Republic Day at Panvel

While sitting idle at office on Republic Day morning, an Idea to railfan at the station dawned on me. The time was around 0430 when it all happened. I left my office at 0700 (my shift ends at 0700) and drove home thinking more about the program. I finally decided to do it and left my home at 0745. A really bad accident at Kharghar caused slow moving traffic on the highway. I reached the station at around 0810. The queue at the ticket counter scared me, and I rushed off to the suburban complex to get a Platform ticket.

I entered the station and found a Vadodara WAG5 standing at the CSTM end of Platform 1. The loco was #23741. There was a BCNA rake on Platform 3 and the rake probably came from the Roha side, and unknown WDG3A was seen moving away from the rake. Announcements were made that the Mandovi Express was expected only at 0850, on Platform 2. WAG7 #27662 of Ludhiana pulled in from the JNPT side sometime around 0825. The PA system announced that the Flag would be raised at 0830 and asked all staffers to assemble near the venue. I rushed out to see the proceedings, and was awed by the number of Police personnel standing out there!

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The arrival of Mandovi Express was announced shortly after the function was over. I rushed over to Platform 2 to see the train pulling in. It was WDP4 #20036 of Krishnarajapuram doing the honors. The loco was working LHF. The train was 24 coaches long. The train pulled out after a 5 minute halt. The GS coaches were packed to the brim, and there was a minor altercation due to that at the station. I returned to Platform 1 to have some light refreshments. Mangala Express was running late by 10 minutes (That seems to be a norm these days!).

A Ludhiana WAG7 pulled in from the Diva side with a JNPT bound Container train. The train was cleared in just 5 minutes, and as the container train started moving out, a WAG5 hauled container train also pulled in. The loco was Bhusawal WAG5 #23662. Just as I moved towards Platform 3, a Vijayawada WAG5 duo hauled container train pulled in from the JNPT side. Platform 3 was getting crowded as the announcement about the arrival of Mangala Express was made. Mangala Express bound to Ernakulam arrived at around 0945 with WDM2 #18413 of Ernakulam doing the honors. I rushed out of the station towards the level cross to catch the train moving out!

The loco was a damn good smoker! She moved out, and her place was taken over by the 1689 Diva-Roha Passenger. The loco in charge was WDM2 #16012 of Kalyan - she was a poor smoker. I left the place soon after the Passenger train cleared out. I drove back to my home! Images of the day can be seen here - 11 images in all!

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