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Showing posts from August, 2006

a Monsoon sojourn!

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The curtains raise for a grand week long sojourn to Kerala. This monsoon is slated to be not different unlike the last year, and hence there is a trip this year too! The journey begins today at 16:00 from Dadar. The first leg of the journey is by 1081 Mumbai CST - Cape Kanyakumari Express. I will be getting down at a Changanasseri (About 18 kms from Kottayam). The return journey begins August 26 at 1445 from Alwaye. The train would be 6346 Trivandrum - Lokmanya Tilak Terminus Netravati Express.

So..Stay tuned for regular updates which are expected to take place daily!!! So keep visiting. In the mean time you could read my previous travelogues, railfanning reports or even see the photographs of my previous trips! Please do visit this site regularly for the latest updates!

Desperation, Anxiety and what not!

These are a few things that one sees while standing in Queue for a reservation ticket! A few months back, when the first pre-paid online banking card - ITZ Cash was introduced, there was an advertisement in which a person packs a huge trunk box and says bye to this parents in a very emotional state as if he was going to a war-torn country. At the end of the scene he says "Aaj kuchh bhi ho jaye, main ticket kattake aavoonga" (Whatsoever happens today, I will reserve a ticket!). The advertisement was aimed at the huge queues seen at Railway reservation counters esp. during vacations. They were promoting online reservations. I had to go to the counter to reserve tickets due to a rather un-common reason!
Due to some serious confusion, an otherwise confirmed ticket HAD to be cancelled. We (I, and my parents) were to travel to Kerala by 6345 Netravati Express leaving Mumbai on 20th (tomorrow). The ticket was cancelled due to a confusion!!! Now, I had to re-book tickets! Tickets wer…

A sunny day after long!

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Today was a rather sunny day. It had been cloudy for the past 2 weeks with no sign of the sun showing up. I had quite a few surprises in store for the day! To begin with, it was sunny and hence better spottings! The train was my normal 07:17 Ambernath Fast from Dadar! The journey was outstanding! I enjoyed each bit of it! On reaching Thane, I was welcomed by the announcement of the Madgaon bound Mandovi coming in! I decided to wait. The train came in with a WDP4 (#20023) working Long Hood Forward (LHF).


I am spotting a WDP4 after a very long time now! After this spotting, I rushed to my college with even a guess of what was in store for me in the evening! I left quite late from my college, and made it to the station only by about 16:40. There was no scheduled 12-car fast (I love them!) at that time except the 16:50 Dadar Fast! Some time later the Agra bound Lashkar Express came in! (Many passengers co-related the name of this train with the banned LeT). The loco was a WCAM3. I was on …

The 16:27 Employees train....

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Central Railway operates a few Employee special locals on each day. This is a form to their salute to thousands of railway employees who help the mighty system to keep running each minute. The train, a 12-car local, is run from Mumbai CST to Kalyan. It is usually a Fast local which halts at every station which has platforms for fast trains. The train is usually packed to the brim with employees occupying each inch of space available. They mostly occupy all seats and are usually found sitting on the floor also! I spot this train almost regularly at Mulund (at 16:27). I spotted this train today also. (seen in the image).
In addition to this, I had my usual dose of crossings in the form of Pragati Express, and one train of the 2107/2173/2153/2161 group (Today, it was 2153 Habibganj Express). I missed Nandigram Express today!!!
Another interesting thing: Yesterday in the evening I boarded #333A (working the AN16 fast). Today I travelled in #72333 (working the DA1 Fast). Now one can underst…

All rain.......No flood :-)

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Today was a day of rain...rain....and rain! It has been raining continuously since 0500 AM today. It still hasn't stopped. The rain slows down to a drizzle every 45-60 minutes and then regains momentum once gain! I was expecting water-logging at many places - and - suprisingly that did not happen :-(

Most Long-distance trains were on-time barring a handful. The day was a good one! I returned from Thane on #333A. The train really flew through stations like Mulund and Vikhroli at 100 kmph with the horns blaring almost continuously. Rain drops were landing on my hand as if there was a warfare! The run was amazing! See this image for an Idea!


Another interesting point of the coach was that: The coach was once re-painted by WR. WR follows a 3-colour scheme for interiors of FC coaches. The lower half of the coach is painted Dark green, the middle portion is Pista Green while the upper most part is White. This is in contrast to the CR's Pista-White 2-tone livery.

While on my Kurla-Belap…

Best wishes of the Day

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Wishing all my visitors a very happy Independence Day! India is celebrating its 60th Independence day today - August 15, 2006.

India got independence from its earlier rulers - Britain - at the stroke of midnight on 15 August 1947.

At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.

-Quoted from the famous Tryst with Destiny speech made by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of Independent India at the stroke of midnight on the 15th of August 1947.


Wishing India all the best for its future. This Independence day is very special since it is just a month since there was a terrifying attack on the commercial capital of the country - Mumbai!!!

A road journey from Bangalore to Mumbai!

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A wet Friday evening…My mobile cries out loudly and that was a call from my classmate. The message was that I must report to college on Monday. I got hold of my lecturer’s telephone number and called him up to tell him my position. My ticket was booked for a train leaving from Bangalore only on Monday at 8pm. This would reach me to Mumbai only at 8pm on Tuesday. My lecturer told me to find some other way to reach back since the matter was urgent and my absence could bring in trouble! The next day, I started searching frantically for tickets at the Bangalore City Station’s reservation counter and could not get any ticket. We (Myself and my parents) proceeded to the Kempegowda Bus Station a.k.a. Majestic to enquire about tickets in KSRTC’s Volvo service to Mumbai. A “slow” link welcomed us, and reservations were not possible! We left In search of another reservation counter, and zeroed in on the KSRTC reservation counter at Jaya nagar. The queue at the counter was small and managed to r…

Another day of Late Running trains!

