IRFCA Mailing List Archive
Messages 7461 - 7480
From: Rajan Mathew <>
Subject: Loco Sighting ....
Date: 05 Aug 1999 10:26:39 -0500
Last week spotted a GOC WDM 2 engine 18597R in Mumbai CST ....
waiting to haul the night KonkanKanya Express, I think ....
Was wondering what R meant ....
From: prakash <>
Subject: Collection of websites
Date: 05 Aug 1999 10:27:17 -0500
Please look at Kingston Trolley Museum's web page.
It has pointers to other rail road sites in US.
From: Jishnu Mukerji <>
Subject: Re: Question about IR
Date: 05 Aug 1999 12:21:01 -0500
Nirmal Mathew wrote:
> You can mention how Americans make similar mistakes like the incident
> a Washington bound express from Maryland was diverted on the wrong
> overtake a freight train) and rammed an oncoming New York bound
> express train since the oncoming train was not halted in time and the
> Washington bound train not allowed to get back on its own track (in
> (I'm not sure of the exact trains ... so Gang, please check these
> ... )
> The accident took place in the evening peak time.
> (Source of Info - 'Great Train Disasters' screened on Discovery
> November 98)
I can't seem to find any information on this accident in the NTSB
records. Did this take place a long time back or was it recent? Where
and when did this actually take place? Are you sure you are not actually
referring to the following accident, which did take place on 16 February
1996 during evening rush hour:
A Washington Union Station bound MARC [3car+engine] push-pull commuter
train (i.e suburban train) in the push mode collided into the Chicago
bound Amtrak Capitol Limited near Silver Spring MD while the Capitol
Limited [2engines+15cars] was crossing over from the track on which the
MARC train was running to the other track. The MARC train hit one of the
diesel locomotives of the Capitol Limited at around 35mph, rupturing its
fuel tank. The ensuing fire engulfed the first car of the MARC train
killing some 11 people, all due to fire. The cause of the accident was a
brief memory failure on part of the driver of the MARC train in
conjunction with poor positioning of signals. The previous stop (at
Kensington MD) of the MARC train was at a point that was past the
previous signal which was at Approach (i.e. Yellow). Upon departing the
station the MARC driver forgot that and proceeded to accelarate to full
speed, so when he came upon the Red signal protecting the crossover
around a curve he was unable to stop in time. There was no signal
failure or incorrect routing involved in that accident. Oh BTW, indeed
the Capitol Limited in this case was on the track where it was because
it was overtaking a freight train, but it was adequately protected by
signals, and had the MARC train not run a Red there would have been no
Important point to note in this case is that there really is no right or
wrong track in that stretch of CSX, since both tracks are signalled for
operation in either direction, and it is not at all unusual to run a
train in whichever direction on whatever track happens to be free. All
this is under remote control of the CSX CTC center in Jacksonville
As a result of this accident additional speed limits were imposed in
cases where a train stops at a station which does not have a signal
protecting departure from it and no ATP system is installed. In that
case the train has to assume that the next signal is Red and proceed
accordingly until it sees the next signal to be in fact something other
than Red. This was one of the things that caused New Jersey Transit to
expedite installation of ATP, and PST on lines that were not already so
equipped, in order to avoid slowing down trains inordinately.
Anyway, if you could please provide some more detail of the accident you
refer to I would be most obliged.
BTW, this is of course not to say that Americans don't make mistakes.
They do make remarkably spectacular mistakes of their own, but then that
is another story.
BTW, for those interested and have patience to download a 3Meg PDF file,
the entire accident report of this accident I mention above is available
at the URL:
From: prakash <>
Subject: Questions about IR
Date: 05 Aug 1999 13:27:07 -0500
> How many route kilometers have been added since independence?
>How many track kilometers have been converted to broad gauge
>since independence (did the British build only narrow and meter
>What percent of the fleet of locomotives used diesel or electric
Although I do not have today's figures, Indian Locomotives, Part
4 by Hugh Hughes offers a starting point. This book shows the
numbers in 1945 and 1950. I would take 1950 numbers since some
rolling stock and track were transferred to Pakistan in between.
