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Showing posts from May, 2007

Another Bengalooru Sojourn

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Yet another vacation, and yet another trip! This time the trip is to Bangalore (Err! To Bengalooru). The plan is: Departing LTT on 31 May (Thats today!) by 1013 LTT-CBE Express.
Return: Departing Yesvantpur on 10 June by 1018 Chalukya Express.

I'll be in Bangalore from June 01 to June 09. There are no other plans as of now! Regular updates would be made to the blog as and when some thing substantial happens! Bye for now, and wish me a very happy journey ;-)

The End....to exams!

The Final year Bachelor of Pharmacy examinations conducted by the University of Mumbai finally ended today! Four years of life as a Pharmacy student too ended today! The results would be out in 45 days, and I'd receive my certificate by December!!!

Its been a long 4 years to traveling regularly a distance of about 39 kilometres each way from my home to College. The last one year was spend traveling on trains, with loads of spotting per day!

I will post some interesting experiences in college during the next few days.... but for now - bye!

psst! Hold on....read the next post for a Surrrppprrriiiisssseeee!

It rained today!

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Photo from Archives. Image taken from the balcony of my bedroom (Circa 2006).

After a long hot summer, the first pre-monsoon shower showed up today! It rained almost continuously for about 30 minutes beginning around 0500 (AM). Later, in the afternoon, it rained in other parts of Navi Mumbai, and then again here!

The temperature this summer had gone as high as 42 degree Celsius, and the average temperature was in the range of 35~36 deg Celsius! Finally the temperature came down, and mother earth cooled down a bit! The South-East monsoon has already hit the southern coast of India early by about a week. The official Monsoon period is expected to begin on June 08, here in Mumbai! Hopefully, pre-monsoon showers keeps the city cool for the days to come!

Monsoon season is a terror since July 26, 2005! That day it flooded heavily, and most residents of the city including me were stuck at different places! Monsoon season is usually flooded with Health risks caused due to contamination of Drinki…

Kalyan's own KDMT!

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The extended suburban twin cities of Kalyan and Dombivli, lacked a public transport system for years together. The local commutes of the passengers were at the grace of local autorickshaw operator, who never operate on the 'meter-tariff' but ask for a round figure amount which is always more than double the meter fare! In around 1997, the Municipal Corporation decided to start town bus services in the twin city. Political delays kept pushing off the project even as buses purchased for the service kept rotting at their depot!

Finally in 1999, the service took of with much pomp, and that was a dream come true for locals in the Kalyan-Dombivli Area. The service was named Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Transport, abbreviated as "KDMT". The bus service initially started off with about 40 buses, and 8 years down the lane, the undertaking now owns 105 buses, and operates about 30 more buses taken on hire! KDMT buses bear the registration mark "MH-05".

The service extende…

Sorrrrrryyyyy!

Really sorry for terribly irregular updation here! But, I seriously couldn't help it out! The exam schedule got just busier, and I have exams on three days of the week - Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday! The last one of this week is on tomorrow.

All these days were dry except for spotting a Tuglakhabad WAG5 at Nilaje on Tuesday. The loco was incharge of a very long Container train. On the same day, I spotted a WDG3A "Shakti" hauling an unknown freight train out of Nilaje station. I hope to get some images from the spot very soon!

Nothing special is expected in the days to come ahead Except for this:
I am traveling to south once again. Departing on 31 May by 1013 Express (subject to confirmation) and returning on 10 June - Departing Bangalore on 10th by 1018 Chalukya express. The itinerary would be confirmed very soon....please bear with me!

Busy and dry days on...

The days are now getting hotter than never before! The thermometer refuses to go under the 33 degree Celsius mark! The humidity keeps rising, and its good times ahead for people selling cool drinks! The university decided to keep its exams during the peak of summer!

The days are getting busier, and the fact that I now travel by bus is making the day more dry than ever! The only saving grace is that I spot the DIVA-PNVL railway line at Nilaje, but could never see a single train crossing till date!

The exams will go on till 31 May, and going by the clues, there could be a trip to the south in the first week of June. Its still pending, and I'll have to wait to see what really happens!

Sorry, but you'll have to bear with me for the erratic updation that would continue to some more time now! Thanks for your patience, and bye for now!

The day of a late running surprise!

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True! I was dumbstruck while browsing the train status on the Konkan Railway website. The time was already 10 AM, and by this time the train should have crossed Ratnagiri! I checked the website of Western Railway, and the National Train Enquiry System (Trainenquiry.com). Both the websites claimed that the train was close to 7 hours late! What else would I want? I quickly called up my mom to inform of my plans, and I set out to Panvel.

