar with the travel books by Bill Aitken, who
has been living and travelling in India for nearly 40 years now. While in
India I found a couple of books by him specifically related to IR. I found
both of them very enjoyable reading (although I'm not yet done with either),
so I thought I'd share the information:

1. Travels by a Lesser Line, Bill Aitken, HarperCollins India (imprint Indus).
ISBN 81-7223-086-9. 1993. (Rs. 70)
This book is a travelogue of several railway journeys through more than a
dozen Indian states, which the author undertook in order to find out
whether one could travel to the furthest corners of India in the east-west
and in the north-south directions by one gauge alone -- it turns out one
can (or could, before Unigauge took off...), by metre gauge.

2. Exploring Indian Railways, Bill Aitken, Oxford University Press (imprint
Oxford India Paperbacks). ISBN 0-19-563761-5. 1994. (Rs. 145) This book is
about all aspects of IR as seen from the point of view of a passenger and
interested observer -- he has anecdotes on just about everything related to
IR, technical aspects, officialdom, even a piece on the different types of
train tickets!

Both books are in print and readily available in India. I am not sure how
easy it is to find them in the USA or UK as they're published under imprints
meant for the Indian market. But both are well worth searching out if you're
interested in IR.

-Satish

From: vijay pratap singh <vps100@york.email

Subject: Re: Forwarded message

Date: 01 Apr 1997 15:15:00 -0500


The gauge conversion of MG line to BG line has been completed, however only one MG
line has been converted into BG and other Mg line has been left as it is for now. Between
Ajmer and Mehsana there was only single MG track. Mehsana to Khodiyar was having MG
double line and one line was converted to BG and certified for train operations in July
1995 and now trains are plying on this BG line.Ajmer to Bandikui was also MG double line
section and out of which one was converted to BG line during 1993-94-95. As far as I know
there is no provision of converting remaining MG lines to BG lines on Delhi to Ahmedabad
route so far. However Ajmer to Delhi route via Rewari is being planned for gauge
conversion.
Write back , if want to know more.

Vijay


On Sat, 29 Mar 1997 18:42:13 -0500 S Pai wrote:

> From: S Pai <pai@apollo.email
> Date: Sat, 29 Mar 1997 18:42:13 -0500
> Subject: Forwarded message
> To: Indian Railways Mailing List <irfca@cs.email
>
>
> Original-From: Dheeraj Sanghi 4D-216 <dheeraj@surfer.email
> Message-Id: <199703291433.JAA28509@surfer.email
> Subject: Delhi-Ahmedabad BG
>
> I also read in ToI the news about completion of gauge conversion
> between Delhi and Ahmedabad. But the last but about possibility
> of diverting some trains through this new route caught me by
> surprise. When this gauge conversion was starting, we had discussed
> this possibility on this list, and the impression I got was
> that even though this route will be shorter by some 100 KM,
> but since it is non-electrified, and single line in most places,
> the speed will be substantially lower, and the time taken
> will be much higher. But the report seems to suggest that
> the time taken through this route will be less. Have they
> done doubling of tracks also, along with gauge conversion ?
>
> -dheeraj
> --------------
> Dheeraj Sanghi
> Computer Science & Engineering, IIT Kanpur, India
> Visiting Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies, Holmdel, NJ (12/96 -- 7/97)
> Off: 908-949-4667 Fax: 908-949-1317 Res: 908-441-7155
> Email: dheeraj@bell-labs.email

From: Prakash Tendulkar <prakash@jps.email

Subject: Konkan railway will be ready by July

Date: 02 Apr 1997 03:09:00 -0500


Konkan railway will be ready by July

By Vidyadhar Date
The Times of India News Service

MUMBAI: Train services between Mumbai and Mangalore will commence
in July, chairperson and managing director of Konkan Railway
Corporation E. Sreedharan said on Tuesday. ``We see the light at
the end of the tunnel.'' Mr Sreedharan's words are true in more
than one sense, since the tunnels in Karnataka and Goa have given
much headache to the KRC engineers because of the problems of soft
soil.

Ninety-eight per cent of the work on the Konkan railway project
is now complete. So far 468 km of the 760-km track has been
commissioned, including the 364-km stretch between Roha and
Sawantwadi in Maharashtra and the distance of 100 km between
Mangalore and Kundapur in Karnataka. The Kundapur-Kankona stretch
of 182 km is ready for commissioning.

