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Blog Entry# 467477  
Posted: Jun 28 2012 (6:43PM)

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Last Response: Jun 29 2012 (12:31AM)
  
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Jun 28 2012 (6:43PM)   12321/Howrah - Mumbai CST Mail (via Chheoki) (PT)
 

ArkChat921*^   5886 blog posts   3430 correct pred (60% accurate)
Entry# 467477            Tags   Past Edits
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The Story of IMPERIAL INDIAN MAIL, once the world's most luxury train
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The IMPERIAL INDIAN MAIL (also called the OVERLAND MAIL) was introduced way before India gained her Independence, and was the first train to connect the port city of Mumbai with the then Capital of India, namely Calcutta. The train belonged to The Great Indian Peninsular Railway, and was operated by
...
more...
the Britishers. The train was back then the world's most luxury train, and had Dining Cars, and really out of the world aesthetics for the Upper Class people, and also a few wooden third class coaches for the fellow Indians. The train was hauled by giant monster WP Canadian type Steam engine, and followed the Victoria Terminus- Igatpuri- Bhusaval- Itarsi- Allahabad- Mughal Sarai- Patna- Asansol- Bandel- Howrah route. The train also featured in a movie in 1939, named IMPERIAL INDIAN MAIL, starring Noor Jehan and Gulzar, where the fellow Britishers Mrs. Moore and Adela Quested used the train to travel from Mumbai to Chandrapore (a fictional city based on the city of Bankipur, a suburb of Patna in the state of Bihar). At that time, the train was one of the most pampered train, not only in India, but all over the world.
Post- Independence period saw a drastic downfall for the Mail. The train was taken over by Indian Railways, and the train slowly lost both its name as well as his sheen. The Grand coaches gave way for the normal coaches, and was degraded to a normal Express train category, holding the Superfast tag. Now numbered as 12321 Up/ 12322 Down, the train is now a 21 coacher (+ HCPV), and simply termed as Mumbai- Howrah Mail via Allahabad. The route of the train has saw just two small changes. Now the train uses the Grand Chord line via Dhanbad instead of Patna, and the HB Chord line instead of the HB main line via Bandel. But still the train takes more than 37 hours to cover the journey. Now, two faster routes are available to travel between the two cities, namely-
1) Mumbai- Nagpur- Bilaspur- Tatanagar- Howrah.
2) Mumbai- Nagpur- Bilaspur- Adra- Howrah.
All the other trains travelling between these two cities uses either of these two routes, and takes far less time. Even a Super Crawler (virtually, a Passenger) takes the same time, as that of the Mail. Here is a stats of time taken by different trains-
1) Mumbai Duronto - 26 hours
2) Jnaneshwari Super Deluxe- 30 hours
3) Geetanjali- 31 hours
4) Kamakhya- Mumbai LTT Karmabhoomi via Howrah- 32 hours
5) Mumbai- Howrah Express- 32 hours
6) Mumbai Mail via Nagpur- 33 hours
7) Samarsata- 34 hours
8) Shalimar- Mumbai LTT (Crawler)- 37 hours
9) Mumbai- Howrah Mail via Allahabad- 37 hours.
The train is now hauled by a WAP-4 between Howrah and Allahabad. At Allahabad, the rake gets a reversal, and till Itarsi, it is being hauled by either WDP-4, WDP- 4B, or WDM- 3A twins. At Itarsi, the diesel gives way to a WAM-4 (sometimes WAP-4 is also seen), and the loco hauls the train till Igatpuri. And from Igatpuri onwards, a WCAM-3 covers the rest of the journey with the train. But travellers of this train complain of old worn out coaches (which are not at all properly maintained), unhygienic toilets, pathetic foods served from the Pantry, and overall, a poor unreliable un-punctual run, which results in the train getting delayed by 2-3 hours and even more in most of the occasions. As a result, the Grand Mail is now the least preferred train to travel from end to end.
So what is the future of this train?? The answer remains dissolved in the sea of curiosity. Most of the people are unaware of the history of this train, and the golden past of the Mail is only limited in the pages in history. With many prestigious and pampered trains getting introduced day by day, and modern LHB rakes been assigned to the newer fleets of trains, the ray of of hope for the golden future of this Legendary train remains as doomed as a distant star.
Note:
The videos and most of the photos are personally shooted and clicked, but a few photos are downloaded from the net. History too is gathered from the net. So corrections and advises are heartily welcomed. Track used is KENO EMON HOY (Why does this happen??), which is my favorite Bengali track sound.

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Jun 28 2012 (7:48PM)
Soumitra Chawathe*^~   30214 blog posts   98148 correct pred (71% accurate)
Re# 467477-7            Tags   Past Edits
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Darun!!
Absolutely marvellous video!

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