IRFCA Mailing List Archive

Messages 681 - 700

From: Vadivelu Elumalai <

Subject: General questions about IR

Date: 07 Aug 1991 13:01:00 -0500

Hi there!

I have two questions about IR.

1) What is the difference between KM and route KM ?

2) In 1947, at the time the British left, what was the total length of
railway tracks ? What is the total length now ? I am curious to know the
progress of IR after independence.


What happened to the first annual meeting of IRFCA?

-so long
Vadivelu Elumalai, U.Snail : 505, 8th Street #6
B-20, Atanasoff, Ames, Iowa - 50010.
Iowa State University, AT&T : (515) - 232 - 7220
Ames, IA - 50010 E-mail :


Subject: Re: Questions about the Budget Speech

Date: 07 Aug 1991 15:36:00 -0500

Thank you, Dheeraj, for info re: budget speech.

>Secondly, why is it more efficient to transmit 2 x 25 kv than a single
>line of 25 kv.

I am extremely curious about this business of 2 x 25kv myself.
Can someone discuss (speculate knowlegeably) what this is?

>If ICF produces about 1000 coaches (that is its capacity) and RCF reaches
>its capacity of 1000 coaches in this year (the budget speech did not talk
>about the targets for this year) then we have a total of 2000 coaches. How
>can IR get 2100 coaches, while ICF and RCF have some export commitments too.
>Am I missing something? Is there a third coach factory that I don't know
>off? Also in this year, the production was 1013+600 and intake was 2000
>coaches (and we do export some coaches, do we import them too).

Some coaches might be manufactured in companies not directly owned
by IR. For instance DC EMU coaches used in Bombay suburban system
used to be made at Jessop's in Calcutta.
Tamisra Sanyal.

From: aravind <

Subject: rajdhani make-up

Date: 07 Aug 1991 15:52:00 -0500

Vijay, are you sure that each rake has *3* generator cars and *2* pantry
cars? sounds like 30% of the total rake is non-remunerative. (the %age is
probably higher by weight). since the number of passengers is fairly small,
compared to the 21-coach TN express, say, why does the Rajdhani require
2 pantry cars (assuming that 1 is adequate for the TN).


From: Narayan S. Raja <

Subject: Re: Questions about the Budget Speech

Date: 07 Aug 1991 20:06:00 -0500

Some other companies also manufacture
railway coaches, e.g. BEML (Bharat Earth
Movers Ltd) in Bangalore.



From: Dheeraj Sanghi <>

Subject: KM & Route KM.

Date: 08 Aug 1991 01:27:00 -0500

Route KM is the distance between 2 stations along the rails.
when we say KM, it means the actual length of rails between
the stations. For example, if the track between the two station
is doubled, the Route KM remains the same but track KM (for lack
of better word) becomes doubled.

For the Konkan Railways, the route KM is 837 KM but track KM
is close 865 KM (since tracks at the stations are doubled or
tripled etc.)

Indian Railways has 62,000 Route KM and I think close to 90K track KM.

In 1953, we had following lengths of track for different gauges:

Broad Gauge: 25,600 KM
Meter Gauge: 24,000 KM
Narrow Gauge: 4,800 KM
Total: 54,400 KM

In 1951, we had 53,600 KM route KM. I would guess at the time of
partition, we might have had 52,000 route KM or so.

So we have added 10,000 KM in 45 years.

Does anyone have division of the route KM in terms of gauges.

In terms of zones, the division as of 31st Mar 1985 was:

Northern 10977
Western 10295
South Central 7137
South Eastern 7075
Southern 6722
Central 6472
North Eastern 5163
Eastern 4270
North East Frontier 3739

Total = 61850 KM.


From: jis <

Subject: rajdhani make-up

Date: 08 Aug 1991 13:13:00 -0500 writes:
> Vijay, are you sure that each rake has *3* generator cars and *2* pantry
> cars? sounds like 30% of the total rake is non-remunerative. (the %age is
> probably higher by weight). since the number of passengers is fairly small,
> compared to the 21-coach TN express, say, why does the Rajdhani require
> 2 pantry cars (assuming that 1 is adequate for the TN).

