Indian Railways Fan Club

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Indian Railways is the key interest of IRFCA

The Indian Railways Fan Club (IRFCA) ( irfca.org ) is the internet's largest website devoted to the Indian Railways. The IRFCA is a discussion group connecting many fans particularly interested in railways in India. Forum traffic is moderate to heavy, and runs around hundred and fifty to two hundred posts a day most of the time.

Topics on IRFCA cover current passenger services, routes, timetables, technical details of railway operations, motive power, rolling stock, etc. It also has a large section on historical aspects of trains in India and the subcontinent.

History

IRFCA started with a group of rail fans discussing Indian trains in the Usenet newsgroup [1], who later decided to set up an electronic mailing list for themselves. The list was operational on 1989-08-29. The first incarnation of the list had just 9 members exchanging e-mail directly. The list was then hosted on various US university listservers (University of Maryland, College Park, Yale University, University of California, Santa Barbara) for many years, mainly because many of the members in those days were graduate students in US universities.

The list was later transferred to ONElist in 1999. ONElist later merged with eGroups, which was subsequently 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. As of April 2008 the list has more than 5,900 members from several countries. The two biggest groups on the basis of members' locations are from India and the US. The next leading contingent is probably from the UK.

In 2010, the group moved on from the mailing list format to an online forum, which allowed better searchability and grouping of topics. It also allowed a faster and easier mode of interaction than a mailing list. As in early 2013, more than 6000 users were registered on the forum.

The IRFCA server was originally not a single web site. The Indian Railways FAQ was maintained on a GeoCities web site, and the irfca.org domain had some Indian railfan material. Several other IRFCA members had their own web sites scattered across the net. Later the domain irfca.org [2] and all IRFCA-related material was consolidated on it.

The list's original name was "Indian Railways Fan Club of America" which was appropriate when the list began, as all the members were in the USA. When its membership grew and went global, the original name became less accurate, but it was decided to keep the acronym for nostalgic purposes.

Annual Conventions

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, One of the prime attractions for railfans in India

Members of the group, also meet once a year for the "IRFCA Convention". These conventions are a good way to meet new members, participate in discussions, give presentations and exchange notes about Indian Railways

Convention I - The first ever convention of Indian Railway fans, the IRFCA Convention '06 was held on 26 February 2006 at Hotel Regency, Pune

Convention II - MAS-2007 was held at the Hotel Metro Manor, Chennai on 27 January 2007

Convention III - CNB-2008 was held at IIT Kanpur on the 9 and 10 February 2008

Convention IV - BNC-2009 was held at The UTC Campus, near Bangalore Cantonment station, on the 24 and 25 January 2009 ; Blog of the event

Convention V - NRM-2010 was held at the prestigious National Railway Museum at New Delhi, on the 6 and 7 February 2010

Convention VI - BSL-2011 was held at the Zonal Railway Training Training Institute at Bhusaval, on the 5 and 6 February 2011

Convention VII - The 7th Convention was held in Rotary Sadan, Kolkata on 28 & 29 January 2012. About 112 delegates for all over the country and abroad attended the convention

Convention VIII - MGS-2013 was held in Mughalsarai on 9 & 10 February 2013

Convention IX UAM-2014 was held in Ooty on 1st and 2 February 2014. This year marked the Silver Jubilee of IRFCA.

Convention X #AaoHYB was held in the city of Hyderabad. About 140 delegates from India and abroad participated in the two-day convention.

Convention XI- ChaloMarwar-2016 was held in the city of Bikaner. About 85 delegates from India and abroad participated in the unique two day convention.

Convention XII- #AaboBhilai 2017 was held in Hotel Amit Park International, Bhilai on 27 & 28 February 2017, About 125 Delegates Attended the Conventiona

Convention XIII- Scheduled to Held in Vadodara on 2018, The Host City was Selected From a Online Poll, Other Bids to host were NJP/Siliguri, Hubbali & Kochi.

See also

References

Further reading

  • A Common Platform, Velany Fernandes, 12 September 2003, Rediff.com
  • Off the beaten track, Samnath Subramanium, The Hindu, 16 March 2005
  • Chugging along, but not merely, Robin David, Times of India, 2002-03-01
  • rail enquiry, get railway enquiry

External links

  • Official website
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