The financial crisis too is over, Mr Sreedharan said. He is
leaving on a trip to Singapore, Seoul, Tokyo and London on
Thursday to raise a loan of US$ 45 million, which will help repay
earlier loans. ANZ Grindlays Bank has been engaged for organising
the loans. This is not the best time to shop for international
finance in view of the political uncertainty created in Delhi.
However, there should be no problems, sources said. Earlier, the
KRC was able to raise US$ 70 million through external commercial
borrowings in November and the recent public issue in India for Rs
150 crore was oversubscribed to the extent of Rs 270 crore.

Mr Sreedharan said there had been no problems because of political
factors except during the term of Mr Wilfred D'Souza as chief
minister in Goa. Mr D'Souza was not very cooperative regarding the
construction work or releasing the state's share of the costs. He
admitted that the cost of the project had risen from the original
estimate of Rs 1,400 crore to Rs 2,400 crore. However, this was
due to inflation, the extra work undertaken in view of the Ojha
Committee report in Goa and unforeseen technical problems, the KRC
chairman said. The original estimate of completing the project in
four years was too optimistic and the project would now be
completed in six years and nine months. ``We had to start from
scratch, doing the surveys, soil investigation and detailed
engineering. Normally, this itself takes three to four years,'' he
said. ``The work in Goa was stopped by the government for nine
months following protests by environment groups. This affected
the functioning in other sectors. Some groups in Goa created
serious problems for us. They wrote to the World Bank and other
financial agencies and sought the blocking of funds for the
project.''

There were also serious financial problems in paying contractors
and suppliers. Only one major tunnel remains to be completed in
Goa where tunnelling work has been seriously hampered by clay
saturated with water. Nowhere have such soil problems been
encountered, Mr Sreedharan said. Experts from Germany and
Switzerland were called but they were not much help and said the
Indian engineers were going about the job correctly.

The Konkan Railway Corporation would be responsible not only for
constructing the line but also operating it with rolling stock
taken on lease from the Indian railways. The loans will be
serviced and paid back by the surplus revenues generated by
operating the line. A period of ten years is envisaged for
extinguishing the debt liabilities. The interest liability on the
borrowed funds would be about Rs 700 crore.

The Konkan railway is the biggest new rail route construction
undertaken on the Indian subcontinent in the 20th century. The
line passes through some of the most difficult and beautiful
terrain. Initially there will be 54 stations and diesel traction
but provision has been made for electrification in the future.
There will be 92 tunnels for nearly 83 km, the longest tunnel
being of 6.5 km. This is for the first time a railway project is
being funded through private finance.

The Konkan railway cuts the distance between Mumbai and Mangalore
from 2,041 km to 914 km and reduces travel time from the present
41 hours to 15 hours. The travel time between Mumbai and Goa is
reduced from 20 hours to 10.

From: Vijay Balasubramanian <vbalasub@mail.email

Subject: Re: Bombay-Ahmedabad-Delhi

Date: 04 Apr 1997 10:28:00 -0500


Hi Folks,

Reinforcing Dheeraj's views, I too am puzzled about the decision to re-route
Delhi-Bombay trains via ADI-Jaipur, since ADI-Delhi is a single BG,
non-electrified section. The run times may actually go up especially for the
110 kmph. class trains such as Paschim Exp., Frontier Mail, Swaraj Exp.
Moreover, one would lose the advantages of electric traction, namely,
elimination of diesel oil consumption and increased trailing loads. For
example, two WDM2s would be required to haul a 15-18 coach train at a maximum
speed of 110 kmph., whereas a single WAM4/WAP1 could do the job.

IMHO, unless the Vadodara-Ratlam-Delhi section is saturated, it doesn't make
sense to divert trains via ADI. The ideal candidates would be the
Dehra Dun Exp. and the Firozpur Janata Exp., since re-routing them
via ADI-Jaipur could eliminate numerous overtakes and reduce the run times.

Why not just introduce a new Bombay-ADI-Jaipur-Delhi train which could go
beyond to Kalka/Amritsar/Jammu, thus providing a direct connection from
Ahmedabad, Ajmer and Jaipur to these endpoints? Why be so conservative
when it comes to new trains from Bombay when an overdose of trains are being
introduced in Bihar and from Delhi?


Vijay

From: S. Kumar <s.kumar@qm.email

Subject: Delhi-Bombay

Date: 04 Apr 1997 22:55:00 -0500


Hi Folks:

The Delhi-Ratlam-Bombay route is still the shortest way from Delhi to
Bombay. The Delhi-Ahmadabad-Bombay route is approximately 30 km
longer. Of course if they convert Rewari-Ringus-Phulera to BG, then
Delhi-Ahmadabad-Bombay will become the shortest route but will bypass
Jaipur.

