Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Monday, October 30, 2006
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....
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
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 district of Kerala. This caused an unexpected 30000+ Rs expense and an overnight stay at my aunt's house in Ernakulam.
I have to present myself at the Police station tomorrow with people to bail me! The vehicle has to be inspected by the Assistant Motor Inspector and certified that the brake was working! The injured was probably intoxicated. The vehicle would be released tomorrow, and will have to be driven to the nearby Toyota Dealership! So that ends my safari on the Innova for atleast a month...I am returning next week :-(
So bye for the day. Regular updates would come on! now LIVE from Ernakulam.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
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 the car for me!
Friday, October 20, 2006
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!!!
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 photos and updates would come in by tomorrow. Bye for today!
Photos would be uploaded only after I return to Mumbai (On November o1).
Thursday, October 19, 2006
The Southern Sparkle begins! Time for some fun with a variety of routes on a variety of classes. Mumbai to Bangalore to Cochin to Mumbai in 14 days.
The curtains have just raised. The journey begins today at 0805 from Mumbai CST on board the Udyan Express.
So u'll have to wait for a day, to get the tidbids from this journey. The next update for this blog would be done on 20-October-2006 from Bangalore.
I had an exam today. I finished it off quickly and rushed to thane. Reached Thane at about 1545. I purchased tickets for Panvel (KR3 Ratnagiri Passenger) and rushed to platform 5. The passenger was 15 minutes late!!! I had noticed in the morning that quite a lot of indicators in the station were not working. (Later on after reaching home, I read that an angry mob had turned the station upside down over delay of their train, yesterday night!). After some moments, the Ratnagiri Passenger pulled in with WDG3A #13052 doing the honours.
Oh My God! My dream to travel on a WDG3A hauled train just came true! I enjoyed the journey from TNA to PNVL end to end! The train made frequent stoppings at Scheduled and Unscheduled halts, and finally made it to Panvel at 1720. The pickup of the loco was superb.
The loco (seen in the pic above) had railings to the entire length of the body, and the loco looked cool! IRFCAn Rajeet Ramaswamy was waiting for me at Panvel. We spent some time chatting before calling off the day! While my passenger was pulling into Panvel, I saw a Kazipet WAG7 pulling out with a Container rake. While myself and Ranjeet were chatting, I saw a twin WCAM3 (21941+21942) hauled Container rake pulling in from the JNPT side.
I boarded the 1802 EMU from Panvel. The PA system was busy announcing that the Roha-Diva passenger would arrive in a few moments. Just as my EMU pulled out, I saw the Deccan Odyssey pulling in with a Green coloured Pune loco! What if I had waited for some more time!!!
I reached home at 1830 only to be greeted by a power failure. The power supply was restored only at 2330. So thats it for the day, Good night.
There is a surprise..See the next post!
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
WDP4s are exclusively homed by South Western Railway (SWR) at two of their Diesel Loco Sheds at Hubli and Krishnarajapuram (Bangalore). The former houses 11 such locos (20000 to 20010; all original GM-EMD make locos) while the latter (KJM) houses the remaining 23 locos (20011 to 20033; all DLW Varanasi make). The locos of UBL (Hubli) loco shed are used to perform the links in South Central Railway (SCR) while the locos of KJM are used for SWR and CR links. The UBL DLS also houses WDG4s (the Freight version of WDP4).
There is only one link worked by KJM locos for CR. The link is quite long - spans close to 8 days and 4980 kilometres. The link is as follows:
KJM-SBC: LE (12 kms) (Day 1)
SBC-CSTM: 6530 Exp (1163 kms) (Dep: Day 1; Arr: Day 2)
CSTM-MAO: 0111 Exp (589 kms) (Dep: Day 2; Arr: Day 3)
MAO-CSTM: 0112 Exp (589 kms) (Dep: Day 3; Arr: Day 4)
CSTM-IGP: 2533 Exp (137 kms) (Dep: Day 4; Arr: Day 4)
IGP-CSTM: 2534 Exp (137 kms) (Dep: Day 4; Arr: Day 4)
CSTM-MAO: 0103 Exp (589 kms) (Dep: Day 5; Arr: Day 5)
MAO-CSTM: 0104 Exp (589 kms) (Dep: Day 6; Arr: Day 6)
CSTM-SBC: 6529 Exp (1163 kms) (Dep: Day 7; Arr: Day 8)
SBC-KJM: LE (12 kms) (Day 8)
Legend: SBC: Bangalore City Junction; KJM: Krishnarajapuram; CSTM: Mumbai CST; MAO: Madgaon; IGP: Igatpuri.
