IRFCA Mailing List Archive

Messages 1801 - 1820

From: Kandaswami, Auroprem* <Kandaswami#m#_Auroprem*

Subject: Intl. airports to be linked by rail

Date: 30 May 1997 06:56:00 -0500

The Hindu
NEW DELHI, May 29.

The Railway Ministry has taken a policy decision to begin work
on a scheme to ``immediately'' link international airports in all
major cities with the nearest rail head.

An exercise will soon be initiated to identify the cities as
well as the likely sources of funding. The decision was taken at a
meeting of the Railway Board on Tuesday which was also attended by the
Minister, Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan. It was also resolved to approach the
Union Ministry of Urban Development and the Ministry of Surface
Transport for consultations on the subject.

As a first step, the Railways plan to open booking offices at
the airports in order to mitigate the inconvenience suffered by
foreign tourists. The Railways already have special quotas for
passengers paying in hard currency and the counters at airports are
expected to aid optimum utilisation of berths set aside for foreign

The move to provide rail links to international airports comes
from the realisation that most of foreign tourists travel to the
country's hinterlands. The facility is also seen to be convenient to a
large number of tourists who restrict their sojourn in the country to
the golden triangle of Delhi-Agra- Gwalior or to nearby Rajasthan,
most areas of which have now been provided with broad gauge connection
replacing the earlier metre gauge tracks.

A senior official said the Railways are taking this step not
only because they see immense potential but also due to the country's
inability to meet the target of five million tourists by 1997, the
terminal year of the Eighth Plan.

It is not yet certain whether the assistance of the private
sector will be sought to market the concept, maintain guaranteed
lounges at airports and run trains from airports to the nearest rail
head. Sources said views of tour and travel companies will be
ascertained and concrete proposals sought from them before the
Railways take a firm decision on the matter. But private participation
is not yet being ruled out in view of the tremendous resource crunch
facing the Railways and the possibility of the concept being perceived
as elitist.

From: S Pai <

Subject: "what if"

Date: 31 May 1997 15:01:00 -0500

I found a few articles in the alternative history newsgroup, about fantasy
rail routes between India and Tibet that I thought were interesting. I've
included below the text from two of what I thought were the best written
pieces. I hope you enjoy them as well. It's interesting to try and figure
out which parts are really plausible and which ones could never have
happened. Were there ever 2-6-6-2 Garratts in operation in India?


Author: Chris A. Williams, Sheffield, UK.
(Reproduced by permission)

> The only ways for entry from India into Tibet are the difficult route north
> from Sikkim (located due north of Calcutta), a similarly difficult route
> north-eastwards from Kathmandu in Nepal, and a route east from Srinagar in
> Kashmir to the upper Indus, and then following this river into Tibet.

And, of course, the Nanda Devi tunnel of the the Delhi/Lhasa Railway: which
takes you rather directly from Delhi to the upper Brahmaputra valley. The
reason that the DLR took this rather roundabout route to Lhasa was the
putative Brahmaputra Valley Project, which was planned as a combined flood
control/hydroelectric power system. With the demise of the DLR, this rather
silly project was nailed to the back burner, where it has remained ever

> Building a railroad would have been ruinously expensive, difficult to
> maintain, and unprofitable.

But none of these stopped it. It was after all the heyday of the enlightened
and technocratic Empire: Lord Milner lobbied hard for the Delhi/Lhasa
Railway and in 1908 the 'Tibet Railway Act' recieved the Royal Assent. It
was heavily criticised at the time, and only passed the Commons owing to an
unlikely alliance between Liberal Little Englanders (guilty at the massacre
of the obviously unthreatening Tibetans) and the railway interests.

The route took ten years to survey: work stopped between 1914 and 1919, so
it was 1924 by the time construction had started in earnest. Metre-gauge was
used throughout, and owing to the light constuction of the track (especially
the bridge sections) it was only worked by specially designed Beyer-Garrett

129 miles of its route were underground. It gained height in 7 separate
spiral loops. No fewer than sixteen suspension bridges spanned the many
gorges the line encountered. Almost one thousand men lost their lives in its
construction. The line was finally opened to passenger and light freight
traffic in the autumn of 1938. It never paid a dividend - indeed, it never
even made an operating profit, but as a symbol of the committment the
British felt towards their far-flung charges, it was second to none.

