A sudden trip through Konkan Railway by ‘The Food King’ a.k.a 10103 CSMT-MAO Mandovi express, hauled by surprise link – twin Pune WDM3As 16013R and 16750R – was in progress; we had just entered KR territory in style – overtaking 22656 NZM-TVC superfast (as well as a freight) at Roha. For our progress till then, please refer https://ashwinkumar1989.online/2019/02/17/a-sudden-trip-through-konkan-railway-part-1/ . We sped through scenery in the form of two rivers, quite a few streams, goats, lambs and sheep grazing; and a bridge over a dry river. Then we pulled into Mangaon for our first scheduled halt in KR; at 10 41, 9 minutes late.
Given that we were 29 mins late when we left Panvel and that we had a largely average run (interspersed with quite a few unscheduled stops) thereafter; it underlines the slack in the schedule 😀 . Anyway, we had a halt of 5 mins here; during which a 2 hours late running 22659 Kochuveli Dehradun superfast crossed us, led by a furiously honking and chugging RTM WDM3A 16173R – the turbocharger sound of the WDM3A could be heard even after the train had passed some distance! 🙂 Then we ourselves chugged and smoked out of the station; the WDM3A twins accelerating furiously, with the turbocharger kicking in after the usual transition jerk at around 40 kmph.
Crossed the Kal river, followed by mountains (which would dominate the scenery from then) and a beautiful river with a lot of boats after Veer. My ticket was finally checked! 😛 Then there were quite a few picturesque viaducts, starting with the Ambivali Viaduct.
There was another unscheduled stop at Karanjadi for 3 mins. 19331 KCVL-INDB express arrived behind APU-fitted RTM WDM3A 14092R on the right and stopped as well! :O
We departed with the shrill HT horn, at the same time that 19331 made its halt. Then it also left. The PSR on the loop was only 20 kmph. There was a tunnel immediately after the station, followed by a TSR of 50 kmph. This was followed by viaducts and mountain greenery.
We crawled through a very long tunnel, where I saw a railway employee inside! Then came yet another unscheduled halt at Diwan Khavati, where I saw the familiar RMV (that is always seen roaming around KR) on the mainline.
This vehicle must have crossed over to the loop line behind us, because a 2 hours late running 12617 ERS-NZM Mangala Lakshadweep express then blasted past us (on the mainline) with a madly honking GOC WDP4D 40115. We departed after a long wait of 12 mins. After more mountain scenery accompanied by viaducts and another river, we pulled into Khed at 12 07; 42 mins late. I had 4 pieces of crispy and tasty Chicken Lollipop. Meanwhile, 22656 (which we had earlier overtaken at Roha) came and made an unscheduled stop!
It turned out that both of us were waiting for a crossing – a 1 hour late running 16346 TVC-LTT Netravati express passed slowly behind GOC WDP4D 40105. We finally departed at 12 30 (1 hr 3 mins late) after an elongated halt of 23 mins; again ahead of the poor 22656! :O Came to a stop briefly before finally exiting the station. There was a tunnel immediately after. Then we blasted through more tunnels and a viaduct over greenery. Meanwhile, my lunch of Veg. Noodles with Gobi Manchurian gravy (my order had been taken by the pantry staff well before I purchased the Chicken Lollipop from a passing vendor!) was delivered. The Chicken Lollipop proved to be quite heavy; so I unfortunately could finish only three-fourths of the Noodles and there were also 3-4 Manchurian pieces left.
Meanwhile, we had another predictable unscheduled halt at Kamathe for 3 mins. As we departed with a long HT horn, we overtook an almost 1.5 hours late running 50105 Diva-SWV ‘Sindhudurg’ passenger headed by the first ever WDM3D 11101 of ED.
Then there was a long tunnel, followed by a crawl; before the Kapshi Bridge over a partly dry stream.
To my surprise, we crawled through the loopline while crossing a close to 2.5 hours late running 11086 MAO-LTT Double Decker (the biggest flop train ever IMHO!) hauled by KYN WDG3A ‘Shakti’ 13303; at Savarda. To add insult to the injury, I received a dose of hot air on my face from the front EOG of the DD. Meanwhile, I benefitted from the hospitality of my co-passenger (a middle-aged lady); who offered me a mouth-watering homemade sweet dish that tasted like Chikki but was soft 🙂 . We passed a viaduct over a road surrounded by scenery with many coconut trees; before accelerating and ripping through another viaduct and many tunnels.
The we stopped for around 50-odd seconds on a viaduct over a valley with some greenery, through which a river was flowing; I could actually hear the smooth flow of the river – this is something so special that you have to experience it live and cannot really capture it on cameras or mobile phones! 🙂
It seemed this stop on the viaduct was for clearance to Aravali Road; as we then crossed a train looped there (most probably 50106 SWV-Diva ‘Sindhudurg’ passenger) at a good speed – there was another RMV on the left. Later I observed a new station being constructed; followed by a viaduct over a narrow river. Then there was yet another viaduct over mountain greenery.
At Sangameshwar Road, I spotted twin UBL WDG4s 12129 and 12X51 honking and moving on the mainline; in the opposite direction. After departing, we transitioned inside a tunnel. Then came, IMHO, the highlight of the trip – a beautiful river with an island in between; the 1st photo is presently my Facebook cover picture and the 2nd photo is my laptop background! 😀
We had our final (phew!!) unscheduled halt at Ukshi, where 12431 TVC-NZM Rajdhani crossed us in style behind twin GOC WDM3As 16507R and 16232R. This crossing was thankfully done with in 5 mins. We had an uneventful run thereafter and arrived at Ratnagiri at 14 40, 1 hr 25 mins late; on PF1. Thus ended an enjoyable trip by the ‘Food King’ yet again (after the trip to Kankavli on Dec 1 last year). Thank you for being patiently with me so far; please stay tuned to Part 3 for the return by 12052 MAO-DR Jan Shatabdi ! 😉
- APU – Auxiliary Power Unit (specifically for charging the loco batteries when it is idle)
- HT – High Tone
- PSR – Permanent Speed Restriction
- TSR – Temporary Speed Restriction
- RMV – Rail Maintenance Vehicle
- EOG – End-On Generator (a diesel generator attached to both ends of the train to power the coaches)
- CSMT – Mumbai CST
- MAO – Madgaon
- NZM – Hazrat Nizamuddin
- TVC – Trivandrum Central
- RTM – Ratlam
- KCVL – Kochuveli
- INDB – Indore
- ERS – Ernakulam Junction
- GOC – Golden Rock (Ponmalai)
- LTT – Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (Kurla Terminus)
- SWV – Savantwadi Road
- ED – Erode
- UBL – Hubli
- DR – Dadar (Central)