I am sure that the Howrah Rajdhani, or at least those instances of it
that I have ridden on had three generator cars and two pantry cars. It
is essentially two Rajdhani Express rakes connected together with one
generator car in the middle. As far as I remeber, the two sections of
the train are not corridored together, the break being at the middle
generator/baggage car. That should explain why it needs two pantry
cars too. I have heard that a single generator cannot supply power to
more than 9 cars with their AC running full blast in the summer. Hence
the need for at least two generator cars. A third one is carried as a
standby and to provide additional baggage space for all those AC Chair
Car passengers. The spare generator has to be in the middle of the
train so that it can supply either half in case of a regular generator


From: vijayb <

Subject: Rajdhani make-up, 2*25 KV transmission

Date: 08 Aug 1991 13:52:00 -0500


Thanks for your comments, Jishnu. Will needle my uncle to reveal
inside info. about IR operation:-).

Aravind writes:
>Vijay, are you sure that each rake has *3* generator cars and *2* pantr
>cars? sounds like 30% of the total rake is non-remunerative. (the %ageis
>probably higher by weight). since the number of passengers is fairly sall,
>compared to the 21-coach TN express, say, why does the Rajdhani require
>2 pantry cars (assuming that 1 is adequate for the TN).

The Rajdhani needs three generator cars to ensure proper air-
conditioning of the remaining 15 coaches. Two of these are placed at
the ends and the remaining is placed in the middle to account for a
balanced distribution. This creates a discontinuity in the
Rajdhani vestibule system since a generator car is vestibuled only at
one end. Thus, the Rajdhani is essentially a combination of two
vestibuled rakes each with its own pantry car.

2*25 KV electric traction

Let's consider a simple system first. At each traction sub-station,
transformers step down voltage from the standard 132/110 kva grid (from the stat
electricity boards) to 25 kv. One end of the secondary side of the transformer
is connected to the catenary and the other end to the rails/earth. Whenever
a loco. is in operation in a particular section, current flows from the catenary
thru' the loco., onto the rails and back to the transformer. However, the
currents are not restricted to the rails. Leakage causes currents to use the
earth as a return path. This can result in appreciable inductive interference
to telecommuincation lines especially near urban areas.

In order to restrict the return current to the rails, booster transformers
(BT) are provided and are spaced at ~17 km. The primary winding of the BT is
connected in series with the catenary and the secondary to the rails. Current
flowing thru' the catenary necessitates a proportional current in the rails
b'coz of the 1:1 ratio of the BT windings. The insulated section of the track
between the secondary windings might, however, develop a short-circuit
rendering the system ineffective. Moreover, voltages of 200 v are not uncommon
between the ends of the insulated section and are a potential hazard.

To circumvent this problem of the rails carrying the return current, return
conductors (RT) are used. These have connections to the rails which suck the
return current. Note that the secondary winding of the BT is now connected in
series with the RT. The RT runs as close as possible to the catenary and is
placed on the same mast so as to limit the induced voltage. You might have com
across sections where a third wire is present along with the regular catenary
wires (e.g. near Nasik Rd. and Bhusaval in the Igatpuri-Bhusaval route); this is
the RT.

A problem with the BT/RT system is that the BTs have a finite impedence
which causes voltage drops across the catenary, necessitating a closer placement
of the substations. Moreover, there is a discontinuity in the catenary due to
the insulated section between the BT connections (this prevents short-circuiting
of the BT primary windings).

In the new 2*25 KV system, voltage is stepped down to 50 KV initially by
transformers at the sub-station. One end of the secondary winding is fed to
the catenary as in the earlier case, but the other end connects a feeder wire
(which acts as the RT, too). Hence, there is a 50 KV volatge difference
between the catenary and the feeder which is further stepped down to 25 KV by
autotransformers spaced ~21 kms. apart. Thus, the voltage difference between
the catenary/feeder and the rails is 25 KV (whereas the feeder voltage at
the substation is 50 KV).

Such a 50 KV feeder system allows substations to be placed further apart than
in the BT system and is, therefore, more efficient. Morover, there are no
discontinuities in the catenary.