6530/29: Udyan Express; 0111/12 Konkankanya Express; 2533/34 Pushpak Express; 0103/04: Mandovi Express; LE: Light Engine.
As per my observations, the loco keeps rotating in the same link only. The locos that I have spotted till today (in Mumbai) are: 20012, 20013, 20016, 20021, 20022, 20023, 20025, 20026. Of these 20023, 20016 have been spotted many times. Seen in the picture above is 20025. I had spotted 20026 only once, and that was in early July.
Since October 13, I have started loving these locos more - Reason: I will be travelling on Udyan Express on October 19th. So that would be my first journey on a WDP4 hauled train. That's it in this post. I am winding up early today - Have to prepare for an examination scheduled for tomorrow. Bye!
Monday, October 16, 2006
I took the first photo of one such loco on 31 October 2005. The loco was WDP4 #20002. I spotted the beast at Gokak Road on the Belgaum-Miraj Section. She was at the helm of the Rani Chenamma Express bound to Kolhapur. That was the only image of an original EMD built loco that I could ever click. As of today, I have managed to click about 16 photos of those elusive beasts.
My first ever spotting of a WDG4 was at Londa, on the 31st October 2005. As of today, I have managed to click about 21 WDG4s. The first one was 12021.
Other that the WDG/P4s, I had crushes for locos of Ratlam Loco shed. Ratlam really eludes me, and I managed to click them only twice till today!
The loco that I most hate seeing now-a-days are Erode locos! I hate their livery now, and hate seeing them! I love Ernakulam locos! (Thats a flavour of regionalism! I hail from Kodungallur in Trichur District, just 30 kms away from Ernakulam!)
The countdown for Southern Sparkle begins.... 2 days to go! I will board the Udyan Express bound to Bangalore on the 19th of October...Hopefully a WDP4 does the honour!
Sunday, October 15, 2006
WCAM3: All trains towards Igatpuri from Mumbai CST/LTT/Dadar (except Nandigram, Devgiri and Pushpak), and the following trains towards Pune: Deccan Queen, Intercity Express and Pragati Express
WCG2: All trains towards Pune from Mumbai CST/LTT/Dadar except the following: Udyan Exp, Chalukya Exp, Sharavati Exp, Deccan Queen, Intercity and Pragati Exp.
WDP4: Udyan Express, Mandovi Express, Pushpak Express and Konkan Kanya Express
WDP3A: Trivandrum Rajdhani
WDM3A: Chalukya/Sharavati Expresses & Ratnagiri Passenger (sometimes WDG3A), Netravati Express, Matsyagandha Express, Gujarat-Kerala/Nagercoil group trains, Marusagar Express & Goa Sampark Kranti.
WDM2: Nandigram/Devgiri Expresses (sometimes WDM3A), Mangala Express, Sawantwadi Passenger, Kerala Sampark Kranti, Roha passengers and Vasai Shuttle.
Another interesting thing: Though Mumbai has a Diesel loco shed (Kalyan), only 2+2+1 pair of passengers are worked by "local" locos! The passengers that get Kalyan locos are Diva-Roha Shuttle (2 pairs/day); Diva-Vasai Shuttle (2 pairs/day); Diva-Sawantwadi-Madgaon Passenger (1 pair/day).
WCAM3 & WCG2 are exclusive to Mumbai. They are housed exclusively by Kalyan Electric Loco Shed. One another such "exclusive" loco is the WCAG1.
