After yet another eventful trip to Pune; which included buying sweets and snacks at Chitale Bandhu as well as a fat lot of railfanning at Pune junction and the suburb Dapodi; it was time to head back to Mumbai – by 12128 Pune Mumbai Intercity; which (along with the one and only 12124 Deccan Queen) has the honour of being the fastest train from Pune to Mumbai – but whose punctuality has taken a beating in the last 1-2 years. For the onward journey by 11007 Deccan express; please refer https://ashwinkumar1989.online/2019/02/28/another-memorable-outing-to-pune-part-1/ . The rake of 12128 ICE was brought onto Platform 4 of Pune by its loco – Ajni WAP7 30619; just 15 minutes before the departure of 17 55! :O
Since the rake was shunted in very late with the doors all locked, there was chaos for a few minutes, as quite a few of us frantically banged on the coach doors; with others trying in vain to unlock them from outside! :O Eventually the doors of my 2S (Second Sitting) coach D4 were soon opened from inside and we dashed to our seats. Phew!! Meanwhile, 16332 TVC-CSMT express arrived 1 hour 3 minutes late on PF2; hauled by KYN WCAM3 21889. Then the rake of 12129 Pune Howrah Azad Hind express was shunted to PF3. We departed at 17 56, a minute late; with an LT horn. I saw KJM WDP4D 40529 inside a shed in the far left.
As we accelerated quickly after the usual crawl over the points, a train led by a WAP7 crossed us. We skipped SVJR at a decent pace (accompanied by HT and LT honking – I simply loved the HT whine of the P7! It’s something that can really grow on you! 🙂 ) while crossing a stationary tanker train headed by an ALCO. Slowed down slightly, before picking up the pace a bit; though we had a sedate run till Khadki. From Dapodi home signal onwards though we were blasting. Meanwhile, my ticket was checked, as we ripped through Kasarwadi before slowing down slightly at Pimpri; followed by a slow run till Chinchwad. Then the WAP7 decided to show its acceleration prowess once more, as we passed Akurdi home at MPS; following a TSR of 90 kmph.
We overtook 19311 Pune Indore express (via Panvel) with BRC WAP4 22679 at Talegaon at a good speed and then crossed 11019 CSMT-BBS Konark express behind a WDP4D. This was followed by a drop in pace, before the P7 accelerated rapidly with continuous LT honking. At Kanhe home, there was an LHB jerk; followed by further acceleration. We maintained this speed before there was another LHB jerk at Kamshet home; following which we hit MPS. There was a slow down at Malavli home, only for the P7 to effortlessly accelerate; as we zipped through the station. Then we again dropped our pace at Lonavala home; I spotted KYN WDG4D 70325 as well as 4 KYN WAG7s (the last 3 being 27138, 27118 and 27117) coupled in the yard.
We accelerated yet again to a decent speed and coasted into the station at 18 44, 3 mins before time! Thus we had covered the last 64 km in 48 mins at 80 kmph in spite of slowing down at numerous places; the WAP7 is truly a class apart when it comes to acceleration and deceleration! 🙂 Meanwhile,a lot of people boarded here and thus our coach was massively crowded! :O A Concor rake headed by a WAG9 arrived from Karjat side. We departed after a halt of 4 mins. I was feeling tired after all the roaming around Pune and railfanning in that heat (for some reason, there was a heat wave in Maharashtra in the last 2 days! :O ) and thus had an intermittent nap as we descended the Bhor Ghats.
After I woke up, we accelerated rapidly from Palasdhari – the point where the Ghat section ends. Blasted through Karjat at 19 34 and continued to accelerate to MPS; overtaking vehicles on the highway in the distant left. I was loving the MPS run with LT honking all the way; sometimes we dropped our pace slightly but then instantly accelerated back to MPS with LHB jerks. Slowed down to a crawl at Badlapur home because of a TSR; but then predictably the huge white beast accelerated like it was child’s play and we skipped the station at MPS with continuous honking. Overtook more vehicles on the road before thundering through Ambernath. 16613 RJT-CBE express crossed us with an ALCO before Ulhasnagar whizzed by.
After this classy high-speed run, it seemed our WAP7 wanted to cool its heels; for we made an unscheduled stop of 2 mins on PF7 of KYN 😛 . We had covered the last 46 km in only 33 mins at 83.64 kmph. I don’t remember experiencing a faster run in this section any time before! :O Truly a WAP7 masterclass; for the acceleration and high speed coasting were all very smooth except for some LHB jerks 🙂 . Meanwhile, quite a few people took advantage of the unscheduled halt to deboard! 😛 As we departed, 12105 Mumbai Gondia Vidarbha express pulled in behind its usual P7.
Our P7 was not done with its brilliance yet, as we accelerated quickly after crossing over the points and blasted through Thakurli and Dombivli; overtaking a container train hauled by twin WAG5s/WAG7s – the overtake was so swift that I could not make out the locos clearly! :O Passed through Diva with continuous honking, cleared the PSR of 50 kmph and then accelerated rapidly to MPS before slowing down – still entering PF6 of Thane at a quite decent speed at 20 25, only 7 mins late; having covered the last 20 km in 16 mins at 75 kmph. Going by the unpredictable record of 12128 over the last 1-2 years; this was a fantastic run on the whole – the WAP7 making mincemeat of the 16-coach rake and destroying everything in its path with a classy elegance 🙂 .
I tried to board a local to Dadar from PF4, but the magnitude of the crowd (on a Sunday night, no less! ) took me by surprise; had to leave this one in favour of a local originating from the station (on PF2) later. At Nahur, the newly LHB-converted 12289 CSMT-NGP Duronto belted past with a WAP7 having a WAP4-type horn. 12145 LTT-Puri superfast then ripped past us at Bhandup, led by SRC WAP7i 30677. The action in the DOWN direction continued, as 12163 Dadar Chennai superfast (headed by a WCAM3) followed hot on the heels of 12289. I got down at Vikhroli and then took an auto to reach home by around 21 15. Thus ended yet another action-packed but enjoyable trip to Pune. Thanks in advance for reading both the parts! 😀
- LT – Low Tone
- HT – High Tone
- MPS – Maximum Permissible Speed
- 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)
- ALCO – American Locomotive Company (and an old class of diesel engines of the 1960s)
- TSR – Temporary Speed Restriction
- PSR – Permanent Speed Restriction
- TVC – Trivandrum Central
- CSMT – Mumbai CST
- KYN – Kalyan
- KJM – Krishnarajapuram (KR Puram)
- BRC – Vadodara
- BBS – Bhubaneswar
- RJT – Rajkot
- CBE – Coimbatore Junction
- NGP – Nagpur
- SRC – Santragachchi
- LTT – Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (Kurla Terminus)