A Pune trip to cherish! – Part 2

It was the twilight of a memorable trip to Pune. I had met my friend at his home in Narhe (Vadgaon Budruk) and spent some time with him there; after which he had driven me (by scooter) back to the station  – where we had lunch at the Rail Dhaba, followed by coffee and some chat for a while. Then he had driven back to his home, and I had about 2.5 hours to kill at the waiting room; before boarding my return train 22106 Pune Mumbai Indrayani express. As to my onward journey by 12127 Mumbai Pune Intercity; please refer Part 1 – https://ashwinkumar1989.online/2018/10/10/a-pune-trip-to-cherish-part-1/ . I spent most of the time at the waiting room reading the book of short stories ‘Poirot Investigates’; written by the “Queen of Crime” Agatha Christie and featuring her favourite Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. Then I headed to Platform 2 (where 12170 Solapur Pune Intercity was expected at 18 05 – to depart as Indrayani towards Mumbai at 18 35) ; with about 45-50 minutes still left for railfanning.

As usual, Pune was bustling with arrivals and departures in the evening. A BCNA freight towards LNL and headed by twin GTL WDG3As 14968 and 13144 (APU-fitted) came to a halt on a siding next to PF1. At 18 13, an announcement was made for 11041 CSMT-MAS express to depart from PF6. 12129 Pune Howrah Azad Hind express departed from PF3 at 18 27, 2 mins late. 16532 Bangalore Ajmer Garib Nawaz express arrived behind UBL WDP4 20025 on PF1 at 18 28, 17 mins early.

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To my surprise, the train moved forward a bit after stopping and then the EMD motors were revved up to full pitch! :O As a diesel fan, it was a treat to hear the mesmerizing sound of this magnificent beast 🙂 . Meanwhile, announcements were made for Indrayani to depart on time at 18 35 (the display boards indicated the same as well!); but there was no sight of 12170 yet! 😦 Finally the train pulled into PF2 behind Pune WDM3D 11388 at 18 36; 31 minutes late and moreover a minute after the scheduled departure time of Indrayani! 😦

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There was a mad scramble to get in. I had a non-trackside window seat; but thankfully facing Mumbai. We started moving rather quickly at 18 44, 8 mins late, with a pure EMD LT horn. However, we quickly came to a stop after a minute; and our troubles had just begun. The LP blew a short burst of the HT horn (typical WDM3D), followed by the LT horn in a sort of emergency code: two short bursts followed by a long blast. This was repeated and then followed by two short bursts of the HT horn. We started moving at 18 48, only to come to a halt again after a minute. The culprit was 11009 Mumbai Pune Sinhagad express; which was pulling in. If we thought our troubles were over, we were wrong. With the HT horn blown again, we started moving at 18 50; only to come to yet another abrupt halt after a minute. This time we had to wait for a full 5 minutes before we finally bade goodbye to Pune at 18 56. Phew!!

Our WDM3D started chugging fiercely before the Sangam Bridge, and transitioned with a mild jerk; with the turbocharger kicking in (ah!! what music! 🙂 ), after crossing the bridge. After passing SVJR slowly the ALCO beast was in its element, chugging and accelerating furiously with HT and LT horns blaring; as we skipped Khadki, Dapodi and Kasarwadi at a brisk pace.

The chief was determined to put our chaotic departure from Pune behind us, as we blasted through Pimpri at MPS at 19 12; and I was enjoying the fast run accompanied by clickety clack track music, HT honking and turbocharger sounds. We overtook the BCNA rake with GTL ALCO twins (that I had earlier seen at Pune) at Dehu Road in style. Meanwhile, I had a light dinner of 3 sabudana vadas, 2 cheese sandwiches and a cup of tomato soup. On a side note, the LT horn was really loud! We blasted through Vadgaon at 19 29 and overtook a tanker train before skipping Kamshet at MPS. Then we ripped through Malavli at 19 42 before slowing to a crawl; having covered the last 42 km (from Pimpri) in half an hour at an impressive average speed of 84 kmph 🙂 . Pulled into LNL (PF2) at 19 54, half an hour late. Quite a few people got down here, but many more got in; and the coach was soon jam-packed.

I napped through most of the Bhor Ghats, where we used the Midline. Overtook another BCNA freight headed by twin EMDs (with a WAG7 triplet acting as brakers) on the UP line before Palasdhari. Reached Karjat (PF2) at 20 51, 43 mins late.  Many people got down here. So most of the crowd boarding at LNL had used this train just as a transit to Karjat (since there are no locals in the Ghat section); where they could avail the service of locals! 😛 We departed after a halt of 2 minutes. After crossing over the points slowly, the WDM3D again chugged and accelerated furiously; accompanied by HT honking.

We had a blasting run from Neral home signal to Vangani; with the track music and HT honking serving as an amazing aural treat in the quiet night. This was followed by another rip-roaring run from the Vangani starter signal all the way to Vithalwadi home, as we covered 42 km (from Karjat to Ulhasnagar) in 36 mins at 70 kmph 🙂 . However, the saying “All good things come to an end” held true here as well, as we stopped for clearance at KYN home for 3 mins. Then we limped into the junction and came to a halt on PF7, at 21 43; 53 mins late. I noticed that we had a parallel action with another train while pulling into the station. Predictably, the coach almost emptied here. We left after a stop of 3 mins, and started blasting away after crossing over the points. Ripped till Thane home (except for the PSR of 50 kmph before Diva); in the course of which we overtook a stationary BCNHL freight with a WDG4D at Diva. Pulled into PF6 of Thane at a decent speed at 22 04, 56 mins late. I got down here.

An announcement was made for 12141 LTT-PPTA superfast to arrive 1 hour 25 mins late. A CR train from GKP to LTT departed from PF8 – probably the train with which we had a parallel run till KYN and then overtook it there. 12131 DR-SNSI superfast chugged into PF5 behind APU-fitted KYN WDG3A 14558R, at 22 17, 14 mins late. I boarded a local to Vikhroli, where 12133 CSMT-MAJN superfast chugged and  accelerated with KYN WDG3A ‘Shakti’ 13303 – this loco had a pure EMD horn; in fact the same as that of Indrayani’s WDM3D’s LT horn! 😉 Got an auto to reach home by 11 pm; thus bringing the curtains down on a memorable trip – hope you enjoyed both Parts 1 and 2! 🙂

LEGEND

Technical Abbreviations

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

HT – High Tone

LT – Low Tone

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

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

LP – Loco Pilot

MPS – Maximum Permissible Speed

PSR – Permanent Speed Restriction

Station Codes

LNL – Lonavala

GTL – Guntakal

CSMT – Mumbai CST

MAS – Chennai Central

UBL – Hubli

SVJR – Shivajinagar

LTT – Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (or Kurla Terminus)

PPTA – Pataliputra

GKP – Gorakhpur

DR – Dadar (Central)

SNSI – Sainagar Shirdi

KYN – Kalyan

MAJN – Mangalore Junction

 

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