IRFCA Mailing List Archive

Messages 1841 - 1860

Previous 20 Messages          Archive Index          Next 20 Messages

From: S Pai <pai@apollo.email

Subject: Re: Headed to India

Date: 28 Aug 1997 16:12:00 -0500


> Another good way to see the railway facilities around Delhi is to take the
> ring railway. (Is this still running?) A long time back, there used to be a
> diesel shunter that pulled a few coaches around the bit loop of the city. It
> was a cheap way to go for a (railway oriented) sightseeing tour.

I remember this. If you weren't careful about when you got on, though, it
could take you to some remote shunting yard and stop, rather than going all
the way around as you might expect. Which was annoying. :-)

-Satish

From: Pushkar Apte <apte@spdc.email

Subject: Re: Headed to India

Date: 28 Aug 1997 14:14:00 -0500


> If you can manage a trip out to Baroda too, you should be able to see lots of
> meter-gauge (narrow too?) trains -- there's an extensive network around
> there, much of it still in use.
>
> -Satish

To my knowledge there is no meter-gauge around Baroda. There is
narrow-gauge however, and the stations for NG are Pratapnagar &
Vishwamitri (both within the city limits of Baroda). NG trains run to
Dabhoi, Chota Udepur etc. from there

- Pushkar

From: Jishnu Mukerji <jis@fpk.email

Subject: Re: Headed to India

Date: 28 Aug 1997 16:57:00 -0500


Anne O. wrote:
>
> I'm off to stay in Delhi & Ahmedabad for a few months. Can anybody on
> this list recommend good train watching sites in these two cities?
>
> Annie

Around Delhi any of the following stations provide a good venue for
train watching:

1) New Delhi Terminus of prestige trains like the various Shatabdi and
Rajdhani Expresses.

2) Delhi Jn. One of the last bastions of Steam Locos, all gone now.

3) Minto Bridge (called Shivaji Bridge these days I think)
4) Tilak Bridge (used to be Hardinge Bridge many moons back)
Trans headed South and East out of New Delhi station.

5) Pragati Maidan (didn't exist way back when I was train watching)
You can see the ramp and the Y leading to the New Yamuna Bridge. Trains
towards the East branch off and cross the river over this bridge. Trains
headed South/West go on the main line past the platform of this station.

6) Hazrat Nizamuddin used to be a dinky little two low level platform
station, which has now grown to a major terminal. It is a secondary
terminal offloading some load from New Delhi for trains headed
South/West. Freight action off of the New Yamuna Bridge

All of the above are mostly passenger trains. Beware that at many
stations you are supposed to get a Platform Ticket before entering,
although in my experience they are seldom checked.

For the more adventurous, one could go further afield for variety:

7) Delhi Sarai Rohilla - Meter Gauge trains and Freight trains.

8) Ghaziabad - Quite a bit of freight activity, in addition to passenger
trains headed to/from Calcutta, Varanasi, Kanpur, Allahabad, Moradabad
etc. You can take a local train from Delhi Jn across the Old Yamuna
Bridge to Ghaziabad and then take a local train from there via the New
Yamuna Bridge to New Delhi. On the way you will see about as much rail
action there is to see around Delhi as possible + the venerable old
Yamuna Bridge that formed a vital link on the Delhi to Calcutta trunk
route.

For the truly adventurous with a day to kill:

9) Rewari Jn. - Take a Broad Gauge train out from Delhi Jn., and take a
Meter Gauge train back to either Delhi Cantonment or Delhi Sarai
Rohilla. Avoid traveling early in the morning. If you are curious why,
email me, I don't want to mention it in public.

All that territory used to be my old stomping grounds way back when. I
used to live in Rajasthan in a place called Pilani. The rail station for
it is Loharu on the Meter Gauge line towards Bikaner from Delhi via
Rewari. Ah those were the days, with a YP puffing away merrily pulling
the old Bikaner Express.....

