The story behind Port Albert Victor

The Western Railway had many obscure metre gauge and narrow gauge lines in Gujarat. Many have now been closed or converted to broad gauge. One of the more obscure ones was Victor on the southern coast of Saurashtra. This is what appeared in the 1975 timetables

The two terminals shown here are Rajula City and Victor, connected to the junctions Rajula Jn and Dungar respectively. Rajula City had three daily pairs of trains, while Victor has one pair of trains on 4 days of the week.

Going back to 1944:

Here we see the station listed as Port Albert Victor. It has a train only on two days of the week. At least we now have a clue as to its history. It can also be seen that the line to this terminal was opened in 1928.

But who was Albert Victor? You would have heard of Queen Victoria, but there was no British monarch called Victor. Maybe we have to go down the ladder a bit.

Prince Albert Victor was born in 1864. He was the eldest son of the future King Edward VII, who was then heir to the throne. Queen Victoria was the ruler, and would continue to be on the throne until 1901.

A younger brother (who later became King George V) was born in 1865.

Prince Albert Victor suffered from poor health in his childhood and did not seem to have done anything worth noting.

In 1889, he was sent to tour India for several months from October 1889 to May 1890. Wikipedia sums this up:

“The foreign press suggested that Albert Victor was sent on a seven-month tour of British India from October 1889 to avoid the gossip which swept London society in the wake of the scandal.[54] This is not true;[55] the trip had actually been planned since the spring.[56] Travelling via AthensPort SaidCairo and Aden, Albert Victor arrived in Bombay on 9 November 1889.[57] He was entertained sumptuously in Hyderabad by the Nizam,[58] and elsewhere by many other maharajahs.[59] In Bangalore he laid the foundation stone of the Glass House at the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens on 30 November 1889. He spent Christmas at Mandalay and the New Year at Calcutta. Most of the extensive travelling was done by train,[60] although elephants were ridden as part of ceremonies.[61] In the style of the time, a great many animals were shot for sport.[62]

Presumably, the port in Gujarat was named after him during or soon after his tour.

However, he died of typhoid in 1892, when his grandmother Victoria was still the ruler and his father was still the heir apparent. His father ruled as King Edward VII from 1901 to 1910, while King George V (born in 1865) ruled from 1910 to 1936.

However, if Prince Albert Victor had lived beyond 1910 the entire line of succession would have changed. Perhaps the persons now known as Queen Elizabeth II and King Charles III would not have become monarchs.

During George V’s rule the rail link from Dungar to Port Albert Victor was opened in 1928. As we have seen, it did not seem to generate much passenger traffic. Today the line appears to have been abandoned.

Meanwhile, a new port came up at Pipavav to the south of Rajula City. This is one of the success stories of Indian ports today. It is unclear if Victor port will be revived.

More about his visit to India:

Uri-end of the line in J &K

There is a tender for conducting a survey for a railway line from the present terminus of Baramula to Uri (about 50 km).

This would be the end of the line, with Uri being the last station in J &K. It will not, however, be the northern-most station in India as it is south-west of Baramula. It’s latitude would be a little north of Srinagar.,73.7043953,10z/data=!4m6!3m5!1s0x38e05748af885045:0xa67531f1a8648f93!8m2!3d34.0881166!4d74.0339852!16zL20vMDg4dzEx

Looking ahead to the 2023 World Cup

By mid-May, we know the 8 teams which have qualified for the main tournament as well as those who will participate in the qualifying tournament which will be held in July in Zimbabwe. A similar tournament was also held in Zimbabwe in 2019.

Here we list the teams with their ICC points as on 15 May:

Main draw:

  1. Australia (118)
  2. Pakistan (116)
  3. India (115)
  4. New Zealand (104)
  5. England (101)
  6. South Africa (101)
  7. Bangladesh (97)
  8. Afghanistan (88)

Qualifiers- 2 of these will go into the tournament along with the 8 listed above:

  1. Sri Lanka (80)

2. West Indies (72)

3.Zimbabwe (51)

4. Ireland (47)

5. Scotland (46)

6. Nepal (37)

7. USA (35)

8. Netherlands (26)

9. Oman (20)

10. UAE (18)

At the moment, it seems most likely that Sri Lanka and West Indies will qualify. There can be some fluke results along the way, but the end result is still likely to be the same two teams qualifying.

Cumulative Test bowling records (World and India)

Here we look at how the record for the best innings bowling has progressed.

The very first Test in 1877 saw Australia’s TK Kendall taking 7-55 against England.

