Signing Out

A big thank you to all the organisers and delegates of BNC 2009. It was a wonderfully conducted convention. Hope you enjoyed the live blogcast.

This is Vrij signing out now. Hope to see you at NRM-2010 !!


January 25, 2009 at 18:00 2 comments

Crazy Traveller

There is an award for the delegate who has taken the most circuitous route to the convention.

The Winner is Mr Biswarup Basu who has taken the route of


VSP was for once beaten on this!!

January 25, 2009 at 17:58 2 comments

The ‘Show’ is on…

Poochi Venkat shows us snaps from the Cochin State Railway and Cochin State Forest Tramway.

Apu and Poochi show a marvellous video of the Dhulghat Spiral, crossing the Wan River and reaching Wan Road station.

A video of the Shiradi Ghats between Subramanyapura and Sakleshpur. Simply awesome!

Superb viaducts, amazing tunnels on the way. After having a look at the ardous terrain in the video, I’m so totally amazed at the way Ramdev Gowda, Pawan Koppa et al actually walked along the entire 55kms of the ghat track. Super Railfans, nay.. Super Gricers they all!

January 25, 2009 at 16:57 Leave a comment

Quiz Finals

The 8 Members who have performed best to reach the Quiz Finals are:

Dr Mulky


S Sivaramakrishnan

SAgar Tipnis

Ravi S



Biswarup Basu

Questions on infinite bounce method. 10 for a correct, straight or not.

1. Name the railway station nearest to the pic:(Shencottah bridge)

2. Which train is 1063/64?

3. What is common to Navapur, Bhawani Mandi, jaraikela, Alyuabari rd?

4. 1 oct 1989 was important date in TMS in India. What system was changed on this day?

5. What are high capa electrically operated lifting jacks? (pic)

6. Name the diesel loco from the clues..
a. Merceded Benz MD 108DZ20 engine
b. Gooty Shed 18515-18522
c. Mainline diesel loco with hydraulic transmission.

7. Delivered in late 50s, these two types of locos ran on 3000V DC in Kolkata area, but were modified to run on 1500V in Mumbai area. What Class?

8. Which stations sole express is a Jan Shatabdi?

9. Raj Kharswan-Dongoposoi section of SER was the first to get what in 1960?

10. This sportsperson was recently promoted to Ast Commercial Manager from Chief Ticket Inspector. Name him.

At the end of R1, Apu and Joydeep are eliminated.

Round 2:

1. Identify the station
a. Erstwhile MG station where you would wake up to MSS’s Suprabhatam on PA?
b. You could favour Degree kaapi here!
c. In MG days, MAS-RMM train reached this at 0530.

2. identify the station closest to loco shed of the loco in pic? (BGKT loco)

3. Nainital, Yelagiri, Amarnath, yercaud, etc have no stations. Whats the connection?

4. 2395 is Ibadat express. What is 2396?

5. Which historiucal railway to which this logo belonged? (Tiger and snake on logo)

6. What is common to stations with respect tothe train in the middle? (Kalka, Amritsar, MAS, BPL)

7. There is always a power outage when an AC EMU passes over neutral and only emergency lights are on. Which train?

8. Started in 1924 and it was 70% then. Now its 15%. Whats it?

9. Bangarpet,___, Oorgamum, Coromandel, BEML Nagar. Fill the gap.

At the end of R2, Nishant Sivaramkrishnan and Ravi get eliminated.

Round 3

1. Find the odd one out? (A list of shatabdis)

2. Which train has 17 commercial stops in first 222kms of its run and none for the next 996kmm of its journey. Which one?

3. What innovation did Franklin Prestage supposedly design this innovation?

4. Identify station from clues
a. Image clue
b. Haldiram’s mithai photo
c. AP

5. Bed rolls are given free on all trains in AC except..

6. What does C stand for in pic?

7. Identify loco class from drawing.

8. Why is man in pic holding green flag in right hand and red in right hand?

9. what is exceptional about Birganj depot operated by CONCOR?

End of R3, Sagar and Biswarup are eliminated leaving Manish(70pts) and Dr Mulky(60) to fight it out for the Grand prize.

Final Round

1. In old numbering what was the number of Patna-Ernakulam exp (6309/6310)?

2. What is connection of AB Walawalkar to IR?

3. What does this track side sign called and signify exactly? (pic)

4. Identify loco from clues…
a. Creep Control allows them to travel at sppeds of 1-7kms
b. 36000+ road number

5. Different types of parcel services. Class R???

6. Identify the organisation advertised in the pic?

7. identify loco in stamps of the 70s and 80s?

8. What is the first train listed in the TAAG?

9. Identify loco from builder plate? (Toshiba, Hitachi, Mitshubishi)

End of Quiz.
Final Scores:
Manish & Dr Mulky are on 90 points each for a tie!!!


a. Boddavara, Shivalingapuram, Tyada, Chimipudi, Borraguhalu, Karaakavasala, ___,Araku . Fill

b. WAG-5 And WAG-5A between 21101 and 21138 are significant. Why?

Dr Mulky wins the Quiz !!! Congrats!

