Railfanning with IRFCAns!

Sunday had me experiencing railfanning with people having similar thoughts! It was on the 9th of this month that Deepesh Soni from IRFCA Mumbai send a mail to the list that they were planning for a railfanning, and other members were invited for the same. The venue was Parel Railway station, Platform 3/4 CSTM End on 17th September at 16.30. I was over-joyed and quickly replied to count me in!!! Sunday was a working day, and i was to reach there after my college.
My railfanning moments before and after college was described in the previous post. Continuing from where I left yesterday! (Those reading for the first time are requested to read the previous post first).
After the Sewagram pulled out of the station, I went to get an extension ticket. My Season ticket was valid only upto Kurla. The person at the counter gave me an 'extension' ticket worth Rs. 8 (valid for travelling from Kurla to Parel and back!). I rushed back to the FOB. Just around this time, there was an announcement regarding a fast local which was to arrive soon on Platform 6. I rushed down the FOB, and took positions to 'jump' into the train. The EMU was already crowded. The First class coach was empty and I jumped into one. I managed to find a seat after Mulund. Somewhere during the journey, the Bhubaneshwar bound Konark express rushed past our train. I got down at Kurla, and decided to change over to a Slow EMU there itself (I partly repent and partly approve this particular decision!). The platforms were crowded to the maximum possible extent! I got to platform 4. There was an indicator about a Slow EMU that was scheduled to reach at 16:05. Minutes after I reached the platform, there was an announcement that this local was about 10-15 minutes late. A WCAM3 attracted my attention around this time. I was worried about that train! The loco came close:

The train was the Kanyakumari Express. The train getting a WCAM3 surprised me! (One member from IRFCA pointed out that the loco had both her Pantos down!). The train came to screeching halt after covering about half the length of the platform. The train left about 2 minutes later. Soon after the express cleared the platform, I saw an orange liveried loco waiting at a distance. That was the Ratnagiri Passenger. The loco was WDG3A #13150 from Pune (the very same loco that I had seen in the morning with the Chalukya!). Minutes after the Passenger crawled past, an EMU pulled into the platform. I couldn't enter the coach since it was packed beyond limit! I decided to wait until the next one comes in! The next one came at about 16:25. That too was packed, but as a fact of determination, I waded through that sea of humans to find a few inches to park my already tired legs! Sitting was beyond question. I had barely one grab-handle to hang on. A family of 3 were continuously trying to make their way inside the coach. All passengers including me were believing on one relieving fact that the EMU empties at Dadar.
As the EMU pulled into Dadar, people were struggling, pulling and pushing to get down. I moved further inside the coach and managed to get a seat. The Pune bound "Pragati Superfast" was waiting on Platform 4 at Dadar. Our train was on Platform 3. The train pulled out after excreting hordes of humans from its coaches. She waded through the Dadar yard towards Parel. I was back at the door by now. It was time to get down. I again had to wade through a very concentrated sea of humans to find me way out of the train. The Platform was terribly crowded. I saw two people (looking like Railfans!!!) sharing dialogues with each other on a bench at our venue! I was a bit hesitant to interrupt them initially. Some time later, I walked down to that platform. Three ALCOs were parked on a stabling line just parallel to the UP Through line.

I clicked the queue of locos, and then went to interrupt them! The members who had already reached there were Herambh and Sachin. Amit from Kalwa had just joined them. We introduced ourselves. Just around then, the Nandigram towards Nanded rushed past with a WDM3A of Pune in charge. We kept trying to call Deepesh Soni, who was supposed to reach there at 1600 itself!!! The time was about 1645 then! Sometime later, Deepesh came down. Deepesh went down and hunted for Apoorva (A member from Dadar). Sometime later, we found a gang of 6 railfans hanging around a desolate platform in Parel! There was a very heavy police presence on Platform 1.
Herambh was busy charting out plans for a day of railfanning somewhere on the Panvel-Roha section. We decided to wait until the Deccan Queen rushed past. Photography had to done after adequate precautions. Soon, we spotted the Deccan queen rushing towards the station. Just at the right time, an EMU came on Platform 2 -which blocked the vision of the cops on Platform 2!!! The loco doing the honours was WCAM3 #21955. We walked out of the station. We went to a small hotel nearby and filled out tummies before returning to the station. We had a group photo taken, and parted ways. Herambh and Sachin proceeding towards Elphinstone road station (WR prefers to call Parel as Elphinstone road!). While we (Deepesh, Amit, Apoorva and myself) took a CR EMU. We decided to wait until the Panchvati (bound to Manmad) rushes past. The scene was beautiful! We took an EMU at about 1930 (A Thane Slow). Amit and Apoorva got down at Dadar, myself at Kurla and Deepesh continued to Vidyavihar.
I rushed to Platform 7. The Foot over bridge was terribly crowded. It took about 5 minutes for me to get down from the FOB!!! The platform was crowded as ever! An EMU bound to Panvel rushed in. There were empty seats in First class, but I decided to wait for the next local. I gulped down some cold 'flavored milk' from the railway catering stall. The next EMU was towards Belapur (Yipee!). The coach that I took was empty. I got a window seat from Kurla itself. The air was cold with occasional water droplets landing on my face! I finally reached home at about 19:45. There ended a very interesting day! The day was too long, an I decided to stay home for a day!!!
SO, I would resume attending college from tomorrow. Wait for more updates!!!
The Images taken by me during my railfanning sessions (Morning, afternoon and Evening) can be viewed by clicking here.


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