Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The August Trip: Travelogues...

The travelogues of my recent journey is now up ready for viewing.

Travelogues can be viewed here.

Photos are here.

Please have a look at them, and send in your comments on the same.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Meeting Alok...

Alok Patel from IRFCA Nagpur is an "ever elusive" being! Many IRFCAns are reported to have missed Alok by a few minutes! I decided not to take a chance, and reached Panvel well in advance. The yard had two twin Kalyan WDM2 hauled BCNA rakes, and one Container rake headed by an an unknown WAG7. One of those twin WDM2 hauled BCNA was headed to Saswad road, and had originated from a "Kribhco Siding/WR" and was routed via "BSR-KJT". The other BCNA was empty, and probably bound to KR.
Announcements were being made about Alok's train - 0103 Mumbai CST - Madgaon Mandovi Express. The train was to arrive shortly on Platform 2. The train made here appearance at around 0840. An "ugly duckling" working Long Hood Forward did the honours.

P1030220

The loco was WDP4 #20040 of Krishnarajapuram. Alok was exactly at the middle of the rake - Coach 12 of the 23 coach rake. The rake had one new coach (07-BEML Make Sleeper coach), while most others were of late 90s and early 2000s. I and Alok had a short chat. His coach was pretty empty, with just about 50% occupied! The - supposed to be clean, ISO certified train - was looking pretty ugly, just like the loco! The train pulled out after a 10 minute break. I hope to meet Alok once again very soon.

Just as Mandovi was moving out, an Erode WAG7 pulled in with a Container train going towards Vasai. I walked over the FOB, and noticed WAG7 #27327 of Tuglakhabad was pulling in with a JNPT bound container train. Mangala Express bound for Ernakulam was reportedly running late by 10-15 minutes. The train had a very good booking today, with an overflowing waiting lists! Waiting lists up to about 40 in sleeper class were cleared, and bookings went upto 150! In 2A, not a single W/L cleared, and in 3A about 6 W/Ls got cleared.

Mangala finally pulled in at 0940. The loco in charge was WDM2 #16860 of Ernakulam. The rake was the same in which I had traveled from Thrisur to Panvel on August 19th. The train had one VPU each at the front and rear of the rake. One of the coach attendants recognized me, and we had a short chat. The 1689 Roha Passenger was to pull into Platform 1 soon. I walked over to Platform 1. Just as I reached the platform, Mangala was given her starter, and the train pulled out.

1689 passenger came in with WDM2 #18068 of Kalyan in Charge. The same loco did the honours on August 20 also! I think the loco rotation is done every week. After clicking a few images of the passenger, I walked out of the station giving a short pause to my railfanning...

Photos of the day are here i.e., the third image on the page onwards...

Monday, August 20, 2007

The August Trip: Final Update

The week long journey just concluded a few hours ago.

My journey from Thrisur to Panvel was on 2617 Ernakulam - Nizamuddin Mangala Lakshadweep Express.
The loco in charge was WDM2 #16885 of Ernakulam
My coach was WGACCN #01109 built by RCF in February 2001. (B1).

The train left Thrisur at 1215 (late by 10 minutes) on August 19, 2007 - and arrived Panvel at 1255, early by 4 minutes on August 20, 2007.

Images, trip reports, and some tidbits coming very soon....so stay tuned - right here...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The August Trip: Update 1

Finally, I have reached Bangalore...

The locos that worked my 1013 LTT-CBE Express were:
WCG2 20122 from LTT to PUNE;
WDM3A 17970 of KJM from PUNE to SBC;
WDM3A 14127 of Erode took over from SBC!

We left LTT on time at 2230, and reached SBC with a delay of 25 minutes - arrived at 2220 instead of 2155.

More coming as and when I get time...

Monday, August 13, 2007

The August Trip...



Another August, Another trip....These cycles seem to go unbroken every year!

The History of August trip can be traced back to 2005 - when a dream come true journey on Konkan Railway during monsoons was fulfilled. Since then, each august there comes a journey to Kerala. Each year, the route gets changed a bit.

In 2005, it was to Thrissur and back by Netravati Express (both ways). In 2006, it got a bit altered to Going to Changanassery (by 1081 Kanyakumari Express), and returning from Aluva by 6346 Netravati Express.

This year, the route gets a bit more changed. Here is my route plan...

Departing today by 1013 Coimbatore Express (Boarding from LTT at 2230 hrs). Arriving Bangalore tomorrow (August 14, 2007 - 2200 hrs). Proceeding to Thrissur by road on August 15, 2007. Returning from Thrissur on August 19, 2007 by 2617 Mangala Express. I will be back in Mumbai on August 20, 2007.