Known world wide as the 'Irony Road', it was the least lucky engineering
project of the century. Wartime economies forced its 'temporary' closure in
the spring of 1940. A severe landslide carried away over five miles of track
in the winter of 1940/41. By the time the British had the time and money to
repair the track, the vast numbers of cheap C47s on the market had rendered
it obsolete. It never ran again.

It is of course, an ill wind... Collectors will pay fabulous prices for
tickets and memorabilia of the line's 16 months in operation. Many ex-ICS
clerks have been able to retire to a pleasant Madras suburb on the money
realised from the forgotten contents of a dusty document-case. A few railway
enthusiasts still assert that the line could be re-opened at a profit, but
until their pipe-dream is realised, the only visible reminder of the D/L R
will remain the 2-6-6-2 loco 'Sher Khan', currently in the National Railway
Museum at York, and the fast-smoothing gravestones of the corporation
cemetery on the outskirts of New Delhi.


From: Larry Russell <

Subject: Ahmedabad

Date: 01 Jun 1997 15:19:00 -0500

Does anyone know if the EMD class's YDM3 & YDM5 are still in Ahmedabad, and
if they are still running?
I had heard that parts were hard to get for the gear sets (locos are
electro- mechanical final drive with cardan shafts and helical gears).
I have wanted to see these locos first hand and may plan to visit India
next year in February if they are still in existance.
Larry Russell, Associate Editor Extra 2200 South "The Locomotive Newsmagazine"

From: Kandaswami, Auroprem* <Kandaswami#m#_Auroprem*

Subject: New rly. lines taken up for gauge conversion

Date: 02 Jun 1997 06:32:00 -0500

The Hindu
CHENNAI, June 1.

The Union Railway Minister, Mr. Ramvilas Paswan,
today said that two new railway lines for gauge conversion have been
taken up in Southern Railway _ one between Villupuram and Pondicherry
and the other from Kollam to Virudhunagar via Tenkasi and Tirunelveli.

In an informal talk with presspersons at Chennai
airport, Mr. Paswan, who arrived here from Delhi, said the estimated
cost of Villupuram- Pondicherry was Rs. 30 crores and final Cabinet
Committee clearance was awaited, while the cost for Kollam to
Virudhunagar was Rs. 280 crores which would also be started after
necessary approval. The Minister said the Railways had decided to take
up the gauge conversion of Arakkonam to Chengalpattu as part of the
Chennai-Tiruchi project.

For the Chennai-Tiruchi project which was included
in 1992-93, the cost had escalated to Rs. 300 crores. ``I am hopeful
the project will be completed at about Rs. 340 crores, for which the
Railway Ministry has allocated Rs. 139 crores, in this financial
year.'' With reference to 93 km Dindugul-Tiruchi segment, the Railways
has allocated Rs. 17.5 crores this year.

The Tiruchi-Thanjavur BG conversion will be completed by
June 1997. The Rs. 136 crore 85 km Karur-Salem section has
received the Cabinet Committee's approval and the final
location, survey, and acquisition details are being carried out.
Work will start soon after the land was made available at the
earliest. For the land acquisition, Rs. 5 crores was allocated and
``if necessary the amount will be increased''.

The Railways have also ordered a survey from
Madurai to Rameswaram and another between Thanjavur to Pudukottai for
a new railway line. After the completion of the survey, it will be
forwarded to the Planning Commission and then to the Cabinet Committee
for its approval.

Referring to doubling of lines, Mr. Paswan
explained that the Rs. 25 crore work on the 80 km (I think it should
be 8 km ??) Irugur to Coimbatore line was included in the Budget last
year and maps and estimates were being prepared. ``I am confident that
the work will commence in the next financial year'', he added.

When asked about plans to provide rail-link to
tourist destinations, the Southern Railway General Manager Mr. V. K.
Agnihotri said that two trains have been sanctioned. An agreement had
been signed with Sterling Resorts to run the tourist train from
Mysore, Bangalore, Chennai and Kodaikanal and another with Patel
Company. They have also been given the same route.

The Minister said to commemorate the 50th year of
Independence, a special ``exhibition on wheels'' would be inaugurated
on August 16 from Kanyakumari. Special bogies will display exhibits on
struggle by freedom fighters, eminent personalities who played a major
role for national integration. The special train will start from
Kanyakumari and would go to Jammu. Another train will start from
Gandhidham in Kutch and would go to Lekhapani in the North East. The
special exhibition on wheels will be on for one year. The Prime
Minister, Mr. I. K. Gujral, will take part in one of the occasions in
this connection.

