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From: Maryellen E. Merck <mmerck@city-net.email

Subject: Re: WP Steam Locomotives

Date: 17 Apr 1997 09:18:00 -0500


Our organization is attempting to locate 3 WP (Broad Gauge streamlined =
4-6-2 steam locos) for preservation (and possible operation) abroad.

To date we have been informed that only 2 locos may be available, at =
Moradabad. Perhaps other sources might know of other surviving WP on =
Indian Railways or in scrap yards - for us to locate an additional loco.

Any information regarding the above will be appreciated.

From: Maryellen E. Merck <mmerck@city-net.email

Subject: Re: Delhi-Trivandrum Rajdhani via Konkan rly.

Date: 17 Apr 1997 09:56:00 -0500


Our organization is attempting to locate 3 WP (Broad Gauge streamlined =
4-6-2 steam locos) for preservation abroad.

To date we have been informed that only 2 locos may be available, at =
Moradabad. Perhaps other sources might know of other surviving WP on =
Indian Railways or in scrap yards - for us to locate an additional loco.

Any information regarding the above will be appreciated. I can be =
reached at mmerck@city-net.email.

Maryellen


PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO ANYONE THAT MAY BE OF ASSISTANCE - Thank you.

From: Prakash Tendulkar <prakash@jps.email

Subject: Railway News

Date: 18 Apr 1997 02:33:00 -0500


WR's new rakes will come late

EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE

MUMBAI, April 17: Western Railway (WR) commuters have once again
been left holding the shorter end of the stick as the introduction
of new rakes has been deferred till the end of tis year. A
spokesperson for the WR said the rakes will be operational by
the end of 1997 after they receive them from the Indian Railways
and the coach builders.

Originally scheduled to arrive by the end of March 97, the
postponement is because the Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML)
fell short of some important parts which delayed the rake
manufacture, according to the spokesperson. He added that the
WR has already asked for more rakes from the Railway Board to
provide additional services. While General Manager of the WR M
Krithivasan, in a statement issued during the Railway Week
celebrations last week, had stated that four new rakes will be
added to the existing fleet very soon, officials put the figure at
only three.

The new rakes will help phasing out the ones which have over-lived
their stipulated life of 25 years and are still in use. Sources at
the WR said the three new rakes will have have 33 per cent more
passenger capacity than the ones operating now on the section.
Alongwith platform indicator lights, the coaches will also have
other safety devices too, they added. They added that poor track
conditions and excess loading of passengers has contributed to
reducing the stipulated life of an average rake from 25 years to
half.

During peak hours, a rake carries 5,500 passengers as against its
capacity of 2,700 passengers. On an average, a rake runs 200
kilometres everyday at an average speed of 65 km per hour. This
coupled with the fact that new rakes are being supplied after a
gap of nearly four years, has taken its toll on the efficiency of
WR. Officials however refute the claim and assert that the rakes
are maintained periodically and are fit to run well.

Interestingly, the railways have decided to procure rakes from a
new company like the BEML instead of the Jessop, Calcutta or
Integral Coach factory (ICF) which have been making rakes for
both CR and the WR for decades now.
==================

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

Subject: 7-year old gets award for averting rail mishap

Date: 18 Apr 1997 10:37:00 -0500


NEW DELHI, April 18 (PTI)

The Railways Ministry has approved a cash award of Rs.2,500 to
Master Gauranga Sardar, a seven-year-old boy of Taldi village in
West Bengal, who averted a major rail accident on April 7, this year.

The cash award and a citation would be presented to the boy by the
chief safety officer (CSO), Eastern Railway soon, an official release said here today.

In addition, the Railways Ministry has decided to recommended the
case for the President`s Award for bravery to the children on the eve
of the Republic Day, 1998.

While a local train was coming in full speed from Canning to Taldi in
Sealdah south section, Master Gauranga, who was tending cattle
observed that the line was broken at one place. He immediately took
off the red half pant he was wearing and waved it like a red flag
rushing towards the train. The driver observed the boy, reduced the
speed by applying brake and the train came to a halt before that point
of danger. Gauranga`s alertness saved hundreds of life by averting a
major train accident.

