Train (Gnv64)

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    Children's Book Trust, New Delhi


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    Horse-drawn carriageLocomotion

    Open railway carr iage

    Electric locomotive

    High speed train


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    "Fish and chips.. .fish and andchips..." Say that fast; then try saying it fasterand faster and faster still! And what do youhear? A lovely, long beautiful train chuggingmerrily, over the mountains and over theplains. "Fish and and chips...fishand chips.. .Sooooooooooooup!"Wheel after wheel after wheel rollingthousands of kilometres of track-eutting

    through the hills or speeding along theforests, crossing wide rivers or braving dustydeserts has stirred a spirit of adventure in allof us. How often you all must have lined up,one behind the other, and fancied yourselvesas an express train pulling out of the station!Now, if you knew how many trains actually


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    pull out of different stations in India eachday, or, how far they travel, how much loadthey can take on, you would probablysuffer a mild heart attack!The Indian Railways (hold your breath!)carryover eleven million passengers everyday. That is almost the entire populationof Australia! And one million tonnes offreight every day. It has a network of62,725 kilometres of track, linking 6,896stations and across 1,21,699 bridges.And yes, it covers each day three and halftimes the distance to the moon.The Indian Railways run about 12,000trains every day. The Ninth Five Year Plan,1997-2002, has an outlay of Rs. 45,413crores for the Indian Railways.By almost any stretch of imagination, itis a staggering operation. Our trains movemore people than any other transportsystem anywhere. No wonder then, theIndian Railways are known as the IronGanga of India.

    And like the historic river, the coming ofthe railways changed the course of manylives in India.

    Railway lines, more and more.

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    Travel, in the opening years of the nine-teenth century, was a very tedious and slowprocess, the world over. There was, generallyspeaking, hardly any movement of peoplefrom one place to another. Pilgrim centres, ofcourse, attracted vast crowds, especiallyVaranasi, Haridwar, Rameswaram and so on.But so uncertain was the return of a pilgrimthat many hesitated to step out of Travellers often fell ill and died.Others suffered the risks of being waylaid.For, travelling those days meant going mostlyon foot or bullock carts, if and when available.Horses were not commonly used in India,as they were costly. In Rajasthan, Gujaratand Sindh camels were in great abundanceand were, therefore, used for towingcaravans. It took 35 to 40 days, however,travelling from Surat to Agra in a caravan.Palanquins were used in cities and for longjourneys. They were usually carried by four


    men, though eight or twelve people wereengaged for relieving one another.Elephants with howdahs were also used.

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    Rivers, mostly unbridged, could becrossed only during the dry seasons. In utterdespair an English merchant remarked-"Ofwhat earthly use is the cotton produced byBroach, if this cannot be shifted to Bombayquickly enough and without any damage onthe way?"Out of despair, they say, comes hope.That, perhaps, is what egged man on toprogress. Narrow paths gradually changedinto roads and wheeled carts increased innumber. They were used for carrying goodsfrom the countryside to towns and ports.The really momentous change, however,came with the invention of the railway. Andalmost simultaneously human civilization tooka leap ahead. Not only did mass movementof people become easier, but mountains ofmaterial could now be transported from onepart of the country to another. A railway linepassing through a remote area suddenlybrought it on the road to big towns, citiesand ports. Besides this, the construction of

    railways itself soon became a major industry.Steel plants and thermal powerhousessprang up as a result and became thekey industries of the first half of thetwentieth century.

    Signal levers

    If you have stood near a busy railway crossing,you may have heard di fferent bells ringing andwondered what all the fuss was about! Well, thesebells are actually codes that some signalmen useeven today, to advise each other about the trainsgoing through. They not only warn the signalmanto expect a train but they tell him what kind of trainit is.

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    Fancy a horse with a long train behind it,going...clip-c1op c1ippety-c1op down a railwaytrack! Well, that is exactly how the first trainsworked. Except that they were known aswagons.When it was discovered that heavy loadscould be carried along a smooth track moreeasily than on a rough road, some coalminers got together and laid wooden rails.On these they placed wagons carrying coal.But a push was not enough to keep thewagons going. So horses were brought in.And it was 'clip-clop clip-clop' all the way,though considerably faster than before. Butwooden rails were not very strong. So therails and wheels of the trucks (wagons) weremade of iron instead.

