Train Talk (Chai & Choo Choos)

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#256 Jun 27th, 2012, 02:14
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#256
I just had a quick look at this post - it's delightful, with a nice photo of a motorised trolley! - http://pakistaniat.com/2010/03/29/jo...rail-in-1950s/ - and the links at the end seem to work too.

Great site SMT!
#257 Jun 27th, 2012, 10:08
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuliaF View Post Can I start a new topic here please?

Railway safes. A friend of mine spent part of his childhood in a small railway station in the back of beyond where his dad worked. He has lots of stories, like how the family would get hot water from the steam engines , but one thing which really fascinated and impressed him was the safes which were used to take cash from the small stations to the headquarters. It wouldn't have been safe to keep cash in the small stations so each train had a safe on it in which the cash would be deposited and then locked in by some ingenious system (with no key) so that the train staff couldn't steal it, and then when the train got to a big station a team of 4 coolies would be needed to lift the safe off the train.

I can't quite understand how it worked but apparently it was very clever.

So, can anyone explain it? Are they still in use? Any photos?
i do recall a similar set of 'treasure boxes' that were transported in vendor compartment of local trains in mumbai along with a set of armed policemen. i understood they carry the card tickets (not sure about cash). it certainly was lifted by 4 persons, who did not look like coolies. again, memory fails me about the locking system used...
#258 Jun 27th, 2012, 19:52
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I am just reading a book called Frontier of Heaven by Stanley Stewart. It is about a journey through China and into Pakistan that the author unddertook in the early 1990s using various means of transportation. The following episode about securing a train reservation reminds me of the Indian railways before computerized bookings. Instead of quoting verbatim I am cutting an pasting a summary that appeared in Country Life.


Quote:
The purchase of train tickets in China can be an arcane process, often dependent on what the Chinese would call guanxi or connections. Tickets between big cities, the beginning and end of a train route, can be difficult but manageable. But joining a train at an intermediate point, particularly if it is a smallish country town, can prove almost impossible. In Wuwei I had attended the train station for days, standing in interminable queues only to met by the same sour-faced young woman muttering meiyou, the eternal Chinese negative. The trains westward arrived and departed from Wuwei full; no one was foolish enough to break their journey in this obscure town.

I tried various wheezes to get a ticket including bribery. I even attempted be arrested, hoping I would be run out of town, on a train. I took photographs of things like military establishments and the army officers lounging in the lobby of my hotel. Far from arresting me, they clapped me on the back and posed for a group portrait.

Eventually I went to the train station and when I got to the ticket window asked the young woman clerk to marry me. I had been swotting up in my phrase book, moving on from the formalities of 'At the Railway Station' to the intimacies of 'Making Friends'. She was so startled that she could not even find the word meiyou. A crowd gathered, pressing forward from the queue behind me, intrigued. I told her I was unable to buy a ticket so I had decided to settle in Wuwei. She was the only person I knew so I wanted her to be my wife. Flustered she called for the station master. I told him I could not buy a ticket so I needed a wife. He was appalled at the idea of losing a valuable employee, particularly one so adept at fending off ticket requests. He retreated to the back room, and after hushed consultation returned a moment later with an onward ticket to Jiaquan. Marriage proposals have a way of concentrating minds.
The major difference is that in India booking clerks are invariably male. So imagine a woman traveller in India doing the same to get her ticket.
#259 Jun 30th, 2012, 10:58
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Memories...

One does not appreciate heritage until it is tagged as obsolete...
During my trip to Chennai about 25 yrs back, I recall 2 types of local trains - BG & MG. I think we went from somewhere to Mambalam on the MG local. I could not imagine that time that I'm being part of history right then...

The memories came flooding back when I saw this at the Chennai Regional Rail Museum. Hope you enjoy the pics (a front view & an inside view - love the 2 seat config)...
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#260 Jun 30th, 2012, 12:47
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Question Sheep Van - has anyone seen the original?

Noted this picture in the gallery at Chennai Regional Rail Museum.
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Including a blow-up of the text below for clarity...
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Has anyone seen the actual coach in any museum???
#261 Jun 30th, 2012, 13:30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paramiyer View Post One does not appreciate heritage until it is tagged as obsolete...
During my trip to Chennai about 25 yrs back, I recall 2 types of local trains - BG & MG. I think we went from somewhere to Mambalam on the MG local. I could not imagine that time that I'm being part of history right then...

