India January 2019 – (Southern India & Mavli – Marwar MG)
Having only been back in the UK since 7th December, I’d already had this trip fully planned and all tickets were booked before I’d set off on the previous trip in early November. With only having a two week stint I made it simple and the long-distance pair moves allowed for three days based at Marwar to have a blast on the Mavli – Marwar MG again; and it had only been announced on Twitter two days before I flew out that IR had decided, after all, to convert the line to BG! Something they’ll eventually make their mind up on?
The second half of the trip would find me travelling north from Marwar to Sri Ganganagar to then head all the way to Shoranur on 16312 Sri Ganganagar – Kochuveli; which, since its extension from Bikaner to Sri Ganganagar became the train that had the longest run of twin Alcos in India at 2694km. This would drop me nicely into a day on the Shoranur – Nilambur Road branch before heading back north to Mumbai and finishing up, then flying home. Needless to say, that’s not what happened; not at all!
Booked through American Airlines using Air Miles (Codeshare flight with British Airways)
BA277 1440 Heathrow T5 – Hyderabad
BA198 1310 Mumbai T2 – Heathrow T5
Marwar Junction – Hotel Dhapudha Palace – 10-minute walk from Marwar Junction station. Out of the BG side, turn right, then left at the junction and down the dusty road. The hotel is on the left about 500 yards along. It’s a decent hotel, in a very strange place, as Marwar Junction was nothing but a small village really. It was relatively new though and seemed to cater mostly for weddings and functions. The young lad at the reception didn’t seem to be expecting me, yet I had email confirmation confirming my booking. It didn’t take him long to check me in though and the room I was given was huge, with its own seating area, desk and a massive bed. There was AC, which wasn’t needed in the current cool climate and 24/7 hot water. The only toiletry provided was a bar of soap and there was no toilet roll, other than that, it was a very good room, and a very clean one at that. The adjoining restaurant served up some good food during my stay.
Dadar – Hotel Bawa Regency – it took about 8 minutes to walk there from Dadar platform 6, on the Central side of the station. Out of the station, turn right, straight over at the big junction and then turn next left. It’s at the end of the road on the corner, on the right. The guy at reception was expecting me and told me my name before it offered it! I was quickly checked in and shown to my first-floor room. It was spacious and had good air-con, tea/coffee making facilities, toiletries in the bathroom and hot water 24/7. As the bathroom had window slats, open to the outside world, I managed to let mosquitoes into the room while the bathroom door was open but was sent a mosquito plug-in when I rang down to reception for one. Randomly, the only thing not provided in the room as bog-roll.
Advance tickets booked through IRCTC direct at www.irctc.co.in and all other tickets bought on the day at station of origin.
Tuesday 8th January 2019 (Doncaster to Hyderabad)
I think I might be getting a bit too old to be doing long distance flights straight off nights and then into a full day’s bash, after arriving at stupid o’clock in the morning; but off I set anyway. 91110 was my first one of the year, and just so happened t be on the train I’d decided to do to Kings Cross, without any help from an inside man! 1A13 0655 Skipton – Kings Cross wasn’t as busy as I’ expected it to be and it was in Kings Cross at the time its schedule said it would be, giving me 4 hours to get from Kings Cross to Heathrow for my flight to Hyderabad.
As it was after the morning rush, I managed to get a seat on the tube from Kings Cross, for a change, and I became one of those that left their greasy head marks on the glass partition by the doors; as I attempted to get a bit more sleep during the hour’s journey. At Heathrow Terminal 5 things had changed since my las visit and there were now a lot of automated baggage check-in desks. The visa-check desk was still the same though and those flying hand luggage only must use this desk to get their visa verified before being allowed through to security. I forgot once, and my boarding pass barcode wouldn’t open the gates.
Security was busy and a guy told me after I’d got through that I’d picked the time when a load of connecting flights had arrived and the long queues had been caused by everyone descending at once. That wouldn’t have prevented my tray from being shunted to the naught row though, yet randomly, my bag, which often gets stopped, was sent straight through for me to collect. While waiting for the contents of my tray to be processed, I watched everyone else’s luggage being processed and most of those stopped were because they’d got other liquids in their hand luggage that hadn’t been taken out and put in a plastic bag. They soon learnt the error of their ways and once the lady doing the processing had attempted to get their liquids into the stipulated plastic bag, they then had to choose what they weren’t taking with them! Others were stupid and hadn’t taken theirs out, which amounted to nothing more than stupid people wasting the airport staff’s time, and more importantly my breakfast time!
When my turn came, I was told my tray had been stopped for a liquids check, which took seconds to complete and I was on my way. I’d been caught out at Heathrow a couple of years previous, when the plastic bag rule was enforced. I ended up leaving some things behind then, so now I put my liquids in a plastic bag, and then put that bag into my liquids bag; which is a lot more robust in case anything leaks.
Breakfast was at Huxley’s, on the right immediately after security. It wasn’t too wedged; the food was good and promptly served and it was relaxing. Probably a lot more relaxing than the refurbished Wetherspoon’s downstairs, which I’ve dissed since they closed to start the refurbishment; and I wonder how many others have remained loyal to Huxley’s since then too?
I already knew my flight was full when I boarded, thanks to the lady at the visa check desk. I’d booked this flight using American Airlines miles and when I attempted to check in on the AA website, it diverts you to the BA website; which I was glad of as it’s a better site anyway. I checked in 90 seconds after online check-in opened and there were only 5 seats available to select, all in the last two rows of the plane. Whether that was for AA customers only, I don’t know but I picked an aisle seat in the middle three on row 42 of 43. It was carnage at the time of boarding as the rear three rows didn’t have overhead locker space for the middle seats, so everything had to go in the side lockers; and of course, there wasn’t enough space! It was a new BA plane and I’m sure the aisles were narrower. Either that, or people were fatter as I kept getting nudged when people walked by; and couldn’t get to sleep for toffee as a result. To be fair to the family in the row behind, they stopped their young lad from kicking the seas and he never did it again, but he did whine a lot when he woke at random points during the flight. The food on board was decent and I got the last chicken meal of the first service; which wasn’t bad as I was the last person on board to be served! I did manage to get some sleep during the flight, but it was more broken than usual and the seats on the new planes are shit compared to those on a 747 or some of the older planes in the fleet. I guess it was preparing me for what was to come every time I got on a train on the ECML after the new crap gets introduced? All-in-all, it was a pretty crappy flight, mostly due to the seat I was sat in, so I was hoping for better luck on the way home.
