Friday, November 23, 2007

Another day roaming....

[Nov 20, 2007] I had some work to do at Ulhasnagar, and had taken a day off the previous day (or should I call it night) from office. I left home at around 1030, and reached Kurla a while after 11:25. I left one Karjat train, and instead decided to take a train to Kasara (which is an AC/DC EMU, and would let me enjoy high speed runs!). While waiting for my connection, the CSTM bound Sahyadri Express went past with WCG2 #20129 in charge. Just a few minutes behind was the Sewagram with WCAM3 #21931 in charge. The run from Kurla to Thane was eventless, except for spotting a twin WCAM3 hauled BCNA at Nahur yard, and a WCAG1 (#21981) hauled Tanker rake at Thane home.
I got down at Thane, and decided to wait till the Netravati comes. The Netravati came in at around 1210 with WDM3A #14046 of Erode in charge. An RPF officer was standing near the loco keeping an eye on me and I had to play some hide and seek to get a pic of the loco that looked fresh out of a POH. Some time after the Netravati went, the twin WCAM3 hauled BCNA (That I spotted at Nahur) rushed off towards Diva. I then took an EMU to Kalyan. We crossed a twin Kalyan WDM2 headed BCNA just after Thane, and an unknown WCAM3 hauled train near Diva. I spotted the twin WCAM3 hauled BCNA entering the Panvel line from Diva.
We crossed the Chennai-Mumbai Express at Kalyan. I rushed off to Platform 6. Just as I entered the FOB, the Darbhanga bound Pawan Express pulled into Platform 4. My EMU came in on Platform 6. It was an AC/DC EMU bound to Ambernath. We crossed a lone WCAM3 hauled observation car just before Ulhasnagar. I got down at Ulhasnagar, and decided to wait for some time at the station. While waiting there, WCAM3 #21944 rushed off towards Pune with the Nagercoil Express in tow. I then left to my destination (CHM College, right opposite the station) and then returned back to the station shortly after 1620. My train was at 1627.
The station is located on a beautiful "S" shaped curve, and is a beautiful location for railfanning! While waiting for my train, the Bhubaneshwar bound Konark Express rushed past, with WCG2 #20147 in charge...

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I then took the EMU to Kalyan, and then took a bus straight to Belapur from there. I had hardly slept the previous night, and was unable to control sleep while in the bus. I had to report to office that night - and that made things worse!

Images that I took are here, starting with this one. (8 Photos total). Sorry for posting this so late, I was busy all the days! The entire thing took place on November 20, 2007.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Roaming in Mumbai

I had a very short railfanning today at Mumbai. I was sitting Idle at home since my office shift is at night! It was a result of a pretty long planning. I left my home at around 0930. I took a train from Vashi, a one that started from there. I was initially planning to take a train to CST, to check out the trip shed there. But later, I decided to head to Thane to see the Netravati Express.

I took a Slow EMU from Kurla towards Thane. A WCAM3 went a bit ahead of my EMU on the through line. The WCAM3 was seen reversing into LTT Trip Shed later on. We crossed quite some trains on the way. The crossings were: The Rajendranagar-LTT Express with a WCAM3 at Kanjur Marg, The Sahyadri Express with a WCG2 at Bhandup and the Sewagram Express with a WCAM3 at Mulund. A WCAM3 hauled train over took my EMU just as we were entering Thane. As I entered the Foot over bridge, a single Kalyan WDM2 hauled tanker rake rushed off towards Kurla.

Right behind this tanker rake was a BCNA rake hauled by twin Kalyan WDM2s (16049 coupled to 18169). There was no action for some time. Then at around 1210, WDM3A #14140 of Erode pulled in with the Netravati Express to Trivandrum. I was expecting a WDM3D, and this loco let me down! I took an EMU a while later and decided to head to Ghatkopar instead. On the way, I crossed two WCAM3 hauled trains. (One was probably the Pawan, and the other was probably the Weekly Express to Trivandrum). I got down at Ghatkopar, and stood for some time on the Foot over bridge. I loved seeing two Kingfisher Aircrafts coming down to land!

