IRFCA Mailing List Archive

Messages 281 - 300

From: anand <

Subject: The token system for signalling

Date: 05 Oct 1990 00:51:00 -0500

I wonder if someone could explain the token block system for singalling
on IR. I always used to enjoy leaning out of the train and watching the
engine driver grab the token from either the station master or the
cabin. Is it the case that the train with the token is the only one
allowed in a block? I suppose that with the wider use of CTS, tokens are
no longer used on the main lines.

R. Anand

From: Ajai Banerji <

Subject: Unusual Railway Stations

Date: 05 Oct 1990 17:49:00 -0500


Those of you who have travelled on the Delhi-Kanpur route may have noticed
Hathras junction. You may have also observed the metre gauge line crossing the
main bg line at right angles in the same premises. However the metre gauge
station is called Hathras Road even though it is inside the yard of Hathras
To make things even more complicated, the town of Hathras is nowhere near
Hathras junction. Thus, there is also a Hathras Town on mg and a Hathras Qila
on bg.
Travellers on the Delhi-Madras route may have observed the narrow gauge
station of Chanda Fort which is adjacent to the main bg line. Although the
ng station is right next to the bg main line, there is no bg station there.
Therefore a passenger wishing to transfer between bg and ng has to use road
transport between the stations of Chanda Fort and Chandrapur.

From: Vijay Balasubramanian <

Subject: The Absolute Block System!

Date: 06 Oct 1990 15:13:00 -0500

Hi Folks,

Just finished reading thru' a very interesting and informative chapter on
Fundamentals of Signalling on IR from the book "Railway Operation - by Da
In reponse to Anand's query, here is some pertinent info. from the book:


Block sections are compartments of sorts, into which the railway line is
divided so as to space trains behind each other. The 'block stations'
are the ends of each block section and demarcate the limits of the block
sections and also demarcate certain limits for spacing of trains, or trains
and vehicles within the block stn. itself.

Stn. A Stn. B
........ -----> ......... | ....
Train Stop Signal

Under the Absolute Block System no train can leave a block stn. (say A)
without the permission of the block stn. in advance (B, in this case).
In the case of single line, this permission is given only when the line on
which the train is to run, is free of trains running towards the block stn.
from which the permission is given, up to an adequate distance beyond the first
stop signal at this station (the adequate distance is a zone of safety,
provided in case the driver overshoots a stop signal in danger); and is free
of trains running in the opposite direction.

The implications of the Absolute Block System are:-

1. The entry of the block section is controled by the block stn. at the
further end of the block section.
2. For accepting a train from the block stn. in rear, the line should be clear
not only upto the first stop signal of the stn. but also for an adequate
distance beyond it. In other words, the minimum space interval to be
provided between two trains is a stop signal plus adequate distance.
3. In case of single line, the line must be clear of trains running in the
opposite direction also. This brings out the necessity of establishing the
direction of working.

In order that a block stn. may give or receive permission to approach, it
is necessary for some form of communication to exist between the two stns.
These transactions can be done on the telephone, but in order to provide
positive indications and other mechanical safeguards that the procedure has
been correctly followed, 'block instruments' are installed at block stns.
The use of a block instrument also serves as some safeguard to ensure that
the transactions of giving line clear, etc. are done by te authorized person.
Double line block instruments are without tokens whereas single line block
instruments in India were token instruments. However, tokenless block
instruments have been progressively introduced since the last 15 years or so
on busy single line sections.

In a single line section, the direction of working is establised (so that
two trains do not start simultaneously from opposite directions in the same
block section) by provision of block instruments positioned at either ends of
the block section which work in coordinaton with each other. Thus, in a
typical block instrument, indications are electrically interlocked so that in
the process of obtaining 'line clear' (i.e. permission to approach the block
stn. ahead), the indicator of the block instruments from where line clear
is being given is turned to position 'train coming from'. Only then and that
too with the cooperation of the operator at this end, can the indicator of the
block instruments at the other end be turned to the position 'train going to'.
The latter block instrument will release a token which has the code initials
of the pair of stations concerned, which is the 'authority to proceed' to the

In case of many block instruments, there is a key attached to the block
instrument, which gets released only when 'line clear' is obtained from the
block stn. ahead. This key is used to release the lock over the last stop
signal lever (so that the signal indication can be changed to 'proceed').


