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Showing posts from October, 2006

Southern Sparkle: update 7

Just reached Belgaum, late by 1 hour....the train was late right from KNKD. The late running made of miss the dudhsagar since it was already dark by then :( more tomorrow.....good night.

Southern Sparkle: update 6

This is the first mobile update....southern sparkle: update 6. I boarded Poorna express from ERS yesterday. Left ERS late by 5 minutes. Now at Kankanadi. Reached early by 25 minutes. The loco is WDM3A 18754R from Pune. Just crossed a very late running Netravati here. The loco was 14054 - WDM3A of erode. This update ends here....more coming soon.

Southern Sparkle: Update 5

So here is the last Update from Kerala.....The fourth from Kerala.
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....

Southern Sparkle: Update 4

An update almost a week after the last one. I was busy all through the day on Thursday (Oct 26) with the formalities of the accident. The car could not be released since the original papers were in Bangalore. That made my Sister-in-law fly-down to Cochin with the papers. The formalities at the Police-Station, and the RTO was completed on Friday, and the car released on Saturday. This saw me travelling on a KSRTC bus after a long year. The bus was from the Parur depot and was working a Limited-Stop Ordinary Schedule from Guruvayur to Ernakulam Jetty. I got down at Edapally and went to a relatives house there. Moved the car from the Police station to the Workshop for works. My brother had come down from Bangalore and the helped speed up the formalities. After attending a function at my place in Trichur, I am back again in Cochin to finish the formalities and to return to Mumbai by 1098 Poorna Express departing tonite from Ernakulam Junction. So...Bye for now! Meet ya again soon!

Southern Sparkle: Update 3

Today was the worst day in the entire journey. After finishing off all formalities of death of my Maternal Grandmother, my brother left for Bangalore yesterday in the night. He had laft his car back in our native place so that we could use it for our intra-state travels.
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 distri…

Southern Sparkle: Update 2

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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 …

Happy Diwali

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Wishing all of you a very Happy Diwali.
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!!!

Southern Sparkle: Update 1

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So here goes the first update of the trip...Live from Bangalore!

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 ph…

Southern Sparkle

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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.
Thank you.

A long cherished dream...

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I had travelled to college by an EMU boarding from Belapur after long 2 weeks. I boarded the 06:58 EMU from Belapur, and the coach (FC) was jam-packed by the time we reached Kurla -Thankfully almost the entire coach emptied at Kurla! The journey to college was normal, except for the announcement that the Mandovi Express (towards Madgaon) will depart at 1010 instead of 0655 from Mumbai CST!!!
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…

Tracking the Monster!

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WDP4s are always an attraction for me! I get easily attracted to them. I started loving these locos commonly referred to as a monster or ugly duckling (for its triangular shaped Long Hood!). Ever since I spotted this loco for the first time working the Mandovi Express, I have been keeping a track of the link worked by these locos.
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-…

Elusive beasts!

Ever since I engrossed myself into Railfanning photography, I had been having quite a few dreams - Photography of certain classes of locos. My first and foremost crush was for the GM-EMD (WDP4 & WDG4) locos. Those beasts were too attractive for me to resist. They regularly decorated the screen of my PC.
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 ha…

Mumbai: Locos visiting CR!

Off late Central Railway Mumbai Division has become a mecca for railfans. All sorts of locos are seen in Mumbai now except the WAM/WAP series. A small compilation of locos and their trains is given below:

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 Va…

Some time with my camera at Thane!

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Today was a very brilliant day for I could spend some fun-filled hours at Thane station with my camera. Un-usually, I noticed that police presence was at its bare minimum, and platforms were too crowded for the remaining pandus to spot me! I reached Thane at about 8 AM. I was too depressed about "missing" the Madgaon bound Mandovi. I consoled myself that I'd get to see a WDP4 working the Udyan. But, suddenly I noticed that the boards at Platform 7 were still showing the coach positions for "0103" which is Mandovi express. Just around the same time, the PA system came alive and announced that the Mandovi express has not left Mumbai CST, and passengers would be informed as soon as the train leaves from CSTM. So that meant that the incoming Konkan Kanya was late today! I doubted if Pushpak would get a WDP4 today!
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, th…

The day...an expected but sad news came through!

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At about 0200 AM on 13 October 2006, my mom's mobile cried aloud. The caller was dumbstruck in grief. My mom feared the unexpected had come true - She was right. The news about the death of my grandmother came through. She was close to 90 when she died. She was an Alzeimer's Disease victim and was on IV Infusion for the past week. The sad news made me get up from my cozy bed at an unconfortable 0230 AM. My job was to search and book tickets for my mother to fly to her home. It was Jet Airways' chance to fly my mom to kerala. I reserved tickets through their 24-hour call centre for 9W 401 which was to depart at 1015 hrs from Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Terminus, Terminal 1B. The call centre was really helpful, and I thank them a million time! Kudos, and keep it up!

At about 0645, myself and my mom set towards on my ever beloved beast - my Qualis, fondly called as the Black Horse by my family members! The 2.4 litre engine of the beast could not wait to blas…

In Remembrance

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In remembrance of my maternal grandmother...Saraswathi Antharjanam.

This holy soul left for her heavenly abode on the 13th October 2006 at 0200 AM.
May her sould rest in peace.
Her body was cremated the same day at about 1500 hrs at Kodackkatu Madom, Nedumudy, Alappuzha, Kerala.

