Sunday on the SE line...Part 1

Prelude: SE Line or the "South East" Line is a part of Central Railway's Mumbai Division. The SE line is from Kalyan to Pune running across the Bhore Ghats. Suburban EMU services exist upto Karjat, and then on to Khopoli through a branch line. The major stations on this suburban are Ambernath, Badlapur, Neral and Karjat.
A team of Four IRFCA Mumbai members, viz, Arzan Kotval, Anamitra, Binai Sankar (Myself), and Karan Desai decided to explore this line for the sheer high speed action it has to offer. A Karjat Fast EMU was decided as our outbound train. Arzan was to take the train from Dadar, Myself from Kurla, and the remaining two guys from Thane. This trip was undertaken on September 02, 2007.

I left my home at around 1145, and took the 1214 EMU from Belapur. We had purchased Tourist tickets to make our life easier! I reached Kurla at around 1250. Shortly after I reached there, WCG2 #20117 rushed towards CSTM with the Hyderabad-Mumbai Express. Some minutes later, WCG2 #20122 rushed towards Kalyan with the Hyderabad Express. My EMU came in at around 1315. We took the rearmost FC coach. While on the travel, we spotted Pune WDM3A #18767 at Kurla DLS, a Kalyan WDG3A at Kurla yard, a WCAG1 hauled BCNA crossed us somewhere near Vikhroli, about two WCAM3 hauled trains crossed us before Thane. At Nahur yard, around three freighters including one ready to pull out with WCAG1 #21870 was seen.
Karan and Anamitra joined us at Thane. We doorplated for most of the time. The approach to Kalyan was pretty slow. We were trailing an EMU, and were literally riding Yellows from Parsik Tunnel onwards! A lone WCAG1 was seen at Kalyan Yard. We crossed the Coimbatore-LTT Express just outside Kalyan (Karjat side). The train ran at a very good speed from Kalyan onwards. The ride was very rough and there were plenty of occasions where we were almost thrown out of the train! Karan decided to settle at the door, while we sat inside. Our initial plan was to get down at Neral, but later decided to extend it to Karjat. We continued in the same train towards Karjat.
We were taken on a small terminating EMU Platform near Platform 2 at Karjat. The Pune passenger was occupying Platform 2. Twin WCG2s were preparing to take charge of the banking assignment of the passenger. WCG2 #20124 was in charge of hauling the passenger to Pune. Arzan tried chatting with the pilot, but he seemed un-interested! We then decided to check out the bankers. The passenger was banked by WCG2 #20150 (leading) and #20140. The passenger left at 1530, while our return link to Neral left at 1537. We crossed the Chennai Express at Bhivpuri. Our train made a brief halt between Bhivpuri Road and Neral, to pick up a corpse of somebody who was mowed down by an earlier train.
We reached Neral at around 1600. We had a quick look around the loco shed, and then rushed to the main line to catch some action. We walked a few metres towards Karjat, and decided on a spot to stay around. The first train to be spotted at Neral was the Pune bound Sinhagad Express. WCG2 #20155 was in charge.
We then decided to check out the NG loco shed in detail. We initially planned to obtain permission from the office, but being a Sunday the offices were closed! Around 7 NDMx locos were seen inside in addition to one steam loco. The Locos that I could spot inside were NDM6 #603, NDM1A #550, NDM6 #600, NDM1A #551. The NG line is being used as a path for driving bikes around by the villagers! The NG side of the station was silent since the services were suspended due to monsoons.
We were back near the main line very soon. The station was pretty crowded much to our disappointment, and we decided to proceed to Shelu instead. We decided to spot the Konark Express before proceeding, and we selected a spot at the end of the platform itself. Our train to Shelu was to arrive soon, and the signals were already set.

P1030338

Konark Express came in at 1659, with WCG2 #20153 in charge. The train had 20 coaches, and was decently fast. Just as the train went past, our EMU was visible, and we had to rush back to the platform. I and Arzan couldn't make it to the FC coach, and we decided to take a Second class coach instead. The train was a 9-coach train, which caused all the confusion! The run from Neral to Shelu was interesting, and the surroundings were captivating.

To be continued....look out for Part 2 right here.

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