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Showing posts from 2006

A Year that was....

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The Year 2006 is almost over...It is just a matter of 6 hours and 52 minutes, when this year ends and a newer year - 2007, takes over.
2006 was an action filled year, and had many incidences. This was an year of many firsts! Let me post a few "post-worthy" incidences of this year::
This year had me entering a "full-fledged" railfanning arena. I attended the first ever railfan meet this year.I gathered enough courage to take photography far away from the Platforms. Earlier, I used to rake photos standing on the Platform only. But since June this year, I started standing down on the track to take photographs! (Safety is always the first priority!).I made my first ever journey on AC First, and my first every journey in a Passenger train in Far off Kerala.I dashed my car for the very first time costing a dearly 70,000 bill!I lost my Maternal Grandmother. She died a natural death, and she was 85. Let her soul rest in peace.
I started blogging!I watched a Bollywood movie at…

Last railfanning of the Year!

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December 30, 2007 saw my last railfanning of the year! The railfanning was NOT a separate session but coupled, as usual, with my journey to my college...
I took my usual train from Belapur to Kurla, the 06:58 Belapur - Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus "Slow" EMU via the Harbour Line. The only difference to the day was that, Instead of me driving down to the station, My brother dropped me at the station! I was all determined to capture the Pune bound Deccan Express today! On each day I try to get an Image, but I fail miserably and get a blurred image. Today I decided to try something different - Zoom the camera and capture the Loco face-to-face. The result is above!
I boarded the 07:41 EMU from thereon to Kurla. I was happy to see the Mandovi waiting at the station. I considered me lucky enough to see her for the last time in this year! For the past ONE week, this lady had been running "regularly" late! The loco in charge to day was WDP4 #20026 working Short hood …

Meeting this good ol' friend!

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Sorry for not posting tomorrow! I had no interesting things to post about yesterday, and to top it I was too tired to post! Anyways, going about with today's post:
This day, the 29th day of December 2006, will surely find a distinct mention in my history book. The day was quite normal till I reached Thane in the morning. While entering the MSRTC bus station right outside the station, a friend in my college informed that there are NO MSRTC buses towards my college due to some traffic problems. I decided to confirm it. By this time, another friend of mine (a classmate) joined me. We took a seat inside a bus that usually runs via my college. About 5-7 minutes later, the Conductor came in, and announced that the bus is taking a different route today!!! Totally dejected by the announcement, we walked out of the bus station to find some other alternative.
We were now queuing up near the local TMT (Thane Municipal Transport) bus station. Their buses were running way behind schedule, and w…

Nothing to Post :-(

Today was an absolute dry day. No interesting sightings to post! I am too sleepy now to write anymore. Sorry to disappoint you, but BYE FOR THE DAY!

10 minutes of tension!

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I was on board my, by now, regular 06:58 EMU from Belapur. The journey was normal until Kurla. Just as I got out from the train in Kurla, my foot started paining (and it still pains!). I rushed up the Foot-Over bridge to reach Platform 5. Deccan express had already crossed. There was no signs of my train (0741 Asangaon Fast) pulling in. I heard the horn of a diesel locomotive at a distance, but wasn't able to spot is anywhere. Suddenly, a Kalyan WDM2 was approaching platform 6. I scrambled for my Camera. I found that the camera had accidentally switched on, and had been switched off my the power-saver function. The loco was coming closer. I tried to revive my camera, and she luckily responded. I had hardly a few seconds to click, and finally clicked hoping for the best! The picture above is the result!
Just as the loco passed, and the name of the train was visible, I burst out due to happiness! That was the Latur-Mumbai Express which has been on Diesel link since about 2 weeks. I f…

Another day with VSP...

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I got up quite late in the morning. It was already 0800 by then. I quickly got up, and messaged VSP to find the time when he is expected at Panvel. The reply was "1030"! I was relaxed. I reached Belapur station at around 1000. I called up Deepesh Soni while on the platform, and he said that his train is just pulling in.
I joined the same train, I was in the second coach while he was in the seventh. We met each other at Panvel. The train was hell crowded. Just as I got down, I heard the announcements regarding the arrival of 1689 Diva-Roha passenger. With Deep, I rushed in to see the loco already pulling in. That was WDM2 #18852 of Kalyan. Abhishek Tamhankar was to join us by this train, but he couldn't come down. We walked back towards the ticket counter to get a Platform ticket, but the counter had a very long queue.
We decided to stand on the FOB for some time. Around this time, a MU-ed pair of WCAM3s pulled in. Also, WCAG1 #21972 pulled in with a BLCA/B rake from Karjat…

Meeting a Respected person!