7-55, TK Kendall, A vs E, Melbourne, 15/03/1877

7-44, FR Spofforth, A vs E, Oval, 28/08/1882

7-28, W Bates, E vs A, Melbourne, 19/01/1883

8-35, GA Lohmann, E vs A, Sydney, 25/02/1887

8-11, J Briggs, E vs SA, Cape Town, 25/03/1889

9-28, GA Lohmann, E vs SA, Johannesburg, 02/03/1896

10-53, JC Laker, E vs A, Manchester, 26/07/1956

In the first 20 years the record changed hands frequently. Then GA Lohmann’s 9-28 became the record for over 60 years. JC Laker’s record has stood for over 66 years.

Next we look at the corresponding Indian records.

India’s first Test had M Nissar taking a 5-for at Lord’s.

5-93, M Nissar, vs E, Lord’s, 25/06/1932

5-90, M Nissar, vs E, Mumbai, 15/12/1933

7-86, L Amar Singh, vs E, Chennai, 10/02/1934

8-55, MH Mankad, vs E, Chennai, 06/02/1952

8-52, MH Mankad, vs P, Delhi, 10/10/1952

9-102, SP Gupte, vs WI, Kanpur, 12/12/1958

9-69, JM Patel, vs A, Kanpur, 19/12/1959

10-74, A Kumble, vs P, Delhi, 04/02/1999.

The current record by Kumble has stood for over 24 years. Before that, JM Patel’s record had stood for over 39 years.

More junctions which are not attached to stations

Note: Pictures are copyright of the respective photographers.

We start with this map extract of Ernakulam Jn and its surroundings. Note C cabin at the top left and D cabin at the top right. Both are junctions without any nearby stations. C cabin is in between Ernakulam Town and Junction, and D cabin is between Junction and Tripunittara on the east.

I could not locate pictures of these cabins.

Next there are a few examples from the Kolkata area.

Baltikuri near Howrah:

This has the code BALT. A Balt is a native of the Baltic republics such as Estonia.

Near Dankuni we have CC Link East Cabin and CC Link Cabin West. CC stands for Calcutta Chord.

In North Bengal, there is the curiously-named Y-Leg Connector near Domohani and New Domohani stations.

It can be seen on this map:

Here we have two lines crossing at almost 90-degree angles. There was no interconnection between these lines. When an interconnection was made, it joined the westward line at the Y-Leg Connection Cabin. This is what it looks like:

along with

Near Hubballi, we have already seen Hubballi South as a station where no passenger train stops. There is also Hubballi East Cabin:

And even Hubballi Bypass East Cabin:

IR’s junctions which are not stations

There are a few hundred junctions among the 8000-odd stations on the Indian railways. There are some prominent junctions which do not have a passenger station. Some may have a passenger station where no train stops regularly.

Here are some of the better-known ones:

Vyasarpadi, near Chennai Central;

There is a nearby station called Vyasarpadi Jiva.

Nethravathi, near Mangaluru. It is, naturally, near the Nethravathi river.

This picture is taken while travelling north. The left branch goes to the terminus of Mangaluru Central, the right branch goes to Manguluru Junction and beyond.

Kankuragachi Road, near Sealdah:

Magnesite, near Salem:

For a short time a passenger train stopped here.

Pagidipalli, near Hyderabad:

Back to the Chennai area: Melpakkam near Arakkonam:

This is also called Arakkonam west cabin.

Hubballi South which does have a station but without any passenger service:

Hindon Cabin near Saharanpur in UP.

This is near the WAG-12B maintenance centre along with a regular ELS at Khanalampura.

Deaths of cricketers in 2022

We start with the list of (male) Test players who passed away in 2022. This list has been compiled from Cricinfo and Wikipedia:

For the “others”, we include:

Test umpires

ODI players

Women’s Test players

Prominent FC players (with a stress on India)

Prominent administrators and journalists

This list is subjective and depends on the amount of coverage a person has in the media.

Cumulative records for highest Test innings (India)

Now we look at the cumulative records in Tests for India.

L Amar Singh scored the first 50 for India in their very first Test in 1932. L Amarnath made the first century the following year.

