The Indian Rail Fan Club

http://www.irfca.org, how many has heard of this website. Do you want to know about Indian railways, hey! Just visit this website. You will be overwhelmed with information. So much information that you will be stunned by the phenomenal growth our railways has undergone since independence. This website is brain child of a group that called themselves as “Indian Rail Fan Club”.

The History of IRFCA, IRFCA was started by a group of rail fans discussing about Indian trains in the Usenet newsgroup soc.culture.indian,. From Aug if 1989, they to set up an electronic mailing list for themselves. The first incarnation of the list had just 9 members exchanging e-mail directly. Many of the members in those days were graduate students in many US universities. Hence the list was then hosted on various US university list servers around USA.

Over a period of time it merged with eGroups, then acquired by Yahoo Groups. During the first ten years or so (1989-1999) the membership remained small, at 50 to 100 members, and predominantly consisted of persons in the US, with some members in the UK.

With the spread of the Internet in recent years, especially in India, membership has been continuously rising. Currently [09/03] the list has more than 1300 members from twenty or more countries. The two biggest groups on the basis of members' locations are from India and the US. Due this decade long steady information growth, today this site contains elaborate information on trains, locomotives, train lines, maps, future development plans, retired locomotives, their production details that includes even the engineering drawings on various railway engine and compartments.
They have tons of video clips, pictures taken by their team of members about Indian railways. There are sections for Travelogues , History of Indian railways, Steam Engines, Electric Engines, Time Tables, stations and every other detail you want to know about the Indian railways.

Being a Rail Fan from my early child hood days I managed to see most of the pictures and video clips. It will take you more than 3 days to see all the pictures.
I was amazed to see the separate section for Chennai MG trains. I use Travel from Chrompet to Chetpat via the Meter gauge electric train during my school days in Chennai. I would often see the “Kanchivaram” passenger pass my train with sheer speed. I still remember the Maroon Engine for that train; I came to know that it is called YAM1 Engine from this website. When ever I hear this Yam1 whistle, it would remind me of my school days. Yes, it has a very unique sound and they have an audio section where they have sound clips from different engine and train sounds.You get up to date information on Engines, like where it was made it, when it was made and for what train zone it was inducted.

The most interesting read for me was about the SkyBus. SkyBus are like suspended train built indigenously in India by BEML, Madagon. These trains have a futuristic look and this will be inducted on the Konkan railway sector soon. They have pictures on sky bus cars, raillines, stations etc. If you don’t know about it, you are in for a surprise to read about these developments. Their updates are quite frequent and you need to keep checking it.

I was not able find information about the core team. They don’t have their core team members listed. However the team is doing a great job, instead of promoting their individual contribution they seem to concrete on their sole task - spreading the words on Indian Railways.

Right now the membership is free. frankly, I will not mind paying for this club. I request everyone to should join this group and know about Indian railways and its greatness.