Showing posts from 2007

The year that was!

2007 is all set to end in a less than 30 hours from now! Another new year is round the corner... before welcoming the new year, let me have a recap of the year that really was special!

This year started with a bang! I railfanned at Panvel on January 02, to welcome the year in true railfan style!The year had the maximum number of journeys in a year till date beating 2005 hands down! 2005 had 6, while 2007 wins with 8 journeys!
I got a brand new camera in June!I completed my graduation, and joined a BPO with 5-figure monthly salary!Flew again after a long gap (the last air journey was in May 2005)This post came a day early instead of December 31 since I am not very sure if I would be able to make a post tomorrow! Anyways...

Wishing everyone a very happy and prosperous New Year!
Happy New Year 2008

December Chills!

Finally the trip is done! The last long distance journey of the year that had many of them!

The down journey was by 2163 Dadar-Chennai Express. My coach was A1 (01052A based at Dadar). The locos that hauled my train were WCG2 #20151 from Dadar to Pune, then WDM2 #17541 of Guntakal from Pune to Renigunta, and finally WAM4 #21297 of Arakkonam from Renigunta to Chennai Central. The train was more or less on time at most stations. We reached Chennai Central at 1941 as against the scheduled arrival time of 1935!

The trip from Chennai to Bangalore was by road, in my Brother's Innova. We left Chennai at around 1530 and reached Bangalore some time after 2130. The traffic snarls in Chennai made things really bad. We were put up at Adayar, and the journey from Adayar to Sriperumbudur was painful! The run from Sriperumbudur to Bangalore was a breeze. We left Sriperumbudur sometime after 1800, and still made it to Bangalore by 2130. The traffic was moderate, and the car rarely went above 100kmp…

December Chills!

Another winter, another trip!

Another railfanning this winter! I am leaving for Chennai tonight by 2163 Dadar-Chennai Express. Will be back to Mumbai on December 30 in the afternoon by flight from Chennai.

A detailed Itinerary is posted here..

SO do tune in for regular updates, right here!

In search of rails without the wires...

A rather long dream of railfanning at a location which does not have the menace called wires was fulfilled today! I got an off at office after about three weeks of holiday less work. So decided to utilize it in the best way a railfan can - finding out a new railfanning point! I called up IRFCAn Deep to find out if he was free. He came down to Panvel at 1045, and we left towards Panvel. We ran through Panvel Bye-pass and got straight to Somatne. We then took a turn and entered the road towards Rasayani. The track runs almost parallel all the way, and we then decided on a good location for railfanning.

Our place was at Village Narpoli. We caught three trains there, and the highlight of all was the Trivandrum bound Netravati Express with the WDM3A! (Seen below)

After being there till about 2PM, we rushed to Panvel station. We had some light snacks, and got back to railfanning. Panvel was at its best after a long time, and there were regular freight movements throughout the time we were the…

Another evening at Panvel

Sunday, December 16, 2007: This Sunday, unusually, was a working day at my office. I had grand plans for the evening, and the working announcement made me sad. But, later on, I informed my immediate superior that I would be reporting late to office and I made my way to Panvel to receive my dad who was returning from Kerala.

I reached the station sometime after 1500. I took a Platform ticket and slowly walked into the Platform 1. The platform was deserted. The Mangalore bound Matsyagandha Express is scheduled to arrive at 1515, but there were no passengers! An announcement was played that the train is arriving shortly on Platform 3. I rushed over to Platform 3, and there were a good number of passengers there! I decided to capture the loco from the foot over bridge, and the loco was WDM2 #18598 of Erode. A plain WDM2 for a 21 coach train!

Another train was pulling in on the main line from the Karjat side - that was a BCNA rake with...

...WDG3A #13382 of Kalyan in charge! This is probably …

To Panvel...last week...

December 08, 2007:

The number of railfanning events in this year seems to be bell-shaped. It was low in the beginning, then picked up, and now back to lower levels. Ever since I joined my job (in October), I never have had time for railfanning, or the likes. My dad was to go to Kerala on an urgent work on Saturday (Dec 08, 2007). The tickets were booked on Friday in Tatkal quota.

