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-   -   The Great Circular Indian Railway Challenge (http://www.indiamike.com/india/indian-railways-f10/the-great-circular-indian-railway-challenge-t93181/)

dillichaat Oct 19th, 2009 22:01

Quote:

Goodness gracious me!, how long did that take ?.
My then gf and me did it in 8 weeks but of course it was no race, we stopped for sightseeing. The trains were just a convenient way of transport and allowed us to save on hotel costs. I'll take a look at the trains you talk about, must have a recent copy of trains at a glance here somewhere.

Anyway, I'm interested! If you need someone to do research on the ground, feel free to contact me.

skk Oct 19th, 2009 23:59

Seeing as you are from Reading (Lower Earley, Woodley, Wokingham rock:rolleyes: ) { I'm an ex-DECcie btw ), and you are talking 2011, then count me and my wife in at the 40% probability level for parts of the journey. At first blush, I'd want to travel 2A; but given such an utterly pointless idea I'll be flexible.

-skk

Mark_Lester Oct 20th, 2009 01:10

Quote:

Originally Posted by skk (Post 840766)
count me and my wife in at the 40% probability level for parts of the journey.

Ahoy SKK from silicon berks,
I think 2A is almost certainly going to be the choice.
Which parts of the plan might interest you ?. I guess the Assam bit is the most interesting/least traveled by most of us. The furthest I've ever got in that direction was Siliguri many moons ago.

DC, if you could ask around about the status and general well being of the Arunachal Express, and also what the timings are of the ferry from Murkeong Selek to Dibrugarh, in either direction, it would be most useful. I asked on IRFCA but I think those guys think I'm just winding them up. I havent had any hard info about this anyway.
I gather that the running status info on erail and indiarailinfo is a bit fanciful, things are usually a lot worse than IR like to admit. But they dont even give estimates for Rangiya to Murkeong Selek.

prasanth.kumar81 Oct 20th, 2009 01:16

Hey Mark,
Just another small idea. How about covering all the different classes of Indian Railways in this tour. 1A, 2A, 3A. AC Chair Car, FC, and sleeper. That will make it more interesting.

I have almost decided to join in for the tour. Again if you need to do any research or help do not hesitate to get in touch with me.

Regards
Prasanth

steven_ber Oct 20th, 2009 01:31

Hello People.

I'm massively interested in this project, but struggling to find time to work on it, we're moving home soon and the time that's taken up is staggering, I'm also a week into giving up smoking (again) and bashing away on the keyboard makes me want a ciggy, but I'm strong (and if I'm not, my Mrs has a strong left hook).

In time we'll look at each leg of the journey and at the possible delays and any alternatives, but we must first establish the intended route.

If we missed out on the Ahmedabad-Jammu (via Jodhpur) train, it would be a lot easier to go via Delhi, but if we start doing that, we could end up doing loads via Delhi (cutting out the Jammu-Moradabad problem), and that would take something away from the overall challenge.

I've been looking at the Jammu-Guwahati Express (and the Lohit) as they go via Gorakhpur instead of Varanasi, so making a bigger circle, I know they can get delayed and take (much) longer than the Rajdhani, but it would be a bigger challenge than the Rajdhani.

--------------

The biggest overall problem I can see is.....washing ourselves and our clothes.

Quote:

Steven Ber is also provisionally on the train (I dont think he could bear someone else doing this before him)
I've gone close to all the 'end' stations, but I've never really been interested in doing the whole thing.

By train.....

I've been to Margharita (the last stop before Ledo), though I went shopping in Ledo.

I've been to Kanyakumari.

I've passed through Rajkot (on the way to Veraval), but not to Dwarka.

I've been to Amritsar, Pathankot and on the Kangra Valley Railway, but not to Jammu.

steven_ber Oct 20th, 2009 01:35

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mark_Lester (Post 840825)
they dont even give estimates for Rangiya to Murkeong Selek.

I'm fairly sure the line is closed (or will be very soon) for gauge conversion, but if I remember correctly, the estimates for completion of the work were short, so it should re-open before we get there.

Mark_Lester Oct 20th, 2009 01:35

Quote:

Originally Posted by prasanth.kumar81 (Post 840829)
How about covering all the different classes of Indian Railways in this tour. 1A, 2A, 3A. AC Chair Car, FC, and sleeper.

I imagine we'll probably cover most of those whether we like it or not. 2A will be the most interesting I would imagine, but I reserve the right to book into first class on the last leg as I may be in need of counseling by that stage.
What's FC ?.

steven_ber Oct 20th, 2009 01:38

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mark_Lester (Post 840842)
What's FC ?.

First Class non air con, the best class on the railways in my opinion, cheaper than 2A, but without fixed windows.

It's been phased out mostly, but there's still a few trains with FC, it seems easier to find them in the far south.

prasanth.kumar81 Oct 20th, 2009 01:40

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mark_Lester (Post 840842)
What's FC ?.

FC is First Class. It is the Non AC Version of IA. This is operational in very few trains as of now.