So guys, stay right here to get some updates as and when possible...

Saturday, August 11, 2007

420mm: The latest offering from me...

I am proud to announce the opening of my new blog : 420mm.

This new blog is intended to publish selected photos from my collection and some other interesting images from my archives. The photos would have their "history" also included.

One inaugurating post is up at the blog, while more are on their way there.

You made this blog a success, and I request your kind co-operation there too...

So what are you waiting for, pay you visit right now...

The URL to the new blog is http://420mm.wordpress.com/

So, waiting to see you there - I hope my wait wouldn't be in vain...

Friday, August 10, 2007

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.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Delays galore @ Panvel



After tracking all the delayed runs yesterday, I felt it would be better to be there are Panvel to catch the delayed arrivals!

I reached Panvel at around 0920. Just as I neared Panvel, I saw a train pulling into the station. Initially, I thought that it was the Mangala, but later saw the "KR SWR" markings on the coaches. The train was Mandovi Express. The train was about an hour late. I decided to check out the loco at the Level Cross. The train pulled out at 0930, and the loco was Ernakulam WDM2 #18483!!! The train had 23 coaches, the loco is sure to suffer! Probably the assigned WDP4 failed, and they got this loco as a replacement (This loco should have returned with Matsyagandha today!).

I went to the station and got a platform ticket. I went straight to Platform 3, where Mangala Express (ernakulam bound) was expected. I was expecting an "off-link" since the scheduled loco had not yet reached Igatpuri (to be more clearer - the loco comes with the 2617 Mangala Express, and returns with 2618 of the next day. 2617 of yesterday hadn't arrived Panvel at that time!). The train turned up at 0945. The loco was WDM2 #18059 of Kalyan. The crowd on this train was unusually less. 1689 Diva-Roha passenger was expected now on Platform 2. A Kalyan WDG3A pulled in with a BCNA rake on the Main line.

The PA system came alive, and announced that the 2620 Mangalore-LTT Matsyagandha express was arriving shortly on Platform 1. (This train should have reached the station at 0515, Yesterday!!! When I was at the station yesterday, the staff had confirmed that the train had been terminated at Madgaon!). Matsyagandha and 1689 arrived Panvel together. I decided to cover Matsyagandha first - The loco was WDM3A #14076 of Ernakulam. Most coaches were empty - it appeared that the passengers discontinued their journey half way.

I now decided to have a look on the Passenger train. The Mangala (Ernakulam bound) Express was still to get her starter. Just as I neared the loco, the starter went amber and the loco pulled out. The passenger train was crowded as ever! The loco in charge was WDM2 #17492 of Kalyan. I checked a BTPN rake which was parked on the main line. The locos in charge were WDM2 #16012 & #18237, both from Kalyan. The builder's plate on 16012 said that the loco was manufactured in February 1988.

I was back on the main platform, munching down some snacks from the stall there. An announcement was made that the Trivandrum bound Netravati Express would depart only at 1600 from LTT (Sch. Departure: 1140). There were freight movement almost every 15 minutes. At around 1115, the PA system came alive to announce the arrival of yesterday's Mangala Express (Ernakulam-Nizamuddin). I walked over to platform 2 (where this train was expected). At around 1125, the train pulled in with WDM2 #17474 of Ernakulam. The train was late by 22 hours and 36 minutes!!!

The train left about 10 minutes later. The number of passengers on the platform was increasing every minute. Some passengers got irritated when they came to know that Netravati would depart late! Some even went and shouted at the ASM on duty! Some others, who had booked on Kerala Sampark Kranti felt proud! Announcements about the arrival of Kerala Sampark Kranti was made at 1215. The train came in at 1222, with WDM2 #18576 of Ernakulam in Charge.

I had a very bad pain on my leg, and decided to call it a day! The images of the day are here. The first image is this, and there are 10 images.

Update: Some information that I got later: The TVC-LTT Netravati of yesterday arrived at 1340 at Panvel (A GOC WDM2 was in charge). The LTT-Mangalore Matsyagandha departed on time with a Kalyan WDM2 in charge.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Update on the Land Slide on KR...

Latest updates about the Land slide that occured at Tarcem (Canacona, Goa) at 1630 hrs on Tuesday - August 07, 2007.

Train services were restored in this section sometime today afternoon. This landslide has caused a cascading effect on the schedules of most trains. Here is the status of various trains, that I could gather:

2620 Mangalore-LTT Matsyagandha Express which departed from Mangalore on August 07, 2007: Terminated at Karwar. The train which was to depart today is cancelled.

