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Author Topic: India paddlesteamers  (Read 5743 times)

Offline Roderick Smith

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India paddlesteamers
« on: January 26, 2007, 09:37:57 AM »
As I post, it is 26.1 in India: Republic Day.
Independence was gained in 1947; the new republic constitution was adopted on 26.1.1950.
I enclose a photo of the magnificent PS Yamuna (taken from the identical PS Gomati).  I suspect that there was a third in this fleet.

The waterway was Ganges River (Mother Ganga), and the service was run by Indian Railways (North Eastern Railway).  I was cruising from Mahendrughat (Patna) to Palezaghat; Yamuna was doing the reverse.  They were coal fired.  There was a constant procession of coolies bringing up buckets of ash from the boiler, and tipping the ash over the side.
Upstairs was first class; downstairs was second class, quite crowded, and with lots of vendors.

This service was withdrawn when a new bridge was built over the river.
This was Mahatma Gandhi road bridge, at Patna.  It was opened at the end of 1982 or start of 1983.  A railway-enthusiast friend rode the ferries in Jan.82.
A note from Autumn 83 Continental Railway Journal, based on information from Nov.82 to May 83: 'Bus traffic over the road bridge opened across the Ganges east of Patna has led to the closure of the private/pirate stern-wheeler ferry service to Palezaghat.  The railway-owned steamers continue in service'.
 I have never been able to find out the fate of the vessels: both scrapped?  One preserved static?  One operating for tourism somewhere?

There were slower and less-stylish sternwheelers on the river.

Elsewhere in Paddleducks, there was a a recent set of photos of a cute paddlesteamer launch (PS Melissa) used for missionary work on Hooghly River and linked waterways.
Paddler Modelling -> Construction, the messages on Melissa.
Earlier somebody had modelled an Indian paddlesteamer, but the link to his photos goes to yet another subscription site, so I haven't seen what he built.

Regards,
Roderick B Smith
Rail News Victoria Editor

Offline AlistairD

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India paddlesteamers
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2007, 10:07:41 AM »
 
 
Quote
 

   
As I post, it is 26.1 in India: Republic Day.    Independence was gained in 1950.
I enclose a photo of the magnificent PS    Yamuna (taken from the identical PS Gomati). I suspect that there was a third    in this fleet.These two were built in 1950 by Yarrows on the    Clyde. If there was a third sister she may have been built in India  
Alistair

Alistair Deayton
Paisley
Scotland

Offline Roderick Smith

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Mahendrughat - Palezaghat
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2007, 11:12:34 AM »
I certainly can't prove the presence of a third steamer, but the full service required two, and ran daily.  The ferries were run by North Eastern Railway.  The distance was shown as 42 km, which seems unlikely.
Palezaghat was connected by an 11 km branch to Sonpur.
Mahendrughat didn't have a railway service.  The 42 km could include the bus ride from Patna, or it was a charging distance not a true distance.

From Mahendrughat: 3.50, 8.30, 11.15, 13.10, 17.30, 20.50 & 23.30
journey time 90 min (upstream)

From Palezaghat: 5.50, 8.50, 11.15, 14.00, 17.45, 21.35, 23.30
journey time 65 min (downstream)

How was maintenance time provided?
Cancel a service?
Hire from another operator?
Have a pre-1950 ferry on standby?

These times are from Oct.77 Newmans Indian Bradshaw.  Similar times prevailed in 1980.  I don't know when the service was withdrawn, but it was between 1982 and 1987.  I can't even find Mahendrughat on a map.  There is a railway line from Patna to Dighaghat today, but it was also there in my 1982 map.  Dighaghat is straight across the river from Palezaghat, and would not require a 65-90 min crossing.

The other ferries on this stretch of the river were much slower, and may have been connecting other destinations.

Regards,
Roderick B Smith
Rail News Victoria Editor

Offline AlistairD

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India paddlesteamers
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2007, 10:02:51 AM »
I think the stern-wheelers ran on a  competing service. There is an article bout them in an old issue of paddle  wheels magazine, which is in a box in an inaccessible area of my  attic
  
 Alistair
 
Quote
  ----- Original Message -----
   From:    Roderick Smith (preserved@paddleducks.co.uk)
   To: preserved@paddleducks.co.uk (preserved@paddleducks.co.uk)    
   Sent: Thursday, February 01, 2007 12:12    AM
   Subject: RE: India paddlesteamers
   

   
An update, from my 26.1 post of an Indian tram to a    tram forum:
Independence was gained in 1947; the 26.1.1950 date was the    date of adoption of the new republic constitution.

