Killing time on a Saturday...

This posts comes exactly a week after my previous post! Sorry guys, BUT I really did not have anything to post about! Now, here comes a post about a "timepass" event at Thane...

After sitting at home for a week with really nothing to do, i decided to spend some time at Thane photographing trains. The sky was cloudy, and It was raining on and off (but never heavily!). I reached Thane at around 0915. I went to the ticket counter to get ticket to spend my time ahead. Just as I walked out of the ticket counter, I saw the Sinhagad Express rushing past with a WCG2 in charge. I walked over straight to Platform 7.

The PA system was blaring out about some "engineering block" at Kasara Station (some Kasara EMUs were to be terminated at Khardi itself, and some express trains were provided a halt at Khardi and Kasara for the benefit of passengers!) , and about the impending arrival of Koyna Express towards Kolhapur. A Manual announcement was made about the coach position of "reserved" coaches. (This was because the coach numbering system has changed, while the recorded announcement is yet to get the new records!). Koyna Express showed up at around 0943...



...with WCG2 #20146 in charge. The train was about 14 coaches long including one AC Chair Car, and 5 reserved sitting coaches. There was NO pantry car. Just as Koyna was moving out, I was the grand old lady of CR - The "Deccan Queen" pulling in. The loco in charge was WCAM3 #21889. The train had about 16 coaches including 4 AC Chair Cars and one Dining Car. About 20 minutes after the Queen, the Panchavati Express (Manmad-Mumbai) rushed through, with WCAM3 #21885 in charge. Panchavati had about 19 coaches including 3 AC Chair Cars, and a Pantry Car.

Another 20 minutes later, WCAM3 #21931 rushed past with the Pragati Express. She had about 12 coaches including 1 AC Chair Car and a Pantry Car. Wow! 4600 hp for just 12 coaches! The Howrah-Allahabad-Mumbai "Kolkata" mail rushed past with an unknown WCAM3 at around 1035. (I was talking on the phone with a friend then, and couldn't notice the loco!). The Kolhapur - Mumbai Sahyadri Express pulled in at around 1109, behind WCG2 #20132. This train gets overtaken by Sewagram Express at this station, but unusually, the starter went "amber" and the train pulled out! Most coaches were almost empty (around 55-60% Occupied)!

My friend came over sometime after Sahyadri pulled out. He was carrying with him a copy of the latest Southern Zonal Timetable for me (I had requested him to get a copy for me!). While we were chatting, the Rajendranagar-LTT Express pulled into Thane. The loco in charge was WCAM3 #21932. I noticed that locos of most 18-19 coach trains now stop after the starter on Platform 5! Earlier, trains used to stop twice at the station to help passengers in rear coaches to alight (the platform can accommodate only 17 coaches!). The train pulled out, and was closely followed by Sewagram Express (Nagpur-Dadar). Sewagram had WCAM3 #21937 in charge. This train to stopped beyond the starter!

We continued chatting, while I noticed a twin Diesel hauled Container train rushing towards the station (From Diva side). The locos were WDM2 #18378 (leading) and #18259 - Both from Kalyan. We had decided to wait until Netravati goes out. The crowd on the platform was building up every moment. Finally, at around 1216, the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus - Trivandrum Netravati Express showed up, with WDM3A #14046 of Erode in charge! The crowd was thin in unreserved coaches. We then walked out of the station for some light refreshment.

While we were on the FOB, we saw the Hyderabad-Mumbai express rushing through. He (my friend - Mr. Ravi) wanted to travel once on the Thane-Vashi line. He wanted to see where the Reservation counter was (which I showed him). We then went to Kunj Vihar (A very famous eatery at Thane) and had light refreshment. Just as we were returning to the station, we saw out 1305 Vashi EMU pulling out! The next train was only at 1420!

We then slowly walked over to the ticket counter on the Eastern Side, and queued up for the ticket. The counter works on UTS - Unreserved Ticketing System, a centralized system for issuing "unreserved" tickets. The tickets are printed on "running" paper stock using Dot Matrix printers. The printer at the counter at which we had queued up was not able to get the paper properly, and the paper was getting stuck frequently! The lady at the counter was tensed, and she was unable to correct the problem. Soon, a "gentleman" manning the nearby counter came to her rescue, and they exchanged their counters. He fixed the problem in about 5 minutes, and resumed issuing tickets. This entire problem wasted about 15 minutes!

After getting tickets, we returned to the platform. While waiting for our EMU, we saw a surprise - A WCG2 hauling an AC/DC EMU through the slow line at Thane towards Kalwa! The EMU was probably repainted by Matunga workshop. The rake included an MRVC Coach (341A). The coach has been repainted to the standard "AC/DC" livery instead of the MRVC Livery. (No photograph since an RPF guy was standing not much far away!) We saw the Coimbatore-LTT Express pulling with a WCG2 in charge. Our EMU came in at 1410. We couldn't manage to get a seat, were standing till Koparkhairane. We reached Vashi at around 1440. We had a quick round of refreshments, and he returned by the next EMU to Thane, while i returned home on my car from Vashi!

The images of the day....are here. Please have a look at them, and post your opinion about them as comments!

Come back right here once again tomorrow for a huge/surprising trip report!

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