Indian Railways Fan Club

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

The Indian Railways Fan Club (IRFCA) is a fan website devoted to the Rail transport in India. 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[edit]

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 list-servers (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.

As of April 2008 the list had 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 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[edit]

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

Convention I IRFCA Convention '06 The first ever convention of rail fans, was held on 26 February 2006 at Hotel Regency, Pune.

Convention II MAS2007 was held at the Hotel Metro Manor, Chennai on 27 January 2007.

Convention III CNB2008 was held at IIT Kanpur on the 9 and 10 February 2008.

Convention IV BNC2009 Blog of the event Was held at The UTC Campus, near Bangalore Cantonment station, on the 24 and 25 January 2009.

Convention V NRM2010 was held at the prestigious National Railway Museum at New Delhi, on the 6 and 7 February 2010.

Convention VI BSL2011 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 MGS2013 was held in Mughalsarai on 9 & 10 February 2013.

Convention IX UAM2014 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 twoday convention.

Convention XI It 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 convention.

Convention XIII 2018, Held in Vadodara in 2018 The venue was selected from a Online Poll. Attended by ~150 participants.

Convention XIV [3] [4] Will be held in Hubli, Karnataka.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]