Moves for Tuesday 8th January 2019
|91110||Doncaster||Kings Cross||1A13||0655 Skipton – Kings Cross|
|G-ZBKN||Heathrow Terminal 5||Hyderabad||BA277||1440 Heathrow – Hyderabad|
Wednesday 9th January 2019 (A day in Secunderabad before heading to Ajmer)
BA277 1440 Heathrow – Hyderabad was on the ground 20 minutes early at smack on 5am. Despite being among the last off the plane, I rushed past a load of people and was among the first to get through immigration; which took only a few minutes and made Delhi immigration look like hell in comparison. Being early gave me a brainwave, and the airport WiFi came to my rescue, allowing me to check online to see how 12798 1730 (P) Chittoor – Kacheguda was doing. At 40 minutes late, there was more than enough time to get to Umdanagar station and I headed straight out of the airport, to the taxi ranks, and jumped into the first taxi that wanted to take me to Umdanagar station. There are no pre-pay stands at Hyderabad airport but both the taxi companies operating from there are stationed side-by-side and operate on the meter; with a printed bill being handed over at journeys end. My 9km, 15-minute journey to Umdanagar was a lot better than a 37km, 55-minute journey to Secunderabad Jn. Although probably not for the taxi driver! After touching down at Hyderabad airport at 5am, I was standing on the platform at Umdanagar, with a ticket in my hand to Secunderabad, at 0541; only 14 minutes after 12798 was booked to depart. One of the bonuses of having some currency from a previous trip, was being able to get straight out of the airport if needed.
This bonus, all courtesy of a British Airways early arrival of course, netted me KZJ WDG3A’s 14967/14669 on 12798 and when they rolled into Kacheguda, GTL WDG3A’s 13137/13007 were about to depart with 17641 0710 Kacheguda – Narkher. So, I did them back to Malkajgiri and was about to get an auto to Secunderabad when 57564 2330 (P) Nanded – Hyderabad passenger was announced; and MLY WDG3A 14657 duly arrived with it. That was me then Secunderabad bound and 14567 rolled up alongside GTL WDG3A 13445, which was waiting to depart with 57605 0740 Secunderabad – Vikarabad passenger.
I had no time for anything, let alone buying a ticket, so it was blind leap without a ticket to Begumpet; where there were plenty of TTE’s doing random ticket checks on the platform, mostly off arriving MMTS local EMU’s. Once they’d moved away from the exit though, I managed to get myself a ticket back to Secunderabad and moments walking back onto the platform, MLY WDG3A 14779 rolled in with the late running 57547 0755 Hyderabad – Purna Jn passenger. So, being the stupid tourist, I was, I boarded 57547 to get to Secunderabad. On arrival at Sanathnagar, when I realised I’d got on the wrong train, I got off and did the first train back to Begumpet and got off there to wait for another train into Secunderabad; despite 17205 1710 (P) Sainagar Shirdi – Kakinada Port stopping there. KYN WDG4 70183 was a bit of a strange off-link for 17205 and with 19201 0040 (P) Porbandar – Secunderabad being close behind, it was a better move; a lot better move when VTA WDM3A 18741 rolled in with it.
Time was of the essence at Secunderabad, and I had a lot to do. Firstly, I dropped my big bag off at the cloak room at the Kacheguda end of platform 1. Secondly, I used the Railwire WiFi to get NTES to tell me what was going on; something I’d not had the luxury of due to not being able to use credit on my phone t activate a new data plan. So, thirdly, I headed down the road to the nearest Vodafone store and recharged my phone to activate a new data plan, which didn’t go as planned at all; and I walked out of the shop with as much data usage as I’d walked in with. It turned out that the shop assistant had recharged RS159 and not RS169 as he should have done, the former being the offer rate in Hyderabad and the latter being the offer rate in Delhi; where my sim is from, which I did tell him, knowing it makes a difference. I was instantly credited with the talk time and sms allowance but as the shop now had to e-mail Delhi, I didn’t get the data credited until that evening, and finally confirmation sms was sent though the following morning to confirm the data was active. This after I’d been back into the shop to top recharge RS49 to at least get some data allowance with being on a train the whole of the following day.
So, I was resigned to using station WiFi for the day, but Begumpet didn’t have any, so I could only use it at Secunderabad & Hyderabad. When back at the station, I had a bit of an issue with the guy at the ATVM, who didn’t listen when I asked him for my ticket and produced a Secunderabad to Begumpet Superfast, when I’d asked him for a Secunderabad to Hyderabad via Begumpet Superfast. He tried to tell me to get another ticket at Begumpet but as the fare is the same from Secunderabad to Hyderabad, via Begumpet, as it is from Secunderabad to Hyderabad, I refused and asked for the ticket I’d originally asked for to be produced. I wasn’t sure he was going to do it at first, but his mate punched it all in and proved I was right to the guy who’d done it wrong in the first place, who didn’t seem to be believing me about the fare. Either way, no money was handed over until the correct ticket was in my hand.
KZJ WDG3A’s 13447/13414 produced with 12747 0545 Guntur Jn – Vikarabad Jn Palnadu Express and at Begumpet, the train that just kept on giving, 12701 2150 (P) Mumbai CST – Hyderabad Hussain Sagar Express, rolled up with KYN WDG3A 13578 and waiting to drop onto the opposite end at Hyderabad was shed-mate KYN WDG3A 13550. I thought, up until recently, that I’d done quite a bit around Mumbai and had quite a few KYN locos, but this move, coupled with doing the Hussain Sagar in November three times, proved otherwise; both engines had been new, in and out of Hyderabad, on all four occasions I’d done it!
