Evening blues at Panvel...



I was getting bored to the very roots sitting at home! I was almost continuously monitoring the progress of the Netravati Express coming from Trivandrum. The hell of the train was running late by One-and-a-half hour during the day! This fella is a regular late runner, and a minimum delay of an hour is normal for this lady!

A quick wave across my brain, and I set on my way to Panvel in the evening! I reached the station at around 1650. Platform 1 was almost deserted, while Platform 3 was packed to capacity! I walked over to the Roha end of Platform 1 and then crossed over to Platform 3 by walking across the track. The main line had WAG7 #27514 of Kanpur. A Kalyan WDG3A was standing light on the other line. A Container train with the loco on the Diva End was occupying Platform 2. The Kanpur Waggie got her starter just as I crossed her path - No images since the light was in a very bad angle!

The crowd on Platform 3 meant that I cannot take an image of the loco of KR3 pulling in! I had to be content with an image of the stationary loco! I decided to walk over to the other end of the platform, but by then the train was already pulling in! An RPF officer walked towards the rear end of the train. I checked out the loco, and she was WDM3A #16013R of Pune. The WDM3A raj hasn't come to an end here! The loco seemed to the taken good care by the staff at the DLS! The loco has a beautiful marking proudly proclaiming "16013 PUNE" inside the cabin. The train left after the customary 3 minute halt. The train had only 13 coaches today! This train usually sports 18 coaches!

The platform was deserted as the train moved out. The only occupants on the platform was a tea vendor, a beggar, two RPF constables, and One GRP Constable! I thought - this is the worst place to be in! I walked over to the FOB, and stood there for some time. A BCNA rake on the main line inspired me to have a stroll of the station surroundings! I walked down towards the Diva end of Platform 1. Just as I was nearing the end of the platform, a "Tiger-Face" WAG7 of an unknown shed pulled in with a "half-filled" Container rake.

The Container train on Platform 2 received her starter as soon as the tiger face came to a halt. I decided to check out that fellow, and she turned out to be WAG7 #27836 of Bhusawal. The train slowly pulled out. The BCNA on the main line had twin Ratlam WDM2s in charge. The leading loco was #17226, and the trailing one was #17341. The leading loco has the words "Unfit for Passenger" written in bold on its cabin. I decided to check out the Suburban section. Just as I crossed a "marshy" path and reached the suburban railway track, I noticed a train rushing towards me! I moved away from the track.

I walked in to the station shortly after the rake pulled in. The train was now returning to Vadala Road, working PLVD4. I took a few photos of the rake inside Panvel station, and then walked over back to the main line station. I was welcomed back by WDM2 #17536 of Ratlam working a Hopper Rake! What was so many Ratlam dudes doing down here? I went to the canteen and gulped down a bottle of a cold mango drink. I decided to stay on the FOB for some more time. WCAG1 #21975 was moving around light after bringing a Container train from JNPT. While looking casually at the diva end, I saw a white coloured loco pulling in! She was none other than the monster - WDG4 herself!

The loco was WDG4 #12048 of Hubli, working a BCCN rake. The rake originates from ACC, Kalamboli and terminates at their factory at Wadi. The train pulled in very slowly, and in the process I missed the loco of the Roha-Diva Passenger. The WDG4 was connected to the refueling point. I was back on Platform 1. I never knew when 1 full hour had passed! Just around then, the PA system came alive to announce that the Trivandrum-LTT Netravati Express would arrive at 1825. The train was scheduled to arrive at 1645!

I was standing outside the RPF office look at the Roha end, when the tiger face WAG7 (which had arrive a while ago) hauled container rake was cleared to depart towards JNPT. The starter was green, and the pilot started the train with a good jerk. Almost simultaneously, the WCAG1 (#21975) was also cleared to reverse and attach herself to the rake on Platform 3. The WAG7 pulled out, and just crossed the starter. She came to a grinding halt. I was eager to know what happened! Some minutes later, the Assistant Station Master came along with a Pointsman. They went to the C&W office, and got another worker from there, and went towards the WAG7 hauled rake.

In about 2 wagons, some miscreants had fiddled with the brakes, and the rake wasn't able to release her brakes! The Guard of a BCNA rake which was parked along the rake had noticed this, and quickly radioed it to the ASM and the ALP! The entire drama took about 10 minutes, and by this time the WCAG1 had reversed, and was ready to move!

I spotted an Ernakulam loco at a distance, and now I was sure that Netravati is here! The loco slowly changed points and entered into Platform 1. The loco slowly crawled towards the starter. The loco in charge to day was WDM2 #18483 of Ernakulam! The 21-coach heavy weight had a plain WDM2 today! (Loco shortage at ERS Loco Shed!). I moved out of the station as quickly as possible, and reached home sharp at 1900.

The images from todays' railfanning session is here. So, Please let me know what you feel - and stay tuned right here! The next railfanning is expected on Wednesday. So make it sure that you are here on Wednesday!

The countdown to the mega run to the south begins....7 days left for the journey...

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