I certainly can't    prove the presence of a third steamer, but the full service required two, and    ran daily. The ferries were run by North Eastern Railway. The distance was    shown as 42 km, which seems unlikely.
Palezaghat was connected by an 11 km    branch to Sonpur.
Mahendrughat didn't have a railway service. The 42 km    could include the bus ride from Patna, or it was a charging distance not a    true distance.

From Mahendrughat: 3.50, 8.30, 11.15, 13.10, 17.30,    20.50 & 23.30
journey time 90 min (upstream)

From Palezaghat:    5.50, 8.50, 11.15, 14.00, 17.45, 21.35, 23.30
journey time 65 min    (downstream)

These times are from Oct.77 Newmans Indian Bradshaw.    Similar times prevailed in 1980. I don't know when the service was withdrawn.    I had understood that it was the result of opening another bridge: not so.    There are no more bridges today than then. I can't even find Mahendrughat on a    map. There is a railway line from Patna to Dighaghat today, but it was also    there in my 1982 map. Dighaghat is straight across the river from Palezaghat,    and would not require a 65-90 min crossing.

How was maintenance time    provided?
Cancel a service?
Hire from another operator?
Have a    pre-1950 ferry on standby?

The other ferries on this stretch of the    river were much slower, and may have been connecting other    destinations.

More research will be    undertaken.

Regards,
Roderick B Smith
Rail News Victoria    Editor



-------------------- m2f    --------------------

Exported by Paddleducks Mail System.

http://www.paddleducks.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?p=10878#10878

--------------------    m2f --------------------

Alistair Deayton
Paisley
Scotland

Offline Roderick Smith

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PS Gomati
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2007, 11:32:15 AM »
Mahendrughat was a wharf close to the city centre of Patna (15-20 min by rickshaw).  I cannot find it on a map today.  I am guessing that it has been renamed (possibly Mahatma Gandhi Ghat).

The service ran via Ganga River, as the direct river to Sonpur (Gandak River) was too shallow, too fast and too unreliable.

The bridge which caused the withdrawal of the railway-operated ferry was Mahatma Gandhi road bridge over Ganga River, 5850 m long.  Buses were now more efficient than ferries for connecting Patna and Sonpur.  The bridge opened at some time between late 1982 and early 1983.  Today it has deteriorated badly.  A combined road and rail bridge is under construction at Dighaghat (upriver from Patna) to Palezaghat.

Today, I enclose a photo of PS Gomati at Palezaghat.  River wharves in India, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Cambodia must be capable of handling wide variations in water levels.  Many have minimal facilities; others use pontoon wharves with lengthy approach ramps.

I still don't know if these two 1950 ferries pioneered the railway ferry service, or if they replaced older equipment.
I still don't know their fate.

Regards,
Roderick B Smith
Rail News Victoria Editor

Offline Roderick Smith

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Ganga sternwheeler
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2007, 10:54:18 AM »
I have e-mail mentioning that the NER ferry lingered for at least 6 months after the bridge was opened, but I don't have a cessation date yet.

I enclose one of a sternwheeler, photographed from PS Gomati.  I was on a 9.00 departure from Mahendrughat.  This one is SWPV Wyuna, crossed at 9.32 (my handwriting of the name is unclear).  It could have been SWPS (or a conversion from one); the photo doesn't reveal the engine clearly.  I posted PS Yamuna, crossed at 9.38, earlier.  I will post SWPV Bhadra (overtaken at 10.00) next.  I didn't photograph (Rorseus?, poor writing); I suspect that it was a twin to Bhadra.
Gomati docked at 10.20, so we had taken 80 min (schd 90), but it did take 10 min to disembark.

In the thread on Melissa (PD construction forum), Alistair has alerted duckers to forthcoming cruises on Hooghly River: Andrew Brock Travel ABROCK.365@aol.com www.coromandelabt.com is offering cruises from Farakka down to Calcutta (Kolkata), using MV Charaidew of Assam Bengal Navigation, which normally operates on the Brahmaputra. This was built in 1973, and converted for cruise use in 2001
 
Regards,
Roderick B Smith
Rail News Victoria Editor

Offline Roderick Smith

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SWPV Bhadra
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2007, 11:20:18 PM »
I enclose the last of my Ganga River paddleboats.
SWPV Bhadra, near Palezaghat, Fri.21.1.77.

Following Alistair's clue, I have followed up on Brahmaputra and Hooghly cruises.  The vessel-operator's site is www.assambengalnavigation.com.
There are lots of photos, and deck plans.  Neither boat is paddle.

Regards,
Roderick B Smith
Rail News Victoria Editor

 

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