Yes. Yet another outing to Pune – hope you won’t get bored by now 😛 . Nearly a month ago, I had made a similar trip in order to buy Shrewsbury biscuits from the famous Kayani bakery – only to end up buying from Naaz Bakery (which is not as good as the former) instead; as I learned (after going all the way to Pune 😛 ) that Kayani is closed on Sundays. For the blogs of said trip in February, please refer https://ashwinkumar1989.online/2018/02/28/a-sunday-excursion-to-pune-part-1/ and https://ashwinkumar1989.online/2018/03/01/a-sunday-excursion-to-pune-part-2/ . This time I was determined to buy the same biscuits from Kayani instead (along with Mava Cakes – which Kayani is additionally famous for); so I decided to go on a Saturday (24th March) instead. Another purpose of the trip was to meet my friend – railfan Jyothish KD; who had recently relocated to Pune from his hometown in Kerala.
The train of choice for the onward journey was 11301 CSMT-SBC Udyan express. On the day of the trip; I woke up at around 6 am, had coffee, bathed and took an auto to Vikhroli station; to board a local to Dadar. KYN WDM3D 11362 had brought 11004 Savantwadi Road Dadar Tutari express to Dadar. Chocolate boy KYN WCAM2-6P 21862 had brought 11022 TEN-DR Chalukya express from Pune. Another chocolate boy KYN WCAM2-6P 21878 had brought 12164 Chennai Dadar ‘Super’ express from Pune. Platform 4; from where I was to board Udyan, was quite crowded. The train came behind KYN WCAM3 21950.
My coach S4 was 17th from the loco. There was a mad scramble to get in, as the front door was locked (by troublesome unreserved passengers in the coach, I bet!) and we had to squeeze in through the rear door. Departed at 08 27, 2 mins late. The front door was soon opened though, thankfully; passengers at KYN would have had less of a problem getting in! The coach was of a 2015 make, and thus had mobile charging sockets in all bays as well as biotoilets 🙂 . We blasted through Thane at MPS; before passing the dirty and shallow Thane Creek, the Transharbour lines curving away to the right, the Thane bypass line for Transharbour freights joining us on the left; and then the Parsik tunnel in less than a minute, crossing a fast local in the process.
I had breakfast comprising a bread omlette – it was just ok; not surprising by Udyan’s catering standards ever since it got transferred from SWR to CR! 😛 71092 Roha Diva DEMU had arrived in the distant right at Diva. A train crossed us behind a Duronto-liveried WAP7. After Dombivli, we had a race with a BCNA freight led by GY WDG4s 12419 and 12421; before being held up at KYN home signal for clearance – as 11010 Pune Mumbai Sinhagad express crossed us, hauled by yet another chocolate boy KYN WCAM2-6P. Pulled into KYN at 09 07, 5 mins late. A lot of people got in here. On the right, 22102 MMR-CSMT Rajyarani express was standing behind BSL WAP4 22846. We departed at 09 09, only to stop after 2 mins; as Rajyarani departed, 21 mins late. We departed once and for all a minute later.
Meanwhile, I settled into an intermittent sleep with many breaks in between; finally waking up as we arrived at KJT at 09 52 on PF1 – a technical halt for bankers to be attached at the rear, for the climb up the Bhor Ghats. 12220 SC-LTT Duronto skipped the station in style; its loco GY WDP4D 40378 honking loudly. Bankers KYN WCAM3 21935 and 21962 crossed slowly later. We departed at 10 02 after a long halt of 10 mins (unusual since most trains halt here for 5 mins at worst), after 2 shrill HT toots from our WCAM3. We passed bankers KYN WAG7s 27126, 27397 and 27101 coupled together. By the way, our coach was quite crowded. An announcement was made for 11024 KOP-CSMT Sahyadri express to arrive shortly on PF2. I soon went to the front door to observe the Bhor Ghats. During the curves, I could make out that we were being pushed by a Tigerface WAG7 triplet 🙂 . The view from the Sahyadri mountain ranges was quite breaktaking, despite being not as green as during the monsoons 🙂 .
Meanwhile, 22498 Trichy Sriganganagar Humsafar express crossed us on the right. The Bhor Ghats were colourful – with green as well as reddish-brown leaves (indicating fall) of the trees, and some dense forests as well 🙂 .
As we approached Lonavala, a road came up right next to us.
The Crystal County Resort and L&T’s Leadership Development Academy were almost hidden by a green canopy of trees 😉 .
L&T seriously couldn’t have chosen a better place to train potential leaders! 😀 There was a PSR of 25 kmph before we pulled into Lonavala at 10 41 (9 mins late) on PF1. An announcement was made for 11042 MAS-CSMT express to arrive shortly on PF2. We departed at 10 44, only to stop after a minute; as 11042 pulled in behind KYN WDM3D 11359. Finally departed 2 mins later with the shrill HT toot being sounded, and began racing vehicles on the road – the melodious LT horn being used. We were blasting at MPS for a while (with flat wheel sounds at the rear adding to the charm 😛 ), before slowing down to observe a TSR of 90 kmph at Kamshet; passing the beautiful Indrayani river in the process 🙂 .
I gave a few coins totalling Rs.5 to a handicapped beggar, while a girl (who was my co-passenger) melted my heart (as well as those of many others, I am sure! 🙂 ) by giving away a packet of cookies that she had brought with her for the journey. Her humane gesture (especially the way she called out “Bhaiyya!!” as the beggar was turning away) was much needed especially in troubled times such as the last 3-4 years in our country; when cows are being treated with great reverence and humans (mainly Muslims and Dalits) are being killed with impunity, with indirect support from the government. Anyway, coming back to the railfanning bit (my escapism coming to the fore again 😛 ); we crossed a WDG4D headed tanker train after Kanhe, and blasted away from Ghorawadi home signal till Akurdi home, before a crawl till Chinchwad.
Then there was again a fast run till Dapodi, before we slowed down and crawled through the loopline to overtake a twin WAG5 hauled freight at Khadki. Reached Pune at 11 53, 13 mins late; on PF6 – at the Hotel Meridian end. There was again a mad scramble to get down, with a gentleman behind me asking me to hurry since there was a big crowd 😛 . You may have to wait a while for my account of the return journey; since tomorrow is Monday and I have work piled up; being the last week of the financial year of 2017-18 😛 . In fact, I was supposed to work a bit today from home as well; but come on, why the hell would I work on a Sunday LOL!
MPS – Maximum Permissible Speed
DEMU – Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (or just diesel local train 😛 )
HT – High Tone
LT – Low Tone
PSR – Permanent Speed Restriction
TSR – Temporary Speed Restriction
CSMT – Mumbai CST
SBC – Bangalore City
KYN – Kalyan
DR – Dadar (Central)
GY – Gooty
MMR – Manmad
BSL – Bhusaval
TEN – Tirunelveli
KJT – Karjat
SC – Secunderabad
LTT – Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (or just Kurla Terminus 😛 )
KOP – Kolhapur
MAS – Chennai Central