A small mess up during the reservation ensured that the boarding point selected was Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, and this strategic point was noticed shortly after 1100 by my mom. The train departs from LTT at 1140, and my home is atleast 45 minutes away from the station! Finally, we decided to face whatever be it and take a chance. Myself and my dad left home shortly after 1145, and picked up the tickets from my Mom's office. My mom too joined us. I drove down the Sion-Panvel State Highway and reached Panvel station shortly after 1230.

The KR4 Ratnagiri-Dadar Passenger was running late by 20-25 minutes, and so…

A big SORRY!

Sorry for not publishing anything for quite some time now! I was actually busy at my office (My timings changed to 1500-2300 now!), and my net connection was down since the last Sunday (December 03 onwards).

In the duration, I had two railfannings - the reports of which are lines up and will be published in the days to come

Railfanning - under their nose...

Nov 30, 2007 : After a tiring day at office, I back at home by 0800 (I was working in a night shift which commences at 2300, and gets over by 0700, I generally reach home at 0800), I was once again offered a chance to railfan - this time at a place which is poorly covered for the fear of getting caught in the act (of photographing) - Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, fondly called as CST, or CSTM in the railway parlance.

My sister in law was returning to Bangalore after a week long stay here. My dad was going to CST to send her off. She was leaving by the 6339 Nagercoil Express. I decided to grab this chance, and I got ready for the journey. We left home shortly after 0945, and headed straight to Vashi. My sis-in-law rushed to purchase tickets, while I parked the car. We took an EMU from Vashi to CST. We reached CST at around 1115. Our train was taken on Platform 1. We walked over to the Mainline section, and purchased platform tickets. We then rushed off to Platform 18, where the 6…

Another day roaming....

[Nov 20, 2007] I had some work to do at Ulhasnagar, and had taken a day off the previous day (or should I call it night) from office. I left home at around 1030, and reached Kurla a while after 11:25. I left one Karjat train, and instead decided to take a train to Kasara (which is an AC/DC EMU, and would let me enjoy high speed runs!). While waiting for my connection, the CSTM bound Sahyadri Express went past with WCG2 #20129 in charge. Just a few minutes behind was the Sewagram with WCAM3 #21931 in charge. The run from Kurla to Thane was eventless, except for spotting a twin WCAM3 hauled BCNA at Nahur yard, and a WCAG1 (#21981) hauled Tanker rake at Thane home.
I got down at Thane, and decided to wait till the Netravati comes. The Netravati came in at around 1210 with WDM3A #14046 of Erode in charge. An RPF officer was standing near the loco keeping an eye on me and I had to play some hide and seek to get a pic of the loco that looked fresh out of a POH. Some time after the Netravati …

Roaming in Mumbai

I had a very short railfanning today at Mumbai. I was sitting Idle at home since my office shift is at night! It was a result of a pretty long planning. I left my home at around 0930. I took a train from Vashi, a one that started from there. I was initially planning to take a train to CST, to check out the trip shed there. But later, I decided to head to Thane to see the Netravati Express.

I took a Slow EMU from Kurla towards Thane. A WCAM3 went a bit ahead of my EMU on the through line. The WCAM3 was seen reversing into LTT Trip Shed later on. We crossed quite some trains on the way. The crossings were: The Rajendranagar-LTT Express with a WCAM3 at Kanjur Marg, The Sahyadri Express with a WCG2 at Bhandup and the Sewagram Express with a WCAM3 at Mulund. A WCAM3 hauled train over took my EMU just as we were entering Thane. As I entered the Foot over bridge, a single Kalyan WDM2 hauled tanker rake rushed off towards Kurla.

Right behind this tanker rake was a BCNA rake hauled by twin Kalya…

Railfanning at Panvel

After reaching back at home from a rather tiring night shift, an opportunity to railfan for some time at Panvel was kept on my table! Should I miss it or take it? It was my chance to take the call. I decided to go ahead! After a quick round of coffee, I was at the wheel. I took the ever familiar route via the Highway to Panvel. As I was nearing the station, I saw the Mandovi Express pulling in. I parked the car at the station, and rushed to get a platform ticket. Just as I entered the station with a Platform ticket, the WDP4 gave a long horn, and the loco started moving out!

