IRFCA Mailing List Archive

Messages 1521 - 1540

From: S Pai <pai>>

Subject: Re: Some Indian railway questions

Date: 28 Apr 1996 16:19:00 -0500

Conversion to one gauge does help in the case of freight shipments.
Transshipment from one gauge to another is done highly inefficiently
and if you have an industry located in an area served only by MG or NG
lines, your supplies and products are sitting uselessly for days on
end waiting to be moved from one gauge to another at some point where
BG and MG (or NG) intersect. I don't have figures but repeatedly
studies have indicated that there is colossal waste of time and money
in this gauge-transfer process. Indirectly, this leads to industry
being reluctant to locate in areas served by MG/NG, so that in the
long run it also means that these areas remain economically under-
developed (unless they happen to have good access to highways instead).

Other than that, it is probably also a good thing to have a standardized
gauge to keep manufacturing and servicing of IR equipment simpler.

I'd never heard of the excuse that multiple gauges are a symbol of
colonialism! But I guess it's not beyond the politicians to proffer
such reasons for their pet projects.


From: Jishnu Mukerji <

Subject: Re: Some Indian railway questions

Date: 29 Apr 1996 11:03:00 -0500

Excerpts from personal.IRFCA: 28-Apr-96 Some Indian railway questions
Sharon (2469*)

> When I was in India I read a newspaper advert that had been placed by
> IR. It was all about the reasons for converting gauges and I remember
> one of them being that it cast of some of the last vestiges of colinal
rule (my words).

Excerpts from personal.IRFCA: 28-Apr-96 Re: Some Indian railway que..
"S Pai" (1086*)

> I'd never heard of the excuse that multiple gauges are a symbol of
> colonialism! But I guess it's not beyond the politicians to proffer
> such reasons for their pet projects.

Yup, this business about getting rid of vestiges of colonial rule is
ludicrous. The only way to do that is to get rid of the railways
altogether. As it stands the original single gauge decree came from one
colonial Viceroy, and it was discarded by another several years later to
create the Meter Gauge system. Of course policians are not particularly
good at being being aware of any events that did not involve them.:-) Or
even if they are, they prefer to attempt to re-write it as and when they
find it convenient, and hope that no one will notice.:-(

Incidentally, one of the fallouts of the crash conversion of MG to BG
has been diversion of funds from safety related work to gauge
conversion. Consequently, there are trains running around at relatively
high speeds on sections that are borderline poorly signalled and
interlocked. We saw an example of what this can lead to in the Kalindi
Express/Purushottam Express crash some time back.


Jishnu Mukerji

Rm. D-283 Email:
Hewlett-Packard Company
New Jersey Laboratories Phone: +1 201 443 7528
P. O. Box 949 Fax: +1 201 443 7602
180 Park Avenue, Bldg 103
Florham Park, NJ 07932-9998
U. S. A.

From: Rahul Saxena <

Subject: Re: Some Indian railway questions

Date: 29 Apr 1996 11:21:00 -0500

The locos were numbered 6XXX. The lowest numbered loco that I saw was
6008, the highest 6709. All the locos numbered 60XX, 61XX, 62XX, 65XX,
66XX were seen on WR; all the 64XX locos were on the SR, and both
railways had members of the 63XX and 67XX classes.

Loco Classes on Western Railway MG:

1. YDM3 A General Motors EMD loco
2. YDM5 Ditto, with different bogie design.

Both these locos have propshafts driving gearboxes on axles.

3. YDM4A Alco locos, made in Canada
4. YDM4 Alco designs, made in DLW-Varanasi (Indian Railways)

The YDM3s and 5s are numbered in the low 6000s.

The YDM4s start at around 6099 on WR.

YDM4As are typically in the 61xx range.

I had these numbers memorized in 1989, when I was running these locos at
the Diesel Shed in Abu Road. We had the YDM4s, while the funny stuff --
YDM3, YDM5, YDM4A had just been shifted to the Sabarmati Diesel Shed in

We experimented with GM locos at the time we were deciding on which
design to produce at DLW. We picked ALCO, and the GM locos have become a
rare sight. They were acclaimed as being very well designed, (e.g.,
foolproof against wrong assembly) and low maintenance. As they aged,
however, maintenance became a bear -- e.g., my pal in Sabarmati spent a
lot of money trying to find a good supplier for gears for the
axle-mounted gears.

As a general rule, all YDM4s are similar. Of course, the design has seen
minor evolutionary changes over its lifetime, but the changes are not
reflected in the numbering scheme.

If you saw gaps in YDM4 numbering, the loco representing the gap probably
was produced. It may be anywhere in India, or it may (in rare cases)
have been decommissioned because of an accident.

