Ah…a very long gap between this and Part 1 (of my journey by 11028 MAS-CSMT Mail, starting on last Dec 29) https://ashwinkumar1989.online/2018/01/21/a-long-return-to-home-part-1/ . Well, you have yet another trip to Chennai ( a stopover on the way to Trichy) at the end of this January; as well as a fat lot of work after returning – to thank for! 😛 As ever, refer to the legend right down; for all technical terms (won’t cover each and every one!) and station codes. Where were we? Our electric loco had been detached at Wadi, and the diesel loco to take over was Pune WDG3A 13581.
We departed at 15 31 (31 mins late), after two long blasts of the mellow LT horn (the HT horn was shrill). KZJ WDG4s 70048 and 12814 were heading a BCNA rake in the right. The loopline speed for freights was 10 kmph. There were red MFD vans on the right (don’t know for what purpose). We stopped very briefly, before our deemer started chugging away (once we crossed the yard limits) and accelerating.
The DOWN track was on a higher level for a while.
Then we crossed the perennial Kagini river (a sight for sore eyes always! 🙂 ), made even more charming by the presence of bovines grazing nearby.
Then there was an OHE Inspection Car (probably for checking the progress of electrification in this stretch). The sights of stone roofed huts, temples, a Plasser machine carrying rails and some people sitting on the rightmost track ( O! ) indicated the arrival of Shahabad at 15 47, 35 mins late. After a halt of 2 minutes, we departed – again with two blasts of the LT horn. There were mounds of stone waste, a moss filled pond, pits, plantains,a mosque, huts, cottages and another Plasser machine after the partly dry Shahabad Nallah. Then there were big factories on the right, followed by a variety of scenery – in the form of woods within the factory compounds, farmers (men as well as women) at work in the fields, plantains, trees, bushes and shrubs, meadows; and cows and grazing, led by shepherds.
There was again a lot of distance between the UP and DOWN tracks after Martur, and trees largely occupied the space between the tracks. After Hirenandaru, there was a line (on which poles were being erected) branching off to the right – wonder what line is this? meant for freights perhaps? Then there were a lot of cottages in neat rows and coconut groves in the distant right. There was a TSR of 95 kmph and then a PSR of 10 kmph, before a Coaching Complex and a road underbridge signalled the arrival of Gulbarga (Platform 1) at 16 13, 31 mins late. A few people got down here. The station had a lot of crowd as usual.
On PF4, there was an SCR train standing with Pune WDM3A 16215R (idling) – probably the 57628 GR-SUR passenger that we were to overtake (before it even started! 😛 ).
Soon, on PF2; a BOXN rake led by twin GY WDG4s (Leading – 12752) skipped the station (in the opposite direction), sounding its LT horn. Thus we had the first single line crossing in the journey! 😀
We finally departed at 16 23, after a halt of 10 mins. There was another road underbridge, followed by Wilco Enterprises and cottages – including a house with a huge portrait of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar on top :). Then there was a highway across us, followed a Group of Mother Teresa Institutions, Fincare (a small Finance bank) and a tractor attached to a cement mixer on the road. Then the line to Bidar curved away to the right.
Then there was some beautiful countryside scenery – various fields, buffaloes grazing and eucalyptus trees.
After Hunsil Hadgil, there were a lot of tourist vehicles (especially Tata Sumos), a road underbridge, villagers; and scenery — in the form of woods, coconut trees, bushes, shrubs and meadows. GUR station was reasonably crowded. There was a water tank and a board – “Alight here for Shri Dattatreya Temple”. A tanker train crossed us led by Raipur WDG4 12467, honking continuously.
Bells were then sounded, followed by two LT horns; as we left after a halt of 16 mins – only to stop again. Then the LP sounded many short blasts and a long blast of the LT horn, as we finally pulled out at 17 03, 51 mins late. We had a fast run through charming countryside scenery – different kinds of fields, a bridge over a dry river with a few stagnant patches of water, farmers at work, sugarcane fields and coconut groves; before Gaudgaon. After Gaudgaon, there was another bridge over a dry river, tent houses, a road underbridge, meadows, bushes and shrubs. We overtook an ACC Cement rake hauled by a WDG4D and a WDG4 at Kulali. There were gradients as the track went up and down alternatingly. Then there were desert plants, trash, shanties and huts, women carrying bundles of stick on their heads; and some construction work (probably related to doubling?) before we pulled into a fairly crowded Dudhani at 17 23, 44 mins late.