The reason why I was at Panvel was to drop a relative of mine, who was to take the Mangala Express. His ticket was not confirmed, and was still wait listed. Just as we walked in after checking the charts, a twin Kalyan WDM2 hauled Container train pulled in from the JNPT side. I was in no mood to take out my camera. Instead, we decided to proceed to Platform 3 straight away. We reached the platform, and found out a …

Cheater bus!

After a rather tiring night shift, I and my colleagues walked out of the office complex to find that buses were just coming in. There are 5 buses serving employees of the night shift, and a total of 9 buses catering to the other shifts. 4 of the 5 buses came in, while my bus was missing. We walked round to check if the bus was parked a bit ahead
Finally, the bus made her appearance at around 0705. The bus (MH-04-G-3797) had a flat rear left tyre! The driver and the cleaner got down to change the tyres. All the other buses where cleared at 0720. Before departure of each bus, a watchman counts the number of staff leaving by each bus. The buses wait for 15-20 minutes after end of each shift. After 20 minutes of end of the shift, the watchman blows his whistle as a permission for buses to leave the unit.
The tyre changing job appeared to take pretty long. The bus was ready after the entire exercise by around 7.50, and the bus left the unit by 0800. All the employees traveling by the bus w…

Sleepless nights ahead....

In just 15 days from joining the company, my shift changed, and my name now features in the 3rd Shift (2300-0700).
It was really interesting. Duty changes are put up every Saturday. No such thing happened this saturday, and we did not expect any changes. But, a new list came up on Monday morning, with a good amount of changes!

I'll report to duty at night from today onwards! So its sleepless nights ahead!

Another sunday at Neral...

After a long week at office, I thought that the best way to spend the Sunday is to railfan. AS thoughts about this railfanning kept "re-winding" in my mind, I received a call from Arzan (on Friday). I was waiting for a training session to begin when I got this call. He was proposing a trip o Neral! I did not think another time before saying "YES!".

I checked up with the internet and found that the Matheran Hill railway was back on track! So that was an icing on the cake! The Sunday dawned, and a small "box" news in a Malayalam News paper informed that EMU services in the Vashi-Kurla section was cancelled today! I had to change my program now. I quickly checked up and decided to take a train to Thane instead. I left home a bit after 1100. I parked my car at Vashi, and rushed off to purchase a ticket (a one day pass). I got it and rushed off to the platform to take a train to Thane.

The run out of Vashi was interesting. I reached Thane at around 1200. Platfo…

Railfanning at Sion...

It was roughly five days back that Arzan called me up and invited me for railfanning at Sion. He confirmed the program in the afternoon. After a quick shower (Yeah! The day was too hot!), and a quick lunch, I drove out quickly to the nearby station. I parked by car and rushed off to the ever familiar "Tikat" Counter. There was a "slight" queue. I got a ticket, and reached the platform just on time for the train. I got in, and the train jerked ahead!

I got down at Kurla at around 1510 - still about an hour to go for the time Arzan told me! I decided to wait for the KR3 passenger. I thought of clicking it at Sion instead of Kurla, and took a slow local. Just as my EMU was pulling out, a WCAM3 rushed off with the Sewagram express bound to Nagpur. Right behind the train, was the WCAM3 that brought the train to Mumbai. I got down at Sion and started searching to a location. I got a good one, but quickly realised that I was right next to a Police Chowky! I took the next …

Raifanning - the Office way.....

On the way to my office, the bus crosses the Thane-Turbhe railway line right outside the APMC yard near Koparkhairane. I've been tracking goods trains arriving there on a daily basis now. I noticed that there is one shunter loco at the yard, something that was absent earlier.

The loco seen at Kalyan is WDS6 #36239. Freight traffic seems to have gone up pretty rapidly, and there is atleast one new rake per day! Today there was one Container train led by twin WCAM3s!

More coming soon...

Some time at Panvel...

I had posted earlier in the morning that I had a bad fall yesterday, and I had to report sick to office. I started feeling better by morning, and my Dad was going to our native place for some work. I decided to drop him at the station. We left home at around 1150. I drove slowly, and we reached Panvel station by around 1220.

