IRFCA Mailing List Archive

Messages 921 - 940

From: apte <

Subject: New Time-Table

Date: 06 Jul 1992 13:21:00 -0500

A number of interesting points:

New Trains:

1. Vadodara-Gandhidham Exp: BRC d 14.25 Gandhidham Arr 22 25
Gandhidham d 23 40 BRC Arr 08.00

2. Ahemdavad-Bandra Exp: ADI d 21.35 Bandra Arr. 4.45
Bandra d 23 25 ADI Arr 06 50

This seems to be a real fast train - I can't believe they have
actually squeezed in a *fast* train in that crowded time slot. Also,
this means that the Bandra terminus is now operative. Both the Sayaji
Nagari, and the Karnavati will now terminate at Bandra.

3. Mysore-Tirupati Exp.

4. Madras-Bangalore Exp.

5. Kurla-Bangalore "Super" Exp.

(The Kurla terminus is operative too!)

6. Nizamuddin-Kota-Indore Exp. (This was unexpected!)

7. Vijaywada - Secunderabad Exp.

8. Vijaywada - Madras Exp.

9. Nizamuddin-Sambalpur Exp.

10. Trivandrum-Gandhidham Exp. (Hmmm...)

11. Hyderabad-Bangalore Exp.

12. Vadodara-Valsad Express

13. Delhi -loharu -Sikar Exp.

14. Barauni-Amritsar Exp.

15. Varanasi-Gorakhpur Exp.


1. Avadh Express extended to Gorakhpur and Bombay! This sets up a
train from Bombay to Agra, Tundla, Kanpur, Lucknow, and Gorakhpur via
Western Railway, which IMO was long overdue. But this sets up *THREE*
daily trains between Bombay and Gorakhpur; which rivals the trains
between Bombay and Calcutta as well as Madras, and exceed the number of
trains from Bombay to a number of important cities such as Bangalore,
Secunderabad, Patna, etc... Has Gorakhpur secretly sprouted a silicon
valley or something I am unaware of ? :-)

The times of Karnataka, And A.P. Exps have also been changed. The
former will now leave NDLS @ 9.15, ARR Bangalore @ 13.50; while the
latter will leaver NDLS @ 5.55, and ARR Secunderabad @ 9.35. It is
unclear if this means that the route of the former has undergone
yetunudder change (it has had two in the past if memory serves me

Source: Loksatta, Vadodara


From: Ajai Banarji <


Date: 07 Jul 1992 13:06:00 -0500


Thanks to Pushkar for the news. I observe that quite a number of the
new trains had not been announced in the railway budget speech, so there
must have been a lot of string-pulling in the past few months.
The Mysore-Tirupati Express implies that the BG line to Mysore is
functioning now (if it was MG, it would be a really tortuous route).
Now, Gorakhpur itself is not a very significant place. Even in UP
there are many larger places like Meerut, Saharanpur, Moradabad,
Dehradun etc which are not so well served. A cynic may say there is
nothing in Gorakhpur except the Gita Press. In fact, there are a
number of central government establishments there-the NE headquarters,
a major Air Force base and some fertilizer unit-so there is some
demand for passenger traffic to faraway parts of the country. I think
this has something to do with the lack of terminal capacity at
Kanpur and Lucknow.
A brief account of the history of the Avadh Express follows. It
probably holds the record for the most extensions.
It started in the early 1970s and ran between Agra Fort and Lucknow.
It was soon extended to Gorakhpur on one side and Kota on the other.
It was further extended to Ratlam. A couple of years ago the Lucknow-
Gorakhpur leg was dropped and it ran between Ratlam and Lucknow.
This reminds one of the fate of the line between Haldibari and
Siliguri/New Jalpaiguri. This is its history:
1) Built in the late 19th century in MG.
2) Converted to BG in the 1920s (after the Hardinge Bridge came, it was
desirable to have through trains between Calcutta and Siliguri).
3) Converted back to MG in around 1950. (Due to partition, this was
an isolated BG line of no use to India. So it was converted to MG
to facilitate through running with the other MG lines in north Bengal).
4) Finally converted back to BG when the new BG line through New Jalpaiguri
was being built.

