Mega Block Blues – Part 2

Where were we? Ah! The  megablock of Sunday March 11th…it had taken its toll on 11024 KOP-CSMT Sahyadri express – as it took 2 hrs 45 mins to cover a distance of merely 63 km from Pune to LNL – at a speed of approximately 23 kmph – something that could have been achieved by a bicycle 😛 ;as my colleague said. For an account of this tortoise-like run, please refer https://ashwinkumar1989.online/2018/03/14/mega-block-blues-part-1/ . Pune division of CR had delayed this train by 1 hr 13 mins; it was upto Mumbai division (to which this train belongs) to make amends/delay the train further/maintain the delay. The 10 10 local from LNL to Pune was the latest casualty of the mega block 😛 . Meanwhile, I dozed off; only to be woken up some 20 mins later – as the TTE came and just asked me my name and seat number; not even my ID! 😛 He asked me if I would like to climb on the SUB opposite our bay (since it had become free), but I politely declined; since my intention to just take a nap.

We were at Monkey Hill, Khandala. There was a TSR of 30 kmph soon after, and I could hear mild flat wheel sounds now. There was another TSR of 30 kmph after Thakurwadi, and 11025 BSL-Pune express crossed us behind a WAP4. We stopped at Jambrung for half a minute (in addition to the technical halts at MHC and Thakurwadi), as KYN WCAM3 bankers 21956 and 21935 overtook us on the UP line (we were on the midline). I observed that there were 3 viaducts on the UP line further down. There were also two big curves before we stopped at Palasdhari for half a minute. Then there was a PSR of 15 kmph before a big curve signalled the approach to KJT yard; which had a PSR of 8 kmph (O!) for container freights and 10 kmph for other goods trains. There was a short BOBYN rake and a long Container rake on the left, and an unmarked CR AC LHB rake on the right; before we pulled into the junction at 11 02 (1 hr 14 mins late) – on Platform 2.

On PF1, there was an LPG tanker freight (with a BCNA wagon at the front) led by KYN WDG4D 70380. Meanwhile, I had 2 Vada Pavs. We departed after a halt of only 1 min, with a shrill HT horn (seems our loco – KYN WCAM3 21963 – has two HT horns 😉 ). There was a quick run before we slowed down, as gangmen were busy at work; and pulled into Neral for our next halt. We stopped briefly after starting. However, once we were moving again; the LP was only too keen to try and recover lost time – we blasted away with melodious clickety clack track sounds.

There were many curves, which gave me the opportunity to view our loco as it raced away with our train 🙂 ; accompanied by melodious honking (mostly the LT as well the shrill HT horn) and of course the track sounds – a delight for any rail enthusiast! 🙂 I saw Pranjee Garden City after Badlapur, and a ground near DMART – where many cars were parked. There were boys playing cricket on another ground. At Vithalwadi, there was a sign on the catenary mast – “Loco/Rolling Stock with height more than 4.42 metres not permitted” :O . We arrived at KYN at 11 51(1 hr 19 mins late), on Platform 6. The local on PF7 started before us. The coach emptied rapidly and we departed after a halt of 3 mins. 11055 LTT-GKP Godaan express crossed us with ET WAP4 22886, 12542 LTT-GKP Sant Kabir Dham express crossed us behind BSL WAP4 22631; and 12869 CSMT-HWH LHB Weekly superfast crossed us led by SRC WAP4 22365.

We overtook a local before Kopar; only for it to overtake us again as we stopped just before Thane for clearance. Then 16345 LTT-TVC Netravathi express crossed us hauled by GOC WDP4D 40102.

20180311_121238

We finally pulled into Thane (Platform 6) at 12 16, 1 hour 19 mins late. I got down here – so we had more or less maintained the delay from LNL onwards! 😛 I made my way to PF1, so that I could board a local originating from the station (to go till Vikhroli, from where I would take an auto to reach home). Meanwhile, as I waited; a petrol tanker freight hauled by Ajni WAG9 31404 passed through PF5. 12072 Jalna Dadar Jan Shatabdi arrived behind KYN WDM3D 11356 at 12 32, 45 mins late; on PF6. Both the AC Chair Car coaches were relatively new – C1 was of a 2015 make and C2 was of a 2017 make. The train departed after a halt of 3 mins, with a sharp HT horn blown by the LP. A WCAM3 heading an Engineering/Observation Car passed through PF8. Then came an announcement that no local would depart from PF1; all locals towards CSMT would depart only from PF4! 😦

I had thought of taking a local starting from Thane, to avoid the typical megablock rush; which would prevail in locals coming from Dombivli/KYN/stations further away from KYN (like Ambernath, Karjat, Titvala, Kasara etc.). However, this option was now ruled out. So I instead decided to buy a First Class ticket and board any local on PF4. However, there was some rush in First Class as well; so it was a big relief when I finally got down at Vikhroli. I had Boiled Egg Fry at a Punjabi restaurant nearby before taking an auto to reach home by 13 45. Thus ended another crazy little trip 😛 .

Technical Terms

TSR – Temporary Speed Restriction

PSR – Permanent Speed Restriction

LHB – Linke-Hoffman-Busch (German company whose technology is used to produce modern coaches – mostly seen in Rajdhanis, Shatabdis and Durontos)

LP – Loco Pilot

HT – High Tone

LT – Low Tone

Station Codes

KOP – Kolhapur

CSMT – Mumbai CST

LNL – Lonavala

MHC – Monkey Hill, Khandala

KYN – Kalyan

KJT – Karjat

LTT – Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (or just Kurla Terminus 😛 )

GKP – Gorakhpur

ET – Itarsi

BSL – Bhusawal

HWH – Howrah

SRC – Santragachchi

TVC – Trivandrum

GOC – Golden Rock (Ponmalai)

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