There was no time to dwell, on arrival at Hyderabad, as KZJ WAG7 27613 was about to depart with 57517 1215 Hyderabad – Tandur passenger and as it made 57606 1055 Vikarabad Jn – Kacheguda passenger at Begumpet, I did GTL WDG3A 13445 into Secunderabad, in the hope of making the very late running 57131 0905 Bolarum – Hyderabad; but passed it at James Street with PA WDM3D 11347. Luckily, there was a late running special to Hyderabad, not far behind it, and BZA WAG7 28681 led the way back to Hyderabad with 07110 0300 (P) Quillon – Hyderabad.
When I got back, KYN’s 13350 was buffered up to the rake of 12702 1445 Hyderabad – Mumbai CST and KZJ WDG3A 13413 was being prepared for departure with the ecs around to Secunderabad to form 17027 1655 Secunderabad – Kurnool City. When 12701 was approaching Hyderabad, MLY WDG3A 13374 was shunt releasing the set to allow 13413 to work it back out; which was the rake of 17009 Bidar – Hyderabad. Its one of those trains that starts at one place, in this case Secunderabad as 17010, and returns to another place, in this case Hyderabad as 17009.
There’s a decent food place right outside Hyderabad station, and it provided me with the biggest samosa I’ve ever seen for dinner. Parked right behind it were KZJ WDG3A’s 13395/14619, which I assumed would probably be for 12720 2035 Hyderabad – Jaipur that night; my train to Ajmer. A bit further along the carriage sidings was KZJ WDM3A 16375 and MLY WDG3A 13374, which was the Hyderabad station pilot.
13550 got 12702 underway right time and was still stopped on the curve outside Begumpet to let the late running 12026 Secunderabad – Pune Shatabdi go first; which is in the hands of PA WDP4s these days. Thankfully, I made 12748 1345 Vikarabad Jn – Guntur Jn Palnadu Express and did KZJ WDG3A’s 13414/13447 back to Secunderabad. When I released, or at least assumed, that GYWDP4D 40117 was going to work 17206 0600 Kakinada Port – Sainagar Shirdi forward, I made my way back to the Vodafone shop to try and get my data issue sorted. We all know what happened with that, but I have no idea where 40117 went during my walk down the road and back but I wasn’t complaining when KZJ WDG3A’s 13395/14619 were sat waiting to depart with 17206! Which clearly weren’t going to work my overnight from Hyderabad that night!
KZJ WDG3A’s 14778/14925 with 12734 1715 Lingampalli – Tirupati completed a move with a trio of consecutive moves featuring Kazipet Shakti’s and I celebrated with a well-earned KFC before collecting my big bag from the cloak room and then heading to Hyderabad for 12720 2035 Hyderabad – Jaipur. KZJ WDG3A 14575 replaced LGD WAP7 30550, which had arrived with 17012 1200 Sirpur Kaghaznagar – Secunderabad, on the rake, to work forward with 17010 1825 Secunderabad – Bidar Intercity. While that was happening, the stock was being back into platform 8 to form 17064 1810 Secunderabad – Manmad Jn Ajanta Express and waiting to attach were KZJ WDG3A’s 14591/13444; which had worked in that morning with the opposing Ajanta Express.
At Begumpet, I was in two minds what to do as all the inbound evening passenger’s to Hyderabad & Secunderabad were late. When PA WDM3D 11181 arrived with the late running 57659 1025 Solapur – Falaknuma, I did MLY WDM3A 16475 behind it to Hyderabad on the late running 57548 0730 Purna Jn – Hyderabad instead; and all was well. Even more so when I found KZJ WDG3A’s 13446/14777 waiting with 12720 2035 Hyderabad – Jaipur. The 2AC was right at the front on departure from Hyderabad, which would allow for some bellowing the following day; or would have, if I’d not forgot about the run-round at Purna Jn!
The 2AC was empty from Hyderabad, but for my compo it seemed, but I resisted the urge to get dossed out until Secunderabad, where the hoards descended, and the coach karma went from calm to chaotic in a matter of moments. After Secunderabad I quickly made my bed up and laid down for a few minutes. As I’d been falling asleep on a bench at Begumpet earlier, there was no surprise I was asleep before the TTE did his rounds; and was that tired that I woke myself snoring! I must have known the TTE was doing his rounds, as he poked his head around the curtain’s moments later and the coach attendant then came around to put pillow slips on the pillows, although quite why he’d not done it prior to departure, or at least between Hyderabad & Secunderabad, only he will know. Despite the noise levels in the coach, which I’d normally have been ranting about, as soon as my head hit the pillow again, that was that!
