Visiting Narrow Gauge Railways in India

#16 Jun 30th, 2013, 22:18
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#16
Excellent post Dave! Thanks

I've watched those 3 BBC documentaries about the narrow-gauge railways many times, and they're great. Hoping to get to see the Kalma-Shimla one at least, when the rains have subsided later in the year.
#17 Jul 1st, 2013, 11:20
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#17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave W View Post As far as I know, from a telephone conversation with somebody at the Museum in March this year, the Monorail is only steamed on Sundays.
I might create a new thread, but I went on Sunday so will give a brief report, Some interesting stuff in the indoor display, and some interesting locos around the site, but its also clearly very neglected with some of the rolling stock close to falling in on themselves and there is little or no information on what your looking at.
After about two hours we where in desperate need of a drink, but sadly the 'cafe' (complete with "Frizz not working, apologies" sign) had just closed for half an hour 2 till 2.30 and so with the thought of waiting 30minutes for a bottle of warm water not appealing, we left.
I done know if the audio guide is any good, and might go back to sample that, and was also going to go in to the loco shed and have a nosey. Saw the monorail but it was not in steam, hard to tell when it was last used, but its clearly not used weekly, and if i'm honest im not sure I would have wanted to be as near to it as we got it if had been in steam given the state it appear to be in.


Daniel
#18 Jan 21st, 2014, 17:06
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#18
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Originally Posted by ashyashwin View Post There was this Ahmedpur-Katwa line in Bengal. It seems it is also being converted to standard gauge.
I thought so for the Barddhaman Katwa part.
But I just discovered this article.

Also erail gives two trains:
Barddhaman Balgona and Balgona Katwa.
Last edited by vonkla; Jan 21st, 2014 at 17:39.. Reason: Corrected the link see #19
#19 Jan 21st, 2014, 17:16
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#19
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Originally Posted by vonkla View Post Also erail gives two trains:
Barddhaman Balgona and Balgona Katwa
.
You've linked to BGNA-BWN by mistake.

This is the Balgona-Katwa link and is indeed narrow-gauge.

In fact it is the BGNA-KWF passenger and not KWAE. I presume KWF is the narrow-gauge part of the station and KWAE broad-gauge. Ahmadpur-Katwa doesn't seem to have any trains. It must be undergoing conversion. Why can't they leave those heathens alone!
#20 Jan 21st, 2014, 17:25
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#20
Great spot Vonkla. I now need to start negotiations over a day trip from Kolkata so I can see this.
#21 Jan 21st, 2014, 17:41
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#21
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Originally Posted by Golghar View Post You've linked to BGNA-BWN by mistake.

This is the Balgona-Katwa link and is indeed narrow-gauge.
Thanks, I have corrected the original post.
#22 Jan 21st, 2014, 17:50
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#22
I'm a bit surprised the Nagpur - Jabalpur narrow gauge line has failed to find a mention in this thread. Covering a fraction less than 400 km, the 58839/40 Nagpur - Jabalpur Passenger is the longest NG journey that can be made on a single train in India - 19 and a half hours!

http://erail.in/?R=58839

The major stations on this line are Saoner, Chhindwara and Nainpur Jn - from where there is a spur to Balaghat Junction.

There is only one direct Nagpur - Jabalpur NG train, but plenty of short-distance passenger trains between:

(a) Nagpur and Chhindwara: http://erail.in/?T=NGP::CWA
(b) Chhindwara and Nainpur: http://erail.in/?T=CWA::NIR
(c) Nainpur and Jabalpur: http://erail.in/?T=NIR::JBP

The only Express on the line is the 10001/02 Satpura Express which makes a daily stroll from Jabalpur to Balaghat and back. This train has a First Class coach as well!
#23 Jan 21st, 2014, 17:52
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#23
I ran out of steam before I got that far south. Thanks for posting.
#24 Jan 21st, 2014, 18:46
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#24
We traveled on this line in March 2012 from Chhindwara to Sausar. The TTE told us that this line soon would be converted.
Alongside the track we saw already a lot of building material, but not on this picture.
Attached Images
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#25 Feb 6th, 2014, 17:07
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#25
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I can confirm that as of yesterday (5th February 2014) the Katwa - Balgona NG section is still running. There is a short report in our 2014 blog, linked below in the signature*. I will write a bit more with more photos when we get home.