Just as I neared the station, WDM2 #18332 of Ernakulam pulled into the station with the Kochuveli bound Kerala Sampark Kranti Express. I had to limp around to get a platform ticket. By now, my dad checked the reservation chart and purchased water for him. I reached back at the platform. We stood on the FOB till some "solid" information was available about his train.

Announcement was made that the train would arrive on Platform 3 after the Dadar passenger leaves. Passenger 2 was occupied by a BTPN rake, while Platform 1 was occupied by the Sampark Kranti. The passenger pulled in WDM3A #18764R of Pune in charge. The rake had 15 coaches today, and the last 3 …

Landing with a thud...

Yesterday was looking like a normal day as I moved out of my home. The time was 06:05. The watchman unusually was wide awake, and he opened the gate for me. I continued walking down hearing a very familiar song - Chak de India, which is now almost an anthem for Indian cricket fans - on a popular FM Radio station. Streetlights were switched off, but it was still dark outside. The climate was cool, and sweating was out of question.

I had a bad brush with a wild branch of a tree the day before, and hence decided to walk on the opposite side of the road. It was all normal was I successfully walked around 25o metres from my home. The pick up point of my Company bus is 400 metres from home. All off a sudden, My leg went into a small height difference of the unevenly surfaced road, and I lost balance. In a fraction of a second, I lay flat on the road! It was a real landing with a thud!

I was unable to get up, but some how managed. My ankle was paining badly, as I struggled to walk the remainin…

Ticket Trouble...

The above image is only representational

Now that my job is still in the training phase, we do not get the bus facility offered by the company. Company has staff buses which leave the company 15 minutes after the end of every shift in various directions. The company operates about 8 buses for the staff members. Yesterday (Wednesday, October 17, 2007), I had to travel to my office by bus (town bus). I usually drive down to office, but it was different yesterday since my family required the car.

My journey to office was in two legs: Home to Vashi, and Vashi to office. The first part was undertaken on an NMMT bus, and so was the second part. I took a bus from the bus stop nearest to my home at around 0915, and reached Vashi a bit after 0935. The fare was Rs. 7, and the bus was moderately crowded. I had to stand for quite some distance.

The second part is all this post is about! I took a bus working a schedule on NMMT Route Number 100 (Vashi Railway Station to Mulund East). The bus reached t…

A visit to Alappuzha Beach...

Alappuzha (formerly called as Alleppey) is a small sleep town in the South Indian State of Kerala. The district has most of its parts along the coast, and the remaining forming part of the Rice bowl area "Kuttanad". The entire district has lots of tourist attractions, and is a major point for Tourists visiting Kerala. The district holds the maximum number of "house boats" present in the state, and has a rather well-used water way for internal transportations.

Alappuzha has a pretty long beach which is by-and-far a tourist attract. This beach has a "bridge", locally called as Kadal Paalam literally translated as "Sea Bridge". Alappuzha was a major port during the pre-independence era. The city had a huge number of coir industries. The town was called as the "Venice of the East". The port lost its importance when a major port at Cochin was opened. This bridge was used to transport material from sister ships which would anchor on to this b…

First Day @ Work...

Just as I had mentioned in my immediately previous post, I joined for the first job in my career today. It is a basic desk job with a reputed BPO (This job is actually a stop-gap arrangement till and get in for my Post Graduation!). A guy from the HR department called me up on October 11, and asked me to report on October 15 (today) at 0900.

I got up on time, and after the regular morning chores, I rushed off to a nearby temple. Now begins the drama! I accidentally locked the car with the keys inside! The time was already 0820. My mom rushed home to pick the spare keys while I finished the work at the temple. She returned by 0845. I had a mad run after that and managed to reach the BPO by 0905. I was upset on reaching late on the first day itself!

I signed a register, and was given a temporary Identity card. I rushed off to the training hall. About 15 other candidates had already arrived. I was the 16th, and after some time the 17th joined. HR executives turned up for the induction proc…

Another short Railfanning...