>Does converting the MG system to BG make any difference?

1. Reduces trans-shipment.

2. Provides a huge source of black money and patronage opportunities for
the Railway Ministry.

3. Diverts investment from highways to railways (see above).

4. Increases BG system efficiency -- beyond the trans-shipment part,
there are efficiencies to be gained by adding alternate paths to a
network, plus the advantages of adding rolling stock of the same type.

5. Reduces MG system efficiency (a very minor issue, because the MG
system carries very little traffic anyway). I expect they will simply
age the rolling stock.

>to what extent will the conversion be carried out

Probably the pieces of MG that make sense will be converted. I have not
seen the grand plan -- it was sanctioned after I left. All the NG stuff
will probably remain -- nobody cares for it anyway. Some MG spurs may be
left. The MG network used to span all of India, and was interlinked.
Once the linkages are broken (as they have been), it would make sense to
complete the job of maximum conversion. I expect they have planned for
viable independent sub-networks of MG that they will run for some time
while the gauge conversion program rolls. Stopping half-way would be a
really bad decision (my opinion).

From: Sridhar_Shankarnarayan <

Subject: Re: Some Indian railway questions

Date: 30 Apr 1996 10:45:00 -0500

The 6XXX series is the YDM4/YDM4A series of locos of Alco design (typically in
green and yellow Southern Railway livery). They employ a six cylinder Alco
251D prime mover with 1350 hp. As Rahul mentioned the YDM4As are of MLW parentage.

The other series 21XXX is the ubiqutous WAM4 series of locos. They are 3600hp
25 kV AC locos made locally (Chitaranjan). You can see these locos all over
India, IR standardized the whole system after deciding on a few standard class
of locos.

Rahul, what were the reasons for going Alco in the case of BG locos (WDM2
against WDM4)? Can you shed some light on some of the issues/factors which
influenced the decision?

Sridhar Shankar

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From: Sharon Lee <

Subject: More Indian questions

Date: 01 May 1996 16:38:00 -0500

Thanks for all the replies I had to my previous questions. Very useful info
recieved. Unfortunatley I know have some more! You will all have to excuse
the amount of questions I ask - its been four years since I was in India
and I have had nobody to ask all these questions to until now.

1. I bought a book whilst in India. It is called Indian Railways and is
part of a series of books published by National Book Trust, India. It was
written by M.A. Rao and is the second edition published in 1988.

In it are three tables of the output of Chittaranjan LW, DLW Varanasi &
Integeral Coach Factory which are summuraised as follows:-

No locos produced Date
BG DC Elec 76 1961-1977
BG AC Elec 628 1963-1980
BG AC/DC Elec 53 1974-1980
BG Shunting 377 1967-1980
NG Diesel 30 1970-1977


BG Die. Mainline 1028 1963-1980
MG Mainline 213 1968-1980
BG Shunting 77 1967-1980
WDM1 Rehab 57 1975-1980
Others 5 1966-1971


BG EMU's 1474 1963-1980
MG EMU's 168 1965-1978
MG DMU's 12 1964-1971

Does anybody have the figures since 1980 for any of the works? And does
anybody know what the 5 "Others" locos produced by DLW Var were?

2. A number of IR stations have locos preserved outside them. Examples I
saw were Bombay Central, Agra Cantt, Jaipur and Baroda House (I know this
isn't a station but its an IR building). I belive Gwalior has one too. Are
there any other exmaples that anybody knows of? And does anybody know the
identity of the loco at Agra?

On the subject of preserved locos, does anybody know what the identity of
the converted metre gauge Austin car at Mysore Railway Museum and where it
came from? Have there been any additions to the stocks of Delhi or Mysore
Railway Museums since 1992?

On the subject of double heading, I have found another example from my
travels. I travelled overnight from Jaipur to Jodphur. I can't find what
train it was (I've tried to find it in my Nov 92 Bradshaw but can't) but I
think it came from Agra and it arrived at Jodphur to (just) connect with
the day train to Jaisalmer. Anyway, it arrived behind YP 2508 which was
taken off and YDM-4's 6220 & 6382 were put on instead.



From: Mr Harsh Kumar <

Subject: Web page for Railway Staff College

Date: 02 May 1996 05:14:00 -0500

I am sure you will be happy to know that Railway Staff College
in now on the Web. The current address is

<A HREF=""></A>

After a few days it will be

<A HREF=""></A>

Most of the pages are under construction but well this is the beginning...