2619 LTT-Mangalore Matsyagandha Express which departed LTT on August 07, 2007 was regulated at Ratnagiri till today morning. The train is now proceeding to Mangalore - Reached Thivim (about 22 hours & 25 minutes late). 2619 Matsyagandha which was to depart from LTT today was cancelled.

6345 TVC bound Netravati Express which departed on August 07, has reached Majorda (23 hours 41 minutes late). The train which left today, has crossed Chiplun (about 6 hours late).

6346 LTT bound Netravati Express, which departed from TVC on August 07, has reached Ankola (18 hrs 47 mins late). The status of train which left TVC on August 08 is unknown.

2617 ERS-NZM Mangala Express: The train which departed on August 07 (From ERS) has reached Asnot (22h 37m late). The train which departed from ERS on August 08, has reached Mulki (2 hours 49 minutes late!).

2618 NZM-ERS Mangala Express: The train which departed on August 07 (From Panvel; Aug 06 from NZM) has reached Harwada (25 hours 20 minutes late). The train which departed from Panvel on August 08 (On August 07 from NZM) has reached Vilavade (6 hours 18 mins late).

6336 Nagercoil - Gandhidham Express, which departed from Nagercoil on August 07, has reached Kumta (late by 14 hours 23 minutes). This train is expected at Panvel by 1330 hours on August 09, 2007.

2432 NZM-TVC Rajdhani express which departed from H.Nizamuddin on August 07, and subsequesntly departed from Panvel on August 08 has reached Kudal (10 hrs 28 minutes late).

2431 TVC-NZM Rajdhani which departed from Trivandrum on August 07, has reached Honnavar (13 hours 15 minutes late.)

KR1/2 Verna-Mangalore-Verna Passengers of August 07 & 08 were cancelled.

More information would be available by tomorrow morning! Thank you.

FYI: The telephone number for enquiries at Mumbai is 136, and at Panvel is 022-27452244.

Negligible traffic @ Panvel!

The monsoon fury was at its peak yesterday. While browsing the internet during the night, I stumbled across the news that many trains were "Regulated" on Konkan Railway. I tried to find out the reason, but in vain. I slept with this big question in mind. I jumped out of bed in the morning, and checked out for the reason. I reached this article. The article said the news, which fortunately, did not happen so long - Landslide on KR! Every year this "incident" occurs in Maharashtra, but it seems mother nature wanted a difference this time. She shifted the drama to Goa - Canacona to be precise!

Heavy landslides affected traffic on the entire route. Kerala bound Netravati and Mangala Expresses, along with Mangalore bound Matsyagandha Express were detained at different stations. The Mumbai bound trains were no different. Mumbai bound Matsyagandha was terminated half way through the journey!

I decided to get a taste of the information, and set out for Panvel station. I reached there are 1245. The Ratnagiri-Dadar Passenger was to arrive soon. The ticket counter was crowded, and many people had to return dejected! The "Information" board had every inch of it taken with notice written by the railway staff. The board read:

2618 NZM-ERS Mangala RT
6345 LTT-TVC Netravati RT
KR4 RN-DR "Savari" RT
2619 LTT-MAQ Matsyagandha CANCELLED
2620 MAQ-LTT Matsyagandha INDEFINITE
2617 ERS-NZM Mangala INDEFINITE
6346 TVC-LTT Netravati INDEFINITE
6336 NCJ-GIMB Exp INDEFINITE
2431 TVC-NZM Rajdhani INDEFINITE

The board was crying out for more space. When a person asked for a ticket to "Gorakhpur" on Mangala Express (The train doesn't go there, but passengers reach their destination with one change over), the person at the counter irritatedly said "Gaadi Bees Ghanta late hai, Tikat chahiye?" (The train is late by 20 hours. Do you still want a ticket?). I purchased a platform ticket and walked in.

The PA system was abuzz announcing the arrival of KR4 from Ratnagiri. I check the board inside the station, which said everything as the board outside, but the status of 2620 shown inside was a bit different. The board read:

2620 MAQ-LTT Matsyagandha EXPECTED TERMINATE AT MADGAON

(The train actually got terminated at Karwar itself! Makes sense - The spot of landslide was just around 25kms from where the train was terminated. There is no meaning in making the passengers & the train wait for infinite time, for a journey that would other wise take around 12 hours - from there!)

