A visit to Platform 7

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 charge. The link of this train is quite unpredictable, and like some advertisements - Conditions apply! An Asangaon bound Fast EMU pulled into platform 5. The Rake had a brand new MRVC styled coach (#369A). The coach swept me off my feet in excitement. Due to the excitement, I forgot to take an Image. I wanted to take an image of the coach, and decided to wait for the rake to return!!! The platform got crowded soon. An EMU was to depart from the platform. Some EMUs (especially Fast ones) use Platform 7 to reverse. Just after the EMU came in, a Twin WCG2 hauled BCNA came calling. The locos were 20159 (leading) and 20129. The EMU cleared the platform at 1045.
At about 1105, the Howrah-Allahabad-Mumbai Kolkatta mail came in with WCAM3 #21953. I saw this train after too long now. I enjoyed seeing the ER rake. Right after the Mail cleared, a light WDG3A (#14563) from Kalyan rushed towards Nahur. At about 1115, the Sahyadri Express pulled into Platform 7. Just as I was preparing for a photograph, an RPF officer came in. I simply stood there admiring the beauty of the loco. The officer noted down something, and walked back. I rushed towards the loco. The loco was WCG2 #20120. The loco pilots got down and were busy chatting. This train usually is detained at Thane for 2-3 overtakes! In the meantime, WCAM3 #21951 hauling the LTT-Chhapra express halted near the Outer signal.
The advanced starter for the Main line turned green, and the PA system announced the arrival of Sewagram express. So that was the first overtake! Some time later, WCAM3 #21947 went through with the Sewagram in tow! Some minutes later, an EMU overtook the poor Sahyadri who has been seeing overtakes since morning!!!
The Sahyadri went out, while the Chhapra express went in. About 10 minutes later, I saw a furiously smoking WDM3A pulling in with a train. I went into a tizzy for a few minutes trying hard to guess the train. The loco came closer. The loco was WDM3A #18773R from Pune, and the train was - Yeshwantpur - Dadar Chalukya express!!! The train was delayed by over 4 hours! About 10 minutes later, WCAM3 #21954 pulled in with 3202 Rajendranagar - LTT Express. I admire the capacity of people from UP and Bihar to fill up any number of General (Unreserved) coaches given to them! Infact, for trains bound to Bihar/UP (especially is the rake is based there), coaches have the board "Reserved" in case they are! (No offences meant!).
The PA system warned people on Platform 5 to stay away since a Fast train was expected soon. The train was an LPG tanker hauled by WDM2 #16215 from Kalyan. The platform (#7) was swelling with Mallus (Keralites) waiting to board the Trivandrum bound Netravati Express. The train pulled in sharp at 1205 with WDM3A #14123 from Erode in charge. The PA system warned about a fast train on Platform 6. I rushed up the Foot-Over Bridge (FOB) to see the train. That was a light WCAM3 #21961. I went in for a light refreshment, and returned to Platform 7 by 1220. The first train to pass through during session 2 was the Hyderabad Mumbai Express. The loco was WCG2 #20157. Just as the train cleared, the Darbhanga bound Pawan express rolled past with WCAM3 #21943 in charge.
Soon the Nagercoil express came in with WCG2 #20149 in charge. The train, a 17-coach load, has a halt at Thane. At the same time, WCAM3 #21963 pulled in with 2118 Manmad - Lokmanya tilak terminus Godavari Express. Some time later, WDG3A #14563 from Kalyan (the same loco that I saw in the morning!) pulled in with a long BCLA/BCLB (Container) rake. At about 1257, the rake with the new MRVC coach (the one that I spotted in the morning) returned through the slow line. The Chennai-Mumbai express had departed from Platform 6. The loco was WCG2 #20147.
At about 1300, the Varanasi bound Kamayani Express pulled in with WCAM3 #21959 in charge. Shortly after the train left, an RPF officer came around the vacate the platform of urchins. I decided not to take chances, and left the platform. I went over to Platform 6, and had some more light refreshments. Just around this time, I noticed a WCAM hauled BCNA rake approaching the station, and at the same time, a WCG2 hauled train was fast approaching the station. I was in a dilemma. I decided to photograph the WCG2 first. The loco was WCG2 #20133, working the Hyderabad Express. The WCAM hauled BCNA was still a long way away. The loco now closed in. It was actually twin MU-ed WCAM3s. The locos were 21881 (leading) and 21883 (trailing). I took a fast EMU (13:34 ex-TNA) and proceeded to Kurla. There were NO crossings on the way. I reached Kurla at around 1350. I decided to stay on Platform 6 (Kurla) for some railfanning. The first spotting was a light loco WCAM3 (#21888).
Some time later, a Diesel loco approached the station. That was WDG3A #13051 from Pune speeding with the Dadar bound KR4 Passenger. I wanted to see the Chennai express rushing past, but a Belapur bound EMU was pulling in. I decided to take the train and go home instead. Just as I entered Platform 7/8, I spotted WDM3A #18773R from Pune proceeding towards Dadar from Kurla Loco shed after refuelling. That was the same loco which brought the Chalukya express, and the loco would now work the KR3 passenger towards Ratnagiri. There ended a long railfanning session. I probably would have one more tomorrow when I go to pick up my car! So bye for the day. The photos will come up soon at Galleria.

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