Showing posts from March, 2007

The trek to Sabarimala

I had made a trip to Sabarimala on February 14, 2007. Sabaraimala is locate in Pathanamthitta District of Kerala. The hill-top shrine of Lord Ayyappa can be reached only by foot. The most common path used by pilgrims is the walkway from Pamba which is about 8 kilometres long. The first 5 kilometres is a very steep climb, while the next 3 kilometres in more or less level followed by a descend to reach the temple. As a tradition, pilgrims first take a dip at the holy river of Pamba before visiting a temple of Ganesh (Ganapathy) from where the climb begins. Off late, the actual bathing place at river Pamba has stagnant water, and many pilgrims prefer to bath at "Pamba valley" a few kilometres down stream. We too stopped at the same place... The actual bathing place was quite crowded, and we preferred to stop a few kilometres upstream. The river bed was about knee deep at this place, and the water was really cool there! We reached the Pamba Ganapathi temple at around 1430. Aft

Nothing special today!

Today was a plain day! I drove down to college rather than hanging on to a train! I had to bring back a lot of things from my college, and it was rather impossible to carry those luggage in a train! It was pretty plain, and I rather have nothing to post!!! Bye!

17 takes 45...

I reached Kurla at around 0735. The Deccan Express was yet to pass through, and there was no sign of that train. At about 0741, the Latur-Mumbai CST Tri-Weekly express (1006) rushed through Kurla... ...with Kalyan WDM2 #18926 in charge. It now seems that the same loco works all the way to Latur and back (yet to be confirmed!). If this is indeed true, then this would be longest 'regular' link worked by Kalyan DLS (A good sign that their locos are indeed dependable!). The Deccan express did indeed appear - but at 0743 i.e., 2 minutes after the scheduled departure time of my connecting EMU (0741 Asangaon). The loco in-charge of the Deccan Express was WCG2 #20124 of Kalyan. My EMU pulled in just behind the express, and the starter just turned amber as the EMU came to a halt. The EMU finally pulled out at around 0746 (Delayed by 5 minutes). The express ahead seemed to run terribly slow. Our train was literally crawling behind Deccan Express. The express finally stopped right outs

The day an EOG roared into Panvel...

The day was getting hotter, and I sweating it out the entire day. I had planned a visit to Panvel to watch the Rajdhani about a week back, and had IRFCAn Ranjeet to join me if possible. He confirmed his presence in the morning, and we decided to meet by 1800 at Panvel. I had some work in Nerul at ICICI Bank. I took a shower, and left home by 1615. I First visited the bank, finished all the work that I had there, and then rushed to Belapur Railway station. I took a ticket, and then went to the restaurant to have some snack. I took an EMU at 1719 ( a Wadala - Panvel Shuttle). The rake was the 6-month old #353-355. The rake is already looking too tired (just 6 months into running!). I reached Panvel by around 1735. I called up Ranjeet, and he was close to the station. I went in and purchased Platform tickets for both of us, and just as I came out of the booking office, Ranjeet reached the station. We checked the reservation chart and then proceeded to the platform. Rajdhani was expected l

An unexpected spotting!

The day being a holiday, I had the job of dropping my Dad at his office. There two different routes from My dad's office to my home. One is a direct road (the Mumbai-Pune Highway), while the other one is a bit long but runs parallel to the Panvel-JNPT Railway line. I preferred the second for one reason that I hadn't traveled on that road after October 2006 - That is indeed a pretty long time! It is yet another normal two-laned state highway. There is enough traffic on this road (Trucks, buses, autos, etc!). I still managed 80-90 kmph on that road. The road is well surfaced, and the drive was really comfortable. Sometime into the drive, the railway line towards Jasai came close to the road. Just while driving, I noticed that the Railway level cross at Bambaipada (A small village on the highway) was closing down - So a train was on the way. I drove a few kilometres ahead, and stopped at a Road-Over-Bridge. My mom was accompanying me, and she sat 'guard' for the car! I st

A loooong time to cover a short distance...