    Traction by horse

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    orld'Trains, as we know them today, came into

    existence much later. In 1812, a mineinspector, John Blenkinsop, designed a rackrailway. This meant that the rails had teeth . .which engaged with toothed wheels on thewagons. For, Blenkinsop believed thatsmooth wheels would slip on rails.Blenkinsop's system was the forerunner ofmountain rack railways the world over,including the lovely hill trains we have today,going up to Shimla, Ootacamund orDarjeeling. Toothed tracks are very much inuse along these routes and worth a visit ifyou haven't seen them already.However, the first steam engine to run onrails was built by Richard Trevithick called'Catch me who can'. This resembled a toytrain with a circular track and thus the name.

    Blenkinsop's rack railway

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    Catch me who can - Richard Trevi thick's demonstration of a railroad

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    It was in 1823, when an Englishman,George Stephenson, was appointed asengineer to the Stockton and DarlingtonRailway that the turning point in railwayhistory came. Stephenson dreamt of a landcriss-crossed by a network of steam railways.He set about his task diligently and in 1825,when a 40-kilometre line was opened inCounty Durham, Stephenson and his sonRobert made history by inaugurating theworld's first public steam railway, called'Locomotion'. It could haul freight about19 to 25 kilometres an hour.

    The oldest station in the world is LiverpoolRoad Station, in England. It was first used onSeptember 15,1830, and is now partly turned intoa museum.

    1. Piston 2. Cylinder 3. Coal supply 4. Chimney 5. Water barrel6. Boiler 7 Driving wheel 8. Trailing wheel 9. Safety valve Rocket

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    Inspired by their success, the Stephensonsintroduced yet another engine, the 'Rocket'in 1829. This was when the Liverpool andManchester Railways were holding trials tolocate the best engine available. The 'Rocket'had a new design. It had a boiler in whichthe water was turned into steam by contactwith 25 tubes which were heated from afire-box. This, along with an improvedexhaust system, enabled the 'Rocket' to pulla 14-ton train at almost 46 kilometresper hour.. The 'Rocket' in fact was the beginning ofthe passenger train-speedier, morecomfortable and cheaper than horse-drawnservices. Have you ever imagined your,self .sitting in a train without a roof over yourhead! Well, the first railway carriages forpeople were open and smoke from theengine blew in their faces. In its very firstyear it carried more than 70,000 personsand 40,000 tonnes of freight. It was a majorengineering feat!

    o Yellow Greeno Redj rt Signals are a very important part of t ra injourneys. In order to attract the driver's attention,they are painted red or yellow arms on tall whiteposts. If these arms hang down or incline upwards,

    . it means the line is clear ahead, But if one of thered signal arms stands at right angles to the signalpost, it means "danger" and the driver must stop atonce. Yellow arms in the horizontal position is awarning to the driver to slow down. Green lightstands for "all clear",....

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    o rlumOverwhelmed by this totally revolutionarymethod of travel, people came out withstrange predictions about its consequences.'The smoke will kill the birds,' said some.'The cows will cease to give milk,' saidothers. A panel of London scientistspronounced that the train should never gofaster than 48 kUometres an hour, otherwise"passengers would suffocate". The medical

    faculty at Munich warned that all railwaypassengers were sure to contract a new typeof mental illness called 'Delirium ad furiosum'.The phenomenal success of the railwaysdrowned all such forecasts. Not only didcommunication become easier but also moreeconomical. It gave England, the innovator ofrailways, the power and wealth to dominatemuch of the world. It was as if England hadacquired, all of a sudden, an army of millionsof inanimate slaves to sweat and toil for her,without her having to feed or clothe them.

    One steam engine of 500 horsepower(1 hp=750 watts) is equivalent to a forceof about 10,000 men. The work of a milli0':lmen can be done with 100 steam engines.

    Mounting power

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    Just 25 years after the world's first trainhad made its successful run in England,railways had come to India. The very firstlocomotive to run in India was in December1851 near Roorkee, an engine named'Thomson' which was used to build theGanga canal. However, it was on April 16,1853, when the inaugural train ran betweenBombay and Thane, a stretch of 21 miles(approximately 35 kilometres). This was thefirst railway line built in India by the GreatPeninsular Railway Company.

    The first train with fourteen railwaycarriages carrying 400 guests left Boribunderat 3.30 p.m. "amidst loud applause of a vastmultitude and to the salute of 21 guns"!They reached Thane at about 4.45 p.m.Refreshments were served and the newcompany was felicitated. The guests returedto Bombay at 7.00 p.m.The next day Sir Jamshedji Jeejeebhai, abaronet, reserved the entire train andtravelled from Bombay to Thane and backwith some members of his family.

