Locos have made everybody loco !

Very depressing news. People just want to criticize for the sake of criticize, not realizing the reputation of those they criticize. Everybody just wants to sink us further and further into the mud.

I saw a program on TV with that loud mouth former minister and so called railway experts (all usually frustrated ex railway walas who call themselves honest but actually are cowards). And if they aren’t there themselves I know who they are, pulling the strings behind the scenes. Yes you know what the topic is. It’s the locomotives. I want to clarify lots of stuff. Muft main hum badnaam howe hain. We Railway walas have to stick to together. Together we rise and fall. Therefore, I’m going defend all of us for want of anyone to have the guts to do so.

Locomotives are like any piece of machinery. They need to be cleaned, fixed and maintained. Now we can’t help that. Money has to be spent on them. It’s not our fault that Railways has billions of rupees of machinery to be maintained? Haina ? You agree? It’s so simple. That’s when I don’t understand what people are so confused about. The army walas have problems too. They build tanks and shells go right through their turrets but still we Railway walas have to take all the flak.

Yes I know that they say that Chinese locos had bad this and that and the carriages were too wide for platforms, but yar, machinery main kabhi kabhi problems hotae hain so what’s the big deal? Don’t you have to take your car to the mechanic occasionally? So it’s the same damn thing! And the Chinese are so very nice. Every year they take dozens of officers and staff and give pocket money and treat them so well without expecting ANYTHING in return and they are the eternal friends and brothers of our homeland. People who criticize should be ashamed of themselves.And why buy American and German technology? Yes I know they are time tested in our conditions, reliable and cheaper over the long run but so what? China will be the new superpower and yes their stuff isn’t that good but they make it up with so many other good qualities. We can’t overlook them either, can we?

So we need locomotives urgently. It’s true we had more than five hundred not so long ago and now we have barely a hundred. So how can Railways work with less than a hundred? Our Chief Administrator’s right when he says we just need 400 to 500 billion rupees on 400 locomotives and everything will be A ok. God bless him. He knows our problems so well. All the government has to do is to ask the state bank walas to print more money. It’s so damn easy but the government has had it in for Railways for no apparent reason. It’s that Finance minister. The sooner he goes the better.

The dirty oil in locomotives business is all wrong too. It’s been going on for so long lekin nobody said anything. Abhi inko khyaal aya ? And what do we do when we have no proper oil to use? We can’t say to the chorman or Chief Administrator that we have to stop running trains because we can’t use a little dirty oil? They’ll have our necks if we said that. Kaam bhi chalana hota hain (not like those so called honest officers who are of little use in such situations), and we can’t allow ourselves to be transferred all the time, so compromises are necessary in jobs just as in life, like I had to admit betaa in Columbia instead of Harvard because of the high fees. You have to adjust to the economic hardships of the times. Rupee has fallen flat against the dollar you know.

I have some more to say about locomotives you know. We have so many useless critics to bother us. I’ll meet the mechanical walas and see what more they say about it.

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Posted on December 9, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. The “Big Mouthed Sheikh” (now the Pakistan Rly’s Savior in disguise in the Supreme Court) launched the destruction of The PR by introducing a new Express Train every other fortnight. Soon the PR ran out of coaches and some bright Rly Officer came up with the idea of running three trains with the same rakes on different days of the week!! It was so confusing that even the poor Rly wallas lost track of these trains and the days that these ran on.
    The final coup de grace to the PR was given on 27th December 2007 when 27 locomotives and over 250 passenger bogeys were torched.
    The Chinese are running luxury trains at 250 Kmph which the Americans can’t even dream of.
    The era of low rated Chinese technology is now over. There was a time when the term “Japani Maal” was used as a derogatory remark to categorize any sub-standard product. You can no longer use the same term for Chinese products.
    If you have to travel from Islamabad to Lahore on the Expressway you have a choice of an Alto, Liana, Corolla, Honda, Merc, BMW, Ferrari etc. Why buy a BMW if you can only afford a Liana which too can serve the purpose? Or in yet another scenario, hauling a tractor trolley with a Merc Prime Mover instead of a tractor?
    Conversely how about driving a BMW on the kutcha pot holed country roads in the Land of the Pure?
    The PR’s infrastructure and Freight and Passenger bogeys are ancient by modern standards so why cry hoarse for top of the line locomotives which are almost thrice the cost of a Chinese locomotive.
    That’s the reason which is driving so many American Loco lovers bonkers!!!