From: Ajai Banerji <


Date: 08 Aug 1991 09:54:00 -0500

New developments in the railway budget

Thanks to Dheeraj for publishing the full details of new trains and lines.
The most interesting among the extended trains was the extension of
the Bokaro-Madras express to Alleppey. (The Tatanagar-Madras express
is not a distinct train but maintains a separate identity only between
Tatanagar and Raurkela where it merges with the main portion from
This would be the first long-distance train on the Ernakulam-Alleppey
section. It would also provide a day service between Madras and Kerala.
Completion of the Alleppey-Kayanakulam section would provide a double
line between Ernakulam and Kayanakulam. Thus some trains presently
terminating at Ernakulam/Cochin could now be extended to Trivandrum.
BG conversion of Manmad-Aurangabad would enable the Panchavati express
to run from Bombay to Aurangabad. The conversion of Bangalore-Mysore
section would enable some long-distance trains to go to Mysore. At the
very least one of the trains from Madras should be extended. The logical
one would be the Madras-Bangalore Mail as its timings are best suited
to an extension.
Electrification of the Delhi-Ambala section is long overdue-though
at least some parts are still single track. However, electrification
of the Ambala-Ludhiana section may not help much since trains coming from
the Lucknow/Saharanpur side would not switch to electric just for the short run
from Ambala to Ludhiana. From the operational viewpoint it may have
been better to first electrify the Ghaziabad-Saharanpur-Ambala
section before going on to the Ambala-Ludhiana section. This way,
trains like the Frontier Mail, Shalimar and Ludhiana super express
would also get the benefit of electrification.
The report said that electrification on the Sitarampur-Jhajha section
would be restarted-but when had it started? Anyway electrification on this
route would be useful only when extended to a major junction like
Kiul or Patna- until then the long-distance trains would continue to
run on diesel beyond Asansol.
Electrification of the Gomia-Patratu section will be part of the
development of the North Karanpura coalfields around Patratu. Other
plans for this region appeared in Railway Gazette some time ago. It was
planned to double-track and electrify the Patratu-Son Nagar section and
also to build an electrified third line between Son Nagar and Mughalsarai
to help carry the coal from this area to the north.

From: vijayb <

Subject: IRFCA Get-together (a personal account)

Date: 08 Aug 1991 18:27:00 -0500

Hi Folks,

It's all over! This unique rendezvous of train-crazed souls did happen,
only to end swiftly, leaving behind sweet memories. Let me take you back in
time to the evening of Aug. 2, a Friday.......

Aug. 2
It takes a moment for me to digest the fact that I am actually packing my bags
and preparing to leave for Holmdel. After all, plans for this event had begun
way ahead in time. I call up Newark airport to learn that Ajai's flight would be
delayed by 33 mts. That allows me to leisurely finish my dinner and buy some
mangoes on the way. Aravind's directions are perfect as they lead me straight
to the airport with about 20 minutes to spare. Earlier, Ajai and I had
described ourselves to each other, which help us in spotting each other amidst
the swarm that had descended upon baggage claim area 2. So this is it! The
clash of the titans:-).

I swing back to the New Jersey turnpike from the arrival terminal, and
proceed towards our destination. So much to talk about and so little time!
Hardly a minute is "wasted" during the 40-odd minute ride. I park my cark inside
Aravind's garage, and is helped by Ajai and Mr. Host as we settle down. It is
past midnight and weary limbs force us to postpone our ramblings to the
following day.

Aug. 3
Will wonders never cease! I am up and refreshed by the stroke of eight,
a far cry from my routine during most weekends. My VCR is hooked to Aravind's
TV in anticipation of what Jishnu had to offer. The morning session is
inaugurated with my two photo albums exchanging hands between the three of us.
I also play the video on Micheal Palin's trip across India which has a decent
amount of footage on the Dadar-Madras exp. Ajai keeps his promise and hands
over photocopies of 1934 and 1943 Bradshaws along with some books and material
about locos., while Aravind shows us some articles he has collected.
I oblige Ajai by handing over copies of articles from various IR issues.
The sight of a Push-pull train, racing across a bridge in the distance, is enough
to bring us outdoors.

Dheeraj shows up around 9.30 (right, Dheeraj?) and is the victim of a prank
that we have come up with: "correctly identify who is who". He dishes out his
IR magazines and starts off another round of discussions. Ajai shows us his
prized possessions which include photocopies of some books on the history of
Indian railways, clippings from various issues of the News Gazette and so on.
The "Dadar-Madras exp." video is played again for the benefit of Mr. Newcomer.