From: Kandaswami, Auroprem* <Kandaswami#m#_Auroprem*

Subject: Mangalore-Canacona train service beginsMangalore-Canacoac train service begins

Date: 02 Jun 1997 07:29:00 -0500


The Konkan Railway finally entered Goa with the commencement of the
Mangalore-Canacoac daily passenger service this afternoon, but no
formal function was held to welcome the train`s long-awaited maiden
run into the State`s southern-most taluk.

The four-coach train pulled in at Caracona Station at 1:30 pm nearly
an hour later than its scheduled arrival. The Konkan Railway officials
told Deccan Herald that the delay was caused by people garlanding the
engine at intervening stations.

The train departed with about 50 passengers aboard, on its return
journey to Mangalore at 2 pm. The sole dignitary to turn up at the
Canacona Station prior to the train`s arrival was South Goa MP
Churchil Alemao.

No official welcome was organised to mark the train`s arrival into
Goa, apparently because of public demands in Kundapur and in
Canacona, that the function be held at their respective stations.

People`s representatives in Goa wanted to hold a formal function at
this end in order to highlight the fact that a majority of the
population welcome the Konkan railway in the State contrary to the
general impression of Goans being opposed to the project.

With today`s run, the Konkan railway has moved up a further 1,254-km
Goa track from Kundapur to Canacona. The two tunnels at old Goa and
Parnem have delayed completion of the line in Goa.

Konkan Railway Corporation (KRC) official S V Salelkar said that the
train service would operate daily, departing from Mangalore station
at 7:05 hours to reach Canacona at 12:55 hours. It will leave
Canacona at 13:30 hours to arrive at Mangalore at 19:30 hours. The
fare for the six hour journey across a distance of 285 kms, with halts
at every station, is fixed at Rs.43.

From: Kandaswami, Auroprem* <Kandaswami#m#_Auroprem*

Subject: Electrification of parallel BG line

Date: 09 Jun 1997 05:24:00 -0500


The Southern Railway has asked the Railway Board to consider
electrification of the parallel broad gauge line being laid between
Villupuram and Chengalputtu as a part of the Chennai-Tiruchi BG
conversion work. Southern Railway has an electrified track on the
metre gauge section from Egmore to Villupuram.

From: Kandaswami, Auroprem* <Kandaswami#m#_Auroprem*

Subject: Railmen up in arms against platinum passes

Date: 12 Jun 1997 12:30:00 -0500

DH News Service
NEW DELHI, June 12

Railway officers are up in arms against the decision of the railway
ministry to issue platinum passes to serving and retired chairmen and
members of the Railway Board and have demanded immediate withdrawal of
this privilege.

The platinum pass, introduced in lieu of the privilege pass, gold pass
and post-retirement complimentary pass for serving and retired board
members, allows them unlimited journeys with special privileges for
family members.

Protesting against the decision, approved by Railway Minister Ramvilas
Paswan in April, the federation of rail officers` associations said
the officers were ''appalled`` at the concept of platinum pass and
threatened to firmly resist it.

The federation termed as ''totally unacceptable`` post-retirement
provisions like unlimited train journeys, including those of
companions other than family-members and separate card pass for the
family. ''The railways are losing heavily on this count,`` it
said. Railway officials said many retired chairmen and board members
were working for large industrial houses and multinational companies
with their work places located in metros and important industrial and
commercial centres in the country. It is estimated that it would cost
the railways several lakhs of rupees for each platinum pass issued.

The subsidy borne by the railways through free passes for former
members of parliament, freedom fighters, Arjuna awardees, Olympic
medalists, gallantry awardees, teachers, sportspersons, students, the
armed forces, media and others was to the tune of Rs.45 crore in
1996-97, an increase of over Rs.20 crore over the previous year.

Rejecting the criticism as unwarranted, railway board sources argued
that board members had been traditionally enjoying the benefit of free
passes, both during service and after superannuation. They contended
that as on date, the total number of beneficiaries of platinum passes,
including serving and former chairmen and board members, would be only
about 40.

While on duty, the board members can travel with eligible members of
their family in any class subject to the condition that the member
will not avail (a) more than two berths in 1-AC and two berths in AC
sleeper/ 1st class, or (b) not more than four berths in AC sleeper 1st
class, or (c) 1-AC coupe of four berths in AC sleeper by Rajdhani
express or (d) four seats in executive class/ chair car on the
Shatabdi Express.

Interestingly, a board member is entitled to coupe accommodation even
when travelling alone and can also take his family members and even a
dog in case he is travelling by 1-AC or first class coupe which is
allotted to him exclusively.