Gauranga`s father, Madhav Sardar, is a keyman of Eastern Railway.

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

Subject: Nizamuddin - Ernakulam express to be introduced

Date: 19 Apr 1997 05:57:00 -0500


NEW DELHI, April 18.

There is yet another good news for the Keralites in Delhi. The
Railway Ministry has decided to introduce a weekly Nizamuddin -
Ernakulam Express this year. This assurance has been given by the
Union Railway Minister, Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan, to Mr. P. C. Thomas, a
Member of Parliament from the State.

In a letter to Mr. Thomas today, Mr. Paswan stated that the
introduction of the new Express train will be in addition to the two
proposals made in his budget speech with regard to more railway
facilities to Kerala.

Mr. Paswan, in his budget, had announced extension of
Nizamuddin- Mangalore Express up to Ernakulam after diverting it via
Konkan Railway. He had also announced diversion of the Trivandrum
Rajdhani Express via Konkan Railway providing an exclusive Rajdhani
service to the State Capital. With introduction of the new train,
there will be four trains linking the National Capital to Kerala, the
fourth being the daily New Delhi- Thiruvananthapuram Express.

Referring to the charges of inadequate outlay provided in the
budget to new lines in Kerala, the Railway Minister stated that the
provision of Rs. 1 lakh for the new line from Angamalli to Sabarimala
- the shrine visited by millions of pilgrims - is only a token amount
which will be suitably increased once the clearances are received and
work started on it.''

Regarding electrification of the Erode-Palghat-Ernakulam line,
Mr. Paswan said work has been nearly complete upto Shoranur. The work
between Shoranur and Ernakulam is in progress and is expected to be
completed by March 2000.'' He further observed that projects for
doubling of lines, including Ernakulam- Kayamkulam via Alleppey/
Kottayam, have been taken up in right earnest.

The Minister's letter comes in the wake of demands made in
Parliament by several Members from the State for a superfast train
between Delhi and Kerala apart from more funds for development of
railway facilities in the State.

From: K. Sivakumar <siva@ece.email

Subject: Re: Railway News

Date: 19 Apr 1997 15:43:00 -0500


On Fri, 18 Apr 1997, Prakash Tendulkar wrote:

> WR's new rakes will come late
>
> EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE
>
> MUMBAI, April 17: Western Railway (WR) commuters have once again
> been left holding the shorter end of the stick as the introduction
> of new rakes has been deferred till the end of tis year. A
> spokesperson for the WR said the rakes will be operational by
> the end of 1997 after they receive them from the Indian Railways
> and the coach builders.
>

<snip>

>
> During peak hours, a rake carries 5,500 passengers as against its
> capacity of 2,700 passengers. On an average, a rake runs 200
^^^
> kilometres everyday at an average speed of 65 km per hour. This
^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

<snip>

200 km at 65 kmph is about 3 hours!
I thought the average speed of local trains was more like 40 kmph.
(roughly 2.5 hours from CST (VT) to Karjat which is about 100km).
Also, given that the distance from Churchgate to Virar is about 60km (?)
does it mean that a rake makes less than two Churchgate-Virar roundtrips
a day? Am I missing something here?

Siva

From: Prakash Tendulkar <prakash@us.email

Subject: Re: Railway News

Date: 21 Apr 1997 12:15:00 -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:

---------------------- Forwarded by Prakash Tendulkar/Santa Teresa/IBM on
04/21/97 08:56 AM ---------------------------

irfca-request @ cs.umd.edu
04/19/97 12:50 PM


To: irfca @ cs.umd.edu@internet
cc:
Subject: Re: Railway News



Siva wrote:

> WR's new rakes will come late
>

> 200 km at 65 kmph is about 3 hours!
> I thought the average speed of local trains was more like 40 kmph.
> (roughly 2.5 hours from CST (VT) to Karjat which is about 100km).
> Also, given that the distance from Churchgate to Virar is about 60km (?)
> does it mean that a rake makes less than two Churchgate-Virar roundtrips
> a day? Am I missing something here?