From: Ajai Banarji <


Date: 09 Jul 1992 13:30:00 -0500


Looking for some turn-of-the-century steam locomotives, coaches and
wagons? Then Pakistan is the place to go. As the last surviving
narrow gauge lines (2'6") are being shut down, these locos and rolling
stock are now being put on sale at Mari Indus, Bostan and Kohat stations.
This was not unexpected as in recent years these lines could not
sustain a daily train; in fact the Bostan-Fort Sandeman and Kohat-Thal
lines had only one pair of trains a week. The lines from Mari Indus were
slightly better at three pairs a week.
Most of this equipment will probably date back to the 1910s and 1920s
when these lines were built.
These lines passed through rather inhospitable territory. Stations were
sometimes spaced more than 30 miles apart-while in most of India and Pakistan
the average spacing is less than 5 miles. The Bostan-Fort Sandeman line
was about 180 miles long and was probably one of the longest narrow-gauge
lines anywhere in the world. The Kohat-Thal line has its terminus in a fort
which is the headquarters of the Thal Scouts; any passenger who reached
this station without permission would be arrested as soon as he got off the
The more famous Khyber Railway is in fact broad gauge (5'6"); however,
it has not run for the past few years due to the troubles in Afghanistan.
It used to be a well-known tourist attraction a few years ago even though
it had only one pair of trains a week.
Other interesting lines include the main line to Quetta which has
long stretches of 1:25 gradients. In the days of steam a 9-coach train
used to have two locos in the front and two in the back. This line
continues on to the Afghan border at Chaman passing through the
Khojak tunnel which is almost 3 miles long, and was the fourth
longest rail tunnel in the world when it was opened in 1892. Though
this stretch of line has comparatively less traffic (one pair of
trains a week), it is mostly double track as the British felt that
it would be needed to rush troops once the Czar decided to invade
India through Afghanistan.
There is also the line from Quetta to Zahidan which is expected to
become a trunk line between Iran and Pakistan one day; however, when
it was built, the area was totally uninhabited and stations were
spaced more than 100 miles apart.
The dedicated steam buff still has a lot to see in Pakistan, with
1900-vintage 4-4-0s and 0-6-0s still hauling passenger trains on branch
lines. The main center for these ancient locos is Malakwal, an obscure
junction in Punjab. This is a well-known tourist spot for British
After the partition in 1947, India went on to a newer generation of
steam locos which were being built until 1972. India has abundant coal,
while Pakistan does not. So Pakistan did not bother to order any new
steam locos and went straight into diesels, though they did convert all
the steam locos into oil-burners. Interestingly though the steam locos
of the next generation (1930s) were soon replaced by diesels on the
main lines, the older ones of the 1900s were still found useful on the branch
The scrapping of the narrow-gauge lines means the end of the 2'6" gauge
in Pakistan, though a little metre gauge remains in the south. This was
originally part of the Jodhpur State Railway, which had mail trains between
Ahmedabad and Hyderabad (Sind).
Finally, India has decided to get rid of the metre gauge and
some of its narrow gauge lines-so there should be a lot of metre-gauge
stuff coming on the market in the next few years. Rail buffs would
be disappointed as most of these are comparatively newer (post 1940s)
designs. In fact, the Indian Railways plan to get rid of all their
steam locos by 2000-so steam buffs should start planning their trips soon.

From: Ajai Banarji <


Date: 17 Jul 1992 12:27:00 -0500

The New Sunset Limited-From Coast to Coast
(Note : this was written for rec.railroad)

There was a recent news item about Amtrak's plan to extend the Sunset Limited
(which currently runs from LA to New Orleans) to Miami via Jacksonville. This
means Amtrak will introduce a service between New Orleans and Jacksonville
for the first time.
This will probably be the first-ever true transcontinental service in US
history-no other train has crossed from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Uptil
now, one always had to change one place (generally Chicago, though New
Orleans was another possibility). I vaguely remember that in pre-Amtrak days
there used to be some through coaches which used to be switched at Chicago
to give a coast-to-coast ride. Does anyone remember the details?
This new Amtrak service is expected to start from April 1993. It should
finally lay to rest the old joke about US railroading-"A hog can cross from
coast to coast without changing cars, but YOU cannot" -)
Canada has never really had a coast-to-coast service either. There used
to be a Vancouver-Montreal service until a few years ago. One might argue
that since Montreal is connected to the Atlantic by the St Laurent seaway,
this was a true transcontinental trip. But purists wouldn't accept this.
Anyway, since Mulroney's government seems to be anxiously looking for
gimmicks to keep Canada together, they might consider starting a Vancouver-
Halifax express as a symbol of national unity.
This is not a new idea. Some years ago the Indian railways introduced
an express called the "Himsagar Express" which connects the northern and
southern extremes of the Indian rail system. It started off as a "super fast" train with a surcharge, but
never had much of an occupancy. I travelled on it (not all the way) a few
years ago-it did not even have a proper food service which most long-distance
Indian trains have. It was cancelled for a while and then reintroduced
as an ordinary express. It now takes about 87 hours from Jammu Tawi to
Kanniyakumari-just the thing for masochistic train buffs who cannot
manage the Trans-Siberian.

