IRFCA Mailing List Archive

Messages 1861 - 1880

From: Prakash Tendulkar <

Subject: Railway News

Date: 20 Sep 1997 04:53:00 -0500

WR GM also faces axe


NEW DELHI, SEPT 19: General Managers of South-Eastern Railway and
Central Railway have been sacked for the two recent train
accidents in Bilaspur, Madhya Pradesh, and Faridabad, Haryana.
Action was also being contemplated against the General Manager of
Western Railway, Mumbai, for the alleged malfunctioning of the
suburban railway system in the metropolis, official sources said
today. Railway Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had taken a serious note
of the unsatisfactory functioning of the suburban system in Mumbai
and the WR General Manager had been asked to improve it and
instill discipline among the employees, the sources said.

Sources said South-Eastern Railway General Manager S Ramanathan
was removed from his post for ``human failure'' to prevent the
train accident in Bilaspur last Sunday when five coaches of the
Ahmedabad-Howrah Express derailed and fell into a dry river bed.
The sources said Central Railway General Manager N C Sinha was
sacked for the July train accident in Faridabad. The action
against the top officials of the two zonal railways was being
interpreted by the officials as a signal to all other officers
entrusted with the safety measures to avoid failures on the part
of the employees and to be more vigilant and sincere about
enforcement of the safety rules, the sources said.

Paswan and officials in the Railway Board are concerned about the
recent train accidents most of which were caused due to failure on
the part of the concerned employees. Although a statutory
investigation into the mishap in Bilaspur district had been
ordered, prima facie it was stated to have been caused because of
the non-compliance of the minimum safety rules by the concerned
employees. While Ramanathan and Sinha were awaiting new
assignments, the officials in the Railway Board are debating how a
sense of discipline can be instilled in the employees so that
mishaps can be minimised, the sources said. Paswan's decision has
ruffled feathers in the Railway Board. Transfer orders were issued
to Ramanathana and Sinha.

The transfer order are meant to send a signal to the Railway
Establishment that officials had to accept responsibility for any
fall in safety standards. ``If GMs get the credit when things go
well, they should also accept blame,'' an official said.

In the South-Eastern zone, there have been 32 accidents --
including minor mishaps in which there were no casualties -- this
year. Ten of them involved passenger trains. During the
corresponding period last year, only five passenger trains -- and
25 goods trains -- were involved in mishaps.

Officers' stir threat

The Federation of Railway Officers Associations today threatened
``direct action'' if the Centre did not withdraw the transfer
order of the General Managers of the Central and South-Eastern
Railways for two major train accidents in their zones. ``The
entire body of Railway officers is feeling extremely agitated over
this totally unjustified action. It is demanded that the orders be
immediately withdrawn, failing which, the officers would have no
option but to go on mass casual leaves,'' Federation Secretary S P
S Jain said in a letter to Prime Minister I K Gujral.

From: Prakash Tendulkar <

Subject: Railway News

Date: 20 Sep 1997 04:58:00 -0500

Union stirs shake civic infrastructure

SEPTEMBER 19: Bolstered by Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's support
and stung by lack of any response from the railway bureaucracy to
their demands for a higher pay scale, CR and WR motormen have
decided to strike work once again in the first week of October.
Thackeray summoned leaders of the Motormen's Unity Forum to
`Matoshree' today and asked them to fight for their rights without
harassing commuters. Sources said he, however, did not say
anything about yesterday's strike and assured the leaders that he
would ask his MPs to put their (motormen's) case before railway

Forum leaders told Express Newsline that a 15-day notice of the
agitation will be submitted to the Labour Commissioner on
September 20. According to S V Hardikar, convenor of the forum,
neither the Railway Board nor the CR and WR administrations have
contacted the forum after yesterday's strike which had crippled
life in the city. While the motormen had gathered at a hall in
Dadar to stay away from work, the WR authorities operated skeletal
services with the help of trainee motormen who were specially
called from Baroda. By the time services resumed after 11 pm, the
WR could operate trains every hour.

At the Central Railway, the DMU operators, who were asked to
operate locals almost became the targets of the motormen who did
not allow the trains to be operated.

Meanwhile the forum is adamant on going ahead with a repeat
agitation. Hardikar added, ``We have now decided to intensify our
stir. We will give them 15 days notice to take a firm decision on
our demand of a new pay scale. If they do not concede to our
demand we will stop trains once again,'' he asserted. The strategy
for the proposed strike would be discussed and decided on Monday,
September 22, Hardikar added.

Meanwhile, the news of the shifting of the Central Railway general
manager N C Sinha spread like wild fire in CR's offices across the
city. Motormen who had resumed work after a mass-casual-leave
agitation on Thursday are perceiving it as a step to pacify them.
They reacted by putting their reaction on a notice board - it said
such a step would not pacify them.

