IRFCA Mailing List Archive

Messages 3861 - 3880

From: S.B.Mehta <>


Date: 16 Oct 1998 23:12:45 -0500


Please unsubscibe as I am going on long leave.

Wishing all of you a very happy Diwali and Prosperous New Year.

Sarosh Bakhtyar Mehta
M/s. Godrej & Boyce Mfg.Co.Ltd.
Machine Tool Division
Pirojshanagar, Vikhroli,
MUMBAI 400 079
Tel:(Office) 577 3535 / 577 3636 Extn: 3917/3907/3909
Tel:(Residence) 389 3150
Fax:(Office) 91 22 517 2229 / 91 22 518 2289
Wisdom dawns only after knowledge is gained

From: Apurva Bahadur <>

Subject: Re: Local services upto Panvel

Date: 17 Oct 1998 06:02:43 -0500

Pushkar Apte wrote:

> Apurva, thanks for the info. I wonder what happened to the "cross"
> that had been started at one point - I distinctly recall an
> local. Is Belapur before Panvel while going from Mumbai?

Even I was under the impression that a cross Andheri - Belapur - Andheri
service existed but no such luck. I also thought that the Central Rail
trains (at least some of them) went upto Borivali but that news is also
wishful thinking. The New Mumbai track is like this: Mankhurd (on the
main land)
- Vashi (across the creek)- Sanpada - Juinagar - Nerul - Belapur -
Kharghar -Khandeshwar and then Panvel.

>I can think of a few possibilities:

> 1. Apurva's fantasy long-distance train running Pune-Vasai-Bandra.

Dr. Yande wrote a letter to the editor about this imaginary train and
there was atleast one letter supporting the idea. The lack of a triangle
at Vasai will
prevent this train from being easily launched.
I wonder if such problems exist in other cities like Calcutta and
whether the 'Howrah' route and the 'Sealdah' route are linked ? I think
there is a 'bow' shaped overhead bridge linking the two stations.

> 2. A long-distance train from Ahmadabad/Vadodara crossing over at
Vasai to
> terminate at Kurla Terminus.

This is possible as the Vasai entry is in the 'right' position. Although
there is no city in Gujrath like Pune which lives under Mumbai shadow
(dependent on Mumbai for a number of things) in the ADI - BRC sector.
Are there enough WR crowd
wanting to come to the hellish Kurla terminus ?

> 3. EMUs from Borivali/Andheri/Bandra to Panvel for KR connections -
> via Vasai or via Ravli junction.

As I confirm that there is no WR - Harbour - New Mumbai EMU in the TT I
also realize that the idea that a train would climb Ravli flyover and
then reverse on the Wadala Rd platform is also not being used. For the
uninitiated I feel I should upload a small map of the Mumbai area. Here
it is:
<A HREF=""></A> . Pushkar already has
this map in his suburban time table which I hope is with him in the USA.
It is clear from the map that the Ravli (marked as Raoli) Jn. is the
point where the harbour line services split / join. A train coming from
Andheri will theoretically travel over the Ravli Jn flyover and stop at
Wadala Road station. Then the driver and guard would reverse positions
and the trains would take off on the Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar -
Chunabhatti - Kurla - Chembur - Govandi - Mankhurd - Vashi etc to New
> 4. EMUs from Andheri/Bandra to Thane-Dombivali-Kalyan via Ravli
This too is possible using the reversing strategy at Wadala Rd.


From: D.G.Goswami <>

Subject: Best Zone

Date: 18 Oct 1998 10:15:36 -0500

Hi Folks,

Each member of the IRFCA has far and wide on the IR
network.So I just
wanted to know that which according tho them is the best zone of IR in
terms of punctuality of trains, maintainence of trains, good PR and
good service.Also as I live in WR territory what is the position of WR
the scale of 1-9.
Does the Railway ministry has something like "The Best
Zone Award" or
something like that.


From: Apurva Bahadur <>

Subject: Re: Best Zone

Date: 18 Oct 1998 12:05:07 -0500

> Does the Railway ministry has something like "The Best
Zone Award" or
> something like that.

I would believe that the Southern Railway has a passenger oriented image
and they would
easily win a competition hands down as far as punctuality, cleanliness
and service in
general is concerned.



From: Shankar <>

Subject: Happy Deepavali

Date: 18 Oct 1998 12:23:53 -0500



Best regards.