From: Jawahar-HP India <

Subject: Lalbagh Express-il Payanam

Date: 20 Jul 1992 10:53:00 -0500

Hi Friends,
I had the chance to goto Madras in the new 'Lalbagh Express'.
It was a good experience. The timings are as follows:

Tn. 2608 SBC - MAS Lalbagh express leaves Blore at 6:30 AM from
Bangalore City. ( Blore CANTT Dep. at 6:40 AM)
Arrives in Madras at 11:45 AM.

It was on the dot when I travelled.

ON the return as 2607 MAS - SBC Lalbagh Exp., it started at 4:15 PM from
Central and arrived at Cantt at 9:30 PM and in City at 9:45 PM.

The Bangaloreans will know one problem of returning so late in Bangalore..
I ended up paying half the Bangalore - Madras charge as the auto fare to my
home !!
Otherwise, it was a enjoyable ride. The train is similar to Brindavan. But
instead of a continuous back seat, they have provided a support seat for the
shoulders. It has fewer compartments and stops only at Katpadi (other than
Blore Cantt.)
All the delicious food items of Brindavan Pantry service is available here also.

They sell everything now... Idli/Dosas, Cutlets, Corn puffs, Aavin ice creams
plus Milk Khovas, frooti + pepsi like cold drinks, McRennet Cakes,
Gulab Jamoon and Basundi and Tomato soups (!)... In Lalbagh express, they also
serve in addition, dinner packets of Veg and Chiken Biriyanis.
It was a good experience .

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <

Subject: Trains - I

Date: 04 Aug 1992 10:00:00 -0500

Here is an excellent piece about trains in India. It was written
by Paul Chemmanoor on SCI. I am forwarding it with his permission.
I am glad to inform you that he is now on our mailing list. We can
expect more such gems from him in course of time.


PS: Vijay, are you back. Have you got the videos. When is the next

------- Forwarded Message

From: (Icarus)
Newsgroups: soc.culture.indian
Subject: Trains - I -- Icarus.
Date: 3 Aug 92 17:35:51 GMT
Organization: University of Colorado, Boulder

1] I have written a small piece about trains.
E-mail me if there is any interest in continuing.

I remember the groups of small children who would invade
our compartment, and sing those romantic songs of yesteryear that
have become permanently embedded in our minds.
There is something so moving about these children singing
"Jab hum jawaan honge, jaane kaha honge, jahaa honge ..."
-- I dont know where I will be when these years pass and I
grow up, but wherever I am ...--- from Betaab,
in a train full of middle class aspirations. You turn your eyes to
the window to hide the tears that have sprung up in them. The passing
trees and brown fields and the far outlines of hills that appear to be
mountains in the darkening day always calm and settle the mind.

As a child awake at nights I have battled so often and so bravely to keep
from getting up and yanking the red cylinder that hung from a chain with
a sign next to it, that said : "To Stop Train, Pull Chain". The only thing
that kept me from trespassing was the dreadful message in stenciled white
that seemed to intone in legalese : "Pulling of chain due to insufficient
reason will result ...". So many times I have held that chain and dragged
it just a fraction of an inch. Nobody noticed me. Nothing came of the long
wait for bells to ring and red lights to go on. No khakhi clad railway
man came running in to apprehend. I imagined a thread that ran from
compartment to compartment and finally to a table in front of the driver.

I remember when I was asked to deliver a talk on trains as part of my
training in Rourkela. As usual I got carried away by the fervor of my own
voice and added somewhat unnecessarily "And No, contrary to popular
imagination there is no Steering Wheel in the engine room." I was promptly
dumbstruck by a question from the audience asking in all innocence how a
train took turns. And for the next hour we were entertained by a staff
member in intricate equations in dynamics and centrifugal force and
sliding axles. Never had I thought that so much was happening under my
feet while we took a curve.

I once drove a Czech medium haul engine through some 15 km of worn track.
There really is nothing to it. A speed control and a direction reversal
stick. Some horns and some brakes. Boredom was the only enemy. The Feeling
of Power is intoxicating. You know you can demolish the training centre
and punish the cook in that horrible Mess by running him down, chasing
him, taunting him with a mild 5 km per hour glide and finishing him off
with the speed stick touching the floor. Anyway not many people know what
a flashing yellow signal means. It means: back off slowly.

You turn to the window and try to take advantage of the silence that forms
out of the constant noise that the people are making playing cards by
trying to work out the answer to various questions. In the years that have
gone by these questions have changed character. It used to be why trees at
a distance move slower than the ones nearer, or why the windows turn into
one-way mirrors when darkness falls. Later I would move on to deeper
things. What was love ? Of course all the countless journeys in the trains
I have taken have never been enough to know the answer to that one. There
is one train that maybe knows a little more, but it still screams out of a
terminus now long lost in time and distance, never quite arriving. But
that is a room of my memory that I leave locked and never visit alone.

Morning always bought a short lived sensation of disorientation.
You woke up with a start and can not remember where you are or why
you are in a room that swings from side to side filled with unmoving
bodies like a scene from Robin Cook's Coma.

