Never had been a railfanning session been organised at such a notice in Bangalore. After close to two months since a day long railfanning session, it was time to have one more. Baiyyappanahalli on Saturday was the call, and two railfans - Ramdev Gowda and Santosh Kulkarni - were to join in. The time was finalised and we all decided to head off...
Saturday, December 06 was fixed and the time was 1100. I left home shortly before 1020 and got into a bus at 1030. I was sure to get late, but kept my optimism high. The driver of my bus (KA-01-FA-853; of Depot 24) was in no mood to speed up. The Eicher 20.15 bus was longing to break-free, and it couldn't get a chance till we crossed Marathahalli. Once we crossed Marathahalli, the bus got empty and the bus picked up speed rapidly. We kept cruising at around 65-70kmph till we reached Krishnarajapuram. The bus (on Route 500C) to terminate at "Tin Factory". I got down at the last stop, and hired a rickshaw to take me to Baiyyappanahalli. While I was on my Rs 40 ride in the rattling rickshaw, Ramdev called me and said he was just on his way.
I landed at the station shortly after 1110. With people looking suspiciously at me, I decided to roam around. I spotted a WDM3D (11114) of Guntakal was spotted sleeping off near the Down Starter on the loop line. By now, Ramdev reached, and we headed to the platform. Staff 'dozing' off on the platform looked at us in surprise. We kept walking till we were more than half the way towards the Krishnarajapuram end. Santosh called us to inform that he is on his way and he'll be with us in minutes.
While we were waiting for him, a twin Krishnarajapuram (KJM) led BTPN rake pulled into the station from BYPL yard. The locos were WDG3A #13367 and #13031. Shortly after the BTPN cleared the station premises, WDM2 #17476 of KJM heading home pulled in on the main line. Even before this loco was given her starter, WDM2 #16862 of KJM pulled in on the loop line. Both the locos stood parallel to each other at the starter. Soon, 16862 was given her starter, while 17476 was waiting for her fate. She too was cleared soon.
By now, Santosh joined us. Just as we were preparing to walk away from the station, WDP4 #20054 came in tugging WDM3A #14047, taking her to KJM. We then walked down towards the Chennasandra ramp. On our way out, we noticed twin Golden Rock twins approaching us. The locos, WDM2 #17258 and #17750, were sent to the loop line. The pilots appeared pretty friendly, as they waved at as while on the move. After the locos moved away, we headed to the famed CSDR ramp. We took refuge under a tree and waited for the next 'prey'.
Loco movements on the KJM-CSDR section, and heavy road traffic on the road-over-bridge nearby kept giving us false alert, and we rushed to the track everytime we heard a horn, only to return disappointed. After almost 30 minutes of calm, we finally spotted the 513 DEMU to Marikuppam. The 7-Coach DEMU had enough crowd. Ramdev's experiences of the Braganza section and our mutual discussions about different trains and services kept us engaged all the time. In the meantime, we were keeping a track of the incoming arrivals, and it dawned on us that the Sheshadri was yet to come in.
Sheshadri came in well past 1322, and we were disappointed that the Brindavan would be badly late now. The loco working the Shesha was WAM4 #21231 of Vijayawada. She was given through signal at BYPL and the train cleared the section soon. The wait for the Brindavan was on, just when we noticed the BYPL home turning amber. The Bangalore bound Brindavan came in about ten minutes later, at 1334, with WAP4 #22556 of Erode doing the honors. The rake had one Chair Car coach in the Vodafone livery.
A while later, the Mysore-Jaipur express came in. Twin WDG3As (#14689 and #14981) of Kazipet did the honors. Just as the Jaipur express exited the main line, the Bangarapet-Bangalore MEMU rushed through. It was getting increasingly difficult to stand, and we decided to sit down on the retaining wall along the CSDR ramp. A while later, WDP4 #20025, hauling WDG3a #13035 and WDM3A #14024, headed off to Bangalore City. These locos are powers for different trains that would be departing from Bangalore City later in the day. It was again silence for the next half-an-hour. Thirty-minutes later, WDG3A #14660 of KJM rushed through with an 'Engineering Special' train, which had about 6 'passenger coaches', one flat wagon and one BCNA wagon. The train was doing atleast 60-75 kmph.
The BYPL Home signal turned amber...and the green once again. We all knew what was in store for us... a couple of minutes later, the Karnataka Express came in. WDM2 #17577 coupled to WDM3A #14086, both from Itarsi, were in charge. The pilot opened the throttle as soon as the locos crossed the starter. Shortly after the Karnataka went, the Kakinada bound Sheshadri Express rushed through with WAG5 #23554 of Vijayawada. A while after the Sheshadri rushed through, we heard a horn approaching us from the Hosur side.
That was WDM3A #14048 of Ernakulam with the 1014 Coimbatore-LTT (Mumbai) Express. The train came in pretty quickly and she cleared down the ramp in no time. Just after the 1014 cleared BYPL station, the Chennai bound Brindavan Express rushed through. WAP4 #22626 of Arakkonam did the honors. It was again silence for about 40 minutes, barring the Bangarapet MEMU, which went right behind the Brindavan. At around 1552, WDM2 #17497 of KJM rushed light towards SBC.
Silence prevailed for the next 25 minutes. The BYPL home signal turned amber once again. A BCNA rake led by... surprise... Angul WAG5 twins, led by WAG5 #23785, rushed through BYPL, probably heading to the Freight yard. About 10 minutes later, the BYPL home signal turned amber once again, but this time with the points set to the loop line. Around the same time, WDP4 #20025 rushed through with the 1014 LTT Express in tow. Soon, the Marikuppam-Bangalore passenger came in. WDM3A #18704 of KJM did the honours. The pilot appeared to be in a hurry, since the train was pretty late and he came in with full force.
With the time for the YPR-SA Passenger approaching, we rushed towards the CSDR bye-pass cabin. And, we were on time for the spotting too! Just as we neared the place, the passenger was seen climbing up the ramp and approaching the cabin. The train stopped at the cabin to pick up caution orders, and perhaps, to pick up a railway worker too. The loco in charge was WDM2 #17751 of KJM. The loco gave us a good smoke show and she left. It just dawned on us that the MAS Shatabdi was expected anytime. We rushed to the main lines. The signals were red, and we were not sure if the Shatabdi had crossed.
The signals turned green in a row, raising expectations. The train was soon visible at a distance. WAP4 #22662 of Erode was in charge. A man jumped across and spoilt my image. The train was damn fast, and was doing atleast 100 when it crossed us. Just then, WDP4 #20054 returned by KJM. She headed to SBC to take charge of the Kacheguda express later in the day. Our wait through the day was to spot the Prashanti Express. It turned out that the train was running more than 8 hours late that day. We called it a day, and we all moved to the Old Madras Road.
We all were heading to different directions. Ramdev took a rickshaw to Indira Nagar, while Santosh was taking a bus to Majestic. And I took a bus to head towards Marathahalli. There ended a 'grand' day. We railfanned pretty longer than expected, but were content with what we saw through the day!
The images taken during the 4 hours of action are here.... do have a look at them, and drop in your valuable comments and suggestions. Thanks in advance :)