Time for me to wrap up my account of the last leg of the whirlwind trip – the journey by 11028 Chennai Mumbai Mail. Where had we left off? The change-over from electric to diesel at Wadi. For the first part, refer https://ashwinkumar1989.online/2018/02/14/the-end-of-a-whirlwind-trip-part-1/ . Our diesel power was APU-fitted Pune WDM3A 14093R.
We departed at 15 10 (10 mins late), after a halt of half an hour. The power for the tanker train in the right was twin ALCOs – leading: Pune WDG3A 14904. We overtook Twin WDG4Ds (leading – 70512 of VSKP) and also crossed a BOXN freight headed by KZJ WDG4 12913 and KZJ WDG4D 70594.
The perennial Kagina river was, as ever, a sight for sore eyes 🙂 .
The 2nd pic is currently my laptop wallpaper 😉 . Strangely, our LT horn sounded like an electric-type horn found in many EMDs! After Shahabad, there were many stone huts and cottages, plantains, a rather dry Shahabad Nallah; and Shahabad Cement Works factory. This was followed by forests; there were many trees behind the wall of the AIDYO Foundation – there were even huts in villages, in which ‘AIDYO’ was marked. An orange ALCO crossed us with a BOXN rake before Hirenanduru. There were two lines going to factories. Gangmen were standing on the top of an OHE Inspection Car with a pantograph – most probably to inspect the electrification progress. Then there were rows of coconut trees, tent houses and a college; as well as a TSR of 95 kmph. The sights of a coaching depot, a battery charge room and a coaching complex indicated the arrival of GR (Platform 1) at 15 50, 8 mins late.
There was a big crowd here, and a few families got in. After a 3-minute halt, we departed with a short as well as a long blast of the HT horn. As we exited, there were BCNA freights on the right; followed by a temple, huts and cottages, a road underbridge, Willco Enterprises, a huge portrait of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar on top of a house 🙂 , more buildings, a highway across us, Mother Teresa English Medium School, Fincare; and Mother Teresa College of Science. Then there was the usual countryside scenery – bovines being shepherded to graze, eucalyptus trees, corn fields, bushes, shrubs and meadows; and huts and cottages. We had an unscheduled halt at Sawalgi for 9 mins. On the far left, there was a BOXN rake led by twin EMDs – in the same direction as us. In the main line in between; a BCNHL freight hauled by KZG WDG4D 70456 and KZG WDG4 12852 crossed us at a good speed, honking hard.
Then there was a road underbridge, followed by arid, burnt land; with trees here and there. After Hunsil Hadgil, there were coconut trees, a road underbridge, shanties; and share autos and Tata Sumos waiting. At GUR, there was a good crowd.
There was a BCNA rake led by EMD in the same direction as us; on the far left. In the mainline in between, 18520 LTT-VSKP express crossed us at MPS; headed by a madly honking KYN WDP4D 40372. We left at 16 40 (28 mins late), after a stop of 9 mins. There were coconut groves, lambs and goats grazing, and a dry river with stagnant patches of water; before Gaudgaon. Then there were lots of trees, corn and sugarcane fields, huts and cottages, a road underbridge, and a BCNA freight on our right; as we pulled into Kulali for another unscheduled halt – of 5 mins. A car carrier freight led by UBL WDG4 12141 with a sore-throat honk accelerated past us. Here is a compilation of all our 3 crossings in this single-line section:
Meanwhile, I noticed that our coach had last been POHed in March 2017. The Western toilet at the rear was dirty 😦 . In terms of the landscape, there was no drastic change – the usual cows being shepherded to graze, neem trees; and desert plants in arid, burnt land. We were held up at Dudhani home signal for a minute, before pulling into the station at 17 14; 35 mins late. There was a decent crowd here, and some people got in. A freight arrived on the left side, and we departed after a halt of only a minute. After the usual countryside scenes of corn and sugarcane fields, bullock carts, cows grazing, coconut trees, and men and women busy working in the fields; there was some construction work with lorries and excavators. Then there was a factory, a lorry dumping jellies on the road, tractors; and wheat being loaded into another lorry. There was also a TSR on another bridge over a dry river with a few stagnant patched of water.
We crossed the stationary 57133 BJP-RC passenger hauled by Kurla WDM3A 16367R at Boroti, and blasted through the usual countryside scenery again.