Today was a day that I would love to remember. Like how a fire would behave just before getting extinguished, I too was too energetic to railfan. I had some work at the "old" college, and left home at around 0900. Took a daily pass and got into a train towards Kurla. Just as I reached Kurla, I saw some train rushing towards CST. All I saw was the SLR, and hence I couldn't find out which train was that. The time was around 1025 then.

I got a copy of the latest Suburban timetable, and rushed off to catch a train towards Thane. I took a Titwala bound "semi-fast" EMU. We crossed the CST bound Deccan Queen just outside Kurla, and WCAM3 #21931 was in charge. Just near Ghatkopar, I saw WCAM3 #21950 rushing off with an unknown express towards CST. While my train was just pulling out of Ghatkopar, I saw WCAM3 #21943 pulling in with the Pragati Express. We crossed a WCAM3 hauled express (With DQ type livery - could be the Panchvati) near Vikhroli, and the Osmanabad-CST Ex…

October Bonanza: Done!

Finally that long trip is over! Here are some highlights:

The down trip was on 6337 Okha-Ernakulam Express. I traveled from Panvel to Kasaragode. The loco was WDM3A #16084R of Ernakulam. It was a long tiring journey after that!

I had a short Railfanning session with Jimmy Jose, Prof. Venugopal and Sudhakaran T, all RailKeralites at Ernakulam station on October 06, 2007. (A detailed report of that would be put up soon).

We proceeded to Bangalore by road on October 07, 2007 (a report of that too would be put up very soon).

On October 09, 2007, We took the 6340 Nagercoil-Mumbai Express from Krishnarajapuram to Pune, and from Pune we took a bus to Belapur. The loco in charge of 6340 Express was WDM2 #17914 of Erode. Details of the bus journey will be put up as a seperate report in the days to come.

Images of the trip can be seen here. Please rate the images, and let me know your comments. Thanks for reading...

October Bonanza: Update 2

The journey is almost over, with only the last lap remaining - which would commence tomorrow.

The last week had been too hectic, jumping literally from one place to another. The roads in Kerala are average, and to be honest - they are NOT as bad as they are said to be! (Detailed analysis and reports after I reach back at Mumbai).

The loco that worked my train from Panvel to Kasaragode was WDM3A #16084R of Ernakulam. I was happy to see that loco since I was in search of her for pretty long time now!

The road journey from Thrissur to Bangalore was superb, and we did the distance in 11-and-a-half hours, and the entire distance was driven by me.

More details of the trip would start appearing after I reach back at Mumbai...

October Bonanza: Update 1

Reached panvel at around 9.30. There is good crowd waiting for my train. All arrivals from KR are delayed by 40-45 minutes.
More will be posted tomorrow

October Bonanza

Yet another October comes around, and yet another trip dawns! This trip too is now becoming an unbroken tradition. The route for this year's journey is as below:

The trip begins at Belapur on September 29 (Today) at 2100. We'll (I and my parents) would proceed to Panvel, and take the 6338 Okha-Ernakulam Express to Kasaragode in Kerala. We'll attend a function on October 01, and then proceed to Kannur. We'll proceed to Alappuzha on October 02 from there. On October 05, we'll be back at Kodungallur.

On October 07, we'll reach back at Bangalore via Coimbatore, Satyamangalam, Mysore. We'll take the 6340 Mumbai Express from Krishnarajapuram on October 09, 2007. We'll alight at Pune and take a bus back to Belapur.

So that is a 3000-odd kilometre journey to be covered in 11 days! It appears to be pretty tight since not a very good news is being heard about the roads in Kerala! Looking forward to cover the journey absolutely safely. So stay tuned right here for up…

Sunday under the wires... Part 2

After that unsuccessful search for a brunch, we were back besides the track. Just about 2-3 minutes after reaching there, we heard a "diesel" horn, and were anxiously looking out to who blew that! Some minutes later, WDM2 #16565 of Ernakulam rushed past with the Hazrat Nizamuddin bound Mangala Express. The train was around an hour late. There was absolutely no spottings during the next 25 minutes, and we were busy discussing about loco classes, and were sadly looking at the passengers who were still waiting for the passenger train at the station.