Jishnu makes his appearance even as I pull out my time-table collection.
We feast on pizza for lunch. My collection of fantasy trains doesn't arouse
much interest (Pushkar, you are sorely missed here!). We then settle down
to watch some videos. First in the list is "The Romance of Indian Railways"
- narrated by Micheal Satow. It has shots of the Neral-Matheran and
Darjeeling trains, and an interesting ride on a four-man trolley. I decide that
this should be added to my video collection. The next video is shot from the
cab of an AEM-7 hauling a Washington-DC Metroliner. Jishnu updates us with
info. about operational details. The last person to show up is Vaidy (works
in AT&T, New Brunswick). He delights the crowd with some home-brewed coffee.

Evening is around the corner and we decide to pay a visit to Long Branch, the
terminus for elec. hauled push-pull trains on a commuter line from Penn Stn.
A ~20-mt. ride ensues, and we are now face-to-face with 3-4 AEM-7s with their
fleet of coaches, resting at the sidings. We haul overselves up the stairs to
witness the arrival of a commuter train and the subsequent departure of a
G-50 (?) diesel loco. leave for Bay Head, the terminus for this line.
Dheeraj and Ajai snap up a few photos. We leave the premises after about an
hour, but not before Jishnu and I sort out some technical details about locos.

Dinner at an Indian restaurant is next (no tupperware tumblers here, for
those who are s.c.i. fans :-) ). Dheeraj gives us the details of the V.H.P.
incident at Maryland, and we go back to the topic of the week-end. This time
it's on personal experiences on Indian train journeys.

Back home we resume our video watching. A hindi movie: "The Burning Train"
is screened with the hogwash filtered out (a painful job, no doubt). Numerous
shots of the 9-coach Bombay-Delhi Rajdhani exp. are the redeemers. "Coolie" is
next. Aravind gets a chance to see his favorite stn., Bangalore City. Various
scenes aid him to explain the exact layout to us.

It's time for Dheeraj to bid goodbye. He regrets that he won't be able to
make it the next day since he has plans of meeting some friends at Rutgers Univ.
Jishnu follows suit, although he would return the following day. That leaves
the four of us: Ajai, Aravind, Vaidy and myself. We focus our attention
on railway paraphernalia comprising of time-tables, books and xeroxed articles.
Sleep soon gets the better of Aravind as the rest of us retire to the bedroom
upstairs. Now begins a marathon time-table session between Ajai and myself.
Various topics are covered: rly. junctions, loco. sheds, new lines, zonal rly.
maps, unsual stations, electrification, etc. Vaidy is busy perusing thru'
the 60-odd pages of past IRFCA material that I had printed out. It is nearly
4.30 a.m. before we wind up!

Aug. 4
Jishnu brings his VCR along with some personal videos on his various rly.
excursions across the country. So engrossed are we in the proceedings that
we hardly notice the morning slip by. Vaidy's efforts pay off and we
munch on burritos for lunch.

All good things must come to and end. And so it does around 3.30 pm as Ajai
and I bid farewell to Aravind, Jishnu and Vaidy. On the way back, Ajai and I
compare ourselves in terms of the number of trains traveled by, and the
routes covered. We reach the Continental departure terminal with about half an
hour to spare. I cling on to the last moments, but they whiz by... I steer
my car towards the turnpike with mixed emotions, satisfied that the get-together
was a success story, and a bit sad that it had ended too soon.

That's all folks,


From: Vicraj T. Thomas <

Subject: Details of the 2*25 kV transmission system.

Date: 09 Aug 1991 12:06:00 -0500

A few days ago Vijay described the details of the different systems used to
feed electic locos. with power. He first described a simple system where the
return path for the current was the tracks with booster transformers (BT) to
ensure that the current did indeed flow through the tracks. He then described
a system where a second line (RT) was used to circumvent the problems with
having the rails carry the return current. He finally described a new 2*25 kV
system which supposedly solved the problems of catenary discontinuity and
return path.

Since the description of the 2*25kV system didn't seem to have enough
information, I wrote to him asking for more details. With the additional
details he provided and after finding out what an "auto-transformer" was, I was
able to piece together the information and get a complete (hopefully correct)
picture of how the system worked. Vijay suggested that I mail the details to
the group and so I am appending to this message my message to him.

< Vic
-------- Dept. of Computer Science
..!{uunet|noao}!arizona!vic University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721

Hi Vijay!

