There was nothing for me to do at MMR station, except for trying (in vain) to get some sleep; while sitting in the waiting room on Platform 2. The constant announcements (useful for the passengers of course, though! ) didn’t help. At 04 45, I washed my face and brushed my teeth – at one of the washbasins the tap was not working, and the other washbasin was too dirty 😦 . So, I used the water bottle (that I had purchased in the previous night’s train Kushinagar express) to wash my face, as well as rinse my mouth and clean my brush before and after the teeth were brushed! 😛 Then I had some tea. Meanwhile, a BOXN freight hauled by Ajni WAG9 31438 and banked (yes! :O ) by KYN WAG9 31430 blasted through PF3 at MPS. 12879 LTT-BBS superfast arrived behind BSL WAP4 22913 on PF2. My train to Mumbai (22102 MMR-CSMT Rajyarani express) was on PF4, behind BSL WAP4 22791.
Oh yes – for my account on how I got here, please refer to Part 1: https://ashwinkumar1989.online/2018/03/03/half-a-day-and-300-miles-away-from-home-part-1/ . Coming back to Part 2, my coach D2 was in the standard blue-cyan livery seen in most trains in IR; it was an old 1994-manufactured coach. The coach was still partly locked, as it was an odd hour and probably very few passengers would board the train here – most would board from Nasik Road onwards.
The door at the front end was open; so I could manage to get in. 11093 CSMT-BSB Mahanagari express arrived on PF2 at 05 13, 23 mins late. On PF5 was 57516 Nanded Daund passenger. On PF6, an ALCO was idling with 57562 MMR-KCG passenger. At 05 23 (2 mins before our scheduled departure time), our LP blew the HT horn. We departed on the dot, with the LP blowing the HT horn again. A train blasted past us at MPS – probably 12167 LTT-BSB ‘Ratnagiri’ express. I observed that the loco for 57516 was GTL WDM3D 11120. There was a BCNA rake in the distant left. The coach was almost completely empty (just as I had expected!). A passenger was lying down on the seat on the left (he was going to Nasik Road; as he told the TTE when he came to check our tickets); he requested me to close the glass window, which I did – it was quite cold outside; and would be more so when the train was running at speed.
After crossing over the points, we soon picked up speed; and were blasting away through the darkness – with melodious HT honking all the way.
We crossed a container behind a WAG9 before Summit. I could not see much outside the glass window apart from some trees, LCs and lights of settlements flashing by. However, the honking (both LT and HT) and clickety clack track sounds were sheer music to the ears 🙂 . We blasted through Lasalgaon (a station at which 12110 Panchavati express stops 😉 ) at MPS at 05 48, and then crossed a BOXN freight with another WAG9. I was enjoying the track clatter whenever we blasted past a station (couldn’t even see most of the stations properly even when I went to the door; we were going like a rocket! 😛 ) and the “whoosh” sound whenever we crossed an LC. Ripped Odha at 06 10 before crossing a bridge over the murky Godavari river. The sights of lots of buildings, settlements, a hillock in the distant left, huts and cottages, an LC, a highway across us, and a big water tank on the left; announced the arrival of Nasik Road at 06 20, 7 mins late.
We had covered 73 km in 55 mins at an average of approximately 80 kmph, and were still 7 mins late; which underlined the slacklessness of the schedule so far! :O By the way, the coach filled up rapidly here; just as I had predicted 😛 . I opened the glass window at last here, as we departed after a halt of 2 mins; only to stop again for half a minute; before starting again. Since we started from a mainline platform, we picked up speed rapidly; and were blasting through some charming countryside scenery in the form of coconut trees, a stagnant and dirty stream, green fields; and trees and cottages here and there. There was an LC before we pulled into Devlali (again on a mainline platform 🙂 ) at 06 30, 7 mins late. Some families got in here. After a stop of 2 mins, we again picked up speed soon and blasted away through scenery – with mountain ranges in the far left.
There were many curves after Lahavit, and I could clearly see the full moon up in the sky :O . There was another stagnant stream before we had an unscheduled halt at Asvali on the mainline for 3 mins. Then there was yet another stagnant stream, followed by more scenery in the form of trees,mountains (including a plateau in the distant left), rock cuttings and curves.
A highway soon joined us on the left, but we were riding yellows; so the vehicles overtook us 😦 . There was a pond on the other side of the road.
