125 years of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)

A strong reminder of the colonial roots and strength of Indian Railways, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), formerly Victoria Terminus, completes 125 years this month.
A rare combo of Victorian Italianate Gothic Revival architecture and Mughal beauty, the world heritage building came up in 1888. The busiest railway station in the country is a terminus for long-distance as well as Mumbai suburban trains.

It is the only operational world heritage station building.

It is the place where the first page of Indian Railways history was written 160 years ago on April 16, 1853, when the first train was started between Bori Bunder and Tannah (CSTM and Thane) in Mumbai. The initial four services a day ferried about 1,000 passengers.

Today, 1,618 services from the station cater to about 65 lakh commuters every day.

When the British introduced the service for personal convenience they would not have imagined it would one day spread to such proportions covering the length and breadth of the country, 65,000 km in all, and bring about a geographical and socio-economic sea change.

Of the 65,000 km rail network, 54,600 km is broad gauge.

Central Railway then general manager and at present member engineering, railway board, Delhi, Subodh Jain, who has completed 37 years in service, narrates the story of Indian Railways which graduated from narrow/metre gauge (serving “narrow-minded people”) to broad gauge (serving the “broad-minded”).

He explains Cotton Green (a station for suburban trains in Mumbai), dak bungalows and mails.

Before railways, all vehicles were animal-driven. Once James Watt harnessed the power of steam, horse power was replaced.

Subsequently, George Stephenson invented the first steam engine locomotive in 1816 — Rocket.

The first passenger train ran in India on April 13, 1853, and the next day a Parsi booked all its seats for a “joyride”.

Prior to this, trains would bring cotton to Bombay Port to be shipped to Manchester, England.

This is how Cotton Green came into being. It was an exchange where cotton would be brought from different parts of the country for trade.

To start with, horse riders, called dakiye (postmen), would bring mail for viceroys in Peshawar, Delhi, Kanpur and other places.

The places where dakiyes and tired horses would rest and mail change hands came to be known as dak bungalows.

Trains followed the same system and came to be known as mails and loco sheds replaced dak bungalows.

At loco sheds, steam engines low on fuel would be detached and fresh ones loaded with coal would be attached. This was also the time train drivers would go to running rooms for rest.

Initially, all trains carried the suffix mail as their objective was to carry mail, not passengers. So it was Punjab Mail, Frontier Mail.

When the talk of carrying passengers began, Lord Dalhousie suggested Hindustan should have broad gauge, not metre or narrow gauge.

After Dalhousie returned to Britain, Indian kings sought narrow or metre gauge.

In 1873, permission was granted to maharajas and Indian rail companies to lay metre gauge lines for passenger transport and a network of chhoti lines was established.

In 1892, it was realised metre gauge caused loss, the service was poor and speed less. This prompted a uni-gauge — one gauge all over India — policy.

Soon, conversion of metre gauge to broad gauge began. Areas that already had broad gauge lines saw rapid industrial development with an influx of labour. Labourers migrating from metre gauge areas — Kutch in Gujarat, north Bihar — to broad gauge areas initially faced ridicule. Dekho, ye chhoti line ka admi hai!

Thus, populations were gauged — residents of developed areas (broad gauge), those of backward areas (metre gauge) and of no-development areas (no rail network).

Bombay Baroda Central Indian Railway was initially Central Indian Railways. But when the British sought to lay a rail line in Baroda, the king of Baroda told them the company name should also include the state name.

This is why Dadar is both BB (Bombay Baroda) and TT (Tram Terminus). The trams would run between Regal Cinema and Dadar.

kalpana.verma@expressindia.com
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/a-journey-down-memory-line/1121360/0

Railways plans water recycling plant in Manmad for washing wagons

The Indian Railways has decided to set up a water recycling plant in Manmad to tap used water from loco sheds and re-use it for washing and cleaning of locomotives and wagons.

“We have planned recycling of waste water generated from washing of train wagons and locomotives such that our daily intake is reduced by 50%. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 8 lakh and has been forwarded for financial sanction,” a senior railway official from Manmad said.

Manmad junction on the Central Railway caters to traffic from Mumbai, Bhusawal, Aurangabad and Daund and is one of the busiest. However, it faces acute shortage of drinking water supply because of its location in the area where rainfall is low. Moreover, rains have failed in this part of the region for the last three years, and the town gets water supply at 21 days’ intervals.

“The Railways has its own reservoir to store water from where it is pumped for purposes including water feeding to trains and cleanliness at the junction. The Railways requires nearly 1.5 lakh litres of water daily for washing and other purposes of which 50,000 litres will be sourced from the water recycling plant,” the official said. Daily consumption of water in the station stands at 22 lakh litres – most of which is fed to the railway passenger bogeys.

Once sanctioned, the plant could be readied in six to eight months as a place has already been identified and other sanctions are in place.

According to the officials such a plant could be one of its kind in the state. The water fed for the recycling plant would be mostly grey water that can be easily treated and used for purposes other than drinking. “The Railways would thus lessen the quantity of fresh water intake contributing substantially towards water conservation,” the official said.

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-03-03/nashik/37410068_1_grey-water-waste-water-manmad