From: Mr Harsh Kumar <

Subject: Web page for Railway Staff College

Date: 02 May 1996 05:14:00 -0500

I am sure you will be happy to know that Railway Staff College
in now on the Web. The current address is

<A HREF=""></A>

After a few days it will be

<A HREF=""></A>

Most of the pages are under construction but well this is the beginning...

From: Rahul Saxena <

Subject: Re:Re: Some Indian railway questions

Date: 03 May 1996 08:40:00 -0500

>Rahul, what were the reasons for going Alco in the

>case of BG locos (WDM2 against WDM4)? Can you shed

>some light on some of the issues/factors which

>influenced the decision?

I do not know the official story. Word has it that ALCO was much more
accommodating when it came to technology transfer (to enable us to
produce it and learn loco design principles). Makes sense -- GM is a big
player, and would have been creating a competitor, ALCO was a weak &
small player and probably wanted the money. As it turns out, we never
did learn to become a serious player in this market, though we do sell
the DLW locos at deep discounts over GM/GE prices.

Rahul Saxena

From: J.J. Rainbow <

Subject: Indian books

Date: 09 May 1996 16:37:00 -0500

I have had a couple of queries about ordering this book. It will take me
some time to write to the CRC and get an answer. Will let you all know asp

From: J.J. Rainbow <

Subject: Indian Book

Date: 15 May 1996 19:41:00 -0500

I have received a reply about payment for the Indian book, details follow
and I will review it at the same time.

Indian Locomotives Part 4 - 1941-1990 by Hugh Hughes, published by the
Continental Railway Circle, 25 Woodcock Dell Avenue, Kenton, Harrow HA3
0PW, England

This is the fourth and final part of a series which has dealt with all
the locomotives of Indian Railways, including Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Burma
and Bangladesh. This volume covers all gauges and all types of
propulusion. It also includes chapters on port railways and Industrial
locos. There are approximately 120 pages and 96 photos. There is an
introductory chapter of history, then the book is divided firstly by
gauge, then into steam, diesel and electric. The book is further
subdivided into countries with India taking the lion's share of the text.

The rest of the book is laid out in the following general format, which
differs for steam and diesel.

Class wheel arrnagement, running number, builder, builders number, date
and notes. Often there are additional explanatory notes about disposal
etc. Dimensions are included and there is a list of abbrevaitions of
builders names.

Purchasing Information

US $ price is $ 18.50, includes postage and the banks conversion charge.
This may later if the exchange rate changes suddenly. This price assumes
payment by a cheque drawn on any US bank and made payable to the
Continental Railway Circle.

The sterling price also includes post, and should be on a British bank

There are no facilties for credit card sales, the CRC is not large enough
for them to be economic.

In view of the problems with exchange rates I recommend a sterling cheque.

Any questions please let me know.


From: Mr.Sram IT Workshop (SG-7) <

Subject: interest in Amtrak

Date: 18 May 1996 00:21:00 -0500

I am interested in corresponding on the above subject.Plese let me know
what the activities of your association are.
M.SUNDAR RAM,1004,s.lalaguda Rly.Qrs.,SECNDRABAD,500017

e mail--

From: S Pai <pai>>

Subject: new minister

Date: 03 Jun 1996 13:25:00 -0500

Mr Ram Vilas Paswan is the new Minister for Railways in India. Would
anyone care to speculate on what his priorities might be for various
IR projects under way or being planned?


From: Dheeraj Sanghi <

Subject: Re: new minister

Date: 04 Jun 1996 20:42:00 -0500

More railway projects in Bihar.
Electricfication of main line will be speeded up.
Rajdhani frequency via Patna (to Guwahati/Howrah) will be
increased from currently 5 days to 7 days.
Patna-Howrah Shatabdi ??
And more trains from whichever district he represents.


From: Pushkar Apte <

Subject: Yes, Minister!

Date: 04 Jun 1996 08:25:00 -0500

Paswan takes charge with a warning

Source: IE June 4, New Delhi

New Railway Minister Ramvilas Paswan has warned that action would be
taken against those officials responsible for late running of trains.

A directive to this effect has been issued to the Railway Board,
Paswan, who assumed office at Rail Bhawan on Monday, stated at a press

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <

Subject: Yes, Minister!

Date: 05 Jun 1996 23:15:00 -0500

He said a few other things as well.

1. All casual labour should be regularized. There are 83,000 of them.
IR already has an overstaffing of the order of 400,000.
2. More railway lines in backward areas of Bihar. (Presuambly, without
studying their economic viability.)
3. Special drives to recruit SC/ST/OBC folks into IR.

Just when we thought that IR is starting to get affected by the
economic liberalization, we get a minister like Paswan.