The Vasai-Diva-Panvel-JNPT/Roha branch line offers more interesting loco sightings. One can see WAG7/WAG5 from sheds all over India. I have personally spotted Asansol, Tuglakhabad, Ludhiana, New Katni Jn., Arakkonam, Erode, Ajni, Kanpur, Jhansi, Kazipet, Lallaguda and Vadodara. They come in with BLCA/BLCB (Container) trains. Panvel (or any station on the Diva (excl.) -Panvel section) is the best spot to sight these locos.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
I decided to wait until the Pushpak rolled through! The first spotting of the day was the Guwahati express, which got WCAM3 #21956. Minutes after this, the PA system came alive to announce the arrival of 2620 Matsyagandha Express from Mangalore - My God! The train was over 2 hours late! The train came in at 0840 with WDM3A #14139 (Erode) in Charge.
While Matsyagandha was waiting for her signal, the Bangalore bound Udyan Express rushed through. The loco was WDP4 #20022 from Krishnarajapuram. About 15 anxiety filled moments later, the Pushpak express towards Lucknow too rolled past....The loco was WDP4 #20016!!!! This confirmed that the Mandovi is slated to get a WDM2 today!!!!! At about 0920, the PA system announced about a "Jalad Gaadi" (Fast train) that would rush through Platform 6. The starter was Red! At about 0926 the "fast train" pulled in slowly (the starter was still red). The train was the Sinhagad Express (Pune to Mumbai), and the loco incharge was WCG2 #20128. The red starter meant that the Mandovi had reached the outer, and is waiting to cross in. Sometime later, the sound of an Alco was heard, and the sinhagad pulled out!
The ALCO that I had heard earlier was WDM2 #17735 from Kalyan working the 22-Coach Mandovi Express! (Mandovi has not reached Madgaon even at this hour! The train should have reached there at 2000 if on time!). I was least surprised since I had expected this earlier! Sometime later, the loco gave off its ALCO horn and pulled out with liberal amounts of smoke. About 15 minutes later, the Kolhapur bound Koyna express pulled in with WCG2 #20131 in-charge.
I had planned to return by the Matsyagandha or the Ratnagiri passenger in the evening. Just as my lecturer post-poned her lecture to the noon, I saw the chances of Matsyagandha slimming down to a small 1mm thick line! As the lecture began, I saw the chances of the Ratnagiri passenger also thinning down to sub-millimetre thickness! Finally when I reached Thane, I saw the Ratnagiri passenger waiting for that signal. Just as I neared the FOB, the turquoise liveried loco gave a long horn, and disappeared towards the Parsik hills. I was left to the mercy of travelling via Kurla - Aha! My good old route!!!
While waiting for an EMU, I saw WCAM2 #21868 (Seen in the pic above) rolling through with a Tanker rake (which I spotted later at Kurla yard). Just whilst waiting at Thane, the Lucknow express sped past with a WCAM3 in-charge. I boarded the 16:50 Dadar Fast EMU from Thane. Just as my train pulled out, the Pragati express went in (could not check the loco). Some time later, the Nandigram sped past with a Diesel loco in charge. I reached Kurla at 1715, an rushed to Platform 7 (here?) to board the 1715 Vashi EMU that was yet to arrive. I found out the reason of the delay just moments after. A BCNA rake had come from south (mumbai) with WCAG1 #21978 in charge. The rake was on the Harbour Down line, and had to crossover into the Kurla Yard. Just as the loco crossed over, My train came in. I had tons to jobs to do, and finally made it to my home by 1900.
Thanks for your patient read...Hope to see u tomorrow!
Black Horse by my family members! The 2.4 litre engine of the beast could not wait to blast at the highway. But she had to wait as I drove through some narrow roads to fill her 51-litre tank and to withdraw cash to pay for the flight. The beast responded to my movements on the accelerator quite rapidly, and we were doing a very comfortable 110 kmph on the highway. We pulled into the Airport at about 0740, covering the 30-odd kilometre journey on 55 minutes (with two halts including filling up the tank, and at the ATM). I collected the tickets from the Jet Airways counter at Terminal 1B. Jet Airways has a seperate entry at the terminal. I and my mom sat outside the departure terminal for quite some time, reading a news paper and talking on world matters! At about 08:45, the opening of check-in was announced. My mom went in, and I went towards my car. I took the car and entered the Western Express Highway as I wanted to go to Thane, and preferred to drive via Sion. The road from the Airport to the Bandra (Kalanagar) junction was heavily congested and my beast could rarely manage 50-60 kmph. After Sion, the road was more-or-less empty, and she showed her powers and I cruised at 120 kmph. All signals at green, no humps and no rough patches did the magic - I reached my college at 0950, that is about 70 minutes after I left the airport covering a distance of about 50 kilometres. That was outstanding!
