A Long Return To Home – Part 1

After an end-of-the-year 5-day trip to Chennai (which included a one-day visit to Bangalore), it was time to return home i.e. Mumbai – before the beginning of 2018 (All good things do come to an end! 😦 ). Since I could not get suitable seats in any other train, I had to settle for 11028 MAS-CSMT Mail aka supercrawler πŸ˜› ; leaving on Dec 29. As always, please refer to the legend right at the bottom for all technical terms (I haven’t covered all!) and station codes. At MAS (Platform 2), 12244 CBE-MAS Shatabdi had arrived with its fixed link – HOG-enabled RPM WAP7 3042620171229_224651

On PF3, 12676 CBE-MAS Kovai express came behind RPM WAP7 30398.

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11028 was on PF1. My coach A1 was a very old 1993 make coach (The AC 3 Tier Coach B1 being of 2000 make) – and 5th from the loco – RPM WAP7 30394.

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I got my seat (30, an SUB) exchanged to 6 (another SUB, next to the door), as a gentleman who had been allotted seat 6 wanted to be with his family near seat 30. My ticket was checked – the TTE asked for my ID; I showed him my Pan Card. He told me that it was not original (it was apparently a colour copy); hence I had to show him my Driving License instead – that was thankfully original! πŸ˜€ We departed at 23 57, 2 mins late; with a standard whine of the white beast (this one had a HT as well as LT whine πŸ˜‰ ). I had a long sleep – though I woke up 2-3 times in between; when I finally got down from my berth, it was well past 8 am. We made 3 unscheduled stops (the first of them being a long one) before pulling into GTL (PF 5) at 08 42, 12 mins late. Here I spotted GY WDG3A 14627 coupled to its shed-mate 14625R (APU-fitted), as well as a shining LGD WAP4 22594.

We had a long halt of 35 mins, during which I had breakfast – comprising 3 dal vadas; as well as some coffee. A BOXN freight hauled by a WDG4 and WDG4D (70459 of KZJ) pulled in on the right; from the opposite direction. Announcements were made for 16381 CSMT-CAPE express to arrive 1 hr 5 mins late; and for 12628 NDLS-SBC Karnataka express to arrive 4 hours late. As we left the junction, there was a blue wall with a dead end on the right – a tanker train was standing on its other side. The track crossover speed was 15 kmph. We passed a canal before a WDG4D hauled train crossed us. We moved to a higher level through a gradient before a TSR of 50 kmph; following which we were on a slightly lower level. Then there were some bushes, shrubs, corn fields, stagnant ponds and another TSR of 15 kmph before Nancherla, where we crossed a diesel-hauled express and a stationary tanker rake.

I dozed off for a while, and after I woke up; we pulled into Adoni (PF 4) at 10 12, 44 mins late. 12163 DR-MS ‘Super’ express arrived at the same time (27 mins late) as we started; behind RPM WAP7 30320, on PF 1. We stopped after starting, before proceeding again. Passed huts, an LC full of vehicles, a school, a highway across us, rocky man-made hills, cottages, a mosque and a TSR of 75 kmph (with good lateral separation between the UP and DOWN lines); before pulling into Kupgal at 10 31, 52 mins late. Then there was more scenery in the form of shepherds leading a huge flock of sheep and goats, palm trees, bushes and shrubs; and forests in the distant right. After another LC, an ALCO-hauled flatbed-cum-covered BOXN freight crossed us. There was a road on the right as well as gangmen at work before Kosigi.

We then passed an Indian Oil petrol pump, cottages, huts, temples, an LC, coconut and palm trees and a muddy pond; before another unscheduled halt at Iranagallu on the mainline for 2 mins – as a train led by an EMD crossed us. Then there was more scenery such as small trees, bushes and shrubs, a huge flock of goats grazing, farmers (men and women) at work in the fields, marsh land, and a factory in the distant right; before we pulled into MALM (PF 1) at 11 04, 55 mins late. Quite a few families got down here.Β 12628 KK express left from PF 3 at 11 07, now 6 hrs 17 mins late!! :OΒ  Outside the station (on the right), there was a two-wheeler parking lot, as well as a share-auto stand; and a factory in the distant right.

On the left, a loaded BOXN rake led by AEB-fitted GY WDG4s 12493 and 12773 accelerated through the station without stopping (in the opposite direction); honking hard.

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We finally left at 11 23 ( 1 hr 13 mins late), after a long halt of 19 mins. There were huts near the station, and two water tanks (each with a capacity of 36500 litres!!). Then there was the famous Tungabhadra river

There were different kinds of fields (with lots of white flowers blooming) and a TSR of 75 kmph – each before and after Matmari. Then there were farmers at work, a tractor, a rectangular pond, construction workers with a cement mixer, different fields (again with white flowers), more ponds, rocky hills in the distant right, bushes and shrubs, coconut trees, a tractor at an LC; and a dry canal. The sights of cottages, huts, bungalows, apartments in the distant right, FCI factory, a yard with lot of lines, a platform under construction in the distant right, KJM WDP4D 40534, BPCL plants and scooters parked inΒ  shed; signalled the arrival of Raichur (PF 2) at 11 55 – 1 hr 12 mins late. A few people got in. From PF 1, 17621 AWB-RU express left behind GTL WDG3A 14784.