On privilege account, serving board members and their families can
travel any number of times on the authority of the platinum pass in
any class in all trains, including Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express,
subject to the condition that they will not avail more than two berths
in 1-AC or two seats in the executive class. In Rajdhani trains, they
can avail either two berths in 1-AC/ AC sleeper or four berths in

The post retirement complimentary facilities are on the same lines as
those being given on the privilege account. In addition to the
platinum pass, serving and retired board members will also be issued a
complimentary card pass with photographs of the board member and
eligible members of his family to enable the family to travel alone if
the board member is not accompanying them. A resolution passed by the
federation at a recent meeting said adequate evaluation had not been
undertaken on the issue of platinum passes.

Board sources said that before the introduction of platinum passes,
board members were given gold passes for performing official duties
with specified number of berths in first AC, AC sleeper and first

The same facilities being extended under the gold pass are being given
in platinum passes, board sources claimed, adding the latter had only
removed the limit of the number of journeys that could be performed on
privilege account.

From: Kandaswami, Auroprem* <Kandaswami#m#_Auroprem*

Subject: 20 injured as A.P. Express derails

Date: 17 Jun 1997 04:55:00 -0500


Thirteen coaches of the Hyderabad-New Delhi Andhra Pradesh
Express (No. 2723), which left Hyderabad on Sunday, derailed
between Kalhar and Mandi Bamora stations of the Central Railway on
the intervening night of Sunday and Monday.

Five persons were grievously injured and 15 others suffered
bruises. Those who sustained serious injuries were: Sumeet
Kumar Gupta (25), Imani Gupta (5), O. P. Bansal (55), Nirmal
Gupta (46) and Nisha Gupta (36).

The injured are: Chaya Sandhu (22), G. R. Satya (65), Rajesh
Pande (22), Rishal Das (45), Prakash (30), Rajesh Kumar (42),
Prabha Bai (35), K. C. Jain (40), Nisha Mohan (2), Mogesh Mitra (19),
Devi Das (2), Muralidhar (25), Kumar Singh (32), Kiran Bai (7) and
Bhaswal Dadaram (42). However, there were no casualties, according
to a press release.

The stranded passengers were taken to Delhi by a special train.
New Delhi-Hyderabad A.P. Express (No. 2724) and Jammu Tawi-
Chennai Express (No. 6032) were diverted via Bina, Katni, Jabalpur and
Balharshah. One line was restored by early morning on Monday and the
second line was expected to be restored by Tuesday morning.

From: Kandaswami, Auroprem* <Kandaswami#m#_Auroprem*

Subject: Mobile train radio communication introduced

Date: 20 Jun 1997 05:58:00 -0500

The Hindu
NEW DELHI, June 19.

Indian Railways have introduced mobile train radio communication system on the 830-km Delhi-Mughalsarai section of Northern Railway to enhance safety and improved efficiency of train

Thirteen pairs of mail and express trains have been equipped with the radio facility mode to communicate with the control
centre, according to an official release here.

The digital microwave system has been introduced in over 600 route km towards modernisation of the railway communication
network. In addition, 3,300 lines of digital electronic system were
commissioned for improving the local and trunk communication, the release said.

For the convenience of the travelling public, interactive voice response system for reservations and timings have been
introduced at four stations. Besides, computerised public address system was commissioned at 44 stations and electronic train information board installed at 33 stations.

The Railways have introduced satellite based telephone
services in New Delhi-Mumbai Rajdhani and Hazrat Nizamuddin (New Delhi)- Mumbai August Kranti Rajdhani Express trains during the year as a passenger amenity facility.

From: Kandaswami, Auroprem* <Kandaswami#m#_Auroprem*

Subject: Konkan rail to start rolling on I-Day

Date: 20 Jun 1997 12:45:00 -0500

DH News Service
NEW DELHI, June 20

Yet another deadline has been set for commissioning the Konkan railway
project. The project is now set for opening on Independence Day, that is
August 15.

The project, which has already seen several postponements, was scheduled for completion by June 30 but it was clear that the railways would not be able to meet the deadline. The reason being the soft soil on the Karnataka-Goa border.

Confirming the postponement, Railway Minister Ramvilas Paswan today said that the railways hoped to complete the project by July 30, so that the commissioning could take place on Independence Day. He, however, hinted that he was not too sure of the new date.