We also blasted past a waiting 11301 CSMT-SBC Udyan express (on the left) at Nagansur. JCBs were, as ever, a sign of the doubling work going on. There was also an unmetalled road with underbridges, an old lady carrying sticks on her head and shepherding a herd of lambs and goats (with a man right at the back), and an LC with two wheelers and a Tata Magic School van; before we pulled into Akkalkot Road – a scenic station with a lot of trees, including two with magenta flowers. The MPS here was 100 kmph.
As we departed, there was a Plasser machine leading a Camping coach.
Our deemer chugged its heart out, and accelerated well.
Before Tilati, there was a factory in the right; with a giant chimney billowing smoke. Then there was the Zuari Cements factory at Tilati.
An express led by an EMD crossed us at MPS, followed by a coconut trees and a mosque. We overtook vehicles on a road giving us company on the right. There was another factory on the right; from which a line emerged. The full moon could be seen clearly! :O Then there were huts, cottages and shanties before Hotgi. As we left, there was a small school; followed by families in small tents, corn and sugarcane fields, tractors with two carts loaded with people, more tractors with huge haystacks, an LC with vehicles, a sugar factory, and villages and little towns; before Tikekarwadi. Then there was another highway across us and a road underbridge, before the approach to SUR. The rake of 11051 SUR-KOP express was parked in the yard.
Pune WDM3A 16215R was heading a solitary coach with quite a few passengers in the opposite direction – this was probably the S11 slip coach to be attached at the end of our rake at SUR; to proceed till Daund, and then get attached to 11039 Kolhapur Gondia Maharashtra express. There was a bike parking lot in the right, followed by the rake of 22133 SUR-YPR superfast headed by UBL WDP4B 40046; as we pulled into SUR (PF3) at 18 20, only 10 mins late – thanks to some slack. There was a big crowd as usual. Here, I had an early dinner of fried rice; duly delivered by https://www.railyatri.in/ 🙂 . The taste was just ok though 😦 .We left after a halt of 16 mins, with a short HT horn; followed by a long blast of the LT horn, as well as a long blast of the HT horn.
Now it was too dark to notice much outside the glass windows. I settled into reading the book ‘My Father Baliah’ by Y.B.Satyanarayana – a heart-warming true story about a Dalit family in A.P and Telangana; that I had been reading. At around 8 pm, as we departed from Kurduvadi; I retired to my SUB. After sleeping for a while, I was woken up by an urge to use the toilet. We were having a long halt at Daund. 12026 SC Pune Shatabdi overtook us at MPS with pure EMD honking. Though I had clambered back to my berth, I couldn’t sleep immediately. We had a fast run to Pune, which was reached by 23 32; 7 mins late. Quite a few people got in. After this, I had a more successful sleep. When I woke up again, we had just departed Thane. The coach was now half empty. I brushed my teeth, as we had a blistering run to Dadar; our e-loco having a steam-like HT toot.
Finally pulled into CSMT at 03 55, 10 mins late; on PF14. As I got down, I observed that our coach was being inspected for damage by staff using torch lights – there were big cracks near the rear door and small cracks below the window 😦 . Our loco from Pune was KYN WCAM3 21899. I then boarded the 04 15 Slow local to Kasara (first Local to leave CSMT in the morning) , and took an auto from Vikhroli; to reach home by 05 10. The whirlwind trip had finally come to an end. Thanks for patiently reading this long blog! 😀
HT – High Tone
LT – Low Tone
APU – Auxiliary Power Unit (specifically for charging the loco batteries when it is idle)
EMD – Electromotive Diesel (and a modern class of diesel engines)
ALCO – American Locomotive Company (and a class of diesel engines of the 1960s)
OHE – Overhead Equipment
TSR – Temporary Speed Restriction
LC – Level Crossing
MPS – Maximum Permissible Speed
POH – Periodic Overhauling
VSKP – Vizag
KZJ – Kazipet
GR – Gulbarga
LTT – Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (or just Kurla Terminus 😛 )
KYN – Kalyan
UBL – Hubli
GUR – Ganagapur Road
BJP – Bijapur
RC – Raichur
CSMT – Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (Mumbai CST with the ‘Maharaj’ 😛 )
SBC – Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna Bengaluru (or just Bangalore City 😛 )
SUR – Solapur
KOP – Kolhapur
YPR – Yeshwantpur
SC – Secunderabad