> Siva

Siva,

I am at loss to explain how this statistics may have been
derived. It certainly does not make sense to me.

The only possible explaination would be that they may have
higher # of immobilized coaches and total mileage divided
by # of units (#coaches / 9) may have created this result.

As far as I know, during mid-seventees, the mileage was
definitely 250% of what has been reported in this news.
That time, Jessop stock (3000V DC) transferred from ER,
was stabled most of the times due to higher failure rate,
(due to sloppy conversion), and Metro Cammels were used
only during peak period between Bandra and Churchgate
on slow tracks.

Prakash

From: Steven Brown <able@ricochet.email

Subject: Steam on Namaste America

Date: 26 Apr 1997 14:29:00 -0500


This morning's Namaste America TV program had a news article about a
tourist train, the Royal Orient running from Delhi.
The locomotive shown in action : YG 3438
The TV program is repeated on Sunday 3 P.M..

From: Olga Dubrovskaya <optim@bmsu.email

Subject: railway equipment for sale

Date: 29 Apr 1997 01:36:00 -0500


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From: Prakash Tendulkar <prakash@jps.email

Subject: Mumbai to Goa, on Palace on Wheels

Date: 02 May 1997 04:00:00 -0500


Mumbai to Goa, on Palace on Wheels

The Konkan Railway Corporation (KRC) will introduce a "Palace on
Wheels" luxury train service between Mumbai and Goa, the land of
golden beaches, next year. The `Palace on Wheels' to Goa will
operate six days a week and its fares will be on a par with air
travel, the spokesperson said. Ninety-eight per cent work on the
760 km Konkan Railway, the longest-ever constructed rail line of
the twentieth century in India, has already been completed. (IE
May 2, Mumbai)

From: Prakash Tendulkar <prakash@jps.email

Subject: Railway News

Date: 02 May 1997 05:24:00 -0500


Rail board shelves proposal to increase TN train services

CHENNAI, May 1: The Railway Board has dropped proposals
for introduction and increase in frequency of a few important
trains from Tamil Nadu to the northern sectors. The move has gone
off without any protest from the MPs who represent the state.
Chief Minister M Karunanidhi too has not taken up the cause of the
state with the Center as yet. The Board had agreed at the Time-
Table Committee meeting for clearing them based on the report
prepared by Southern Railway. These proposals had also been
included in the Railway budget.

As per the time-table which has now been finalized, the proposal
to introduce the bi-weekly Madurai-Jammu Tawi express from
June 1997 has been dropped. This train would have been a vital
connection from the southern state to the northern state. The
proposal to increase the frequency of the Nagercoil-Mumbai
express from a tri-weekly to four days a week train following
demand from passengers and based on traffic potential studies too
has been dumped. The Southern Railway had initially recommended
that the express be made a daily. Another important proposal to
introduce an inter-city express between Coimbatore and Bangalore
has been shelved. Instead the Board has directed the Southern
Railway to introduce a Shatabdi Express. Union Railways Minister
Ram Vilas Paswan had announced the introduction of a Shatabdi
Express in the section during the inauguration of the Salem-
Bangalore broad gauge section. But in the budget presented in
Parliament, the minister had announced only an inter-city express
in view of the findings of the traffic studies.

Studies had shown that there was no potential for the all coach
air-conditioned on this sector. The only important stations in the
section are Salem, Erode and Dharmapuri, of which Dharmapuri is
a economically backward district. Even the Chennai-Coimbatore
Shatabdi, which runs on a trunk route, is not being booked to
capacity. Similarly, the proposal to introduce the Bangalore-
Tiruchi Express on the newly converted broad gauge has been given
a go by. The plan of the Southern Railway was to extend the train
to run upto Nagore once the Tiruchi-Nagore section was converted
into broad gauge.

Peculiarly, the Board has granted one more express train from the
Ernakulam in Kerala to Hazrat Nizamuddin, though the Southern
Railway had not even proposed such a train. The occupation on
the Kerala-Delhi sector is only 72 per cent, whereas, on the
Chennai-Delhi sector is 105 per cent and Bangalore-Delhi sector
is 110 per cent.

