Rishi Sunak and Gujarat

As we know, Rishi Sunak was born in Southampton, England. His parents earlier lived in East Africa. And one or both grandfathers were from Gujranwala in West Punjab.

So it is a little odd to find a place named Sunak in a particularly isolated place in Aravalli district of Gujarat.

It lies on the Himatnagar-Dungarpur section of the Ahmedabad-Udaipur line. This section was opened in the mid-1960s on metre gauge, and reopened on broad gauge in late 2022. This is about 118 km from Ahmedabad and 180 km from Udaipur. The line is presently served by a single pair of express trains, which do not stop at many stations including this one.

According to reports in Gujarati papers, the station was originally called Sunokh and was recently renamed to Sunak.

(Naturally, his ancestors from Gujranwala would have no reason to travel here).

This picture was taken in 2016 when metre gauge trains were still running.

Now see this article in a recent Gujarati newspaper, with a current picture of Sunak station on broad gauge:

If you can read Gujarati, the gist seems to be that the station was renamed recently when the line was converted. On the face of it, this seems to be true.

However, I have looked at timetables going back to 1994 and have seen the station was listed as Sunak and never as Sunokh. This is not the only case where the name in the timetable does not match with the actual sign at the station. This has been commented on by many researchers, such as the indefatigable Jim Fergusson. In fact, the Fergusson station lists also show that it was always listed as Sunak in timetables going back to the 1960s.

I would think that the station was originally supposed to be called Sunak but the painter for some reason painted it as Sunokh. Supervision of small things like this is often lax. Finally someone noticed this and changed the sign when the new line was opened.

Hope that someone forwards this to 10 Downing Street, before someone starts claiming that the Sunak family was actually from Gujarat.

Footnote: The Fergusson station lists can be found here:

https://www.branchline.uk/jf.ph

Go to Asia, then India and then the zone which presently covers your area of interest.

Thanks to Ganesh Iyer for locating these pictures.

For railfans-the Fergusson papers revisited

This is primarily for railfans interested in lists of stations on railway systems across the world. Some explanation is necessary.

The Fergusson papers on the link given below are compiled by an Englishman named Jim Fergusson, who has been collecting timetables from all over the world since around 1950. He has got hold of timetables from different time periods ranging from the 19th to the 21st century.

Most of those reading this will be interested in the Indian railway system.  The systems of all our neighbours (Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and even Myanmar) are covered. He seems to have drawn largely from the Indian Bradshaw which has been published since the 19th century but seems to have vanished a few years ago.

Update: By Oct 2020 he has added sections from all zones of India

Have a look at it here:

http://www.railwaystationlists.co.uk/

For railfans-the Fergusson papers

This is primarily for railfans interested in lists of stations on railway systems across the world. Some explanation is necessary.

The Fergusson papers on the link given below are compiled by an Englishman named Jim Fergusson, who has been collecting timetables from all over the world since around 1950. He has got hold of timetables from different time periods ranging from the 19th to the 21st century.

Most of those reading this will be interested in the Indian railway system. That was not covered until 2020, but the systems of all our neighbours (Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and even Myanmar) are covered. He seems to have drawn largely from the Indian Bradshaw which has been published since the 19th century but seems to have vanished a few years ago.

Have a look at it here:

http://www.railwaystationlists.co.uk/