What puzzles me is the necessity for the driver to obtain an 'authority
to proceed' (i.e. the token) on single line sections! Won't the indications
on the signal suffice?



From: Ajai Banerji <

Subject: Railway Tunnels

Date: 08 Oct 1990 14:15:00 -0500


The longest railway tunnel in India is the Parsik tunnel, between Thane
and Diva. It is 3900 ft(1189 m) long, and was built in 1913 as part of
quadrupling the Bombay-Kalyan section.
Next is the tunnel near Barog on the Kalka-Simla line, at 3752 ft(1144m). It
was built in 1904.
The third longest is the Saranda tunnel near Rourkela(on one of the two
tracks), at 3438 ft(1048 m). This was built in 1929 when this section was
These appear to be the only tunnels on IR over 1 km long. However this
information is taken from some old sources and may be out of date.
The longest tunnel on the subcontinent is the Khojak tunnel, on the
Quetta-Chaman section. This is 12870 ft(3923 m)long and was built in 1892.\
Although it carries very little traffic now(one pair of passenger trains),
part of the Quetta-Chaman line including the tunnel was built with a double
track right from the beginning. This was probably because the British thought
it would be useful in fighting wars against Afghanistan.

From: aravind <


Date: 12 Oct 1990 09:00:00 -0500

Does anyone out there have more information on the horrendous
crime perpetrated by a terrorist group in which many people
were killed aboard a train? Thanks in advance,


From: Ajai Banerji <

Subject: Railway Puzzles

Date: 15 Oct 1990 14:57:00 -0500

Whatever has happened to IRFCA? Nothing much has come in the past week or so.
Here is a puzzle which may stimulate timetable buffs.
Travel from Ahmedabad to Bangalore WHOLLY BY METRE GAUGE. I feel a minimum
of 4 changes are required. See if you can beat that.
If you can solve that, try this one. Travel from Delhi Jn to Madras Egmore
again wholly by metre gauge.This too can be done with 4 changes.
Depending on the response, I'll post the solutions in a few days.

From: Vijay Balasubramanian <

Subject: Railway puzzles, etc.

Date: 15 Oct 1990 23:01:00 -0500

HI Folks,

IN reply to Ajai's 'brain-teasers':

a) Travel from Ahmedabad to Bangalore WHOLLY BY METRE GAUGE.

Needs a minimum of four changes:

1) Ahmedabad to Ajmer by Ashram Exp., Delhi Mail, Delhi Exp. or Aravali Exp.
2) Ajmer to Secunderabad by Jaipur-Kacheguda Exp.
3) Secunderabad to Hubli by Venkatadri Exp./Vasco-da-gama Exp-cum-Pass
through coach
4) Hubli to Bangalore by Kittur Exp., Golgumbaz Exp. or Bangalore Mail-cum-

A shorter distance by MG alone would be to go via the Ahmedabad-Udaipur-
Mavli-Chittargarh route by the Ahmd.-Chittargarh Passngr. and then catch the
Jaipur-Kacheguda Exp. at Chittaurgarh instead of Ajmer

b) Delhi to MAS Egmore wholly by MG

Needs a minimum of five changes (did I miss something?!)

1) Delhi to Chittargarh by Gharib Nawaz Exp., or Chetak Exp.
2) Chittaurgarh to Secunderabad by Jaipur-Kacheguda Exp.
3) Secunderabad to Pakala by Venkatadri Exp.
4) Pakala to Villupuram by Tirupati-Madurai Exp.
5) Villupuram to MAS Egmore -> lots of trains (Rockfort Exp. would be
the earliest connecting train)

Of course, one could choose a no. of stns. between Jaipur and Chittargarh
as the changeover point, such as Jaipur, Ajmer.