Indian Express

From: paul chemmanoor <paul@issoln.email

Subject: Article reminded me of trip in Shatabdi last year..

Date: 02 May 1997 12:13:00 -0500


Hello folks,

I have been dormant for a very long time, but an article yesterday
reminded me about the trip I took from Coimbatore to Madras. I thought
I would share this experience on here.

Well, see we[ Dad and I] needed to get to Madras a.k.a. chennai
urgently, and didn't manage to get reservations at Trichur, Kerala for
the evening train. All the buses to Madras had also left. Someone
told us that there were buses leaving from Palghat every half an hour
or so. So we went to Palghat. We arrived at something close to 10
p.m.. The place was already closing down and the few buses to madras
had swarms of people fighting to get in. Since my father's health was
not as robust as it used to be, I did not want him to be in the melee,
so I said, lets try to stay at a hotel and leave in the morning. Dad,
being an ex-army officer, notwithstanding his health, is still not
used to leaving something that could be done today for tomorrow. And
so he said, lets go to the Railway station and see when is the next
train. So we did.

The next train was some express with no room even in the general
compartment. I certainly didn't look forward to cramming into a
compartment like that, I have done my share in the past :) The most
nightmarish was a 7 hour-not-even-standing-room trip from Trichur to
trivandrum, in mid summer, with peoples breaths condensing into drops
on the sides of the compartment and screaming kids, and fainting
women, with at least 25 people in each cabin meant for 6 :) Oh
well. Once is enough.

So we had to wait for a train at 3:45 am, that they said had more
room. It went to Coimbatore. The trip from palghat to Coimbatore isn't
very long. 2 hours I think. We did have to stand I think, but the
crowds were not too bad.

Once in coimbatore it was still something like 5:30 or so. Now we were
planning to wait till 9 for the booking office to open when I saw a
board that said Shatabdi to Madras at 6 a.m. ( I think). I thought it
would be a good idea to try it. Then I remembered hearing it is only
sitting chair, no sleeper, air conditioned and all reserved. Besides
who would give us tickets at that hour. We decided to investigate,
and sure enough the whole ticketing area was dark. But lo and behold
! there was one counter that said "Shatabdi tickets" and one clerk
sleeping at a desk behind the glass enclosure. We knocked on the glass
and he shuddered awake from some distant dream. Amazingly enough he
didn't say anything rude to us. Instead he said, "Sir, you want
tickets for shatbdi ?" We delightedly said yes, half expecting him to
say "Aha, well there are none available" :) But no, he said
sure.. here take two.

So we did. It was expensive.. I cant quite remember now, but I think
it was Rupees 750 ? I may be wrong per passenger.

So in a short time, we boarded.

And there began the **best** train journey of my life. Better than
Amtrak even[ hmm well, this is subjective.. for an Indian probably
Shatabdi would be better, because it feels more like home ] And
believe me, I *know* train journeys. I used to say you know, since my
dad and mom had traveled all over India, in the course of his
postings, it was pretty likely I had traveled on a train even before I
was born, safe in mommy's tummy :)

Meanwhile back at the Shatabdi, life was *good*. The compartment was
completely air-conditioned not just air cooled with icy blasts. The
equipment was in excellent condition. There were no crowds. Just
these *beautiful* seats all facing forward [ I seem to remember it
that way, someone correct me if I am wrong ] There was one attendant
for each compartment, and amazing enough, his only purpose in life was
to make sure people were comfortable and well fed.

First we get breakfast. Then coffee. Then soup. Then lunch. And I
think a snack in between. A choice of newspapers. One for *each*
passenger.

Of course if you could compute the cost of the things they were
handing out it was well covered by the cost of the ticket, however,
the very concept of actually paying a lot for a lot of service is
pretty strange [ and when you compare USD equivalent prices downright
exhilarating ] in India.

When I was a child, I used to play this game with my sister and
brother, where we would imagine and describe how the *ideal* train
would be run. It had music. Announcements about approaching stations,
and was very fast.