    The first train journey from Bombay to Thane : ;.;'. -

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    In stages this railway line was extended toDelhi. Another was built from Howrah toHugli. There were 3,000 applications fromthose who wanted to ride in the first train that.was to steam out of Howrah on August 15,1854. The lucky ones got first class ticketsfor Rs. 3.00! The fare for the third class wasseven annas (or 42 paise)! In 140 years ifthe railway fares have gone up by as manynumber of times, and the traffic load by over180 per cent, likewise, the Indian Railwayshave also grown into the second largestrailway network in the world and the largestcivilian organization under a singlemanagement. Passengers can travel inair-conditioned comfort (first or secondclass). Computerised Reservation Systemhas opened a new chapter in the history ofpublic service. At present the IndianRailways carry 4,368 million passengersand 429.3 million tonnes of freight traffic.Now you know why a separate RailwayBudget is announced by the Ministerconcerned every year.

    Computerised reservation

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    M e t r ~ n d e r g r o u n d railway

    If you have been to Calcutta, you musthave travelled in the underground railwaypopularly called Metro. The Indian Railwaysentered the Metro Age during 1984-85when a stretch of 7.8 kilometres was openedbetween Esplanade and Tollygunge. Anotherstretch of 2.2 kilometres between Dum Dumand Belgachia was opened later on.Another feather in the cap of the Railwaysis the Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd.. The Rs. 1,200-crore project linksMaharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala bya coastal line. This project was completed in1998-99. 1 (/ '11\1 . ~ ~ ; : ~ t = ~ ~ _ill ' I \, 1\ I I ,I /;

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    Broad gauge

    The three different widths of tracks

    Metre gauge Narrow gauge

    The longest platform in the world is the Kharagpurplatform in India. It measures 833 metres (2,733feet) in length.

    The Indian Railways operate on threegauges-broad gauge, metre gauge andnarrow gauge. Today most of the trains runon broad gauge (measurement between thetracks being 1.68 metres or 5 feet 6 inches),be it they carry cargo or passengers. Metregauge (which is simply a metre wide, that is,approximately 3 feet 3 inches) trains can beseen connecting small places but not on atrunk route. And narrow gauge (whichmeasures 2 feet 2 inches) trains run in thehilly areas like Darjeeling, Ooty, Shimla.


    Percentage of traffic




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    Hikari Express' ) ) . / 7

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    between Tokyo and Osaka in just threehours and ten minutes. (A far cry fromStephenson's first endeavour!) These trainsare not only fast but also clean, comfortableand pressurized, like an aeroplane. Somesee the possibility of a 'flying' train in the nottoo distant future! In France, Jean Bertin's'aerotrain' as it is called, 'flew' five millimetres(1/5 inch) above a concrete track. Air-cushiontrains have been tried in Britain too, wherethe Hovercar system used a V-shapedgroove instead of a rail.However, getting down to 'brass tacks',let us see how the railway train, as we knowit, works.

    You must have seen pictures of a train hangingfrom an overhead track. Or perhaps you havetravelled in one. Monorails, as these are called, doexist in Germany, Japan and the United States.However, they are expensive to build, complex andslow compared to conventional lines, and have notbeen widely adopted.


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    T Looking at a train, one would imagine thatit is the simplest thing in the world tooperate. All it appears to do is to get on toa smooth track and slide along merrily,singing fish and and chips... (if itis driven by a steam engine) and breakingto a halt once in a while.

    Well, a train certainly is easier to run thanmany other modern forms of transport. Unlikea car or a truck, the wheels of a train areguided by a track. If, for instance, a train wereset rolling on a level track at 100 kilometresper hour, it would travel at least eightkilometres before coming to a stop. Incontrast, a highway truck set rolling on aroad at the same speed would travel only akilometre and a half.

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    1. Rails 2. Wooden sleeper 3. Ballast 4. Fish-plate1

    "f.'t'C: r - ,A track consists of a strip of packed earthcovered with a layer of ballast (sand, gravelor coal ash), and the tracks are supportedby sleepers.Railway tracks are not always straight asthey may appear to us when we travel in atrain. Neither are they continuous. The shortsections of tracks are joined by fish-plates(flat pieces of iron). When the wheels moveon these joints they produce that very familiarand rhythmic sound of 'Clackety-c1ack'.

    Increasingly fisr-plates are becomingobsolete these days; the rails are now weldedtogether to form a continuous surface manymiles long. Welded rails provide greatersafety and comfort.



    A British steam engine, Mallard, holds the worldspeed record for steam traction. In 1938, it travelledat 202 kilometres per hour.