In reply to an earlier message from Vijay Modi:
> In the case where the driver carries the "token" to the other end
> of the block, is there a single token for the that particular piece of
> track. Does this require that trains MUST travel in alternate in
> opposite directions? ....vijay modi

I have a feeling that tokens once given to the driver of the departing
train are never used again. Otherwise, if the train doesn't stop at the next
station (i.e. at the further end of the block section), how would the token
be given to the stn. master at this stn.? I would appreciate some comments
on this.


Unusual stations:

1) Stns. with low no. of platforms (relative to the traffic handled)

All trains in the busy Nagpur-Kazipet section stop at Balharshah; yet it
has only a SINGLE platform.
Satna (in the Jabalpur-Allahabad section) used to be a one-platform stn.
till a few years back, when a second platfrom was built by ripping off some
of the yard tracks.

Guntakal used to have only two platforms for BG trains. I wonder whether
the situation has changed after the BG conversion of the Guntakal Bangalore

Igatpuri used to have only two platforms, but by 1985, had acquired two
more. Again, some tracks were removed in this process.

2) Stns. with platforms on both sides of a track.

The classic example is Churchgate terminus, Bombay. It has four tracks
ALL with platforms on both the sides. Karjat (one of the terminii for
the Bombay suburban train system) houses one track with platforms on both the
sides. This is also a terminating track and, naturally, is used exclusively
by suburban trains.

Two of the tracks at Dadar have platforms on both the sides, with one side
being fenced, which renders the associated platform practically useless.
Similar is the case with Madan Mahal, which is the next stn. after Jabalpur
(towards Itarsi).


From: Vijay Balasubramanian <

Subject: Station bypasses/chords!

Date: 16 Oct 1990 14:52:00 -0500

Hi Folks,

Continuing on the subject of IR stations:

Some stns. on IR have bypasses/chord lines, which are used by trains to
either avoid direction reversal at the 'bypassed' stn. or to simply reduce
the distance traveled. In many cases, the train has a halt at an adjacent
smaller stn. to cater to the needs of traffic at the 'bypassed stn'.
Some examples:-

1) Kazipet: Most of the North-South trains bypass Kazipet. All these trains
(Tamilnadu Exp., GT Exp., etc.) stop at Warangal instead.

2) Wardha: Is again bypassed by most of the North-South trains. Some of these
trains stop at Wardha East (Rapti Sagar Exp., Kerala Exp., etc.).
Others such as the Tamilnadu Exp., the Ganga Kaveri Exp., etc.
ignore Wardha East; Wardha passangers have a small quota at Nagpur
for such trains.

3) Ernakulam: All trains bypassing Ernakulam (MAS-Trivandrum Mail, Trivandrum-
Guwahati Exp., etc.) halt at Ernakulam Town.

4) Jullundhar City: Some of the trains originating from Jammu Tawi (Bombay
Jammu Tawi Exp., Himgiri Exp., etc.) bypass J. City and
halt at Jullundhar Cantt. instead.

5) Adra: The Patna-Tata Exp. bypasses Adra and stops at Joychandipahar instead.

6) Coimbatore: MAS-Trivandrum Mail, MAS-Cochin Exp. and MAS-Mangalore Mail
bypass Coimbatore to reduce the distance traveled. Except for
the first train, the remaining two have halts at Podanur.

7) Wadi : Trains using the bypass (Rayalaseema Exp. and Hyderabad-
Bangalore Exp.) stop at the newly constructed Wadi Chord stn..
What is unque about this stn. is that it lies ENTIRELY on the chord
line, and is not accessible to any train passing thru' Wadi.

The following stations differ from the above in that all the trains
bypassing them do not have halts at adjacent stns. In other words, these are
ignored completely.

8) Arakkonam: Bypassed by all North/West-South trains such as the Kerala Exp.,
Varanasi-Tirupati Exp., Bombay-Kanyakumari Exp., etc.

9) Allahabad: Bypassed by the Madras-Patna Exp., the Dadar-Guwahati Exp. and
the recently introduced Tapti Ganga Exp.