* Blog link http://radinja4.blogspot.co.uk/2014/...oneshaker.html
Last edited by Dave W; Oct 30th, 2014 at 14:13.. Reason: Blog link added
#26 Feb 6th, 2014, 17:29
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#26
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Originally Posted by Dave W View Post ... There is a short report in our 2014 blog, linked below in the signature....
I can't see any signature [found it - thanks to below ]
#27 Feb 6th, 2014, 17:36
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#27
Look higher up the page to find it!
"Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing." ~ Camille Pissarro
#28 Mar 11th, 2014, 12:55
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#28

Katwa - Balgona. A day trip from Kolkata

UPDATE 2nd December 2014 - It is reported that the Katwa - Balgona line has now closed. http://www.demotix.com/news/6388146/...#media-6388030

As promised earlier here is a bit more detail about the visit that we made to the remnants of the Katwa Lines on 5th February 2014. This 2' 6" gauge system was originally operated by McLeod & Co.

We only discovered that the surviving section from Katwa to Balgona was still operating a couple of weeks before we left for India. The Katwa - Ahmadpur section apparently closed in early January 2014. We were able to get confirmation from the Indian Railways MG & NG Facebook group that the line was definitely running so a day excursion was organised. Originally I planned an out and back trip on the NG but discovered that there is an end on connection at Balgona with the section of line that has already been converted to Broad Gauge and that there was a convenient connection to Barddhaman, allowing us to get back to Kolkata in time for dinner.

We were staying on Sudder Street so a train from Sealdah suited us best. There are no reservable options at a suitable time to Katwa (KWAE) so we caught train 31111, a suburban EMU, leaving at 08.04 for the 151km trip, fare Rs 30/-. Train 37913 leaving Howrah at 7.53 would be a viable option. This train was busy without getting unbearably crowded. although Madame W did find the wooden seating a bit wearing. There were plenty of vendors on this train to keep us fed and amused. About an hour out of Sealdah this train crosses the high level Hooghly bridge between Garifa and Hooghly Ghat. A new bridge is being built alongside the old one here.

The Narrow Gauge Station at Katwa (KWF) is immediately adjacent to the main station and has its own booking office. Tickets were immediately purchased for the 12.50 departure to Balgona, 28 kms, fare Rs 10/-.
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The train soon arrived from Balgona, a diesel powered driving car at each end of the five coach train.
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The train was quite busy but we were able to get window seats in one of the rather dilapidated coaches
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The journey crosses mainly paddy areas on a slightly raised causeway, and calls at a number of small villages. There are even a couple of vendors. The track is very bumpy and the ride of the train is poor. This is not a comfortable journey.

At Balgona the NG line terminates just short of the new BG station. built on an embankment. Between Katwa and Balgona we saw no serious evidence of gauge conversion work under way.
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At Balgona there is time to buy tickets for the 25km , Rs 10/- trip by EMU to Barddhamman. We had booked CC seats back to Sealdah on the Maa Tara Express 13188 but this was late. It would probably have been quicker to get an Unreserved local back to Howrah.

For me this was an excellent day out. For non train fans it could be a bit much.
Last edited by Dave W; Dec 3rd, 2014 at 22:53.. Reason: UPDATE
#29 Mar 11th, 2014, 17:33
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#29
Thanks Dave, good report and love the pics! Katwa station looks decent and small enough to be quaint. I reckon in another few years this last MG remnant will also bite the dust.

Funny how Mrs. W is staring at a lady and everyone else but that lady is staring at her! Were you in a ladies carriage Dave? Love the patchwork ceiling repairs on the carriage ceiling! Wonder whether the rain gets in.
#30 Mar 11th, 2014, 17:57
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#30
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Originally Posted by ViShVa View Post Thanks Dave, good report and love the pics! Katwa station looks decent and small enough to be quaint. I reckon in another few years this last MG remnant will also bite the dust.
Thanks. Not MG but NG 2' 6".

Quote:
Funny how Mrs. W is staring at a lady and everyone else but that lady is staring at her! Were you in a ladies carriage Dave? Love the patchwork ceiling repairs on the carriage ceiling! Wonder whether the rain gets in.
I think that Madame W was looking out of the window on the opposite side of the train. I did worry at first that we were in a Ladies' coach but nobody spoke any English and I have no Bengali. A while after I took this photo three or four local men got into the coach without any protests so I assume that it was not a restricted coach.

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