From: Auroprem Kandaswami <

Subject: Nation's pride derails

Date: 24 Sep 1997 06:18:00 -0500

BORIAVI, Sept 23: Nine hundred passengers of the Shatabdi
Express had a providential escape on Tuesday afternoon when
the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Shatabdi Express jumped off the rails
near Anand. No passengers were injured in this, the first such
accident involving this train, but eight railway gang men
working along the tracks were hit by flying debris.

Nine of the 14 coaches of the air-conditioned train running at
60 per cent occupancy went off the tracks; the engine, power
van and first three passenger coaches remained on the rails,
and were used to bring the passengers to Ahmedabad about
two hours after the accident.

The momentum and jerk were powerful enough to break the
train into two; the separated rear portion, comprising six
coaches, hurtled along for about 200 metres off the rails. As for
the derailed rear, maximum damage was done to the C-10
bogey, which sank more than one metre in the gap between the

While there were no injuries, dozens of passengers complained
of brief trauma and sprains. Some passengers said they had
sensed an accident was imminent when their coaches began
swaying abnormally for about 500 metres prior to the

A K Chopra, chief signal and telecom engineer, Western
Railways, who was aboard the train, told The Indian Express
that a tragedy had been averted by the driver applying the
brakes in time.

The accident caused large-scale disruptions in rail traffic along
the busy Mumbai-Ahmedabad line, though railway authorities
made hectic arrangements to normalise traffic.

Officials said they had been informed of the accident by
passengers using mobile phones, following which an alert was
sounded on the route and personnel rushed to the spot. Work
on clearing the lines had not yet started till late evening and the
tracks are not likely to open till Wednesday evening.

From: Auroprem Kandaswami <

Subject: WR long-distance trains rescheduled

Date: 24 Sep 1997 06:21:00 -0500


MUMBAI, September 23: Several long distance trains
originating from and terminating in Mumbai have been either
cancelled or rescheduled following the derailment of nine
coaches of the Ahmedabad-bound Shatabdi Express near
Anand in Gujarat on Tuesday at 12.55 pm.

While restoration work has already begun at the mishap site,
railway officials feel that normal traffic on the
Baroda-Ahmedabad line will resume only by Thursday

The following changes have been made in the train timings for
September 23 and 24, 1997 :

Trains leaving and coming into Mumbai which have been
cancelled fully on Tuesday - 2010 Ahmedabad- Mumbai Central
Shatabdi Express, 9031 Mumbai central-Gandhidham Kutch
Express, 9017 Bandra Terminus-Jamnagar Saurashtra
Express, 9108 Ahmedabad-Mumbai Central Janata Express,
2902 Ahmedabad-Mumbai Central Gujarat Mail.

Trains terminated and partially cancelled:

9011 MumbaiCentral-Ahmedabad Gujarat Express terminated
at Baroda and cancelled between Baroda and Ahmedabad, 9215
Mumbai Central-Porbandar Saurashtra Express terminated at
Baroda and cancelled between Baroda and Porbandar, 2933
Mumbai Central-Ahmedabad Karnavati Express terminated at
Baroda and Ahmedabad, 9006 Okha-Mumbai Central
Saurashtra Mail terminated at Ahmedabad and cancelled
between Ahmedabad and Mumbai Central.

Trains terminated and partially cancelled on Wednesday:

9032 Gandhidham-Mumbai Central Kutch Express cancelled,
2009 Mumbai Central-Ahmedabad Shatabdi Express cancelled,
2010 Ahmedabad-Mumbai Central Shatabdi Express cancelled,
9012 Ahmedabad-Mumbai Central Gujarat Express cancelled
between Ahmedabad and will run between Baroda-Mumbai
Central, 9216 Porbander-Mumbai Central Saurashtra Express
cancelled between Porbandar-Baroda and will run between
Baroda and Mumbai Central.

From: Vijay.Balasubramanian <

Subject: Nation's pride derails

Date: 24 Sep 1997 11:35:00 -0500

Isn't it time that we got a more competent railway minister? Mr. Paswan
chooses to place the blame on various DMs in an attempt to appease the
public, and not accept any responsibility for the recent spate of
accidents. What's the use of all these new Rajdhanis and trains from
Delhi and the various construction projects, if the existing track
renewals are being grossly neglected, thus, making them potential
time-bombs. How many more accidents before our ****honorable****
minister comes to his senses?


From: Auroprem Kandaswami <

Subject: MRTS Phase II may be extended to St.Thomas Mount

Date: 25 Sep 1997 05:06:00 -0500

The Hindu
CHENNAI, Sept. 24.

The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) has
suggested to the State Government to extend the proposed
phase II of
the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) at the Velachery end
St.Thomas Mount.

The CMDA suggestion is to be taken up for discussion at
the next
coordination committee meeting of the Southern Railway and
the State
Government. Meanwhile, the CMDA has done a preliminary
survey of
Velachery-St.Thomas Mount section.