I had traveled by the former from Madras to Mughal Sarai in Jan.
90. The train had stopped for a few minutes at the outskirts of
Naini Jn. I vaguely recall an announcement to the effect that
passangers destined for Allahabad should detrain there, as the
train would not be touching Allahabad. What suprised me is
the thought that passangers would actually be using this train
to travel to Allahabad!

10) Mughal Sarai: Bypassed by the Mahanagri Exp., Tapti Ganga Exp., and the
recently introduced Varanasi Hatia Exp. The Mahanagri Exp.,
earlier, used to change directions at Mughal Sarai.

The following stns. have bypasses used only by goods trains.

11) Bhusaval: The chord line is used only by goods traffic wishing to switch
between the Bhusaval-Itarsi and the Bhusaval-Nagpur sections.
Note that there is no passanger train which travels on both
these sections.

12) Katni: Katni is an important exchange point for goods traffic crossing
over to the Central Rly. from the South-Eastern Rly. and vice versa.
The New Katni yard lines bypass Katni jn., by passing over the
Jabalpur-Katni double line.
Much of the coal transportation from the Singrauli coalfields to
the textile industries in Gujarat is carried out via this bypass.

The following bypass may actually be longer than the normal route:

13) Cuttack: The Narajmarthipur bypass is used by the Coromandel Exp. and the
Sri Jagannath Exp. (this stops at Narajmarthipur). Is this
route longer than the regular Barang-Cuttack-Nergundi line?
If so, why does the Coromandel Exp. use it?

You probably are aware of the fact that Mughal Sarai has the
largest marshelling yard in Asia. In fact, so vast is the yard that there is
a special bypass loop to connect distant sections of the yard. This single
electrified line starts from one corner, breaks away from the main artery,
gains height and at the same time curves quite a bit so that it actually
goes over the Patna main line at right angles. After the cross-over, the line
dips down steeply while continuing to curve sharply. It then forks into two,
one line joining the M'Sarai-Gaya line and heading towards Gaya, while the
other heads back towards M'Sarai. Note that this loop automatically provides
direction reversal.



From: apte <

Subject: Re: Station bypasses/chords!

Date: 16 Oct 1990 12:19:00 -0500

Appropos Vijay's reference to station bypasses and chords, I have one
interesting point to make. All trains going from West-East via
Jabalpur have to go upto Allahabad, and then change directions. Some
of them may do that at Naini itself, as Vijay has already pointed out.
But there exists a little-known Broad Gauge line between Katni and
Chopan. It has, I believe, just one or two passenger trains running
on it. Now given the fact that these new trains such as the
Dadar-Guwahati Exp etc. completely ignore Allahabad anyway, I wonder if
it would be shorter to take them off the congested Katni-Allahabad
mainline at Katni itself, and introduce them onto the Grand Trunk line
via Katni-Chopan-Chunar to set them off on their way towards the east?

I have travelled on the Mahanagri Express
several times and I know that the Katni-Allahabad section is a
graveyard for punctuality - every train I've been in has been delayed
there. I can only guess that the situation must be much worse now with
all these new trains! Even so I must express my admiration for the
overall management of single line sections. After all its a scary
thought to have a whole bunch of fast express trains thundering towards
each other on the same track, with zero automation/computer control
etc. Most places still have the old mechanical signalling systems.
And God forbid, I haven't heard of any head-on collisions on single
lines due to signalling errors. Kudos are definitely due!


From: Atul A. Patankar <

Subject: tokens

Date: 16 Oct 1990 22:56:00 -0500

Vijay Balasubramanian < writes :
> I have a feeling that tokens once given to the driver of the departing
>train are never used again. Otherwise, if the train doesn't stop at the next
>station (i.e. at the further end of the block section), how would the token
>be given to the stn. master at this stn.? I would appreciate some comments
>on this.