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Yet another sunday played host to railfanning! Today, I had an opportunity to meet Mr. V Srinivasa Prasad (Fondly called as VSP) from Hyderabad. He is a "timetable expert", and a member of Indian Railway Fans Club or IRFCA.
I left my home at 1155 towards Thane to take part in the meeting. The Belapur-Panvel section was closed for the day, and all EMUs were terminated at Belapur. I took an EMU towards Kurla from Belapur. I reached Kurla at around 1245. I went towards Platform 5 to catch a fast train. Just around then a WDS4 rushed towards DR with 10 coaches in tow. While on Platform 5, I spotted a light WCAM3, and the Hyderabad Express hauled by WCG2 rushing towards Thane side. My EMU pulled in at 1313, early by 2 minutes. It was a Fast EMU, BUT being a Sunday it halts at Vikhroli, Bhandup and Mulund in addition to the normal halts. The journey took 30 minutes instead of the usual 17-20 minutes. The platform at Thane was crowded heavily.
I had a tough time finding IRFCAn Ranjee…

This lady is too fast!

The day began, as usual, with enough delays! I left my home with just 8 minutes to spare for my train, and the station is about 2.5 kms from home! I did the distance in 3 minutes. Just as I got down from the EMU at Kurla, I saw the Madgaon bound Mandovi express blasting off towards thane. EMUs on the Down Fast line were running late, and I boarded a Kasara bound local (07:23) at 07:35. The Pune bound Deccan Express was running late by 15 minutes. I spotted an unidentified train snaking into LTT, the LTT bound Habibganj Express waiting at Ghatkopar Advanced Starter, and Latur-CSTM Express waiting at Ghatkopar station. The loco incharge of Latur Express was WDM2 #17735 of Kalyan. This train is now regular on Kalyan WDM2s. On reaching Thane, I saw the Mandovi waiting there with WDP4 #20015 in charge.
In the evening, I boarded the 16:23 Fast from Thane. The EMU had a Motorwoman in-charge! She maintained steady speeds in the Mulund-Ghatkopar section. The ride was smoother, and she braked wi…

Winter Outing::

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The travelogues of 'the Winter Outing' is now available. Please use the following links:
Click here for Trip Summary pageClick here for Travelogue of Journey from DR to BangaloreClick here for Travelogue of Journey from Bangalore to ThrissurClick here for Travelogue of Journey from Thrissur to BangaloreClick here for Travelogue of Journey from Bangalore to DadarClick here for Photo GalleryThank you!

Back to routine!

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After two long weeks of abnormalities, I am almost back to my regular schedule (I plan to regularise the 06:58 EMU instead of the 06:33 one!!!). I had just ONE interesting observation in the morning! The Mandovi Express towards Madgaon. The loco was WDP4 #20025. This train is now 22 coaches long.
I was damn late in the evening. I missed the 16:23 train, and took the 16:27 train instead. There were no interesting spottings in the evening! All I saw was the Pragati Express with a WCAM3, and Nanded bound Nandigram express with WDG3A #13052 of Pune in charge. So that was it for the day!

A "pseudo-Normal" Day!

Today was yet another "Pseudo" Normal day. I was late as usual. I saw the Pune bound Deccan Express blasting past Kurla with a Noisy WCG2 in charge. I was seated comfortable inside the train playing a game on my mobile phone. I wasn't cared of what went on outside!
In the evening while returning, I was once again at the mobile playing a game. In the meantime, I saw Sewagram and Konark rushing out. I saw the incoming Mahanagari and the outgoing Kanyakumari at Kurla. I was damn tired to make observations!
Hope to put up something interesting tomorrow!

Back to the "e-world"!

Finally the telephone line is back in place, and I am back to where I belong to! This is the first post (via-internet) after long 9 days!
The 9-Long days were quite interesting with many spottings! Quite interestingly, on none of these days did I reach my college in time! I am now a regular on the 06:58 EMU from Belapur! I was a regular on the 06:33 train earlier! I regularly enjoy the "hi-speed" running of the Asangaon train from Kurla to Thane. I regularly meet Mandovi Express at Thane. Today the loco was WDP4 #20014.
This is just a notice to indicate that I am back. More detailed and interesting postings from tomorrow *onwards*

Unexpected Interruption

Sorry.....my internet connection is down since the past four days. It seems that there has been some theft and the telephone wires from the telephone exchange are now missing! Hopefully the connection is restored soon. Until then there would be no updates here...

Back to the college!

Today was that day! The college re-opened after a week of vacations post the University examinations. Days of regular updates are here once again!

The day began 'late' today. I was in no mood to get up at 0500 when the alarm blared out. I finally was up by 0545. I missed the 0633 train by a huge margin. I left my home only by 0640. So the 0642 was also missed! I finally boarded the 0658 train from Belapur. The train was crowded as usual, and made it to Kurla at 0732. The Deccan Express rushed away with 16-Coaches and a noisy WCG2. The coach composition was 2X SLR; 2x AC Chair Car; 1x Pantry; 11x Second Sitting. I boarded the 07:42 Asangaon "Fast" from Kurla. The coach was 365A, turned out by ICF in August 2006! Just 3 months old! The EMU flew towards Thane, and I thoroughly enjoyed the AC/DC EMU ride after a long time. Mandovi was waiting for its signal at Thane, and the loco was WDP4 #20029. I was tired of seeing WDP4s after the Bangalore trip! Rushed to college sinc…