    Thanks to the tracks and the smoothrolling of its wheels, a train can move farmore easily, pull much heavier loads whileconsuming much less energy than any othermeans of conveyance.

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    J I

    A marshalling yard-aerial view

    However, operating a train is not as easyas it appears to be. Firstly, thousands oftrains move along thousands of kilometresof track every day. And they do not all travelstraight or on only one track or round andround (as we often imagine when we paintpictures!). Train departures and arrivals,therefore, have to be regulated. At times,tracks need to be changed along the way.Signals have to be obeyed and followed.Hours before a train is flagged off, all itswagons or bogies, as we call them in India,are put together. This is done in a marshallingyard. The Mughal Sarai marshalling yard isthe biggest of its kind in India.At times a bogie needs to be changedfrom one track to another. This is calledshunting.What is i t then that keeps a train goinghour after hour and sometimes day after day,non-stop, pUlling such enormous weightalong with it?

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    amm 0

    The earliest railway engines were poweredby steam. Yet, even today, steam enginesare the most interesting engines to study.Steam engines are not popular thesedays as most of the trains are run on dieseland electricity.Steam is basically water converted intovapour by heat. It also has the capacity toexpand. The engine is operated by theexpansion of steam which, when admittedinto a cylinder, moves a piston (a disc in thecylinder) to and fro. This to and fro motion istransmitted to the wheels of the train.Let us t ry and understand this step by .step. Steam is first created in a boiler. It Isthen sent through a pipe to a containerknown as the slide-valve chest, so-calledbecause it admits steam from two openingsby sliding to the left and right continuously.When steam enters one side (say theleft-hand side) of the slide-valve, it causes a

    piston within it to move to the right. That isalso the first sound the train makes-'fishsh'!And once the piston moves to the rightsteam enters this side of the valve andcauses the piston to move back to the left.That is the second sound-'chips'! So thepiston goes left and right or to and fro or 'fishand chips', and as the train gathers speedthis movement gets faster and faster. As thesteam expands, it also needs to getout ofthe valve. This is done through a chimney.Literally exhausted, the steam when it ispushed out seems to say 'Soooooooooup'!(Next time you are in a train driven by steamengine, keep your ears cocked for thesedelicious sounds!)But how does all this help the wheels ofthe train to move?

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    Connected to the piston which movesbackwards and forwards is the driving rod,whose other end is connected to the drivingwheel. This does the work of a crankshaft ina car. It converts the to and fro motion of thepiston into the rotary motion of the wheel.

    Section through a steam locomotive

    2 3

    1 Furnace 2 Smoke tube boi ler 3. Steam from cylinder - -1

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    A few trains that run on our tracks aresteam engines and use coal. Most of thetrains, however, are of two other kinds. Theyrun on diesel and electricity. They can beworked harder, faster and for longer periods,without interruptions like watering or coalingwhich are necessary for steam locos.

    It was Rudolph Diesel who invented thekind of engine used today in millions ofrailway locomotives, trucks, buses, shipsand cement mixers.The diesel locomotive engine needs nosparking plug for ignition. It compresses airinside its cylinder to such a pressure that itbecomes extremely hot. When a tiny squirt offuel oil is pumped in, it ignites at once by itself.

    Diesel locomotive

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    2 4 5 7 9

    Inside of a diesel-electric locomotive1. Driving cab 2. Warning horns 3. Three-axle bogie4. Radiators 5. Diesel engine 6. Traction motor 7. Turbo charger8. Oil fuel tank 9. Generator 10. Batteries 11. Walkways12. Driving cab 13. Train heating boiler 14. Three-axle bogieThe diesel engine in a locomotive isconnected to a dynamo (generator) whichmakes electric current. The current is ledthrough wires and switches to electricmotors to run the wheels.

    The diesel engine is very efficient and doesa lot of work for each litre of fuel it burns. Itcosts more to make than a steam enginebut, because it is so much more efficient itcosts less to run. That is why it has replacedmost steam locomotives.

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    The electric locomotive is also commonlyused today. One of its major advantages isthat the power to drive the locomotive does

    Electric loco

    not have to be generated in the locomotiveitself but can be supplied to it throughoverhead wires or through conductor rails.A further advantage is that the electricmotor develops its highest torque (turningforce applied to the wheels) at starting. Thisenables the locomotive, and the train it pulls,to move off more swiftly after stopping ata station.Besides, the electric locomotive is quieterand produces no smoke or fumes. Even withthe cost of generating electricity andinstalling power lines and other essentialequipment, electric locomotive turns out tobe much more efficient and economical thansteam locomotive.The principle of electric traction is to makeelectricity at a power-station and carry it to alocomotive. This is done by means of apantograph that consists of metal wipermounted on rods and pressed against thewire by springs.