Gen for Wednesday 9th January 2019
14967/14699 KZJ 12798 1730 (P) Chittoor – Kacheguda
13137/13007 GTL 17641 0710 Kacheguda – Narkher Jn
14657 MLY 57564 2330 (P) Nanded – Hyderabad
13445 GTL 17626 2230 (P) Repalle – Secunderabad, 57605 0740 Secunderabad – Vikarabad Jn, 57606 1115 Vikarabad Jn – Kacheguda
18917/18890 KZJ 17015 0830 (P) Bhubaneswar – Secunderabad
14779 MLY 57547 0755 Hyderabad – Purna Jn
70183 KYN 17205 1710 (P) Sainagar Shirdi – Kakinada Port (to SC)
18741 VTA 19202 0040 (P) Porbandar – Secunderabad
13444/14591 KZJ 17063 2050 (P) Manmad Jn – Secunderabad, 17064 1810 Secunderabad – Manmad Jn
16603 GTL 57651 1045 Secunderabad – Repalle
16390 KZJ 17028 0530 Kurnool City – Secunderabad
13447/13414 KZJ 12747 0545 Guntur Jn – Vikarabad Jn, 12748 1345 Vikarabad Jn – Guntur Jn
11347 PA 57129 1830 (P) Bijapur – Bolarum, 57131 0905 Bolarum – Hyderabad
40434 KJM 17319 2050 (P) Hubli Jn – Secunderabad
22744 BZA 11020 1525 (P) Bhubaneswar – Mumbai CST
13578 KYN 12701 2150 (P) Mumbai CST – Hyderabad
27613 KZJ 57517 1215 Hyderabad – Tandur
22213 LGD 11307 0600 Gulbarga – Hyderabad
22714 LGD 11308 1625 Hyderabad – Gulbarga
13550 KYN 12702 1445 Hyderabad – Mumbai CST
13413 KZJ ECS HYB – SC then 17027 1655 Secunderabad – Kurnool City
28681 BZA 07110 0300 (P) Quillon – Hyderabad, 07141 1615 Hyderabad – Quillon
28403 BZA 08502 1630 Secunderabad – Visakhapatnam
14619/13395 KZJ 17206 0600 Kakinada Town – Sainagar Shirdi (from SC)
23927 BZA 57625 1840 Secunderabad – Manuguru
14778/14925 KZJ 12734 1715 Lingampalli – Tirupati
30550 LGD 17012 1200 Sirpur Kaghaznagar – Secunderabad
14575 KZJ 17010 1825 Secunderabad – Bidar
11181 PA 57659 1025 Solapur – Falaknuma
16475 MLY 57548 0730 Purna Jn – Hyderabad
40150 GY 17024 1500 Kurnool City – Secunderabad
40374 GY 17213 1025 Narasapur – Nagarsol (from SC)
13446/14777 KZJ 12720 2035 Hyderabad – Jaipur
Moves for Wednesday 9th January 2019
|14967||Umdanagar||Kacheguda||12798||1730 (08/01) Chittoor – Kacheguda|
|13137||Kacheguda||Malkajgiri||17641||0710 Kacheguda – Narkher|
|14657||Malkajgiri||Secunderabad Jn||57564||2330 (08/01) Nanded – Hyderabad Deccan Nampally|
|13445||Secunderabad Jn||Begumpet||57605||0740 Secunderabad Jn – Vikarabad Jn|
|14799||Begumpet||Sanathnagar||57547||0755 Hyderabad Deccan Nampally – Purna Jn|
|70183||Sanathnagar||Begumpet||17205||1710 (08/01) Sainagar Shirdi – Kakinada Port|
|18741||Begumpet||Secunderabad Jn||19201||0040 (08/01) Porbandar – Secunderabad Jn|
|13447||Secunderabad Jn||Begumpet||12747||0545 Guntur Jn – Vikarabad Jn|
|13578||Begumpet||Hyderabad Deccan Nampally||12701||2150 (08/01) Mumbai CST – Hyderabad Deccan Nampally|
|27613||Hyderabad Deccan Nampally||Begumpet||57517||1215 Hyderabad Deccan Nampally – Tandur|
|13445||Begumpet||Secunderabad Jn||57606||1055 Vikarabad Jn – Kacheguda|
|28681||Secunderabad Jn||Hyderabad Deccan Nampally||07110||0300 (08/01) Quillon Jn – Hyderabad Deccan Nampally|
|13550||Hyderabad Deccan Nampally||Begumpet||12702||1445 Hyderabad Deccan Nampally – Mumbai CST|
|13414||Begumpet||Secunderabad Jn||12748||1345 Vikarabad Jn – Guntur Jn|
|14619||Secunderabad Jn||Begumpet||17206||0600 Kakinada Port – Sainagar Shirdi|
|14778||Begumpet||Secunderabad Jn||12734||1715 Lingampalli – Tirupati|
|14575||Secunderabad Jn||Begumpet||17010||1825 Secunderabad Jn – Bidar|
|16475||Begumpet||Hyderabad Deccan Nampally||57548||0730 Purna Jn – Hyderabad Deccan Nampally|
|13446||Hyderabad Deccan Nampally||Ajmer Jn||12720||2035 Hyderabad Deccan Nampally – Jaipur Jn|
Photos for Wednesday 9th January 2019
Thursday 10th January 2019 (On board 12720 Hyderabad – Jaipur all day)
The first time I woke was at 0145 when the guy opposite me was being moved from he lower to upper berth, and the time after that was at 0545 when said guy got off and left all the lights on and the woman, he’d swapped his lower-side berth with was being moved from it to her upper berth opposite. The perils of swapping berths when people have different destinations; and to thing the very same guy told me, and I mean told me, he didn’t ask, that I’d take his lower side berth when I got on at Hyderabad. You can imagine how that conversation went, me being knackered, very tired, and Yorkshire!
Despite the two kids moving into the upper berth with their mother, there was no noise from either of them until 9am, which was a bonus. Shortly after waking, I realised we were going the opposite direction to when I’d gone to sleep and a few minutes later a guy came around taking lunch orders; which I didn’t quite expect to be delivered at 10am, when we were at Khandwa Jn! So, a late breakfast/early lunch it was. I took that issue out of the equation for dinner though and used the very good IRCTC Food app to order a meal to be delivered to my berth at Ujjain Jn.
The old MG platforms at Khandwa Jn were almost untouched and all the tracks were still in situ. It looked like no gauge conversion works had been done in the station area at all, leaving one to wonder whether any had taken place towards Mhow either, and what the benefit was of closing he Sanwad – Khandwa section at all?
With the Kazipet twins now being at the opposite end of the train, there was no bellowing to be done, so an afternoon of lounging and watching The 100 on my laptop ensued; which passed the time nicely until Ujjain. I spotted a guy on the platform with a bag of food, as we arrived, and sure enough, he delivered it to my seat, confirmed the OTP number, which is basically the confirmation number for your delivery, so it doesn’t get delivered to someone else by mistake, before he left and then I tucked in. My aloo jeera and rice were packaged in plastic containers and my nan was wrapped in foil. There was a plate, spoon and condiments in the bag as well as a small bag of salt and some napkins. We were 25’ late at Ujjain so the food wasn’t piping hot, but it was still warm; and was very tasty. Just what the doctor ordered.
