THE GREAT INDIAN RAILWAY ROMANCE.Vol 1, No. 21, Monday, February 22, 2016.By Rajendra B. Aklekar

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Rajendra B Aklekar


The east side of the world heritage station of Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus has been planned to be designed on the lines of six forts of Chhatrapati Shivaji, the 17th century Maratha king after whom the station is now named. Originally Victoria Terminus, the station was renamed in the 1990s. Discussions about the new design were held at the General Manager’s Office and designs of the new buildings presented by architects and consultants. A senior railway official told RailTube, “The façade will look like a fortified structure. There will be buildings of shapes similar to various forts associated with the life of Chhatrapati Shivaji. The names of these forts are Raigad, Panhala, Sinhgad, Shivneri, Rajgad, Bhuikot and Janjira. The entire structure will also be used for presenting light & sound show of history of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.”

Chhatrapati Shivaji Fort

“The flat backside of the fort shaped buildings will be used for displays of hoardings or projection of visuals. The Central building with the name of Shivneri will be reserved for exhibition of historical glory of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The exhibition hall can also be used for organizing exhibitions on various developmental projects of Mumbai. It can also hold 7D holographs of historical importance. The other six forts shaped buildings may be used for commercial exploitation,” he added.

Some routine updates…

Silchar in North East gets Indian Rly connectivity
It was a dream come true for the people not only of Barak Valley but also of the neighbouring states of Mizoram, Manipur and Tripura, aspiring for long for broad gauge connectivity to the mainland of the country. Flagging off the Silchar-New Delhi Purvottar Sampark Kranti Express today, Railway minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu described the occasion as “historic and remarkable”. Report here:

Protests in North India leads to Rs 2000 m losses, cancellation of 1,000 trains
The Jat agitation for reservation in jobs has hit Indian Railways services hard in the northern states, affecting around 1,000 trains with 736 trains cancelled and 105 diverted besides damage to rail property, causing a loss of Rs 200 crore to the transporter. The important rail routes to the states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Chandigarh, and Jammu and Kashmir have been badly affected due to the Jat agitation, said a senior Railway ministry official. News report here:

Train hostesses on Indian Railway fast trains
Imagine being ushered into a train by a hostess who presents you a rose bud as soft music plays in the background. It will soon be a reality, with the Railways deciding to introduce train hostesses on soon to be launched Delhi-Agra Gatiman Express, the first train in India to run at a speed of 160 kmph. Gearing up to launch the Gatiman Express next month, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu will announce special features of the first semi-high speed train in the country when he presents the Rail Budget onFebruary 25. Details here:

Internet Gaming Zones on Indian Railway trains
The Indian Railways is considering bringing gaming, internet-based food ordering services and ‘catalogue-based retailing’ in trains in partnership with entrepreneurs as part of the government’s larger focus on promoting start-up ventures. Railway minister Suresh Prabhu is considering a slew of measures that will improve passenger experience, including more focus on the e-catering business, and some of these initiatives may figure in his Budget speech this week. Details here:

Wondering How Indian Rlys Offers Instant Twitter Help? Meet the 3-Member Team That Makes It Happen!
Reports about how the Indian Railways’ authorities are helping passengers via Twitter, are very common these days. Be it dirty toilets in the waiting room, or an infant onboard a train who needs medical assistance – all a passenger has to do is tweet to the handle of Ministry of Railways, write about the issue, and wait for a reply. In most cases the reply comes in just five minutes, and the concerned people follow up till required assistance reaches the passenger. Ever wondered who is behind this quick assistance? It is a team of three people who sit in room number 454 on the fourth floor of the Ministry of Railways building. Details here:

State-of-the-art signalling system
Indian Railways on Thursday commissioned a state-of-the-art computerised signalling system at Khurja junction in Uttar Pradesh which will enable 256 possible train movements at the railway station, a statement said. “This work of signal wizardry will help in quicker movements of trains since the train path will be cleared by a central operator with click. News report here:

Steam Facts

EIR - Phoenix (260)

EIR – Phoenix (260): This 22 ton 0-4-0 Broad-gauge (5’6”) engine was originally named “Phoenix” and built as a rail motor car. It was imported from Nasmyth Wilson & Patricroft, Manchester, U.K. in 1907. The passenger compartment was resting on engine and one axle. It was in use as a rail motor car unit for branch line service of East Indian Railway. Later in 1927, the coach portion was removed and the engine was converted as a shunting engine. A sister engine “Hercules” is preserved at Jamalpur. With inside plate frame it had two 9”x14” inside cylinders, two vertical combination type injectors and Salter balance type safety valve fitted on dome. Its maker number was 798 and Indian Railway number 1354.

The British Link
Locomotive engineer Robert Sinclair (1817–1898) was born in London and he is known for building an outside cylinder 2-4-0 locomotive for the East Indian Railway as a consultant. He was Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Caledonian Railway (CR) from 1847–1856, the Eastern Counties Railway (ECR) from 1856–1862 and, following a merger of railways, of the Great Eastern Railway (GER) from 1862–1865. Sinclair resigned in from the GER 1865, and became a consulting engineer. In this capacity, he also designed a fast 2-4-2 locomotive for the Great Luxemburg Railway.

Take a Steam ride on Indian Railways
Next run—March 12, 2016. The Steam Express has a 60-seater air-conditioned chair car specially designed with a large glass window from where you can have a frontal view of the Locomotive, besides there is a well maintained pantry car for on board catering. As an added attraction, the coach has a beautiful lounge in the front, which provides a scenic view of the countryside. For your enjoyment numerous cultural programs are organized in the evening of the first day at the Hotel Sariska Palace. The 60 select guests will certainly go back with fond memories of a once-in-a lifetime experience. Go ahead and book your journey back into time.Details here:


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