The pattern of sounding two long LT horns for the departure continued (this time, there was a gap of 1 minute between each note 😉 ). There were coconut trees, an LC with many vehicles, huts, a cart pulled by two bullocks, a road in parallel; and an excavator – indicating doubling work, again? There was also a factory in the distant right, followed by a bridge over another dry river with a stagnant patch of water, bovines led by shepherds to graze, huts and shanties, various fields and meadows before the ghost station Nagansur. The excavators, bulldozers and rails stacked up were indicative of the progress in doubling. There was another crowded LC as well as some huts as we pulled into Akalkot Road at 17 50, 36 mins late. Here 11301 CSMT-SBC Udyan express was waiting for us with Pune WDP4D 40157 – the AC 2 Tier coaches were all old. It left before we departed, after a minute’s halt.
On the road parallel to us, a bike overtook us. There was a tractor with two wagons and a small tanker lorry near a hut! :O Then there were sugarcane and maize fields, a lot of trees here and there, cow sheds with cattle, excavators for construction work, a pond, another packed LC; and a brightly lit factory at Tilati – with lines branching there. Then there were coconut trees, meadows, another road in parallel with lots of lorries and tractors loaded with hay; and a brightly lit factory in the right – before we pulled into a charming and old-school Hotgi Jn. (with lots of trees and a track-level platform) at 18 12, 37 mins late. A few families got in. Then there were lots of stray sleepers and rails as well as huts and cottages. We overtook a few bikes before an orange ALCO crossed us with a short train – probably 57133 BJP-RC passenger.
There was a brightly lit sugar factory in the right before Tikekarwadi – whose stench (of molasses) was overpowering (even inside the AC coach) 😛 .Then there was a stagnant pond before the brightly lit town of Solapur approached. There was a highway across us and a road underbridge, as well as Kurla WDM3A 16049R with a solitary coach after the yard – probably the slip coach (S11) to be attached to our rear, which would go till Daund and then get attached to 11039 Kolhapur Gondia Maharashtra express. We pulled into Solapur (PF3) at 18 31, only 21 mins late – due to slack.
Quite a few people got down, and an almost equal number of people got in as well 😀 . The coach was cleaned thoroughly. On PF2, 11032 BJP-SUR express arrived behind Pune WDM3A 18612R – with the same LT horn as that of ours! 😉 22133 SUR-YPR superfast departed from PF4 with a long HT horn. We left after a long halt of 17 mins at 18 48, 28 mins late. There were tall buildings, a road underbridge, cottages and huts; before we crossed a freight with an EMD – before Bale. There was a factory at Pakni. Since the loos in the front end of our coach were occupied, I used a Western bio toilet in the B1 coach ahead-alas, very less water gushed out! 😦 . We crossed another freight hauled by an ALCO after Mundhewadi. An LHB train crossed us at Mohol – probably 11017 LTT-KIK express. We crossed yet another EMD-led freight at Malikpeth.
An ALCO-hauled train that was waiting for us at Madha, departed after we entered. There was a BCNA freight in the distant right. At Kurduvadi, there was a train waiting on the right side (with the mainline in between); as we entered. This train departed. I had a decent dinner of Veg. Biryani. At Kem, a train chugged past us led by an ALCO having a pure EMD horn. When we left, it was 20 42; and we were running 46 mins late – but I knew we would make up some time because of the slack ahead. I decided to call it a day and lie down on my SLB. However, I was not able to sleep immediately. I heard a sharp thunk! as a stone was thrown at the glass (before the Bhigwan bridge) – indicative of the stone-pelting that goes on in the notorious dacoity-prone section between Kurduvadi and Daund.
When I finally woke up, we were already pulling into CSMT. It was 04 03 when we were berthed on PF17, 18 mins late. Our electric loco from Pune was maroon-brown liveried and AC-converted KYN WCAM2-6P 21876. On PF16, an LHB special to Karmali was waiting behind Pune WDM3D 11224. Behind the rake were twin KYN WDG3As 13426 and 13496. I took a local to Vikhroli and then an auto to reach home at 05 20. Hope I haven’t bored you with this long monologue of a report!!
LT – Low Tone
HT – High Tone
OHE – Overhead Equipment
TSR – Temporary Speed Restriction
PSR – Permanent Speed Restriction
LP – Loco Pilot
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)
LHB – Linke-Hoffman-Busch (German company whose technology is used to produce modern coaches – mostly seen in Rajdhanis, Shatabdis and Durontos)
MAS – Chennai Central
CSMT – Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (Mumbai CST with the ‘Maharaj’ 😛 ! )
KZJ – Kazipet
GR – Gulbarga
SUR – Solapur
GY – Gooty
GUR – Ganagapur Road
SBC – Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna Bengaluru (or just Bangalore City 😛 )
BJP – Bijapur
RC – Raichur
YPR – Yeshwantpur
LTT – Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (or just Kurla Terminus 😛 )
KIK – Karaikal
KYN – Kalyan