As per the preliminary survey, the additional distance to
be covered is
about 6.5 km in which there are about 110 pucca buildings
and 20 slums
between Velachery and St.Thomas Mount. The increase in the
involved would be another Rs. 300 crores. The present
projected cost of
the project between Thiru Mayilai and Velachery, a
distance of about
10.36 km, is about Rs. 605 crores which will be shared by
the State
Government and the Railways in the 2:1 ratio. If the phase
is extended
then the same cost sharing formula will be followed.

According to sources in the CMDA, the extension to
St.Thomas Mount
would integrate the MRTS with the existing main line
system on both
sides. At present the system is connected to the main
system only on the
Beach side. Under the new proposal it will be connected to
the other end
of the system-Tambaram. Besides, it will provide an
alternative route
from Tambaram to Beach via Thiru Mayilai and Chepauk.

The CMDA will suggest to the State Government to freeze
the land on
the possible route on the section from further
development. The sources
said over a period of time Velachery had not developed
despite many
new industries coming up in the area. With the existing
proposal there
is a possibility for the area to open up for rapid
development. Referring
to objections raised by slum dwellers in Periyar Nagar
near Taramani
about the proposed route alignment of Phase II, sources in
the MRTS
said both the State Government and the Railways were aware
of the
issue. The MRTS had suggested two alternatives and would
select the
least problematic route after making a joint inspection by
officials from
the CMDA and the MRTS.

Meanwhile, the Southern Railway administration is not able
to decide
the date of inauguration of the Chepauk-Thiru Mayilai
section of the
Phase I. The section is complete in all respects though
station works are
still pending. But the pending work would not come in the
way of
introducing services on the section as both the up and
down lines have
been cleared for passenger traffic by the Commissioner of

After getting the mandatory clearance Southern Railway has
trying in vain to get suitable dates convenient for the
Prime Minister
and the Chief Minister for declaring open the line.

With the recent increase in the bus fares in the city the
new line from
Thiru Mayilai to Beach would be a boon to commuters as the
would be Rs 2.50 only. In case of season ticket, the
average fare would
work out still cheaper. Besides, the time taken by train
would be
considerably less. According to MRTS officials, it would
take just 20
minutes to reach Beach by train while the present time
taken by the
metro transport corporation buses is more than 45 minutes
would be more during peak time.

The inauguration of the section by providing an
alternative transport
service to the commuters would share the peak hour burden
of the
metro corporation buses. Taking all these factors into
Southern Railway should immediately open the section for
traffic, feel a
section of the commuters.

Auroprem Kandaswami Phone : (408) 974-2567
AppleTOES Year2000 Project Fax : (408) 862-3124
Apple Computer, Inc. Pager : (510) 306-7541
City Center 2
Cupertino, CA 95014 E-Mail:

From: Auroprem Kandaswami <

Subject: Rail fares may go up to meet pay hike burden

Date: 25 Sep 1997 06:01:00 -0500


NEW DELHI, Sept 24: Five to ten per cent increase in Railway
passenger fares and selective increase in freight rates of certain
items appear inevitable to meet the additional burden of over
Rs 3,000 crore on account of the revised Fifth Pay Commission
recommendations and the hike in high speed diesel prices, Rail
Bhawan sources indicated today.

Railway Minister Ram Vilas Paswan is holding a crucial
meeting with the rail board tomorrow to examine various
options to meet the shortfall.Though Paswan today maintained
that hike in fares would be resorted to only as a ``last option'',
railway officials contended that ``we have already reached that

The meeting will discuss the report of the Railway Board on the
possibilities of mobilising resources. The Minister had directed
the board last week to submit a detailed report to him within
seven days.

According to Railway estimates, concerted efforts at
maximising earnings, reducing expenses, returns from
enhanced electricity tariff and other steps would net about Rs
750 crore.

The Railway Minister's bid to dip into its depreciation reserve
fund and capital and pension funds, amounting to Rs 3,790
crores, have drawn a blank with the Finance Ministry refusing
to bail out the Railways.

Putting up a brave front, Paswan said he would seek the
intervention of the Prime Minister and Deputy Chairman of
the Planning Commission to come to the aid of the Railways.
The Minister had hoped to get at least Rs 1,200 crores from the
Finance Ministry on this count. ``But, where is the money,'' ask
senior Railway officials who claim that the Finance Minister P
Chidambaram had said a firm `no' to the Railway request.

Railways are also hoping to retrieve part of the over Rs 1,000
crore freight outstanding dues owed by various State
Electricity boards, the largest defaulter being the Delhi Vidyut
Board with dues of nearly Rs 335 crore.A marginal saving on
ongoing projects, officials said, may yield Rs 50 crore. ``The
options have now narrowed down to a fare hike and it is on the
anvil,'' a top official who did not want to be quoted said.

Railways are also examining the feasibility of resorting to
external market borrowings, but this again needs the nod of the
Finance Ministry.

