Quite unusually, I woke at 0530 AM with a very heavy eye (the balance of the previous night's sleep!) and got ready to leave. I left my home at 0610 (Unusual for Sunday!) and boarded the 0628 CSTM Slow local from Belapur (This is again unusual!). The EMU was a bit crowded (by Sunday standards!). I did not get a Window seat and was quite worried about that! I reached Kurla at about 0705. I rushed to the ticket counter. I purchased a One-Way ticket to Vasai Road (First Class - Cost Rs. 119/-). I went to Platform 4 to board a slow local towards Dadar (The next Fast EMU was only at 0727 - and this EMU is regularly late!). I kept my eye open to have a look at the loco of Mandovi today. The 07:16 Slow local to CSTM was delayed and did not arrive even at 0720. The 0724 Kasara Fast EMU pulled in slowly - This was a sign that Mandovi is late!. At the same time, the 0716 slow also pulled in. The FC coach that I boarded had moderate crowd, and I managed to get a seat on boarding itself.
At Matunga, I saw a line of Coaches turned out of the Coach workshop. There was 1 3A, 1 Sleeper and two JS chair cars. The EMU by now was pulling into Dadar. The CSTM bound Mahalaxmi express was waiting on Platform 6. The Pune bound Deccan Express slowly pulled out as our EMU entered Dadar. I got down at Dadar. The Platform was crowded with many people sleeping on the platform. There was an announcement that the Mandovi Express was delayed and hasn't even left CSTM. I went to the Foot overbridge and slowly walked towards the Western Railway portion. WR calls this station as DDR (CR calls it as DR!). I walked from DR to DDR and slowly walked down to an FOB that bifurcates from the Main FOB and shares space with ticket counters. I stood on the FOB to click a snap of a train that was to come in shortly. The train did come in, but there was too little light for the photo! The train was the Mumbai-Ferozpur Janata Express. I walked down to Platform 3.
A 12-Car Fast towards Virar was scheduled to arrive at 0744. On Platform 5 was the Okha-Mumbai Saurashtra Mail. Sometime later the Jaipur-Mumbai Express rushed past Dadar with a WCAM2 in charge. The Mail shortly left the station. My EMU pulled in. That was a Jessop built rake and the coach I took was 815A. I narrowly missed a window seat and had to settle for a non-window seat for some distance. I got a window seat near about Bandra. The run was smooth but slow. I really missed the 80+ run on AC/DC EMUs of CR!!! We crossed quite a lot of WCAM1/2 hauled trains (couldn't even note!) on the way. Our EMU slowed down at Jogeshwari - Guess what? The Mumbai bound Rajdhani express was pulling in for a halt! The loco was WCAM2 (P?) #21873. The roar of the Generator was the factor that made me look out! Our EMU coasted through the platform. The train was very slow between Andheri and Borivali - was crawling at places! The coach filled up at Borivali.
A group of about 8 people (7 ladies and 1 gent, with about 4 kids!) entered the coach at Borivali. Passengers shouted at them saying that the coach was a First class, which they did not pay heed to. A TTE entered the coach at the same station, and started checking after the train picked speed. He first asked the group for their ticket - They did not have any! Forget FC, not even 2nd class tickets! He shouted at them with the choicest gaalis in typical Bambaiyya style. He asked them to stay where they were as he continued checking other. By the time he reached me, the train already pulled into Dahisar. He got down and took the group to a corner - Rest unknown :-)
The train maintained moderate speed between Dahisar and Vasai. The new bridges constructed over the Vasai Creek looks beautiful! Sometime later, the twin AC lines from Diva came parallel to the track on which my train was travelling. The train slowly pulled into Vasai. I got down on Platform 2. I spotted a group of about 6 people standing at the Northern end of platform 4/5. I called up on Nitin Master's mobile just to confirm that these people were from IRFCA. I joined them and we waited for others (who never joined us!). After confirming that all those intending to reach had reached, we walked towards the south end of the platform...
We spotted the Flying Ranee flying off with a WCAM1 in charge! Sometime later, the Jammu Tawi bound Swaraj Express ran through with WCAM2 #21862 in charge. Some minutes later, there was an announcement asking passengers on Platform 3 to stay away. A roar was heard at a distance. That was the August Kranti Rajdhani. The loco in charge was WCAM2 #21867 (seen in the photo above!). This was just the tip of an iceberg!!!
Sometime later, we saw the Porbander bound Saurashtra Express rushing in with WCAM1 #21815 in charge. Around the same time, there was considerable traffic for the Diva line, and rakes were pulling in and out! We got together for a photo. The members who made it were: Nitin Master, Viraf Mulla, Piyush Merai, Akshay Marathe, Sachin Buddhisagar, Sagar Tipnis and myself. At about 10 AM, Viraf took a leave while the remaining of us sat for a round of snacks that Piyush had carried along. We all filled out tummies while watching a WAG7 (#27352) from Ajni pulling in. Little did we know that WAG7 would make us miss a few surprises!
Some minutes later, the Bandra-Vapi Shuttle pulled in. Minutes after the Shuttle left, the Bhavnagar-Bandra Superfast rushed past with a Diesel loco!!! The Bikaner-Bandra Ranakpur Express was right behind. At about 1045, we decided to call off and walked towards the Foot Over bridge. We stood on the FOB for quite some time. While we stood on the FOB, Kutch Express pulled in with a WCAM2P in charge. At about 1115 or so, the Jodhpur-Bandra Suryanagari Express rushed through with a WDMx of Bhagat-ki-Kothi in charge!!!! We parted ways from BSR with the surprise of spotting two Diesel links!
Myself, Sagar and Sachin were to take a Bus to Thane. We went to the MSRTC bus station and kept waiting for the bus. The bus turned up at 1130. We managed to get seats (though not together!). I purchased a ticket to Thane station (Rs. 26). The bus reached Thane at about 1305 or so. The ride was rickety - the bus was too old for such a road! The route was scenic and rain gods kept threatening me through out!
I went to Kunj Vihar (A well-known Eatery located right outside Thane station) and filled my tummies. I walked to Thane and purchased a Superfast ticket to Panvel! In the morning I had heard an announcement that the Harbour line would remain closed between 1015 and 1515 due to maintenance works between Kurla and Vashi. So I had no option but to go via Panvel. Report of the remaining journey will be put up tomorrow! Just wait for it.
In the meantime, you would be interested to have a look at the Photographs of the day: Click here.