An average railfan would have seen the station of Bhortex in the WR timetable, and wondered how this “non-Indian” spelling came there. However, this is what you will see there:
This is in Maharashtra, on the Surat-Bhusaval section. You can see that it is spelt Bhortek (in English, Hindi and Marathi). A look at maps of the area confirms this. In fact, the timetable entry changed to Bhortex some years ago. It looks like a clerical error by the timetable department. But no one has bothered to change it. Bhortex also remains in the RBS site.
Another persistent error relates to this station:
This is in Punjab, near the Punjab-HP border on the Kangra Valley line. Anyone slightly familiar with Indian history would realize that the spelling is correct. This station serves the hill station of that name. But the NR timetables and the RBS site have chopped the last E for several years, and display Dalhousi Road today. This would again been a clerical error which no one has bothered to correct.
Now to Jharkhand, on the Gomoh-Daltonganj branch and not far from McCluskieganj we have:
The station is listed as Gumia. In the locality both Gumia and Gomia are used, especially as the only large industrial unit there uses Gomia. It appears that the local practice was initially to spell it Gumia, though Gomia became more widespread since the 1960s. Now even the station sign says Gomia, but the timetables and RBS still stick to the old name.
There are many instances of British names becoming Indianized, such as Worsleyganj becoming Waris Aleganj and McDonald’s Choultry becoming Magudan Chavadi. But there is one odd example from Bareilly in UP. You would have heard of the divisional headquarters at Izatnagar. Or is it Izzatnagar?
When you reach this station, you will see these signs:
So which is correct? In the vicinity you will see both varieties being used in shops and offices.
It was indeed Izatnagar to start with, named after a British railway manager named Alexander Izat. There is also an Izat Bridge elsewhere on the NER near Allahabad. But somehow the word “Izzat” crept in, and now features in the timetable and RBS.
But we can see that no one in the railways seems to care if the signs with different spellings are standing in close proximity.
More about Mr Izat and the Izat bridge here:
Other misspellings have lasted for a few years before being corrected. Examples would be “Duckyard Road” for this:
This is in Mumbai on the Harbour Branch. Far away in the Nilgiris, this station
was listed as “Hillgroove” for some years. (These mistakes may have been because “duckyard” and “groove” are valid English words).
There are, of course, numerous stations where you will find signboards with different spellings, often on the same platform. Some well-known ones are Hafizpet/peta and Washer(man/men)pet which you can still see today.
We close with a station in a relatively remote part of Rajasthan, between Bandikui and Bharatpur. It is listed as Tarchhera Baraoli Ran. This is what you will see there:
So someone, either at the NWR headquarters or the local painter has messed up.
But if you check Google maps for this locality (at 27.21 N, 77.10 E) it is shown as Talchera Baraoliran. That is what the sign says. So the timetable is wrong again.
Now, does this really matter to most people including railway passengers of the area? Not really, since they usually know where they are going regardless of what the timetable or sign says.
But it does seem to show that the station sign is more likely to be correct than the official website or timetable.
Anyone seeking to create a practical railway guide or map should keep this in mind. In most cases pictures of the sign can be found in the site https://indiarailinfo.com/ at the entry for the particular station.
One thought on “The vortex in Bhortex, and other stories”
Delightful read, Ajai. Liked it very much.
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