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 blaring warning on lookers to be careful...

18336-18237-BCNA

...The locos were WDM2 #18336 (Leading) and #18237, both from Kalyan. The load was a long BCNA. I was proud of my first way-side photograph! I decided to rush off towards Panvel station since it was too hot at the railway level crossing. I drove down slowly to the station, and found that the BCNA rake was still waiting there. I walked over to purchase a platform ticket. But...The ticket counter wasn't there. The place is now adorned by galleries for putting up Reservation charts! The unreserved ticket counter stood at the place where reservation counters were once present. Then where is the reservation counter?
The question baffled me for some time, but I decided to check out the counters at the "new" booking office. I was instantaneously awed! This is what I saw...

PNVL-BO

...a Station which had a very small booking office, where the queue used to flow much outside the building now has huge granite floored booking office! 5 reservation counters are now present instead of the old 3 counters! 5 ticket counters instead of the old 2 counters! Good improvement for the station!!!

The work on the suburban station building is progressing too fast...(Photos from there would pour in soon). I walked over to the Main line platform. The platform has been beautified, and the station is now getting what it really deserves! The flooring has been polished, new tiles have been laid at the edges, new LED Coach position indicators being installed, new granite benches, 3 new waiting halls, and a lot more! The entrance of the station now has a huge LED board (yet to be commissioned) which would display the status of trains, the platform on which they are expected and so on. A board there shows that the station handles 19 pairs of trains including 10 daily pairs. The station looked quite better than what it used to be a few months back!

The 1689 Diva-Roha Passenger was expected soon on Platform 2. I first decided to shoot the train from the platform, but later decided to go to the level cross right outside the station to get a better picture! I rushed out of the station, took my car and rushed to the gate. Just as I neared the gate, I saw a twin WCAM3 hauled BCNA rake moving towards Karjat. I then walked towards the gate to look if the passenger had arrived. She was all set to depart by now! The gate opened after the BCNA cleared. After about 3-5 minutes, the gate once again closed. The Passenger train got ready to move, and her horn was now heard...

1689-1

...This train is now a DMU rake. The loco is at the mid of the rake. The train is controlled by pilots sitting in the front driving cab. The train has the MU-Cable running through-out its length, and the coaches are now classified as "GS-DMU" instead of "BG GS". The Driving cab now crossed me...

1689-2

...The assistant loco pilot waved at me, and train moved further ahead. The loco in charge was WDM2 #16049 of Kalyan. The entire rake was 10 coaches+loco....

1689-3

...and the arrangement was DC-GS-GS-GS-GS-Loco-GS-GS-GS-GS-DC. (DC = Driving Cab). The gate once again opened. I went back to my car (which I had parked a few metres away from the gate), and sat inside hearing some music, and reviewing the images. The gate remained open for the next 20 minutes. The gate once again closed, and I once again reached the gate. There were no trains in Panvel station. So the train should surely be from Karjat/Roha/JNPT Side! I panned the entire area to find out if there were any loco movements. Suddenly, I noticed one loco at a distance, and she was...

27835BSL-BLCA

...WAG7 #27835 from Bhusawal. This was my first sighting of a Bhusawal loco, and a WAG7 sighting after more than one full month. The load was a BLCA/B (Container) train from JNPT. I took a photo and went back to my car. I decided to go to the station now. I drove down to the station once again. I parked the car at the Parking lot, and went over to get a platform ticket. The next scheduled train to come in was at 1115. The Ernakulam bound Mangala express (Scheduled time: 0930) was running late by over 2-and-a-half hours! I saw desperate passengers waiting for that train!!! The station yard was almost empty but for the WAG7 hauled container that I saw at the level cross.
While standing on the Foot over bridge, I read the parking ticket issued by the person at the parking lot. The rates for parking was exorbitant: Rs. 10 for 1 hour, Rs. 25 for 2-6 hours, Rs. 50 for beyond 6 hours, but less than 24 hours, and Rs. 625 for a monthly parking ticket! This was way more than the prevailing rate at other stations in Navi Mumbai (Where they charge Rs. 6 for every 4 hours, and Rs. 400 for a monthly ticket!). I decided to take my car out, and park it on the New-Panvel side of the station (on the road!). I re-parked my car, and got back to the station.
At about 1130, WDM2 #16668 of Ernakulam pulled in with the Kochuveli - Chandigarh Kerala Sampark Kranti Express...

16668-2653-1

The train had 17 Coaches, in the following composition: Loco-SLR-GS-GS-HA1-AS1-S8-PC-S7 to S1-GS-GS-SLR. The train had a long booking list, and the train surely has good patronage now! By now, my mom had finished her work, and she called me up. I had to rush back to Khanda Colony. I got back to my car, and rushed out. I once again reached the Khanda Colony Level cross gate, and she was once again closed! The Chandigarh bound Sampark Kranti was to cross...

16668-2653-2

..I was expecting the Mangala to come in, but she didn't! I drove back to the place where I had dropped my mom, and drove back to home! It was indeed an unexpectedly action filled Sunday! Bye, and thanks for reading. Do remember to drop in again!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

First ride on Airavat Diamond Class: Bangalore to Thrissur

The Bangalore "Satellite" bus station...