Kumar

From: S. Kumar <s.kumar@qm.email

Subject: questions on gauge conversion

Date: 08 Apr 1997 10:32:00 -0500


Hi Folks:

I have some questions regarding gauge conversion.

What is the status of the following (formerly ?) MG sections.

Rajkot-Junagadh-Veraval
Bandikui-Bharatpur-Agra Fort
Agra Fort-Mathura-Kasganj
Viramgam-Mehasana

On the Chennai-Trichy section do the railways propose to retain the
MG line between Chennai and Villupuram to serve points on the
Villupuram - Trichy main line directly from Chennai?

Does the Nellai express go from Virudunagar to Tirunelveli via
Tenkasi? It seems to take about double the time compared to what it
did earlier when it went via Vanchi Maniyachchi.

Thanks

Kumar

From: Kandaswami, Auroprem* <Kandaswami#m#_Auroprem*@msgate.email

Subject: Re: questions on gauge conversion

Date: 08 Apr 1997 05:17:00 -0500


Kumar,

Nellai Express does take a very circumtuous route between
Virudunagar and Tirunelveli since late 1992 (when
Madurai-Virudunagar-Vanchi Maniyachchi - Tirunelveli was converted
from MG to BG). It goes Southwest all the way to Tenkasi via Sivakasi,
Rajapalayam and then heads Southeast on its course to Tirunelveli via
Ambasamudram. This introduced the firstever express train on
Tenkasi-Tirunelveli line. My undertanding is they decided to retain
the MG Nellai express so that people from southern TN districts
(Virudunagar and beyond) can still have train connections to
destinations between Chennai and Villupuram, such as Tindivanam,
Madurantakam, Chengalpattu, Pondy and vice
versa. Kanniyakumari/Tuticorin - Chennai Central (BG) express connects
travellers from Sattur, Kovilpatti to Nellai express with a well-timed
transfer at Virudunagar. The Nellai express (on its current route)
also serves another purpose - it boosts the seat/berth capacity
between Rajapalayam/Sivakasi and Chen! ! nai, the only other train
serving these towns being Kollam-Chennai mail.

Now the plan is to convert
Kollam-Sengottai-Tenkasi-Rajapalayam-Virudunagar line from MG to BG,
along with conversion of Tenkasi-Tirunelveli-Tiruchendur also. This
will now recreate the alternate route between Thiruvananthapuram/
Kollam and Chennai via Madurai/Tiruchi, which is shorter than the
existing route via Ernakulam/Coimbatore/Erode by about 60 kms. The
Railway Minister has already ordered surveys for the conversion to be
included in budget '97-'98. The line should be converted and running
anytime between 2005 and 2010.

It would be nice if the Railways preserve MG line between Chennai
Egmore and Villupuram thus enabling tourists/travellers to travel from
Rameswaram, all points on Main line to Chennai without
hardships/transshipment at Villupuram. But you never know - they may
just decide to make it BG, if they feel that they could convert Main
line between Villupuram and Tiruchirapalli/Rameswaram in less than 5
years. In that case, Villupuram will become a major MG terminus,
taking the place of Madras Egmore of yesteryears.

- Auro
_______________________________________________________________________________
From: S. Kumar on Mon, Apr 7, 1997 8:11 PM
Subject: questions on gauge conversion
To: irfca@cs.email

Hi Folks:

I have some questions regarding gauge conversion.

What is the status of the following (formerly ?) MG sections.

Rajkot-Junagadh-Veraval
Bandikui-Bharatpur-Agra Fort
Agra Fort-Mathura-Kasganj
Viramgam-Mehasana

On the Chennai-Trichy section do the railways propose to retain the
MG line between Chennai and Villupuram to serve points on the
Villupuram - Trichy main line directly from Chennai?

Does the Nellai express go from Virudunagar to Tirunelveli via
Tenkasi? It seems to take about double the time compared to what it
did earlier when it went via Vanchi Maniyachchi.