Winter Outing: Final Update

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Finally the 8 Day long trip is ended. The trip had me travelling 3586 kilometres in 10 different trains over a period of 8 days. The final part of the journey was: Yeswantpur to Dadar by 1018 Chalukya Express.
The loco for this train was WDM3A #17910R from Pune. My coach was AS1 (WGACCN 03130A, based at Dadar Terminus). The train had 14 coaches in the following formation: Loco-SLR-GS-S1 to S7-AS1-A1-GS-SLR-VPU. The rake was the same one in which I did the DR-YPR journey!!! The coach was built in April 2004 by RCF,Kapurthala. The coach had moulded toilets. The fittings were in good condition.
The train was late by an hour at Belgaum, Half-an-hour late at Miraj, and ON-TIME at Dadar. The train pulled into Platform 8 of Dadar right at 0720. I took an EMU from Dadar to Kurla, and thence to Belapur CBD.
The food served on this train was too tasty to resist - especially the Vegetarian meals served for Dinner by Ghatprabha Vegetarian Refreshment Room. That was mouth watering!
A detailed travelog…

Winter Outing: Update 5

Laziness...Wat else? Sorry guys for this very late update...
I reached Bangalore from Trichur on 07-December (Yesterday!). The journey was interesting. The coach was 02143/A based at Trivandrum (AS1). The loco was WAP4 #22295 from Erode. The train left Trichur at 2215 (late by 15 minutes), and reached Bangalore at 0945. I took a BMTC Volvo from Kempegowda to reach my brother's home!

Fourth and Final part of the journey begins tomorrow: I will board 1018 Chalukya Express from Yeswantpur at 0720 in the morning, and will reach Mumbai on Sunday, 10 December 2006, in the morning to pull down the curtains for this 8-day tour.

Travelogues will come up very soon. In the mean time, you can check the photos till date by clicking here. So bye for now....

Winter Outing: Update 4

Hi guys.... After a few days I am getting an opportunity to blog post :-(

Part 3 of the outing beins today: The journey from Trichur to Bangalore. The train is 6322 Trivandrum-Bangalore Weekly express, and I have a reservation in AC-3-Tier!

I have an upper berth :-(

Part 2 was interesting: The journey was like:
Bangalore-Coimbatore: 2677 Intercity Express (WDM3D #11108 from Erode)
Coimbatore-Shoranur: 611 Kannur Fast Passenger (WDM2 from Golden Rock)
Shoranur-Thrissur: 649 Ernakulam Passenger (WAP4 from Erode)

The journey was beautiful. Photos coming very soon. So bye for now!

Winter Outing: Update 3

Good morning friends......part 2 of Winter Outing has just begun.
This section has me traveling to Trichur (Kerala). The journey will be done on 4 trains! The first train is 2677 bangalore-coimbatore express. Details of other trains in the next report(s).
The journey by 2677 is already on.....the loco is Erode WDM3D 11108. More coming very soon....

Winter outing: Update 2

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So, Finally here I am in bangalore! The train pulled into YPR at 2045, delayed by 5 minutes (On Saturday, December 02 2006). The loco for the Pune-YPR section was WDM3A #18933R from Pune! The train had a delay of 40 to 80 minutes in the Hubli-Arsikere Section. The train had a non-stop (uninterrupted) run between Davangere and Birur. A distance of over 110 kms was done in just an hour and 20 minutes! The train was blasting off at 100 kmph at most places (I measured the speed by calculating the time required to cover a kilometre!).
The run was mind-blowing and it was fun to watch stations flying past! That was an experience of a life-time. The 3100-hp beast had no problems to pickup from halts - The rake was just 13 coaches! The composition of the train was; Loco-SLR-GS-A1-AS1-S7 to S1-GS-SLR!
I will be leaving for Trichur tomorrow in the morning by 2677 Intercity express. So - More photos and updates on your way.
BTW, the photos of the Mumbai-Bangalore trip is available here.Bye for the d…

Winter Outing: Update 1

So here comes the first update of the journey via GPRS. The journey has begun. The train (1017) left dadar at 2132. WDM3A #18858R of pune is in charge. The journey began with a huge suprise - i got upgraded to 2A from my original seat in 3A. What a way to begin a journey :-) more updates will flow in tomorrow.......bye till then.

The Winter Outing: Curtain Raiser

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Today marks the beginning of yet another railfanning trip to the south! I will leave to Bangalore by 1017 Chalukya express today from Dadar. I will return on 10 December by 1018 Chalukya boarding YPR on 09th!

So stay tuned for regular updates right here!

Lull after the storm

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After miscreants created hell in Mumbai, now the police are creating heaven!
Most EMUs in the CR system was badly hit today. There were lot of cancellations round the day!
I had my last exam today, and the next one week is full of activities. Just look forwards for them! Sorry for such a small post, but I am in total hurry!

21972's day out!

