Author Topic: First Darjeeling freight in 25 years travels entire line  (Read 1507 times)

Glenn Christensen

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First Darjeeling freight in 25 years travels entire line
« on: December 27, 2016, 02:57:25 PM »

Glenn Christensen

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Another current Darjeeling video
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2016, 03:23:55 PM »
... shows the train activity at the Darjeeling terminus and follows the tourist train to the loop at Ghum.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gusKHyX6c4c

Benjamin Campbell

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Re: First Darjeeling freight in 25 years travels entire line
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2016, 04:12:28 PM »
Pretty cool - thanks for posting. Gives a whole new perspective to, 'Top of the Mountain'! Note the guy on top of the engine hammering apart oversize chunks of coal. This would never pass in our safety conscious culture. Sort of reminiscent of 1940s railfanning where you saw guys hanging all over moving engines and cars.

Stephen Piwowarski

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Re: First Darjeeling freight in 25 years travels entire line
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2016, 05:03:17 PM »
Hmm... Will have to keep this on the radar. Thanks for posting! The safety culture in India is very different- it is not a litigious society at all, although that seems to be a part of the western influence creep. More emphasis is put on the individual or team being responsible for their safety rather than relying on special equipment, constricting rules and litigation- which is not to say these are all bad.

People do things daily here that would be considered "putting your life on the line" in the west is more like putting bread on the table here- or just an accepted part of daily life.

To that I will add... Open vestibule riding at 60kph is glorious.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,
Steve
« Last Edit: December 27, 2016, 05:09:10 PM by Stephen Piwowarski »

James Patten

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Re: First Darjeeling freight in 25 years travels entire line
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2016, 05:10:09 PM »
Stephen, have you tried this yet?

Stephen Piwowarski

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Re: First Darjeeling freight in 25 years travels entire line
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2016, 02:47:40 AM »
Not yet! But it's interesting to note how this works- first of all, it is discouraged on many lines- India definitely has more electrified territory than the US and it is growing each year. That said, I think there are still small lines that this happens on.
I always assumed that these were unticketed passengers, but as it turns out they probably have general or 2nd class tickets- Indian Railways has many classes of travel- 1A,2A,3A which are Air Conditioned sleepers and the number corresponds to the number of tiers of berths. Then there is sleeper which is a 3 tier un-air conditioned car. This is the most common accommodation on the IR and there may be 10 or more of this car in a typical passenger train. All of the above are reserved ahead of time with the passenger lists posted on the side of the car and at stations. Then there is general or second class- unreserved tickets. There are as many of these sold as demand warrants but they do not ensure a seat or sometimes even standing room. We've heard of some people who sleep in the luggage racks. This is the cheapest class though- a ticket for an overnight journey could easily cost only 1.00-2.00 USD.
My guess is that these guys in James' picture are general ticketed passengers who found no space in their coaches.

Roger Cole

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Re: First Darjeeling freight in 25 years travels entire line
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2016, 01:37:23 AM »
I don't know about overcrowding on Indian trains, but there is incredible overcrowding on Bangladesh trains before the Eid Festival.   Just noticed dual-gauge trackage at station.  Also, these trains go under low bridges.  Not a good idea to be standing at that time.  I guess Bangladesh riders aren't lawsuit-happy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Qq69JrbheI
« Last Edit: December 29, 2016, 01:42:45 AM by Roger Cole »

Jonathan B. Smith

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Re: First Darjeeling freight in 25 years travels entire line
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2016, 12:13:57 PM »
In 1971 I traveled the length and breadth of India all by rail, 3rd Class Unreserved.
Cheap -- absolutely. A good thing since my finances were, shall we say, tight. Many, many 100s of miles for very few $.
Comfortable -- not so much. Getting a seat was almost beyond hope. Claiming a luggage rack was a conquest. My last ride was overnight to Bombay as it was known then. I slept, sort of, standing packed so tight one couldn't fall over.
Accessibility -- sure, but one had to be fast. Forget boarding by platform. Go for the window and just crawl in.
Sociology -- a good way to get to know the locals though one had to be careful when in the luggage racks not to show anyone the bottoms of your feet, a grave insult.
Memorable -- you bet.

Wayne Laepple

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Re: First Darjeeling freight in 25 years travels entire line
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2017, 10:00:03 PM »
Hmmm. That freight train looks as if it might have been assembled and run only for the benefit of the photographers, rather than to actually transport goods.

Glenn Christensen

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Re: First Darjeeling freight in 25 years travels entire line
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2017, 10:15:03 PM »
Hi Wayne,

You're right on the money.

It was supposed to be the first true passenger train in 25 years.  But there was a delay by the Ministry of Transport in passing the line for passenger service.  The RR had to run a train, people had signed up specially for the first trip.  So the train was deemed a freight train and the Ministry allowed the "freight train" to run as scheduled.

Luckily, none of the "freight" was damaged.


Best Regards,
Glenn

 
« Last Edit: January 08, 2017, 10:18:02 PM by Glenn Christensen »