Thanks

Kumar

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From: Prakash Tendulkar <prakash@us.email

Subject: Railway News

Date: 11 Apr 1997 14:30:00 -0500


Classification:
Prologue: Notes Address: Prakash Tendulkar/Santa Teresa/IBM@IBMUS
VM Address: IBMUSM50(PRAKASH)
Internet Address: prakash@us.email
Phone: (408)463-3536
Epilogue: Have a nice day!
Prakash

Tatas may set up power plant to help railways

The Times of India News Service

MUMBAI: The Tatas have proposed to set up a 100 mw power plant at
Thakurli near Kalyan for the exclusive use of Mumbai's suburban
railway system. The railway authorities have evinced interest in
the proposal since they desperately need an assured power supply.
The problem was underscored with the suburban system coming to a
halt on February 28 when the entire state was plunged into
darkness with the power failure.

It is felt that if there is increased availability of power for
Mumbai, the Tatas would be able to island the supply and prevent
effects of tripping in other parts of the state. The Tatas are
currently working on a feasibility report which is likely to be
ready next month, stated sources.

Thakurli offers a ready-made site for a power plant since the
railways generated power there since 1929 and the plant closed
down in 1988. The railways have 86 acres of land in the area
with a big housing colony for officers and other staff. At present
the power station site is being used for receiving power for
railway transmission lines for supply beyond Titwala and Badlapur.

The Central Railway currently requires a peak load of 166 MW and
the Western Railway 52 MW. Of the total load, 136 MW is supplied
by the Tatas and 82 MW by the Maharashtra State Electricity Board
(MSEB).

The option of naptha as fuel is being considered for the proposed
plant at Thakurli since the use of coal would cause pollution
which would be unacceptable to the growing middle-class suburb
of Dombivli, sources point out. There is, however, a problem about
the availability of naptha since the Centre has allocated fixed
quotas for different states for power generation of 1,000 MW for
Gujarat, 950 MW for Karnataka and 650 MW for Maharashtra. H.N.
Sethna, chairperson of Tata Electric Companies had discussions
with two railway board members last year, V. Santhanam and V.
Sivakumaran on the proposed project.

The Thakurli thermal power station was set up in 1929 with 4x10
MW sets to meet the requirements of traction loads on the ghat
sections, Kalyan-Igatpuri and Kalyan-Poona. The railways then saw
the need to set up their own thermal station as the Tata hydro-
electric power stations then depended on the vagaries of the
monsoon. The power station was closed down in 1988 as the
machinery had become too old and seven workers were killed
following a boiler burst in the previous year.

P.J. Joglekar, a former engineering professor in IIT, Delhi, said
an assured power supply for the suburban railways was essential
since lakhs of commuters depended on the railway network.

From: Prakash Tendulkar <prakash@jps.email

Subject: Railway News

Date: 12 Apr 1997 04:54:00 -0500


Asia's fastest moving corridor over Godavari

A unique blend of modern technology and aesthetics, the third railway
bridge across the Godavari river in Rajahmundry is all set to become
the fastest moving corridor across the river. Aided by Swiss and
German specialist, Indian engineers have built what they call, "an
architecturally elegant, structurally efficient and functionally
superior structure."

Considered to be a milestone in the history of Indian railways,
perhaps in Asia, the bridge will soon replace the nearly century-old
rail bridge, which was built way back in 1900 by E.R. Walton. At
present, about 50 trains, including the Howrah-Madras Express and
trains bound for Vishakhapatnam, pass through the third bridge.
(AA Apr 12, Hyderabad)

From: Kandaswami, Auroprem* <Kandaswami#m#_Auroprem*@msgate.email

Subject: Tambaram-Villupuram BG line by Feb end

Date: 14 Apr 1997 12:44:00 -0500


CHENNAI, April 13.

The Southern Railway is carrying out work at a fast pace on the Tambaram-Villupuram parallel BG line and Villupuram-Tiruchi
conversion to get these sections ready by end of February next.

Earlier, the Railway administration had written to the Railway Board that it could complete the Tambaram-Villupuram line by
March 31 and Villupuram-Tiruchi conversion by June 30, 1998 but the ministry wanted the work to be completed by February 28 at any cost.

The target for completion of the ongoing BG project between Dindigul and Tambaram has been set for September 30, 1998.

After the completion of all the three segments, Trivandrum will have an alternative BG line to Chennai via Tirunelveli, Madurai, Dindigul, Tiruchi and Villupuram in addition to the existing BG
route via Ernakulam, Coimbatore, Salem and Jolarpet.

Though the Chennai-Dindigul BG project was taken up under
the unigauge project in 1992-93, the progress was tardy till last
year due to poor allotment of funds by the Railway Board. The
updated cost of the project is about Rs. 475 crores as against the
original estimate of Rs. 373 crores. As the Railway Ministry has
made substantial allocation of about Rs. 150 crores for the project in the current budget there would be no further delay in completing the project, according to Southern Railway officials here.