A Manual announcement said that the KR4 passenger has already neared the station. I was ready with my camera, when I noticed a police personnel roaming around. I aborted the mission, but stood there itself. The loco came and stopped right next to me. I adored the brown beauty from Pune shed. The GRP fellow was there to collect his hafta from tea vendors (commission is paid by tea/snack vendors to carry out their business in the station - which is other wise NOT permitted!). He walked away, and the starter turned amber (the train is on the loop line - green starter is given only for trains on the main line). I clicked images as the loco blew her horn right before departure. (The loco was WDM2 #17616 of Pune)



Announcements were now being made about the Trivandrum bound Netravati Express. Today, Netravati was carrying additional burden - all the passengers who would have other wise taken the Matsyagandha Express!!! I walked over to the FOB, and found the train already pulling in! There was no time for me to walk down to the platform (rather a secluded place on the platform) to take pics! I'll have to be happy with one image from the FOB itself. The train was "thankfully" taken on Platform 2 instead of Platform 3!

The loco was now throbbing her way inside. The Loco (From Ernakulam Shed) seemed to be too tired, and the loco was in urgent need of a coat of paint!



The loco was WDM2 #16673 of Ernakulam. The train had 22 coaches instead of the usual 21 coaches (a High capacity parcel van was also attached to the rake). I clicked the image, and decided to check out the other rakes at the station. There were two BCNA rakes in the station today. Both the rakes, had locos on both the ends of the rake! One train had twin Kalyan WDM2s (towards Diva) leading, and Kalyan WDG3A #13302 banking at the rear. The other rake had twin Kalyan WDM2s at the JNPT end, and a WCAG1 at the other end.

I received a call from my mom, and had to return at 1330 itself. I took just two images today, and both are posted right here. Better versions, with all the photos of this month can be seen here. Thank you for your patient read in case you managed to reach here. I'll try out to find more updates on this landslide soon...

Monday, August 06, 2007

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...

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Another day at Panvel



I was planning to spend some time capturing morning trains at Panvel since long. I got a chance today, and let out on my car to capture Mandovi Express at Somatne. The Railway track makes a beautiful curve and crosses the Pune highway near Somatne. I reached Panvel at around 0815. I first checked out the Khanda Colony LC Gate. Kalyan WDG3A #13066 rushed light towards Kalamboli just as I reached the gate. Some time later, an unknown WAG7 rushed past with a Container train, and almost immediately, a WCAG1 rushed towards Diva with a Container train. I called up the enquiry at Panvel station and found out the status of Mandovi Express. The train was about 15 minutes late.

I went towards Somatne. State Transport staff were striking today for an unknown reason. I parked my car near a Road Under bridge and walked towards the railway track. The track was higher than the road, and unfortunately the approach was very slippery, and I decided to abort my plan, and instead capture the train from the road itself! The train rushed past at 0905 with WDP4 #20040 in charge. I returned back to Panvel station after this spotting. AS I reached the station, announcements were being made about the arrival of Mangala Express bound to Ernakulam.

I received a message from Ranjeet that he spotted Matsyagandha express with an Ernakulam loco! This loco usually returns with Netravati Express. I decided to extend my stay at Panvel till the time Netravati Express goes! There was a pretty good freight traffic, atleast 10 rakes passes when I was there. (Read a report in a newspaper that CR is planning to load as many as 30 trains per day at JNPT - Panvel is gonna be a freight paradise!!!)

Mangala Express pulled in at 0954 with WDM2 #16674 of Ernakulam in charge. I had a small chat with the Loco Pilot, and he revealed that his duty is from Kalyan to Ratnagiri (it is well above the stipulated 6hrs duty!). The rake was cleared after about 10 minutes of halt. Just as the train pulled out, WDM2 #17492 of Kalyan pulled in with the Diva-Roha Passenger. The train stopped there for about 30 minutes, and by the time the train left she was late by an hour!

I went out of the station, and took rest for some time inside my car. I returned to the platform at 1200. It was announced that Kerala Sampark Kranti would arrive on Platform 1, but later they changed their mind and decided to take the train on Platform 3! The train showed up at 1229, with WDM2 #18483 of Ernakulam. Nizamuddin bound Mangala Express was running late by 45 minutes today! Just as Samprak Kranti was preparing for departure, WDM2 #17991 of Pune pulled in with KR4 Ratnagiri-Dadar Passenger. The link seems to have been "downgraded" to WDM2 now instead of WDM3A!

I was getting too tired, and my entire body was aching. I decided to capture the Netravati Express from the FOB itself. Netravati showed up at 1318 with Ernakulam WDM3A #14052 in charge! I decided to call it a day, and rushed out of the station. Took my car and came back home, had lunch and a very good sleep, before sitting to type this!

The images of the day are here. There are 16 images in all. Thanks for your patient reading...