So, after some typical dithering from yours truly about where we are going to start this from, I’ve ended up back at Mumbai. Everything is still work in progress, but I need an excuse to make a second post and my first proper facebook spam, so here goes.
We have our first candidate from the superior sex to have put themselves up for the entire route!. The full circle gang is now up to 7, I think it’s going to end up several times bigger than that at this rate.
We have a start date of the evening of Saturday February 19th, 2011 at Mumbai Central Station. We ‘ll end up back at the famous VT, pictured above, 2 weeks and a couple of hours later, “round about midnight”. Well , of course, that’s what the plan says.
There are several reasons for including Delhi, even though it’s not on the edge of the network as Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai obviously all are being ports. There’s a major Railway Children project there, the routes going through it are several orders of magnitude more reliable than the more northerly ones direct to Mordadbad from Jammu, and I’m hoping we can get a large posse to join us in Delhi to do the Assam section.
We’ve also factored in a contingency day at New Jalpaiguri, so despite my previous stance that we wouldnt be doing any toy trains other than at Tipong, we might get the chance to do a wee bit as this is the start of the Darjeeling Railway. But there’s absolutely no way we’ll be going all the way up to Darjeeling and back on the train, it would take 2 valuable days. But we may get to do it one way, or at least a section, during the contingency day (if we’re not spending it catching up) and provided there are enough of us as we’re going to have to charter a train. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Society do this kind of thing in the early months of the year.
My “CTO” is currently enjoying the delights of moving house, so I can’t get the new route signed off as yet. There’s a bone of contention regarding going via Delhi we need to resolve, and we are just having to come to terms with the concept that some of us will be insisting on 1st class if and when it’s available.