It was all a normal day today. I had some work in college (it was otherwise a holiday for me!), and had gone there. I left from college at about 1300. In the morning, i was expecting to see the Lucknow bound Pushpak Express - but IRFCAn Ranjeet SMSed me that the incoming train (Lucknow-Mumbai) was over 11 hours late, and the train had crossed Kurla only at 0700! So there was no chance of seeing the opposite train, and i decided to proceed to thane immediately from Kurla.... Back to noon: Just as I was entering into the station, I saw the 1014 Coimbatore- LTT Express pulling into Platform 6 with a WCAM3 in charge. Some minutes after the 1014 left, a Kalyan WDM2 rushed through with a Tanker rake towards Kurla. There were not much of movements after that. There was a Thane-Vashi EMU at 1420. I was eagerly waiting to see if the train had the new rake. And the train indeed had the latest Jessop built DC rake... The other end of the train... The rake was delivered about a month (or tw

Interesting action

An OHE line broke down near kalyan (karjat side) at around 14.30. Due to this all EMUs going to that side was cancelled at thane. Fast trains towards both directions have been affected, and special slow trains are being sent towards Mumbai CST. As fate would always play with me, i was at thane station when all this took place! I took one such slow local at 1500 ex-thane. The run up to Vikhroli was normal. Finally we recieved a red some three blocks before ghatkopar. The train stood still from 1525 to 1605 at one place under the blazing sun! The train finally moved at 1605 only to stop some 200 metres ahead....we are still waiting for a signal! More news after i reach home.............'reporting live from an EMU near GC.

A short unexpected railfanning...

My mom had some important work at Panvel, and I was to accompany her. Accordingly, we left from our home at 0830 on my car. Out of some divine intervention, I was carrying my camera along. We were going to the very same place where I lived for about 2-and-a-half years. The place was quite nostalgic, with a railway track running close by. My mom's work was all set to take longer time than expected, and I was left with loads of free time. A camera, and a railfan is surely an expensive proportion! I wasted no time....rush towards Panvel station. I was at a place called Khanda Colony (Forming part of New Panvel-East). The Diva-Roha/JNPT Line cuts New Panvel into two halves viz New Panvel (East) and New Panvel (West). I rushed to the Level cross which is the only direct road link between East and West. The gate was closed, and that surely meant that a train was due soon. I check and found the train was just a few metres away from the gate. The loco came in with full force and horns bla

Two WDPs causing an earthquake!

Foreword: Sorry for not updating for the past few days. The Internet service provider had been playing bad games! The connection was done since Thursday! The WDP4 story... I boarded my usual 0737 EMU from Belapur. The EMU departed late by about 3 minutes from Belapur, and another EMU running just ahead caused more havoc. We were crawling through the distance, and the train reached Kurla late by about 8 minutes. My connecting train (0818 Badlapur) was already on Platform 5 while my train pulled into Kurla. Just as I stepped on the platform, I saw the Badlapur EMU "jerking ahead"! I walked slowly over to Platform 5. The next Fast EMU was only at 0846 (Ambernath 12-Car). I had lots of time to spend at Kurla, and decided to check the CSTM End of the station. A small description of the platform: The island platform housing Platforms 5 & 6 is curved and trains running from Mumbai CST side towards Ghatkopar, takes a sharp right curve, then slowly but steadily takes a left cu

An action filled day!

The day was all normal till Thane. I reached Thane at 0837. I decided to wait till the Udyan/Pushpak rushed through. At around 0845, an EMU proceeding towards Mumbai CST decided to cross over from the Slow line towards the Fast line. In process the Udyan Express got held up at Thane outer signal. Even minutes after the EMU cleared, there was no sign of Udyan moving. Some minutes later, I felt that the rake was moving, and I kept my camera ready. It was a WDM3A after a very long time now. The loco was WDM3A #17970 of Krishnarajapuram. The loco seemed to slowly crawl.... ...and there was no sign of the loco notching up. I could sense that the loco was idling. The station khalasi shouted at the pilot for driving slowly, but there was no response! The train slowly screeched to a halt! So what was wrong? The signal was green! I decided to check it out! The loco failed...When I approached the loco, they were trying to revive the dying loco! The pilots were running helter-skelter to revive

An eventful day!

After two days' holiday, I was back to college on Tuesday. The exams seemed to be never ending, and a new chapter was just unfolding! I reached Kurla as usual at around 0811. My train towards Thane was 0818 Badlapur Fast. The train pulled in dot on time! The journey to Thane was just normal with no major spottings! The EMU pulled into Thane at 0849. The FOB was too crowded, and I decided to wait for the crowd to thin. By this time, the EMU went out, the starter went red, and after some minutes it was back to green! I knew the reason and decided to wait! The starter was for the Bangalore bound Udyan Express...She came in... ...with WDP4 #20028. As is the normal practice, the Lucknow bound 2533 Pushpak express followed Udyan express. Her loco was.... ...WDP4 #20032! Interestingly, the Dippy of Udyan was working Short Hood, while the one of Pushpak was Long hood! So by a matter of chance, I could see both the hoods in a matter of about 3 minutes! I rushed to college after these