As I recall from my childhood memories, the token was a big wire ring with
a key attached. When the train was not scheduled to stop at a station, the
people from the engine would throw the token (that they held) on the platform
as the train entered the station. Somewhere down the platform, a person
would be standing with the token ring held up close to the passing engine
(the token that is to be given to the train for the next section). It was
an easy job for somebody in the engine to loop his hand through the ring and
thus the exchange would be complete. If somehow the engine-guy couldnt take
the token - I dont know what then .. maybe the train reversed back :-). I
have never seen that happen. Does anybody know the answer to this one?


Office : 943 Patterson Office Tower Home Phone : 606 254 1528
University of Kentucky.
Phone : 606 257 6750

From: Ajai Banerji <

Subject: Railway News

Date: 17 Oct 1990 15:00:00 -0500

(from Railway Gazette, October issue, with my comments added)

Work on the Konkan Railway has been officially inaugurated. The present status is: From Bombay side, completed upto Roha Road. From Mangalore side, work upto
Udipi was started a year ago. Now work has started on several sections in
The unusual feature of the Konkan Railway project is the means of financing.
A Konkan Railway Corporation has been set up, and has contributions from the
beneficiary states Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala.(Kerala does not
come on the route, but the state will benefit by a shorter route to Bombay.)
The corporation also plans to issue bonds to the public, like other public
sector undertakings (NTPC etc) have done. This is the first time in
independent India that a corporation has been set up to construct a railway.
The same scheme may be used for another project-the Kandla-Bhatinda
broad gauge line which will be even longer-about 1300 km. This project is
mainly for transporting petroleum products, but will also serve defence needs
as it will give better broad gauge access to the desert area adjoining
Pakistan. As far as I could make out, the route will be as follows:
Kandla-Viramgam:following existing bg line(to be improved?)
Viramgam-Bhildi:new bg line
Bhildi-Samdari-Jodhpur-Merta Road-Bikaner:conversion to bg
Bikaner-Suratgarh-Bhatinda:existing bg line(conversion completed a few years

BTW, I was told some time back by an officer in Rajasthan Govt. service that
the Jodhpur-Jaisalmer line is being doubled. As the passenger and goods traffic
on this route can't be that heavy, so this must be for defence purposes.

From: Vijay Balasubramanian <

Subject: Diwali Greetings!

Date: 18 Oct 1990 09:45:00 -0500

Hi guys,

Here's wishing you a



/ \
\ /
* *
* *

BTW, to repeat Aravind's question in his earlier mail, could somebody
supply the details of the massacre by Naxalites near Hyderabad in which ~50
people were burnt alive inside a coach? What was the train involved?



From: aravind <

Subject: Konkan Railway ...

Date: 18 Oct 1990 12:17:00 -0500

So the Konkan Rly is finally on a roll ... I'm really excited about
seeing the west coast by train. I almost can't believe it's finally
happening (after all these years)


From: Shriram Revankar <

Subject: Re: Konkan Railway ...

Date: 18 Oct 1990 13:58:00 -0500


It is really exciting to learn that Konkan railway is for real. My
home towns (Ankola & Kumta) will finally be on the railway map of

As far as transportation was concerned our Uttara Kannada district in
Karnataka state was the most isolated place in India, barring some
places in the north-east.

The situation improved after NH-17 got the much awaited boost from
Kaali Bridge in Karwar. All the other ground access routes pass
through the Sahyadri(Malemane & Arabail) mountain ranges, where
vehicular speed is well below 20 MPH.

I am sure this will help the regional economy not only through
commercial development, but also through tourism. Uttara kannada
district has very clean beaches and Worlds deepest water-falls (Jog).

Asia's biggest Naval-base in Karwar will have better supplies and
we the people of Uttara Kannada can finally have economical


From: Vijay Balasubramanian <

Subject: Konkan Rly., etc.

