Good places for hanging around

Some may need an explanation:

Next, we proceed to one of Guwahati’s main markets:

Fancy Bazar

Those familiar with the city will point out that the market is near the jail, where hangings were carried out. The trading community must have thought that Fancy Bazar sounded better than Phansi, which would be bad for business. Hence the present name.

Then there is this small town near Siliguri. It is important enough to be marked on highway signs. Here is one sign which indicates its name:

Phansidewa TTI

It is unclear why this nondescript place was associated with hanging.

You can see the town here.,+Bangladesh/@26.5891217,88.35675,15z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x39e45b3050a20c8d:0xbd2dd4a74361baa1!8m2!3d26.5885778!4d88.3712796?hl=en

The nearby station was indeed named Phansidewa. By the early 1970s it was renamed:


It is on one of the main routes leading to North-East India.

There are, of course, other places with morbid-sounding names. One of the better known ones is Tombstone, Arizona which was the site of many shootouts in the days of the Wild West:

Tombstone welcome sign


Tombstone sign 2

Examples of the town’s history (with a lot of graveyard humour) can be seen in this tourist brochure:

Update to the Lumding-Silchar line

This is an update to my earlier post of June 25-you may like to have a look at it first:

As things turned out, our optimism was misplaced and the Commissioner of Railway Safety felt that the line was not fit for passenger traffic, although goods trains continued to run.

After all approvals, regular passenger services were formally inaugurated on Nov 21. The only passenger train on this section is a passenger train from Guwahati, which hasĀ  SL and unreserved class at the moment. It can be called a fast passenger as it has only one stop between Guwahati and Lumding.

Here are the timetables for these trains:





This also marked the resumption of direct trains between these cities, which had stopped since the early 1990s when the broad gauge reached Lumding. Prior to that there were two express trains, the 11/12 Barak Valley Express and the 201/202 Cachar Express running on this route. In Nov 1983 there were two other passenger trains on this route, one between Lumding and Badarpur and another called the Tripura Passenger, between Lumding and the then railhead at Dharmanagar.

It will be instructive to compare the timings of these trains from the Nov 1983 Bradshaw with the present timings.

Barak Valley TT

The broad gauge conversion and associated realignment (which shortened the route by about 16 km) has resulted in considerable speeding up-13 hours as compared to 17-19 hours in the past. Presumably these trains were hauled by YDM-4s at that time.

More trains can be expected on this route in the near future. Once the connecting lines to Agartala and elsewhere are completed, we can look forward to Rajdhani and Sampark Kranti Expresses as well.