During my return journey, I was too tired to enjoy my drive. I somehow reached my home, had some stuff to eat and slept off! I woke up at 0630 AM on the 14th!!! Thanks for reading - how is my beast guys???
May her sould rest in peace.
Her body was cremated the same day at about 1500 hrs at Kodackkatu Madom, Nedumudy, Alappuzha, Kerala.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
The Next day - Tuesday - I again saw this train with a WCAM3. But the train was too fast to clearly see if I could believe by eyes! On Wednesday, once again I saw the same train with a WCAM3.
Finally, today (Thursday), I stood on the Foot-Over-Bridge armed with my camera to capture this train on camera. The train once again turned up with a WCAM3!!! So I guess that after the train was made a Super-Fast, the poor WCG2 couldn't keep to the schedule due to its lower speed of 80kmph. Finally to maintain higher speeds, WCAM3 could have been allotted. The WCAM3 is a rugged looking beast and churns out 4600 hp of power speeding upto a maximum of 105 in both AC as well as DC traction!!!
Other sightings of the day were: Sewagram with a WCAM3, AbuRoad WDG3A with a BOXC rake and Konark with a WCG2!
I think, I'll finally change over to my old route (Via CLA) from tomorrow evening onwards! So - let me wind up for the day. Thank you and have a good day!
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
The seating is quite soft. Paint works are far better than the one in the Second class coaches. The fittings were better, and the finishing was even better. Click on the image to get a better view of the coach.
Now the Unfortunate Incident: The train exited Rabale station (This station is under-construction and is expected to open on Nov 14. Currently trains do not stop here.), and covered almost half the distance to the next station - Ghansoli, a boy standing at the door shouted that an aunty fell down. I rushed to the door, and by this time the brakes were being applied and the speed of the train decreased drastically. The train was on a curve, and the point where someone fell was already not visible. The train came to a screeching halt, and then continued journey after about a minute or two. Just as the coach cleared the curve, I saw people crowding at the place. Hopefully, she/he isn't badly injured.
The train stopped for sometime at Ghansoli (about a minute or two), and then again at Koparkhairane for about 2 minutes. At KPHN, I saw some railway staffers noting down something from the motorman, and then the train departed. Finally reached Vashi at 1636, late by 3 minutes. I had to rush to Platform 3 to board the 1637 Belapur local - the next one towards BEPR is only at 1651! I didn't want to spend time doing nothing at the station! I reached home by about 1700. So thats it for the day! Bye!
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
The Emergency lamps too have tubelights (one each) instead of the old fashioned Incandescent bulbs! The fans were absolutely silent and powerful. The switches were old fashioned. The painting quality is very poor - hand painted and the paint has "flow" marks. The surface is rough. The seats haven't been fixed properly.
The luggage rack hasn't been painted at all!!! The coach has a light brown coloured interior. The ride quality was good. The coach has normal spring suspensions - not air suspension which is seen in ICF coaches! The horns were too powerful - it was too irritating sitting the coach which had the driving cab (trailing one!). I could clearly hear the bells rung by the guard/driver.Overall the ride was good, the coach built quality appears to be good but the finishing could have been better. I'll try for better photos of this rake over the next few day! Probably, I'll shift back to the main line route by tomorrow! So meet ya tomorrow!