From: Jishnu Mukerji <

Subject: Re: Yes, Minister!

Date: 10 Jun 1996 11:25:00 -0500

Excerpts from personal.IRFCA: 5-Jun-96 Re: Yes, Minister! "J.J.
Rainbow"@newcastle (753*)

> Govt and the unions start demanding the payback for keeping quiet.
> I know that SC/ST are scheduled tribes and castes, but what are OBC?

> Julian

My guess is Other Backward Communities.

Excerpts from personal.IRFCA: 10-Jun-96 Re: new minister Dheeraj (274*)

> More railway projects in Bihar.
> Electricfication of main line will be speeded up.
> Rajdhani frequency via Patna (to Guwahati/Howrah) will be
> increased from currently 5 days to 7 days.
> Patna-Howrah Shatabdi ??
> And more trains from whichever district he represents.

> -dheeraj

Another thing that might happen is that the much anticipated Howrah -
New Delhi Super Rajdhani might finally get introduced but with a stop at
Dhanbad, instead of being non-stop.

On another matter, I picked up the 4th volume of Indian Locomotives from
Motor Books in London couple of weeks back. Very well done!


From: C. <

Subject: INTRO: RailRoad Equipment Logistics & Management, Inc.

Date: 11 Jun 1996 19:52:00 -0500

I have been subscribed to the Indian Railways Mailing List for awhile and
thought now would be a good time to introduce myself. I am Charles Soard,
President of RailRoad Equipment Logistics & Management, Inc. (RRELM), located
in Alexandria, Virginia.

We are a company solely dedicated to assisting railroads, rail leasing
companies, and rail shippers increase their ROI and ROA through proactive
management and increased productivity.

I have a few questions that I hope some of you can answer:

Under India's curent plan of privatization, how will freight rolling stock be
handled between competing railroads?
How will freight rolling stock be divided among the new rail companies?
How will one railroad be compensated for using another railroad's equipment?

Any light you can shed on these issues will be greatly appreciated.

I look forward to contributing to the Indian Railways list. Will be talking
with you all soon.

Proactive Railroad Equipment Management Services

Charles W. Soard
Railroad Equipment Logistics & Management, Inc. (RRELM)
2750 Eisenhower Avenue, Suite 103
Alexandria, VA 22314-5217
PH.# (703) 960-7700, FAX# (703) 960-7769
Web Page: <A HREF=""></A>

From: Rahul Saxena <

Subject: Re: Railroad equipment sharing

Date: 12 Jun 1996 09:09:00 -0500

I'm sure the folks from the Railway Staff College will know better, but
here is my 2 cents: there is a IRCA manual (IRCA = Indian Railways
Conference Association) that contains rules for rolling stock and revenue
sharing etc. between the railways in the subcontinent. It is primarily
used to maintain the separation between the nine railway zones in the IR
system. I guess that IR will try to use it as a starting point for any
new system incorporating private railways. The IRCA manual should be
available with many Railway officers.

From: Vijay Balasubramanian <

Subject: Web pages on IR

Date: 12 Jun 1996 11:34:00 -0500

Hi Folks,

Did some Net searching and dished out a few interesting pages on India=
n Railways.
Check them out!!!! There are even some photos on stations such as Bomba=
y V.T., Surat, etc. and the Palace on Wheels. Couldn't get into "Rahul's=
Home Page" b'coz it's not
accepting connections - am interested to find out what has been written a=
bout our club.


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Have fun,


From: Dheeraj Sanghi <

Subject: An experience in Rajdhani.

Date: 20 Jun 1996 08:14:00 -0500

I was returning from Delhi yesterday in Rajdhani Exp. A co-passenger
on the side birth (in AC-3T coach) just left his bag on the top
birth, and went out for just a minute. When he returned the bag was
not there. He panicked, since it contained some important documents.
Before he could think of anything, the train started moving. So he
just sat there. When TT came, he asked for his advise. TT asked him
to meet train superintendent. This TS guy made an announcement over
the public address system to all coach attendants, requesting them to
search for the bag in the corridor, toilets, etc. And half an hour
later, one attendant indeed found the bag in a toilet. All the papers
were shuffled. Somebody had obviously tried to search for money or
valuables, and when couldn't find anything, left it in a toilet.

I was quite surprised that TS was really sympathetic, and that
attendants (at least that one) really searched for the bag.


Dheeraj Sanghi +91 (512) 25-7077 (Off)
Dept. of Computer Science & Engineering +91 (512) 25-8627 (Res)
Indian Institute of Technology +91 (512) 25-0260 (Fax)
Kanpur - 208 016 (UP), INDIA.