I found out what an auto-transformer is -- it is a transformer with just a
primary winding. It is like one of those variable resistors which is a long
coil that can be tapped at different lengths to get different resistances
(voltage drops). You can similarly tap an auto-transformer primary at
different points to get different voltages. So, an auto-transformer has 3
wires going in -- two to the ends of the winding and one to a tap in-between.
Auto-transformers are cheaper than regular transformers but do not provide any
electrical isolation. They are auto- not because they do anything
automatically but because of the self- or auto- induced voltages. With this
information, I think everything you posted makes sense. This is how I figure
the system works:

At the sub-station, the voltage is stepped down to 50 kV -- the secondary
windings of this transformer feed the catenary and the feeder. So the catenary
is at a 50 kV differential wrt the feeder. A tap from the middle of the
transformer's secondary is connected to the rails -- now the rails are at a
25kV differential wrt the catenary and another 25 kV wrt the feeder. A 25kV
engine will therefore work just fine -- the path for the current being
catenary-engine-tracks-center tap-feeder. Everything will work fine without
any auto-transformer but we still haven't solved the problem of voltage drops
over long distances -- the differential between the catenary and tracks will
soon fall below 25kV. This is where the auto-transformers come in. The
winding of the auto-transformer are between the catenary and the feeder -- a
50kV or less (probably less due to transmission losses) differential. As long
as this differential is greater than 25kV, one can always tap the winding of
the auto-transformer at a proper point to get a 25kV differential between the
catenary and the rail. The tap is again connected to the rail. The path for
the current is now catenary-engine-tracks-autotransformer tap-feeder. Notice
how the autotransformer is now no longer in series with the catenary and so
there are no discontinuities in the catenary. Also since one can go quite a
ways before the 50kV differential between the catenary and the feeder falls
below 25kV, sub-stations can be much further apart.

I can't see anything in this description that does not fit with the facts you
provided. Do you suppose this is how it really works?

How did all this come about? Did the original poster say that this was the
system used by IR or was this something they are planning on using?

< Vic

From: vijayb <

Subject: Rajdhani rakes, '91 Budget

Date: 09 Aug 1991 17:16:00 -0500


Jishnu writes:
> more than 9 cars with their AC running full blast in the summer. Hence
> the need for at least two generator cars. A third one is carried as a
>standby and to provide additional baggage space for all those AC Chair
>Car passengers. The spare generator has to be in the middle of the
>train so that it can supply either half in case of a regular generator

Are you sure that the third generator car is a standby?. I have witnessed
(and taken photos of) the middle generator car with smoke billowing from the roof.
This seems to suggest the contrary. The photos were taken at Bombay Central stn.

Dheeraj writes:
> No new trains in the budget, but few trains were started earlier from
> 1st July. They include:
Allahabad City-Chhapra Express : it this via BG or MG?
Secunderabad-Tirupati Express : via Bibinagar-Nadikude-Guntur, perhaps
Firozepur Cantt-Jammu Tawi Express : must be via Jullundhar City

> planned a service in quick succession. I refer to the introduction of the
> bi-weekly New Delhi-Bombay Central AC Express which follows the Rajdhani
> Express at an interval of 45 minutes from both ends and takes about the same
> time to cover the journey. This is in keeping with the concept of running

Well, not exactly. The AC exp. takes an additional 45-50 mts. I suspect that
~10 mts. are consumed by the halts at Surat and Sawai Madhopur.

> Railway Electrification: Target for this year is completion of 675 route KM.
> Nagda-Bhopal

Would provide an electrified link between WR and CR via Ujjain-Maksi. With the
electrification of Bina-Katni-Annupur-Bilaspur, a continuous electrified
route would be available for goods traffic from the mineral regions of the east,
destined for the the industrial setups in MP/Gujarat.

> The new electrification projects will start (total 812 route KM) this year:
Delhi-Ambala-Ludhiana : would the Kalka Shatabdi then be hauled by a WAP-1
till Ambala?

Ajai writes:
> BG conversion of Manmad-Aurangabad would enable the Panchavati express
> to run from Bombay to Aurangabad. The conversion of Bangalore-Mysore

I doubt that the Panchavati exp. would be extended till Aurangabad. It departs
from Manmad at ~6.00 a.m. and arrives at ~12.10 a.m. Shifting the schedule to
accomodate Aurangabad would be a difficult proposition, since
1. It only has ~7 hrs. "rest" time at Bombay V.T.
2. It arrives at/departs from Bombay V.T. during peak hours.
3. Double-deckered trains are employed only for reasonably short distances.