While the financial commitment of Railways to meet its
obligation arising from the Pay Commission's
recommendations and hike in diesel prices totals a whopping
Rs 6,700 crore, Railways had made a provision for Rs 3,400
crore in this respect in its 1997-98 budget.

From: S Pai <

Subject: high-speed rail

Date: 26 Sep 1997 10:31:00 -0500

No, not in India, but I thought this might be of interest -- the current issue
of "Scientific American" is a special one on transport technology, and has
some interesting material on high-speed trains in Europe and elsewhere.


From: S Pai <

Subject: the "Fairy Queen"

Date: 30 Sep 1997 10:33:00 -0500

This is from a Reuter news report: Last Saturday the "Fairy Queen", claimed to
be the world's oldest working locomotive, left on a two-day run from Delhi
(Cantonment) to Alwar in Rajasthan hauling tourists in two carriages.

The loco was built in 1855 by Kitson, Thompson, and Hewitson, for the then
East India Railway. It was in service from 1857 to 1909 hauling trains
between Howrah and Raniganj. From 1909 to 1972 the loco was mothballed at
Howrah and Lucknow and then at the Rail Museum in New Delhi. It was restored
in December 1996 at one of the loco sheds of the Southern Railway.

I have heard it claimed that there are one or two even older locomotives that
have been restored and in operation in Europe -- does anyone have any details?


From: ruman <

Subject: IR Stats?

Date: 04 Oct 1997 09:17:00 -0500

I was wondering if someone on this list could enlighten the
poster Jimmy on IR stats.. and perhaps help him expand his worldview
to include India among the "free" countries... I found this
post in misc.transport.rail.americas

If you are emailing stats, could you please cc it to irfca



From: Jimmy Barlow <
Subject: NA vs the world

In a story I wrote 5 or 6 years ago (maybe a little longer), I said that
Burlington Northern was the largest rr in the history of the free
world. I was referring to largeness strictly in terms of route-miles,
nothing else (not even track-miles). I had started to say it was the
largest in North America, then I got to thinking about the whole world.
I knew (and know) very little about the rr's on other continents, but I
figured that Russia, China, and maybe one or two others (India?
Aussie?) had very large systems. But were those systems one company or
several smaller ones? Not knowing the answers and wanting to avoid
making an erroneous statement, I chose the "free world" delimiter
figuring (and hoping) there was no democratic country with a rr larger
than BN (this was before the fall of Communism in USSR).

Was my original statement correct at that time?

Would it have been correct to say "in the history of the _whole_ world"?

Who's the largest in the whole world today? (If not UP, please list all
who are larger than UP and give their route-miles if known.)

Thanks for your help.

Jimmy Barlow (To reply, remove SPAMTRAP from return address.)

From: Sridhar Shankar <

Subject: Stuff !

Date: 07 Oct 1997 10:24:00 -0500

Hi folks,

Was is India a few weeks back,though it does not feel that way! I made
a trip to Bombay after quite a few years. There has been a few changes
along the way. Some of these may be old news.

Anyway, here goes. Most CR mail/expresses are now hauled by WCM5 or WCAM3,
with an occational WCM4 thrown in. WCAM3 is presumably the dual voltage
equivalent of WAP4 (?). It looks a lot like some of the eastern
european electrics with angular features, and has makers plates indicating
BHEL as the source. Jane's World railways 96-97 does not list this loco.

On the suburban front it is now much easier to switch from CR to WR and
vice versa with many locals originating and treminating at the other zone.
There is also talk about converting the suburban network to 25kV
AC traction. A major consulting firm is currently working on a
feasibility study.

On Southern Railway, elctrification is spreading like plague. Newly
affected regions include the Palghat division. The Beach -Luz section of
the Madras MRTS is expected to be commissioned soon.



** Any experience that does not kill you is good experience **

Graduate School of Business Sridhar Shankar
University of Chicago 5345 S.Harper Apt. 205
Chicago, IL 60637 Chicago, IL 60615
USA (773) 752 1131

From: thefix <


Date: 14 Oct 1997 14:00:00 -0500

Dear Sir,
There is a lot of scope for good train spotting in and around Delhi and
Ahemadabad. If you are a steam loco enthusiast then youll stil catch a bit
on the metre gauge system at Ahemadabad.
In the Delhi area you have both Broad gauge(5 ft 6") and metre gauge. On the
metre gauge if your very lucky you might see a steamer or two, but
Ahemadabad is a mush better bet! Apart from that youll get the usual Diesels
(YDM4's). And on the Broad gauge youll get varied class of Electrics and
Look out for the WAG4, 5 and 7 and WAP1,3 and WAM4's Also watch out for
WAP4, which our the latest additions to IR's fleet from ABB!
Apart from that youll get the the WDS4 and 6 shunters and the WDM2 Diesels
on the broad gauge system there.
Good places are New Delhi Station, Old Delhi Station, Hazrat Nizammudin
Station and Tuglakabad Station and marshalling yard. The metre gauge starts
from Delhi cantonnment station.
In Ahemadabad apart from Ahemadabad station, Sabarmati is worth a visit with
a huge marshalling yard and 2 loco sheds, apart from carriage and wagon depots!!
Also visit the rail museum in Delhi.
Have a nice trip, hope the info is of use to you
Bharat Vohra

From: Sundar Krishnamurthy <

Subject: Trainspotting in Mumbai

Date: 14 Oct 1997 05:12:00 -0500

Trainspotting in Mumbai

There are only a handful of places in Mumbai where Trainspotting can be
a pleasure, and there are so few railfans in Mumbai! The problems are
compounded by a disdainful administration that treats railfans with
contempt, and a lack of organizational skills among ourselves.