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After having a date with WCAM3s, it was my date with a particular loco - WCAG1 #21972 of Kalyan Electric Loco Shed. Before going into the details of the "date" -
I got up much after the rooster in my Mobile shouted. It was already 0530. My head was drooping even while I was in the toilet. After a hurried bath, I reached at the Table for my breakfast. It was already 0625, and chances of getting the 0633 Local was negligible. I decided to fill up my tummy, and then drove like a fanatic to the railway station. I rushed up the stairs - The railway clock showed 06:40:15, the next train was at 06:42. The train came in at around 06:43 or so. I sat down, and my head was still drooping. I had lots of material to study for the day's examination in "Biopharmaceutics and Pharmacokinetics". I felt my stomach churning as I studied pathways of drug transport in the body. The book said "Blah...Blah...Blah...". I kep my eyes glued to the window as the train approached …

WCAM3's day out!

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Another week, the last in the month, started off with delays. I narrowly made it to Belapur station on time to board the 0633 BR-CSTM local. The EMU crawled its way to Kurla, and finally made it to Kurla at 0708. The intercity was yet to rush through. I rushed my way to Platform 5. Just as I landed on Platform 5/6, I saw the Chalukya express rushing towards Dadar. The loco was a maroon liveried WDM3A #18651R of Pune. The train simply flew past the station, and the time was just around 0710. By now, the Pune bound Intercity express was seen rushing towards Kurla. The loco was WCAM3 #21895. I tried to have a photograph, but that turned out to be blurred :-(
I took the usual 07:17 Ambernath Fast EMU from Kurla. Our EMU slowed down near Vidyavihar....Guess what? I saw the Samarsata Express snaking its way towards Lokmanya Tilak Terminus. The composition of the train was, from loco: SLR-GS-S1 to S9-PC-S10-AS1 to AS5-A1-A2-H1-GS-SLR; making a total of 23 coaches! The EMU kept speeding throug…

Some fun to unwind!

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After writing three university examinations, i desperately required to have a break. Having some work at Thane came as an icing to the cake! I had plans of spending a huge amount of time at the station. But, lethargy of waking up in the morning (after having had sleep-'less' nights) made me leave my home only at 0930. I boarded an EMU at 0950 from Belapur.
I got down at Kurla, and went towards Platform 5 to board a Fast EMU to Thane. There was one 12-Car Thane EMU scheduled. I did not want to travel by that, and decided to wait for the next one. The next was a Kasara EMU. The AC/DC rake pulled in. I settled on to a seat (did not want to stand at the door!). Right outside Kurla, I saw the Pragati Express rumbling off!
At Mulund, two Ticket Checkers got in and detected three cases of "irregular" travel. All the three surprisingly had tickets - but for Second class. One person argued on the grounds that "he had a ticket". The TTE got rough with him, and rathered…

Narrow missssss!

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The day started off with a long line of narrow misses! Firstly I missed the 0628 CSTM local from Belapur (I had plans of going a bit early!). Since I was carrying my camera after some long time, I wanted to catch the Intercity rushing past - But all I saw was the intercity blasting past the station while I was just getting out of the EMU at Kurla! The third miss of the day - The 07:17 Ambernath local came in with her headlamps on. I wanted to capture it - but the camera did not start up on time! The fourth miss - I was ready at the door to capture a pair of Kalyan WDM2s at Nahur. Unfortunately, the Vidharbha rushed across, and I did not get a chance to take out the camera on time! The fifth miss - The camera was on, the train was approaching. I pressed the shutter, but by the time the shutter actually exposed, the loco was half way past the lens! The train was a 23-coach Kushinagar Express!
Finally after 5-misses in a line, I got a sneak opportunity to capture the Mandovi at Thane. The…

52 meets 55 at Kurla!

Surprised? Read on...

I had a normal day today. Took the 0633 slow from Belapur. One interesting spotting - While I was standing on Platform 5 at Kurla, the Pune bound Intercity rushed through (The train was probably late since I/C usually crosses Kurla at around 0706~0708, and today the time was around 0711). The loco had her markers on. Just as the loco approached Kurla station, some trespassers were noticed by the Loco pilot and he switched on the Headlamps and blew the horn continuously right till the end of the platform. Out of excitement by seeing the loco speeding up through the curve I even forgot to notice the loco road number!
I took the 07:11 Karjat local from Kurla. On the way, our train crossed the Deccan Odyssey somewhere near Bhandup. I reached college at about 0800. We had Pharmaceutics Examination today, and the paper was good. I had to get a concession certificate from my college since my season ticket is expiring next week. I had a longish wait to submit the applicati…

Overhearing a conversation!

After lots of curtain raisers, and anxiety filled moments, the Final Year B.Pharmacy (Semester VII) examinations (Theory) of the University of Mumbai began today. Our college (Veer Mata Hiraben Popatlal Shah College of Pharmacy a.k.a VMHP Shah College of Pharmacy) was playing host for 96 students of the Thane region. Out of the 96 students appearing for the examination, a meager minority of 25 students are from my college. (Our batch strength is 25!). The first examination was filled with nothing but anxiety. Everyone at the center were anxious of the fate of the paper. The paper was quite easy unlike expected!