However, another Bombay-Aurangabad day train might be introduced. Hopefully,
it'll be a superfast exp. with its own distinctive color. It will only be
the second day train in the Bombay-Manmad section, and as such will fill in
the gap. Pushkar, let's get our pens rolling and work on this one:-).

> would be restarted-but when had it started? Anyway electrification on this
> route would be useful only when extended to a major junction like
> Kiul or Patna- until then the long-distance trains would continue to
> run on diesel beyond Asansol.

All long distance trains using the main line change locos. at Asansol,
except for the Himgiri exp., the Howrah-Amritsar Mail and the North Bihar exp.
Note that Asansol has an elec. loco. shed. Extending the electrification from
Sitarampur upto Jha Jha would enable all of the above trains
to be hauled by an elec. loco. till Jha Jha. However, a new elec. loco. shed
might have to be constructed here. This might not be cost-effective in the long
run since Patna is a better choice for a loco. shed. First, it is an important
stn. (with most of the trains stopping here for >= 10 mts.) and second, there
are a decent no. of Barani bound trains which could change locos here.
So, it is possible that electrification might be open to passenger traffic only
after Sitarampur-Patna is completely electrified.


P.S. I am off to Chicago to attend a conference. Will be back on Aug. 18.
Expect to find my mbox flooded with interesting mail!

From: aravind <

Subject: Bangalore City Station

Date: 09 Aug 1991 19:33:00 -0500

The city of Bangalore is one of the most poorly served metropolitan cities
by IR.

Apart from the three expresses to Madras (which have been operating for
many years now), there's only one daily express to Bombay, one to
Hyderabad, one to Ernakulam/Trivandrum, and one (only made daily ~3
yrs. back?) to New Delhi. There's direct service to Howrah twice a
week, and to Ahmedabad once a week.

This is hardly adequate for one of the fastest-growing Indian cities.

As our minister CKJafferSharief has no doubt discovered by now, the BG
facilities at the main Bangalore station - Bangalore City Jn. - are
barely enough to cope with the existing services. The yard for maintaining
empty rakes consists of only ~6 lines. These are physically bounded by
the main station terminus on one side (3 platforms) and the MG platforms
on the other. This space was enough in the old days when only one
BG line (to Jolarpet) served Bangalore. In 1983, the conversion of
the Guntakal-Bangalore line to BG was completed, and the strain on the
BG yard and platforms jumped.

The situation is bad enough that the Madras Bangalore Exp. and Mail have to
share rakes, which was not the case in '86 when I toured the station.

In contrast to the BG side, the MG side is vastly under-utilized.

Now, two things are about to happen: Electrification from Jolarpet is
scheduled to be completed this year, and the Mysore MG line is
presumably being converted to BG at breakneck speed (after the new
minister took office).

The conversion of the Mysore line will require a major expansion of the BG
facilities; the authorities cannot dodge this problem any longer. The
alignment of the track is such that it is impossible to link the
Mysore line where it now leaves the station with the BG tracks at the other

For services on the new BG line, as well as others that the minister is
probably itching to introduce, extra BG platforms will *have* to be
commissioned. Better connectivity to the new BG line will be needed on the
southern side of the station. On the northern side, connectivity is an even
stickier problem since the MG tracks are now separated from the BG tracks by
first a small parking lot and then a busy road.
BG yard space will have to be increased.

I have attempted to represent the exiting situation in the crude map below:


(MG from (BG from Guntakal
Yeshwanthpur) r / and Jolarpet)
\ R /
\ O /
\ A /|
|\ r / |
M | \ PL / |
G | | PL / |
| | | B | MAIN
Y | | P | G |
A | | L | | STATION
R | | A | Y |
D | | T | A | BUILDING
| | F | R |
| | | D |
|/ \ |
/ \ |
(MG to / \ |
Mysore) / ---- (end of BG)

Here, ROADrROAD is the busy road, PL is the small parking lot,
PLATF is a broader-than-average platform with BG on one side and MG on the

Now for a fun design project: Propose a solution to the problems
I posed in the above paragraphs. Note the constraints: the road dividing the
MG and BG on the north side, the factory at the end of the BG tracks on the
south side.

Unleash that creative spirit! This is a real-world problem, not something I
made up. (I could never have dreamed up such a complicated mess!)