With the first light streaming in you look around your fellow passengers
and smile and say a few words, "Good Morning" if the clothes say it
should be said, or a simple "Kahan Ja Rahe Ho Ji ?" otherwise.
The insufficient sleep always made the plainest women in their early
morning dishabille appear very desirable. Then the conversations would
begin to be interrupted by the calls of "Chaya, Chaya, Kappee, Kappee"
in the south or a rapid "Cha-Cofee, Cha-Cofee" when traveling in the North
of India.

In the days when Sikhs identified too strongly with India to be offended by
jokes about them I remember one that I heard as a child.
There are these two sardarjis all alone in a compartment of a train
starting from madras central.

After a while one of them asks the other: "Aji, Aap kaha ja rahe hain?"
--- Where are you going sir ?
The other gentleman responds: "Hum Bombhai jah rahe hai, aap kaha ja
rahe hai ?"
--- Im going to Bombay, and you sir ?
And the first one says: " Achha, hum jalandhar ja rahe hain ji".
--- I see, Im going to jalandhar.
After a long silence the second one says:
"science ka kaisa kharisma hai yeh,
compartment ka ek berth ja raha hai bombhai,
aur dhoosra ja raha hai jalandhar !".

--- What a miracle of science this is, one berth of the
compartment is going to bombay and the other to jalandhar !!

I had grown used to those giant stations that mark the progress of the
trans-indian journeys. Jollarpettai, Guntur, Gwalior, Itarsi, Vizag.
The way the vegetation and the features of the landscapes changes from the
alluvial plains of the deccan to the burning forests of madhya pradesh
in summer to the foothills of the western ghats where you can see the
clouds gathering as you go, during the monsoon.

. ~ ~ .
. o o signito ergo sum. paul chemmanoor. .
. | i sign therefore i am. Computer Science department. .
. = Univ. of Colorado, Boulder. .

------- End of Forwarded Message

From: Manish Malhotra <


Date: 04 Aug 1992 14:24:00 -0500

Hi folks,

I have been planning a trip to Peru and perhaps Bolivia.
One of the most adventurous train journeys is the one
from Lima (523 m. above sea level) to destinations high up
in the Andes (at about 4800 m. above sea level).
Besides Inca ruins, this is the main reason i want to go there.
I would like to know if anyone is interested in joining me ?



Subject: I'm back!

Date: 04 Aug 1992 17:09:00 -0500

Hi Folks,
I'm back (with my Better Half!) after a fun-filled five-week trip to India.
My camcorder was extensively used during the various train journeys with the
result that I now have nearly 7 hrs. worth of train videos, including a loco
ride from Manmad to Khandwa -> elec. loco. from Manmad to Bhusaval and diesel
loco. from Bhusaval to Khandwa. I assume this would be the star attraction
during our next IRFCA convention. I also managed to get the July 1991 time-
tables for the Central, Western, North-Eastern and Southern Rlwys. Unfortunat
ely, I couldn't lay my hands on a recent Bradshaw. I hope that Sudarshana
Bhat would be more successful. BTW, we met at my place just a couple of days
before I was to depart for the States.
My prize "capture" was a copy of the official working time-table for ALL
the seven divisions of the Central Rlwy. This was given to me by my uncle
(who is the DRM of Bhusaval). Imagine having a 400-odd page book indicating
the halt/passing times at ALL the stns. on the Central Rly., booked and
maximum speeds for ALL the trains associated with this rly., besides a host
of other info. e.g. I found out that the Bhopal Shatabdi Exp. is booked to
run at 130 kmph. between New Delhi and Jhansi with a maximum speed of 140 kmph.
The Bombay Rajdhani Exp. and the AC exp. have been given a booked speed of
120 kmph. (in the Mathura-New Delhi section) and attain a max. speed of 130
kmph. with the WAP1 loco. Next on the list are the Tamilnadu Exp., AP Exp.,
Kerala Exp., Karnataka Exp., GT Exp., Taj Exp. and the Punjab Mail which are
booked to run at 100 kmph. (in the Delhi-Itarsi section) and can achieve a
max. speed of 110 kmph.
Incidently, the Bombay Firozpur Punjab Mail has been speeded up by more than
2 hrs. Also, the halts at Khirkiya, Banapura, Sanchi, Ganj Basoda, and Mandi
Bamora have been removed. The train has acquired vestibuled coaches.
Till Aug. 1, it was the only train to be electrically hauled all the way from
Bombay V.T. to Delhi (& in the return dirn.) The overhead equipment in the
Bhusaval-Itarsi section was being tested for high speed operation. I believe
the situation has changed after Aug. 1 and all trains are now elec. hauled
in this section. Bhusaval-Durg and Nagpur-Itarsi have already been energized,
thus, eliminating loco. changeovers at Bhusaval, Durg, Nagpur and Itarsi (for
most of the trains). e.g. the Gitanjali Exp. stops for a mere 5 mts. at Durg
and 10 mts. at Bhusaval.