Monday, October 09, 2006
Since my exam was to begin only at 1330, I decided to leave my home a bit late instead of my usual 0633 EMU from Belapur. I took the 0914 EMU from Belapur. The coach was crowded right from the begining, I had to stand at the door itself. I felt happy that I had an FC pass, and I could atleast grab that place to stand!!! The EMU reached Vashi at about 0930. I went to the ticket counter to purchase a Ticket. The ticket costed Rs. 10. I walked back to Platform 1/2. Now-a-days the Thane local is recieved either on 1 or 2. Earlier it used to be Platform 1 only. At about 0948, the EMU pulled in from Thane. I had expected the new train to come it, but a old rake came in. I was disgusted. The train departed from VSH at about 0955, and reached Thane at around 1025. The run was marvellous and the ride was smooth. The crowd as normal, there were empty seats throughout the journey. I was busy reading for my exam.
The exam was over by 1430 (one hour paper!), and I reached Thane at about 1530. Myself and my friends kept waiting on the FOB for CSTM bound EMUs to come in. One Fast EMU came in, but that was heavily crowded. An Idea struck my mind - There is a Vashi EMU at 1605. I rushed to purchase a Ticket. The counter was computerised, and was working slowly. In finally got the ticket at about 1600. The EMU had already reached Thane by then. My eyes popped out on seeing the EMU! That was the brand new Jessop built rake!!!! The rake was gleaming and smelling fresh of the paint! I got a seat and settled in comfortably! (Details of the Coach will be put up after a detailed analysis in a day or two!). The ride was smooth and very very less jerky. Even the jerk while starting the train was bare minimum.
The train reached Vashi at about 1633. I rushed towards the driving cab to admire the beauty. The cab had a single piece windshield, and LED panel for destination. The driver/guard had revolving chairs with arm rest! The driver has happily revolving on his chair and showing off his new vehicle to his colleagues! His door had a wire mesh covering to protect the poor guy from an attack! The train pulled out soon on its next trip to Thane at about 1640. I took a photo (seen at the top). The rake was absolutely beautiful.
More on this rake tomorrow! I'll be travelling on the Vashi-Turbhe-Thane route for the next few days! I'll be missing my normal dose of WCAM3s for the next few days :-( I'll severly miss those WDP4s and WDG3As! Hope to get back to that route very soon! Until then - you can read the latest updates from the Thane-Vashi Harbour route!!!
Sunday, October 08, 2006
We waited on Platform 1 for some time, while the person who was to travel purchased an Automobile monthly from the book store, when it was announced that Netravati would arrive on Platform 3. We took the FOB and suddenly I saw a blue coloured loco dozing off at the siding. I decided to check out the loco. On walking closer, I understood that the loco was an Erode loco. I was surprised, and walked briskly. The loco was WDG3A #14667 from Erode. I clicked about three snaps when I saw a person (probably a railway staffer) looking quite suspisciously at me. I did not want to take any risks and walked back to the platform. By now, the announcement of KR4 passenger was announced.
Sometime later, the train pulled in. The loco was WDM3A #18993 from Pune. While I was preparing for a snap, I saw two police constables roaming about. Aborted the plan and walked towards the starter to get an Image. The area around the Starter was infested with RPF and GRP. I had to finally abort all plans to photograph the good looking blue-coloured loco from Pune! Some time back, my attention was attracted by the horn of a loco. That was WDG3A #14595 from Kalyan rushing towards JNPT. The loco was alone. I went over the FOB for a photo when I saw another Kalyan WDG3A (#14559) pulling in from the JNPT side. I took photos and was back on the platform.
Just around this time, the PA system came alive and this announcement followed: "Six Three Phor Phaive Netravati Express aane ka sanket ho chuka hain. Yeh gaadi Platphoram theen par aayegi" (The indication of arrival of 6345 Netravati Express has been recieved. The train would arrive on Platform 3). This announcement by a male announcer was followed by the familar announcement by the 'recorded female sound' from the computer regarding the announcement of the train and its coach position. The train pulled in soon.
The loco working this train was WDM3A #18555 from Erode. This loco was earlier with Golden Rock Diesel Loco Shed (in Tamilnadu) and the logo of the previous shed was still visible. The logo of Erode was partly torn and one reads the name as "Erod Rock". The loco really rocks - is a very good smoker. I have seen the loco camouflaging the first coach with smoke!!! The loco slowly passed by me. The first coach was reserved for RMS. The Second AC coach was older than me! The coach was of 1983 make! The 3AC coaches were of post-2000 make with one of 2006 make! My relative had ticket in S9 coach. The coach was #00286 built, probably, by RCF. The train was late while pulling in itself. The starter turned yellow at about 1325. We returned home even before the train started pulling.