Railfanning: I took the 06:33 Belapur CSTM EMU in the morning. The 0628 CSTM EMU which runs ahead of my train was delayed today, and CR decided to send our train ahead. That ensured that every inch of space in the tiny First Class enclosure was taken up by passengers of both the trains combined together! The journey was normal, and I had no time even to look outside. I was deepl…

Long busy days ahead

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Image: The sun setting over Thane station after a long shining day!
After about three months of regular postings, Platform 7 is now taking short breaks. Since My terminal examinations are starting from Monday, the frequency of updations will change. I'll try to make updations every alternate day from now on.
Please bear with me for the interruptions, and please bless me for my tough days ahead!
I have 6 papers in all, spanning over two weeks. The examinations will be on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the next two weeks. At the end of the next week, I plan to put up a very huge surprise. So keep visiting regularly (atleast once every two days! Please...). So bye till the next update.

A visit to Platform 7

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After finishing off my University Practical examinations, I had a job with top priority - Taking my car to the workshop for service, and for correcting a few defects. I contacted the dealer for a service appointment. I got an appointment for Thursday morning, which I accepted gladly. Accordingly, I left my house at 0815 towards Thane. I reached Thane by about 0900 itself, while my appointment was for 0945. I spend some time bus-fanning admiring the "mangled" buses of TMT (Thane Municipal Transport). I handed over the car to a Service Advisor at the dealer and set journey to the railway station. I reached the station at about 1020. I walked straight towards Platform 7.
Platform 7 happens to be my favorite railfanning location (this signifies the name of this site!). I walked a long distance down the platform, and settled at a good point for photography. At about 1028, I took the first photograph of the day. The Pune-Mumbai Pragati Express came calling with WCG2 #20139 in charg…

A livery matched train!

I had a "pseudo" Normal day today! I took the 0658 slow from Belapur in the morning. Surprisingly, I spotted the Vidarbha express at Kurla. The train was sharp on its time!!! The Deccan express flew towards Pune, and my Asangaon EMU trailed the Deccan. I noticed that the Mandovi was still on the platform while I reached there. The loco was WDP4 #20023, the very same fellow who worked the Udyan express when I had traveled on it recently! I went to college immediately after that.
I had Pharmacognosy practical examination today. The exam was average, and I had an unusually poor performance in the subject. I tried hard to put behind the day while I travelled back to Thane on an overcrowded MSRTC bus. I was tensed since I had plans to board the Ratnagiri passenger. The time was already 15:45, and the train is at 16:05. I had just 1.5 kms to cover, but the road is usually heavily crowded. The bus finally pulled into Thane station at 1600. The train had already reached, and chances…

Some railfanning and a "Murder"

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The day had some interesting events. It included some railfanning and a Murder! I saw the Deccan express screaming past Kurla as soon as I got down from my EMU. I had my eyes half closed (starved of sleep!) and somehow reached Platform 5 at Kurla right on time to board the 07:42 Asangaon "Semi-Fast".
As the EMU crossed the Thane Outer, I saw the Mandovi standing at Platform 7. The EMU just pulled in for a halt, and I jumped out to have a look at the loco. The beast from Krishnarajapuram was the newest to visit Mumbai - WDP4 #20030 was it! I quickly snapped a photo (the sun was directly incident on the loco and that gave a very high contrast photo!). I walked out and took a bus to college. While the bus was pulling out of the Bus Station (about 5-8 minutes after I took the photo), I heard the DP4's horn, and saw the train pulling out.
I had to perform a murder at college today. I decided to delegate the chance to a friend of mine. The victim was a Frog. We murdered him (or …

Spotting a WDP4 after a long time!

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I spotted a WDP4 in action after a very long time, today at Kurla, and then at Thane. The last time I saw a WDP4 was on October 31 at Madgaon. The loco was shunting the rake of the Konkan Kanya Express. Today I managed to have a glimpse of the loco, first notching past Kurla and then waiting at Thane for the starter. The loco was WDP4 #20016 (reportedly from KJM, but still has the Hubli logo on!). The beast looked tired and requires a paint job urgently!
The day was relatively dry except for spotting of the MAS-CSTM Express. There were nothing noteworthy today except for a very funny incidence at college::
We (my batch of 13 students) were to have our Pharmacology practical examination today (The very same Frog Murder: For new comers - Click here). Accordingly I made it college at 0900 AM well in time for the 1000AM exam. We all got ready (wearing our white lab coats), took all the required apparatus (dissection box), and were waiting near the laboratory. Since this was an university co…

Southern Sparkle: R'Fanning at TCR

Due to the accident, the entire schedule went haywire and that resulted in massive replanning. My brother wanted to return to Bangalore on 29 October itself, while my parents (alongwith my Sister-in-law) were planning to return on 30 October. I had a ticket for Poorna Express departing Ernakulam on 30 October. On friday, 27 October, Myself and my Sister-in-Law set out for a journey to Thrissur to book tickets for each others journeys. The plan was: My brother would take a bus from Thrissur on 29th evening, myself would take a train from Thrissur to Ernakulam on 30th morning while my parents (with my sis-in-law) would take a train from Thrissur to Coimbatore (3352 ALLP-Dhanbad Express) on 30th and then board 2678 CBE-Bangalore Intercity from there.
We took a bus from right outside our home to the Municipal Bus station, Kodungallur. From there we boarded a Limited Stop bus bound to Thrissur. We got down at Chettiyangadi which is the stop for the Railway station as well as the KSRTC bus s…

A short railfanning at Vikhroli!