The exit from the junction was marked by the sights of cottages, a road underbridge, ML Nair Auditorium, a water tank, a stadium under construction, a highway across us, a lot of buildings, huts, a temple in ruins, a mosque and a stagnant pond. Then began the industrial sights such as MSPI and SLNKI factories. An unelectrified line branched off to the right. There was a TSR of 30 kmph after Yermaras. We passed KB Shreeji Factories before a freight hauled by GTL ALCO twins crossed us. Then there were more factories, refineries and plants with tall chimneys everywhere on the right. We overtook a bus, a car and a lorry on a highway on the right. Then there were some goats grazing before the cooling towers of the iconic Raichur Thermal Power Station loomed on the right

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A line from the RTPS joined us on the right and then a train hauled by an EMD crossed us – probably 11013 LTT-CBE express. There were gangmen on the tracks before we made yet another unscheduled halt, at Yadalapur; for a minute – a family with children crossed the tracks. There was a red flag placed on the second track from the right. After we crossed the Krishna river, there were bikers waiting at an LC. The loopline speed there was 15 kmph. Then there were again different kinds of fields (yet again with white flowers!), meadows and a solitary woman working in the fields. A short LHB rake crossed us led by an EMD. We had the next unscheduled halt at Chegunta, a scenic station with a track-level platform; for half a minute.

Then there was yet more scenery in the form of a big banyan tree, bushes, meadows, stagnant ponds; and farmers (men and women) busy threshing in the fields. The sights of LCs, roads starting from dead ends, huts, cottages, tempos, share-autos and tractors; signalled the arrival of Saidapur at 12 47, 58 mins late. There was a church on the right. After a halt of 7 mins, we departed with two blasts of the HT horn – really whiny and steam-like! πŸ˜€ A ballast-loaded BOXN rake hauled by twin WDG4Ds (Leading 70471 of BNDM) crossed us. Then there was more scenery in the form of cows, lambs and goats grazing, meadows; and trees here and there. I observed a line of solar panels, JCBs, lorries and cement mixers; before we overtook a BCNHL freight with blue ED WAG7 27486 at Lingiri. There were rocky hills yet again in the distant right, and a road on the immediate right.Β  Again there was freight action as a BOXN freight led by twin WDG4s crossed us.

There was lateral separation between the DOWN and UP lines, before the sights of a town in the right, a lot of short buildings and a warehouse in the distant right; signalled the arrival of Yadgir (PF 2) at 13 12, 58 mins late. Here we had a really long halt of 22 mins. I observed that the MPS of the station is 50 kmph.Β  The coal-loaded BOXNHL freight on PF3 left with a pure EMD horn. Another BOXN rake hauled by a KJM ALCO and (surprisingly) a WDP4D crossed at MPS. Then, the BCNHL freight that we had earlier overtaken at Lingiri; arrived on PF3.

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As we left, I had curd rice for lunch. There was a school, a dome-shaped building in the distant right, camp houses, irrigated fields, a bridge over a marshy river and rocky mountains (as usual!) in the distant right; before we had the next unscheduled halt at Thangundi for about 10 mins, on the mainline. It was clear that we would be stopped as much as possible, to utilize the massive slack we had before Wadi – where we were supposed to arrive at only 14 55!! By the way, the gentleman who was using the SLB; had told me that I could exchange my SUB for his berth – what luck!! πŸ˜‰ So, I slept on the SLB for a while. When I woke up, we were having a long halt at Wadi home signal! The loo on the left side had a really dirty washbasin 😦 .

After we finally departed, I observed a parrot on our right, and a TSR of 30 kmph. There was a highway across us before Halakatta – where a BCNHL rake was waiting to proceed towards SC. There were workers busy carrying sleepers in the distant right. Then there was a faded Pune WDM2 18720 as we finally reached Wadi at 14 58, 3 mins late. Our electric loco was detached – a diesel would take over till Pune. Time for me to finish this long blog post and resume in Part 2 – hope you have patiently read so far! πŸ˜‰

Technical Terms

HOG – Head-on-Generation (Power transferred from the loco to the coaches via a cable)

HT – High Tone

LT – Low Tone

APU – Auxiliary Power Unit (specifically for charging the loco batteries when it is idle)

TSR – Temporary Speed Restriction

LC – Level Crossing

ALCO – American Locomotive Company (and a class of diesel engines of the 1960s)

EMD – Electromotive Diesel (and a modern class of diesel engines)

AEB – Auto Emergency Brakes

LHB – Linke-Hoffman-Busch (German company whose technology is used to produce modern coaches – mostly seen in Rajdhanis, Shatabdis and Durontos)

MPS – Maximum Permissible Speed

Station Codes

MAS – Chennai Central

CSMT – Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (Mumbai CST with the “Maharaj” πŸ˜› )

CBE – Coimbatore

RPM – Royapuram

GTL – Guntakal

GY – Gooty

LGD – Lallaguda

KZJ – Kazipet

CAPE – Kanniyakumari

NDLS – New Delhi

SBC – Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna Bengaluru (just Bangalore City πŸ˜› )

DR – Dadar (Central)

MS – Chennai Egmore

MALM – Manthralayam Road

KJM – Krishnarajapuram

AWB – Aurangabad

RU – Renigunta

LTT – Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (Kurla Terminus)

BNDM – Bondamunda

ED – Erode

SC – Secunderabad

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