While returning, I preferred to drive through the Panvel-Uran state highway instead of the usual Panvel-Sion highway. The Uran highway runs parallel to the Panvel-JNPT railway line. This section has been completely doubled now! The importance of this line will surely get a boost with the new Western Dedicated Freight corridor! I reached home at about 1400, hand lunch and sat down to type this post!
Your are invited to see the images of the day by clicking here. Thank you!
Saturday, October 07, 2006
In the evening while returning, the first and foremost work that I did was to check the timetable of the Thane-Vashi section. The number of services was increased about 2 days back. I wrote down the timetable (can be seen by clicking here). While standing on Platform 6, the Mumbai CST - Kanyakumari Express rushed through with WCG2 #20120. I boarded the 16:23 CST Fast. On the way, about 2 more trains went past. The 16:49 Belapur Local (timing at Kurla) was running late and made an appearance only by close to 1700. The train reached Belapur at about 1733 (which is the time when the train was supposed to return!!!).
Thanks for the read! There ends another day...Meet you tomorrow!
Friday, October 06, 2006
In the afternoon, I returned by Road - since my Mom had come down to Thane with some work and we both returned by road.
I had been to Panvel in the evening to pick up my sister-in-law who was coming from Kannur (Kerala) by Netravati Express. I reached the station at about 1730, and the train was scheduled to reach by 1645. I had expected the train to be late - & the train was late by 1 hour and 45 minutes! The outgoing Ratnagiri passenger was also delayed by an hour! At about 1810, the Passenger pulled in with WDM3A #18773 from Pune in charge. The passenger was held up at Panvel until the Diva bound 1696 passenger pulled in. The loco working the passenger was WDM2 #18068 from Kalyan. The Netravati finally pulled in at about 1900 with WDM3A #18338 from Erode in charge!
That brought the day to an end! Meet ya tomorrow!
Thursday, October 05, 2006
I got up quite late in the morning because of a hangover of waking late into the night to complete a record book. I missed by 06:33 EMU, and had to settle for the 06:42 one - which too I barely managed to make it! I reached the station at 0639, Platform at 0642. The EMU reached only at 0643 - luckily for me! The EMU pulled into Kurla at about 0717. Just at the EMU was pulling in, I saw the 7:17 Ambernath Fast pulling out. Just as I got down from the EMU, WDG3A #13150 from Pune rushed past with her WDP4-like horns blarring continuously and the 1018 YPR-Dadar Chalukya Express in tow! The run was fantastic, and looked great. I kept waiting for the 07:24 Kasara Fast EMU. The Mandovi usually runs just ahead of this EMU, and I was surprised by its absence. Mandvi was probably late!
I boarded the EMU, and just around then the Latur-Mumbai express rushed with WCAM3 #21935 in charge. The coach that I boarded (in the EMU) was #362A. The coach was not very old and had very soft seats. The run from CLA to TNA was normal.
About the exam - The less said the better. I saw marks draining out of my answer sheet every now-and-then. The initial synopsis ( a set of brief questions based on the Theory), and Viva-voce was a disaster. The experiments were not too good. One question, which used to be treated as a "currency" seemed to have no value. Almost the entire class got wrong answers to the question! With a very heavy heart, I left college at about 1620 - 50 minutes delayed!
IN the evening - I reached TNA at about 1700. Platform 6 was almost empty. A repeater signal was being installed on Platform 10, and I curiously looked at the works going on there. Suddenly, the announcement about Nandigram express had me back on my toes. The train pulled in with WDM3A #18754 from Pune. The train was puny - even punier than the Chalukya - with just 12 coaches! The composition was Loco-SLR-GS-S1 to S6-A1-AS1-GS-SLR. One Sleeper was from E.Co. while the rear SLR was from N.F.R.