Mark_Lester Oct 20th, 2009 01:42

Quote:

Originally Posted by steven_ber (Post 840840)
Hello People.

I'm massively interested in this project, but struggling to find time to work on it,....
I'm also a week into giving up smoking

No worries, we'll just keep talking till you've got more bandwidth.
I concur on the perimeter theme, but obviously we've got to find something that isnt just going to blow up on us. The running status of the Lohit totally freaked me out.

I've been on 4mg chewing gum for, I think, 6 years now. I just love getting on planes and pulling 2 fingers up at the no smoking signs.

Mark_Lester Oct 20th, 2009 01:52

Quote:

Originally Posted by steven_ber (Post 840840)
The biggest overall problem I can see is.....washing ourselves and our clothes.

Every available stop will need a tried and tested hotel as near as possible to the station. I'd pay a whole days rate just for a decent wash and an hours kip. Laundry though is going to be an issue, but here again, we could arrange just to have an undie drop at critical points :yahoo:, I mean how much does 6 pairs of socks, undies and t shirts cost in somewhere like moradabad ?.

skk Oct 20th, 2009 02:20

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mark_Lester (Post 840859)
Every available stop will need a tried and tested hotel as near as possible to the station.

Railway retiring rooms ? I'm harping on about this but I really want to see if this really exists or whether the in-crowd ( as in the government run lodges that do NOT advertise themselves to the riff-raff ) keeps it very quiet or what..

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mark_Lester (Post 840859)
Laundry though is going to be an issue, but here again, we could arrange just to have an undie drop at critical points :yahoo:, I mean how much does 6 pairs of socks, undies and t shirts cost in somewhere like moradabad ?.

Yup, I've been able to manage it pretty much in the past, but then I'm a guy and it doesn't particularly bug me anyway - butttt, you can also get to the more exacting standards of a normative woman too - if you look at this "Paki Nuttah" blog - http://www.getjealous.com/getjealous...&go=pakinuttah ; you'll see that she managed it pretty much - every got her hair and eyelashes done along the way - Wow !

As regards type of train travel and routes - at this early stage there is no sense in limiting oneself - in stupid business-speak ( yeah I can mock it cos I'm out of it now ), its called BHAG ( Big Hairy Audacious Goal ) - so why not think of hiring an entire bogey ( compartment ).

Hell, why not an entire train !

-skk

Mark_Lester Oct 20th, 2009 02:40

Quote:

Originally Posted by skk (Post 840875)
Hell, why not an entire train !

In a way, that would defeat the object somewhat, but as for my ulterior objective of turning this into some kind of new age internet media event in order to raise cash for the needy, it would be very good.
But we're at least 200 people away from managing that, I dont think it's an issue. The response from the league of trainspotters has been low key to non existent. The UK message board, after a weekend's deliberation, let me post an ad', but I had one reply and no sale. Most other english language trainspotter groups didnt even manage that, and the canadians didnt even let me post.
But we've clearly got momentum in here. We'll be in a holding pattern till Steven gets his pressing domestic and drug management issues under control, but I think there are 7 or 8 locals already clearing their feb 2011 schedules.

skk Oct 20th, 2009 03:06

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mark_Lester (Post 840880)
In a way, that would defeat the object somewhat, but as for my ulterior objective of turning this into some kind of new age internet media event in order to raise cash for the needy, it would be very good.
...

You've got a clear marketing hook with the phrase "Railway Children" - Its really neat ( for non-Brits, "Railway Children" is a all-time favorite book, movie, radio play ( show?) by E.Nesbitt - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Railway_Children - a movie version of it from 1970 is well known- mann, that Jenny Agutter was a babe )

what is that by the way - to help kids+families that live on the platforms in India ?

I grew up in a children's charity institution(in the UK) - so I have issues with ( they are MY issues and I'll xxxxx if I want to ) and do consider,critique and find wanting, the structuralism surrounding Western charity and charitable behavior carefully; but in your case, at first blush, s'ok - or as Douglas Adams would say - "Mostly Harmless".

Continue counting me in; as regards routes - the wilder and closer to the perimeter idea the better IMO; so Assam is a particularly good idea ( never been there ).

-skk

Mark_Lester Oct 20th, 2009 03:28

Quote:

Originally Posted by skk (Post 840895)
I have issues with and do consider,critique and find wanting, the structuralism surrounding Western charity and charitable behavior carefully

I've been involved in charitable stuff for kids in eastern europe and I share everyone's concern about charities, especially children's charities. Some of them do far more harm than any good they may incidentally cause.

I am due to visit Railway Children, they have a base near Crewe here in the UK, which is of course Mecca for the UK railway. I think they have a good operation and are a positive influence and an ideal cause for this.
http://railwaychildren.org.uk/

No one is obliged in any way to be involved in that aspect of the project, it's just my personal goal for this. If I can nail a particular corporate sponsor I have in mind then you may find yourself indirectly supporting this just by being involved, but we're a long way off from getting there (and hey, we all like localy brewed larger, dont we ?)


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