That's all for now, folks. Will be back with highlights of the train
videos and the various time-tables plus some additional train news.


From: Ajai Banarji <


Date: 04 Aug 1992 12:11:00 -0500


Where is everyone?
Some recent happenings:

As Pushkar reported, the Bandra terminal is now operational. It appears to
be situated between Bandra and Khar Road stations, though the locals do not
touch it. So far only Phase 1 is open, when Phase 2 is completed there
will be many more trains running from there. At the moment there are only
3 long-distance trains there: the Sayajinagri to Ahmadabad, the Avantika
to Indore and the Avadh to Gorakhpur via WR.
The terminal could have been opened two years ago, but it took a long time
to get legal sanction to evict squatters from the land earmarked for the
approach roads.
The Kurla terminal has a number of long-distance trains now. Think of
how many terminals Bombay has now:

Churchgate (locals only)

Also, Colaba used to be the terminal for all locals and long-distance trains
until about 1930. In the very early days the BBCI terminal was at Grant Road
and the GIP terminal was at Bori Bunder.

Let us now look at some other major Indian cities:
Shalimar (will open sometime in the future as SER's terminal for long-distance)
Perhaps you may consider Sealdah (South) as a separate terminal, but it is
a short walk from Sealdah proper. For that matter, wasn't there a separate
Sealdah (North) at one time?

Beach (mainly for locals, but a couple of long-distance passenger trains start
Possibly the Moore Market terminal for locals can be considered a separate
station, though it is right next to Central.

Delhi Jn
New Delhi
Hazrat Nizamuddin

Some years ago Sarai Rohilla was used as a terminal for some Rajasthan-bound
trains. And Delhi Cantt is used as a terminal for the Palace on Wheels.

Hyderabad (Nampalli)

I remember that auto drivers in Hyderabad look blank when you ask for
Hyderabad station-all the locals call it Nampalli.

Bangalore City
Krishnarajapuram (well, this isn't actually a terminal, but a number of long
distance trains now stop here and not at Bangalore city.)
Also, Bangalore Cantt was the terminus initially. It took about 20 years
to extend the line to City in the 1880s.

The next biggest cities like Ahmadabad, Pune and Nagpur have only one
major station. Kanpur has two (Central and Anwarganj)

More on this subject later.

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <


Date: 04 Aug 1992 17:28:00 -0500

Sorry for an empty mail. Here is what I was trying to send.

> Delhi:
> Delhi Jn
> New Delhi
> Hazrat Nizamuddin
> Some years ago Sarai Rohilla was used as a terminal for some Rajasthan
> bound trains.

Actually, I remember only one train, Chetak Express, to Udaipur. Now
it starts from Delhi Jn. Was there any other too ?

> And Delhi Cantt is used as a terminal for the Palace on Wheels.

Sadar Bazaar used to be terminal for couple of trains to some place,
I forget. (The branch line from Garhi Harsaru Jn goes there.) I don't
know the current status. If you are going to count locals (since you
counted Churchgate for Bombay), you should count Shakurbasti as well.
I think there are local trains from some other stations as well (i.e.
not from one of the 6 mentioned above), but may be some other Delhite
can shed some light on that.

> I remember that auto drivers in Hyderabad look blank when you ask for
> Hyderabad station-all the locals call it Nampalli.

In Delhi, station almost always means "Delhi Jn." Even if you are
close to New Delhi, and ask someone for the directions to "The Station"
the chances are that he will tell you to take a rickshaw as it is
about 3 KM away.

> Kanpur has two (Central and Anwarganj)

I would guess that Anwarganj is the MG terminal. Did the trains that go
next to IIT terminate at Anwarganj. What MG lines are served by Central ?


From: Dheeraj Sanghi <

Subject: Re: IRFCA Convention (Was Re: I'm back!)

Date: 04 Aug 1992 17:45:00 -0500

> So when and where is this next IRFCA convention? I seem to recall a
> mention of some time in August or September. Did we ever come to an
> agreement on the dates and location?

I don't think we discussed this on the irfca list earlier. But now
that you mention, let us discuss the possible places and dates.

First of all, I think we need a volunteer to host it. For those who
are new to the list, we had a meeting of IRFCAites in NJ last August.
The host has to just provide a 6' x 3' space per person in the night,
and some space to sit and talk in the day. In fact, last year, some
people had friends in that town (Red bank) and preferred to stay with
their friends in the night. Last year, we were 7 people, but since
then the membership in the list has grown two-fold, and one could
expect more than 10 people to show up for the meeting. If you are
willing to host 10 people for a weekend, please send me mail saying
what are the times most suitable to you.