Replying to a question in this connection, the minister said the last tunnel - measuring just 50 metres - was proving problematic as it had soft soil.

The Konkan Railway Corporation (KRC) has hired a German engineer to
examine the tunnel and the engineer has started his work. The KRC is trying to complete at least one metre of tunnel every day.

Mr Paswan also said that railway ministry would reserve 30 per cent of
catering booths at railway stations for SCs and STs. Of this 20 per cent would be for SCs and ten per cent for STs.

He stated that till these targets were met, the railways would set apart 50 per cent of the new catering and vending licences for SC and ST. These reservations will cover stalls, refreshment rooms and pantry cars.

He said of the 3,728 catering stalls at railway stations only 398 were owned by SCs and 45 by STs. The present catering policy does not provide any reservation for any category.

He said the railways has launched a drive to fill up all backlogs in class C and D posts in which 15 and 17 per cent of the posts are reserved for SCs and STs.

Mr Paswan said that the railways were examining a proposal to link all
international airports in the country by rail.

Replying to a question, he said he would ask all state governments to take up earth work wherever the railways had launched or would launch doubling or gauge conversion projects. The states could get these works done through the Jawahar Rozgar Yojna so that several mandays of jobs could be created and the railways, which was incurring a huge expenditure on these works, could save some money.

''The centre is spending Rs.30,000 crore on JRY but nobody knows its
returns,`` he remarked.

Referring to the cutting down of expenses, the minister narrated the example of the Bharat Heavy Electiricals Limited. He said the public sector firm had won a locomotive order from the railways at Rs.2.88 crore per loco.

However, later when the railways floated the tender, the same public sector company lowered its quotation to Rs 2.44 crore per loco.

From: Kandaswami, Auroprem* <Kandaswami#m#_Auroprem*

Subject: Goods Train derails in TN

Date: 28 Jun 1997 06:34:00 -0500

CHENNAI, June 27.

Arrival of nearly five trains to Chennai Central Station was
delayed by over five hours on Friday, due to a goods train
derailment near Jolarpet on Thursday evening.

According to railway sources, the goods train laden with rice
bags was on its way to Palakkad from Jolarpet and five of the
wagons derailed near Bommidi station. Following the
derailment both up and down lines were affected. The wagons
were re-railed around 2-30 a.m. on Friday and single line was in
operation. All the Salem-bound trains from Chennai were
detained at Jolarpet. Yelagiri Express, Mangalore Mail,
Alleppey-Madras Express, Thiruvananthapuram Mail and
Nilgiri Express, are some of the trains which arrived late at the
Chennai Central Station on Friday.

In another incident, the engine of Mumbai VT - Kanyakumari
Express caught fire at Kedandrapatti, near Katpadi around 8-15
p.m. on Thursday. Normality was restored in the section by
11-40 p.m. Following this the Jolarpet-bound Yelagiri Express
and Chennai-Alleppey Express suffered detention of an hour at
Ambur and Katpadi respectively, Chennai-Thiruvananthapuram Mail,
nearly an hour and half at Gudiyatham, the sources said.

From: Kandaswami, Auroprem* <Kandaswami#m#_Auroprem*

Subject: Madgao-Mangalore train to start June 29

Date: 28 Jun 1997 06:45:00 -0500

KARWAR, June 26: The Madgao-Mangalore Express
will start functioning from June 29. The train will operate
on the Konkan railway line. The train will touch Karwar,
Honnavar, Bhatkal and Udipi.

From: Automatic digest processor <LISTSERV@UMDD.EMAIL

Subject: FYI Digest - 1 Jul 1997 to 2 Jul 1997

Date: 02 Jul 1997 03:00:00 -0500

There are 2 messages totalling 64 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

2. Visitor Center Parking Lot Closed!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The guidelines for posting a message or subscribing to the FYI Listserv
list can be found at:

<A HREF=""></A>


Date: Tue, 1 Jul 1997 15:58:31 -0400
From: Gene Ferrick <


Construction of the Steam Line Improvement Project is
underway and will affect vehicular and pedestrian traffic
this summer as noted below. This is a revised schedule .

1. June 9 through July 7: Field House Drive will be
closed between Cole Field House and Parking Garage I.

2. July 7 through August 14: The closure of Field House
Drive will be extended from Cole Field House to the Stamp
Student Union.

3. July 7 through August 14: Library Lane will be closed
from Field House Drive to the entrance to Parking Garage I.
The section of Library Lane between Campus Drive and the
entrance to Parking Garage I will become a two way street.