Shatabdi damn near did it all :) They have these corny announcements
for each station and landmark we passed [ The train doesn't stop for
most stations ] I mean corny.. When we passed Tirupodur[ sp ?] the
deep voice on the announcement system says "Here is the place known as
the Paris of the East.." or some such nonsense :) I mean give me a
break here. The "Underwear/Hosiery" capital of India would be more
appropriate. Or maybe there is some lingerie connection to Paris.. :)
Hey that's nothing to be ashamed of. Its more industry than Kerala
has :):) ( I am a keralite).

Actually Dad and I, never even noticed the time passing. We were too
busy Drinking coffee/talking/reading the newspaper. The atmosphere is
so comfortable that you don't notice you are traveling. When there are
no announcements the sound system plays classical carnatic music, what
more can you ask for ?

Ah to wind up then, it was a heck of a better journey than flying. And
its much cheaper. Guys and Girls, try the shatabdi when your in
India. BTW shatabdi literally means Hundredth Anniversary. I presume
this is in reference to a Hundred years of Indian Railways ?

Someone can be more precise ? or correct me ?

The only sad thought that came to my mind while I was enjoying the
shatabdi trip was the fact that so many millions of people could not
dream of using that train instead of the 2nd class in a normal express
or passenger train.




- paul chemmanoor.

From: Sridhar Shankar <sshankar@dttus.email

Subject:

Date: 05 May 1997 13:31:00 -0500


Hello folks,

It's good to be back on irfca.

Paul Chemmannor's experience reminded me of the many trips I have made
in the past both from Palghat and Coimbatore to Madras, by bus and train,
sometimes by a combination of both. Unfortunately, inter-state travel by
road is still a major hassle with permits to operate a bus costing about
Rs. 1 Lakh per state per quarter. Interstate transport continues to remain
the preserve of state transport vehicles, except in cases where the traffic
is such what people are willing to pay a premium, such as Madras-Bangalore,
Blr-Bombay, Mangalore-Bombay etc. Contrast this to travel within a state,
say TN, where you can pretty much travel from any medium sized city/town at
any time of the day to another point.

Anyway, his brings me to the point I want to bring up - the great
injustice being meted out to our beloved Diesels. A few weeks back I was
returning from Ooty to Madras via Mettupalayam. The trip was all the more
memorable since my dad is due to retire in a few months and these trips
to Ooty will soon become a thing of the past. By the way, the Nilagiri
mountain railway celebrated its centennial recently.

On reaching Coimbatore, walking up to the loco I felt that the idle
sounded a little different. A little inquiry revealed that the Erode loco
shed had committed sacrilege - switching the sacred GE governors with
Woodward governors (the type used in the MG Diesels). The WW governors
are known to be thrifty, however they mess with the wonderful idle. Those
familiar with the idle produced by the GE governors will know - the
feeling of suspense, 'Is the governor going to kickin in time or is it
gonna die?', but it never did die. Instead, the idle with the WW gov. is
a constant thump-thump, what a shame! The generous GE gov. is also
responsible for the characteristic plume of black exhaust seen during
acceleration. As I was taking this in, the Kerala express pulled in,
hauled by two Diesels belonging to the Krishnarajapuram (BLR) shed, clad
in a smart green and cream livery. These had their GE governors intact,
and it was wonderful to hear the twin units idle - easily the best
sounding diesels ever.

-Sridhar

From: Rangachari Anand <anand@watson.email

Subject: Re: Diesels

Date: 06 May 1997 09:01:00 -0500


Sridhar's posting reminds me of another endearing characteristic of our
diesels. When accelerating, I think that the traction
motors are switched from series to series parallel. This results in a
slight but noticeable drop in speed. I also remember the whine of the
turbocharger as it starts to build up speed. Pleasure was being in a
non-A/C carriage next to the engine. I have also travelled under similar
characteristics behind MG diesels and these simply do not have the charm of
the BG diesels.

Its been too many years since I have travelled by a diesel hauled train in
India (1984) . For that matter, the last time that I travelled by a steam
hauled train was 1973! This was the Madras Bombay mail.

