Showing posts from March, 2012

My first experience with APSRTC's Garuda

As the Coromandel express to Howrah was rushing past Guntur, I received a call from my home, breaking the sad news of the death of my cousin. I had to discontinue my journey at Vijayawada and head to Bangalore and then home. I was in a state of confusion was we neared Vijayawada - I had absolutely no guess about the City. I was sure that I wouldn't get any trains to head back home (in Kerala) or to Bangalore at that time - the busfan in me led me to the obvious conclusion of taking a bus. The train got into Vijayawada a while past 3. I bid adieu to the rest of the gang heading to Kolkata (for the IRFCA Convention), and headed towards the exit. I enquired at the exit if I can get a refund on the untraveled portion of my ticket - the lady just said you apply on IRCTC. Since I did not have time to go behind the refunds, I headed out of the station. I wanted to take a bus to the bus station (I had seen the bus station while coming by train) - but I had no idea where would I get a bu

KPN's white beast to Chennai

The seventh annual get-together of railfans - the IRFCA Convention - was set in Kolkata in the last week of January. I had not attended one since my first and last convention that we hosted in Bangalore (January 2009). This time around, I decided to make it to the convention - tickets were booked in advance, rooms reserved.. all set. I was to take the Coromandal express from Chennai to Kolkata on the 26th of January 2012. I decided to be in Chennai a day earlier, so that I could do some local bus-spotting and some trainspotting. I was sure that I would take a bus from Ernakulam to Chennai, but was confused on which one to take. Kallada was ruled out since they go via Pondy. Parveen was ruled out because it was a Mercedes, and they too go via Pondicherry. Now the tie was between KPN and SRM. Sona never featured in my thoughts at all. I decided to take KPN since it leaves late from Ernakulam, and I had no deadlines to meet in Chennai. I made a booking through their office - the ticket

Ernad to teakland.. Part-2

(This is the continuation of a post made earlier. Please click here to read the earlier post.) The loco was coupled to the rake and was all set to make its return journey. In the meantime, we changed our coach, and we were in the 3rd coach from the loco now. This was a 1996 built coach, with refitted cushion seats. We grabbed the emergency exit window bay. Vibin took the emergency window - both of us then began the struggle to open the grill. The superintelligent brains at Shoranur coaching depot had inserted a screw on the panel in such a way that the window wouldn't open, no matter what. This was one very interesting emergency exit window - One rupee coins came to our rescue, as we loosened the screw and pushed the grill up. Finally, our uninterrupted window to the world was ready. A while after we finished this adventure, Vibin suddenly found out that there was a 190 year old rosewood tree in the station premises - both of us headed to see the tree and after a few photos, we