The memories came flooding back when I saw this at the Chennai Regional Rail Museum. Hope you enjoy the pics (a front view & an inside view - love the 2 seat config)...
As far as I know the Madras Beach-Madras Egmore-Tambaram line was the only electrified metre-gauge track in India.

@Julia (another quirky bit of information)
Link no.3 mentions Sir Ganga Ram, whose grandaughter Shreela became Baroness Flather, the first Asian woman peer.
#262 Jun 30th, 2012, 13:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paramiyer View Post One does not appreciate heritage until it is tagged as obsolete...
During my trip to Chennai about 25 yrs back, I recall 2 types of local trains - BG & MG. I think we went from somewhere to Mambalam on the MG local. I could not imagine that time that I'm being part of history right then...
Very true. I was walking around a heritage railway station in UK's Lake District, and when I got on the train, I realised that these were the same carriages from my earliest school journeys.
#263 Jun 30th, 2012, 13:57
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#263
176 sheeps

I'm glad the attendant had a separate compartment.






Golghar, thanks for the quirky bit. I've heard of Baroness Flather but what link no.3 is this?
#264 Jun 30th, 2012, 16:43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuliaF View Post Golghar, thanks for the quirky bit. I've heard of Baroness Flather but what link no.3 is this?
The "pakistaniat" link in your post #256 - scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on "3.Ghora Tram".

No.20 has a picture of Ava Gardner at Lahore Junction during the shooting of "Bhowani Junction". The contribution of Pakistan Western Railways to the making of the film is acknowledged in the credits. The Govt. of India didn't allow the film to be made in India. After it was made it wasn't released by the censors either. The reason was that M.N.Roy appears as the villian in the (film version of the) story. So a "Raj" story was turned into a cold-war film.
I have found no confirmation of this but rumour had it that his widow obtained a court order stopping the release of the film in India.
#265 Jul 1st, 2012, 23:01
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#265

Question Composite Coaches...

There is one train that I'm aware of that has HA, HB & AB coaches, besides regular A & B coaches - 18451/18452 express.

I thought that was funny, until I came across this model of Wooden composite coach for I/II/III class at Chennai Rail museum:


I was wondering if anyone has noted a HAB coach or AS/BS coach (sleeper + AC)? I do recall someone mentioning FS coach (2S + FC) being used somewhere...

Side Note for Steven: Does it make sense to add some more coach layouts (HB, AB, etc.) to your masterpiece???
#266 Jul 2nd, 2012, 01:58
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#266
The official travelled 1st class, his secretarial staff 2nd and his menial staff 3rd. These coaches were still in use in the fifties.
#267 Jul 2nd, 2012, 02:13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golghar View Post The official travelled 1st class, his secretarial staff 2nd and his menial staff 3rd. These coaches were still in use in the fifties.
looking at the size of 1st class area, it looks like it can accommodate only 2 passengers (perhaps the official & madam). so in effect, one coach was dedicated to one official - which is pretty much what the rly minister is entitled to in current context, only he/she gets an AC coach...
#268 Jul 2nd, 2012, 02:44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paramiyer View Post looking at the size of 1st class area, it looks like it can accommodate only 2 passengers (perhaps the official & madam). so in effect, one coach was dedicated to one official - which is pretty much what the rly minister is entitled to in current context, only he/she gets an AC coach...
The Collector with his "Ma'am Sāhab" in the first-class coupé (of course the gentleman took the upper berth), the staff with the land-revenue files and the cash-box (with armed guard) in second and the bearer, ayah etc. with the household linen, china and silver in 3rd. This is how they went "on tour" to collect revenues.
#269 Jul 2nd, 2012, 03:11
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#269
A great set of photos from the Chennai Rail Museum paramiyer!

This one, of the double-decker coach amazed me - I'd never heard of a double decker train. How recently were these in use? Has anyone been on one?
#270 Jul 2nd, 2012, 03:17
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#270
Julia

IR has had double decker trains for some time. Ms Banarjee (Didi) introduced one that runs mainly empty between Dhanbad and Howrah. There is also one called the Flying Rani on the Western Railway between Mumbai and Surat.
The inconvenience caused is deeply regretted.

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