For some people in the city, trains are more than just a mode of transport. They are an object of curiosity, fascination and study.
During weekends, train spotters — also called ‘rail fans’ — in the city assemble at important railway stations to watch and discuss trains. Mostly members of the Indian Railways Fan Club Association (IRFCA), these train spotters share information about trains, which may include technical details, routes, engine and coach specifications. Even details about livery are not left out of the discussion.
Recently, one of the groups met at Basin Bridge railway station to not just talk about trains but also to chalk out travel plans for IRFCA’s annual meeting, to be held at Bikaner in Rajasthan in January, 2016.
The group, led by Sridhar Joshi of Perambur, has pet names for all the trains that pass through the station.
“The Shatabdi Express is named ‘Big Blue’ for the blue colour of its coaches; Brindavan Express is the ‘fastest fast passenger express’ and Navjeevan is called the ‘vegetarian train’ for its vegetarian-only menu,” says Mr. Joshi.
Giriraj Bissa, another avid railway fan, is in the habit of noting down the engine make and details about coaches found on trains.
Ashwin Gandhi says the IRFCA has a portal — http://www.irfca.org — where all information regarding the history of Indian Railways collected from various sources.
http://www.irfca.org has all information regarding the history of Indian Railways