Today we return to this topic with this list of trivia compiled by Jim Fergusson, who has studied timetables of many countries. His site is
It will be of particular interest to those who study the railways of South Asia (other than India). He has painstakingly put together lists of every station which has ever existed in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and several other countries (but not India, probably because it is too complex). This is particularly useful for those interested in the railways of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka because they have not published timetables for public use for a few decades. Railfans in these countries do not seem to know why this is so. However, his station lists are a little out of date as they do not include lines built in recent years, such as the East-West link over the Bangabandhu bridge which has made through running possible between the two systems in Bangladesh for the first time. This was completed around 2002. He does include the northern lines in Sri Lanka as they appeared in the timetables prior to the civil war. A sizable part of the main lines to Jaffna and Talaimannar were disused from 1983 and they have been restored only in recent months, though they might be fully restored only by the end of 2015.
Pakistan has been a little more regular in publishing timetables although the system itself seems to be shrinking rapidly due to various reasons, mainly the shortage of locomotives. Of course, the timetables show the long-closed lines through the Khyber Pass to Landi Kotal and even the short-lived extension to Landi Khana which saw service only from 1926 to 1932, besides various narrow gauge lines which all closed in the early 1990s.
Many more peculiar names from around the world can be seen here:
There is a Silly station in Belgium. The nearest we have in India is Silli, near Ranchi.
If someone tells you to go to Hell, there is this station in Norway you can go to. It is served by several trains a day from the larger city of Trondheim, 31 km away.
Another view of the station is:
As you would know, God is not likely to be here. This is Norwegian for “cargo handling”.
If you come by car, you would see this sign:
Naturally, tourists are keen to have their pictures taken here. The only hellish things here are the prices, as Norway is one of the most expensive countries in Europe.
If you are familiar with the Devil, you would expect to find number 666 here. However, for that you have to move to the US and travel by Amtrak service 666 which runs from Harrisburg to New York on Saturdays and Sundays:
The Indian train numbering system has been rationalized over the past few years. Since late 2010 every timetabled train, ranging from the humblest 2-coach DMU to the prestigious Rajdhani Expresses has 5 digit numbers. Most of the express trains have had 4 digits from the early 1990s, though slow passenger trains had various numbers including alphanumeric (e.g. 1 DUK) or 3-digit. Much to the delight of devil worshippers, there was indeed a 666 passenger between Udagamandalam (Ooty) and Coonoor which has been duly captured on film:
This train now has a 5-digit number. But Satanists need not lose heart, since there is still a diesel loco with the number 6666. It is probably still running in the Ahmedabad area (see below for it running with its Sabarmati markings) though it was based at Mhow in central India some years ago.
Finally, if you were wondering about the rude name alluded to by Mr Fergusson, you can check the maps for the roads between Linz (Austria) and Passau (Germany) where you will come across the village of Pucking.
We return to short names in the next instalment.
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