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Saturday morning, being a holiday, saw me travelling "backwards" on a Panvel-CSTM local. I reached Kurla at about 11 AM, and took a slow bound to Thane. I got down from the train at Vikhroli and waited for IRFCAn Deepesh Soni to join in. He reached Vikhroli at about 1130 or so. We had to meet a person (now thats a surprise!!!) at Vikhroli. We had a short railfanning session there.
The first train to go through (before Deepesh joined me) was a long Tanker rake hauled single-handedly by WDG3A #14983 from Kalyan. Minutes after Deepesh joined in, we saw the Patna-LTT Express "screaming" past with a WCAM3 in charge. The train had two refrigerated cars at the rear end. Minutes after the express went through, We spotted the Sahyadri express going through with a WCG2 in charge. After some time, we saw the Sewagram express going through.
We were in for a rude shock after a few minutes. The Ferozpur-Mumbai Punjab mail went through! The train was about 5-6 hours late!!! Deepesh…

A dead tiring day!

The day was one of the worst in recent days! In the morning all were normal including the Deccan express screaming past with a WCG2! As the Asangaon EMU in which I was travelling inched closer to Thane, I saw the Mandovi standing on Platform 7. I was happy that I would be able to see a WDP4 soon. Some moments later, I saw the train (Mandovi) moving out! Oof!I missed that fellow. My train pulled in about a minute after the Mandovi pulled out! I went to college with a heavy heart!
The day was too tiring that I had no chance of freeing up my mind until 1630 in the evening. I alongwith my friends left the college at 1700, and got a bus 1725. I reached Thane at 1800. I decided to go by the Thane-Vashi train instead of moving via Kurla. Just moments after I reached Thane, there was an announcement that 5018 Gorakhpur-LTT express was 3hrs late today (quite normal!!!). The CST bound Mahanagari express pulled in at about 1820 (about 4 hours late!). I boarded the 1830 Vashi EMU and kept watchin…

Railfanning at Panvel.

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Today, after long 22 days, I had an opportunity to visit Panvel for some railfanning. On my way down to the station, I messaged Panvel IRFCAn Ranjeet Ramaswamy to know if he was free. I reached Panvel at about 1220 right on time to catch the incoming Kerala Sampark Kranti (from Chandigarh). The train came in with WDM2 #16293 from Ernakulam. The train was recieved on Platform 1. Platform 2 was occupied by a WCAG1 hauled BCNA rake (loco at the Diva end). Right after the Sampark Kranti pulled in, a huge population of sikhs got down from the train and proceeded outwards. The PA system announced the arrival of KR4 Ratnagiri Dadar Passenger on platform 2. The BCNA rake slowly moved out.
The coaches of Sampark Kranti were being watered i.e., the overhead tanks were being filled with water. The rake composition was Loco-SLR-GS-GS-S1 to S7-PC-S8-AS1-HA1-GS-GS-SLR, totalling 17 coaches. It was a huge disappointment to see that this train is still having only a partial AC2T coach! I moved over to…

The day an EOG roared through Kurla!

Confused?
Wednesday was no ordinary day that I could sleep off! This was the day when I would be appearing for the first of a series of four Practical Examinations conducted by the University of Mumbai at the Final Year Bachelor of Pharmacy (Semester 7) examinations. We had our Pharmaceutical chemistry exam today. I was tense in the morning, but later relaxed out after reaching Kurla. I decided to stay at the door on the speeding 0741 Asangaon Fast AC/DC EMU. There were no crossings (Mail/Express) on the way, and that disappointed me to the maximum. I reached college at 0900 and was engrossed in preparations for the day. At abotu 0920, we came to know that the external examiners who had turned up where the same ones who had come for our First year examinations way back in 2004. The are two examiners - One a male and the other female. The "sir" has reportedly done post-doctorate and is known for his "off-the-way" questions. As soon as I came to know about them, I dec…

Tiring Monday!

Monday was another tiring day. The journey was normal in the morning and there were nothing noteworthy. I saw the Chalukya rushing past towards Dadar with WDG3A 13063 of Pune at its helm. The train had two 3AC coaches, probably being sent to Matunga for POH, at the rear end.
In the afternoon, I boarded the 1402 CSTM fast local from Thane at about 1430hrs! That was an AC/DC EMU and she really showed off shortly after Mulund. While my EMU was pulling out of Thane, I saw the Mangalore bound Matsyagandha pulling in with WDM2 #17544 from Erode, working LHF. This particular loco has a flat face at the SHF end, probably a modification after an accident! As my EMU pulled out, the Chennai express pulled in.
While I was at Kurla, the Sinhagad express rushed past. This train now gets a WCG2 and had 18 coaches including a AC Chair Car and a Pantry car! I boarded the 1459 Panvel from Kurla and reached home by 1545! Bye for the day....

The Watery way!