Track in kms. in 1950
Loco Roster 1950
Type BG MG NG
Steam 5310 2551 378
Diesel 17 1
Elect 68 4
EMU 93 24
Railcars 13 45 21
Loco Roster 1994
Steam 204 649 58
Diesel 3232 791 151
Elect 2097 20
EMU 1061 69
Railcars 6 18
Latest track and loco statistics may be available on IR website.
EMUs replaced many engine locals hence the # of locos are less
even though volume of traffic is higher.
From: Larry Russell <>
Subject: Re: Loco Sighting ....
Date: 05 Aug 1999 13:43:48 -0500
Can't say what the R stands for, but I've seen several WDM2's with an
"A" suffix after the number. Don't know what that meant either.
Which shed is GOC? I thought I had all the abbreviations, but apparently
missed this one.
Rajan Mathew wrote:
> Last week spotted a GOC WDM 2 engine 18597R in Mumbai CST ....waiting
> to haul the night KonkanKanya Express, I think .... Was wondering what
> R meant .... Rajan
From: S.Shankar <>
Subject: WP glory
Date: 05 Aug 1999 14:58:07 -0500
I'm pleased to announce that my WP page is up and running again. It is
bigger, there are more pictures, and it follows a two page format.
Below is the url for the index page:
When the page opens, find WP Glory and click on the url below it to
view the page.
The main text page will open first. In case you do not have the
patience to read the text, you can directly go to the bottom of the page
and click 'view photo gallery'.
The photo gallery links to my earlier sites as well.
Stay tuned now for emu enigma, hopefully up by tomorrow or the day
From: Jayant S <>
Subject: AWS Update
Date: 05 Aug 1999 18:18:51 -0500
This has an articel describing the status of
AWS introduction in India; which is proceeding
slowly due to lack of funds.
From: Rajan Mathew <>
Subject: Fw: Question about IR
Date: 05 Aug 1999 18:53:20 -0500
OOPS.. mail was sent from WRONG outbox ....
You can mention how Americans make similar mistakes like the incident
a Washington bound express from Maryland was diverted on the wrong track
overtake a freight train) and rammed an oncoming New York bound
express train since the oncoming train was not halted in time and the
Washington bound train not allowed to get back on its own track (in
.... (I'm not sure of the exact trains ... so Gang, please check these
The accident took place in the evening peak time.
(Source of Info - 'Great Train Disasters' screened on Discovery Channel
The sad thing about the Indian Railway accident at Gaisal was the fact
the accident occured in the middle of the night. Also Indian Railways
broad gauge, higher capacity and overloading carries much more
... thus the large human toll ...
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Saurabh Jang <firstname.lastname@example.org
> To: <email@example.com
> Sent: Wednesday, August 04, 1999 2:53 AM
> Subject: Question about IR
> > Apurva,
> > I got your email address from a web search I did on the Indian
> > I am trying to write a letter to my local newspaper here, The
> > Tribune, criticizing their derisive characterizations of the Indian
> > Railways as a "colonial relic" in light of the recent tragedy.
> > What I am trying to locate is stats which show that the Indian
> > not exactly been siting on their behinds in the past 50 years. Could
> > you clear up some doubts:
> > - How mnay route kilometers have been added since independence?
> > - How many track kilometers have been converted to broad gauge
> > since independence (did the British build only narrow and meter
> > - What percent of the fleet of locomotives used diesel or electricy
> > independence
> > I would greatly appreciate any input you have.
> > Thanks,
> > Saurabh
From: Jayant S <>
Subject: Re: AWS and Accident Prevention
Date: 05 Aug 1999 18:55:22 -0500
Jishnu Mukerji wrote:
> Am I correct in surmising from the description it seems to me that by
> AWS you really mean ATS.......