1. Vidyavihar station on CR, the Mumbai CST end.
This station offers an unhindered panoramic view of around two

kilometers upto Kurla. Its proximity to a railway marshalling yard

makes it the best choice for freight fanatics. You can spot a rare WDM2
(Kalyan or Pune) at the head of a freight train, patiently waiting for
the suburban traffic to subside. But a majority of locos at the yard are
WCG2's. A standing loco shed for WCM, WCG and WCAM engines and the curve
for Kurla Terminus are by the side. You can catch one of the few express
trains that emerge or terminate at Kurla Terminus. This station is
generally less crowded, and a profusion of college students adds a
youthful aura. And there are no slums in the vicinity! There are only
two platforms for the slow lines among the four line corridor and the
best time is early morning, after sunrise. You can spot the WCM1/WCAM3
hauled Pune-bound Shatabdi at around 7:00 am.

2. Khar station on WR, the Santa Cruz end.
Again, its close proximity to a railway yard adds a romantic ambience

when the halogens come on at night. A loco shed for WCAM locos and the
Bandra Terminus reside close by. The corridor is composed of six lines,
as compared to CR's four. The best time is in the evening, when you can
spot two Rajdhanis hauled by a Valsad WCAM2 whizzing by at 5:15 pm and
5:55 pm, on their way to New Delhi, not unlike many politicians. The
Rajdhanis were much better with double headed Ratlam WDM2's at the helm
of affairs. Frequently, you are interrupted by planes rising away beyond
Santa Cruz. A curious curve immediately after Khar was necessitated on
account of the expansion to a six-line system a few years ago.

3. Vashi station, Navi Mumbai, on CR Harbor, at the Mumbai CST end.
This is probably the BEST station ever built in India and beats every

single airport in the country. Its VT end view is mind-blowing. On a

clear day, you can spot the Mankhurd station overbridge from Vashi; and
they are separated by an astounding nine kilometers! You get a horizon
extending for more than twenty kilometers, and the unending salty creek
submerges life immediately after the station. The embankment has the
shape of an S before rising into the noiseless, concrete Creek Bridge
mating the Mumbai island with the world. Other sights are the silhouette
of skyscrapers at south Mumbai, the reactor dome at BARC, Anushakti
Nagar, and the monstrous cranes and ships at Nhava-Sheva port in the
mainland. The only problem with the Vashi harbor line is that,
locomotive hauled trains don't appear on the route, and EMU Local Trains
get monotonous. Nevertheless, you cannot miss the view of a local train
appearing as a small speck from nowhere on the bridge, snaking through
the embankment and finally crawling into the station, after a good five
minutes! The best times for Vashi are late evening and nights. Don't
miss the orange sun going down on the skyline. The night scene is
unrivalled, with the shimmering lights of the parallel road-creek bridge
on the still salty waters. If you're lucky, you'll meet a high tide that
gets water upto the station periphery.

Tell me some better spots for Trainspotting in India! I'm compiling a
list of cool curves of the railway kind. One is outside Wardha East
station on CR, towards South India (Ballarshah) and two formidable ones
lie on either side of Dharmavaram station, on SCR. One more is between
Channasandra station and Bangalore. Please contribute generously to the

Sundar Krishnamurthy ("`-''-/").___..--''"`-._
9/66, Welfare Hse, Sion (W), `6_ 6 ) `-. ( ).`-.__.`)
Mumbai 400 022. INDIA (_Y_.)' ._ ) `._ `. ``-..-'
Tel : +91 +22 4071254 _.. `--'_..-_/ /--'_.' ,' (il),-'' (li),' ((!.-'
<A HREF=""></A>
-------------------------------------------Today is the day of glory
-----------------------------------------The Code is the whole story

Get Your Private, Free Email at <A HREF=""></A>

From: Prakash Tendulkar <

Subject: Trainspotting in Mumbai

Date: 14 Oct 1997 14:54:00 -0500

There are few other spots to watch suburban traffic in Western Railway.=

1) Half way between Mahim and Matunga, there is an overhead pedestrian =
connecting (former) Tulsi Pipe Road to Railway colony. Good place to se=
traffic and dare devils standing on roof, dodging overhead wires.

2) Near Opera House, (former) French Bridge is now closed for vehicular=

Safe spot to watch all four tracks and traffic during peak hours.