Right after the Nandigram pulled out, my EMU (17:12 Fast) pulled in. The rake had 12 coaches and was a pure DC EMU. The EMU had stops at Mulund, Ghatkopar, Kurla, Dadar and Byculla. On the way, the EMU crossed the Deccan queen. Just as I reached Kurla, the 17:42 Panvel local was announced. I decided to leave this local, and relished on Dry Bhel from a local stall. I spotted a MU-ed WCG2 pair moving towards Trombay, and rushed to click it (seen in the image above!). I just then noted a OHE Observation Car waiting at the other end (CSTM end) the yard. The Sun was reflecting on the car, and I clicked one snap. Sometime between the two snaps, a Vashi EMU came in-and-went. I boarded an EMU at about 17:55 or so - that was a Panvel bound one. The coach was #72705 (built in 1994, ICF). I reached home at 18:45 or thereabout! Thanks for the patient read!
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
In the evening, I took the 1637 CSTM Fast. As I entered thane, I heard an announcement about this train, and I was walking on the FOB when I spotted a loco on the Vashi line. The loco was WDG3A #14718 from Abu Road (seen in the image above). I was surprised at the loco! I rushed back to platform 6 and boarded the EMU. A long BCNA rake hauled by WCAG1 #21970 rushed past the station at about the same time. Now I spotted a WDS4 (#19661) attached at the rear end of the rake hauled by the WDG3A. The rake had two flat cars loaded with sacks of sand (probably for weight testing of the new track that was laid through Platform 9 a few days back!). The EMU pulled out sharp at 1637. On the way, I spotted the Pragati Express with a WCAM3!!! At Kurla, I saw the Nandigram smoking away with a Diesel Loco. I also saw the Deccan odyssey rushing through Kurla with a Green colour Pune WDM2 in charge!!! I reached home at about 1740.
Got an exam tomorrow...So thats it for the day!!!
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
I reached Kurla at about 0610. Just as I entered Platform 5, the Punjab mail rushed through. The loco was WCAM3 #21887. Shortly after Punjab mail, the Chalukya express rushed past with a blue liveried Pune WDM3A (Road number unknown). I boarded the 07:17 Ambernath fast. Right after Vidyavihar, our EMU slowed down and came to a halt. At this point, I saw the Matsyagandha (from Mangalore) preparing to enter LTT. The loco doing the honours was WDM3A #14080 from Erode. Just as our EMU entered Ghatkopar, the Latur-Mumbai Express rushed past with WCAM3 #21954 doing the honours. At Nahur yard, I spotted twin WCAM3s 21955 & 21956 waiting to pull out with a long Container train. We crossed the Vidharba shortly after that. On reaching Thane, I did wait for the Mandovi but there was an announcement that Mandovi was delayed by 20 minutes. I took a bus to college :-(
In the evening - I was quite delayed, and reached Thane at about 1715. (We had an extra lecture from 1530 to 1630!). I boarded the 1740 CST fast from platform 4. The 1725 CST fast also pulled in at the same time on Platform 6. Platform 7 had the Mumbai bound Mahanagari Express - WCAM3 #21891 was in-charge. The 1725 CST fast was given preference and she flew past our EMU. My EMU was crawling on the slow line. I expected her to change lines at Mulund- but that didn't happen!!! We were crawling on the slow line. The train stopped at outer signal of most stations, and later speeds through the platform. Many Fast EMUs (All CST bound) overtook our train. The Mahanagari overtook our train at Ghatkopar. I reached Kurla at about 1810. The Sahyadri bound to Kolhapur rushed through with WCG2 #20121 in charge. When I was waiting for my EMU (1829 Belapur) on Platform 7, I saw a WCAM3 (#21949) pulling in with a train having about 13-15 second-sitting coaches (with passengers inside). That was some special train, and had the boards "Dhamm Parivartan Nagpur-Mumbai-Nagpur". Shortly after that train, my EMU pulled in.
The coach that I boarded was heavily crowded (#72714, built by ICF in 1994). I had to stand until Vashi and later got a seat. Reached home at about 1915. So the first day of the month was filled with delays! Hopefully the month goes off well!
Yawnnnnnnn! I feel too sleepy to continue...So meet ya tomorrow!
