Cabinet 8: Timetables
East India Railway, Time Tables, 1 January 1946.
Timetables are inherently complex, and it is no wonder that Punch, as early as 1850, comically spoofed the reading of a timetable. In 1946, the 7 oclock S81 train from Calcutta (Sealdah) to Howrah via Dum-Dum and Baranagar Road took just under an hour to cover the 14 or so miles. The symbols a and d indicate that travellers on board could enjoy afternoon tea and dinner. Departure usually means arrival. To ascertain the time of arrival at any one station, it was necessary to calculate speeds beforehand, giving allowance to the conditions on the line and the power of the train. Of course, these varied over time. Occasionally trains did not arrive, as told in this story book for children about the Duluth Limited in Minnesota, September 1894.
Freeman Hubbard and Kurt Wiese, The Train That Never Came Back. London: Bodley Head, 1954.