No, this is not about food. A train trip is to railfans what a feast is for a foodie 😛 . This Konkan “feast” refers to a ride by 22120 Karmali Mumbai Tejas express – a premium superfast train that belongs to the Shatabdi class; never mind the fact that it’s not much of a success unlike the former 😛 . The appetizer refers to the onward journey to Karmali by 10111 CSMT MAO Konkan Kanya express. On the day of the journey (April 6th), I left my home by 21 20 and took an auto to Vikhroli station. There I saw 11005 DR-PDY Chalukya express skipping the station behind chocolate boy KYN WCAM2-6P 21873.
Then 22139 CSMT-SUR superfast followed closely on its heels; hauled by APU-fitted KYN WDG3A 14567R. I boarded a local to CSMT. At DR, I saw KYN WDM3D 11383 attached to a rake on Platform 7 – probably that of 11003 DR-SWV Tutari express. From Masjid onwards, our local had a race with 22106 Pune Mumbai Indrayani express. We overtook it and reached CSMT just before Indrayani. It arrived at 22 39 (39 mins late) on PF8, led by a typically dull and dusty Pune WDG3A 13581 😛 . My train Konkan Kanya express was berthed on PF18; having arrived from MAO as 10104 Mandovi express behind KYN WDP4D 40347. 51033 CSMT-SNSI fast passenger (running combined with 51027 CSMT-PVR fast passenger) departed from PF9. 12115 CSMT-SUR Siddheshwar express was rescheduled to depart the following morning at 05 30 (late by 6 hrs 45 mins) ; most probably due to a very late running 11302 SBC-CSMT Udyan express – with which this train has an RSA.
I had an SUB (64) in coach S4; which I had to exchange for another SUB (16) in coach S9 – 5 coaches ahead. This was because that seat belonged to a young Goan gentleman who was travelling with his family (all women) and obviously couldn’t leave them behind on their own in S4; not when their coach was so far away. We decided that we would confirm with the TTE before the seat exchange. In the meantime, I was treated to the typical Goan hospitality; as they offered me a very tasty homemade sweet roll (I have unfortunately forgotten what it’s called). Meanwhile, our departure was delayed by that of a BJP special to SUR; which left at 23 22 and then promptly stopped – its loco (most probably an ALCO; going by its shrill horns) honked repeatedly before the train finally made a move, 4 mins later.
We finally departed at 23 47 (42 mins late). Saw BSL WAP4 25022 on a siding in the left. The tickets were checked and I duly moved to S9 without a hitch – the aforementioned Goan gentleman also stayed with me for a while to ensure that there was no further hitch – given that there would be a different TTE for S9. This coach was of a 2007 make, and had mobile charging sockets in all bays; there were also mirrors in the main bays. I had a trackside window seat 🙂 . 22120 Tejas express entered Dadar nearly 1.5 hours late as we entered. An EMD-hauled train blasted past us before Vidyavihar. Since this coach was close to the loco; I could hear the typical EMD whining and the melodious honking 🙂 . We pulled into Thane at 00 31, 51 mins late; on PF5. On PF8 was a special to Jalna behind an LHF WDG4 – this train was apparently to start from Thane :O . On PF6 a special from Karmali to LTT arrived behind KYN WDG4D 70323.
I retired to my SUB soon after we departed. Had a long sleep of more than 8.5 hours, during which I woke up twice (on the first such occasion I could make out that we were having a crossing at high speed); only to go back to sleep almost immediately. When I finally climbed down my berth, it was well past 9 am. I was shocked by the fact that there was no water in the coach, either in the washbasin or in the toilets – I had to use my water bottle to brush my teeth and rinse my mouth, as well as wash the brush! :O Meanwhile, we stopped before Zarap for clearance and then proceeded to accelerate through the station; crossing a BCNHL freight hauled by UBL WDG4s 12090 and 12181 in the process. Then we blasted through some scenery with a lot of trees, accompanied by rhythmic clickety clack track sounds.
Pulled into SWV at 09 40, 1 hr 18 mins late; for a 1-minute halt. Then we had an unscheduled halt of 10 mins at Madure, the last station in Maharashtra; before moving into Goa. On the right, there was no platform but station boards in quite a few places! :O
An SR train with 4 AC coaches (later I found out that this was Nagercoil Mumbai express running on a diverted route; due to track doubling work in the KWV-SUR section) blasted past us at MPS; led by ED WDP4D 40180.
There was some typically charming Konkan scenery with a lot of trees and mountains in the distant right. We crossed the broad and perennial Terekhol river and a nearly dry Khajane Nallah. Then there was a long tunnel and a PSR of 20 kmph before we arrived at Pernem at 10 15, 1 hr 23 mins late. There was an RMV with the marking ‘Verna’ in the right. The station read ‘Pedne’ in Hindi and Konkani. There were a lot of vehicles waiting outside the station. The mountains, greenery and coconut trees as well as the posh bungalows in the background gave us an early glimpse of what Goa had in store for us 🙂 .
Then came the beautiful Chapora river.
There was a tank near more bungalows and Cansa Viaduct over a dry river, before we reached Thivim at 10 29, 1 hr 23 mins late. There was another PSR of 20 kmph, and a Container and a BCNA rake on the right. Lot of families got down here, and the coach was almost empty now 😛 . We effectively overtook these freights after a stop of 3 mins – the loco for the Container rake was Pune WDG4 12713, and that of the BCNA rake was twin KZJ WDM3As 16501 (APU-fitted) and 18897. I observed that our loco was quite a decent smoker 😛 . We crossed a narrow Assonora river and Choran Nallah, while blasting at MPS with melodious honking all the way by the LP! 🙂 There were some ponds before we crossed the classy Mandovi river and its more famous estuary 🙂 ; followed by the rather muddy Ella backwaters .
Then there was a tunnel before we finally pulled into Karmali at 10 51 (1 hr 24 mins late) on PF1; on the other side of PF2 there was a lake.
Our engine was KYN WDP4D 40234.
Next to the 2nd General 2nd class coach was a board which said “Engine stop for 11085 DD” meaning the super flop (and super slow) LTT-MAO Double-decker express 😛 . Hope this blog is a teaser of what is to come during the journey by Tejas express! 😀
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)
RSA – Rake Sharing Arrangement
MPS – Maximum Permissible Speed
PSR – Permanent Speed Restriction
RMV – Rail Motor Vehicle
LP – Loco Pilot
LHF – Long Hood Forward
CSMT – Mumbai CST
MAO – Madgaon
DR – Dadar (Central)
PDY – Puducherry
KYN – Kalyan
SUR – Solapur
SWV – Savantwadi Road
SNSI – Sainagar Shirdi
PVR – Pandharpur
SBC – Bangalore City
BSL – Bhusawal
LTT – Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (or just Kurla Terminus 😛 )
UBL – Hubli
KWV – Kurduvadi
ED – Erode
KZJ – Kazipet