Date: 18 Oct 1990 13:36:00 -0500

Hi Folks,

Good to see that the Konkan Rly. project has finally taken off. This
should be one of the most picturesque stretches in India, with the Western
Ghats on one side and the sea on the other. What trains can one expect on
the completed line? A Trivandrum-Bombay Exp. and a Mangalore-Bombay Exp.
for sure. Another two connecting Trivandrum with Ahmedabad and with Delhi?
There'll be a few trains from Vaso-da-gama, Goa.
Would the existing trains running via Renigunta be cancelled? We'll find out

The March issue of Indian Railways magazine did say that the state govts.
of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Haryana would jointly contribute to the financing
of the Kandla Port-Bhatinda project. Another important project is the
BG conversion of the Sawai Madhopur-Jaipur-Phulera-Merta Rd.-Jodhpur line (the
last bit concides with the former project). This would bring Jaipur and
Jodhpur into the BG map.

Another ongoing conversion project is the Varanasi-Bhatni line. The
Bhatni-Mau portion has been converted to BG. Work on the Mau-Varanasi section
is expected to be completed within this year.

Puskhar writes:
> But there exists a little-known Broad Gauge line between Katni and
> Chopan. It has, I believe, just one or two passenger trains running
> on it. Now given the fact that these new trains such as the
> Dadar-Guwahati Exp etc. completely ignore Allahabad anyway, I wonder if
> it would be shorter to take them off the congested Katni-Allahabad
> mainline at Katni itself, and introduce them onto the Grand Trunk line
> via Katni-Chopan-Chunar to set them off on their way towards the east?

The time-table indicates that the Katni-Singrauli-Chopan-Chunar route is
about 50 kms. longer than via Satna-Allahabad bypass-Mirzapur.
This, combined with the average speeds of
existing trains on the above two routes suggests a 1 1/2 - 2 hr. time
difference. Moreover, eastbound traffic will require a direction reversal
at Chunar consuming 15-20 mts. Maybe this is why the Dadar Guwahati Exp.,
Madras Patna Exp., etc. employ the former route. Also, note that Satna and
Mirzapur are important halts which are catered to by these trains.

Altough the Katni Singrauli section has just two passanger trains (one of
them is a mixed train), there must be a fair number of goods trains (4-5 per
day?) carrying coal from the Singrauli coalfields. Introduction of fast
express trains via this route could adversely affect the avg. speed of
these goods trains.

Neverthless, I have often imagined a weekly Dadar Howrah Exp. via this
route. This would have the same time schedule as the Dadar Guwahati Exp.
between Bombay and Katni. Between Katni and Howrah it would have the
following halts (sorry to bore you with gory details):- Vijaysota, Beohari,
Niwas Rd., Singrauli, Chopan, Renukoot, Garwa Rd., Daltonganj, Barwadih, Tori,
Barkakana, Ranchi Rd., Bokaro Thermal, Dhanbad, Asansol, Barddhaman.



From: apte <

Subject: It will be SPECTACULAR!

Date: 19 Oct 1990 07:41:00 -0500

It was very interesting to read that Konkan rail may become reality
sometime in our lifetimes at least. The thought
of a Bombay-Kanniyakumari journey along the west coast by train sounds
pretty close to paradise.

Imagine. Almost immediately after leaving Bombay we enter Konkan.
I have visited parts of Konkan,
and although my views may be somewhat biased towards my home-state, I
consider the Konkan coast - with its palm trees, virgin beaches and the
restless Arabian sea - to be one of the most beautiful places in the
world. (Maybe I'm taking a leaf out of U.S. tourist literature, where
every attraction is the "best in the world" ;-) ). Maybe near
Ratnagiri, one will get a glimpse of the famed Alphonso mango orchards!
Scarcely have we left Konkan, when we run into Goa. Little needs to be
said about this island (metaphorically!) of utopia! I haven't visited
the west coast of Karnataka, but I am sure it is comparable to its
Maharashtra counterpart. Cross Karnataka, and we're in Kerala. I have
once travelled on the Bombay-Trivandrum (then) Jayanti Janata Exp., and
I fondly remember The Ernakulam-Trivandrum section as one of the
greenest and loveliest sections I've ever seen. And then
Kanniyakumari. This tranquil-yet-disturbing meeting point of three
seas, the inspiration of Swami Vivekananda - is to be experienced to be

All in all, this hypothetical Bombay-Kanniyakumari Express (I'm already
hunting for names - Sagarika Exp?, Mahasaagar Exp.?, Konkan Ranee? ?)
may well provide a ride never to be forgotten.