The blog was not updated yesterday in solitude to this sad news. Sorry for the interruption, hope to keep up the pace during the coming days. Thank you for your patience.

Pragati ka pragati!

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Today, I had the opportunity to click a sight that I had been witnessing for the past 4 days -The Pragati "Superfast" with a WCAM3. I had seen this train first with a WCAM3 on Monday. I had just got down from an EMU (at Thane, came from Vashi), and saw a WCAM3 hauled train in the characteristic livery. I first mistook it for Deccan queen, but the mis-matched Pantry, and SLR confirmed that it was Pragati. Then I thought, then I could have actually seen a WCG2.
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, WC…

An unfortunate incident

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Today, I got an opportunity to have a look at the interiors of the newly introduce Jessop rake on the Thane-Vashi route. This new rake is now regularly working the 16:05 departure from Thane, and I am regularly making it to the station by then! The train reached TNA quite early, and I decided to have a peep inside the First class coach. (Seen in the Image above).
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 tr…

Interiors of 76353

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Today was absolutely a dry day except for the gooood exam at college! I really forgot my promise of updating about the new rake introduced on the Thane-Vashi route. I did travel in that rake today (Coach #76353). The ride quality is superb. There are four fans at the doorway instead of the normal 2. The lights inside the coaches have 2 tubelight each instead of 1 each.
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 ha…

A Trip to Thane via Turbhe!

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Today I had a chance to travel via the Vashi-Turbhe-Thane route after a very long time...So here goes the report!
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 w…

Erode Rocker!

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This sunday too had the right dose of railfanning in store for me! I had to go to Panvel to see-off a relative who was returning to Kerala (Kannur) by Netravati Express. Accordingly, We left my home on my Qualis at about 1200. The road was un-usually less crowded today. I reached Panvel at about 12:15 itself. I had plenty of time to railfan. We (myself and my sister-in-law) purchased platform tickets and entered the station. The station was having a sizeable crowd (three departures in the next 75 minutes). The suburban EMU services were taking a partial off for the day. Services between Vashi and Kurla was closed for maintenance work, and EMUs were being pre-terminated at Vashi itself. Passengers were given the option of travelling by the KR4 Ratnagiri-Dadar Passenger towards Thane/Dadar.
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 …

Not much of spottings!

Today was a very dry day with very less spottings. My EMU reached Kurla by 07:08 - and this was happening after a long time. The Speed Restriction between Mankhurd and Govandi Stations have been reduced/removed. The EMU rushed from Mankhurd to Govandi. Just as my EMU pulled in, I saw the devgiri rushing past with a Pune WDM2. Sometime later, the Intercity went past with a WCAM3. The station dipped to silence until the Chennai-Dadar Express went through. The loco was WCG2 #20139. I boarded by usual train from Kurla. I saw two WCAM3 hauled trains running one behind the other. As my train pulled into Thane, the Mangalore-LTT Matsyagandha Express came in. I couldn't see the loco road number - but was surely an Erode loco.
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 …

A WDP4 after many days!

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I had my first sight of a WDP4 after many days at Kurla today! While waiting at Kurla for my EMU, I saw a WDP4 fast approaching. That was #20021, hauling the 0112 Madgaon-Mumbai Konkan Kanya Express - The train was obviously late. I was too excited on seeing the loco, and couldn't control my feelings! On my way from CLA to GC, I spotted the Sharavati Express at GC with WDM3A #18773 from Pune. There were no other interesting observations in the Morning.
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 Pu…

Desperate & Sad

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Desperation and Sadness many-a-times go hand-in-hand. Today was one such day! I had a practical examination at my college in Pharmaceutics - a subject in which my grades always remain a notch above. But this time, I don't expect that to be the case!
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 b…

Just another day!

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Today was Just another day! I boarde my usual train from Belapur and from Kurla. I saw the Chalukya sprinting past Kurla with WDG3A #13039 from Pune in charge. I spotted WDM3A #14046 from Erode sleeping off at Kurla. The loco would return, probably, with the Jan Shatabdhi either on tomorrow or on the day-after (I will confirm it soon!). I was seated inside the train for th entire distance - I was actually solving a question that was given as a home assignment to us. On reaching Thane, i heard an announcement that the Mandovi was 10-15 minutes late. I took a bus to college shortly after.
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…

Another month begins

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Today was the first working day of a this new month. I left my home quite late (about 06:25) and drove as if I was mad. That was too fast, and I made it to the station by 0630. I had a dash to the platform, and I entered the train sharp at 0633, and second after, the train pulled out with the familiar jerk. The rake made all sorts of noises. I noticed that the coach was my favorite coach #72512. This coach has Stainless steel interiors and looks much refreshing as compared to the normal coaches painted in the boring pista colour. This coach has better ride quality and better seats. The leg space is a bit less though.
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 (f…

Sunday Funday...Part 2

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After purchasing the ticket, I slowly lugged my way on to the Foot-over bridge. There was utter chaos all over since quite a few EMUs were cancelled. The Down "Slow" line between Kurla and Mulund was closed for maintenance (so no Slow EMUs in that section). The UP Slow line between Ghatkopar and Kurla was also closed - which meant that Vidyavihar did not have trains services during the day! Trains were heavily delayed. UP Fast trains - as with every sunday - were made to halt at Mulund, Bhandup, Vikhroli and Ghatkopar between Thane and Kurla.
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 de…

Sunday Funday!

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This sunday was truly a Funday!!! I had promised a few surprises in this post - So just read ON!
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 …