From: Sridhar Shankar <>

Subject: Re: Best Zone

Date: 18 Oct 1998 13:44:44 -0500

I would agree with Apurva that SR would win hands down in terms of
passenger services. Couple of issues of relevance are
>SR has never had the originating traffic base in terms of freight and
cannot quite rely on freight as the cash cow.
>And, SR has always faced intense competition from the road sector. For
example, Madras - Bangalore, Madras - Thiruchi- Madurai, Madras - CBE or
just about any place in TN is served by buses both private and state
run. In fact, both Karnataka and TN have a 'relatively' efficient state
road transport systems.


Sridhar Shankar 1616 E. 50th Place, Apt.13A
GSB'99 Chicago, IL 60615
University of Chicago (773) 752 1131

On Mon, 19 Oct 1998, Apurva Bahadur wrote:

> > Does the Railway ministry has something like "The
Best Zone Award" or
> > something like that.
> I would believe that the Southern Railway has a passenger oriented
image and they would
> easily win a competition hands down as far as punctuality, cleanliness
and service in
> general is concerned.
> Apurva
> >

From: Dr. K.J. Walker & Mrs. M.E, Heath <>

Subject: Re: MG Coupler Query -- and also NG couplers

Date: 18 Oct 1998 16:30:19 -0500

Dear Jayant and all,
When MG was iontroduced to India in the 1860s, the chosen coupler
the "chopper" or "Norwegian" type. The earliest versions of these had
light cast bodies and amazing hooks that wre long thin, and very hooked
quite Victorian!
The problem with these early couplers was that the hook could and
jump out when conditions were right -- generally after the couplers
up under decleration and the slack gathered up -- resulted in trains
The initial solution was to supply a loop of the female coupler
which could be folded over the top of the hook so as to stop it jumping
Some NG lines without AVB also have this feature. The wire lashing
observed was presumably a do-it-yourself attempt to solve the same
During the 1880s, an engineer called Jones (I think working for
Rajputana-Malwa Railway [RMR] at the time invented a screw verison of
chopper coupler. Jones' patent involves a modified hook shape with a
distinct recess for the bar with which the hook engages. The female
has an adjustable bar, which is tensioned, once coupled, by the
of a screw beside the coupler body. The effect was exactly similar to
use of screw couplings in BG: the buffers were brought firmly into
eliminating slack, and ensuring that all buffing shocks were absorbed by
buffer springing.
The Jones coupler was universally adopted on MG in India, and was
also taken up by many NG lines. Some NG lines stuck with the more
type, but I think I am right in saying that the Jones type was used
vacuum brake (AVB) was fitted. Some lines (mostly associated with the
instead had the ABC patent coupler, which used a horizontal loop
with a rotary catch. These can still be seen on lines such as
Achalpur-Yavatmal, Arvi-Pulgaon, and Pachora-Jamner.
The Conference rules (issued as a series of small booklets) have
details of these and similar equipment. I'll try to find time to post a
of the IRS Jones-type couplers on my Web page this week. (See
<A HREF=""></A>
Hope this helps,
Regards to all, and happy Diwali
Ken Walker

-----Original Message-----
From: Jayant S <
To: <
Cc: IR List < '
Date: Friday, 16 October 1998 2:25
Subject: Re: MG Coupler Query

>> Question for those of you on the subcontinent:
>> In most " norwegian " central couplers the chopper rotates around an
>> pin, so the distance between the hook and the centre of the pin is
shorter in
>> the horizontal position than in the vertical.
>> Is the Indian coupler the same ?
>>From what I remember the MG chopper was tensioned
>by some sort of pull-clamp on the stem of the
>buffer. I am in Delhi next week, hope to
>check on the NRM where I can figure it out.
>I wonder why they used wire as well, though ?
>And Apurva, I'm busy with (yuk) road vehicles, yes,
>but everyone on THIS list will know where my
>soul truly lies !! :)
>Jayant S

From: Prakash Tendulkar <>

Subject: Happy Deepawali

Date: 18 Oct 1998 18:29:27 -0500

Happy Deepawali and here are the fire crackers......

From: Alan Sponberg <>

Subject: Bookings and Schedules

Date: 18 Oct 1998 21:34:08 -0500

Is it now possible to make reservations (for Rajdhani trains, sleepers,
etc.) while still in the States?
Also, can someone direct me to a source for current time-table
information----if not on the Web, perhaps a US source for "Trains at a
Glance" or some comparable publication.