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The Government of Kerala has an independant authority to operate and authorise ferry services within the state's inland waterways. The authority is christened as "State Water Transport Department" also known as SWTD. The department is based at Alappuzha and operates a good number of passenger services in the district. Typically, the boats operated by them can carry upto 100 passengers.
The Kuttanad area of Alappuzha, which was ill-connected by road until a few years back, had only these boats for their commute. One such boat is seen in the image above. The boat has about 4 crew members including a Driver, a navigator, a person to tie the boat at stops, and a conductor locally called as a "Master". In the image seen above, a cabin can be seen above the roof of the boat. The Navigator sits inside this cabin. He has a starwheel to control the direction of the boat. He communicates with the Driver, who sits towards the middle of the boat, with the help of a bell.
Th…

The KSRTC Trips!

I got an unexpected opportunity to board a KSRTC bus whilst my trip to Kerala in October. I had last boarded a KSRTC (Kerala State Road Transport Corporation) bus in May 2005. I boarded a Guruvayur-Kodungallur-Ernakulam Jetty 'Limited Stop Ordinary' bus, KL15 3963, Fleet Number TS838 of Parur Depot. The bus was of TATA make and I was seated right behind the driver. The driving was quite comfortable with the bus rarely making it above 60kmph and with smooth braking and pick up. The bus left Kodungallur at 0830 and reached Edappally at about 0935, covering the distance of about 32 kms in 65 minutes. The fare was Rs. 17.00.

I got my second opportunity on October 29. Since Private bus operators were beginning a strike on October 30, I expected heavy rush on KSRTC Buses and on Trains, and since I had to reach Ernakulam on October 30 for some urgent work and to board the Poorna Express, I decided to go to Ernakulam from Kodungallur (in Trissur District of Kerala) on October 29 in the…

Choc-a-Block on the Harbour line!

The day was normal in the morning with me resting with my heads on the walls of a DC EMU leaving Belapur at 06:33 in the morning. I wanted to make it to my college before 0800, and was determined to do it! I reached Kurla unusually early at 0705 itself. I saw the Pune Intercity flashing past the station. I was at the platform when the scene took place. I decided to give the 07:11 Karjat local a miss since the coach was already crowded. The train was late too. Just as the starter turned yellow after the Karjat local left, I saw the 07:17 Ambernath sneaking in! The EMU was the all new aerodynamic coach! Aerodynamic refers only to a minor difference in shape for the face of the EMU! MSRTC decided to cheat me in the morning! The first bus to leave the depot after I reached there was at 07:55!!! The college was still 25 mins away! I made it to college at 0820, and had a tiring day with lots of writing work! I just got a nasty cold, and spent the entire day sneezing!
In the evening as I walk…

Meeting the Sharavati after long....

I saw the Mysore-Dadar Sharavati express after a very long time today at kurla. The loco in charge was WDM3A 18757 from pune. The loco was in the old 'green & cream' livery. The loco smoked mid-way while on the platform. The scene was too beautiful to be summarised in words!
The day was normal. One interesting fact - As my EMU from Belapur was entering Kurla, I saw the Mumbai bound Konkan Kanya rushing past. The train was over 2 hours late. It is high time KR abolishes the Rake-Sharing of Mandovi and Konkan Kanya. On many days, Konkan Kanya pulls in several hours late and that consequently delays the outgoing Mandovi. Passengers are put to undue hardships due to this.
In the evening I saw the pragati rushing past with a WCAM3. More spottings tomorrow! Bye!

Back to college

Today, i returned to college after a long break of about 13 long days. I woke up, unusually, at 0400 AM. After getting fresh, i sat down watching songs of latest flicks in Malayalam. I got up dressed and left my home at 0600. Went to the restaurant at the railway station (which opens at 0500) for breakfast and the morning chai. The breakfast was dissapointing, but the chai was good. I took my regular train, settled on one window seat sipping chai. The train was unusually empty and had only seated passengers. The train pulled into Kurla right at 0707, and I boarded the 0711 Karjat fast (I had to reach college urgently for some work). I reached college at about 0800.
We had our Pharmaceutical Chemistry practical examination today. The exam was being conducted by our college. We had two questions (of 35 and 22 marks respectively). The procedure for synthesis of a chemical compound would be given, and we have to prepare, analyse it and submit. Analysis means determination of its Melting po…

Southern Sparkle: Update 9

Finally the trip has come to an end! I reached CSTM at 1030 (the DQ was on the dot!!!), and boarded an EMU at 1045. Reached home by 1200. Took a cool bath and I am leaving shortly for lunch. More to come soon! Bye till then!

Southern Sparkle: Update 8

I woke up at five in the morning. The train hadn't reached pune even then. We were held up for a crossing......the traini pulled into pune after 90 tension filled minutes since i got up. The train pulled into platform 3 and the deccan queen was already on platform 1. I rushed through the FOB and my coach C3 was right in front of me.....the loco in charge is WCAM3 21949. The TTE is just checking the tickets and we now parallel to the express way! A detailed report would appear soon....bye till then.

Southern Sparkle: update 7

Just reached Belgaum, late by 1 hour....the train was late right from KNKD. The late running made of miss the dudhsagar since it was already dark by then :( more tomorrow.....good night.