My body-clock was all over the place and as I was getting off 12720 at Ajmer at 0305, as soon as it got dark, I got horizontal and surprisingly ended up dossing out for a considerable amount of the remainder of my journey. The woman with the two kids had got off hours ago, leaving me and the bert opposite for the remainder of our journey. We both alighted at Ajmer Jn and I was going to bollock him for being on his phone at 0230 until I looked at the Where is my Train app and realised we were approaching Ajmer; 30’ early!
Gen for Thursday 10th January 2019
On board 12720 all day
Moves for Thursday 10th January 2019
|ON BOARD 12720 ALL DAY|
Photos for Thursday 10th January 2019
Friday 11th January 2019 (Marwar Jn Day 1 of 4 – covering the Marwar – Mavli MG)
It was cool at Ajmer but there was a chai stall right outside the door I’d alighted from, which warmed me up nicely. It was almost as cold outside as it had been inside the LHB coach I’d spent the previous 30 hours in; they’re vicious compared to the ICF rakes and there’s no way to direct the airflow, or turn it up and down, like there is in the ICF rakes. It’s safe to say, I’m not a fan!
There was plenty going on at Ajmer, with ABR WDM3A 16838 shunting in the carriage sidings and ET WDM3D 11507 knocking around in the station. ABR WDM3A 16840 was at one end of the stock to form my 19412 0625 Ajmer Jn – Ahmedabad Jn Intercity and ABR WDM3A 16610 was at the business end, waiting to be tied on. While waiting about the place, ABR WDM3A 16354 arrived, and departed, with 19666 2220 (P) Udaipur City – Khajuraho, BGKT WAP4D 40146 departed with 12981 1940 Delhi Sarai Rohilla – Udaipur City, UBL WDP4 20022 departed with 16209 0530 Ajmer Jn – Mysore Jn, BGKT WDG4 12578 departed with 12547 2210 (P) Agra Cantt – Ahmedabad, LDH WDP4D 40334 departed with 22451 1215 (P) Bandra Terminus – Chandigarh and IZN WDG4 12715 departed with 14312 1245 (P) Bhuj – Bareilly Jn; which makes very sorry reading for my eyes!
Randomly, while I was asleep, I’d had a message on WhatsApp to say that only 4km of the wiring of Ajmer to Udaipur city remained to be finished. I hunted around Ajmer station but couldn’t find a single mast up, laying around threatening to be put up, or even any holes or works going on to put masts up. Of course, Ajmer could be in the4km previously mentioned, but there was no sign of work starting so, it was going to take a while. Further to that, the only work I could see going on anywhere in the station was the conversion of the old MG platforms into BG platforms; and they looked like a proper building site but at least platform end stones had been laid part way down the edges, so work looked like it was progressing. Its not as though Ajmer’s MG platforms haven’t been closed for many years, is it? So, taking another couple of years to ease the capacity issues at Ajmer won’t be an issue.
The AC Chair Car on my 19412, which I was doing to Marwar, wasn’t opened up until 30 minutes before departure and there were only about 15 people in it during my time on board. 19412 was my second early train of the day, when it rolled into Marwar 10’ early. The station area was full of freight trains and waiting to head north was KTE WDG3A 14643, with a double-stack container train; which dwarfed the little Alco at the front of the train. There was an ABR WDM3A stabled in a siding outside the station front, to the south side of the station, with an electrification train and masts were up in the station area, although not concreted in place yet. Over the back of the station, stabled in the MG platform, was what I’d come for; and with the stock that would form the next MG departure at 1120 was MJV outbased FL YDM4 6739.
I had a hotel booked in Marwar, the Dhapudha Palace Inn, which was a 10-minjute walk from Marwar Jn station and there’d been a few people stay at it recently, when covering the Marwar – Mavli MG. Randomly, it was a decent hotel, in a very strange place, as Marwar Junction was nothing but a small village really. It was relatively new though and seemed to cater mostly for weddings and functions. I didn’t want to get to the hotel too early, so I hung around and did a bit of photting in the station area for a bit.
After IZN WDP4D 40287 had arrived with 15013 0100 Jaisalmer – Kathgodam, I noticed a group of people start to gather near the foot crossing north of the station. I was heading down that way, hoping to get a shot of 14643 departing with its double-stack train. When I got closer I realised that was I was expecting to be an animal relate incident, wasn’t at all; and it was his legs I saw first. As I got closer, I could make out almost all his body but then realised that his head was on the opposite side of the rail to the rest of his body and completely severed off, along with an arm! During the time it had taken for me to walk down the tracks, 40287 had run-round its train and had passed straight over the same rails where the body lay. You’d never get such a thing happening in the UK, but as harsh as it may sound, what further damage to the situation could it do, and with IR’s loco pilots probably seeing this kind of thing many times during their career, it doesn’t seem to do their peace of mind any harm; so why not just get on with it? I’d heard that bodies were routinely moved from the scene immediately and left at the side of the tracks for recovery, to allow movement of trains to continue unhindered; and that was exactly what happened in this instance, once the RPF had taken their photos, along with everyone standing around I might add; including me! The body was gently lifted to one side and both the head and arm were recovered and laid with the body, randomly alongside where they’d been severed from, and then it was covered up until someone came along later with a stretcher to allow the poor guy to be taken away from the scene. Now, I don’t know what happened, but I do know that if he hadn’t either been trespassing, or more likely, trying to get off a moving train at the crossing outside the station to save a few minutes, then he’d still be alive! Tragic as it is, there is probably only one person to blame for what happened! Soon after the body had been covered, 40287 departed with 15013 and 5 minutes later 14643 headed north with its container train; then I was hotel bound.
To get to the Dhapudha Palace Inn, turn right out of the station and then left at the first junction, then keep heading straight for about 700m and its on the left as you get to civilization. The young lad at the reception didn’t seem to be expecting me, yet I had email confirmation confirming my booking. It didn’t take him long to check me in though and the room I was given was huge, with its own seating area, desk and a massive bed. There was AC, which wasn’t needed in the current cool climate and 24/7 hot water. The only toiletry provided was a bar of soap and there was no toilet roll, other than that, it was a very good room, and a very clean one at that. After dumping my bags, I managed to get a couple of aloo parathas from the restaurant that adjoins the Dhapudha Palace and took them to the station with me, all wrapped up in foil to keep them warm.