From: apte <

Subject: Rly ministers

Date: 10 Aug 1991 10:09:00 -0500

It probably cannot be helped that the railway minister tends to help
his own constituency quite a bit. I was wondering if we could compile
a list of ministers and what they have done - I can recall only four -
maybe others can add to this list -

Madhu Dandavate - Konkan Rail Project
A.B.A.Ghani Khan Chaudhary - Malda "arrives" (I heard that a
swimming pool Malda Town station - is this true or a legend?)
Madhavrao Scindia - Gwalior "arrives"
C.K.Jaffer Sharief - Bangalore "will arrive - presumably :-)"

Actually come to think of it the above list is not bad - there is one
minister each from West, East, North and South!
Maybe its a good idea to geographically rotate rly ministers so that
the overall progress of the railways stays balanced :-).

Who was/were the railway ministers in Indira Gandhi's 71-77 reign?
Anyone has any knowledge of ones before that? And who was the railway
misnister in VP Singh's govt?


From: aravind <

Subject: 2*25 kV debate

Date: 10 Aug 1991 15:17:00 -0500

I'm not sure I've followed all the arguments on this topic, but Vic's
post seems to suggest that the rails are connected to a
25 kV source - which could result in a 25 kV differential between the
rails and the ground (earth). If so, anyone touching the rails would
be electrocuted. Intuitively, it would appear that no matter what the
overall design is, the rails are maintained as close to zero potential
as possible.

Maybe I'm mis-interpreting the post, but the arguments are not easy to
follow from screenfuls of text!




Subject: Re: Rly ministers

Date: 12 Aug 1991 14:54:00 -0500

Apte wrote about the now established tradition of Rly ministers doing
favors to their hometowns preferably in the form of a new superfast
from there to Delhi. He mentions the following:

>Madhu Dandavate - Konkan Rail Project
>A.B.A.Ghani Khan Chaudhary - Malda "arrives" (I heard that a
> swimming pool Malda Town station - is this true or a legend?)
>Madhavrao Scindia - Gwalior "arrives"
>C.K.Jaffer Sharief - Bangalore "will arrive - presumably :-)"

My comments:
I remember a time when a rly minister did not seem to have enough clout
to start an altogether new train. For instance, the maximum Ram Subhag
Singh (from Arrah, Bihar) was able to achieve was rerouting Howrah-Delhi
Airconditioned Exp via Patna on some days of the week. Then the train
started halting at Arrah. The tradition of starting new trains appears
to have been originated by Hanumanthaiah (sp?) who started the Jayanti
Janata (Delhi to Mangalore/Cochin). This was followed by Delhi to
Samastipur Jayanti Janata (L N Mishra). Kamlapati Tripathi wanted to
go further than any previous rly minister by making Varanasi the rail
capital of India (Kashi Vishwanath to Delhi, Mahanagari to Bombay,
Ganga-Kaveri to Madras). Under Tripathi, any other train introduced also
should go through Varanasi, if at all possible. Tripathi continued to
flex his muscle even when he was no longer the rly minister. Thus he
frustrated a plan to let the Puri-Delhi Neelachal Exp take the main
line between Allahabad and Mughalsarai (saving a good 2 hours off
journey time). Madhu Dandavate could not start a train because Konkan
did not have rail lines, so he started a railway project instead.
Bansi Lal started a Bhiwani-Delhi Exp of some sort. Kedar Pande had
a new superfast started from Patna to Delhi (Magadh Exp). Ghani Khan
Chowdhury, however, did NOT start a NEW train from Malda to Delhi;
he merely tried to speed up the Tinsukia Mail, but could not carry out
his plan when it faced bitter opposition from the people around the
stations which were to be skipped. Khan Chowdhury did however introduce
a new train between Malda and Calcutta.

That is all I know about rly ministers pampering hometown folks.
Sometimes you don't have to be a minister to start a train. I have
heard that Amitabh Bachchan was instrumental in starting the Prayag Raj
Exp between Allahabad and Delhi.

What a rotten way to run a commercial enterprise!
Tamisra Sanyal.