  2. My dear Rail de Afsar
    In all talk shows the experts are the Minister, Chairman or an interested party. Has any one talked to the drivers? You bet they are the experts who’ll give you a detailed run down on the performance of Chinese locomotives vis a vis others.
    Interview them and post their comments here – it should be an eye opener for Faqira.
    As for the Cinemawalla he’d be better off showing xxx movies in his Cinema houses!
    Find out why two outstanding officers like Ashfaq Khattak and Nasir Zaidi were sent packing by the CW!

  3. This is very good. It means that somebody is hearing my defence of PR and all that is good in it. Faqira, I am humbled. I also realize that with eloquent defenders like you of the indefensi .. I mean the obvious facts, we will rise above these silly critics and progress for the development and regaining of the past glory of the department blah blah blah .. (hint: read seniormost senior’s speech).

    I agree about loud/big mouth. When he was in PR he never said things like this. Abhi is ko kyal aya ? It is another thing that when he was minister nobody opposed the things he said, but that’s no big deal. After all he was minister and the chief tekadar, I mean chief administrator of Railways. What right do officers to say that this or that decision is wrong and not good for department? Anyway, I agree with your views on him. Maybe, when the cinema wala goes we can tell what he did wrong too.

    And what a way to defend the Chinese; Faqira, you should be in the meeting with us when we have to choose between different tenders. We really need your skills against those others who don’t like the Chinese just because they hate sushi and noodles with frogs (Sushi is not Japanese you know).

    I know there are may be other worthwhile companies from which we have bought good train engines for the last sixty years like Japan, Italy, America, Germany, France etc, but China ka maal ka apna maza hota hai. And so what if the Japs have even given us a factory. I’ve heard China has crossed the GDP etc of Japan. Isn’t that evidence enough ?

    And these Chinese haters. They say that the per axle load is too much and has damaged our track? Humphhhh .. what proof they have ? hain ? ….. And the fact they have to repair the engines all the time. Big deal yar. I have to change my cars oil filter EVERY month and even the oil too. Machinery hain. You have to maintain it.

    And what more proof do we need than the fact the Chinese have 250 Km wala locos and even the Aussies have given them a contract? I know the Chinese keep on saying that this is the quality we can give you in this amount of ahem .. never mind, that’s a secret you know. We keep on telling them that why can’t they give us the same stuff they give to the Aussies, but they insist on reducing the “rates”, and Chief Administrator sahib says that’s not possible because of inflation etc etc and Chief Administrator ‘can do wrong’ and we as good, career oriented civil servants have to accept that you know, warna the whole system will collapse.

    And the bad infrastructure is the decisive argument. I don’t know why those idiots in other railways kept on buying so called good quality engines from other countries like the rest of the world for the last sixty years. I know Nigeria and Malaysia prematurely cancelled their Chinese loco contracts because of the problems they had, but you know we Pakistanis are better than them and we stick by our friends in all circumstances. Besides, the mechanical walas are telling me that the only 9 working locos in the 69 we have bought from China will increase soon .. So everything is perfect.

  4. The worst locos that the PR ever received were the Hitachis from Japan – the HAUs. The second lot of HBUs was equally bad. Another trash purchase was of the GEU 15s and GEU 20s of 4000 and 4500 Series way back in the Sixties I suppose. Ten high RPM Alsthoms of French origin also failed miserably to deliver.
    The problem Rail de Afsar Saab, is that when beggars go around purchasing stuff, a loan is a prerequisite for the purchase. So, if the loan is American you get American Locos, if its Japanese you get Japanese Locos and so on. The only time PR purchased locos of its choice was when Dr. Mubashir gave hard cash to the Railway in the early Seventies and the latter purchased 32 GMU 15s (4800 Series) and 30 GMU30s (4700 Series) – the most efficient and reliable fleet the PR ever had. Only the 6000 Series Blue Tigers or the 8200 Henschels could match up to them in their hey days.
    Isn’t it great that we have a Locomotive Factory where the officers and workers sit on their butts twiddling their toes the year round and get paid on time for doing NOTHING!
    That’s another story like the DOT Project for running GHOST TRAINS!
    Jeay CW!!