There was no queue at the ticket office window when I got there but there was still a guy manning the ATVM and he sold me a ticket to Charbhuja Road, costing RS25 for the83km journey. Since I’d been the hotel and back, everything in the station area was completely different. 6739 had run-round its train, LDH WDG3A 13321 was in the station with a short works train and there was a different Alco, with a double-stack container train, where KTE’s 14643 had stood earlier; and ABR WDM3A 14121 was soon arriving with another from the north.
When 6739 eased away with 52075 1120 Marwar Jn – Mavli Jn, the train was empty at both ends and there was a sparse scattering of people in the middle of the load-5 rake. The driver, unfortunately, was a complete windbag and didn’t get 6739 to full power until it was up to speed, by which time it was time to shut off. His driving style all the way to Charbhuja Road was non-crank-friendly and pretty pathetic really; even through the ghat section from Phulad to Khambli Ghat.
At Phulad, thanks to the new and improved timetable, which was implemented after IR decided it wasn’t running trains on the MG during darkness, two trains occupy the station at the same time. So, after 6739 had run-round the pointsman headed down to set the road for 52076 0700 Mavli Jn – Marwar Jn to arrive, then walked around the corner to the home signal, where he sets the road from the runaway siding to the main line once the approaching train comes to a stand. The signal is then pulled off, the train draws forward and then stops to await the signal being reset. The pointsman then jumps aboard and rides back into the station with the “LV” bracket, which he’ll attach to the opposite end on arrival; in readiness for the loco running-round the rake to head to Marwar. I figured all this out after watching it happen. I was more intent on getting a photo of the arriving train with the two signs that stand on the curve of the junction, one reading “Ghat Section Begins” and the other “Photography Totally Prohibited”. Well, I couldn’t resist getting my photos as 6738 arrived with 52076!
Photography session over, I go myself a chai from the stall on the station and took up residence at the opposite end of the train, right behind 639; only to be disappointed by the lack of thrash. The scenery on the other hand is cracking and it seems that it’s a necessity to bring as much food as you can carry to feed the monkey population in the ghats. The train crew must have had an endless supply as they threw roti’s out to every monkey they passed; and the clever monkeys even sat in between the tracks to wait and see which side of the loco an arm was sticking out of, before heading to that side to recover their treats! Goramghat station was carnage, monkeys everywhere and those not content with what was being thrown out for them clambered up onto the train and hung off the window bars, inspecting what was inside the train. One cheeky fellow just wouldn’t let the train go without extracting as much food as possible from it and he clambered onto the loco as it moved away and clung to the second man’s window until it was given more food; only then did it bid us farewell and scurry away with its hoard.
All of the scenery is on the right-hand side, when travelling from Marwar towards Mavli, and the ghat section finishes at Khambli Ghat, although its not the highest point on the line. In the sidings adjoining the station at Khambli Ghat there are a number of MG coaches awaiting scrapping. Judging by the number of wheels laying about, it looks like some have already been disposed of but then they couldn’t be arsed any more. The station area oozes an olde worlde feeling and if that’s not enough the rails beneath the train at Khambli Ghat all age from the 19th century! Manufactured in the UK by Barrow Steel in 1894 and still in mainline service 125 years later, nothing short of amazing!
During the stop at Khambli Ghat the brakes are checked on the rake and the run forward from there towards Charbhuja Road is quite quick, even with a crap loco pilot. 6732, in IZN dark blue livery, was already sat in at Charbhuja Road with 09601 1230 Mavli Jn – Marwar Jn, when 6739 arrived with 52075. I quickly got off and made my way to the booking office to get a ticket straight back to Marwar Jn. There’s plenty of time to do so as the tokens have to be prepared and then taken to their respective crews. I just about had time to get a photo of 6732 before it departed for Marwar.
The run back down the ghat to Phulad requires two stops along the way, where the train crew have to get out and set the points from the runaway sidings to the main line. Once of these runaway sidings curves up a steep incline and has a set of buffer stops at the end. At the other side of the buffer stops is a sheer drop off a cliff! Which is just what you want, as if your train running away isn’t bad enough, IR have added a bonus at the end of the roller-coaster ride. It was a pleasant 19kmph trundle back to Phulad, where more chai drinking passed the time while 6732 ran-round its train. For the last 25km back to Marwar I had the pleasure of chatting to a group of young girls, who’d travelled all the way from Udaipur. Its not often girls pluck up the courage to talk to foreigners but they’re definitely less in-your-face than young lads are and aren’t as annoying as their male counterparts can be. Strangely, one of the girls was talking about wanting a love marriage instead of an arranged one and went on to say that her mother was open-minded about such thing. Even more strangely, they couldn’t believe that I didn’t have a girlfriend, a question they asked right after I’d told them I was married! Their conversation passed the time and the remainder of the journey seemed to fly by.
Back at Marwar, the fact I’d been up since 0230 was starting to take its toll and I headed straight back to the hotel, had a cracking Dal Makhani in the restaurant and then a nice refreshing warm, not hot, shower; before hitting the much-needed sack at 2030, with an alarm set for 0530 the following morning.