January 25, 2009 at 15:33 1 comment

Reality of maintaining an A Grade Route

By Mr R Krishnamoorthy, Retd SSE, TM, Mughalsarai. (Father of our member Raghavendra Rao)

HWH-DHN-MGS, a Case Study.

Tough working conditions

Dearth of quality time as block due to higher frequency of trains.

Only 4hrs a day out of the requisite 5hrs is available for maintenance and that too in separate spells.

Semi-skilled work force. Requires quality electrical, electronic, hydraulic, mechanical persons but that does not happen.

Away from family/ challenge to keep people motivated. Poor working and running conditions. No life or disability insurance cover.

Conflict of interest with other departments.
Practical paradox: Owner and Maintainer.
Engineering department owns, but Operating dept uses.

Technology Advancement and reskilling.

Importance and Evolution of TMO

Performance Analysis records.
Suggestions for improvements.
Being cost consciousness while being operationally proactive.
Manpower related suggestions. Occupational, health and social hazards should be looked into.

Need of a Principal co-ordinator at Zonal levels to provide an interface between the various departments like Engg/ Signalling/TRD/OHE/TM, etc.

January 25, 2009 at 14:54 Leave a comment

BJP: Mission Accomplished

No, I’m not predicting NDA’s victory in the polls this year!

At CNB 2008, Mr Bhavi gave a presentation about his role in expediting the BG conversion of the Bijapur-Bagalkot-Gadag section and make it up and running.

At CNB, Mr Bhavi had assured us that he would be back at BNC with something concrete done.

And true to his promise, he’s back with photographs of inaugration of the entire gauge converted section. It was thrown open for regular operations in Dec 2008.

Mr Ravi S gives a preview of this achievement and Mr Bhavi speaks about the details of the project.

Three Cheers to Mr Bhavi. Hip Hip Hurray!

India’s largest Thermal power plant with an installed capacity of 4000MW(info by Biswarup Basu) is coming up on this line, and so is a large steel plant. This route is also the nerve centre of Religious and Heritage tourism in Karnataka.

After 16 years of crusade, this line is now open. Now the agitation is on to get a train to Bangalore from Bijapur via Gadag.

January 25, 2009 at 14:40 2 comments

Quiz Prelims Questions

Prelims Questions

1. Name the first station to appear in the station index of Trains At A Glance.

2. Alan A Jackson in his Railway Dictionary defines this word as: “The most fanatical and extreme type of railway enthusiast. Often used in a derogatory sense to denote the notebook-carrying railway voyeur and collector of useless information.” The word is thought to derive from the “sport” of ‘grouse’ shooting, when a successful day out would result in a substantial “bag” of grouses. What is this alternative word for a train spotter?

3.  Designed by Frederick William Stevens, this building was the first functional administrative building in the world to be put on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2004. What was its immediate previous name (or previous abbreviated name) ?

4. This self-acting microprocessor-based data communication device was designed and developed by Konkan Railways in 2004 to prevent accidents. Name the device.

5. Where in India is the only Zero Gauge railway currently functioning?

6. More trivia. There are two stations sharing the record of the shortest name in Indian Railways network. One is Ib on the Howrah-Nagpur section, near Jharsuguda. Name the other.

7. Name the last State capital (as of now) to be connected to the Indian Railways network. 

8. This train originates at Sealdah and terminates at two different stations after being bifurcated. These stations, Haldibari and New Alipurduar are each close to a respective river. What is the name of this train consisting of the names of both these rivers?

9.  What was the originating station of the first ever Jan Shatabdi Express?

10. Records again. Which train passes through the most number of states in India?

11. Shakti, Pragati, Shatak, Ganshakti, Uday, Asha, Disha, Jyoti, Yug, Gati, Udit, Chetak, Jagran, Kriti, Kiran, Bharti. What is the common prefix to all of these words?

12.  A sister loco, the Express, was built at the same time as the Fairy Queen in 1855 and withdrawn in 1909 to be preserved at the Gymkhana, Jamalpur Loco Works. If the ‘Fairy Queen’ was EIR 22, what was the road number of ‘Express’?

13.  The history of the current East Coast Railway zone goes back to last decade of the 19th century. Between 1893 to 1897, a line from Vijayawada (junction of Southern Maratha Railway and Nizam’s Guaranteed State Railway) to Cuttack was built along with the branch lines to Puri, Kakinada and Visakhapatnam. The Northern section of this line became a part of the Bengal Nagpur Railway in 1902 and later came under South Eastern Railways. But what was this railway called when it was built?

14. “Dial 139 followed by PNR Number (all India) for the reservation position. Dial 139 followed by train number, date and month of journey, for availability of berth in all classes of the train.” This is Indian Railway’s Integrated Train Enquiry System. How is it better known as?

15 An MGR system consists of wagons that load as well as unload their cargo while moving.  A door-opening mechanism is triggered by lineside devices running on a 24V or 32V DC source. As the wagons (typically BOBRN) in a rake pass by the triggering devices, their doors open and their contents are unloaded into the pits below the tracks thus saving time and resources. IRCON has built MGR systems for all the major power plants of NTPC. What does MGR stand for?  (Wonderful question)

16. Name the southern-most junction of Indian Railways network.

Send answers to before 1530hrs.

January 25, 2009 at 13:41 4 comments

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