Just as I reached down on the platform, I saw the Hyderabad-Mumbai Express rushing in towards Mumbai with a WCG2 in charge (Sorry! Couldn't photograph since the train came in too fast!). I then took an EMU to Kurla. On the way, I saw WCAM3 #21954 pulling out of LTT with the Kamayani Express. I reached Kurla, and rushed over to Platform 5 to see the Hyderabad Express. An RPF officer was sitting around my favorite area, and I had to quickly hatch plans to take a photograph without him being aware!

Some time around 1300, a Kalyan WDM2 rushed towards Dadar with an unknown Holiday Special Train. The Hyderabad Express went through at 1307 with...

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...WDM3A #18886R of Kazipet. So the diesel link is CONFIRMED! I was too tired to continue more, and my eyes were drooping! I had to get back home and have a nice sleep to prepare for my duty at night! I took the next EMU back to Vashi. I had left my car there....

The images of the day are here, starting with this one. 5 Images in all...

Friday, November 09, 2007

Railfanning at Panvel

After reaching back at home from a rather tiring night shift, an opportunity to railfan for some time at Panvel was kept on my table! Should I miss it or take it? It was my chance to take the call. I decided to go ahead! After a quick round of coffee, I was at the wheel. I took the ever familiar route via the Highway to Panvel. As I was nearing the station, I saw the Mandovi Express pulling in. I parked the car at the station, and rushed to get a platform ticket. Just as I entered the station with a Platform ticket, the WDP4 gave a long horn, and the loco started moving out!

The reason why I was at Panvel was to drop a relative of mine, who was to take the Mangala Express. His ticket was not confirmed, and was still wait listed. Just as we walked in after checking the charts, a twin Kalyan WDM2 hauled Container train pulled in from the JNPT side. I was in no mood to take out my camera. Instead, we decided to proceed to Platform 3 straight away. We reached the platform, and found out a good seat to rest.

Just around the same time, I saw a WAG7 pulling in with a Container train. I also saw an RPF lady constable standing a bit far off on the same platform. Now, i had to decide... I took out my camera, and held it a bit below. I clicked a series of Images. The loco was WAG7 #27075 of Gomoh. A while after the container train pulled in, WDG3A #13369 of Kalyan pulled into Platform 2 with a BCCN rake bound to Kalamboli. There was no action for some time then. After some time, Kalyan WDG3A #13066 pulled in with a BTPN rake from the Pen side.

The Ernakulam bound Mangala Express turned up at 0945 with Ernakulam WDM2 #17474 doing the honors. The Panvel Quota for this train is in Coach #S6. My relative boarded the coach with hopes of being able to get a seat by "paying" the TTE. (He did manage to get a seat, but not a berth!). The train left at around 0955. Announcements were being made that the Roha passenger would arrive soon on Platform 1. I entered the Foot over bridge and found that the passenger was entering the station now!

I rushed off to Platform 1 just in time to get this one...

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I had noticed it some time back that the locos working this train notch up after the entire rake enters the platform loop line. I was waiting for this opportunity, but never expected the loco to smoke this much! The loco was WDM2 #18560 working the 1689 Diva-Roha Passenger. I closed down the session after the passenger pulled in. I rushed back home, and had a pretty long sleep...

The image of the day are here, starting with this one (5 images in all)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Cheater bus!

After a rather tiring night shift, I and my colleagues walked out of the office complex to find that buses were just coming in. There are 5 buses serving employees of the night shift, and a total of 9 buses catering to the other shifts. 4 of the 5 buses came in, while my bus was missing. We walked round to check if the bus was parked a bit ahead
Finally, the bus made her appearance at around 0705. The bus (MH-04-G-3797) had a flat rear left tyre! The driver and the cleaner got down to change the tyres. All the other buses where cleared at 0720. Before departure of each bus, a watchman counts the number of staff leaving by each bus. The buses wait for 15-20 minutes after end of each shift. After 20 minutes of end of the shift, the watchman blows his whistle as a permission for buses to leave the unit.
The tyre changing job appeared to take pretty long. The bus was ready after the entire exercise by around 7.50, and the bus left the unit by 0800. All the employees traveling by the bus were damn tired by them, and most of them slept by the time the bus entered the main road!
The night shift is altogether an interesting shift where people are more focussed on their job, and have better accuracy and production figures then the other day shifts. Ours is a team boasting of the highest accuracy, with the highest production figures!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Sleepless nights ahead....

