The day of a late running surprise!

True! I was dumbstruck while browsing the train status on the Konkan Railway website. The time was already 10 AM, and by this time the train should have crossed Ratnagiri! I checked the website of Western Railway, and the National Train Enquiry System (Trainenquiry.com). Both the websites claimed that the train was close to 7 hours late! What else would I want? I quickly called up my mom to inform of my plans, and I set out to Panvel.

I reached Panvel at around 1105. The Nizamuddin-Ernakulam Mangala Express had just pulled in, and the loco was connected to the re-fueling pump. Taking an image around there was impossible since the train was on Platform 1, and the loco was close to the RPF Office. I walked down to the Level cross which is about 400-500 metres from the platform towards Roha. The loco was by now readying for departure. The train pulled out at 1120. The loco was WDM2 #16874 of Ernakulam. The train was late by an hour and 45 minutes. The coach position of the rake seemed to have reversed. The AC coaches are normally right behind the loco, but this time the AC coaches were at the rear end of the rake. The train had an extra Sleeper coach, making a total 19 coaches. I walked back to the station. The station had passengers waiting for four departures that would take place in the next 90 minutes. The Queue at the ticket counters were getting longer!

The reservation charts showed that 2432 Rajdhani would be picking up 12 passengers in 3A, and 4 in 2A. I spotted a WCAG1 waiting near Platform 2. I walked over to have a look at the loco. The loco was WCAG1 #21976. The loco was waiting ready to haul a north bound Container train that would arrive shortly from JNPT. The container train came in at 1200 with WDG3A #14558 of Kalyan in charge. Not a single WAGx loco was seen around! At around 1210, the arrival of Rajdhani Express was announced. The WDG3A was removed, and the WCAG1 went ahead to take charge. The Rajdhani came in at 1218. The train pulled over to Platform 1. The passengers from Panvel are accommodated in AS2 and A3. Not much passengers got down (The Panvel quota is 12 in 3A, and 4 in 2A).

The Rajdhani left at 1237, late by 7 hours and 22 minutes. I was back at the level cross to see the train. The loco was...



...WDP3A #15515 of Golden Rock. The same loco adorns the banner of this blog! This loco seems to be a Rajdhani favorite!!! The rake had 17 coaches instead of the normal 15. There was 1 extra 3A coach, and an extra 2A coach. The rake cleared the level cross in a matter of a few seconds! The station, and the level cross was back to silence! The next train expected was the passenger train from Ratnagiri. The train showed up at 1253. The loco smoked up as she came close. The loco was WDM3A #17897R of Pune. The rake was 18 coaches including three reserved coaches. The train went straight to Platform 1. The Trivandrum bound Netravati Express had now pulled into Platform 3. The loco was WDM3A #14123 of Erode (No Pics!). The Passenger departed about 3-4 minutes later. The Ernakulam-Nizamuddin Mangala Express, by now, showed up its face! I spotted the loco approaching Panvel. The loco wasWDM2 #16877 of Ernakulam. The train cleared the gate, and I saw an RPF officer patrolling the tracks at a distance! I wasted no time, and rushed back to the station, and reached home as early as possible! I couldn't photograph the loco of Netravati since I was in a hurry!!! The photos (other than the ones above) can be seen here. The first 10 photos are from today's session.

Update: The Rajdhani was late probably due to some derailment up in the northern part of India. It is not really clear as to what really happened!

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