There was a Herb Farm and then a river. I also got an opportunity to witness the sunrise 🙂 . Then we picked up speed again and blasted at MPS through Ghoti, overtaking a BOXN rake hauled by KYN WAG9 31668 at MPS – this was probably the culprit which had slowed us down! 😛 There was another stagnant stream and many curves; which gave me the pleasure of seeing our loco(with its pantograph up) and the entire train 🙂 . The HT horn blowing only added to the charm. There was a BCNHL freight on the left, as we pulled into IGP (PF4) at 07 18, 3 mins late. Some passengers as well as many vendors got in. I took this opportunity to have 2 Vada Pavs 😀 . We departed after a halt of 6 mins. The power for the BCNHL rake was twin KYN WCAG1s 21979 and 21972. I also managed to see a rare KYN WCM6 20188 with a tiny flatbed freight (comprising 5 wagons) in the distant left. Also spotted ED WDP4D 40180 (12618 Mangala Lakshadweep express‘ power till IGP?).
We began our descent down the Thull Ghats, and stopped in the first tunnel – there were totally 8 tunnels – the 2nd, 3rd, 5th and last were really long. There was a PSR of 30 kmph after TGR2, and a TSR of 35 kmph after the last tunnel. However, the ghats were somewhat dry 😦
After the 8th tunnel, we crossed a freight. There was a PSR of 25 kmph on a bridge. I saw KYN WAG7s 27124, 27319 and 27367 coupled together, along with many other WAG7 bankers; as well as KYN WCAM3s 21941 and 21952. We crossed a viaduct over a dry river (with a stagnant and dirty patch of water) as the ghats ended – I saw a board indicating the MPS of 55 kmph for 24-coachers and 60 kmph for others. There was an LPG tanker train on the left, as we pulled into Kasara at 08 01, 13 mins late. We departed after a halt of 2 mins, and I could hear flat wheel sounds now :O . There was a TSR of 30 kmph near Oombermali; after which we were blasting away.
We crossed an express led by a WAP4 while rounding a curve; and ripped through Thansit at 08 19. The melodious twin tones and clickety clack track sounds (along with flat wheel sounds 😛 ) were again sheer music to the ears 🙂 . We overtook vehicles on the highway. There was another TSR of 80 kmph before Atgaon which was on a big curve. Then there was a TSR of 85 kmph before we had an unscheduled halt at Bhairangi Bridge (over another dry river with dirty, stagnant patches of water) for 2 mins. I dozed off for a while. After I woke up, we passed over a river full of sewage (the bridge had yet another TSR); before blasting through Titvala at 08 58. There were palm trees and a road kept us company in the left before Ambivali. The LP seemed to have his hand on the horn buttons, as it was twin tone honking all the way (LT horns used more though) 😉 .
We crossed a train with WAP4 at a good speed – probably 15645 LTT-GHY express via Katihar. Saw National Peroxide Ltd in the distant left. We crossed Ulhas Creek with a dam and a factory in the left before Shahad. There was a KYN WCAM2P 21862 in the distant left in KYN yard. The turnout speed here was 15 kmph. As the SE line joined us, the turnout speed was now 25 kmph. Pulled into PF6 at 09 16, 28 mins late. A few people got in here! :O As we left after a halt of 2 mins, I observed that PF3 had a PSR of 30 kmph. We crossed 12534 Mumbai Lucknow Pushpak express headed by Ajni WAP7 30467.
We then had a fast run till the usual slow down before Diva to observe the PSR of 50 kmph before the LC; during which we overtook a slow local to CSMT before Kopar. As we picked up speed again, we crossed 11029 Mumbai Kolhapur Koyna express with an orange ALCO inside the Parsik tunnel. As we slowed down again to enter Thane, I noticed that the turnout speed for local trains is 30 kmph and 15 kmph for long distance trains. Pulled into the station at 09 38, 25 mins late. I then took a local starting from Thane. When we stopped at the outer for clearance, 12124 Pune Mumbai Deccan Queen overtook us behind KYN WCAM2P 21879. I spotted BL WAG7 28763 at Mulund yard, before getting down at Vikhroli and taking an auto to reach home by 10 30. Thus, I had been away from home for more than half a day (13 hours 15 mins to be precise 😉 ) ; and covered 473 km (almost 300 miles) by train (only considering the long distance ones 😛 ) – hence the weird title! 😛 Thanks in advance for having the patience to read all this! 😀
MPS – Maximum Permissible Speed
ALCO – American Locomotive Company (and a class of diesel engines of the 1960s)
HT – High Tone
LT – Low Tone
LP – Loco Pilot
LC – Level Crossing
PSR – Permanent Speed Restriction
TSR – Temporary Speed Restriction
TGR – Thull Ghat Reversing Cabin (Serves as brake testing halt for downhill trains)
MMR – Manmad
KYN – Kalyan
LTT – Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (or just Kurla Terminus 😛 )
BBS – Bhubaneswar
BSL – Bhusawal
CSMT – Mumbai CST
BSB – Varanasi
KCG – Kacheguda
GTL – Guntakal
IGP – Igatpuri
ED – Erode
GHY – Guwahati
BL – Valsad