From: Ajai Banerji <

Subject: This and that

Date: 22 Oct 1990 15:21:00 -0500

This and That

Someone was asking about the train involved in the Hyderabad tragedy.This
was the Hyderabad-Warangal' Kakatiya Passenger'. The incident occurred while
it was running between Charlapalli and Ghatkesar stations, which would be
roughly 20 km east of Hyderabad.

November 1 is approaching and presumably there will be some interesting
changes in the timetable. Hope someone can post details.

Non standard gauges: there are two instances of lines being constructed to
a non-standard gauge in India. The Arkonam-Kanchipuram section was opened to
3'6" in 1865, and was converted to mg in 1878. The Nalhati-Azimganj line was
opened in 1863 to 4' and was converted to bg in 1892. This line's engines had
to be rebuilt to bg. One can be seen at the Rail Transport Museum in Delhi.

Quiz: The Delhi Deccan Railway never existed, but it did appear in a popular
novel with the Indian Railways as a backdrop. Name the novel.

Chord lines: Here are a couple which Vijay missed.
The Pathankot bypass is used by the Himgiri Express and a few other trains,
which stop at Chakki Bank on the Jullundur side.
The Shoranur bypass-most trains bound for Cochin/Trivandrum use this to
avoid reversing at this station(which, if you recall, appeared in the popular
film 'Julie'). Many of these trains carry Mangalore bogies which are detached
at Palghat, about 50 km north of Shoranur and are hauled by various Palghat-
Mangalore link expresses.
Vijay had mentioned the Ernakulam bypass. As I was living in that area I
know the practical problems it caused. Although Cochin is one of the biggest
commercial centers in the south, the main station is still called Ernakulam Jn.
This causes trouble for uninitiated travelers who fail to realize they have
reached their destination, and get carried on. If the train terminates at
Cochin Harbour Terminus(a sleepy terminus with few facilities) they face a 4-km trip back to the main city. Things get worse when the train uses the
bypass and stops at Ernakulam Town, which is a rather unimpressive station. If they fail to realize where they are, they may get carried on to the next major
station(Kottayam)about 60 km further on. It happened to several people I know.

From: Manish Malhotra <

Subject: Re: quiz

Date: 22 Oct 1990 20:54:00 -0500

OK, I will take a very wild guess - Bhowani Junction.

The reason for the guess, this is the only novel I know
with a background of Indian Railways.

:- Manish

PS: Sorry Ajai, if this is too disappointing, but I
just wanted to reply !

From: aravind <

Subject: MG- BG conversions

Date: 23 Oct 1990 08:43:00 -0500

The report on a massive MG-to-BG conversion project on IR led me to reflect
on the impact of such projects.

Here are some sample conversions in the past 20 years:

(a) Ernakulam-Trivandrum Central, completed in 1976. This has been of the
landmark projects in the South, bringing BG to Trivandrum and Kanyakumari,
and increasing traffic on a once-sleepy backwater MG line by an order of

(b) Bangalore City-Guntakal, completed in 1983. This provided a direct
connection from Bangalore to Bombay, and a shorter route to New Delhi,
but the increase of traffic has not been as much as in Example (a).

(c) Pune-Miraj, completed in 1971(?). This put cities like Kolhapur on the
BG map, but did not provide through connections for passengers going further
south. I guess it remains a "dead-end" line even today? Have there been more
tangible benefits from the conversion of this line? (Miraj-Bangalore
will probably stay MG indefinitely).

My observations have been about lines in the South, where I have much
more familiarity with railway operations. Anyone care to extend this list?
And talk about what the conversions have actually achieved?


From: Dheeraj Sanghi <

Subject: Re: MG- BG conversions

Date: 23 Oct 1990 12:46:00 -0500

When was the last time a NEW conversion project was approved. I
remember that a few years ago, it was decided to spend more project
money to finish current projects, and only take up new projects
for electrification and track renewal. Has that policy been shelved.