A Pune trip to cherish! – Part 1

This was a trip to Pune that I would cherish in more ways than one. Firstly, I was visiting a close friend (and an ex-colleague) at his new home in Pune for the first time. Secondly, this was my first trip by 12127 Mumbai Pune Intercity in its LHB avatar. Lastly, it was a welcome relief from two months of hectic work owing to a critical project! πŸ™‚ Thus, it was with a great sense of excitement that I approached this outing. On the D-Day (Saturday 6th October); I woke up at 04 55 am, brushed my teeth, had coffee and took a bath; before leaving my home at 6 am. Then I took an auto to Vikhroli, where I had the pleasure of seeing 22105 Mumbai Pune Indrayani express (incidentally, the train by which I was to return πŸ™‚ ) coast through; led by navy-blue liveried Pune WDM3A 16522R with a shrill lorry-type HT horn. The local that I boarded to Dadar later overtook 12102 HWH-LTT Jnaneswari express hauled by SRC WAP7 30547 at Vidyavihar, just as the train was entering its destination.

The early morning flurry of action continued as we started from Kurla; with 12116 SUR-CSMT Siddheshwar express headed by UBL WDP4B 40009 giving us chase, till it overtook us just as we entered Sion. As I got down at Dadar, I saw that KYN WDP4D 40312 had brought in 11004 SWV-DR Tutari express. Hot on the heels of Siddheshwar express (which departed DR [Platform 6] at 06 39, 14 mins late); 12106 Gondia Mumbai Vidarbha expressΒ pulled into the same platform atΒ  06 43, 11 mins late. Whew! 2 trains arriving in a matter of less than 5 minutes! I wonder how CR Mumbai division manages to handle such back-to-back traffic so efficiently! :OΒ 12138 Firozpur Mumbai Punjab Mail was announced as running 1 hour late. My train 12127 pulled into PF4 with chocolate brown KYN WCAM2-6P 21870, at 06 51; a minute late. As we departed after a halt of 2 mins, with a melodious LT horn; 17058 SC-CSMT Devagiri express arrived.Β I had a trackside window seat, though unfortunately not facing the direction of the journey.Β  Moreover, the coach was cramped; with less leg and arm space, as well as a narrow corridor.

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We soon picked up speed and blasted through Sion and Kurla, with the LP blowing melodious LT and HT horns; when the horns were blown together it was really musical – much like that of an old WAM4 or the extinct WCAM1 series! πŸ™‚

We crossed another express with a WCAM2-6P, probably 17412 KOP-CSMT Mahalaxmi express. There was always a mild jerk when accelerating from lower speeds. Our coach also had a flat wheel. We crossed an SWR train; most probably 17317 UBL-LTT express (via Belgaum). At Nahur yard, we overtook a stationary Container freight behind Gomoh WAG9 31324. Crossed an ECR train towards LTT with an ET WAP4 after Mulund. Then we entered Thane at a good speed and came to a halt on PF5 at 07 14,Β  2 mins late – having covered 25 km in 21 mins at 71.43 kmph πŸ™‚ . As we left after a stop of 2 mins, 12154 HBJ-LTT express came on PF8 at the same time, hauled by mega-offlink LGD WAP4 22516! :O By the way, our coach was almost full now; most of the crowd having boarded at Thane! πŸ˜€ The frenetic morning action continued, as a train led by WAP7 blasted past us; while we crossed the Mumbra Creek.

An express headed by a KYN WDG3A ‘Shakti’ crossed after Diva; most probably 22108 Latur Mumbai superfast. On the 6th line, an SR train with a BRC WAP5 passed slowly; 22656 NZM-TVC superfast, perhaps? We had an unscheduled halt after Thakurli for 2 mins, and this was just the start of a series of such stops! 12290 NGP-CSMT Duronto raced past with its customary Ajni WAP7. There were strong characteristic LHB jerks as we started, only to stop at KYN home signal for 3 mins. This was followed by a brief 1-minute halt, before we finally passed through PF4 of the junction without stopping; at 07 48.

As per the website IndiaRailInfo, I came to know that these unscheduled halts are a regular occurrence for this train; thanks to trailing 15017 LTT-GKP Kashi express:Β https://indiarailinfo.com/train/tips/704#st (refer to the comment by Aryan Rocker). Meanwhile, there was less water from the tap in the rear toilet. We had a fast run from Vithalwadi to Ulhasnagar (with HT horns being used more often), before slowing down and then blasting all the way from Ambernath to Shelu, passing Nisarg Greens (Ambernath) and Pranjee Garden City (Badlapur) in the process; as well as a lot of greenery with a highway on the right and mountains in the far right. Here is a video of us blasting through the Badlapur area with melodious twin tones:

In the midst of this roaring run, a train with an EMD crossed us; probably 16587 YPR-BKN express. We crossed a BCNA rake behind a blue WAG7 after Shelu. Then there was a blazing run from Neral to Karjat home, during which I observed the Raigad Hospital at Bhivpuri Road. As we slowed down to enter Karjat, a train with coaches in CR daytime livery crossed us – most probably 11010 Pune Mumbai Sinhagad express. Saw a banker triplet (KYN WAG7s 27418, 27126 and 27367) as we pulled into PF1 of Karjat at 08 26; having covered the last 46 km in 38 mins – at 72.63 kmph πŸ™‚ . I noted that the flush button was broken in the front toilet 😦 . Had bread omlette as breakfast, and napped through most of the Bhor Ghats. There was a screeching noise throughout our ascent of the Ghats. A blue KYN WAG7 triplet (27411, 27395 and 27400) crossed us on the UP line, followed by 12220 SC-LTT Duronto with GY WDP4D 40381.

We arrived at Lonavala (PF1) at 09 04, 16 mins late. Surprisingly, some people boarded here. After a stop of 2 mins, we departed with the melodious twin tones; just as 11024 KOP-CSMT Sahyadri express entered PF2 behind KYN WCAM2-6P 21878. Since we were on the mainline, we picked up speed quickly and blasted away; before slowing down for a TSR of 45 kmph after Malavli. In the process we crossed an unknown express hauled by a WDP4D. Here is a video of the same:

Then we had a blazing run till Kanhe, during which we overtook vehicles on the highway; and crossed 22498 TPJ-SGNR Humsafar express with a WAP5 before Kamshet. This was followed by another scorching run from Vadgaon to Pimpri home (skipped Talegaon at a moderate pace), during which we crossed a BOXN freight headed by twin BSL WAG5s 23772 and 23072; and overtook a tanker rake led by a blue WAG7 – at Dehu Road. Then we crossed 17032 HYB-CSMT express behind KYN WDM3D 11390 (painted in the tricolour livery for Gandhi Jayanthi). At Chinchwad, we overtook 22149 ERS-Pune superfast in style; twin tones blaring. The action-packed morning continued, as we crossed 11042 MAS-CSMT express with KYN WDM3D 11389 before Khadki. Reached SVJR at 09 57, 13 mins late; having covered the last 61 km in 51 mins – at 71.76 kmph πŸ™‚ . Predictably, the coach became half-empty here. Another BCNA freight led by BL WAG5-HAs 23763 and 23994 crossed us at a good speed.

For those who love loco sightings, the Pune ETS would have been a real treat; with a variety of engines: ET WAP4 22980, SRC WAP7 30743, KYN WCAM2-6P 21874, BL WAG5-HA 23569, BRC WAP5 30042 and KYN WCAM2-6P 21864. As we pulled into the junction, there were more locos (diesel this time – GTL WDG3A 13248 and KJM WDP4D 40523) on the right. The display boards showed 11014 CBE-LTT express as “indefinitely late” – pity the passengers who had to travel by this train! 😦  We arrived on PF5 at 10 08, 11 mins late. Not bad, considering the tight schedule and the delay between Thane and KYN. Later, 22149 (which we had overtaken earlier) arrived on PF1 behind APU-fitted ERS WDM3A 16878RΒ , at 10 21; 9 mins early! πŸ˜› By the way, thanks in advance for patiently reading through this long blog post with a lot of technical jargon! πŸ˜‰ Stay tuned to the blog for Part 2 – the return by 22106 Pune Mumbai Indrayani express! πŸ™‚

LEGEND

Technical Terms

LHB – Linke-Hofmann-Busch (a modern Swiss company which manufactures coaches with high speed capability and anti-climb safety features; used in Rajdhanis, Shatabdis , and many Durontos and AC expresses)

TSR – Temporary Speed Restriction

APU – Auxiliary Power Unit (specifically for charging the loco batteries when it is idle)

HT – High Tone

LT – Low Tone

CR – Central Railway

ECR – East Central Railway

SWR – South Western Railway

SR – Southern Railway

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

ETS – Electric Loco Trip Shed

Station Codes

HWH – Howrah

LTT – Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (or Kurla Terminus)

SRC – Santragachchi

SUR – Solapur

CSMT – Mumbai CST

UBL – Hubli

KYN – Kalyan

SWV – Sawantvadi Road

DR – Dadar (Central)

SC – Secunderabad

ET – Itarsi

KOP – Kolhapur

HBJ – Habibganj

LGD – Lallaguda

BRC – Vadodara

NZM – Hazrat Nizamuddin

TVC – Trivandrum Central

NGP – Nagpur

GKP – Gorakhpur

YPR – Yeshwantpur

BKN – Bikaner

GY – Gooty

TPJ – Trichy Junction

SGNR – Shri Ganganagar

BSL – Bhusaval

HYB – Hyderabad

ERS – Ernakulam Junction

MAS – Chennai Central

SVJR – Shivajinagar

BL – Valsad

GTL – Guntakal

KJM – Krishnarajapuram

CBE – Coimbatore Junction

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