Southern Sparkle: update 6

This is the first mobile update....southern sparkle: update 6. I boarded Poorna express from ERS yesterday. Left ERS late by 5 minutes. Now at Kankanadi. Reached early by 25 minutes. The loco is WDM3A 18754R from Pune. Just crossed a very late running Netravati here. The loco was 14054 - WDM3A of erode. This update ends here....more coming soon.

Southern Sparkle: Update 5

So here is the last Update from Kerala.....The fourth from Kerala.
I will return to Mumbai finally today! The tickets are confirmed...AS1/Berth 8 on Poorna Express, and C3/Seat 71 on Deccan Queen from Pune to CSTM.

Seat 71 in either case is not a Middle seat!!!! Berth 8 is a side-Upper - still better than a Middle or Upper berth!

So thats it for the time being. Hopefully a Smoky WDM3A from Pune does the honours for Poorna! In the mean time, I'll try to update through my Mobile....Bye....

Southern Sparkle: Update 4

An update almost a week after the last one. I was busy all through the day on Thursday (Oct 26) with the formalities of the accident. The car could not be released since the original papers were in Bangalore. That made my Sister-in-law fly-down to Cochin with the papers. The formalities at the Police-Station, and the RTO was completed on Friday, and the car released on Saturday. This saw me travelling on a KSRTC bus after a long year. The bus was from the Parur depot and was working a Limited-Stop Ordinary Schedule from Guruvayur to Ernakulam Jetty. I got down at Edapally and went to a relatives house there. Moved the car from the Police station to the Workshop for works. My brother had come down from Bangalore and the helped speed up the formalities. After attending a function at my place in Trichur, I am back again in Cochin to finish the formalities and to return to Mumbai by 1098 Poorna Express departing tonite from Ernakulam Junction. So...Bye for now! Meet ya again soon!

Southern Sparkle: Update 3

Today was the worst day in the entire journey. After finishing off all formalities of death of my Maternal Grandmother, my brother left for Bangalore yesterday in the night. He had laft his car back in our native place so that we could use it for our intra-state travels.
We (Myself, Dad and Mom) left our maternal home at 1015 am for the 100-odd km journey to my Dad's home in Trichur District. After driving about 60 kms, while I was coasting at about 70kmph, a cyclist decided to take a sharp right cut! Boom-Bang....The cyclist landed on my car's windshield with his cycle under the front left tyre. The tyre burst off and the windshielf curved in. He lay with his head bang in the middle of the road. I was totally devastated and started shivering in fear of public wrath. Presence of my parents helped me out.
Police arrived at the scene and took the vehicle into custody, sending the injured person to the hospital. The vehicle is now resting at Aroor Police Station in Alappuzha distri…

Southern Sparkle: Update 2

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After a 1000-odd km journey on a "less-smoky" WDP4 hauled train, it was my chance to drive a 2500 cc monster - Innova - on a 600-odd km route to Alleppey in Kerala. I was to drive about 360kms of the route, while my brother was to drive the remaining.
We left our home at 0615 and stopped for breakfast at "Kamat" on the way. We crossed over to Kerala from Karnataka at about 1052. We ascended the Thamarasseri Ghats at a moderate speed. The section has 9 Hair Pin bends, and road widening works are in progress.
We pulled into Kozhikkode (Calicut) at about 1400hrs for Lunch. I handed over the charge of the wheels to my brother, who sped towards Alleppey. The 300-km journey from Kozhikkode to Aleppey took close to 7 hours owing to poor roads and heavy traffic.
I am now in Alleppey, and hope to put up a much detailed report of this journey after returning to Bangalore. I will leave for trichur tomorrow (25-Oct) while my brother is returning to Bangalore by Bus today leaving …

Happy Diwali

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Wishing all of you a very Happy Diwali.
Let this festival of light bring all happiness to your life, and let evil be kept away. This light shall show you the way to success...

Wishing all my readers a very happy Diwali - the festival of lights & the celebration of the victory of good over evil.

Diwali is celebrated to welcome Shri Ram after his victory over Ravana.

There will be no update of 21-October due to Diwali, For I shall be travellin the entire day!!!

Southern Sparkle: Update 1

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So here goes the first update of the trip...Live from Bangalore!

I woke up at 0430 AM on 19-October. I had to rush through the toilet chores right in the morning since we (myself and my dad) were already late. We managed to flag down a empty taxi, and reached the station at 0520. Boarded the local at 0531, and reached CSTM at about 0640. The rake of Udyan was already on Platform 8.
We boarded our coach (HA1, 05026A, SWR based at YPR) and kept our luggage under our seats in Cabin B (We had lower berths!). I went out to check the loco which was just attached. That was WDP4 #20023 working Long-Hood Forward. The loco was just being coupled. There were no RPF/GRP around. I went down towards the track, and clicked the image seen above.
The journey was just superb, we reached Bangalore City at 0850 sharp today (20-Oct). More updates coming soon.
I am leaving for Kerala tomorrow by Road - Driving down on an Innova! The route is Bangalore-Mysore-Gundlupet-Kozhikode-Ernakulam-Alappuzha. So more ph…