Second, we need to know who all will show up for such a meeting. I
would encourage every one to send me mail if they are interested.
The mail could be of the type: "I will come if the meeting is on
one the X, Y, Z weekends, and if the place is A, B or C," where A
could be within so many miles from my place, B could be a list
of cities where one can come easily, C could be some other conditions
on place.

Depending on who all offer to host the meeting, and who all offer
to attend the meeting at a particular place, we will pick up the
place and date where we can ensure maximum attendance.

Please do this at the earliest.

> Jishnu.

PS: If nothing else works out, we will land at Vijay's place on some
weekend in Sep.

PPS: Congratulations to Vijay and Sunita.

From: apte <

Subject: Multiple Terminals

Date: 04 Aug 1992 12:46:00 -0500

Funnily enough a little city like Vadodara has 3 stations that might
qualify as terminii.

Vadodara Jn.
Vishvamitri Jn.

The latter two are NG terminii, with various trains for Dabhoi, Chhota
Udepur, etc.. originating/terminating there. Vishwamitri is an
unimportant station on the BG main line, with only Sau. Exp, and the Dn
Vadodara Exp. stopping there.

Also, a minor correction to Ajai's note - Sayaji Nagari runs to
Vadodara, and not Ahmemadabad. A correction to my previous posting has
already been provided by Ajai, it will be the Avantika Exp., and not
the Karnavati that will originate from Bandra.


P.S. Congratulations to Vijay...

From: Jishnu Mukerji <

Subject: Re: Teminals and this and that

Date: 04 Aug 1992 18:27:00 -0500

Excerpts from personal.IRFCA: 4-Aug-92 Ajai (2401*)

> Let us now look at some other major Indian cities:
> Calcutta:
> Sealdah
> Howrah
> Shalimar (will open sometime in the future as SER's terminal for long-distance)
> Perhaps you may consider Sealdah (South) as a separate terminal, but it is
> a short walk from Sealdah proper. For that matter, wasn't there a separate
> Sealdah (North) at one time?

Calcuttans correct me if I am wrong on what follows. I haven't been to
Calcutta in a while.

In addition to the stations mentioned above, if you count terminals for
local trains within what is considered the Greater Calcutta area then
the following come to mind:

Dankuni - terminus for Sealdah Dankuni locals
Princeps Ghat - terminus for circular railway
Dum Dum Jct - was supposed to become the other terminal for circular railway
has this happened yet? There used to be temporary terminal
near Ultadanga Road for the circular railway which was supposed
to become just a station when the connection to Dum Dum was completed.
Budge Budge - terminus for Budge Budge locals.

In general I think one should not count stations where only locals
terminate as terminals. It gets very difficult very soon if the city has
a rich and dense local rail service. For instance in cities like London
or Paris, the whole process goes entirely out of control if you count
all stations where locals terminate within the greater city limits. Of
course, in Paris it gets even worse because one has to first determine
whether the RERs are suburban trains or subway trains. In cities like
Zurich there is a similar problem with S-Bahns. But that is another

Speaking of multiple terminals in a city, I had this crazy experience in
Rome last week. I had a reservation on a train to Zurich leaving Rome at
21:55 from Roma Termini according to the reservation. I landed up a Roma
Termini at 21:00 hours and could not locate my train on the Partenza
(departure) board. After some asking around I discovered that there were
a dozen people at that station who shared my predicament. A laborious
check at Information in a mix of English and Italian did not resolve the
issue, because the Information guy seemed to be even more confused. He
had his mind set on this train to Basilia (Basel) which leaves Termini
at 22:35, and insisted that we really ought to take that train, never
mind that that train does not go to Zurigo, and one has to change trains
at Arth Goldau to get to Zurigo. Besides I wasn't about to give up on my
Couchette berth reservation. At this point I decided to try my hands on
these nifty automatic information gizmos that they have installed in
Italy. The device consists of a CRT display and a map of Italy/Europe.
You indicate your departure point and destination by touching the cities
on the map. Once the two point are selected the CRT displays a list of
trains that run between those two points starting with the next
available train. This device, fortunately was less confused than the guy
at information. It informed me that my train #384 Napoli-Chiasso, which
carries cars Napoli-Zurigo and Napoli-Stuttgart was scheduled to depart
Roma Tiburtina at 21:55. This discovery was made at around 21:30. The
discovery of this fact of course caused a minor stampede among us all to
get to Roma Tiburtina, which is about 20mins by taxi from Roma Termini.
The taxi driver did a great job of running every red light on the way
upon hearing a promise of an extra L10000 (~$10) if we made the train at
Tiburtina, and we did, by 5 mins! Then the conductor on the couchette
had an interesting scheme going to sell no show berths to others even
before the train had departed. Needless to say, our late arrival caused
him a great deal of anxiety, because he had to figure out what to do
with the 12 people that he had sold off our accomodations to while we
were struggling to get to it. He just kept muttering "Problem, Problem"
under his breath, but that is another story. I was delighted to see how
much Italy resembles India in these matters.



