First railfanning at Bangalore!

Its been over a month since I moved over to Bangalore from Mumbai. Had it been in Mumbai, I'd have done atleast 4-5 railfanning trips by now! The only 'bit' of railfanning that I could do was the trip to Mumbai in the third week of May. Unlike Mumbai, traveling within the city is a pain in the neck here in Bangalore. Reaching the City Railway station takes me a whole 45 minutes (but I have an option of either sweating it out is a normal city bus or take one of those advanced Volvo City buses!) of traveling alone! My home is in the outskirts of the city and is about 15 kms from the City Railway station. I decided to make a trip, and Monday was chosen just for spotting the Nagercoil Holiday special from Mysore.

I headed off from home at around 1400 with my brother. He left me at the bus stop, and I stood there waiting for a bus for a pretty long time. I just managed to get one at 1430. The journey to the Railway station too exactly 45 minutes, and I was there at 1515. But some confusion delayed me a bit, and I reached the station at around 1540. The Coimbatore-LTT Express was already on Platform 1. The Platform ticket vending machines were crowded, and by the time I got a ticket it was 1545! Just as I entered the station, the LTT Express started moving out! All I could notice that it was a WDP4 working SHF.

I decided to check out the loco that brought in the 1014 Express from CBE. It was WDM3A #18700 of Ernakulam in Erode livery! The SHF of the loco was in a bad shape with the paint peeling off at many places! (Looked like the loco is headed to the beauty parlor soon!). The loco trailed the express leaving a gap of about 100 metres. The train was detained mid-way due to an EC pull. The train then started moving off after a couple of minutes. The loco trailed the train closely. I headed out of the station to withdraw some cash from the ATM, and by the time I returned, I noticed that the loco (Ernakulam WDM3A) was parked at the small siding close to Platform 1. (This loco used to work the Chamundi Express earlier, but now with the dismal punctuality of the 1014 express, it appears that they decided to leave the loco to sleep at the station itself!).

Platform 2 was occupied by the rake of the Kacheguda Express, while the rake of the 2592 Gorakhpur Express was on Platform 3. The power for Gorakhpur Express was WDG3A #14685 of Gooty. (It was a Kazipet WDG3A on May 19th!). The train had some 14 Sleeper coaches, 1 Pantry car, 1 3A, 1 2A, 4 GS, 2 SLR. The crowd in the train was heavy. By around 1600, WDS6 #36243 of KJM pulled the rake of the Karnataka Express from the sidings, and shunted it to Platform 1!!! The rake was at the platform a whole 3 hours 20 minutes before departure!

Platform 4 was occupied by the rake of the Karnataka Express which came in the afternoon. The rake was being cleaned, and C&W workers were replacing the boards of the train with that of the Chennai Mail. The other rakes that were present in the yard were: Kanyakumari Express, Marikuppam Passenger, the Bangalore portion of Kaveri Express, and a long rake made with spare coaches. There was one JS coach lying around with the board "Bangalore-Chennai"!!!

The twin Itarsi locos which would work the Karnataka Express were also standing at the yard. The locos were WDM3A #16225 (leading) and WDM3A #14109 (Trailing). The leading loco was in the DCW livery. The Marikuppam Passenger rake had WDM3A #17902 of KJM coupled to it, while WAM4 #21320 of AJJ was seen standing in the yard coupled to an unknown rake. WAP4 #22662 of Erode was seen standing on Platform 6 coupled to WAM4 #20515 of AJJ.There was a good crowd on Platform 5 waiting for the Ernakulam Express.

Platform 6 was occupied by the rake of the Chamundi Express. Platform 7 was crowded with passengers waiting for the Nagercoil Holiday Special, and the Chennai Shatabdi. The Nagercoil special was running late, and was expected only at 1920 instead of 1605!!!


The rake of the Ernakulam Express was brought in at 1614 by WDM3A #18704 of Krishnarajapuram. The rake is usually parked at Cantonment Station (BNC). The train had 12 SL; 2 3A; 1 2A; 3 GS; 2 SLR. The rake is the lie-over rake of the Patna Express. The WAP4+WAM4 combo now headed towards Platform 5, and the WAM4 (20515) was coupled to the Ernakulam Express. After this, the WAP4 was uncoupled, and the loco moved slightly ahead and stopped near the starter.

I decided to explore the other side of the station in the mean time. I've never seen that side in the day time, and I headed off straight to Platform 8. In the meantime, I noticed that the Itarsi twins had already been coupled to the Karnataka Express! Platform 8 was occupied by the rakes of the Chikkaballapur Passenger and the Hindupur passenger. The Chikkaballapur passenger had about 3-4 coaches. Platform 9 was occupied by the rake of the Mysore Passenger, while Platform 10 was vacant. WDM3D #11136 of Gooty was standing near the rake of Mysore passenger. WDP4 #20053 of Hubli was standing at the IOH shed. WDM2 #16670 of KJM was shunting a few coaches around.

In the mean time, WDM3A #18704 of KJM which earlier brought in the rake of Ernakulam Express from BNC reversed and took charge of the Chikkaballapur Passenger!!! 3100 horses to haul just 4 coaches!!!

I walked back to Platform 7 to see the Shatabdi Express. There were no signs of the train arriving. The Gorakhpur express left on time at 1640. At around 1647, WDM3A #18904 of KJM pulled in with the Marikuppam-Bangalore Passenger - This train was taken on Platform 3. The arrival of the Shatabdi Express was announced at 1650. The train came in at 1653 with WDP4 #20020 of Hubli doing the honors. The loco was uncoupled quickly, and the loco proceeded to Platform 6 at a brisk pace. WAP4 #22662 of Erode now pulled out of Platform 5, and came in to take charge of the Shatabdi Express. The train left some time around 1700. The composition was Loco-EOG-E1-C1 to C7-EOG. The crowd was heavy, and there were lots of passengers trying to get a seat in the train!. I decided to check out the loco of the Chamundi Express but seeing a few cops roaming in that area, I headed off to the FOB. I could identify the loco to be from KJM, but no idea of the number or class!

The rake of the Rajdhani Express was parked in the yard near Platform 10, and it was a normal rake (not an Airtel rake!). I called up my brother and headed off straight to the bus station to get a bus back home. I got a volvo from there and reached home sometime around 1815.

RPF guys were aplenty at the station. There was one guy who was sort of shadowing me all the time since I landed on Platform 5! He was walking around with a Walkie-talkie, a Lathi and a book into which which was noticing details of almost each parcel lying around on the Platform(s). He ensured that he was there where ever I went!!! Thanks to the flipping LCD of my camera, I managed to click pics where ever i wanted to! Overall, I had the same feeling which i had when I visited Panvel for the first time after getting my new camera! Scared of anything and everything I'll explore SBC once more on a working day to catch some more action!

Photos of the day are here. ( Please do have a look at them, and get back with your comments!)


Balakrishna Rao said…
I happen to be an avid follower of your blog. Just wanted to caution to be a bit careful in railfanning at bangalore. These ppl here are always on alert and on a given day may just decide to screw us. Just be cautious.

All the best n keep those works coming. Good going so far.

FYI: Krishna raja puram loco shed might be a treat to you in case you can make it there. The WDP4's are regularly over hauled here. One mean machine i must say. Try making it there sometime.