From: Vicraj T. Thomas <

Subject: Re: 2*25 kV debate

Date: 13 Aug 1991 08:54:00 -0500 writes:
> I'm not sure I've followed all the arguments on this topic, but Vic's
> post seems to suggest that the rails are connected to a
> 25 kV source - which could result in a 25 kV differential between the
> rails and the ground (earth). If so, anyone touching the rails would
> be electrocuted. Intuitively, it would appear that no matter what the
> overall design is, the rails are maintained as close to zero potential
> as possible.
> Maybe I'm mis-interpreting the post, but the arguments are not easy to
> follow from screenfuls of text!
> Regards,
> Aravind

Vijay, in a note to me mentioned some "key facts" concerning the 25kV systems
that he gleaned from an article he had. One of them was:

4. Transformers at the traction sub-station step the voltage down to 50 kv.
One end of the secondary windings is connected to the catenary and the
other to the feeder, and the midpoint of the windings is connected to the

I see Aravind's point about keeping the rails at the same electric potential as
the ground. I didn't mean to imply in my posting that the rails were at a
non-zero potential. All I said was that the potential difference between the
ends of the winding was 50kV and the midpoint of the windings connected to the
rails was therefore at a 25kV differential from either end of the winding. To
see how this is possible and yet have the center-tap at ground potential, let's
assume for a moment that the center-tap is indeed at ground potential. The
voltage at the top of the windings (the end connected to the catenary) relative
to this center-tap would be a sine wave with a 25kV amplitude. The voltage at
the bottom of the windings (the end connected to the feeder) relative to the
center-tap would also be a 25kV sine wave but 180 degrees out of phase wrt to
the catenary sine wave. Voila! We now have 50kV ac voltage between the ends of
the winding (catenary and feeder), a 25kV ac voltage between the center-tap and
each end of the winding, and the center-tap (rails) are at a constant zero

I presume that the actual amplitudes are greater than 25kV -- 25kV is probably
the rms voltage.

< Vic

(Oh BTW, I'm not an EE!)

From: aravind <

Subject: transformers

Date: 13 Aug 1991 18:22:00 -0500

It's been a while since i studied transformers, so i guess i could be
excused for overlooking the event that the center tap of the secondary
winding is grounded. going down memory lane, i can remember *lots* of
instances when that is indeed the case. my apologies for mis-reading
Vic's first post....


From: Dheeraj Sanghi <>

Subject: Railway ministers.

Date: 14 Aug 1991 11:20:00 -0500

Others that I can remember are:

Lal Bahadur Shastri from Allahabad
Kamalapati Tripathi from Nainital ??
Bansi Lal from Rohtak ??
George Fernandez from Muzaffarpur
Rajesh Pilot had independent charge for some time in RG's govt.
Who was the Rly Minister killed in bomb attack in Samastipur, Bihar
in 1974-75.

We clearly have had lot more Rly Ministers from North than from any
other region.


From: Dheeraj Sanghi <

Subject: Railway accident.

Date: 14 Aug 1991 11:25:00 -0500

------- Forwarded Message

Date: 10 Aug 91 21:19:50 GMT

Several Feared Killed When Express Train Jumps ...

NEW DELHI (AUG. 6) - Several people were feared killed and an
unspecified number were injured Tuesday when an express jumped rails
in the northeastern Indian state of Assam, the Press Trust of India
(PTI) reported.

The news agency said the engine of the passenger train and 10
carriages derailed between two stations some 50 kilometres (30 miles)
from Guwahati, Assam's principal city.

The Brahmaputra Mail was travelling from New Delhi to Guwahati when
it crashed around 3:00 p.m. (0930 GMT), PTI said, adding that train
services between Assam and the rest of India had been dislocated.

Senior officials rushed to the site of the crash for rescue and salvage
operations, but further details were not immediately available.

------- End of Forwarded Message

From: apte <

Subject: Re: Railway accident.

Date: 14 Aug 1991 07:02:00 -0500

I wonder which train they are referring to? As far as I know there are
only 2 trains running between N. Delhi and Guwahati - the North-East
Express and the Tinsukia Mail. To my knowledge, no train called
"Brahmaputra Mail" exists, but if the report is right I'm obviously
wrong :-). Or did they confuse the Tinsukia Mail or
have they started yetunudder train?

Re. the Railway ministers, thanx to Tamisra for a comprehensive account
of their doings and misdoings.

Re. Dheeraj's post: The Railway minister from Bihar who
got killed, was Lalit Narain Mishra. Kamlapati Tripathi - he's
from Varanasi, not Nianital - as Tamisra also pointed out. The big guy
from Nainital was K.C.Pant, I don't know if he was ever Railway
minister. You might remember that he recently made news when he was
denied a ticket from Nainital and he refused to contest the election.
His wife Ila Pant also made waves by joining the BJP.