L Amar Singh, 51 vs E, Lord’s, 25/06/1932

L Amarnath, 118 vs E, Mumbai, 15/12/1933

V Merchant, 128 vs E, Oval, 17/08/1946

VS Hazare, 145 vs A, Adelaide, 13/01/1948

VS Hazare, 164* vs E, Delhi, 02/11/1951

MH Mankad, 184 vs E, Lord’s, 19/06/1952

PR Umrigar, 223 vs NA, Hyderabad, 19/11/1955

MH Mankad, 223 vs NZ, Mumbai, 02/12/1955

MH Mankad, 231 vs NZ, Chennai, 06/01/1956

SM Gavaskar, 236* vs WI, Chennai, 24/12/1983

VVS Laxman, 281 vs A, Kolkata, 11/03/2001

V Sehwag, 309 vs P, Multan, 28/03/2004

V Sehwag, 319 vs SA, Chennai, 21/03/2008

Points of interest: See how the record changed hands three times in the 1955-56 season.

Mankad held the record from late 1955 to late 1983, 28 years. The next highest stretch is 19 years by Sehwag from 2004 to the present.

Cumulative records for highest Test innings:

The very first Test in 1877 had a score of 165*. Here we look at how the record innings score has progressed.

165* C Bannerman, A v E, Melbourne, 15/03/1877

211 WL Murdoch, A v E, Oval, 11/08/1884

287 RE Foster, E v A, Sydney, 11/12/1903

325 A Sandham, E v WI, Kingston, 03/04/1930

334 DG Bradman, A v E, Leeds, 11/07/1930

336* WR Hammond, E v NZ, Auckland, 31/03/1933

364 L Hutton, E v A, Oval, 21/08/1938

365* GS Sobers, WI v P, Kingston, 26/02/1958

375 BC Lara, WI v E, St John’s, 16/04/1994

380 ML Hayden, A v Z, Perth, 09/10/2003

400* BC Lara, WI v E, St John’s, 10/04/2004

Sobers held the record for the longest period, over 36 years. Foster held it for over 26 years (helped by WW 1).

Sandham held the record for the shortest period, a little over 3 months. Hayden held it for 6 months.

Murdoch was the first to make a double century, Sandham the first triple and Lara the first and only quadruple.

One batsman outscoring two innings of the opponents

In Test cricket, there have been 5 instances where a batsman scored more than the opponent’s totals in two innings. First we look at instances where one innings of the batsman was more than the runs made in two innings by the opposing team.

1. R Abel (120), E v SA (47 & 43), Cape Town, 1888-89

2. L Hutton (364), E v A (201 &123), Oval, 1938

3. DG Bradman (185), A v I (58 & 98), Brisbane, 1947-48

4. Inzamam-ul-Haq (329), P v NZ (73 & 246), Lahore, 2002

5. ML Hayden (119), A v P (59 & 53), Sharjah, 2002-03

One step below, we look at the 4 instances where one batsman’s total in two innings was more than the runs made in two innings by the opposing team.

  1. EH Hendren (169 & 45), E v A (122 & 66), Brisbane, 1928-29
  2. CG Greenidge (134 & 101), WI v E (71 & 126), Manchester, 1976
  3. JL Langer (191 & 97), A v P (197 & 72), Perth, 2004-05
  4. D Karunaratne (158* & 60), SL v SA (126 & 73), Galle, 2018.


Cricket-Make mine a double

Here we look at those whose first Test century was a double or triple century. This list is given in Cricinfo’s statistics section:

This is actually a fairly long list. It includes three triple centurions-Gary Sobers, Bob Simpson and KK Nair. While the first two had long careers with many more centuries, KK Nair never made another century in his 6 Tests. In fact, his next highest score was only 26.

There are several who scored a double century on debut:;debut_or_last=1;filter=advanced;orderby=batted_score;qualmin1=200;qualval1=batted_score;template=results;type=batting;view=innings

This is headed by RE Foster’s 287. While he did not make another century, his 287 was the Test record until Sandham made 325 in 1930. Similarly, Sobers’s 365* was the world Test record until Lara crossed it i 1994.

Kuruppu played in a handful of Tests.

Recently, Nishan Madushka (listed as KNM Fernando) made 205 as his first century in his 3rd Test.

Indians here are Dilip Sardesai (200*), Mayank Agarwal (215), Vinod Kambli (224) and KK Nair (303*)

Where trains do not run-the Nepal border

The North Eastern Railway had a number of short branch lines serving the UP-Nepal and Bihar-Nepal borders. Most of them have closed now, presumably due to insufficient traffic.Here are a few closed stations which can still be seen:

From UP:

Katarniyan Ghat, in the Dudwa area.

Jarwa, on a branch from the Gonda-Gorakhpur loop.

From Bihar:

Bhikhnathori, on a branch from Narkatiaganj.

Active border stations include Tanakpur, Nautanwa, Raxaul, Jaynagar and Jogbani. Laukaha Bazar awaits completion of gauge conversion. Nepalganj Road still continues with limited trains.