Gen for Friday 11th January 2019
40146 BGKT 12981 1940 (P) Delhi Sarai Rohilla – Udaipur City
40xxx ??? 12915 1830 (P) Ahmedabad – Delhi Sarai Rohilla
16354 ABR 19666 2220 (P) Udaipur City – Khajuraho
20022 UBL 16209 0530 Ajmer Jn – Mysore Jn
12578 BGKT 12547 2210 (P) Agra Cantt – Ahmedabad
40334 LDH 22451 1215 (P) Bandra Terminus – Chandigarh
12715 IZN 14312 1245 (P) Bhuj – Bareilly Jn
16840 ABR 12065 0540 Ajmer Jn – Delhi Sarai Rohilla
18695 ABR 22987 0600 Ajmer Jn – Agra Fort
16610 ABR 19412 0625 Ajmer Jn – Ahmedabad
40287 IZN 15013 0100 Jaisalmer – Kathgodam
40333 SBI 17037 2355 (PP) Secunderabad – Hisar
40151 IZN 14801 0710 Jodhpur Jn – Indore Jn
16831 VTA 54803 0845 Jodhpur Jn – Ahmedabad
13544 RTM & 14121 ABR Double-stacks at Marwar
6739 52075 1120 Marwar – Mavli
6738 52076 0700 Mavli – Marwar
6732 09601 1230 Mavli – Marwar
Moves for Friday 11th January 2019
|16610||Ajmer Jn||Marwar Jn||19412||0625 Ajmer Jn – Ahmedabad Jn|
|6739||Marwar Jn||Charbhuja Road||52075||1120 Marwar Jn – Mavli Jn|
|6732||Charbhuja Road||Marwar Jn||09601||1230 Mavli Jn – Marwar Jn|
Photos for Friday 11th January 2019
Saturday 12th January 2019 (Marwar Jn Day 2 of 4 – covering the Marwar – Mavli MG)
Having slept quite well, I was even up before the alarm went off and was soon attempting to get out of the hotel; which was all locked up from the inside and there was nobody in reception. I eventually found “the boy” dossed out in a room up the first flight of stairs, directly behind the reception, woke him from hi slumber and he reluctantly, I could tell from his demeanor, ambled to the front door, took the chain off and let me out into the deserted street.
The first thing I did, once outside, was put my jacket on; it was a bit chilly. The streets were completely deserted all the way to the main road junction, near the station; where life was starting to wake, and people were preparing their stalls for the morning rush. At Marwar Jn station, I bought a ticket from the booking office, where there was no queue at all, and then found myself a chai walla on the station. Everything was closed but for a stall on platform 2/3, which thankfully had some freshly made pakoras; to go with my chai, for breakfast.
6738 was already at the head of the stock for 09602 0610 Marwar Jn – Mavli Jn and 6732 was still stood in exactly the same place that I’d left it the previous evening; and both sets of stock were back to back in the one platform, with locos at opposing ends. The crew were preparing 6738 when I walked down and by the time I got there, the walla from the stall I’d been to wasn’t far behind me; kettle in hand. It would have been rude not to partake in more, especially as it was going to be the only thing wit any warmth that I’d touch for a good few hours!
IR’s policy of not running in darkness can be forgiven when trains are running late but 09602 is timed to depart Marwar while its still dark and it was barely light when we got to Phulad. There are loads of crossings between Marwar & Phulad, the majority of which require the loco pilot to bring his train to a dead stop, before proceeding at caution. So, that’s during daylight hours, so why can’t exactly the same happen during the hours of darkness? It beats me why IR just didn’t introduce that policy and run trains as they were doing, especially on the Mailani – Bahraich section.
At Phulad, I drank chai at Bert’s shack while 6738 ran-round its rake, then clambered aboard at the opposite end of the train, into a coach that was as empty as the one I’d just got out of at the other end. If the previous day’s loadings were anything to go by then none of the trains would be very well patronized at all. This was great for me, but probably not so great for IR; especially as the first time I did the line, in 2006, the was barely space to breathe, let alone get into the train at Marwar!
While the loco pilot was a lot better than the previous afternoon’s, going up the ghat section was equally as annoying, with the 19kmph restriction, and measly load 5 rake, preventing any real and sustained thrash. The monkeys couldn’t even be arsed to grace us with their presence at Goramghat; and off we trundled with the train crew’s roti stash still intact. That soon came to an end as we started to pass the odd gang along the trackside and watching monkeys scrap for a bit of bread just shows how vicious they can be towards one another.
I’d woken up by the time we got to Khambli Ghat and had a chat with the station master, while the sole seller plied his wares through the train as the train crew fed the local dog population. It seemed that the dogs at every local station knew that they would get something from the loco crew, just as the monkeys did, and it begs the question, just how much of a lifeline to everything along the route are the trains running on the Mavli – Marwar line? Are the monkeys now dependent on their daily food source, which can occur four times a day, and do the dogs have any other way of feeding themselves, or would they die of starvation if the trains didn’t run? I guess time would tell, since IR had announced only the week previous that gauge conversion of the route had been approved.
By Charbhuja Road I was ready to get off and 6655 was already sat in with 52076 0700 Mavli Jn – Marwar Jn. Buying a ticket back to Phulad wasn’t as efficient as it had been the previous day; mainly due to the station master being on the phone when I got into the queue and one of the guys in front of me seemingly buy tickets for everyone in Charbhuja Road! The token was out onto the platform before I was, but I was clambering into the front coach as it got handed to the loco pilot.
6655 was as good as 6738 but didn’t clag as much and put in a sterling effort to Khambli Ghat. I even managed to take my jacket off for the run back down the ghat ad at the home signal, protecting Phulad, I was off as soon as the train came to a stand and got plenty of photos of it during the point-setting saga that goes on there. I walked into Phulad station, where 6732 was waiting to take me back up the ghats; for round two!
While I bought my ticket at Phulad, a group of four tourists walked onto the station, with their guide, who strangely put them into the middle coach on the train, when the rear two were almost empty. They soon figured it out and changed coaches, and 6732 was soon heading up the hill. At Goramghat, this time the monkeys were out in force, but the crew had plenty left for the stragglers further up the hill; and the Khambli Ghat dogs!
6739 was already waiting at Charbhuja Road when 6732 arrived and the station master had to do a double-take when I went to his ticket office for the second time that day! Unfortunately, he spoke no English, so I couldn’t have any banter with him about my antics. And I had to make do with travelling back to Phulad at the rear of the train as the front was full, and when I say full, I mean well loaded but with a bit of space. I had the back coach all t myself though!