Jishnu.
--
Jishnu Mukerji
Systems Architect
Open Systems Software Division

Email: jis@fpk.email Hewlett-Packard New Jersey Labs
Tel: +1 973 443 7528 MS D283, 180 Park Ave., Bldg. 103
Fax: +1 973 443 7602 Florham Park, NJ 07932-9998, USA

From: S Pai <pai@apollo.email

Subject: Re: Headed to India

Date: 28 Aug 1997 17:21:00 -0500


> I used to live in Rajasthan in a place called Pilani. The rail station for
> it is Loharu on the Meter Gauge line towards Bikaner from Delhi via
> Rewari. Ah those were the days, with a YP puffing away merrily pulling the
> old Bikaner Express.....

Ah! Indeed! I made this trip to Loharu once visiting Pilani for some college
event. It was a quintessentially Indian rail journey, with folks crammed on
and under and above the seats, and in the aisle of the carriage -- it was
bitterly cold too, so everyone was draped in miles of blankets. It was just
impossible to move once it got late -- couldn't go to the restroom or
anywhere, for fear of stepping on someone or the other in the dark, someone
who might be sleping wedged in the most unexpected corner.

-Satish

From: Peter Mosse <pjcm@worldnet.email

Subject: Re: Headed to India

Date: 28 Aug 1997 18:55:00 -0500


>
> I'm off to stay in Delhi & Ahmedabad for a few months. Can anybody on
> this list recommend good train watching sites in these two cities?
>
> Annie
------------

A few years ago I ended up staying overnight at the Holiday Inn Crowne
Plaza in New Delhi, courtesy of Pan Am (shortly before the airline went out
of business).

The hotel is extremely close to a 4-track line with a lot of activity.
There's an overbridge and a station from which good views can be obtained
and photography was not a problem.

Unfortunately, I'm embarrassed to say that I can't remember the name of the
station or exactly which line it was on. Maybe someone else on the list
can help....

Peter Mosse

From: sank <sank@telco.email

Subject: Query about the Ring Railway:

Date: 29 Aug 1997 18:17:00 -0500


Regarding the discussion about the Delhi ring railway: the
diesel-powered service
has not been been in existence since the railway was electrified years
ago. Today
there are emu local services running on the route: I remember seeing a
Nizamuddin-to-Nizamuddin service on the route boards.

And of course, any railfan on the ring railway is (strongly) advised to
disembark at Safdarjang (or was it Moti Baag ?) railway station
and spend a day at the Delhi Railway Museum. For me, it is
practically a pilgrimage stop any time I pass through Delhi......

--
Jayant Sankrityayana
ID Studio*ERCCAB*TELCO
Pimpri*Pune 411 018*INDIA
tel:91-212-774261 exn 2534

From: Pushkar Apte <apte@spdc.email

Subject: GE & IR

Date: 29 Aug 1997 08:41:00 -0500


I read a little piece in India Abroad which says that General Electric
is planning to buy old diesel locos from IR and upgrade them. The deal
is worth Rs. 5 Billion (US$140 Million) - while that may be peanuts to
GE its certainly a hell of a lot of money for IR. The article said that
this was a scheme somewhat similar to "Own-your-own-wagon" scheme.

I am a bit fogged on why GE might do this - why do they want to own
engines on IR? I know GE does a lot of business in India but is it so
large that they need to buy their own locos & trains? And if this is a
trend, then this may revolutionize IR. Anybody have any insights into
this?

--

Regards,
Pushkar
-------

From: Anne O. <anniepoo@netmagic.email

Subject: Re: GE & IR

Date: 29 Aug 1997 11:39:00 -0500


Pushkar Apte wrote:
>
> I read a little piece in India Abroad which says that General Electric
> is planning to buy old diesel locos from IR and upgrade them. The deal
> is worth Rs. 5 Billion (US$140 Million) - while that may be peanuts to
> GE its certainly a hell of a lot of money for IR. The article said that
> this was a scheme somewhat similar to "Own-your-own-wagon" scheme.
>
> I am a bit fogged on why GE might do this - why do they want to own
> engines on IR? I know GE does a lot of business in India but is it so
> large that they need to buy their own locos & trains? And if this is a
> trend, then this may revolutionize IR. Anybody have any insights into
> this?
>
> --
>
> Regards,
> Pushkar
> -------

This seems like a good deal for GE.
They're already in the leasing business in this country. The usual thing
is for a RR to lease it's engines, rather than own them. Only a fraction
of all engines in US are owned by RR. Lots of cars and engines are
stencilled "This engine is owned by a bank or trust company subject to a
leasing agreement with Union Pacific Railroad". You even see a fair
number painted for the manufacturer's leasing program - ever see a GATX
engine?