4. June 9 through August 14: The exit from Parking Garage
I onto Field House Drive will be closed. The entrance and
exit from Parking Garage I will be off of Library Lane.

5. Portions of the Engineering Fields will be closed from
July 14 through September 17.

Vehicle and pedestrian traffic will be detoured around
these areas.

If you have any questions or concerns , please contact the
Department of Architecture, Engineering & Construction
(Construction Unit) at (301) 405-3403.


Date: Tue, 1 Jul 1997 16:05:29 -0400
From: Gene Ferrick <
Subject: Visitor Center Parking Lot Closed!

>From July 7 through (approximately) August 15, the Visitor
Center Parking Lot (north of Turner Hall/Dairy Salesroom on
US 1) will be closed for renovations in conjunction with
the expansion of the Visitor Center.

Since the Visitor Center/Dairy Salesroom will remain open
M-F 8-5 and there will be limited parking behind
Rossborough Inn, you are encouraged to walk to Turner, so
that those spaces will be available for our campus
visitors. All three pedestrian entrances to the Visitor
Center/Dairy Salesroom will remain open as usual.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Nick Kovalakides, Campus Visitor Advocate


End of FYI Digest - 1 Jul 1997 to 2 Jul 1997

From: Steven Brown <

Subject: Indian Railways Page

Date: 06 Jul 1997 18:30:00 -0500

My updated Indian Railways page is now at <A HREF=""></A>
The new location will allow me to update the site on a regular basis.
The new features include Timetable information.

From: Kandaswami, Auroprem* <Kandaswami#m#_Auroprem*

Subject: SCR cancels trains following Naxalite attacks

Date: 11 Jul 1997 12:21:00 -0500


The South Central Railway (SCR) has cancelled all train services
between Secunderabad and Nizamabad stations in Andhra Pradesh for
the past one week due to growing arson and sabotage by naxalites of
the People`s War Group (PWG).

''The increased frequency of naxal attacks in the recent past has
compelled us to take such a drastic step in the interest and the
safety of passengers,`` an SCR spokesman told PTI here today.

The 230 km stretch in Secunderabad-Nizamabad section, which is highly
prone to extremist attacks, had been closed for traffic since July 3
and Railway authorities were keeping their fingers crossed over
traffic restoration schedule.

''We have no time frame for restoring the traffic. We are in touch
with the state government on measures to beef up security,`` SCR Chief
Operations Manager Mr C Ramakrishna said.

There had been at least eight incidents of naxal attacks in the
section so far this year including blasting of Indalvai, Masaipet,
Uppalvai and Talmadla stations, removal of fish plates and blasting of
tracks at several places, the spokesman added.

From: Kandaswami, Auroprem* <Kandaswami#m#_Auroprem*

Subject: MRTS second line gets clearance

Date: 22 Jul 1997 05:21:00 -0500

The Hindu
CHENNAI, July 21.

The Commissioner of Railway Safety, Mr. S. C. Gupta, has
cleared for passenger traffic the second line between Thiru Mayilai
and Chepauk on the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS).

The Commissioner, who inspected the track on July 18, suggested
some modifications to be carried out before operating passenger
services on the section.

According to sources in the MRTS, the Commissioner wanted more
amenities to be provided for passengers in all three stations -
Tiruvallikeni, Light House, and Thiru Mayilai.

The first line on the section was cleared by the Commissioner in
March last. Meanwhile, the Southern Railway is in touch with the
Railway Board for opening the section for passenger traffic. Southern
Railway authorities are for inaugurating the service at the earliest
as necessary facilities have been provided in all the three
stations. The construction work in these stations would not in anyway
affect the passenger movement. In fact, by inaugurating the services,
the administration would get a feed-back from the commuters which, in
turn, would help them make further improvement.

To start with, services would be introduced between Beach and
ThiruMayilai which would then be extended to Ennore and Ambattur.
Depending on passenger patronage, the frequency would be increased,
the sources added.

From: Kandaswami, Auroprem* <Kandaswami#m#_Auroprem*

Subject: Northern Railway plans 17 new trains

Date: 24 Jul 1997 12:09:00 -0500

NEW DELHI, July 24 (PTI)

The Northern Railway (NR) proposes to introduce as many as 17 new
trains, including four ''Swaran Jayanti Trains``, to commemorate the
Golden Jubilee of India`s independence during the current year.