Exam Day: 3

The fever (Pyrexia) and ENT Problems that got behind me since Wednesday showed no symptoms of slowing down as I prepared for the third paper in the series! I boarded the 08:02 EMU from Belapur as opposed to my usual 07:37 EMU. Some extra rituals at the temple ensured that I reached the station late. I spotted Pushpak Express towards Lucknow rushing off with WDP4 #20028 in charge. It was all a dry day after that! There were no specific spottings in the noon other than for one WCAG1 pulling off towards Wadala with a BOXN rake, and a light WCAM3 rushing off towards Dadar! I spent most of the evening watching a popular Malayalam flick on TV, and then trying to track the "progress" of India at their first match at the Cricket World Cup in progress at West Indies! The current World Cup runners Up were battling with our neighbour - Bangladesh! The Team from Bangladesh just restricted India to a meagre 191 (All out in 49.2 overs!). Without much of spotting, it was a hot and dry day

Examination: Day 2

Today was Day 2 of internal examinations. Pyrexia, cold and pain in my ear kept me off from studies, and I lay sluggish for the entire evening. After playing off for the entire evening, and a small meeting with a nearby ENT (Ear-Nose-Throat) Specialist, I returned home - had dinner and slept. The preparation for today's paper was to begin just in the morning! I made a visit to the temple before proceeding to college. I was busy reading my book that I had hardly any time to look out! I heard two WDP4 hauled trains rushing past Thane in quick succession while I was waiting for my bus to move ahead! The paper was a bit tricky, and I could finish it satisfactorily! While i reached back at the station on my way back home, I spotted WDM2 #18169 of Kalyan pulling through with a Tanker train. My EMU (1334) was already late, and the esteemed lady made her appearance only at 1345. The coach, I boarded was already full. I decided to stay at the door. I was not able to keep looking out since t

A written examination!

Today was my first written examination - Internal examination - a prelude to the master blaster final examinations to be held by the University of Mumbai! It was a short 15 marks paper (the marks get included in the final mark list issued by the University!). The subject was Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry. I developed cold, and Pyrexia yesterday by evening. I had my body and head aching in combination. I was unable to concentrate on my studies, and was sort of slugging the entire evening. I was OK by morning. I had NIL preparation for my paper. I made a visit to a nearby temple (after all, he knows everything!). I appealed to God for help, and took the 0737 train towards Kurla. BTW, While waiting for the 0737 train at Belapur, I noticed the brand new DC 9-Car rake of Central Railway. The leading driving cab was 72359, and the trailing (rear end) one was 72361. Thus the rake is 359-361. The rake looked similar to earlier delivery - 353-355. My train (0737) was quite crowded. I

Just spotted!!!

Just spotted Central Railway's brand new DC 9-car rake. The rake is #359-360-361. She is based at Sanpada car shed and will make about 5 trips to thane, 3 to panvel, and 3 to Wadala. More details would be posted in the evening! Bye for now...

Another day...

I had some work at college, and I finished them quite early. I reached back at Thane station at around 1300. That was quite early for the day, and I settled on one of the benches on the platform waiting for my first photograph of the day! The first train came in at 1331, and that was a long tanker rake hauled by WDM2 #16049 of Kalyan... Just as the Guard van of the tanker cleared the platform line, I spotted a light WCG2 rushing towards the stations. The loco slowed down, and entered Platform 7. That loco was WCG2 #20129. That action was to allow a late running EMU (just behind the loco) to go ahead! WDM2 #17632 of Kalyan rushed towards Kalyan with a long Container rake. The rake was really long, and at the time when the loco cleared the starter, the rear caboose had not even crossed the outer! 1014 Coimbatore-LTT Express pulled in at 1359 with WCG2 #20122 in charge. KR4 Ratnagiri-Dadar passenger came in at 1415 - Loco was WDM3A #18767R. [Read Yesterday's Blog post!] Fi

A mix of studies and railfanning....

Studying for an examination, and Railfanning when mixed together can seriously be lethal! I had a taste of that deadly combination today, but may be because my stars were strong It wasn't seriously fatal for me! I had an examination at college today - a practical examination in Pharmacognosy. An under-prepared condition, an ego clash with the examiner, and lack of practice was worrying factors for me. I hadn't read anything since I was back from college only at 2100 on Monday, and it was too tiring to sit and read anything! I started reading for the examination only while traveling from Kurla to Thane. BTW: Just as I got down at Kurla, I spotted the Pune bound Deccan express rushing off with WCAM3 #21961 in charge. I spotted WDM3A #14125 of Erode sleeping off at Kurla (Too unusual! The loco that usually brings the Matsyagandha express waits near Lokmanya Tilak Terminus since she has to take the Netravati in the noon). The remainder of the journey was normal. Madgaon bound Mando