On Central Railway, just a kilometer from Lonavala station (between Lon=
Khandala), there is a level crossing. Bombay bound trains a pair of "Gh=
added to the front, are neither too fast nor too slow to watch. Poona b=
sometimes stop on home signal loacted 100 ft. from this crossing and it=
s fun to
them start, with wheels spinning for a short duration (and driver wipin=
g the
on his forehead).


Notes Address: Prakash Tendulkar/Santa Teresa/IBM@IBMUS
Internet Address:
Phone: (408)463-3536

From: Auroprem Kandaswami <

Subject: Paswan to face panel on revamp of racks

Date: 14 Oct 1997 09:12:00 -0500


NEW DELHI, OCT 13: A parliamentary committee will
question Railway Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on the slow pace
of track renewals, often seen as a major cause of accidents.

Basudeb Acharia, chairman of the standing committee on
Railways, said the panel will hear evidence from Paswan on
the issue in the first week of November. The committee today
released to the press a report finding fault with the Railway's
decision to buy wagons only through open tenders.

But it is also preparing a report on track renewals. Linking
safety with track renewals, Acharia said 40 per cent of the
tracks were due for replacement in the south eastern zone
which accounted for a large number of derailments. Last
month's Bilaspur mishap, which left over 80 dead, took place in
this zone.

He said the track renewal backlog persisted in the zone though
it contributed 34 per cent of the entire revenue generated by the
Railways. Some tracks were upto 60 years old, Acharia said. He
said the Railways had also not done enough on signalling and
telecommunications -- safety-related aspects which figured in
an earlier report.Acharia also questioned the Railway's
wasteful spending on gauge conversion.

From: Heinrich Hubbert <

Subject: Re:

Date: 14 Oct 1997 10:43:00 -0500 wrote:
> Dear Sir,
> There is a lot of scope for good train spotting in and around Delhi and
> Ahemadabad. If you are a steam loco enthusiast then youll stil catch a bit
> on the metre gauge system at Ahemadabad.
> In the Delhi area you have both Broad gauge(5 ft 6") and metre gauge. On the
> metre gauge if your very lucky you might see a steamer or two, but
> Ahemadabad is a mush better bet! Apart from that youll get the usual Diesels
> (YDM4's). And on the Broad gauge youll get varied class of Electrics and
> Diesels.
> Look out for the WAG4, 5 and 7 and WAP1,3 and WAM4's Also watch out for
> WAP4, which our the latest additions to IR's fleet from ABB!
> Apart from that youll get the the WDS4 and 6 shunters and the WDM2 Diesels
> on the broad gauge system there.
> Good places are New Delhi Station, Old Delhi Station, Hazrat Nizammudin
> Station and Tuglakabad Station and marshalling yard. The metre gauge starts
> from Delhi cantonnment station.
> In Ahemadabad apart from Ahemadabad station, Sabarmati is worth a visit with
> a huge marshalling yard and 2 loco sheds, apart from carriage and wagon depots!!
> Also visit the rail museum in Delhi.
> Have a nice trip, hope the info is of use to you
> Regards,
> Bharat Vohra

As I have just returned, I can tell, that also meter-gauge steam is
finished in Delhi and is now only besed in the loco-sheds of Sabarmati
(shunting only), Mhow, Wankaner and Jetalsar (line-work).
Regards, Heinrich Hubbert

From: Peter Mosse <

Subject: Railway Accidents in India

Date: 15 Oct 1997 12:21:00 -0500

List members have been commenting on railway accidents in India and this
prompts me to ask a series of questions:

1. Following a serious railway accident in India, who is responsible for
investigating it ?
2. Does the investigating agency issue a report which is available to the
public ?
3. If yes, how could a foreigner best obtain a copy (should he/she be
interested in doing so) ?

To put this in an international context, railway accidents in the UK have
long been subject to investigation by the Railway Inspectorate (typically
army engineers) who issue a written report to the responsible government
department (in Victorian days the Board of Trade; then the Ministry of
Transport; and more recently the Department of the Environment). These
reports are published by HMSO (the government stationery office) and can be
purchased quite easily, though they are quite expensive. Old accident
reports are often sold by railway collectible dealers and some reports have
been reprinted as they provide fascinating insights into everyday working
conditions on the railways in years gone by.

In the US, the National Transportation Safety Board investigates and
publishes accident reports. Many years ago these were available free of
charge to anyone on the mailing list, but they have now become expensive

In Canada the role is fulfilled by the Transportation Safety Board of
Canada and its reports are still available free if you can get on the
mailing list (though there is a possibility of charges being introduced).

Peter Mosse
New York City

From: Sundar Krishnamurthy <

Subject: Trainspotting from Trains

Date: 15 Oct 1997 20:44:00 -0500

Trainspotting can be a fine art when travelling in India. On a long
train journey, a railfan can optimize his/her spotting capabilities by
adhering to a few pointers.