From: Kandaswami, Auroprem* <Kandaswami#m#_Auroprem*@msgate.email

Subject: Rly. Minister's awards presented

Date: 16 Apr 1997 07:00:00 -0500


NEW DELHI, April 15.

The Union Railway Minister, Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan, presented the
Railway Minister's National Awards for outstanding services to 91
railwaymen and women at a function held here today to mark Railway
Week.

Mr. Paswan also presented the Lalit Narayan Mishra Best
Hospital Shield to the Western Railway, the Best Zone Family Welfare
Programme Shield to the North East Frontier Railway, the Safety Shield
to the South Central Railway, the Fuel Economy Shield to the Central
Railway, the Flash Butt Welding Shield to the Central Railway, the
Best Performance of Track Machines Shield to the Central Railway, the
Afforestation Performance Shield to the South Central Railway, the
Inter-Railway Cultural Competition Shield to the South Central
Railway, the Indian Railways Bharat Scouts and Guides Shield wfor Best
Performance to the South Eastern Railway, the Gauge Conversion Shield
to Western Railway, the Best Performance in Disposal of Scrap Shield
to the Southern and South Eastern Railways, the Best Zone Signalling
and Telecom Performance Shield to the South Central Railway, the
Railway Vigilance Shield to the Southern Railway and the Govind
Ballabh Pant Shield to the Northern Railway.

Besides, the first price and second prizes in the Railway Minister's
Essay Competition on railway subject in Hindi were bagged by two
personnel in the non-gazetted category and the second prize in the
gazetted category. Similarly, one first prize and a second prize was
bagged by a Railway Board official in the gazetted category for essay
competition in English.

The Family Welfare Programme Award was bagged by the Divisional
Railway Manager, Malda, North-East Frontier Railway. Scrap Disposal
performances prizes were bagged by four officials of the Southern
Railway, South Eastern Railway and Central Railway respectively.

Mr. Paswan lauded the performance of the awardees and hoped that the
receipients would inspire their colleagues.

He said the Railways was a public welfare organisation with special
responsibility for the development of the backward regions. He said
now the emphasis was on removing the anomaly in extending the network
to backward areas. In this connection, Mr. Paswan mentioned enhanced
allocation of Rs. 300 crores for development and extension of rail
infrastructure in the North-East region and Rs. 100 crores for
expansion of the railways in Jammu and Kashmir in the current
financial year. He said the Government was committed to complete all
railway projects taken up in the backward region.

From: Vijay Balasubramanian <vbalasub@mail.email

Subject: Delhi-Trivandrum Rajdhani via Konkan rly.

Date: 16 Apr 1997 12:52:00 -0500


Hi Folks,

Once the Konkan rly. is opened to passanger traffic,
it would be interesting to find out what the schedule of the new Trivandrum
Rajdhani would look like. Most likely, it would
share schedules with either the Bombay Rajdhani or the A.K. Rajdhani
between Nizamuddin and Vasai Rd. Assuming the former, here's a probable
time schedule (note that it would run on the non-Rajdhani day):

Nizamuddin dep. ~16 10
Panvel dep. ~ 9 00
Mangalore dep. ~22 30
T'drum arr. ~ 9 30

So, it would cover the ~2700 km. distance in about 41 1/2 hrs. (avg. speed -
~65 kmph.). This cuts off 3 1/2 hrs. from the current Nizamuddin-Madras-
Trivamdrum schedule. The distance gets reduced by ~350 km.
I have assumed a 100 kmph. max speed between Panvel
and Mangalore. Once, this goes upto 110 kmph. (and possibly 120 kmph.?)
the run-times should be reduced further.

A probable list of halts:

Kota
Raltam
Vadodara (loco. changes from WAP1 to WCAM2),
Vasai Rd. (loco. changes from WCAM2 to WDM2) (technical halt?)
Panvel - connecting station for New Bombay folks
Ratnagiri
Madgaon
Mangalore
Calicut
Ernakulam Town

As Pushkar and I had discussed earlier, the train could go all the way to
Bandra and get onto the Harbor Branch line to land up at Vadala Rd. Here
the train could reverse directions and join the CR line at Kurla and then
proceed to Diva-Panvel. This would provide a better connection to
Bombayites but increase the run-times by about an hour and also disturb
the morning rush-hour local schedule.


Regards,
Vijay

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