R. Anand
anand@watson.email

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

Subject: Hubli-Dharwad: Passenger woes

Date: 06 May 1997 06:21:00 -0500


DH News Service
HUBLI, May 5

The people of Dharwad were very happy when the railway department
computerised its reservation system at its divisional railway station
in Hubli about a year ago. They believed it would make the task of
reserving tickets less torturous.

Even the railway authorities had felt that computerisation of the
reservation system would bring some welcome changes as it would enable
passengers to even book their onward reservations from Bangalore,
Bombay, etc from Hubli itself.

NIGHTMARES: But the dreams of the people of Dharwad is yet to turn
into reality. In fact, many dreams have started to turn into
nightmares.

To begin with only four counters are functioning of the eight
available, including one for enquiries, leading to avoidable
chaos. Moreover, making a reservation on the computer is taking more
time than is normal to further compound the problems of passengers.

A visit to the station at any time in the day presents a sorry and
sordid picture. Long queues snake in front of each of the three
counters issuing tickets.

Tempers usually run high as each passenger reaching the counter has to
wait for more than 30 minutes before the tickets are issued.

At an average it is learnt that close to two hours are being spent by
each passenger before he/she can complete the formalities. And at the
end of the ordeal there are, obviously, no bouquets to the railway
department but only brickbats.

''What is the use of spending lakhs of rupees on computers when it
cannot serve its purpose,`` asked Janardhan, a resident of Bangalore,
after having stood close to an hour in the queue.

''It`s a shame that this station (Hubli) is being called the
divisional headquarters. Even smaller stations have better facilities
than this one.``

More appalling is the fact that the three computer counters here issue
tickets to particular destinations only, unlike at computer counters
in other cities where you can purchase ticket to any destination at
any of the computer counter.

Here, you have to stand at a particular counter to get tickets to a
particular destination. Thus, the very purpose of installing computers
is defeated in the first place.

SHORTCOMINGS: Many passengers are finding out the shortcomings of the
system excruciating and embarrassing. After having stood in the queue
for long hours many have found to their chagrin that that particular
counter is not able to issue tickets to their destination.

Thus, you are really doomed if you stand in the wrong queue. Still
worse is the fact that you only come to know about it only after
reaching the counter because most of the computers here are connected
only externally and not internally vis-a-vis these computers are not
interconnected.

The other major problem leading at many times to commotion is the fact
that there is nobody to guide the passangers. One, as Mr M N Muguda
says, has to depend on other passengers in the queue for bits and
pieces of information and there is no guarantee that what you hear is
correct.

And in case you chose the right path of approaching the enquiry
counter it only leads you to the end of another long queue and another
long wait at the end of which you may face a rude and impatient man
behind the counter.

That is not the end of the story. For there are many more complaints
like shortage of reservation slips and lack of signboards indicating
train numbers.

Nadamuni, a resident of Ashok Nagar in Hubli, in fact, feels that the
previous token system was far better than the present one.

Hubli, indeed, is an adeal example of mismanagement.

It`s time the authorities wake up to the realities and the hardships
being faced by the passengers. Otherwise, the nightmare will continue
and the dream will remain just that - a dream.

From: S Pai <pai@apollo.email

Subject: (forwarded) steam railway services in india

Date: 07 May 1997 19:21:00 -0500


I hope there will be some steam left in India by next year! I believe
Indian Railways are rushing to eliminate steam except for some tourist
routes that use special narrow gauges (Ooty, Darjeeling, etc.). Perhaps
someone on this list has a list of current steam routes?

-Satish


------- start of forwarded message (RFC 934 encapsulation) -------

From: paul cullen <dpcullen@dircon.email
Date: Wed, 7 May 1997 23:07:16 +0100 (BST)
Subject: steam railway services in india

Dear Sir, I am interested in visiting India in 1998 and have a particular
interest in steam railways. Can you advise me as to how one obtains
contemporary reports of where and when steam can be found? Many thanks in
anticipation of your reply - Paul Cullen

------- end -------

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

Subject: Haj Pilgrims: Rly minister's assurance

Date: 10 May 1997 07:18:00 -0500


THE HINDU
NEW DELHI, May 9.