Monday, October 02, 2006
I went over to Platform 10 (for some personal reasons). The platform was being decked up for the Railway Minister's visit scheduled for this weekend. The platform roof was being painted, the Foot-over bridge got a new coat of paint, the platform got new signages and a lot more works were being done. Platform 9 was being given a new lease of life. The track was cleaned and the signal was re-painted. I returned from Platform 10, and decided to spend time on Platform 6. Platform 7 was being cleaned, the workers were physically clearing the garbage that was strewn along the railway line. Some time after I reached the platform (At about 1344), a light WDG3A from Kalyan (#14754) rushed through the station. The loco had her headlamps on, and the horns were blown continuously.
Minutes later (at about 1353), the Hatia-LTT Express rushed through. The loco in-charge was WCAM3 #21895. Most coaches of this train was "SRC" (Santragachhi) based. Minutes seemed to take more than 60 seconds to tick past. I was growing restless because of the heat and humidity. My legs were aching badly. Just around then, I noticed an empty seat on the platform, and the seat had a fan right above. I rested on to that seat enjoying the cool breeze from the fan. While sitting, I noticed a WCG2 pulling in. I first walked towards the edge of the platform, but then noticed a RPF personnel looking towards me. I returned and sat on the same seat. The WCG2 (#20109) was in-charge of 1013 Coimbatore-LTT Express. The train was being sent to Platform 7.
The train left after a very short halt. Some minutes later, a pair of WCAM3s (MU-ed) lead by WCAM3 #21940 rushed towards Diva with a long BCNA rake. I lost my precious seat. A CSTM bound fast EMU came in, and literally emptied the platform, and I got my seat back! I was feeling too sleepy, and decided to have a short walk. The PA system came alive to announce the arrival of KR4 passenger from Ratnagiri. One RPF personnel was standing very close to me, and I saw the loco pulling in! I walked a bit towards the Diva End, and clicked an Image. The loco was WDM3A #18951R from Pune (I had seen this loco going to Ratnagiri on Saturday). I got a bottle of cold water and gulped down almost half of it!
Just after the Passenger left, the arrival of Matsyagandha Express was announced. At about 1440, the Mangalore bound 2619 Matsyagandha Express pulled in. The loco was WDM3A #14140 from Erode. I boarded the front SLR. The coach was 95757A based at Mangalore. The train pulled out at about 1445. The loco crawled for some time, and notched up after crossing the first Creek bridge. The loco had its transition kick shortly after - and that was evident in my coach. The coach almost lept forward and the doors had a bang. The coach had many empty seats, but I preferred to be at the door.
Our train overtook a freighter hauled by WCAG1 #21977 near the Parsik. The freighter was waiting to exit the Turbhe-Thane railway line. The run from Thane to Dativali was normal without any interesting incidences. Right after Dativali, i spotted the Nizamuddin bound Mangala Express. The loco was WDM2 #18332 from Ernakulam. She had to cross our line to proceed to Kalyan. Minutes after this crossing, we crossed a tanker rake hauled by WCAG1 #21973. We overtook a Container train at Taloja. The loco was WAG7 #27220 from Ajni. The train ran through stations without even slowing down, but with the horns being blown incessently - without any considerations for the poor souls occupying the SLR!
The train pulled into Panvel finally at about 1525. WDG3A #14567 from Kalyan welcomed the train with a light show! The loco's lamps were being tested by the new crew who had just taken charge. The Chandigarh bound Kerala SK was just pulling in. The loco was WDM2 #16668 from Ernakulam. WDM2 #18379 from Kalyan was being shunted to the loco siding.
I narrowly missed the 1535 Special EMU for Vashi. I had to wait for the 1553 EMU then! The EMU came in at about 1540 itself (luckily for me!!!). I took a window seat and kept watching out. Just around 1550, WDG3A #14647 from Kalyan pulled in with a BCLA/BCLB rake from JNPT. Just as my EMU was pulling out, the Ajni WAG7 hauled container rake came in. Matsyagandha had overtaken the very same rake at Taloja. I finally reached Belapur by about 1605, and home by about 1615.
A magnificient day just came to an end!!! Thank you for reading this! Meet ya tomorrow....
Sunday, October 01, 2006
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.