  5. Pakistan Railways is glorious organization having glorious history full of glorious people and even was called Royal service once. Pakistan is rich, having all types of lands and riches. We are not beggars, just lack faith in God and religion. Inshallah we can buy any locos we want. We just don’t have vision such like that of our seniormost senior.
    I know people say that if Mubashir sahb got us good engines at that time we should get similar ones but it still doesn’t mean we should go for the same ones even if the Americans are giving it on soft loan too. China is the new superpower and I am tired of saying it again and again. Of course it’s engines are good and reliable. China-Pak dosti paindabad.
    And we need thousands of useless workers because PR keeps their choolas running day and night. Without us they would starve. So PR plays its due part in the national effort for poverty elevation .. I mean alleviation. And DOT SHOTS are good for PR. Many engineers then don’t leave their jobs to go to Arab countries because they enjoy their jobs in PR due to projects. It’s important that they stay back na ?

  6. Apart from empty rhetoric and scathing sarcasm, any concrete practical proposals for restoring the lost glory of yester-years of your once Royal Service?

  7. Nahin Ji, it isn’t so. Faqira, I think I need to give you some advice acquired over decades of selfless and dedicated service in Railways. On joining Rail, I was taught very quickly by my seniors the straight and narrow path of success, which also coincided with my abrupt and unexplainable transfer to Sukkur in the terrible, torturous summer of July 1979.

    To be successful you have to have faith in Almighty Allah and accept the situation in life he has presented you with. There is little you can do change things and resisting is pointless. When in the next century or so when we all change then it will be easier. But until then you have to adapt to the circumstances or the consequences will be disastrous.

    So I have learnt that it is better to follow the rules and regulations as interpreted by your respected seniors who have far more experience and wisdom acquired over decades of selfless and dedicated service. It is silly to assume that we have more knowledge than they have and they made this department so great, listened to whatever was told to them and resisted very little. Always listen to your seniormost senior, Chief Administrator, MNAs waghera waghera. So, believe me you me, always do as your told by beloved and respected superiors, always understand that law and rules are by nature flexible and open to interpretation (especially by your seniors and most of all politicians), that Railways is best run by just doing what has always been done and treat change with distrust, fear and apprehension. Inshallah, as my example shows, you will achieve the following things if you follow my prescription:

    • Always get a posting of your choice
    • Get a good bungalow even if it isn’t your turn by years
    • Always be respected and enjoy a good reputation among your peers and seniors as a balanced, competent Rail officer
    • Will always have enough money to give your kids a good education, marry then off extravagantly, keep your wife happy by giving her what your neighbors have (which she constantly reminds you of if she doesn’t).
    • Get promotions on time, excellent ACRs and not be superseded, ever.
    • Get foreign trips on priority.
    • Other numerous benefits.

    So you see Faqira, it has always been this way and we aren’t World Bank consultants or Babus in the Finance or Planning ministry that we should come with concrete proposals. We are not pen pushing Babus with fancy angrezi and their studies, but practical field wala people, who are always willing to sit pointlessly in our offices till late hours and run around like headless chickens in the field at odd hours for no apparent reason on the beck and call of superiors. Who are we to question decades of Rail wisdom by taking upon ourselves of providing concrete proposals (especially to the Chief Administrator who already is an expert. Hint : look at his successful cinemas). What has always worked will always work. And this is the reason that those who don’t follow this prescription for success are no longer with us like the three chairmans, GMs and chotae officers here and there removed from their positions in the last 12 months alone.

    (Shhhhh .. Pissssst …. Never get too greedy and always cover your tracks).

  8. F…… the CW and other old foggies!! I’m sure you know better. You are learning the hard way already. Let me know of your plans if you became the Chief Thekedar of the PR – what will you do? I can then promote your ideas to people who will matter in the future once these crooks a la CW are given the boot. Lets discuss what you plan to do – imagine you are in the driving seat. No more rhetoric and acidic remarks. Just plans to rebuild your Railway. If you don’t have any, let’s call it a day.

    • Ahhh Faqira you belong to an impatient generation. Perhaps when you get the right pay scale or I make a different blog to discuss such things, I’ll allow you to give your input on how to make PR better than how we’ve already done. Maybe you can sit in the long winded, pointless meetings we often conduct too.

      (Hint: read ‘about’ page)

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