I was thinking of the British AWS pattern, in which a caution signal
aspect generates a warning sound inside the loco cab, as well as a
visual warning (rotating disk). This does not stop a train if the
warning is acknowledged by the driver. Underground systems in parts
of the world do use a full ATS device, but this is more effective
with Metros as the trains are more uniform in terms of braking
distance. All-around British introduction of AWS was precipitated
after the Harrow accident of 1953, according to O S Nock's
book on accidents.
> So still there will be a significant human element to deal with.
Certainly. It is just that AWS would reduce the risk of
human error quite significantly.
> Strictly speaking that is true, but such dependence is not entirely
> eliminated. All automatic systems fail from time to time and that
> fallback on more primitive systems.
Yes, again, but AWS would add another tier of safety, which
would increase the advantage of redundancy which detonators
etc are for in the first place.
> Don't need to go all the way to China and Russia (well actually I
> suppose they are closer to India than the UK). The United Kingdom has
> failed to install and operate AWS consistently on its trains, in spite
> of multiple recommendations from Her Majesty's Health and Safety
> whatever they call it, and they blithly operate at upto 200 kmph, just
> to give you one example!:-(
Amazing. O S Nock's book has graphic examples of accidents
on Britsh Rail, with or without AWS....
From: S Pai <>
Date: 05 Aug 1999 19:02:01 -0500
Does anyone know more about the UIC?
I found this site quite by accident. From the web site, I learned that
is the "International Union of Railways", and has apparently existed
1922. The members are mostly European railways, but IR has been a
since 1998, I learned. Amtrak, Pakistan Railways, and Container Corp.
India are affiliates of some sort. Browsing around their web site I
that the organization seems to deal with issues of high-speed rail on
pan-European network, harmonization of terminology, numbering, safety
and operational standards, cooperation with CIS (ex-Soviet) railways,
Could someone tell me more about UIC? What else does this body do?
is its role? Is it a consultative group? Can it enforce or administer
standards? This is the first time I have heard of an international
organization for railways (shows how little I know).
They also have a discussion board and I found posts by our own
Dr Parthasarathy there on the subject of safety on IR.
From: Dheeraj Sanghi <>
Subject: another accident (almost)
Date: 05 Aug 1999 21:21:44 -0500
Today's newspaper has a report on a train accident which was avoided
at the last minute near Banda. Two freight trains were allowed on
the same track in the opposite direction. The two drivers could
see each other from a significant distance, and applied emergency
brakes, and the trains stopped short of colliding with each other.
How can they keep making similar mistakes soon after a major
Dr. Dheeraj Sanghi (0512) 59-7077/7638
Dept. of Computer Science & Engineering (0512) 59-8627 (Res)
Indian Institute of Technology (0512) 59-0725/0413
Kanpur - 208 016 (UP), INDIA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Home Page: <A HREF="http://www.cse.iitk.ac.in/users/dheeraj">http://www.cse.iitk.ac.in/users/dheeraj</A>
From: S.B.Mehta <>
Subject: Re: another accident (almost)
Date: 05 Aug 1999 23:05:55 -0500
Maybe IR is trying to learn how to learn by creating similar
mistakes. Or maybe the facts of the gruesome incident have not yet
trickled down to other parts of the organisation.
From: S.B.Mehta <>
Subject: Re: India train crash ...
Date: 05 Aug 1999 23:14:43 -0500
> >>Yes Shri you are 100% correct. I know of a bodybuilder in WR who
> >>signs the muster in the morning and works the whole day as a
> >>instructor in my gym. I was happy first to have a physical
> >>works for the railways but alas! his knowledge about railways is
> >But Viraf,
> > IR just like some other public sectors willingly
> >sportsmen on their rolls. I personally feel it is a good gesture on
> >part for a sportsmen starved country. Before the big money came in
> >cricketers used to be on rolls of IR and some banks. You may not be
> >but Railway sportspersons account for most of the medals in any
> >international/national sporting event. Jyotirmayee Sikdar is just one
> >them. Now please don't ask me who she is!
