Another round of Railfanning

August 10, had another round of railfanning for me - this time at Thane! I had some work at the University of Mumbai campus at Kalina. I left my home at 1000, took an EMU to Kurla. I took a rickshaw from Kurla to the university, and another one back. I took an EMU from Kurla towards Thane at 1202. While crossing the DLS at Kurla, I saw a Golden Rock loco being tested by Pilots near the "Lobby".

I reached Thane at around 1225. A WCAM3 was pulling in with Godavari Express then. I had a "minor" purchase at Thane. While standing on Platform 1, an unknown WCG2 pulled in on Platform 5 with the CSTM-Nagercoil Express. I purchased a ticket to Panvel for Matsyagandha Express, and walked out straight to Platform 7. Just as I reached Platform 7, an unknown WCAM3 rushed through with the Pawan Express.

I found out an empty bench towards the CSTM end of the platform, and sat down reading a photography magazine, and the entire silence was broken by a horn - That was WCAM3 #21895 working the LTT-Varanasi Kamayani Express. Some minutes later, I saw a WCG2 entering the station, and I thought that it would be the Chennai-Mumbai Express. But some seconds later, I saw the train running through non-stop! That was WCG2 #20116 working the Hyderabad-Mumbai Express!

Some time later, WCAM3 #21882 pulled into Platform 7 with the Gorakhpur-LTT Kushinagar Express. The train was about 23 coaches long, and left the station after about 3 minutes of halt. A few minutes after the Kushinagar left, WCG2 #20122 rushed through with the Mumbai-Hyderabad Express in tow. The station was silent other than for the furore caused by arrivals/departures of Local trains. A good number of after arrivals were running late by an hour or more!

An announcement was made around 1330 that the Varanasi-Mumbai Mahanagari express was about 45 minutes late. This train eventually turned up at 1415 with WCAM3 #21947 in charge. This train had to stop twice on the platform because of its longer rake. Just as the starter for Mahanagari went green, a WCAM1 (#21821) rushed towards Diva with a Tanker rake. Mahanagari cleared out very soon. Announcements were made that the 6012 Chennai - Mumbai express was running late by an hour and 45 minutes, while the 1014 Coimbatore - LTT Express was late by an hour. KR4 Ratnagiri-Dadar passenger was late by an hour and 10 minutes. These three trains comprise the after-noon arrivals.

There was silence for some minutes, which was broken by the PA announcement "Two Six one Nine down Lokmanya Tilak Terminus Mangalore Matsyagandha Express Pudheel Thodya samayala Platform kramaank saath var yeyil" (2919 Lokmanya Tilak Terminus - Mangalore Matsyagandha Express would arrive shortly on Platform number 7). I initially planned to take a photo from Platform 6, but an EMU was pulling in - she would block my view! I walked back to platform 7. The train pulled in at 1434 with WDM2 #16856 of Golden Rock! I decided to travel in the Front SLR. The crowd in the train was poor, and there plenty of seats vacant in most seats (a more detailed report is at the end of this post).

I decided to stay at the door. The starter turned Amber at around 1438. We pulled out slowly, and as we joined the main line, I saw a Pune WDM3A waiting at Thane Home. That was WDM3A #18773 working the KR4 Ratnagiri-Dadar Passenger. My train cleared all loops, and quickly picked speed. For some reason, the pilot never exceeded 80 kmph upto Panvel.

We crossed the Rajendra Nagar-LTT Super fast somewhere inside the Parsik Tunnel, and 6012 Chennai-Mumbai Express near Diva. We slowed down to about 15 kmph at Diva home, and crawled right through the platform. We never picked up speed upto Agasan, and remained at around 40kmph. (Agasan is a halt just after Dativli, while proceeding towards Panvel. This halt never ever appeared in the railway timetable, but all passenger trains stop there!).

The run was eventless. I spotted an under-construction factory near Taloja. The factory had a railway siding about 1.5 kms in length! We slowed down a bit after Kalamboli. The loco was a real good whistler, and this loco would be a feat to any ALCO lover!!! We slowed down after Panvel home, and crawled towards the station. A Kalyan WDG3A hauled BCNA was occupying Platform 3, and we were taken on Platform 2. A Jhansi WAG5 HB (#24051) hauled BCNA was waiting for her starter to proceed towards Diva side.

I checked the reservation status of each coach one by one. One coach (S7) had no passengers in it! The reservation chart said "Number of Vacant seats in S7 (SL) = 71". Out of the 72 seats, 71 were vacant - coincidentally the only "occupied" seat was number 7, which was earmarked for the TTE (Conductor)! The condition was not better in other coaches. Coaches S4 to S1 had good occupancy. S3 is allotted for the Vendors of the Pantry car. The train has a "Loaded Pantry" meaning that the staff load only basic things like water, tea, snack, beverages in the train (which was stored in S3), while meals would be loaded from a base station.

I checked and found that the third AC 3-Tier coach was re-instated and was an SER coach today. I rushed out, and took an EMU back to Belapur. Just as my EMU was crawling out, a Kalyan WDG3A pulled in from JNPT side with a Container train.

Thats all for today. The images of the day are here - about 12 images, with the first one being this.