I reached Panvel at around 1105. The Nizamuddin-Ernakulam Mangala Express had just pulled in, and the loco was connected to the re-fueling pump. Taking an image around there was impossible since the train was on Platform 1, and the loco was close to the RPF Office. I walked down to the Level cross which is about 400-500 metres from the platform towards Roha. The loco was by now readying for departure. The train pulled out at 1120. The loco was WDM2 #16874 of Ernakulam. The train was late by an hour and 45 minutes. The coach position of the rake seemed t…

Bus days ahead!

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Finally the Final year Bachelor of Pharmacy (Semester VIII) examinations (Theory) of the University of Mumbai began today! I am appearing for the same, and I got my centre at Saraswati Vidya Bhavan's College of Pharmacy (SVBCoP) situated at Sonarpada (Dombivli) on the Kalyan-Shil Phata road. The easiest way to reach this centre from my home is by buses operating on the Belapur - Kalyan route. The buses on this route is operated by Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Transport or simply called KDMT.

The bus service (Route number 15) begins from Belapur Railway Station, and terminates at Kalyan Railway station (West). The bus route is via Juinagar Railway Station, Turbhe naka, Mahape naka, Kalyan Phata and Manpada. The frequency is about 20-30 minutes. The route length is around 36 kilometres, and I travel about 80% of the route length. The fare for my travel (Belapur Rly. Station to Sonarpada) is Rs. 15, and the journey time is around an hour. The first out of the seven exams was held today, …

200 and still on....

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!!! Two Hundred Posts !!!

We are now Two Hundred posts Young! This blog has finally completed two hundred posts, and this is the 201st post! Thank you for your encouraging patronage!

The hundredth post was on November 29, 2006 and it took long 5-and-a-half months for the next century! Thanks to the apathic maintenance of the telephone connection by the state run telecom provider - I could reach this milestone today!

The way ahead is long for Platform 7. As a part of the celebrations, Platform 7 got new costumes about a week back, and I hope you liked it! Please post your comments about the blog here! I am in dire need of them - After all, everyone needs response from the reader to improve!

Thank you once again for the patronage - Do maintain the same for the days to come. The signal is green, and the flag is being waved. Hope that my locomotive now notches up, and we reach our top speed!

Early morning at Panvel

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My dad was busy planning a trip to our native place (he is traveling alone) for some work, and to attend a function at our family temple. He retired from his job in the end of April, and he made the plan in such a way that he gets time for everything! Booking the ticket was my job - A railfan does that better! Netravati Express - the most preferred train - was completely sold out, with even the Tatkal quota running into long waitlists! While search madly for a seat in some other train, I stumbled upon a vacant seat on the Trivandrum Rajdhani! The main disadvantage for this train is that tickets are available only for booking till the end point, while my dad would get down much before Trivandrum. But, coupled with his senior citizen concession, the ticket turned out to be cheap! I booked a ticket for him on the Rajdhani.

The D-Day was today. He was leaving by Rajdhani, and the Rajdhani leaves Panvel at 0515 AM! What would a railfan want? I was overjoyed about railfanning at that hour, a…

Short railfanning @ CLA/GC/VK

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A petty reason saw me travelling to Vikhroli on Saturday. I was planning to travel in the afternoon, so that I'd get to see the Matsyagandha and the TVC Holiday special. I left home at around 1150. The train I was intending to board was to depart Belapur at 1159. So that was too close for comfort. To add to my woes, some road repairing works are in progress around the I area I stay in, and I have to take a long detour to reach Belapur station. It adds up to about a kilometre (to the existing 2.5 kms) and it also involves a Traffic signal which is manually controlled! It would, by anyway, take atleast 15 minutes to make it to the station. I decided to board the train from Seawood-Dharave - The next station after Belapur while travelling towards Kurla.
The train reached SWDV (the railway code for 'Seawood-Dharave'). The first class coach had hardly around 3-4 passengers inside, and one was free to choose seats! I selected a forward facing window seat on the Right hand side of…

The Mahabus series....

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The Mahabus looks like an always favorite target to chase! As I had written earlier, The "Mahabus" fleet of buses is a part of re-structuring program of Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) to get a fair share of the "Luxury" segment market which is mainly dominated by private operators. Though legally speaking, in Maharashtra, only MSRTC is permitted to operate stage carriage bus services, many private operators operate services under the guise of "Package tour" or "Conduct tour" using buses which have a normal "Tourist Permit" instead of the mandatory "Stage Carriage Permit". Heavy corruption, and under staffing of the concerned regulatory bodies, allow these operators to continue operating, and state run corporations end up in the red.
MSRTC is a big example of that. Old, ill-maintained buses and poor facilities compel passengers (who can afford) to pay a bit extra and travel in those private buses. The mai…

Caught you...