Further, it's a sure bet those engines won't be getting EMD prime movers
dropped into them. It's a way of guaranteeing a whole lot of business.

Finally, I bet there's a nice profit in doing this as a way around
India's restrictive import tariffs (no politics please!).

From: John Browning <ceo8@rocknet.email

Subject: Re: GE & IR

Date: 30 Aug 1997 22:30:00 -0500


>I read a little piece in India Abroad which says that General Electric
>is planning to buy old diesel locos from IR and upgrade them. The deal
>is worth Rs. 5 Billion (US$140 Million) - while that may be peanuts to
>GE its certainly a hell of a lot of money for IR. The article said that
>this was a scheme somewhat similar to "Own-your-own-wagon" scheme.
>I am a bit fogged on why GE might do this - why do they want to own
>engines on IR? I know GE does a lot of business in India but is it so
>large that they need to buy their own locos & trains? And if this is a
>trend, then this may revolutionize IR. Anybody have any insights into
>this?

Sounds like a "Power by the Hour" scheme where a loco builder provides a
certain amount of motive power in service, and is responsible for most
maintenance on the units. There is a scheme like this in New South Wales
(EMD I think). To push the analogy further, Morrison Knudsen set up an
operation a few years ago in Australia by which they could refurbish/rebuild
aging locomotives before offering them back to operators on such a scheme.




John Browning
Rockhampton
Queensland
Australia

From: dheeraj <dheeraj@iitk.email

Subject: Re: Swarnajayanti express to run upto Mysore

Date: 30 Aug 1997 20:03:00 -0500


>
> BANGALORE, Aug. 26: The Bangalore-Nizamuddin
> Swarnajayathi Express train recently inaugurated by Railway
> Minister Ram Vilas Paswan will extend its services to Mysore
> from September 1.

Does anyone know the route/timing of this train.

Thanks,

-dheeraj

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

Subject: Re: Headed to India

Date: 03 Sep 1997 00:22:00 -0500


-----Original Message-----
From: Anne O. [SMTP:anniepoo@netmagic.email
Sent: Thursday, August 28, 1997 3:47 PM
To: irfca@cs.email
Subject: Headed to India

I'm off to stay in Delhi & Ahmedabad for a few months. Can anybody on
this list recommend good train watching sites in these two cities?

Annie


Hi Annie:

Following are some suggestions, as per Henry Posner III of RDC, =
Pittsburgh, PA:

1. A suggested way to get from Delhi to Ahmedabad is via Udaipur on the =
meter gauge system, (as of last year Chetak Express was "overnight", and =
there was a long daylight trip available as well).
2. Besides being an attractive destination (Lake Palace Hotel, City =
Palace, Monsoon Palace, etc.), steam may still run out of Udaipur, from =
Ranapratapnagar loco shed (first station east of Udaipur). Recent =
reports indicate a steam -hauled round trip to Mavli, as well as =
Mavli-Bari Sidri.
3. Ahmedabad may have some meter gauge steam as well, at Sabarmati shed.
4. The "Royal Orient" has substituted for the "Palace on Wheels" as the =
luxury service on the meter gauge, including some steam haulage =
Delhi/Rewari.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

M. Merck (e-mail: mmerck@city-net.email

From: Jishnu Mukerji <jis@fpk.email

Subject: Re: Lok 2000 - Indian Railways Version

Date: 09 Sep 1997 17:01:00 -0500


Jersbears wrote:
>
> Can anybody supply me withn information on the following locomotives.
> AdTranz, a joint venture with ABB, has sold WAC9 locomotives in kit form
> for assembly by Indian Railway's Chitipartan Locomotive Works. this
> locomotive is supposed to be a similar to the WAP5 locomotives built in
> Switzerland, but I would like to know some more specifics, like wheel
> arrangement (Bo-Bo or Co-Co), weight, horsepower, and adhesion ratings.
> Any other further information would be greatly appreciated.
> Thanks in advance, Jerry

The locomotive type acquired from ABB for passenger use is WAP6. It is
Bo-Bo, based on Rc4. It is a 6000HP unit if my recollection serves my
right. It has Asynchronous 3-phase AC motors and very sleek in
appearance. One of these units pulled a 22 car Rajdhani Express that I
was travelling on, between Howrah (Calcutta) and New Delhi, effortlessly
at upto 130kmph.

