A super Rajdhani and a case of poisoning that wasn’t.-THE GREAT INDIAN RAILWAY ROMANCE.Vol 3, No. 2, Monday, 16th October,2017.(Bombay Railway & History Group)

A super Rajdhani and a case of poisoning that wasn’t

The highlight of the week was the introduction of a new Special Rajdhani Express this week. The new hi-speed Rajdhani Express runs at 130kmph between Mumbai and Delhi covering the distance of 1,365 km in 13 hours and 55 minutes. The tri-weekly Special Rajdhani Express started operations from October 16 will be much faster than the existing two.

With the introduction of new Rajdhani Express, the travel time between the two cities has been reduced from the existing time of about 15 hrs. 50 minute to 13 hours 55 minutes i.e a saving of around 2 hours in journey time. The train has halts at Kota, Vadodara and Surat stations only.

This train has been introduced on an experimental basis for three months from Oct 16, 2017 to Jan 16, 2018 to gauge the response of the travelling public. There will not be a flexi fare component in the fare structure of this train. The fares on the new service would be 20% more than the base fares for existing Mumbai Rajdhani without any flexi fare.

The special Rajdhani comprises one first AC, two 2AC and twelve 3ACs and one pantry car and the inaugural run will be from Hazrat Nizamuddin. The train is being hauled by two WAP-5 class locomotives (5,400 HP each) for better acceleration, deceleration and higher speed.  

Numbered as 09004, the special starts at 4:15pm from Hazrat Nizamuddin station, Delhi, and reaches Bandra Terminus, Mumbai, at 610am the next day. On the return, the train numbered as 09003 starts from Bandra Terminus, Mumbai, at 4:05pm and reaches Hazrat Nizamuddin station, New Delhi, at 6am the next day. It will run from Hazrat Nizamuddin on Wed, Fri and Sunday and from Bandra on TuesdayThursday and Saturdays.

In other development, there was an alleged case of food poisoning on board the classy Tejas Express train between Goa and Mumbai. But investigations by railways found that the poisoning was actually caused by stale fish that a few tourist groups from Kolkata were carrying. The groups, on a national tour for over 16 days, carried their own fish and cooks, that led to poisoning. Well, no one was seriously ill, just that it damaged the reputation of the Tejas Express train!


A steam loco lives as wheels

A steam engine now lives as its wheels. The Western Railway at Borivli station has put up massive wheels of an old steam engine as a legacy of steam traction of the former Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway. The wheels, brought from Gujarat, have been titled Wheels of Progress and are quite an attraction.

Images courtesy: Rajendra B Aklekar.


The Karachi Steam Tramway Engineer from England

George Hennet Ross, the eldest son of the late Commander C. H. Ross, R.N., was born on the 19th of March, 1843.

At the age of seventeen he was placed with Mr. E. Bagot as a pupil for three years, and was then employed for two years in that gentleman’s drawing-office, and on surveys for railways, waterworks, and town sewerage.

In 1863 he entered the service of Mr. (now Sir Alexander) Rendel, and was employed for four years as a draughtsman in his London office, and in making surveys at Llanelly, the Victoria Docks, and elsewhere. Then Mr. Rendel appointed him Resident Engineer on the Workington Harbour improvements, where he had charge for three years of considerable marine surveys, the cutting of a new channel for the River Derwent, the erection of a timber jetty, and the building of a breakwater in Portland cement concrete, besides other minor works.

In March, 1872, Mr. Ross proceeded to Trinidad as Engineer and Surveyor for the Colonial Company, and was occupied in surveying large sugar estates, and in laying out railways. While in that colony he passed the Government examination as a Sworn Surveyor.

He returned to England in December, 1873, and for six months of the following year was again in Mr. Rendel’s drawing-office.

In November, 1874, he was appointed, on the nomination of Sir Charles Hutton Gregory, K.C.M.G., an Assistant Engineer on the Cape Government Railway Surveys. Two years later he was placed in charge, under the District Engineer, Mr. G. D. Atherstone, of No. 1 Section of District 2 of the Grahamstown Branch of the Midland and North-Eastern (Cape) Railways. The survey and construction of this section, which included some heavy earthworks, such as cuttings in hard rock, an embankment nearly 70 feet high, and several retaining walls, a short tunnel through very treacherous strata of rock on clay beds, a temporary terminal station, with the necessary sidings and accommodation for goods, all such works as culverts, platelaying, ballasting, and the telegraph, were completed by Mr. Ross, in the most careful and accurate manner.

From September, I8i9, to August, 1880, he took charge, for Mr. Faviell, the Contractor, of the construction of 10.5 miles of the Midland System of the Cape Government Railways, which included a tunnel, and some heavy cuttings and embankments about 30 miles south of Cradock.

In August, 1881, Mr. Ross was appointed District Engineer on the Survey Staff, under Mr. William Willcox, and placed in charge of survey camps on the Cradock and Colesberg Extension, and on proposed junction lines between the Midland and Eastern Railway Systems. This appointment Mr. Ross held until September, 1883, when he returned to England.

In August, 1884, he was engaged by Mr. John Brunton and Mr. T. Claxton Fidler, Joint Engineers for the East India Tramways Company, as resident Engineer on the construction of the Karachi Steam Tramways, which work he carried out to their entire satisfaction, performing the duties of his position there with seal, energy and ability.

When the works were completed, and handed over by the contractors to the Company in September, 1885, Mr. Ross returned to England. In the following November he obtained, again on the nomination of Sir Charles Hutton Gregory, the appointment of Colonial Engineer and Surveyor at Lagos. This post he held until his death, which occurred on the 16th of August, 1888, from fever.

Mr. Ross was much regretted. A Member of the Institution, under whom he served on the Cape Government Railways writing after his death, said:- “He was a cheery bright fellow, was, I know, most hospitable and popular, and I am sure was thoroughly straightforward in all respects. His untimely death will be greatly regretted by all the members of the Cape Railways who knew him, and by many others in the Colony, as he had a wide circle of friends, and, to the best of my belief, no enemies.”

He was elected an Associate of the Institution on the 9th of April, 18i2, was placed in the group of Associate Members on its creation in December, 1878, and transferred to the class of Members on the 14th of April, 1886. (Courtesy:https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Main_Page)


Fourteen exclusive rides on India’s Steam Railways
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. As an added attraction, the coach has a beautiful lounge in the front, which provides a scenic view of the countryside. A visit to the Heritage Steam Shed at Rewari is the added attraction, which will add to the personal touch. 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 and booking here: https://goo.gl/RzhK49