Some time later, WCAG1 #21979 returned back towards Diva working light (again!). Mayur was longing to see a WDG3A, and his prayers were sort of answered when a light WDG3A rushed towards Panvel a little after the WCAG1. The loco was WDG3A #14559 of Kalyan. We decided to move out after spotting Matsyagandha Express. Matsyagandha Express, bound to Mangalore, was worked by WDM3A #14048 of Ernakulam and came in around 1514.

This loco was…

Sunday under the wires...

Prelude: It was a Saturday noon, and I my mobile cried out aloud. That was Karan Desai of IRFCA, Mumbai. He was planning a railfanning at Panvel - My own territory! I was quick to suggest an alternative, and we decided to head off there in the morning. Mayur was to join us at Vashi, and I took my car along. We met at Vashi Station at around 0930. Karan updated that the Madgaon bound Mandovi was waiting at Thane even at 0900! We left in a matter of a couple of minutes, and I hit a comfortable 80 in a few minutes on the Panvel State highway. We took a left turn at Kalamboli, and hit towards Taloja on NH4. We made it there at around 1000.

We were just roaming around for a good job to park my car, when WDP4 #20030 rushed past working SHF with the Madgaon bound Mandovi Express - THAT WAS REAL HARD LUCK! We were totally disgusted, and slowly walked towards the tracks, just about 50 metres from where I parked by car! Passengers waiting on the platform of the nearby Navade Road railway station…

Unscheduled halts on the DIVA-PNVL Line...

This is one post that I had been planning for a pretty long time now. I thought of putting it up while I was killing time hearing songs on my PC today.

The 101 kilometre long Diva-Panvel-Roha branch line of Central Railway's Mumbai division has about 17 authorised halts, and 3 unscheduled halts. By "Scheduled" halts, I mean stations which are listed in the timetable. Of the 17 halts, 5 stations are mere 'halt' stations i.e., stations without loop lines. The 26 kilometre section between Diva and Panvel has 7 "scheduled" stations (including both ends) and three "unscheduled" stations.

The first Unscheduled station is Agasan. This "halt" comes at kilometre 45/4 (distances ex-CSTM). This halt is between Dativali and Nilaje. Dativali is at 44/4, while Nilaje is at around 47/something.

The next unscheduled halt is at 51/4, between Nilaje and Taloja stations. I couldn't find any name boards for this one (I'll try out once again soon).…

Thane...once again...!!!

I had some work at Thane, and I left my home at around 0930. I took the 1033 Thane EMU from Sanpada, and reached Thane at around 1100. It started pouring down as I reached Thane. I, hence, decided to wait for some time at the station itself. I went over to Platform 7 and stood at the CST end.

Just as I entered Platform 7, announcements were made that the Sahyadri Express from Kolhapur is arriving on Platform 7. The train turned up at 1114 with WCG2 #20117. The train was given the starter almost immediately after she halted! This train usually gets overtaken by Sewagram Express here. The Nagpur-Dadar Sewagram Express turned up after the Sahyadri went out. The loco in charge of Sewagram was WCAM3 #21941. Just as Sewagram started moving out of the station, I spotted WCAM3 #21960 waiting at the home signal with the Chhapra Express in tow. The train had to wait for about 3 minutes at the signal, since a Fast EMU was halting on Platform 5.

Just as Chhapra Express cleared the station, WDG3A #1…

The New face of NMMT

Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport a.k.a NMMT, is a local Municipal Corporation run Transport Organisation serving passengers commuting in Navi Mumbai and to areas like Thane, Dombivli, Badlapur, Mulund, Panvel and Uran. The organisation began bus services in 1996 with an initial fleet of 25 buses. Today, the organisation operates 39 routes with a fleet of around 285 buses based out of two operational depots. NMMT depots are located at Turbhe (near Vashi) and at Asudgaon (near Panvel).
Older NMMT buses bear the "MH04" registration mark, while the newer ones bear the "MH43" mark. There are around 200 buses bearing the MHO4 mark, while the remaining ones bear MH43 numbers (Numbers: MH43-H-5001 till 5085). All NMMT buses have an Ashok Leyland Chassis. The initial 170 buses have water-cooled Leyland Engines, while the around 30 buses have Hino Bharat-I engines. All the buses bearing the MH43 mark are Hino Bharat-II engine powered.
Asudgaon depot was opened sometime in the m…

To Thane after a break...