Most of the trunk routes in India are double-tracked. And most of all
double-tracked routes are electrified. The most notable exception being
the Mumbai-Guntakal-Renigunta/Dharmavaram line for South India, that is
not electrified beyond Pune and double-tracking is abandoned beyond
Daund. Between Daund and Guntakal, the line is double-tracked in fits
and starts, and the entire route is diesel
hauled, with WDM2's from Pune, Gooty, Kazipet and the odd
Krishnarajapuram or Erode Locomotive.

Double-Tracked Route
------ ------- -----
The only necessary qualification for starting a trainspotting session is
a window on the right side of the train. In India, trains keep to the
left track of a double-line system, and a window on the right side
guarantees a running line on your side through the length of the
journey. When the train leaves urban life behind and rushes thro' rural
countryside, the journey can be optimized very profitably. Watch out for
the advanced starter and starter signals at all stations for your
adjacent track. Encountering a green signal means that a train is coming
on the line, between the current approaching station and the next
station. Now, keep your eyes pinned in the
forward direction, and your wishes will be fulfilled. Also, home signals
that show green mean the same. This method is very preferable as
a> You get to pass your time
b> You don't leave trainspotting to serendipity (and get startled in
the process!!)
c> A very enjoyable game of speculation (freight/passenger) and
who-predicts-a-train-first? can be played with fellow railfans (only a
few oblige!). (I play this with my brother, who does not mind at all).

The yellow glow on the home signal is a false start, and frequently
people mistake them for a train. The surprises in this game are
passenger trains, who don't get a green signal at the starter, and you
encounter them suddenly on your route.

A few lines where trainspotting reaps rich rewards are :
a> Mumbai-Pune Route (192 kms)
Signal Speculation is useless for a major part of the route on account
of automatic signalling in suburban sections. Very heavy traffic. Watch
out for
i>Neral, 87 kms from Mumbai, where a Narrow Gauge ZDM1 hauls a toy train
for 20 kms to Matheran, a hill resort.
ii>Karjat, 100 kms from Mumbai. A twin WCG2 pair pushes a train up the
railway ghats from the rear. They are disconnected at Lonavla. A third
line from Karjat to Lonavla distracts you from the mind-blowing hills,
valley views and vegetation. This line is for the return route of the
WCG2's that travel light to Karjat, to haul back other trains, and local
people use the WCG2 livery and buffers to position and perch themselves.
They use the locomotives for commutation! You'll find lots of WCG2's
stationary on the through lines at Karjat station and a standby loco
shed at Lonavla, the hill station.
A smooth long anti-clockwise curve between Ghorawadi(160 kms) and
Begdewadi(164 kms) makes the whole train visible as you peer out of the

b> Bangalore-Chennai Route (358 kms)
A very enjoyable journey, as both the lines are usually on twin
embankments, separated by some lateral distance. If you're fast enough,
you can even read the name of the opposite train, as it whizzes away.
This is obviously not possible when the double lines are close together.
Again, a heavily used line; but freight traffic is very frequent. Watch
out for
i>Krishnarajapuram, 14 kms from B'lore
A diesel loco shed for WDM2's is visible between Krishnarajapuram and
Whitefield. WDM2's from KJM are characteristic in their Sky Blue+Navy
Blue livery. These WDM2's haul trains from B'lore to Mysore and
Guntakal. Between Baiyappanahalli (10 kms from Blore) and
Krishnarajapuram, you can see a triangle that forks towards North, from
both ends of the line, towards Dharmavaram. The signals of Channasandra
station appear in the distance, and there is no obstacle that blocks
your view. Trains going north from Bangalore or those going West from
Cochin take this by-pass line. The Blore Chennai route is single-tracked
between WhiteField & Kuppam
ii>Jolarpettai Jn, 144 kms from Bangalore
One of the most important and complex junctions on Southern Railway.
Huge marshalling yards, lots of platforms and by-passes outside the
station. Ideal for a plate of Medu Vadai.
iii>Arrakkonam Jn, 292 kms from B'lore
An AC Electric Loco Shed, Twin Forks for Renigunta just before
Arrakkonam, and the first instance of an AC EMU make this a watchable
station on the route.

Single-Track Route
------ ----- -----
Single Track Route journeys are a blessing in disguise for railfans.
Frequently, the train drops speed and grinds to a halt at a God-forsaken
station. This is frustration time for people who dread late-running
trains. This is crossing-time! Check for the signals in the adjacent
through line, and don't forget your signal in the loop line! If the
through line signal shines green, alight from the train on the side that
has the through line and walk a little distance away from the through
line. My inferences are totally based on non-electrified routes.
Shortly, you should see smoke, and the noise of diesel exhaust fans
become audible. A train appears suddenly from nowhere and zooms past
your train. Catch one of the boards (with your eyes, not hands!) of the
train, to know its name/destination/origin. Now, quickly rush back to
your train. It would leave in a couple of minutes!