Many Thanks.
Alan Sponberg Phone: 406-243-2803
Professor of Asian 406-243-2171 (dept.
Philosophy & Religion E-Mail:
University of Montana
Missoula, MT 59812 USA

From: Anne Ogborn <>

Subject: Re: Happy Deepavali

Date: 18 Oct 1998 22:21:06 -0500

Wishing everyone on the list a wonderful Deepavali

From: Pushkar Apte <>

Subject: A horrible menace

Date: 19 Oct 1998 08:05:15 -0500

The Financial
Express Stone Age on rly tracks, GRP at sea
EIW MUMBAI, Oct 18: Watching trains whizz by is
[Image] not exactly Sanjay Nanavare's idea of an
exciting day's work. Besides, the constant,
Market rhythmic thudding of the rakes has his nerves
Indicators jangling like a nervous alarm clock.
Screen Even so, Nanavare ploughs a lonely furrow
[Image] along the railway tracks, peeling his eyes
for sadistic youngsters intent on pelting
Boulevard India stones at commuters in Mumbai's suburban
local trains. After all, he has no choice.
[Image] Nanavare is among the 100-odd Government
Celebrity Chat Railway Police (GRP) constables deputed to
[Image] patrol the tracks daily in what has turned
Express out to be a largely a futile exercise.
Computers Mumbai's suburban railway system is just too
[Image] extensive.
Express Power The first 10 months of 1998 have registered
[Image] 34 stone-pelting incidents, the highest in
Letters the last five years (see box). But Special
[Image] Inspector General of the GRP, S S Suradkar,
Advertisers says: ``Don't go by the numbers. Every day,
Forum at least one stone is hurled at passing local
[Image] trains in the city. Many of them miss their
targets, others find victims who don't report
[Image] the matter tous.''
Express Careers
[Image] Eyeing Mahim railway station almost a
Business Forum kilometre away, Nanavare has been on his feet
[Image] since 8 am and ouch, do they hurt! And with
the clock ticking in slow motion, he has
Match Makers miles to go before be breaks off at 8 pm. At
[Image] least he is not entirely alone. Constable
Express Nana Kasbe patrols alongside. ``But,''
Properties Nanavare remarks, ``how long can you talk to
[Image] another person incessantly?''Kasbe nods in
Palki - Travel agreement. Then, he hurriedly hops to the
& Tours other side as he spies an approaching fast
[Image] train bound for Churchgate. ``We cross the
tracks at least 20 times a day,'' Kasbe
Information winces, wondering if the law-enforcers aren't
Technology breaking the rules themselves. His wry smile
[Image] barely makes it to his face. The ennui, you
Astrosurf see, has sunk in much too deep.
Eco-India Life moves in first gear for these weary
[Image] warriors. An occasional trespasser,
slumdwellers performing their daily
Dr Know ablutions, junkies blind to approaching
[Image] trains, a few chaiwallahs and some new-found
Morning Digest friends among the slum-dwellers play out the
[Image] daily drama on Mumbai's railway tracks.
Moreimportantly, they provide a welcome
Express interlude for the GRP policemen.
[Image] ``We have made friends among the
Graffiti slum-dwellers, who offer us tea. Some have
[Image] also offered to keep vigil in our absence,''
Drumbeat: Ad Nanavare says, stifling a yawn. Sick of
Buzzaar stepping on concrete sleepers, Kasbe tries
balancing on the rails. It provides some
distraction, no matter how inane. But
Nanavare has another problem. How can he keep
his mind from falling asleep? So he turns to
philosophy. ``If we don't patrol the tracks,
who will. And what do people get by throwing
stones in the first place?''

Suradkar has the answer to that one. ``They
derive a perverse sense of satisfaction from
harming defenceless people,'' he says.
Psychiatrist Dr Anand Nadkarni agrees. ``It
is a raw, undirected act of aggression. And
it is dangerous because it is an indication
of the depth of anger in society,'' he says.

But `society' doesn't seem to care. If indeed
it did, the number of cases reported would be
higher. ``Attitudes needs to change. People
should realisethat even small stones cause
death,'' Suradkar says. But till that
happens, Nanavare's grind will continue.
Attitudes, after all, have an annoying way of
remaining static.

From: Anne Ogborn <>

Subject: Re: A horrible menace

Date: 19 Oct 1998 23:13:35 -0500

The stone throwing goes on here too. And it's apparently a fairly new

From: Apurva Bahadur <>

Subject: Cross traffic EMUs in Mumbai

Date: 19 Oct 1998 23:35:44 -0500

Hi Gang !

