A late Sunday afternoon railfanning...

A normal Sunday (A working day for me) was just on... It was about 11AM when my phone received a very unexpected call... from Colin of IRFCA Bangalore...That was an invite to go railfanning! It has been a long time since I used by camera to shoot trains, and I readily agreed. I rushed through my work in office, and headed out from there at around 1250.

Colin had instructed me how to reach the bus stop from where I could get a bus to our meeting point, and even tipped me on the fare that rickshaws would charge. Getting a rickshaw to travel short distance from my office is a pain, and I decided not to try for it. Instead, I walked off toward the Stadium (about 200 metres from office) and took a rick from there. He said that he needs to take a round-about route and asked (to be noted, not demanded) for Rs. 25. I said okay, and we were off! That was really decent driving, and he dropped me off near the bus stop.

Just as I got off the rickshaw, saw a volvo heading to my destination going off! It was too far for me to signal it to stop. Then I had to wait for some time to get a bus...though a normal bus did come - I decided to give it a miss and waited for the Volvo. The Volvo (on Route 333E) came in at around 1320 or so. It was from Depot-7, and the registration number was KA-01-FA-30X. I got a seat right behind the driver, and the bus seemed to be desperate to break free as it neared the 'Old' Airport road. Once we crossed Domlur, the driver let the beast free and the 'red' beast responded instantly to the need of the driver! He was competing with a Merc, and ultimately the Volvo won!

The 'Old' Airport still had boards saying "Way to Departure" and such. We did good speeds after the airport, and the driver and conductor were courteous to passengers. Passengers were addressed as "Sir" or "Madam" as the case may be, and each bus stop was announced through the PA system - something that is missing on most other routes. The driver was even courteous enough to stop between bus stops on request to help passenger board/alight the bus...hats off to this passenger friendly initiative! I finally reached my destination about 25 minutes after I started off from Mayo hall (The stop where I got into the bus).

Colin was to pick me up from the bus stop. I ringed him up, and he said he was about 15 mins away. I utilised that "precious" time for some snacks (I had skipped lunch) and a cold drink. While I had my "lunch" I was busy counting the Volvos that crossed me - 5 of them crossed me in about 15 minutes! Colin appeared exactly after 15 minutes, and we headed off to fellow IRFCAn Bharat Narayan's home about a kilometre ahead. We reached him in about 5 minutes, and we set off in another 10-15 minutes in Bharat's trusty old Peugeot 309 car! The car was too young for its age, and it insulated us from all potholes! What a car that was!!! Sad that this car is no more being produced in India :-(

The roads had craters big enough to swallow a small car, and at most stretches roads were inexistent! We finally landed up at a spot right next to Soukya (Soukya is an ayurvedic "resort" near Whitefield). Just as we stopped the car, the Kakinada bound Sheshadri exp flew past with a Vijayawada WAM4 in charge... (I regret not being able to capture it...I love their livery!).

We were expecting to capture the Chennai bound Brindavan Express, and quickly headed out in search of a good location, where we could get ambient light. We walked about 500 metres towards Devangonthi, and settled at a curve. Our first spotting was a loaded BTPN rake heading towards Krishnarajapuram - Twin Gooty WDG3As did the honors, with WDG3A #13068 leading. The locos were clearly struggling to pull the rake through the gradients, and we could clearly feel their hard work...

The Brindavan came after a few minutes... she simply rushed past us.


Lallaguda WAP4 #22322 did the honors. The loco looked like an elephant with the rear-view mirrors on. That was my first pic of a WAP4 with mirrors. After this, we decided to change our location. We tried checking out at Devangothi if we had some good places around, but then had to return. We then returned to Bharat's house, and headed off again after a short round of refreshments. It was now the turn of his Ford to take us to Satellite Goods Terminal at Whitefield.

We wanted to catch up with the Shatabdi, but it was already getting late. On the way, we lost our way as Bharat and Colin remained engrossed in a discussion about some cars. We finally landed up at our 'new' location. (Both Bharat and Colin were regulars here). We confirmed that the Shatabdi was late and then took positions for the photoshoot.

A twin Katni WAG5 combo was cleared to rush off to the loop line before the signal for the Shatabdi was set. The Mysore-Chennai Shatabdi rushed past us exactly at 1716 with a grandly decorated WAP4 (#22669) of Erode in charge. [The loco was decorated for the just concluded Ayudha Pooja ceremony]. We decided to wait till the Kochuveli express goes past...

In the meantime, the WAG5 twins which were sent to the loop line now reversed and headed back to Krishnarajapuram. A while later, the signal turned green once again and we readied to spot the onslaught of the Kochuveli Express. Kochuveli express is one train which has a real long non-stop run - all the way from Bangalore to Salem, a distance of about 269 kilometres in around 4 hours and 15 minutes - an average speed of about 63.29 kmph. The train rushed past us at around 1743 with WAM4 #21233 of Arakkonam in charge.

We decided to call it a day, and we headed back to Bharat's home. Later, headed off to Marathahalli for a dinner. After a dinner, we parted ways. I headed off to the bus stop very close to the hotel. Had to wait for a while. Finally got a bus at around 2010~2015. Got down at Silk Board, where my bro had come to pick me up... and landed up at home by around 2115 or so...

What a day that was... hope to have more such sweet sessions... the photos of the day are here... do take a look and send in your comments....


Anonymous said…
Great report and nice photos! Good to see railfanning making a comeback on the blog after a long time!

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