Subject: Video highlights - Part I

Date: 05 Aug 1992 17:08:00 -0500

Hi Folks,
Here's a summary of what I captured on video. Maybe it'll help you decide
whether you want to attend the convention :-).

1. Dadar to Madras on the Dadar - Madras exp.
- Stns:- Kalyan, Karjat, Sivajinagar (not a halt), Pune, Solapur, Shahabad,
Wadi, Raichur, Guntakal, Gooty, Renigunta
- Trains:- Koyna Exp., Indrayani Exp., Pune - Daund passenger, Bombay -
Hyderabad Exp., Karnataka Exp., Madras - Bombay Mail, among others
- Bridges over the Mula-Mutha river (near Pune); & the Krishna river (next to
Krishna stn.) plus shots of the thermal plant as soon as you cross the river.
- Reddish brown terrain between Raichur and Adoni -> laterite soils which are
rich in iron. Plus shots of interesting rock configurations.
- Crossing of two trains at night, between Daund and Solapur. One was most
probably the Minar Exp. Plus crossing of the Madras - Bombay Mail between
Wadi and Raichur.
- The Ghat section between Karjat and Lonavla including 5-6 tunnels.
- Loco. changeover at Pune. Hitched a 5 mt. ride on the diesel loco. that
was resting on a different platform and got attached to our train. Most of
the coaches of the Indrayani Exp. had the same color as the Deccan Queen /
Pragati Exp. viz., white-n-blue with a red strip above the windows. Some
other coaches had a cream-n-blue color. I was surprised to see an AC First
Class coach on this train. One particular coolie was fascinated by my
camcorder and begged that I capture him on video. He probably thought that
I was a reporter for the Doordarshan and inquired whether he would appear on
- Our train was only 10 mts. late at Solapur. However, we caught up with the
Bombay - Hyderabad Exp. at this stn., this train being late by more than an
hour. What surprised me was that the Hyderabad Exp. was allowed to go first.
This completely screwed up our schedule and we arrived nearly 4 hrs. late at
Madras Central, one of the rare occasions when the Dadar - Madras Exp. failed
to transport its passengers on time.
- Shot the Bangalore - N.Delhi Karnataka Exp. at Wadi stn., including the twin
diesel unit. The train had 21 coaches, including two AC sleepers. More
than half the coaches had a yellow strip across the windows. Others had the
red monotone color.
- Loco. changeover at Reningunta. How could I miss my favorite loco., the
WAM4 ?!

WIll be back with descrpitons of the other journeys.


From: Ajai Banarji <


Date: 05 Aug 1992 13:59:00 -0500

Terminals again

I guess this thread really ought to be "multiple major stations"
rather than "terminals".
In reply to Dheeraj's query, the Chetak Express did run from
Sarai Rohilla in the early 1970s. Perhaps there were a few others. A look at the current Bradshaw indicates that Sarai Rohilla as well as Sadar Bazar are
terminals for a few passenger trains. At one time Shahdara was also a terminal
for the Saharanpur-Shahdara Light Railway which ran upto 1970. Incidentally
this line and a few others were listed in the timetable as "non-government
railways" and not part of NR etc.
Regarding Kanpur, all the long-distance MG trains do use Kanpur
Central. Anwarganj is used as a terminal for a couple of Lucknow-bound trains
which pass Central.
Although some large cities like Ahmedabad have only one major station,
there are a number of smaller cities like Agra and Cochin which have 2 or 3.
Cochin is an easy place to get lost in. There is indeed a station called
Cochin Harbour Terminus, but it is relatively unutilised because its
location is inconvenient. The main station is actually Ernakulam Junction,
while a subsidiary one is Ernakulam Town. Now it is possible to go from
the Madras side to Trivandrum side stopping at Town and not Junction. Thus
some long distance trains stop only at Town, others only at Junction, some
at Town and Junction but not at Cochin, and others at all three.
As if this was not confusing enough, the local people insist on
calling Junction as "South station" and Town as "North" station, since
that's what they were called upto the 1960s. However, if you ask an auto
driver to go to "junction", he will take you there (unlike his Hyderabadi
counterpart)-but he will also immediately realise that you are an outsider
and try to overcharge you.
There is a rather obscure place called Hathras in western UP which has
no less than 4 stations. The Hathras Jn on the main Delhi-Kanpur line is
actually two stations in one-the Mathura-Kanpur MG line crosses the BG line
at right angles and has a platform at a different level called "Hathras
Road". Now Hathras Jn is actually somewhat away from Hathras proper, and is
an independent township. There is a Hathras City station about 10 km away on
the MG line. Further, there is also a BG branch line to another place called
Hathras Qila some distance away.
Also, in the early days the main station at Madras was Royapuram.