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    There are trains now which are driven bygas turbines, like smaller versions of theengines used in aeroplanes. These areknown as Advanced Passenger Trains (APT)and are designed to run faster over ordinarytrack than any other train in the world. Theyhave no separate locomotive. Instead, thereare engines or electric motors at intervals

    along the train. Some APTs are all-electricbut, where the track is not electrified, thetrain is driven by gas turbines.These trains are light and, by acceleratingvery fast, can keep up an extremely highaverage speed of more than 160 kilometresper hour.Diesel and electric trains have proved farmore comfortable for the crew than steamdriven trains. Their engines are built like

    Advanced Passenger 1rain (APn

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    passenger coaches, with windows all roundand are heated in winter and cooled insummer. The drivers are given handycontrols and plenty of instruments so thatthey can see exactly how the engine andtrain are behaving.Comfort and neatness took major prioritywhen British Rail introduced the High-SpeedTrain (HST) in 1972. The driver has all thecontrols at his fingertips, and if anything wereto go wrong he would be instantly informedby an illuminated warning display. Eventuallydrivers will be in constant communicationwith other trains and with railway controllersby means of electronic control systems.

    - '-

    Shatabdi Express

    The fastest train in India is the Shatabdi Express,travelling at 140 kilometres per hou r; i t was introduced in 1988. It can get you from Delhi to Jhansiin four hours and forty minutes.Thirteen such trainsare in operation now connecting, among others,Mumbai to Ahmedabad, A jmer to New Delhi,Mysore to Chennai and Rourkela to Howrah.

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    One of the most ornate royal saloons was thatrun by the Bavarian Railways for 'Mad Ludwig' (KingEdward II). It was done in royal blue with gildinginside and out. Next to the royal coach was theBalcony carriage where the monarch receivedguests wherever the train stopped.

    Today, with attempts being made tofurther improve the performance of railwayengines, it is difficult to imagine a time whenthere were no trains. We are so used to themthat we tend to take them for granted. Infact we even look down upon them at timesas being less glamorous.The definition of glamour, however,continues to change. Years ago whenGeorge Pullman designed some luxurioustrains he became famous for planning theultimate in travel hospitality. In the dictionaries

    ,'Pu m

    Luxury in running train------------------- f

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    of twenty languages throughout the world'Pullman' appears as a noun connotingluxury, comfort and safety in overlandtransportation.In India, the first luxury train called 'Palaceon Wheels', was started in January 1982 by

    the Rajasthan Tourism. The Palace wasdriven by a steam engine and consistedexclusively of saloons and state carriages offormer Maharajas. Each saloon had all thefacilities of a small house and a five-starservice on board.

    I ~ ON 4.I " t ' os-I I !:! \II III \lI19I

    Palace on Wheels

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    Futuristic trains

    With the onset of the jet-age, glamour intransport has come to be associated withspeed. No wonder then, it is being said thattrains will soon be gathering speed byplunging to the earth's core before graduallyreturning to the surface, perhaps on another

    continent! Or, a vacuum might be created infront of the vehicle so that the atmosphericpressure would drive it along a tube, !"ike apiston in a cylinder! Another possibilitywould be to pump air from the front of thevehicle and expel it from behind. For thepresent, of course, these are dreams.

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    They say-you must dream dreams inorder to make your dreams come true. So,who knows, if you dream ingeniousl.y youmight end up designing the most bnllianttrains of the future!

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    Others in this series include:


    This book, one of a series of information books,introduces the child to the train. It explainshow the train works and traces briefly the historyand development of the train, particularlythe Indian Railways.

    Text typeset in 14/16 pt. Helvetica by CBT 1994Reprinted 1997, 1998.Revised edition 2001, 2003, 2006.All rights. reserved. No parI of this book may be reproduced in wholeor In par t, or stored in a ret rIeval system, or t ransmi tted in any formor by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording,or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the pUblisher.

    The Television The Telephone The MotorCar The A ~ r o p l a n e The Ship.'The C,lockThe C(lmputer

    Published by Chi ld ren's Book Trust, Nehru House, 4 Bahadur ShahZatar Marg, New Delhi-110002and printed at its Indraprastha Press.Ph: 23316970-74 Fax: 23721090 e-mail: [email protected]: www.childrensbooktrust.com78R170 116479