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Regular readers of this blog would remember reading about MSRTC (Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation) Mahabus service. In case you don't: Chasing the Mahabusposted on February 10 2007. In that post, I had mentioned about King Long KL6113 buses being introduced. This bus was ever a surprise to me, and I often spot it passing me among other vehicles. I was never able to spot the bus entirely as I would be driving my car in the opposite direction and the bus would be camouflaged by other small vehicles on the road.
I've always spotting this bus working a particular Dadar-Pune service: The 09:15 departure from Dadar. This bus crossed Vashi at around 0950~1000, and Belapur about 5-10 minutes later. I've tried my level best to spot this bus whilst travelling in the direction, but always fail to do so!
Today, I had some work in Vashi, and I reached there at about 0930. I decided to wait till the elusive thing passes me! With complete determination, I was waiting there on t…

Railfanning after a long time!

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After about 2 weeks of being at home, I was back to track today. I had some work in the library of our college, and I left home by the 0737 EMU. I reached Kurla at around 0815. I decided to wait till the Monster duo goes through. The first monster was WDP4 #20031 with the Udyan Express, and was closely followed by WDP4 #20041 (the shed of this loco is a big '?') with the Pushpak Express. I then took an Ambernath Fast EMU, and got down at Thane. On the way, we crossed the Vidarbha Express between Ghatkopar and Vikhroli.
I came back to Thane station at around 1100 from my college. I had some light refreshments, and went over to Platform 7 to kick start session 2 of railfanning! I went around hunting for a good seat, and settled at the CSTM end of the platform. Just minutes after I settled (precisely - at 1118 AM), a very late running Gorakhpur-LTT Kushinagar Express pulled in behind WCAM3 #21947 in charge. The train had about 23 coaches. The train pulled out about 3 minutes later…

Railfanning at Thrisur

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Just as the rituals following the death of my Grandfather was coming to an end, a few relatives of ours had to return on the same day. They were returning by two different trains - One leaving at 1800, and the other at 1900. I sensed an opportunity to railfan at the station, and I accompanied my brother who was driving down to the station to drop them. We reached the station at around 1740.
New Delhi bound Kerala Express had pulled into Platform 2 with an Erode WAP4 in charge by then. I wanted to take a pic of the loco, but by the time I entered the station, the starter turned green. Just around then, the Ernakulam bound 649 Passenger from Shoranur was to pull in then. Just minutes after the PA system made an announcement about the passenger, a loco was visible. The train came in behind...



...WAM4 #21240 of Arakkonam. The loco was carry WAM4 #20586 of the same shed 'dead' behind. The passenger had 10 coaches, and were packed to the brim. I had once travelled by this train (649 S…

On the Kallada to Bangalore

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The journey was unexpected! I had just reached Thrisur from Mumbai by Netravati Express, and my dad signaled the green flag for my journey to Bangalore. I rushed to a travel agent right outside the station, and enquired for tickets to Bangalore that evening. surprisingly, tickets were indeed available for the bus in the evening! The bus was scheduled at 2130. He issued me tickets (it cost me Rs. 650).
I then went to my home, 32 kilometres away at Kodungallur. I returned back to Thrisur in the night. I reached the travel agent's place at around 2015, and the bus was at 2130. He issued me a boarding pass for the bus, and my seat number was 03. I had a small round at the KSRTC bus station right behind the travel agent's office. A Bangalore bound bus was waiting there. I came back to the travel agent's office. I decided to browse the internet for some time till my bus came.
There was another bus, but the same operator - Kallada, at 2100. Kallada is a very old travel company whi…

Apologies....But that wasn't me!

Sorry....Sorry for not posting for this long! It is indeed a very long time since I posted. But truly, It wasn't me who caused all these!!!

I had some work in college on Saturday, April 21 - Two days after my last post. The journey to college was normal! After about 1400, I started feeling tired and by evening, I had lost all my energy! I was totally run-down, and I had a tough time reaching home. I reached home by around 1830, and was totally tired. I did not have dinner, and instead directly went to bed. The next morning, I had developed Pyrexia (Fever) and had heavy body pain. I saw a small rash on my hand, while my mom spotted a few more on my forehead!

I had contracted a Viral infection - an infection by Varicella Zoster Virus. This disease is commonly called as Chicken Pox! I was totally on the bed for the next few days. The doctor prescribed an Antiviral therapy of Famciclovir (Virovir by FDC). The regimen was about a tablet (250 mg) every 6 hours. Pox developed all over my b…