For a change (after all those big trips 😀 ), I decided to have a one-day railfanning trip to Pune. I was to take 11029 Mumbai Kolhapur Koyna express on Feb 25th. Being a Sunday, I would normally have got up around 9 am; but this time I had to wake up at 06 30 – with the help of an alarm in my smartphone. My sister too got up much earlier than she would have; to make coffee for me (since Mom was away in Chennai). I then took a bath and left home by 07 30. Took an auto to Vikhroli, where I had the pleasure of watching 10103 CSMT-MAO Mandovi express led by UBL WDP4B 40010 (has it reverted back to UBL link from the KYN link? ) cross 22144 Bidar Mumbai superfast hauled by KYN WDM3D 11243 with a mellow LT horn. I then took a local to Dadar; managed to get a seat easily, being a Sunday – on weekdays it would not have been possible.
We were deposited on Platform 3 at Dadar; so I did not need to use the FOB, as Koyna usually arrives on the adjacent PF4. KYN WDM3D 11470 had brought 11004 Tutari express from Savantwadi Road. Maroon-brown AC converted KYN WCAM2-6P 21876 had brought 11022 TEN-DR Chalukya express from Pune. On PF4, 11301 CSMT-SBC Udyan express arrived behind KYN WCAM3 21954.
All the AC coaches were really old except for H1 (2006 make) and A2 (2008 make). The loco had a very melodious double-tone LT horn that was not too different from what most ALCOs have. The train stopped after starting; before starting again after 2 mins. Later, 12290 NGP-CSMT Duronto passed through PF6 with Ajni WAP7i 30514. There was more skipping action as 12534 Mumbai Lucknow Pushpak express blasted through PF4, headed by Ajni WAP7 30265. Koyna later arrived (on PF4, of course!) behind Pune WDM3D 11378.
My coach C1 was a very old 1996 coach. All seats were facing backwards 😦 . My seat (29) was an Aisle seat in a row of 2; and the view from the window was also very limited 😦 . We departed at 08 56, 3 mins late; with a pure EMD horn from our deemer. We soon picked up speed and were blasting through the Mumbai suburbs. Saw Toyo Technology Centre and a huge water tank at Kanjurmarg. We overtook a stationary tanker train led by UBL WDG4D 70458 at Mulund yard; in the distant right was KYN WDG4 12763. Then we had a very brief unscheduled halt at Mulund for half a minute; during which 12152 HWH-LTT Samarsatta express blasted past in the distant right, running more than 2 hours late. There was a Tower Wagon Shed on the right before we pulled into Thane at a decent speed at 09 18 (on time). Quite a few families got in during the 3-minute halt.
There were OBHS staff busy cleaning up near the doorway. We blasted through the Parsik Tunnel at MPS. I must mention that the transition jerk from our WDM3D was strong. I had the pleasant surprise of seeing an elusive KYN WCM6 20187 (strangely, in a blue WAG7 livery :O ) after Diva.On the line from Roha, 71092 Roha-Diva DEMU was waiting.We then crossed a container rake. Crawled near Thakurli and had a race with a slow local, before a WAP7 hauled train with 8 AC coaches crossed us. There were gangmen busy at work, as we almost stopped at KYN home signal – in the distant right was Pune WDG4 12997. Finally pulled into KYN at 09 42, 10 mins late. Again, quite a few families got in. The TTE entered the coach and told a few people that the train was full; so they had to get down (most unfortunately!). We left after a long halt of 9 mins.
My ticket was duly checked – by the way, I had been sitting in the window seat so far; now I had to vacate, since the guy who was to sit here finally boarded 😉 . There was an elderly MST holder right behind. We were having a somewhat jerky run. I had breakfast comprising 2 bread cutlets. Having vacated the window seat, I dozed off for a while. When I woke up, we had crossed Lonavala. One of the Indian toilets at the rear was dirty 😦 . We sped through some beautiful scenery in the form of trees and the perennial Indrayani river near Kamshet.
Both our LT and HT horns were variations of the same tune. There were some ponds after Kanhe. I saw a place called Siddharth Valley before we pulled into Talegaon at 11 45, 6 mins late. A few people got in during the 2-minute halt. I observed boys playing cricket at a ground. The 2S coach behind us was quite crowded. We were held up at Chinchwad home for half a minute. There were some slums before we finally pulled into Chinchwad at 12 04, 5 mins late. A few people got down and two men got in during the 2-minute stop. To my luck, seats 44 and 45 became vacant. Of course, I took the window seat 45 😀 . Then 11026 Pune BSL express crossed with a WAP4. We ripped through Kasarwadi at MPS before passing Brazewell Industrial shed and a tractor. I saw 51318 Pune KJT passenger slowly entering Dapodi.
At Khadki, 17321 UBL LTT express (via SUR) slowly crossed us through the mainline; hauled by UBL WDG4 12326. In the distant right, there was a departmental rake. During the sedate run to SVJR, vehicles overtook us on the road. There were two road underbridges and some scenery with many trees. We passed Viraaj Skoda service centre before arriving at SVJR at 12 22, 3 mins late. A few families deboarded during the 1-minute halt. I observed Sancheti Hospital and the hostel of College of Engineering, Pune on the right. There was a TSR of 90 kmph and then a PSR of 30 kmph for mail/express trains and 15 kmph for freights. Again, road vehicles overtook us as we crawled. After crossing the Sangam bridge over the dirty Mula-Mutha river, an unelectrified line joined us from the slums on the right. It looked to be unused. Any idea which line is this?
As we entered Pune yard, I saw the rake of 12939/40 Pune Jaipur superfast on the right; and TKD WAG9 31261 (The IRFCA Loco Database shows this as belonging to Ajni) on the left. As we pulled into Platform 3 at 12 33 (7 mins early 🙂 ), I observed Pune WDM3D 11347 (in blue-white livery) next to its shed-mate WDG3A 14886. On PF1 was the rake of 11025 BSL Pune express. On a siding next to PF2, a BCNA freight headed by BSL WAG5s 23652 and 23658 passed through without stopping :O . An announcement was made for 12222 Howrah Pune Duronto to arrive at 12 45 (1 hour late) on PF2. Please wait for Part 2 – to read about the return to Mumbai! 😉
LT – Low Tone
HT – High Tone
FOB – Foot Overbridge
EMD – Electromotive Diesel (and a modern class of diesel engines)
ALCO – American Locomotive Company (and a class of diesel engines of the 1960s)
OBHS – Onboard Housekeeping Services
MPS – Maximum Permissible Speed
DEMU – Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (or just diesel local train 😛 )
MST – Monthly Season Ticket
TSR – Temporary Speed Restriction
PSR – Permanent Speed Restriction
IRFCA – Indian Railways Fan Club Association
CSMT – Mumbai CST
MAO – Madgaon
UBL – Hubli
KYN – Kalyan
TEN – Tirunelveli
DR – Dadar (Central)
SBC – Bangalore City
NGP – Nagpur
HWH – Howrah
LTT – Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (or just Kurla Terminus 😛 )
KJT – Karjat
SVJR – Shivajinagar
TKD – Tukhlaqabad
BSL – Bhusawal