A classy journey by the Tejas – Part 1

The main purpose of this “mini-trip” to old Goa (Karmali) was the return train by the premium superfast – 22120 Karmali Mumbai Tejas express. This was a truly sumptuous feast, after the appetizer in the form of the onward journey by 10111 CSMT-MAO Konkan Kanya express https://ashwinkumar1989.online/2018/04/09/the-appetizer-to-a-konkan-feast/ . The train was stationed at Platform 1, conveniently next to the station entrance and exit points. My coach C1 was 3rd from the engine – KYN WDP3A 15519 (with a typically melodious twin-tone horn).

Seen in the right is 01194 KRMI – LTT Summer SpecialFare special standing behind KJM WDP4D 40395 – the  train was supposed to depart at 13 40, but we ended up departing before it; overtaking the train at the source itself! Way to troll! 😛 My coach interiors were classy, like the train itself 🙂 .

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A BCNA freight headed by KYN WDG4 12181 made a stop towards Mumbai – so we would overtake that as well! 😛 Soon there was a reasonable crowd in the coach, most probably because it was a weekend in the summer season; otherwise this train runs empty most of the time 😦 . 12051 DR-MAO Jan Shatabdi blasted past with an EMD at 14 21 – running almost an hour late. We departed with a long LT horn right on the dot at 14 30, before coming to a stop very briefly after a minute. There was a TSR of 30 kmph before a tunnel. Then came the somewhat muddy Ella backwaters.

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This was followed by a classy waterbody in the form of the Mandovi river 🙂 .

The first of these pics is my laptop background 😉 . There was marsh land with some ponds.

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This river was also called “Mandovi” – maybe this is the main river and the earlier pics are that of the estuary ? 😀

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Meanwhile, a water bottle was provided by the staff. We were soon blasting away at MPS (accompanied by flat wheel sounds 😛 ) through scenery including a stream. Ripped Thivim in style crossing the same BCNA rake led by twin KZJ ALCOs when I travelled by 10111 Konkan Kanya! :O

Earphones were being sold at just Rs.20; so I didn’t lose the opportunity to buy one – unfortunately I didn’t have change so ended up shelling Rs.100 – the vendor then disappeared and didn’t come back with the change after that! :O A hard lesson to learn for me – keep some change handy, and make sure the vendor returns the change if you don’t have it ready (chase after him) ! Meanwhile, we blasted through Pernem at 14 52; after which there was a long tunnel. This was followed by a river. The entertainment in my seat was unfortunately not working, as it kept switching off and on after a few minutes 😦 . Anyway, being a railfan; my main focus was on the scenery outside 😀 – there were a lot of trees and mountains in the distant left. Ripped SWV at MPS at 15 04. After Zarap, there were a lot of settlements, buildings, temples, roads, cow sheds and huts; as we pulled into Kudal at 15 18, 8 mins early! 🙂

So we had covered 68 km in 48 mins at an average speed of 85 kmph – an impressive run! 🙂 We had stopped on the platform in the right. Some people boarded here.  Because of our early arrival, we had an extended stop of 10 mins; after which we departed with the LP blowing the HT horn, followed by the LT horn; and then the HT horn again! We came to a stop almost immediately for about 30 seconds, before accelerating quickly – during which I could faintly hear the chugging 🙂 . The transition jerk was slightly strong, and we crossed a river before blasting through Sindhudurg at MPS – there was a PSR of 20 kmph only for 11085/86 LTT-MAO Double Decker. Meanwhile, my ticket was checked. Also, snacks and tea were served – the method of serving tea was unique; with a packet containing tea, milk and sugar mixed, and a flask of hot water to pour in a cup! 😀 The snacks comprised a Kachori with a packet of sauce, a packet of Haldirams’ Aloo Bhujia and a biscuit packet.

We blasted through Kankavali at MPS at 15 48, crossing a WDG4D with a RO-RO service. Meanwhile, I was impressed by the features of the toilet – including a sensorized tap, automatic liquid soap dispenser and a plug-point for electric shaving! :O After Vaibhavwadi Road, it was tunnel territory all the way till Ratnagiri and beyond! 🙂 There were 29 tunnels from here till RN itself! :O There was a partly dry river before Rajapur Road, which was ripped at 16 16. It was a treat to blast through the mountain scenery with all those tunnels.

Meanwhile, I had to shake off a red ant trying to enjoy the scenery along with us! 😛 There were some rock cuttings and a TSR of 30 kmph before we zipped through Vilavade at 16 27. Then there was a stream with some people bathing, a viaduct and another TSR of 30 kmph. Some more rock cuttings followed before we accelerated with the toaster transitioning inside a long tunnel. Blasted apart Adavali at 16 41, crossing a long train (with 4 AC coaches) led by an EMD in the process (there was an RMV on a siding in the left). Then there was another stream and a river in the distant left, before a rocky outcrop. We had our first unscheduled halt at Nivasar. It was 16 52, and we had covered 124 km in 84 mins – at an average speed of approximately 89 kmph – particularly pleasing given the two TSRs 🙂 .

50105 Diva SWV ‘Sindhudurg’ passenger was standing there with ED WDM3D 11109, and it left after we stopped. There was an LPG tanker train in the distant right. Most of the lights, all the entertainment and even the AC went off briefly for a few minutes! :O Meanwhile, I sensed that there was a crossing and thus went to the main (automatic) door to have a look. I used a knob to open the door, setting off an alarm. As a result, one of the catering staff came and closed the door; and advised me not to open the door! At least this faux pas helped me realize that the Tejas is a train of luxury and not one for railfanning! 😛 A BCNA rake headed by KYN WDG4D 70342 came on the right and stopped. Then we departed finally with a HT horn, after a long halt of 12 mins. I was unable to close the rear sliding door (that separated the AC part of the coach and the doorway) at that time, though this issue was later resolved! :O

There was a TSR of 90 kmph, as we chugged hard and transitioned inside a long tunnel. This was the start of a stretch that included long tunnels and viaducts – one of them was surely the famous Panval viaduct! 🙂

In between, there was another river in the distant left. The approach to RN was signalled by a lot of settlements, buildings, factories, a temple and apartments. In the yard, there was another RMV on a siding in the right, a BCNHL freight headed by twin WDG4s (leading – 12090 of UBL); and a Pune WDG4 12663 with a RO-RO service in the distant left. We pulled into the station at 17 23, 8 mins late; thanks to the long stop at Nivasar. It was quite crowded here, and some men got in. I will continue the rest of the run till Mumbai in Part 2 – please bear with me till then! 😛

Technical Terms

EMD – Electromotive Diesel (and a modern class of diesel engines)

ALCO – American Locomotive Company (and a class of diesel engines of the 1960s)

MPS – Maximum Permissible Speed

PSR – Permanent Speed Restriction

RMV – Rail Motor Vehicle

LP – Loco Pilot

TSR – Temporary Speed Restriction

LT – Low Tone

HT – High Tone

RO-RO – Roll on – Roll Off (Lorries transported on flatbeds of goods trains)

Station Codes

CSMT – Mumbai CST

MAO – Madgaon

KYN – Kalyan

KRMI – Karmali

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

KJM – Krishnarajapuram

DR – Dadar (Central)

KZJ – Kazipet

SWV – Savantwadi Road

RN – Ratnagiri

UBL – Hubli

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