I had to leave my car at the workshop for some urgent repairs. After dropping the car there, I reached Thane station at around 1345. I purchased a ticket to Panvel on Matsyagandha Express. I reached the platform at around 1350. As I was walking down to the platform, announcements were made that the Coimbatore-LTT Express was running late by an hour, and so was the Varanasi-Mumbai Mahanagari Express. The Ratnagiri-Dadar Passenger was scheduled to arrive soon on Platform 7.

A few minutes later, WDM2 #17739 of Pune - in a very bad condition - pulled in with the passenger. The loco was in brown livery last year, and even the new livery showed signs of the old livery. Just as the passenger cleared in, WDM2 #18354 and #17608 of Kalyan pulled in with a TP rake. The train came to a dead halt a bit before the starter (the starter was red). Just as the loco stopped, the signal turned green. A pointsman rushed to hand over a few caution orders. The loco notched up, and maximum power was applied.…

Railfanning at Panvel...

Panvel is always a weakness for me! Here I go once again... I reached Panvel at around 1200. The station seemed to be too crowded, with many departures running much delayed. The "late" runners list was getting longer by the minute, and the Ernakulam-Jaipur Marusagar Express topped the list by running late by 16 hours! Mangala Express (Ernakulam bound) was the next with a delay of 8 hours, Madgaon bound Mandovi Express by 5 hours and the Nizamuddin bound Mangala Express with a delay of 2 hours!

The first arrival after I reached there was a freight train hauled by Kalyan WDG3A #14595. That was a BTPN rake bound to Navghar HPCL Siding returning after unloading Naphtha at RCF at Thal. After this rake came in, annoucements were made regarding the arrival of the Trivandrum bound Netravati Express. Netravati came in at 1300 with WDM2 #16885 of Ernakulam in charge. The KR4 Ratnagiri Dadar Passenger came at around 1315, with WDM3A #17687R of Pune in charge.
After both trains left, ann…

Sunday on the SE line...Part 2

We reached Shelu after a very short 5 minute ride. While riding the EMU itself, we decided on the spot where we should stand for further railfanning. After getting down at Shelu, we walked a few metres, may be around 100-odd metres, towards Neral. The tracks makes up a rough "S" shaped curve, and then about a kilometre of straight track, punctuated by a sharp left curve. In the straight section, there is a down gradient quickly followed by an up gradient. (This description as seen while standing at Shelu looking towards Neral).

Myself and Karan decided to stay near an OHE pole which gave us ample room to be safe if a train came on the UP line. Out first target was the Kanyakumari Express. Shortly after we reached there, an EMU rushed towards Khopoli. Some minutes after the EMU went, the Kanyakumari Express rushed through with WCAM3 #21981 in charge. After the Kanyakumari Express went past, Arzan called up Karan and asked us to join them. (They had walked a few metres further …

Sunday on the SE line...Part 1

Prelude: SE Line or the "South East" Line is a part of Central Railway's Mumbai Division. The SE line is from Kalyan to Pune running across the Bhore Ghats. Suburban EMU services exist upto Karjat, and then on to Khopoli through a branch line. The major stations on this suburban are Ambernath, Badlapur, Neral and Karjat.
A team of Four IRFCA Mumbai members, viz, Arzan Kotval, Anamitra, Binai Sankar (Myself), and Karan Desai decided to explore this line for the sheer high speed action it has to offer. A Karjat Fast EMU was decided as our outbound train. Arzan was to take the train from Dadar, Myself from Kurla, and the remaining two guys from Thane. This trip was undertaken on September 02, 2007.

I left my home at around 1145, and took the 1214 EMU from Belapur. We had purchased Tourist tickets to make our life easier! I reached Kurla at around 1250. Shortly after I reached there, WCG2 #20117 rushed towards CSTM with the Hyderabad-Mumbai Express. Some minutes later, WCG2 #2…