BTW, the name of the locomotive works is Chittaranjan Locomotive Works
located about 230km NE of Calcutta on the Main Line of Eastern Railway.

Also the type of the locomotive referred to above is probably WAG9 not
WAC9. The way locomotive classes are designated on IR is generally as
follows. The class is of the form gtun, where each of these have the
following values and meanings:

Value of g:
W Broad Gauge
Y Metre Gauge
Z Narrow Gauge

Value of t:
[none] Steam (e.g. WP - Steam Passenger)
D Diesel
A AC Electric (25kV 50Hz)
C DC Electric (3kV)

The combination CA indicates AC/DC dual.

Value of u:
G Goods (freight)
L Light
M Mixed
P Passenger
S Shunting

Value of n: A serial number in the order of acquisition of the design
This is found only in Diesel and Electrics.

So in the WAG9 above, W designates Broad Gauge, A designates 25kV AC (C
designates DC), and G designates Goods and the number 9 is just a serial
number in order of acquisition of the design.

This standardized class designation is applied to all locomotives
acquired after 1947. There are minor variations like WP/P designation
for the Prototype WPs that were acquired from Baldwin. Pre-47
locomotives have (had) all sorts of esoteric class designation, more
common of which were war department classes AWD, CWD, PWD.

Jishnu.
--
Jishnu Mukerji
Systems Architect
Open Systems Software Division

Email: jis@fpk.email Hewlett-Packard New Jersey Labs
Tel: +1 973 443 7528 MS D283, 180 Park Ave., Bldg. 103
Fax: +1 973 443 7602 Florham Park, NJ 07932-9998, USA

From: Iain A Fraser <iain.fraser@saqnet.email

Subject: Barsi Light Railway

Date: 10 Sep 1997 18:44:00 -0500


Greetings,

I am doing some detailed research into the Barsi Light Rly from its inception to
the present. At the moment I am struggling to find a map of the area and info on
the layout of various installations. I would appreciate contact with anyone who
can help or who has any knowledge of this system......I intend visiting the area
in 1998.

Regards to all

Iain A Fraser
iain.fraser@saqnet.email

From: Sundar Krishnamurthy <coolsundar@hotmail.email

Subject: Photo of a locomotive!

Date: 10 Sep 1997 21:32:00 -0500


Point your browser to
<A HREF="http://www.meadev.gov.in/economy/infra/tp3-rail.htm">http://www.meadev.gov.in/economy/infra/tp3-rail.htm</A>
for the photograph of a WAG4 locomotive, shedded at Kanpur.

<A HREF="http://www.bhelis.com/tnsp.htm">http://www.bhelis.com/tnsp.htm</A> shows a BHEL locomotive at the works,
before being put into service.

A WCAM3 class locomotive from BHEL has now started service on the Mumbai
CR sector for hauling express trains upto Pune and Nashik. I plan to
upload the photo one of these days.

Sundar Krishnamurthy
coolsundar@hotmail.email

______________________________________________________
Get Your Private, Free Email at <A HREF="http://www.hotmail.com">http://www.hotmail.com</A>

From: Auroprem Kandaswami <kandaswa@apple.email

Subject: Tiruchi-Thanjavur BG line to be opened in October

Date: 12 Sep 1997 06:09:00 -0500


TIRUCHI, Sept. 11.

The work of gauge conversion between Tiruchi and
Thanjavur was
nearing completion and the track would be thrown open for
traffic in
October, Mr. N. Kirtivasan, General Manager, Southern
Railway, said
here on Wednesday.

Mr. Kirtivasan, who was talking to mediapersons after
inspecting the
progress of the work said the work was over except for
some passenger
amenities, such as construction of footbridges at
Thanjavur and
Budalar railway stations.