Releasing the new rail time table, Northern Railway General Manager,
Subhash Mehta said the four Swaran Jayanti Trains were, a weekly
Rajdhani Express between New Delhi and Ahmedabad, a bi-weekly
Nizamuddin-Visakhapatnam Express, a bi- weekly express train between
Delhi and Hatia and a weekly express train between Nizamuddin and

Other important trains under proposal for introduction during the year
include a weekly Nizamuddin-Secunderabad Rajdhani Express on the route
of Bangalore Rajdhani, a bi-weekly express train between Amritsar-
Jaipur, introduction of Ashram Express daily between Delhi- Ahmedabad,
a weekly Nizamuddin-Ernakulam Express, a weekly Sadbhavana Express
between Delhi-Muzaffarpur and a bi- weekly express between
Dehradun-Gorakhpur he said.

Other salient features of the new time table, which comes into effect
from August 1, are extension of 12 trains, change of routes of two
trains, increase in frequency of seven trains, acceleration of 46
mail/express and 36 passenger trains and change in the timings of
important trains.

Mr Mehta said the Northern Railway, the largest railway zone covering
as much as 11,000 km in the country, had performed exceedingly well
both in passenger traffic and freight movement during the first
quarter (April-June) during the current year.

The Northern Railway also established an all-time record in the
punctuality in the operation, he said.

On the extension of trains, he said the Link Express presently running
between Jammu Tawi and Firozepur would be extended to Jodhpur,
Ganga-Sutlej Express, running between Dhanbad and Ludhiana, to
Firozepur, Brahmputra Mail to Dibrugarh, Gonda Express, running
between Delhi and Gonda to Gorakhpur and Pune-Manduadih Express to

From: Kandaswami, Auroprem* <Kandaswami#m#_Auroprem*

Subject: Tiruchi-Tambaram BG line work in full swing

Date: 24 Jul 1997 12:16:00 -0500

The Hindu
CHENNAI, July 23.

Work on the Tambaram-Tiruchi-Dindigul broad gauge project is going
on in full swing, with the Railway Board directing Southern Railway to
complete the project as early as possible.

As per the new schedule drawn by Southern Railway, the Tambaram-
Tiruchi section is to be completed by April 1998 and the Tiruchi-
Dindigul BG conversion by 1998 year-end.

While the existing metre gauge line on the Villupuram-Tiruchi-
Dindigul section will be converted into broad gauge, a new parallel line
will be laid between Villupuram and Tambaram.

Earlier, the Railway Board had sanctioned the parallel BG line only
between Villupuram and Chengalpattu and suggested BG conversion of
one of the two metre gauge lines between Chengalpattu and Tambaram.

But Southern Railway authorities brought to the notice of the Board
that the existing MG lines between Chengalpattu and Tambaram
should not be disturbed as any such move would seriously affect the
EMU service between Chengalpattu and Tambaram. The Board had
accepted Southern Railway's demand and permitted the extension of
the parallel BG line up to Tambaram.

Sources in Southern Railway said the bridge works, one of the most
difficult and time-consuming tasks of the project, had almost been
completed. Southern Railway had constructed new bridges across all
but one river between Chengalpattu and Tiruchi, as the condition of the
existing ones, which were over 100-years old and built on cast iron
piles, was not good. Only the work across the Vellar and Nandiyar on
the Villupuram- Tiruchi section and Palar near Chengalpattu was
pending and the same would be completed by this year-end.

After completing the bridge work, the track laying work would be taken
up. The project needed about six lakh concrete sleepers of which nearly
50 per cent had to come from South Central Railway. Similarly 30,000
tonnes of rails, sanctioned for the project, were to be brought from the
Bhilai Steel Plant. Ballast were being moved from various points in
Southern Railway to the work spot.

In all probability, actual track work between Tiruchi and Villupuram
would start from December when the traffic on the section would be
suspended for about three months. During the closure period, all trains
from Tiruchi would be diverted via Thanjavur, Kumbakonam and
Cuddalore, besides introducing special trains from Tiruchi and
Madurai to Chennai via Karur and Erode. However, the traffic
between Villupuram and Chennai would not be affected as only new BG
line was to be laid on this section.

The progress of the project was discussed at the meeting of the
Parliamentary Consultative Committee held in Bangalore recently
when the committee wanted Southern Railway to complete the
Tambaram-Tiruchi section by March and the Tiruchi-Dindigul section
by June. Though it would be difficult to meet the deadline fixed by the
Committee, Southern Railway was hopeful of completing it before the
next year-end.