Although the CR suburban time table does not list any Andheri - Vashi
(or New Mumbai) train, I met someone who swears that he has seen a train
marked as 'Andheri' at Vashi. Is it possible that the CR does not run
these services but the WR do ? Our Borivali / Godrej gang should
confirm this.
Our man also told me that the local services from CSTM - Panvel are not
running well as the highway to Navha Sheva Port crosses the tracks near
Panvel. The container traffic (by road) is heavy and that means that the
level crossing has to be kept open longer than possible for efficient
EMU movement.

Apurva Bahadur

From: Pushkar Apte <>

Subject: Mumbai cross-traffic News

Date: 20 Oct 1998 06:50:48 -0500

Interesting article from Times of India on east-west traffic plans in
Mumbai. Neat co-incidence that it should appear on the heels of the
discussion on this group on east-west problems in Mumbai - maybe it
shows we are not mere armchair academics, but we do discuss real
problems of people!

Comments on this on our friends IN Mumbai/Pune?



Tuesday 20 October 1998

Bandra, Kurla stations to be linked

By Dilip Chaware

The Times of India News Service

MUMBAI: A rail link connecting Bandra and Kurla
suburban railway stations is likely to become a
reality in the near future, it is learnt.
Commuters in any part of the Mumbai metropolitan
region (MMR) will be able to travel to any
station of their choice by the turn of the
century, without changing trains, once the link
is established. Sources said the proposed link
was cleared by feasibility experts.

The Rs 400 crore link, spanning a distance of
around six kilometre, will take three years to
complete, and will form part of the crucial
seventh corridor, establishing an east-west axis
for the first time.

The link will benefit lakhs of commuters daily,
since they will not have to change trains at
Dadar, the most crowded railway station.

Thus, a Virar commuter will be able to travel
directly towards Kalyan or Navi Mumbai, and a
passenger from Ambernath or Vashi, will be able
to commute to Virar, without changing a train.
Lakhs of people have felt harassed, since a trip
in either direction involves changing from one
train to another at Dadar.

The Bandra-Kurla link was conceived over two
decades ago, but was never taken up seriously by
the authorities concerned. The silent commuting
masses continued to suffer till last year, when
commuter anger exploded in violence, giving a
jolt to the authorities.

Feasibility and techno-economic studies were
carried out one after another, but the project
never took off. The initial alignment suggested
by experts turned out to be obsolete, since it
would have been necessary to construct an
elevated line, which would have passed through
congested areas like Kalina and would have
disturbed a large number of housing colonies and
other structures.

Therefore, it was suggested that a fresh
alignment be identified. After considerable
efforts, a fresh alignment was drawn, and this
has been approved by experts, sources said. The
proposed alignment passes through open areas and
would not disturb more than a dozen-odd
structures at the Kurla end.

The proposed alignment begins at Bandra (east)
railway station and after crossing the Dharavi
link road near Prabodhankar Thackeray flyover
bridge, skirts the backside of the Drive-in
theatre and passes through the marsh land to
proceed towards Kurla. It will cater to the
people coming to the now developing Bandra-Kurla
complex through two new stations between Bandra
and Kurla. The extension of this line up to the
airport is a logical conclusion, although this
segment will be considered some time later, the
sources indicated.

The Metropolitan Transport Project (Railways) or
MTP(R), the Maharashtra government and the MMRDA
have accepted this proposal in principle. A
clearance from the railway ministry is expected
shortly. Once this is obtained, RITES will carry
out an environment impact assessment (EIA)
and the project will be underway soon

A high-level committee identified the following
projects for immediate attention: laying another
pair of tracks between Kurla and Thane; laying
additional pair of tracks between Borivli and
Virar; additional lines between Bandra and
Borivli; a railway over bridge along the
[Previous] Khandeshwar-Panvel line and construction of 17
rail-over bridges (ROBs) in the suburban section
[Next] of CR and WR so that vehicular traffic continues
uninterrupted. Many of the works have been
[Top] included in the railway's annual plan.


From: Vijay Balasubramanian <>

Subject: Re: Local services upto Panvel

Date: 20 Oct 1998 07:24:37 -0500

>Apurva, thanks for the info. I wonder what happened to the "cross"
>that had been started at one point - I distinctly recall an
>local. Is Belapur before Panvel while going from Mumbai?

There used to be a morning and an evening Belapur-Andheri local
according to the 1995 CR suburban TT. It had a 6 mt. halt at Vadala for

direction reversal.