Though the project was originally intended to cover up to
Nagore,
Southern Railway had decided to implement in phases and
complete the
Tiruchi-Thanjavur section initially. Out of the total
project estimate of
Rs. 110 crores, Southern Railway had so far spent about
Rs. 52 crores
for the Tiruchi-Thanjavur section alone.

Conversion work on the Thanjavur-Nagore sector would be
taken up
only by April next after completing the Tiruchi-Tambaram
gauge
conversion project, which has been accorded priority by
the Railway
Ministry.

He also said that the Tiruchi-Mysore Express and the
Tiruchi-
Coimbatore Fast Passenger would be extended up to
Thanjavur once
the broad gauge was thrown open for traffic. Work on the
Tiruchi-
Tambaram section was on in full swing and was expected to
be
completed by March 98. Though the Rs. 419 crore-project
had been
allotted just Rs. 140 crores in the Railway Budget for
the current
financial year, the Railway Ministry had made it clear
that ``neither
funds, nor materials would be a constraint for the
project''.

When queried about the inordinate delay in the
implementation of the
project, Mr. Kirtivasan expressed optimism that the
project would be
completed as per the latest schedule. Pointing out that
the conversion
work between Chennai Beach and Tambaram was over, Mr.
Kirtivasan
said the work on the remaining 311 km between Tambaram
and Tiruchi
involved construction of 56 major bridges and 740 minor
bridges en
route. Out of this, 34 major bridges and 500 minor
bridges had been
constructed.

He said traffic on the chord line between Tiruchi and
Chennai would be
closed for traffic for four months from December. While
some of the
trains running on the line would be diverted on the main
line, some
others have to be cancelled, as the main line cannot
accommodate all
the trains that were running on the chord line now.

From: Auroprem Kandaswami <kandaswa@apple.email

Subject: Higher Railway fares ruled out (FOR NOW)

Date: 12 Sep 1997 12:28:00 -0500


NEW DELHI, Sept 12 (PTI)

Railway Minister Ram Vilas Paswan today ruled out any immediate increase
in passenger fares and freight rates to meet the additional burden of
over Rs.3,500 crore due to the proposed revised pay scales for its
employees and increase in diesel prices.

''I rule out the possibility of any immediate increase in the existing
fares,`` Mr Paswan stated at the economic editors` conference here on
being questioned on the impact of implementation of the Fifth Pay
Commission recommendations.

The railway minister said he had written to the finance ministry asking
it to extend the maximum possible limit from pension fund, capital fund
and the depreciation reserve fund of the railways totalling Rs.3,690
crore.

''If we get it, this challenge (additional burden) can be met,`` he said
adding only if all such efforts failed, railways would examine the ''last
option`` of hiking passenger and freight fares. ''We have not not reached
this stage.``

'NOT FEASIBLE': Senior railway officials, however, indicated that it was
not a feasible proposition to expect the finance ministry to give the
entire amount of Rs.3,690 crore, contending that only a portion of it
could be advanced to the railways.

They maintained that it would be premature at this stage to categorically
state that there would be no hike in the fares. ''All the options are
open.``

Mr Paswan said Rs 3,425 crore have already been provided for in the
budget estimates for 1997-98 to offset the additional burden on account
of revised pay scales for railway employees. ''But the total impact will
now be much more than anticipated.``

Terming the additional burden on the railways as a ''natural calamity,``
he said railways was determined to mobilise additional resources by
improving the utilisation of assets, adopting innovative marketing
strategies, preventing leakages of revenue and reducing working expenses
by cost control and cost reduction.

Measures to ensure reliability of the fleet and equipment were also being
taken, he said.

6 PROJECTS PENDING: Mr Paswan confirmed reports in the media that the
Cabinet committee on economic affairs had not given its nod for six
railway projects.

He, however, clarified that proposals for these projects in backward
areas had not been rejected but only kept in abeyance for the time being.

Answering questions on the long-delayed Konkan Railway project, Railway
Board Chairman M Ravindra said it was likely to be fully commissioned by
November this year.

The project was earlier slated to be made fully operational in December
last year, then postponed to May and later to August 15. But it was
further delayed with the collapse of a seven-metre portion of a tunnel in
the Goa section.