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You may be wondering what the title means!!! I came across a variety of late running trains today. (Now onwards, the title for such postings would be : Day of Late Runners - Day XXX) That would be a better title!!! The day began as usual for me. I took my regular 06:33 slow ex-Belapur. The journey was normal and un-eventful till the time the EMU reached Govandi (three stations before Kurla while travelling towards Mumbai CST from Belapur). At Govandi, I heard a very unclear announcement regarding some sort of disruptions on the Harbour line. The announcement was being continuously being relayed over the PA system of the station. The origin of the message of the Kendriya Soochna Prasaran Kaksha or the Central Information Control Room of CR. This message made me panicky! The train continued its normal run until Tilak Nagar. The EMU just left the station, and was held up at the Advanced Starter. The train that left just ahead of my EMU from Belapur was just a block ahead. There was anot…

Another day at railfanning!

Today was yet another day of railfanning! I started off from my home at 06:20 as usual to board the 06:33 CSTM local. I reached Kurla by about 07:08. Just As I walked down the steps of the new slippery FOB at Kurla to reach Platform 5, the 07:11 Karjat fast left the station. I was now waiting for my regular 07:17 Ambernath fast. Just while I waited, two MU-ed WCAM3s rushed past the platform with a long set of Sleeper and Second Chair Car coaches of NR, NCR, SR, and CR. All coaches were closed and were probably bound to Matunga workshop. My train reached by now. The journey to Ghatkopar was uneventful except for the crossing of Devgiri Express near Vidyavihar. At Ghatkopar, I spotted the Chalukya express with her almost regular link - Pune WDG3A. After Ghatkopar, and before Mulund my emu crossed the Habibganj-LTT Express and the Latur-CSTM Express. My EMU crossed the Vidarbha express just outside TNA.
Whilst on the return, I spotted a Twin WCG2 (#20144 & 20147) hauled "Flat-Ca…

Back on track...after a small derailment!

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Apologies for the late update! The past week was a very busy one with hardly any time or energy left for updation of this blog! The first day of the week was a very wet one! Monday was, in short, a holiday for me! Took a days' off to "protect" myself from getting drenched up! On tuesday, the week started fresh! Tuesday was another wet day. The journey was with closed windows for the entire length in the morning! In the evening while returning, the train came to an abrupt halt after Kanjur Marg station. This is the sight that I saw later:


That was a bit frightening though! The train crawled through, and managed to reach Kurla (CLA) just a few minutes late. Harbour line trains were normal! Wednesday and thrusday were two dry days of this week! Wednesday was Rakshabandhan - a working day for our college! The trains and buses were packed beyond capacity on the day!
Today, Friday - 11 August 2006 was an interesting day. I travelled to and from Kurla in the same coach - #72338, …

Railfanning in Mumbai...Post 11/07 (Part 2)

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If you are reading this blog for the first time, you are recommended to read the first part of this post, first)

My assumptions simply turned right, and the teacher failed to turn up! Quite happy and disgusted (on the teacher's absence) i made my way back towards Thane on a rickety state transport bus with a friend of mine. The bus was packed to the fullest, and leaking to the maximum possible extent, we made it to Thane. We both were hungry and went in for a brunch at the nearby Kunj Vihar - a renowned "snack bar" in Thane. We parted ways inside the station, with him going towards Dombivli, and myself towards Kurla.
Thane was silent at that hour. I narrowly missed a fast local my seconds. I slowly walked towards the Kalyan end of the platform and found out a place to sit. The entire length of the platform had one single RPF constable who was day-dreaming! Main-Line traffic was less. I kept watching EMUs rushing to their destinations. A Kalyan WDM2 led tanker rake rumbled …

Railfanning in Mumbai...Post 11/07 (Part 1)

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July 11, 2006 is not just another Terrible Tuesday in the memory of Mumbaikars. It was a day when about 7 bombs went ripping through Mumbai's Lifeline - Suburban trains, in rapid succession. The day marked the end (??) of peaceful train journeys in Mumbai. Police personnel are every where - even in nondescript stations. They have been given a table or two along with 5-6 chairs per table. They sit around in the table and.........chat (what else?). Poor people who work as mere transporting agents are asked to open their bags/luggage and are put through unwarranted mental agony. By-standers look on as if the person is a terrorist who just got entrapped in the nets of police! The day changed the way Mumbai railfans go on! One has to be careful if he plans to roam around a platform.
I decided to try and railfan on a predecided date - Monday, July 31, 2006. A sort of foresight made me carry my camera along. Now what was that foresight? I would be free during the day - the teacher might j…

A day of late running trains

The day dawned as usual [Yah! The sun rised in the east :-)]. At 06:30 I found myself wiping a wet seat in a First class coach of an EMU scheduled to depart Belapur CBD at 06:33. The train left on time. It was raining too heavily and all windows/doors of the coach were closed. The train managed a decent show and reached Kurla at about 07:12. I walked through the FOB, to reach Platform 5 (From PF 8). My usual train - 07:17 Ambernath Fast was expected soon. Just minutes after I reached the platform, a WCG2 hauled train zipped past Platform #6. The loco came in with her horn blaring and the headlights on. The assistant held the green flag tight while the loco flew at the Maximum speed through the platform. The train was 6010 Chennai - Mumbai Mail. She should have reached CSTM by 03:45, if on time!!!
My train reached on time. It was raining heavily, and hence standing at the door was not in question! Most seats were wet, but still I managed to find a seat that wasn't wet. The train ke…