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Why Does Time Start in Greenwich?

Why Does Time Start in Greenwich?

Its six in the morning and the sun is streaming through the window of your home in Delhi. In New York, people are just packing up to go home as it is six in the evening! Nothing amazing about it. We know that the earth is round and that it revolves once in 24 hours. So while it is daytime in the east, it is still night in the west. But for ages, people measured time based on the position of the sun – it was noon when the sun was highest in the sky....

Which is the World's Oldest Working Locomotive?

Which is the World's Oldest Working Locomotive?

The Indian Railways is one of the world’s oldest railways dating back to 1849. It also has the largest network in terms of route length covering nearly 63,000 route kilometres touching every nook and cranny of India. The Indian Railways is also the world’s single largest employer with about 1.6 million people working in nine zones. Among its many unique gems are the toy train that runs on the Darjeeling Himalayan rail route, the rack railway at Udagamandalam in south India, the busiest narrow gauge network in the world, etc....

Signals of the Past

Signals of the Past

You want to send a message to someone. Immediately. No problem. You just pick up a land phone or a mobile phone, or send an email. The telegram is still there but many of us have forgotten about it. Now travel back in time to France, 206 years ago, when there was none of your latest technology. Not even the telegraph. But people still felt the need to send long distance messages. Signals of the Past [] It was then that a Frenchman called Chappe invented a code for the alphabet....

Rats! Rats! Rats!

Rats! Rats! Rats!

Rats here, rats there, rats everywhere! In the kitchen, in the storage cupboards, in shops, in restaurants, all over the place. People in Paris have no respite. The rat population has suddenly grown in such large numbers that Paris may soon need a Pied Piper to weed them out of the city. Rats! Rats! Rats! [] The rat boom happened because of a new underground railway system. When work began on the railway system, workmen began digging the ground to make tunnels for the trains....

Bullet Train for India

Where: New Delhi, India January 19, 2009 : Mr. Lalu Prasad and his team of railway officials took a ride on one of Japan’s bullet trains, which covers the 515 kilometres between Tokyo and Kyoto in two hours and 20 minutes. Back home, the minister announced, “The day is not far off when the bullet train will run in the country.” The railway ministry is appointing international consultants to plan the project. France and Germany have expressed an interest in the project in addition to Japan....

On the tracks of a hero

On the tracks of a hero

Where: Delhi, India April 17, 2007: He does not look like Superman or Shaktimaan from any angle. Nor does he look like Batman or Spiderman. But 57-year-old Mahender Singh is a super hero in real life. In December 2006, he stood on a railway track to stop a train speeding towards him. It was the only way to stop the train from going over the broken railway track and having a terrible accident. By doing this Singh saved the lives of thousands of people travelling on the train....

Tourists Stranded in Machu Picchu

Where: Lima, Peru February 1, 2010 :Heavy rain and landslides destroyed the only land link to the ancient Inca* site of Machu Picchu in Peru’s Andes mountains. Around 20 people died in the floods, and 40,000 others were affected. This includes the 4,000 tourists who were visiting Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu is famously known as the lost city of the Incas. This architectural marvel is situated on a mountain ridge high above the Urubamba River Valley....

Eastward Ho!

Eastward Ho!

Britain wants Indian engineers to help modernise their London-Glasgow railway link, and that’s a real about turn! Nearly 150 years ago, Britain was the first country to use steam locomotives. The British also built the first rail tracks in India and set up India’s railway network with one purpose – they wanted to collect raw material such as cotton from different parts of the country so that they could be shipped to Britain. And later, when the ready-made products came back to India, they used the rail network to sell them by reaching different corners of the country....

A Train of Villages on the Net

Most people have fond memories of train journeys, though some have unpleasant ones of being left behind at a station, while they waited for a steaming cup of tea or coffee. Many film directors, too, have been fond of shooting action-packed or emotional scenes at railway stations. The famous action scene at the end of the Hollywood Western ‘High Noon’ showed the cowboy hero, Gary Cooper, silencing the villain. In one Indian film after another, the hero and the heroine have rushed across a crowded station to meet each other never to be separated....

Historic Station Soon to be History

Historic Station Soon to be History

November 24: A historic railway station, that once linked the Indian city of Jammu, with Sialkot in Pakistan, is soon going to be demolished. A Kala Kendra Complex or centre to preserve art and culture will be established in its place. The catch is that the Jammu & Kashmir government, that ordered the demolition, itself does not know what exactly it is going to preserve in the art centre. But that clearly does not seem to bother it....

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