Meanwhile, the parallel BG line between Thanjavur and Tiruchi would
be ready by August and the line would be made operational from
September. The work was delayed due to non-availability of materials.
Now enough materials had been sanctioned by the Board and there
would be no further delay in completing the work, the sources added.

From: Kandaswami, Auroprem* <Kandaswami#m#_Auroprem*

Subject: Coimbatore-Bangalore train from Aug. 1

Date: 26 Jul 1997 12:17:00 -0500

The Hindu
CHENNAI, July 25.

Introduction of an inter-city express between Coimbatore and
Bangalore, a bi-weekly express from Madurai to Jammu Tawi and an
express between Chennai and Tirupati are the salient features of new time table of the Southern Railway coming into effect from August 1.

Besides these, four more trains - Ernakulam-Nizamuddin Weekly
Express, Thanjavur-Mysore Express, Bangalore-Nizamuddin Swarna
Jayanthi Weekly Express and Bangalore-Goa Express are to be

Releasing the new time-table at a press conference here today, Mr. P. Ramachandran, General Manager, Southern Railway, said while the
Swarna Jayanthi Express and the Bangalore-Goa Express would be
operated from a date to be notified later, the rest of the trains would
become operational from August 1.

Similarly the Thanjavur-Mysore Express will run between Tiruchi and Mysore till the Thanjavur-Tiruchi new broad gauge line is made available for traffic. The work on the new broad gauge line is expected to be completed soon.

In addition to the new trains, services of two express trains have been extended. The Cochin-Howrah Weekly Express will start from Trivandrum instead of Cochin and the Bangalore-Howrah Weekly Express will be extended to Guwahati. The frequency of Chennai-Jaipur Express will be increased from the present once in a week to thrice a week (Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays).

The General Manager said the existing Tiruchi/Madurai Bangalore Express would run exclusively between Bangalore and Madurai via Erode, Tirupattur and Bangarpet, while the Tiruchi-Bangalore would
be replaced by the Thanjavur-Mysore Express via Tiruchi, Erode,
Salem, Dharmapuri and Hosur.

The General Manager said the timings of some of the major trains had been slightly changed following requests from passengers to be provide necessary link to various trains.

From: Kandaswami, Auroprem* <Kandaswami#m#_Auroprem*

Subject: 20 pairs of EMU trains planned in MRTS

Date: 26 Jul 1997 12:23:00 -0500

The Hindu
CHENNAI, July 25.

Twenty pairs of EMUs are proposed to be run between Beach and Thiru Mayilai stations of the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) when the Chepauk- Thiru Mayilai section is opened for traffic.

Stating this at a press conference here today, Mr. P. Ramachandran,
General Manager, Southern Railway, said both the lines on the
Chepauk-Thiru Mayilai section were ready for introduction of
passenger services. Southern Railway had written to the Railway
Ministry seeking a suitable date for inauguration. He assured that there
would not be any further delay in commissioning the section for
passenger traffic.

About linking Thiru Mayilai with Ambattur and Gummidipoondi
officials present at the conference said it would be done after some time.

Regarding the second phase between Thiru Mayilai and Velachery, Mr. Ramachandran said the route alignment for seven kilometres had been finalised and the hitch was in the first two km immediately after Thiru Mayilai station where a number of huts had to be removed. The
administration was in touch with the State Government for early
rehabilitation of these hut-dwellers to begin the work in the second

About increasing the EMU services on the other section, the General
Manager said two more EMU services would be introduced on the
Chennai-Arakkonam section and two pairs of EMUs on the Chennai-
Gummidipoondi section.

Referring to the conversion of Beach-Tambaram metre gauge section, the General Manager said, Southern Railway had written to the Board stressing the need for early BG conversion of the section in view of the non-availability of the rolling stock. The Board while appreciating the difficulties of the Zone agreed to consider the demand. Similarly the General Manager was confident of getting early approval for the electrification of the Villupuram-Tambaram new BG line.

On increasing thefts in the suburban section, the General Manager said though it was the duty of the Railway police under the jurisdiction of the State Government, the Railway administration on its part had
written to the State demanding increased vigilance on the suburban
section. The Railway Ministry was also in touch with various State
Governments for coordinated action to prevent such incidents.

Admitting that the pre-paid auto system in Chennai Central Station ran into difficulty resulting in the withdrawal of the facility, Mr. M. R.
Ramakrishnan, Divisional Railway Manager, Chennai Division, said a
new system was being worked out, which would soon be implemented.