Railfanning - under their nose...

Nov 30, 2007 : After a tiring day at office, I back at home by 0800 (I was working in a night shift which commences at 2300, and gets over by 0700, I generally reach home at 0800), I was once again offered a chance to railfan - this time at a place which is poorly covered for the fear of getting caught in the act (of photographing) - Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, fondly called as CST, or CSTM in the railway parlance.

My sister in law was returning to Bangalore after a week long stay here. My dad was going to CST to send her off. She was leaving by the 6339 Nagercoil Express. I decided to grab this chance, and I got ready for the journey. We left home shortly after 0945, and headed straight to Vashi. My sis-in-law rushed to purchase tickets, while I parked the car. We took an EMU from Vashi to CST. We reached CST at around 1115. Our train was taken on Platform 1. We walked over to the Mainline section, and purchased platform tickets. We then rushed off to Platform 18, where the 6339 was expected.

On the way, I spotted an unknown WCAM3 waiting with the rake of the Pragati Express on PF10, WCAM3 #21887 with the Deccan Queen on PF11, another WCAM3 with the Panchvati Express on PF14 and WCAM3 #21940 on PF15 with an unknown train. WDM3A #16219R was sleeping off on PF16 with the rake of the Devgiri Express. PF17 was awaiting the arrival of the Howrah Mail (via Allahabad). WDS6 #36122 pulled in with the rake of the 6339 Express to Platform 18 at around 1125. My sis-in-law was in A1. She went in and "unloaded" her baggage.

We remained outside for some time, and then I decided to check out the loco that was to work her train. I walked towards the loco end (her coach was the fourth from the rear of the 18 coach train). The train was standing on the newly built side of the station, and the railway authorities had built a less than average facade to the otherwise impressive station building. The loco had still not arrived. An Unknown WCAM3 now entered PF17 with the Howrah mail. Some minutes into standing...

P1060057

...WCAM3 #21898 crawled towards Platform 18 to take charge of the train. I looked in awe at the loco slowly approaching the train - this train is one among those to be upgraded to a WCAM3 since the WCG2s started their retreat. Some other train have shifted to diesel traction after the WCG2s started their exit. The loco came and coupled itself, while I walked back to her coach. The train pulled out at 1205 - exactly on time, and I slowly walked towards the suburban side. The WCAM3s that I had spotted earlier had disappeared by now, and instead WCG2 #20112 was spotted with the rake of the Sahyadri Express on Platform 8, and the Hyderabad Express was occupying PF9. I took a Belapur bound EMU from CSTM.

On the way out, I spotted WDM3A #18893R of Kazipet preparing to pull out with the Hyderabad Express. I spotted another Kazipet loco sleeping off behind the Electric Loco trip Shed. There were just two WCG2s at the Trip shed, and about 3-4 WCAM3s too were spotted. WCAM3 #21888 was standing out with the board of the Sinhagad Express. My train quickly picked up speed. We overtook WDM2 #18463 of Kalyan pulling out the empty rake of Devgiri Express just after Masjid. The run from Masjid to Sewri was uneventful. I spotted an MBPt Shunter (#55) shunting out a BCNA rake towards Wadala, and another shunter (#53) working a BCNA rake towards the port. Both were spotted right after Sewri.

I spotted WDM2 #16459 coupled to #18419 (both from Ernakulam) standing light at Wadala Road Freight interchange yard, and I spotted another WDM2 couple at Kurla. The run from Kurla to Vashi was eventless. I reached home at around 1400, and had a good nap before gating back to office.

The photos of the day are here, starting with this one. A total of 9 images. The meaning of the title is that: I took photos at CSTM standing very close to RPF guys! A bit sense, and usage of the swivel scree of my camera did the trick - Now that a secret ;-) This entire thing happened on November 30, 2007.

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