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e.m.u enigma

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16 Apr.1853 - 16 Apr.2002

(Page color represents the green/cream livery of most a.c. and in India)

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ac emus

The biggest problem with ac emus is that they are fairly recent, due to which there is very little history associated with them.

The first ac emus to run in the country were those on the ER and SER in the Calcutta area. These started appearing in the early 1960s.

These were followed by the mg ac emus of the Madras Beach-Tambaram route, introduced circa 1968. The services were later extended to Vandalur and Chingleput. (now Chengalpattu).

Delhi followed next around 1981-82, where the opening was scheduled to coincide with the commencement of the Asian Games (Asiad). The last to follow were the bg lines around Madras, where emus were introduced only after 1985 (circa).

The latest phenomenon is to introduce main line emus, (MEMUs),which provide a feeder service between neighboring towns. The pictures of MEMUs depicted here are on the ER, kind courtesy fellow irfca member Shanku Niyogi. Thank you very much, Shanku.

Representation of the normal emus of the Calcutta area is unfortunately very poor due to non-availability of photographs.



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1.Quipped a Bombay-ite to a Madrasi: Your mg emus are crazy. I pushed my way into one with all my might like I do in Bombay, and I nearly fell out of the other side! Yes, the cute mg sets look almost juvenile. One such unit shows off its graceful lines at Tambaram near Madras (Chennai) in May 1992.
2. A bg emu of the Madras (Chennai) suburban section about to return to shed at Madras Central. I nearly got into trouble with a busybody nosy official (seen in the picture) while photographing this beast, and had to run for all I was worth! (May 1992).

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3. One of IR's latest innovations: a Main Line emu (MEMU) near New Delhi. Note striking resemblance to the dmus. (Photo by Zubin Dhotivala).
4. Two a.c. sit on water logged track just outside the works at the Integral Coach Factory, Madras. Some of the newer units have twin beam headlights. (Photo by Sampavar, placed in the irfca files section).

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5. An mg ac emu at Tambaram, near Madras.
6.A bg emu of the Calcutta area speeds past, with daredevil commuters perched dangerously on the buffers and clinging for dear life to projections on the car end. Trespassing on the tracks is another issue altogether. Apart from keeping the motormen constantly on tenterhooks, sending their blood pressure levels soaring, train hits account for at least five deaths a day in Bombay, and two in Calcutta. (Photo Courtesy: Mrinal Das).

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7. A bus strike sees Bombay like crowds in the m.g. ac of the Madras Beach- Tambaram route. (Photo by Sampavar, placed in the irfca files section).
8. An a.c. emu on the Eastern Railway about to leave a suburban station in Calcutta.The dirt, the congestion, the jay walker and animals form some of the environment of those big bad cities in which these unfortunate trainsets have to work. (Photo downloaded from the web, permission from site owner applied for and awaited.)

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9. A MEMU unit near Hyderabad. This photo was shot by Anand Krishnan from the cab of a WAP/4 electric locomotive. (Photo by Anand Krishnan).
10. A freshly painted ac emu enters the Light House station on the still-very-much-under-construction Madras Rapid Transit System (MRTS). (Nov. 1997).

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11. The same train hugs a sharp curve just before entering Madras Beach station. (Nov. 1997).
12. Trisulam is an ultramodern station with a single island platform situated plop outside Madras airport. The approach to the platform is by an underground subway situated in front of the booking office. I made this shot from the second step of the subway, leading down. (May 1992).

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13. An mg ac emu in the old green-cream livery prepares to leave Tambaram at dusk in 1984.
14. An a.c. e.m.u.  at Thirumayilai (Mylapore) station on the Madras MRTS system. (Photo courtesy Shriram Chellappan.)

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15. Crowds in an ER e.m.u. in Calcutta. There are two suburban train networks in Calcutta, one of the ER and one of the SER. (Eastern and South Eastern). Both systems use almost identical looking trainsets. (Photo downloaded from the web, permission from site owner applied for and awaited.)
16. An a.c. e.m.u.  at Thirumayilai (Mylapore) station on the Madras MRTS system. (Photo by Apurva Bahadur.)

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17. A crowded a.c. e.m.u. from the New Delhi suburban system on the NR. This system was hastily inaugurated in 1982, in time for the 9th Asian Games (Asiad). It was fascinating to see the train timings displayed at stations to the nearest half minute. (Photo from the cover of the IR Yearbook circa 1983.)
18. Another view of a New Delhi suburban a.c. e.m.u.  at Dhaula Kuan gorge in New Delhi. Despite all the fanfare, the system never really caught on due to the low frequency of the trains. Security was another major issue with near empty trains in the late evenings or at night.. (Photo scanned from a publicity brochure of the IR published at the time of the Asiad in 1982.)

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19. Crowds spewed out of   an ER e.m.u. at Sealdah in Calcutta descend upon the big bad city. (Photo courtesy Mrinal Das.)


You can see more pictures of a.c. e.m.u.s on Apurva Bahadur's site:

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