On establishment of the Mumbai Development Railway Corporation, he said
the Maharashtra Government had suggested several changes to the earlier
proposal. ''Some changes are not acceptable,`` he said adding that the
railway ministry would have a fresh round of consultations with the state
government.

Asked about the proposal for selling of surplus railway land to mobilise
additional resources, he said it was awaiting Cabinet clearance. Even
after that, it would take two to three years to complete the formalities
and realise the amounts, he added.

NO KICKBACKS: Claiming that total transparency was being maintained in
all railway deals and purchases, Mr Paswan denied allegations of
kickbacks in the deal for purchase of diesel cranes.

The railway board chairman explained that the German-made diesel cranes
were found to be the best suited for lifting wagons with larger
capacities. The selection was made after scrutinising a limited tender,
he added.

Mr Paswan said orders for procuring wagons had been made after an open
tender and ensuring that there was no compromise on efficiency.

The minister held out the assurance that with the procurement of another
25,000 wagons during the fiscal year, there would be no shortage of
wagons in the country.

Mr Paswan said for the third consecutive year, the railway had shown
improved performance with the total earnings increasing by Rs.32 crore
over the revised estimates.

After meeting the full dividend payment and the contribution to pension
fund and depreciation reserve fund, the railways had a net surplus of
Rs.2,117 crore which was Rs.124 crore less than the revised estimate of
Rs.2241 crore.

Mr Paswan said the total outstanding against state electricity boards and
power houses as on March 31 this year had shot up to Rs.927 crore, higher
by Rs.32 crore as compared to the previous year.

The minister said the financial performance till July during the fiscal
year had been satisfactory with earnings exceeding the targets and
expenditure under control.

The approximate earnings till the end of July this year was Rs.9,068
crore as against the budget projection of Rs.8,743 crore. He said there
was a saving of Rs.508 crore in the ordinary working expenses over the
budget proportion of Rs.6,244 crore.

He said the operating ratio had deteriorated to 86.22 per cent in 1996-97
due to more appropriation to pension fund and DRF, in the current year, a
higher operating ration of 91.4 per cent was budgeted.

Besides initiating a number of measures to improve passenger amenities,
railways had also paid special attention to safety and security of
passengers in train operations. These included track circuiting, manning
of level crossings, providing modern communication facilities to drivers,
guards and stations and closed-circuit television at main stations.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Auroprem Kandaswami Phone : (408) 974-2567
AppleTOES Year2000 Project Fax : (408) 862-3124
Apple Computer, Inc. Pager : (510) 306-7541
City Center 2, Cupertino, CA 95014 E-Mail: kandaswa@apple.email
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Sundar Krishnamurthy <coolsundar@hotmail.email

Subject: Konkan Railway Timings

Date: 14 Sep 1997 18:36:00 -0500


Finally, Konkan Railway is seeing the light of the day, with Mr. E.
Shreedharan, the chief of affairs, relentlessly pursuing the Herculean
task of finishing the project. Innumerable delays and fiscal crunches
have forced the opening date to be postponed more than a dozen times.

Nevertheless, people from Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala would
benefit by direct rail access to the rest of the country. Mangalore is
less than a day from Mumbai! Imagine a ride on Nethravathi Express that
takes upto 40 hours today!

Visit <A HREF="http://www.goenkar.com/info/schedules/krail.html">http://www.goenkar.com/info/schedules/krail.html</A> for the running
schedules on the Maharashtra end, upto Sawantwadi.

Sundar Krishnamurthy
coolsundar@hotmail.email


______________________________________________________
Get Your Private, Free Email at <A HREF="http://www.hotmail.com">http://www.hotmail.com</A>

From: Pushkar Apte <apte@spdc.email

Subject: Accident

Date: 15 Sep 1997 07:31:00 -0500


>
> [The Economic Times]
> MONDAY 15 SEPTEMBER 1997
>
> 100 feared dead in MP train accident
> Korba
> -----------
> 14 SEPTEMBER
> ABOUT 100 passengers were feared killed and nearly 400
> reported injured as five bogies of the Ahmedabad-Howrah
> express fell from a bridge into Hasdeo river, in Bilaspur
> district, at about 5.30 this evening, early reports said.
>
> The accident took place on the Mumbai-Howrah section.
> According to reports, the five bogies were just behind the
> engine.
>
> One of the bogies - a general compartment - was totally
> smashed. A large number of passengers were travelling in
> it.
>
> The four other bogies included a parcel van and three
> second-class sleepers, the reports added.
>
> District and police officers and residents of the nearby
> areas have reached the spot to launch rescue operations. -
> UNI