From: ruman <


Date: 05 Aug 1992 14:07:00 -0500

In-Reply-To: Your message of "Wed, 05 Aug 92 15:59:59 PDT."
Date: Wed, 05 Aug 92 17:07:18 -0700

> Terminals again
> I guess this thread really ought to be "multiple major stations"
> rather than "terminals".
> There is a rather obscure place called Hathras in western UP which has
> no less than 4 stations. The Hathras Jn on the main Delhi-Kanpur line is
Talking of obscure places, here are 2 more (obscure from the point of
being in the railways mainstream)

Kakinada town, Kakinada port (get off at samalkot on cal-madras line)
tirupati east(mg), tirupati west (mg,bg).

what about vishakapatnam? doesn't it have another station called waltair.


From: P. I. Arasu <


Date: 05 Aug 1992 22:29:00 -0500

Vishakapatnam and Waltair (two different towns) are more like
Ernakulam and Cochin, Bangalore and Krihnarajapuram and not
like Madras Central and Madras Egmore. However I guess it is
just a matter of time before the distiction disappears (as the
towns expand).

Also I doubt Vishwamitri can be considered as a terminal for Vadodhra.
True it is a junction (not merely a station) but I don't think any
train originates from there. It is one of my favourite stations. Even though
it is just a few kilometers from the busy Vadodhra main station
the surroundings are very rural. Also the palace of the Vadodhra
(self proclaimed) Maharaja is right next to Vishwamitri and is some
sight to watch.


From: Deviprasad Malladi <


Date: 06 Aug 1992 06:35:00 -0500

> From Wed Aug 5 19:32:57 1992
> From: "P. I. Arasu" <
> Date: Wed, 5 Aug 1992 22:29:33 EDT
> X-Mailer: Mail User's Shell (7.1.2 7/11/90)
> To:
> Cc:!!
> Content-Length: 700
> Vishakapatnam and Waltair (two different towns) are more like
> Ernakulam and Cochin, Bangalore and Krihnarajapuram and not
> like Madras Central and Madras Egmore. However I guess it is
> just a matter of time before the distiction disappears (as the
> towns expand).
Visakhapatnam and Waltair were two different passenger stations till about
mid 50's. I remember getting off at Visakhpatnam when I was very little and
most passenger trains stopped. It is a station right in the middle of the
port and shipyard in the old town area. But fast trains like Madras-Howrah
mail and other express tarins did not go to Visakhaptnam. The train would
change direction with a chnage of Engines in waltair. When I went home to visit
in 84, I found out that the name of Waltair station was changed to Visakhapatnam
and there is only one station now. The old Visakhaptnam station became a
goods station probably in early 60's


From: aravind <

Subject: news from Bangalore

Date: 07 Aug 1992 23:53:00 -0500

1. BG line to Mysore is to open in August. Apparently re-alignment
was needed over some 45 kms. of the old MG line.

2. 2607/2608 MAS-SBC Lalbagh Exp:

MAS dep 16:15 SBC arr 21:45
SBC dep 6:30 MAS arr 11:45

Seems like they decided not to break the old record of 5 hrs ..

3. 2104/2103 SBC-Kurla Exp:

SBC dep 9:05 Kurla arr 7:30
Kurla dep 22:20 SBC arr 21:30

this is a daily train. not much faster than Udyan exp, but that was
to be expected given that the line is mostly single.

4. Through service introduced between Bangalore and Bidar.

5. Bangalore-Yelahanka (old MG route) and Bangalore-Arsikere
to be converted to BG by March 1993.

These projects will ensure the disappearance of MG from
Bangalore City. That day will surely go down in history. I can't
imagine that they will maintain an MG line to the city station
just for the Salem train. In fact, the Salem line seems doomed to
oblivion unless it is converted to BG as well (maybe that is also
in the offing?)

The Arsikere conversion will necessitate a change of trains at
Arsikere for passengers travelling between Bangalore and interior
Karnataka. Apparently the entire Bangalore-Miraj line is
scheduled for conversion (some 700 km).



From: aravind <

Subject: misc ..

Date: 10 Aug 1992 08:23:00 -0500

In response to Arasu's query, Madras-Bangalore trains are given
more travel time than their Bangalore-Madras counterparts
because they have to climb ~3000 feet.

The Salem-Bangalore MG line does not pass thru Mettur Dam.
It was constructed in the late 60s, and is a great example of
wasted funds. It does not follow a direct route to the city,
looping around to Yeshwanthpur instead.