In just 15 days from joining the company, my shift changed, and my name now features in the 3rd Shift (2300-0700).
It was really interesting. Duty changes are put up every Saturday. No such thing happened this saturday, and we did not expect any changes. But, a new list came up on Monday morning, with a good amount of changes!

I'll report to duty at night from today onwards! So its sleepless nights ahead!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Another sunday at Neral...

After a long week at office, I thought that the best way to spend the Sunday is to railfan. AS thoughts about this railfanning kept "re-winding" in my mind, I received a call from Arzan (on Friday). I was waiting for a training session to begin when I got this call. He was proposing a trip o Neral! I did not think another time before saying "YES!".

I checked up with the internet and found that the Matheran Hill railway was back on track! So that was an icing on the cake! The Sunday dawned, and a small "box" news in a Malayalam News paper informed that EMU services in the Vashi-Kurla section was cancelled today! I had to change my program now. I quickly checked up and decided to take a train to Thane instead. I left home a bit after 1100. I parked my car at Vashi, and rushed off to purchase a ticket (a one day pass). I got it and rushed off to the platform to take a train to Thane.

The run out of Vashi was interesting. I reached Thane at around 1200. Platform 7 was preparing to welcome the Trivandrum bound Netravati Express. The train came in at 1206, with an Erode WDM3D in charge! The loco was WDM3D #11184. I ran up and down to get a good pic, and the entire "circus" left me tired. I took a short rest under a fan on the platform. Netravati left at 1212. There were quite some action after that, and I took some images. Some notable action were a WCAM3 with the Nagercoil Express, a Vatva WDG3A with a freighter, and the mother of all - WDM3A #18980R of Kazipet with the Hyderabad Express!

I called up Arzan to inform him that the train that we were planning to take on that day was run with a 9-car rake instead of the normal 12-cars. It was then that Arzan tipped me about the Kazipet loco with the Hyderabad Express. I was joined by Ravi at around 1300. He assisted in getting a ticket for Deep, who was to take the train at Kurla. Our EMU came in at around 1340. We had a rather silent run towards Neral. We crossed the 1014 LTT Express near Diva, and Krishnarajapuram WDM3A #14082 was in charge! We reached Neral at around 1450. We walked over to the NG side. We purchased water bottles to stock up for the rest of the day, and we slowly walked toward Matheran along the NG tracks to capture an incoming train.

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The tiny little train came in a full 10 minutes early, and she had a real powerful horn, which could be heard as much as a kilometre away! The loco was NDM6 #603 of Neral Loco Shed. We then walked over the BG side to capture the Chennai Express. I received a call from Mr. Saxena who was now joining us. He just arrived Neral on an EMU from CSTM. We waited patiently for the express, as Saxena walked towards us. We had a small introduction, and we were delighted to have such a person with us!

By now, the Chennai Express was visible. WCG2 #20142 did the honours. We walked back to the station, and had light refreshments. After this, we were back on the track to spot the Sinhagad Express. She came in with WCAM3 #21935. It suddenly struck me that, we had another NG arrival soon! Mr. Saxena was returning back to CSTM. We thanked him for making it to our meet, and we (Myself and Deep) rushed off to the NG side. Arzan and Ravi were still clearing some of their doubts with Saxena.

As we entered the NG section, we noticed that the train had already entered the station. NDM1A #550 was doing the honors of this train. After a few images, we noticed that the loco was now ready to shunt the rake back to the loco shed. We hung around to see the shunting activity. The SLR coach was uncoupled, and pushed around manually, while the other coaches were pushed in by the loco itself. The loco then went to the shed as NDM6 #603 was coming out to take charge of the evening departure to Matheran. We took a few images of the loco, and then rushed back to the BG side to capture some more action.

We just made it on time to see the Konark Express. WCG2 #20139 did the honours for this train. The sun started setting, and there was no point in waiting for more time there. We decided to take an EMU back at 1730. We went to the refreshment room to have some refreshments. Arzan now decided to go to Bhivpuri Road, while the remaining three of us decided to return back. We took an EMU to CST at around 1730. Ravi got off at Thane, Deep at Ghatkopar and I got down at Kurla. I took an EMU back to Vashi from there.

Images of the day are here...There are more images than what I have mentioned above!