From: Auroprem Kandaswami <kandaswa@apple.email

Subject: Increasing rail mishaps causing concern

Date: 15 Sep 1997 14:01:00 -0500


DH News Service
NEW DELHI, Sept 15

Sunday`s train accident due to derailment near Champa station in Madhya
Pradesh killing 77 passengers has again brought into sharp focus the
steep increase in the number of accidents of late.

The tragedy, which occurred as the railwaymen were carrying out
replacement of track which deteriorated due to wear and tear, is the
184th to have taken place in a span of just five-odd months, from April
onwards. This is in contrast to 381 accidents taking place in the whole
of the financial year of 1996- 97. Going by the stream of accidents, the
number of accidents in the current fiscal may go up, even crossing the
1996-97 mark.

HUMAN FAILURE: Of the 381 accidents during 1996-97, 286 occurred due to
derailment, 65 due to line crossing and 26 because of collisions.
However, one consoling factor is that the number of killed from April to
August this year has so far remained much less - 13 as against 405 in
1996-97.
Not all the 405 killed were passengers as this figure includes railwaymen
and stray accidents like the ones at line crossings.

Talking to Deccan Herald, Mr Shanti Narayan, member (traffic), Railway
Board, admitted that the increased number of accidents were causing
concern to the railway ministry. ''There has been a spurt in the
accidents and we are finding human failure as a distinctive reason for
most of them.``

DISCUSSED: Incidentally, accidents caused due to failure of the railway
staff went up in 1996-97 as 249 out of 381 accidents took place because
of human failure as against 237 out of 398 in 1995-96.
The increasing number of accidents has caused concern among senior
railway officials as this figured prominently in last month`s meeting of
railway general managers held here. The discussion centred around
derailments and collisions as major causes of these mishaps. Mr Narayan
says accidents from June onwards have sharply increased. ''It is a
serious matter for the organisation.``

NEW MEASURES: According to Mr Narayan, the train drivers have been put on
intensive
training at the time of recruitment and later, on refresher courses. As a
new beginning, the training is being imparted on simulators. Automatic
warning signals and better-managed, controlled and reliable locos are
being introduced.

In addition, track circuit from fouling mark to fouling mark has been
implemented to step up safety in signalling while radio communication and
walkie-talkies have been introduced on an experimental basis.

The Ahmedabad-Howrah Express accident is also likely to bring to the fore
other contentious issues like the budgetary allocation for track renewals
as against unigauge, increased stress on the tracks because of the
excessive introduction of trains every year.

Mr Madhavrao Scindia, former railway minister and MP for Gwalior, Madhya
Pradesh, was perhaps right when he said today that the successive railway
ministers were laying excessive stress on ''project unigauge`` rather
than on track renewal and doubling ever since gauge conversion was taken
up in a big way in 1991.

TRACK UPGRADATION: According to Mr Scindia, the allocation for track
upgradation had come down from 24 per cent when he was the minister of
state for railways holding independent charge in the mid-80s, to about 16
per cent of the railway budget now. This, he says, has burdened the
tracks and had a telling effect on them as years went by.

The Bilaspur division of the south-eastern railway where the accident
took place is one of the trunk routes of the railways having heavy
freight transportation network. Most of the cement, steel and coal used
by the country is taken on this route, making it one of the most
susceptible to accidents. Because of the freight movement, the
deterioration of the tracks is not only high but also fast, said one Rail
Bhavan insider.

TOLL: Relief and rescue operations are continuing at the Railway accident
site near Champa in the Bilaspur district of Madhya Pradesh, about 900
kms from here. The death toll has reached 77 while around 250 persons
with varying degrees of injury have been admitted to various hospitals in
Bilaspur and Champa. Around 126 of the injured are said to be serious.