> >And a wrestler or a weightlifter(not a bodybuilder) is supposed to be
> >working out(officially) and not poking his nose in dusty old files.
> So IR is paying the salaries of some cricketers and bodybuilders. Are
> any yoga teachers on the IR payroll??
> Do IR have full-time chaplains on staff? i.e. Hindu pandits from
> branches (Shaiva, Vaishnav, Shakta, Vedanta, etc.), as well as Muslim
> Christian ministers. If so, they would be more than earning their
> cremating the victims and attending to the needs of their families.
Hmmm, worth investigating. Something even more bizarre could be
From: SHRINIVAS V. JOSHI <>
Date: 05 Aug 1999 23:43:07 -0500
Hi! All friends,
Next week , I am off to Bhuj- to see the TOTAL Solar Eclipse from a spot
some 30 kms away , north of Bhuj.
So, no discussion on trains for a week but riding a train itself.
( Good Luck needed?)
Leaving on the 10th & returning on 13th morning.
Sure, shall try to catch the Totality & the Diamond ring on the film.
Only the clouds should keep away if any in the late evening.
From: Apurva Bahadur <>
Subject: Re: Loco Sighting ....
Date: 05 Aug 1999 23:45:35 -0500
GOC is Golden Rock (at Ponmalai near Trichy - Trichrapally). The R is a
rebuilt power - most likely an accident job.
Note that the A is a WDM 2 is in its classification letters i.e. WDM 2A
while the R is in the serial number i.e 17550R. The A variant has
type of bogies/ trucks although I have been told that these are variants
with air brake capabilities (not true IMHO) or that these have AC/DC
transmission - doubtful. Most of the powers after one age acquire dual
brakes and AC/DC trans.
Larry Russell wrote:
> Can't say what the R stands for, but I've seen several WDM2's with an
> "A" suffix after the number. Don't know what that meant either.
> Which shed is GOC? I thought I had all the abbreviations, but
> missed this one.
> Rajan Mathew wrote:
> > Last week spotted a GOC WDM 2 engine 18597R in Mumbai CST
> > to haul the night KonkanKanya Express, I think .... Was wondering
> > R meant .... Rajan
From: Apurva Bahadur <>
Subject: Re: UIC
Date: 05 Aug 1999 23:50:24 -0500
The newer coaches have the tubular rubber vestibule seals (vs older
type) which are referred to as UIC vestibules.
S Pai wrote:
> Does anyone know more about the UIC?
> <A HREF="http://www.uic.asso.fr">http://www.uic.asso.fr</A>
> I found this site quite by accident. From the web site, I learned
> is the "International Union of Railways", and has apparently existed
> 1922. The members are mostly European railways, but IR has been a
> since 1998, I learned. Amtrak, Pakistan Railways, and Container Corp.
> India are affiliates of some sort. Browsing around their web site I
> that the organization seems to deal with issues of high-speed rail on
> pan-European network, harmonization of terminology, numbering, safety
> and operational standards, cooperation with CIS (ex-Soviet) railways,
> Could someone tell me more about UIC? What else does this body do?
> is its role? Is it a consultative group? Can it enforce or
> standards? This is the first time I have heard of an international
> organization for railways (shows how little I know).
> They also have a discussion board and I found posts by our own
> Dr Parthasarathy there on the subject of safety on IR.
From: Apurva Bahadur <>
Subject: [Fwd: Castle Rock ghat
Date: 06 Aug 1999 00:00:54 -0500
Thanks to Dr. K for his inputs - anyone having traveled on the
Briganza ghat would cherish that memory forever - many like
that on the IRFCA who would like to join the debate.
From: S.B.Mehta <>
Subject: Re:Fw: Question about IR
Date: 06 Aug 1999 00:46:25 -0500
we need not unduly worry about what the Americans have to say about
our railways. On the day of the disaster I happened to watch the BBC
World service and therein the newscaster categorically stated that
the Indian Railways rates on par with the railways of the developed
nations. Did any of you guys happen to hear this news? Also, he said
that taking into account the volume and density of the network the
number of accidents that have occured still fall within the
acceptable limits. I am still a greenhorn in such matters, maybe the
pundits in our group could elaborate from these news reports.