Don't stand between your train and the passing train; unless there's a
platform in the middle! Coz',
You can't examine a rushing train this way, and don't be a guinea pig to
test people's throwing habits! You won't know what hit you, and that
would be the end of your lovely mood on an occasional trip.

I frequently try alighting on the Mumbai-Bangalore route. A few stations
where Murphy's laws always come true for your train are Yelakanka
outside Bangalore, Kalluru before Anantapur and Krishna near Raichur.
Notice that, always your train stops; not the other train!!

It helps to have a time-table/Bradshaw on your journey. You can try and
predict the other train by peering at the timetable for the opposite
direction and the current time! A good preoccupation!

Visit <A HREF=""></A> for IRIZ
- The (unofficial) Indian Railways Info Zone. I need people to
contribute their knowledge!!

Sundar Krishnamurthy ("`-''-/").___..--''"`-._
9/66, Welfare Hse, Sion (W), `6_ 6 ) `-. ( ).`-.__.`)
Mumbai 400 022. INDIA (_Y_.)' ._ ) `._ `. ``-..-'
Tel : +91 +22 4071254 _.. `--'_..-_/ /--'_.' ,' (il),-'' (li),' ((!.-'
<A HREF=""></A>
-------------------------------------------Today is the day of glory
-----------------------------------------The Code is the whole story

Get Your Private, Free Email at <A HREF=""></A>

From: Auroprem Kandaswami <

Subject: Re: Trainspotting from Trains

Date: 16 Oct 1997 08:59:00 -0500


Thanks a lot for this excellent one on Trainspotting ! I enjoyed
your previous one too ! It gave me a "realistic feeling" of travelling
instantly on IR ! I was able to visualize and recollect the
and Chennai-Bangalore sectors you vividly described !

Sundar is absolutely right in the following lines :

>Most of the trunk routes in India are double-tracked. And most of all
>double-tracked routes are electrified. The most notable exception being
>the Mumbai-Guntakal-Renigunta/Dharmavaram line for South India, that is
>not electrified beyond Pune and double-tracking is abandoned beyond
>Daund. Between Daund and Guntakal, the line is double-tracked in fits
>and starts, and the entire route is diesel hauled ...

I agree with him on this 100 %.

I have always wondered why this Mumbai-Chennai rail route (so-called
"trunk route") has not even progressed/developed a metre since the
1920's, while all the other trunk routes : Mumbai-Delhi,
Mumbai-Calcutta, Chennai-Delhi and Chennai-Calcutta are fully
developed (double line, most of them fully electrified).

I think one of the primary reasons for this negligent and Don't Care
attitude of Central Railway/South-Central Railway (or even the Railway
Board at a higher level, for that matter) towards this significant route
(at least for the Southies, Tamilians in particular) is that there is
always some kind of constant "pressure" or "influence" to leave this
line in an undeveloped state, so that there is some kind of control on
the influx of ordinary people from the Southern States to Mumbai seeking
a livelihood for a life-time.

I maybe totally wrong here. But somehow, this is the impression I have
had all the time. I can understand the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Calcutta
routes generate a lot of revenue from busy passenger traffic all the
time - in the form of affluent business travellers, politicians,
bureaucrats and all other types of "heavy-weight" travellers, of course
apart from the "Saamanya Rail Yatri/Nagarik" (ordinary rail
But, I cannot understand why Mumbai-Calcutta and Chennai-Calcutta has
been constantly developed and just the Mumbai-Chennai route left in
a primitive, undeveloped state !

If the basic criteria employed to develop a rail route is Traffic
and Expected Returns, then I am sure "Daund-Gooty" section (Daund-Wadi
section is on Central Rly, Wadi-Gooty is on South Central Rly) is
completely overloaded at present, it is a major corridor connecting the
West and the South. Not only does it carry trains originating from Mumbai
and proceeding to the Southern states, as it used to be in the 70's and
upto mid 80's, but now it accommodates different weekly/bi-weekly
trains between the Western state of Gujarat and Kerala/Karnataka, some
Super-fast trains and also a "Rajdhani". Who knows, in the future, we may
also see a "Super-Shatabdi" on this miserable corridor - a Shatadbi that
will just remain stationed in the schedule and time-table and not run
a real one should !

Does somebody has a better clue on this ?

- Auro

From: Larry Russell <

Subject: New IR GM locomotives.

Date: 16 Oct 1997 18:34:00 -0500

The new order of GM GT46MAC diesel electrics of 4000 hp is under way at
London Ontario plant. The first one was shipped to LaGrange IL for testing
in late August and wound up by mistake in Kansas City. Unit is numbered
1997 on the cab side and 4000 on the front. Loco numbers reportedly are
11000 series on IR but these numbers already exist I am told. 1997/4000 is
painted in the EMD current demo paint scheme of turquoise, blue and black.
A very nice looking unit. Looks like delivery will not be until next year.
Larry Russell.