Get Your Private, Free Email at <A HREF=""></A>

From: Apurva Bahadur <>

Subject: Walking on the rail tracks

Date: 20 Oct 1998 08:17:01 -0500


With reference to Pushkar's mail about the cops on the lookout against
the stone throwers on the Mumbai suburban system. My mail is nothing
about the stone throwing but about spending some time on the rails of
the suburban system. I was in Mumbai many moons ago with some time to
kill one late afternoon / early evening. So I went to spot after the
Andheri station to catch the Rajdhani at speed. While waiting for the
Raj to materialize I did the exercise of EMU dodging - If an EMU was
coming on this track then it is prudent to move on to not the track next
but the track after that so an adequate clearance is maintained between
the train and yourself. At times this got a bit critical with a train
also present on the third track. At times I stood in between trains
whizzing at speed on either side. I found that this is an extremely
disorienting experience and certainly a very unsafe one.
After spending an hour or so dodging the EMUs I found myself getting
careless with the clearance and other safeties one must maintain.
Better sense prevailed and I went home without trying to watch the
Rajdhani. The location of this place was such that I could have not got
on on side and waited outside the permanent way. It was on an embankment
and the landscape was filthy - not the turf (turd ? - junta familiar
with Mumbai would know what I mean) you can step into. My sympathy with
the cop who has to trek 8 Kms on such crowded corridors. He will get
careless sooner or later and can have a very nasty accident.
>From my spot at Andheri I could see at times upto 4 EMUs bristling with
humanity waiting on the same track for the platform line to get clear.

Apurva Bahadur

From: Shanku Niyogi <>

Subject: Re: A horrible menace

Date: 20 Oct 1998 10:44:17 -0500

Perhaps commuters who stand by open doors should be given stones to
throw at
kids standing by the tracks....throwing in the direction of the train
give the stones quite a terminal velocity. <g>

Seriously though, on a larger scale, it would probably be a good
exercise to
take on a study of what it would take to move pedestrian traffic further
back from the tracks - transitioning slum areas back a few yards, trying
find an alternative to live tracks for daily activities that currently
depend on these tracks, etc. Obviously, it's not practical to do this
of thing overnight, but if a plan were followed to slowly make this
transition, eventually one could put up more fences and bring in tighter
trespassing laws.

Of course, I don't think it'll entirely solve the stone problem, since
can throw a stone at a fast moving train from a hundred feet away and
do plenty of damage.

Where is that Star Trek style forcefield technology when you need it? :)


-----Original Message-----
From: Anne Ogborn [
Sent: Monday, October 19, 1998 11:14 PM
To: Pushkar Apte;
Subject: Re: A horrible menace

The stone throwing goes on here too. And it's apparently a fairly new

From: Prakash Tendulkar <>

Subject: Re: Mumbai cross-traffic News

Date: 20 Oct 1998 11:22:31 -0500

Opening of Bandra - Kurla line will indeed be a great leap
in suburban transortation in Mumbai.

At present, there are only 3 connecting points, Vasai, Raoli
Junction on harbor branch and at yard between Elphinston Rd. -
Parel stations. Unfortunately, bone of them can handle four
way traffic.

Hope things will change soon!


From: Prakash Tendulkar <>


Date: 20 Oct 1998 12:38:03 -0500


Never ever stand between trains when either one or both are
moving. Just bend on your knees and hang low. When you stand,
your head is normally in line with footboard, widest part of
EMU. On lower end, the clearance is very wide.

The better place to watch traffic at Andheri is a flyover just
south of Andheri station.

My best choice, the footbridge between Mahim and Matunga,
linking Rly. colony with road on the other side of tracks.

True that the situation by the track side is getting worse day
by day. Sevaral years back, new Rly. colony near Dahisar was
nicknamed as "Linga Darshan Colony".


From: Peter Mosse <>

Subject: Railway Booksellers - Motorbooks vs Midland Counties

Date: 21 Oct 1998 05:54:45 -0500

There has been some discussion in the past about these two UK
which has largely generated criticism of Motorbooks and praise for

I understand from some railfan friends from England who have just been
visiting that one reason for the problems at Motorbooks is that the
ownership has changed. It seems to them that the new owner(s) are
unwilling to stock up on new publications until existing inventory is
worked off, but at the same time he/they are unwilling to discount the
existing inventory despite the fact that much of it is shopworn through
having had too many browsers and not enough buyers coming to the shop in
the past.

So my advice remains the same - buy from Midland Counties !!

Peter Mosse