The Minister of State for Railways, Mr Satpal
Maharaj, today assured Haj pilgrims, returning from Mecca, that the
Railway Ministry would do its best to ensure that their journey back
home is comfortable. It is the duty of the Ministry to lend a helping
hand to the pilgrims, he added.

The Minister was talking to reporters after
conducting a surprise check on the temporary ticket counter, opened to
help the pilgrims at the New Delhi railway station here today. He said
that besides the special counter at New Delhi station, two other
counters have also been opened at Old Delhi and Nizamuddin railway
stations.

While the counters at Old and New Delhi stations
will be open for 24 hours, the counter at Nizamuddin will be open from
six in the morning to 11 at night. The booths will be functional till
the last batch from Mecca arrives on the May 25.In the last two days,
the three counters have handled 318 persons and have provided train
reservations to them, the Minister said.

Moreover, a Railway information booth has also
been opened at the exit hall of Indira Gandhi International
Airport. The Minister said that the pilgrims coming in will have
access to all the information required by them at this booth. The
personnel running the booth will be in constant touch with the three
counters at the stations and will thus be able to provide information
to the pilgrims about reservations. This will also regularise the
return of the Haj pilgrims. The main thing is to make sure that the
already tired and harassed pilgrims are not unnecessarily delayed, Mr
Maharaj added.

A Railway official informed that trains between
Delhi and Chennai and Delhi and Barauni are being fitted with
additional coaches to accommodate the extra rush. He added that these
coaches will be attached to the trains as when required. If the rush
increases, there is provision for more coaches, the official added.

From: Steven Brown <able@ricochet.email

Subject: Re: (forwarded) steam railway services in india

Date: 14 May 1997 07:35:00 -0500


> The latest info on Steam Locomotive operations can be found at the:
> INTERNATIONAL WORKING STEAM LOCOMOTIVES PAGE
> <A HREF="http://dialspace.dial.pipex.com/abington/internat.htm">http://dialspace.dial.pipex.com/abington/internat.htm</A>
> Look at the reports for India and also Myanmar and Pakistan.
> Myanmar will have meter guage steam in 1998.
> Pakistan is full of pre-partition locomotives needing a new home.
>
> Report on the locomotives available for preservation:
> <A HREF="http://dialspace.dial.pipex.com/abington/trains/pakis3.htm">http://dialspace.dial.pipex.com/abington/trains/pakis3.htm</A>
> All the available steam locomotives would be candidates for preservation
> and operation in India as well as Pakistan. What is the best approach?
> Are there any organizations in India or elsewhere that could undertake
> this
> task?
> COMMENTS PLEASE
> Scrap steel is worth little more than US$ 100/ton. This is the last
> chance
> to buy working broadguage steam locos at that price!!
>


> S Pai wrote:
> >
> > I hope there will be some steam left in India by next year! I believe
> > Indian Railways are rushing to eliminate steam except for some tourist
> > routes that use special narrow gauges (Ooty, Darjeeling, etc.). Perhaps
> > someone on this list has a list of current steam routes?
> >
> > -Satish
> >
> > ------- start of forwarded message (RFC 934 encapsulation) -------
> >
> > From: paul cullen <dpcullen@dircon.email
> > Date: Wed, 7 May 1997 23:07:16 +0100 (BST)
> > Subject: steam railway services in india
> >
> > Dear Sir, I am interested in visiting India in 1998 and have a particular
> > interest in steam railways. Can you advise me as to how one obtains
> > contemporary reports of where and when steam can be found? Many thanks in
> > anticipation of your reply - Paul Cullen
> >
> > ------- end -------

From: dheeraj <dheeraj@surfer.email

Subject: Amtrak USA Rail Pass.

Date: 15 May 1997 10:37:00 -0500


I just came to know of them yesterday. I don't know how widely
this information is known, since if I had known of this earlier,
I would have certainly made use of them in a big way.