Railway Minister Ram Vilas Paswan and State Chief Minister Digvijay Singh
have reached the accident site. The ill-fated 3033 down Ahmedabad-Howrah
Express was running late by one hour and 20 minutes when it reached the
bridge of river Hasdeo, about one km from the Champa railway station in
the Bilaspur division of the South-Eastern Railway, at about 5:52 pm
yesterday. Four bogies of the train fell into the Hasdeo river, while the
fifth coach hung precariously from the bridge. Of the coaches which
plunged into the river, one was a parcel van-cum- general coach, two were
sleeper coaches, while the fourth was a general coach. The AC coach was
hanging from the bridge.

While the railways have ordered an inquiry into the accident, one version
suggests that the driver applied emergency brakes on seeing a caution
notice at the entry of the bridge and the resultant jolt threw the bogies
off the track the into the river.

Apparently, the track on the bridge was under repairs and the caution
notice was meant to warn the drivers against crossing the bridge at high
speed. The driver, Mr A Humayun, however, seems to have been caught
unawares and he applied the emergency brakes in panic. The brakes brought
the engine to an immediate halt but the five bogies just behind the
engine were thrown off the track and plunged into the river. Former MP
and BJP President Lakhiram Agarwal, who was also travelling by the train,
is safe.

Rail traffic is on the Howrah-Mumbai trunk route through the remaining
one track.

UNALERTED: How did the Madhya Pradesh train accident resulting in the
death of 77 people and leaving 234 injured occur? According to reports
reaching the rail bhavan, the headquarters of the rail ministry, the
accident occurred because of the ''discontinuation in track.``

This means that a portion of rail was not in its place when the
Ahmedabad-Howrah express chugged in. Railway sources told Deccan Herald
today that there was no indication to the train driver about the repair
work being done to replace the railway track ahead. Explaining the type
of caution undertaken during repair works, the sources noted that there
will be three detonators so that the driver gets a physical signal of the
work ahead and a caution banner flag when the train approaches the repair
site. The banner flags are put at a distance of 600 metres on either side
of the site. In the case of the ill-fated train, there were no detonators
for the driver to be informed of
the track upgradation work and by the time he noticed the banner flag, it
was too late.

The PWI (permanent way inspector - meaning the person in charge of
maintenance of the tracks) is required to inform the control room of the
railway division about the repair work. He can seek ''protection`` in two
forms: either ask for ''traffic block,`` which in railway parlance means
stoppage of any rail traffic on the route, or for speed restriction (of
the trains). In this case, the track inspector had sought speed
restriction.

The railways have suspended PWI Malik and an inquiry by the commissioner
of railway safety has been ordered. All records relating to the time for
protection sought have been seized. Another intriguing aspect about the
accident is that the railwaymen were still working at 6 pm (at the time
of accident) at the site when they were not expected to take up any work
after 5 pm because of the fading light.

The Madhya Pradesh train accident has occured when the memory of another
accident involving Karnataka Express had not yet faded. The mishap which
occured as a result of the Karnataka Express ramming the Himgiri Express
from behind at Faridabad near here, resulted in the death of 12 people,
including the driver of the Delhi-bound Karnataka Express. Incidentally,
the late July tragedy was the last major accident before Sunday`s mishap.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Auroprem Kandaswami Phone : (408) 974-2567
AppleTOES Year2000 Project Fax : (408) 862-3124
Apple Computer, Inc. Pager : (510) 306-7541
City Center 2, Cupertino, CA 95014 E-Mail: kandaswa@apple.email
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Prakash Tendulkar <prakash@jps.email

Subject: Railway News

Date: 20 Sep 1997 04:45:00 -0500


South Eastern Railway`s General Manager S Ramanathan and his
Central Railway counterpart Mr N C Sinha, have been ''summarily``
removed from their posts for ''dereliction of duty``, official
sources said. (New Delhi, DH Sep 20) )

The content of the individual messages displayed here is subject to copyright by the original authors and may not be reproduced outside the context of IRFCA without permission.
Note: This site is not officially affiliated with Indian Railways! The official web site of Indian Railways is: http://www.indianrailways.gov.in
Site contact: webmaster@irfca.org
Copyright © 2010, IRFCA.org. About IRFCA  Contact Us  Search this site  Site Map  Links   Acknowledgements  Legal Information & Disclaimers