To hell with what others have to comment sitting thousands of miles
away and lets devise ways to provide a cleaner chit to IR.
From: Peter <>
Subject: Re: Steam Special trains
Date: 06 Aug 1999 02:23:54 -0500
thanks for the reply.
Before making a firm request I would like to know what will
Fairy Queen is not the kind of business I would
like to organize...
Thanks for your help,
From: "HVC", INTERNET:email@example.com
To: "Peter", GARRATT
Date: 06/08/1999 05:14
RE: Re: Steam Special trains
If you really have some firm proposal, write to the NRM Director at
If you'd like me to follow up on that, do mark me a copy of your
From: Peter <GARRATT@compuserve.email
To: IR Fan Club <firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Friday, August 06, 1999 6:24 AM
Subject: Steam Special trains
>I have read some articles about the possibility of arranging special
>around Dehli with YG and WP locomotives.
>Is this just a typical internet-rumour or more substantial?
>Whom to contact?
>What happened to the plans to build up a museum with running steam
>Thanks a lot,
From: Jayant S <>
Subject: Re: Accident Views
Date: 06 Aug 1999 03:12:53 -0500
> we need not unduly worry about what the Americans have to say about
> our railways..........
> To hell with what others have to comment sitting thousands of miles
> away and lets devise ways to provide a cleaner chit to IR.
I agree in principle with this, because IR is doing a
fine job against heavy odds. I have been quite annoyed
by irresponsible press reports from the Indian press
as well, which imply that IR has deliberately been
witholding "advanced life-saving technologies" for sinister
reasons of its own, etc etc. BBC pointed out that the
statistical risk of loss of life travelling on IR is
actually less than on the railways of Europe, but such
facts get lost in the post-disaster cacaphony. Of
course, if IR brings its casualty figure into the same
NUMERICAL class as Europe, then it would need to
be the safest railway system in the world by a MASSIVE
margin (which it can probably really pull off, given due
tightening up and considerable depoliticisation, I think).
However, the fact remains that there have been some
bad accidents on IR which were due to human error, including
the Gaisal tragedy. It should be recognised that "human error"
itself is often a symptom of more fundamental causes;
loopholes in safeworking, improper communication safeguards,
unreasonable levels of fatigue, and so on. Any commission
looking into this accident should not stop at "punishing
the guilty", but should look at system characteristics
which contribute disastrously to error, once made. This
should be done before the wrong people (politicians and
Mr Fixits) get into the act. The solutions could well lie
in lots of detailed technical and operational improvements,
and not necessarily the kind of high-cost "upgradation"
that politicians like boasting about.
An AIR Spotlight program after the accident threw up
big words from the MBA lexicon as a cure for IR ("..should
be PROACTIVE instead of REACTIVE" etc), but I think this
is one issue that should be recognised as technical, and
should be dealt with jointedly by specialist engineers, human
resource experts and other professionals. I find it infuriating
when the media cries from the rooftops about IR being
"stone age" and so on. If we had been even 20 years behind
the times, the loss of life could have been much higher
than it actually is today. Imagine trains with non-integral
stock, less powerful brakes, and poorer track standards
attempting to handle today's extremely heavy traffic (someone
please tell the editor of the Times of India that "integrated",
or more correctly: INTEGRAL coaches allowed the death toll
to be pretty low considering a head-on collision).
If IR refrains from making inquiry reports public, it is because
it fears litigation launched by poorly informed do-gooders.
In my opinion, IR does not even begin to enter into
the kind of killer class which is honourably occupied
by the Indian road system. Many of those self-same
individuals who condemn the railways for unsafe working
are the sort who drive like clowns on roads, putting
people at far higher statistical risk of death. What
happens to a balanced perspective in the mass media when
most required ?