You can get unlimited train travel for either 15 days or 30 days,
either nationally or within a region for a very economical price.
The price depends on peak season (June-August) and off-peak (rest
9 months). The 30-day National pass for off-peak is about 350$
only. I would think this is a much better deal than VUSA tickets
that most of us tend to buy when we visit US. Regional passes
(there are 6 categories) are cheaper. The one that would have
suited me (Northeast - covering from VA to ME) for 30 days was
only 200$.

My officemate told me that he had commuted for 1 month between
Baltimore and NYC. He bought this pass and made 20 roundtrips
a month. (5$ average cost for ticket from Baltimore to NYC.
That is some bargain.)

And the best part is that you don't have to plan it while in
India. You can buy it in US anytime. You only have to have
a non-US and non-Canada passport. Even permanent residents can
buy the pass.

On my next trip to US, I am buying one.

-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: 908-791-1637
Email: dheeraj@bell-labs.email

From: Prakash Tendulkar <prakash@us.email

Subject: Railway News

Date: 15 May 1997 19:50:00 -0500


First-time train travellers provide comic relief on the Konkan
railway

By Mrinmayee Ranade, Times of India

MUMBAI: A family of four travelling with a six-month-old baby
and having two berths reserved for their journey from Kurla
Terminus to Ratnagiri spends the night crouched in a single seat.
No, it is not because their berths have been taken over by the
`unreserved.' In fact the middle berth has not even been opened;
the family is ignorant of how it works. They make best of the
single berth they have access to.

Such scenes are common in the recently introduced Konkan Railway.
Having no previous exposure to rail travel, people of Konkan
remain ignorant about trains, even as they explore the pleasures
of travelling to their hometowns by train.

Earlier, the only means of going home involved an uncomfortable
journey in a cramped state transport (ST) bus, which meandered
precariously through the ghats.

The ignorance of passengers settled in Mumbai and going to their
villages in Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Malvan and other places like
Goa, is at times amusing, if not surprising. ``One person came
with the photocopy of his ticket. When I asked him for the
original ticket, he said it was kept in safe custody at home. What
do we say to such people?'' asked a ticket collector (TC).

``I booked our tickets a month in advance. And yet, our seats are
far apart. You must have sold our tickets to others charging more
money,'' a middle-aged woman on her way to Sawantwadi, yelled at a
TC. The young TC unable to reply in her language mumbled, ``I do
not know anything about reservations. I get the chart only when I
come to the station. Please don't yell at me like this.''

Another TC faced the wrath of passengers as he collected the
reservation charge from those who got their waitlisted tickets
confirmed. ``These people do not know what a waitlisted ticket
means. For them, the fact that they have paid for four seats and
the ticket mentions four waitlisted numbers is enough. One
passenger accused me of indulging in malpractice when I collected
the Rs 15 reservation charge from him. He did not realise that I
was giving him a perfectly valid receipt,'' the TC said.

``How do you expect them to know the nitty-gritties of train
journey, when these folks have never travelled by train before.
Give them some more time and soon they will be veterans in train
travelling,'' said a regular traveller Sanjay Marathe.

It may seem unbelievable, but for this humble crowd, simple
things such as finding the right compartment, climbing on the
upper berths or learning how much luggage to carry seem
awesome.

``Often TCs find passengers with confirmed reservations travelling
in the general compartment. They tell them to go to their
compartments and enjoy the comforts there instead of travelling
cramped in the crowd,'' a Konkan Railway spokesperson remarked.

Another TC recalled that an old woman was so scared of falling
from a higher berth that she would not allow even her family
members to clamber up. Only when her son told her he had paid
extra to avail of the luxury of lying down did she allow him to
use the berth.

Despite their inexperience, Konkanis seem all too eager to
experiment with the `luxuries' of train travel. All trains on the
route are running to capacity.


Notes Address: Prakash Tendulkar/Santa Teresa/IBM@IBMUS
VM Address: IBMUSM50(PRAKASH)
Internet Address: prakash@us.email
Phone: (408)463-3536

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