The start of a whirlwind trip : Part 2

To refresh your memories, it is the continuation of my previous blog post   https://ashwinkumar1989.online/2018/02/06/the-start-of-a-whirlwind-trip-part-1/ – detailing my journey by 11027 Mumbai Chennai Mail, starting on Jan 25th. As we left SUR, I saw three self-propelled Auxiliary Tool Vans. There was a PSR of 15 kmph. It was a pleasant surprise to see a navy blue ‘Jai Bhim’ flag flying high! There were a lot of buildings and a highway across us, before we crossed a passenger led by a Pune ALCO. Then there were a lot of huts, cottages and shanties, a road underbridge; and a trolley pushed by the gangmen on the rails – before Tikekarwadi. It was a pleasure to hear the continuous honking and hard chugging of our ALCO all the way! An EMD-hauled train with 6 AC coaches and a Jan Shatabdi-liveried coach crossed us – probably 11302 SBC-CSMT Udyan express.

After Hotgi, unmetalled roads gave us company for a while. There were also corn fields, road underbridges, tractors, lorries, excavators and mounds of mud and stones – indicative of construction work going on. An ALCO-headed train with 4 AC coaches crossed us – probably 16352 NCJ-CSMT Balaji express. As we pulled into Akalkot Road at 11 26 (1 hr 6 mins late), there was a unique yellow machine on the rightmost track; and a BCNA freight on the immediate right – hauled by twin Pune WDG3As (leading-13581). Interestingly, 13581 was the loco that hauled my 11028 from Wadi to Pune last December! 😉 As we departed, there were a lot of vehicles (especially bikes) waiting at the LC. We overtook a lorry on rails and then crossed a stationary train with 5 AC coaches hauled by a Pune ALCO at Nagansur – probably 19419 MAS-ADI bi-weekly express.

There was a man-made pond and then a line on our right till Boroti, as well as mounds of stones and ballast, levelled land, an OHE van and sleepers stacked up after Boroti – indicating the good progress in doubling. There was also scenery in the form of cows and goats led by shepherds, corn fields, plantains, a lot of buffaloes grazing; and a bridge over a dry river. Again, there was a lot of construction work (this time, probably related to doubling) with lorries, excavators, stones and mud piled up below; as we pulled into Dudhani at 11 55, 1 hr 7 mins late. There was a Pune WDG4 12684 heading a BCNA rake in the opposite direction. We had a longer halt than usual (of 7 mins), as another BCNA rake led by a WDG4D and WDG4 crossed us at a good speed; with a horn that sounded like a donkey’s bray! 😛

We departed with furious chugging and continuous honking (of both the HT horns), as seen in this video.

Again, there was levelled land (with a line giving us company on the right for a while) and ballast and sleepers piled up till Kulali. Though the ALCO was putting up a furious show, the ride was not very smooth. There was a tractor with two carts and rows of ballast neatly stacked up. There was a gradient, as we were on a higher level for a while. I saw some Ashok Leyland lorries, a JCB; and a BOBYN rake hauled by GY WDM3D 11437 and GY WDM3A 14023R in the opposite direction – as we had an unscheduled halt for a minute at Gaudgaon. There was an ACC Cement freight led by KZJ WDG4s 12786 and 12614 in the opposite direction, at GUR. This freight strangely moved backwards (slightly) before starting! :O As we exited, I saw a road underbridge, as well as a cement-mixer like structure on top of a bullock-cart! :O

Again, there were signs of doubling, evidenced by ballast and sleepers piled up, land levelled; and gangmen hard at work after Hunsil Hadgil – lifting a sleeper. Then a road gave us company for a while, followed by eucalyptus trees. We pulled into GR at 12 53 (1 hr 8 mins late), where I spotted an SCR passenger with APU-fitted Kurla WDM3A 16750R in the opposite direction. Here, the food I had ordered online through railyatri.in was duly delivered 🙂 – jeera rice with dal. The food was extremely tasty; however there was no spoon, so I had to eat with my hands! :O There were buffaloes grazing, as well as stone huts and cottages before Shahabad – which had two-wheelers near the platform. Then came the perennial and beautiful Kagini river 🙂 .

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A coal-laden BOXN freight led by twin WDG4s (with original GM-EMD cab) crossed us on the UP line (which was below us for a while). There was a PSR of 10 kmph on the line to the ACC Cement plant; also, poles were being laid. Then there were a few bulls grazing. Jellies were being loaded onto tractors. The approach to Wadi was signalled by a Gandhi English Medium School, XSEED Education, tractors with carts carrying sleepers, SBI office; and 2 huge water tanks. We arrived at 13 30 (40 mins late only, obviously due to slack 😛 ) on Platform 2. Here, an electric engine would take over for the rest of the run upto Chennai. Sorry to again play spoilsport by taking the blog to Part 3! Hope you haven’t become bored already! 😛

Technical Terms

PSR – Permanent Speed Restriction

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

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

OHE – Overhead Equipment

HT – High Tone

LC – Level Crossing

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

Station Codes

SUR – Solapur

SBC – Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna Bengaluru (or just Bangalore City 😛 )

CSMT – Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (Mumbai CST with the ‘Maharaj’ 😛 )

NCJ – Nagercoil

MAS – Chennai Central

ADI – Ahmedabad

GY – Gooty

KZJ – Kazipet

GUR – Ganagapur Road

GR – Gulbarga

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