There were a bigger group of tourists waiting at Khambli Ghat on the way back and the loco-pilot did his best to attract the monkeys for them as he blew the horn a few times on arrival into Goramghat. Some even got off to take photos, meanwhile, I got my own of the cheeky monkeys clinging to the bars of our coach, weighing up what was inside. There were few mothers carrying their young too, who you could tell from their expressions, didn’t really have a clue what was going on; but just went with it while stuff was being thrown at them. These would possibly become reliant on the trains as a source of food? And there was no sharing amongst friends, each kept what they scavenged and attempted to rob others of what they’d scavenged if they weren’t lucky enough to be close as the food was thrown their way.
As the sun was just about still in the sky when we approached Phulad’s home signal, I got off again for some more photos, much to the amusement of the pointsman, who had another two days of being amused yet! This time I clambered back onto the train as it stopped to allow the points and signal to be reset and once in Phulad station, I came to the conclusion that bert, at Bert’s shack, wasn’t on the ball with his chai making at all; and never seemed to start making it until the loco had run-round, thus making me rush to the front with hot chai; and making the train later in the process as the train crew always had a chai before they departed.
Being late wouldn’t have been such an issue, if I didn’t have a reservation from Marwar Jn on 19223 1120 Ahmedabad – Jammu Tawi, to Jodhpur; and one back on 17624 1015 Sri Ganganagar – Nanded. Thankfully, RTM WDG3A 13554 was a little late arriving with 19223, thanks to something else being late in front of it, and all was well. I was pleased with the RTM Shakti too, vice ABR link, and the late running towards Jodhpur didn’t affect my move, it just cut down on the waiting time at Jodhpur Jn for 17624 going back; which was used wisely, to get myself something to eat. The evening turned into a success when GTL WDM3D’s 11448/11153 rolled in with 17624 and even more of a success when they had me back into Marwar Jn a few minutes early!
The walk back to the Dhapudha Palace was in darkness again ad the streets were equally as deserted as they had been 18-hours previous. My evening finished as it stared, with me having to wake someone to let me in this time though. Thankfully, I didn’t wake the whole hotel with my banging on the door; although, I wasn’t sure there were many more than me staying there! There was no messing about when I got to my room as it wouldn’t be long before I was heading back out of the door again; about 6 hours!
Gen for Saturday 12th January 2019
6738 09602 0610 Marwar – Mavli
6655 52076 0700 Mavli – Marwar
6732 52075 1120 Marwar – Mavli
6739 09601 1230 Mavli – Marwar
13544 RTM 1120 19223 Ahmedabad – Jammu Tawi
11448/11153 GTL 17624 1015 Sri Ganganagar – Nanded
Moves for Saturday 12th January 2019
|6738||Marwar Jn||Charbhuja Road||09602||0610 Marwar Jn – Mavli Jn|
|6655||Charbhuja Road||Phulad||52076||0700 Mavli Jn – Marwar Jn|
|6732||Phulad||Charbhuja Road||52075||1120 Marwar Jn – Mavli Jn|
|6739||Charbhuja Road||Marwar Jn||09601||1230 Mavli Jn – Marwar Jn|
|13544||Marwar Jn||Jodhpur Jn||19223||1120 Ahmedabad Jn – Jammu Tawi|
|11448||Jodhpur Jn||Marwar Jn||17624||1015 Sri Ganganagar Jn – Nanded|
Photos for Saturday 12th January 2019
Sunday 13th January 2019 (Marwar Jn Day 3 of 4 – covering the Marwar – Mavli MG)
To say I was bleary eyed when I got up was an understatement, and I was in half a mind whether to go back to bed and get up to do the 1120 departure from Marwar instead. As it was my only chance, during this visit, to do the whole line out and back, I made the effort though and at least knew where to find the guy that would let me out of the hotel, at such an ungodly hour! It was de-ja-vu time as I walked down the deserted streets of Marwar again, bought a ticket from the same guy at the same ticket window and bought chai and pakoras from the same stall. The only thing that was different was the locos on the stock in the MG platform; with 6655 heading 09602 0610 Marwar Jn – Mavli Jn and 6739 waiting to be run-round to work 52075 1120 Marwar Jn – Mavli Jn. The front coach was empty again to Phulad, chai was eventually served by bert during the run-round and the front coach was empty heading up the ghat section, after my mate had set the road for us. While waiting for said chai to be brewed, I felt a tap on my shoulder, followed by the word “ticket”. It was only a TTE, doing a full grip of the platform and train, while 6655 ran-round. It just shows where they can pop up.
Despite being knackered, I thought I’d better make an effort after being a bit nonplussed the previous morning and while getting a couple of photos as Khambli Ghat I noticed that the rails that the train stood on seemed to be ancient and had been manufactured in the 19th century. They were 75-pound rails manufactured in the UK by Barrow Steel in 1894! Yes, that’s 1894 and they were still technically in mainline use 125 years later. Google says that Workington started to manufacture rails in 1878, so maybe they eventually put Barrow Steel out of business; especially with how successful Workington was with regards the manufacturing of rails. Bizarrely, I fund some rails later in the evening at Phulad, manufactured by BSC Workington in 1984, 80 years later!
My Groundhog Day started to move on to pastures new, when the elastic band snapped at Charbhuja Road and I departed on a train heading towards Mavli Jn. 09602 was better patronized at the Mavli side of Charbhuja Road than the Marwar side; and at one point I had 5 people sat with me in my compo! There was still plenty of room though, and it was empty at the back, but it was worth sitting at the front to listen to 6655 growl its way towards Mavli.
At Nathdwara, while the crew were feeding yet another set of dogs, I paid homage to the 1st class waiting room, which looked like it had recently had its frontage repainted. It was almost 13 years to the day, since me and Pelham had got off the last train from Marwar to Mavli at Nathdwara, with our novice ways having us thinking we’d be able to get an auto to take us to the nearest hotels, some 10km away; actually, in Nathdwara! We were so wrong, and the station master ended up opening the 1st class waiting room, where we spent the night, and, in the morning, the local police officer took us down to a chai stall for some morning refreshments, before we went on our merry way when the first train arrived from Mavli. At that time, you could still see the old timetable underneath the paint on the booking office walls, and it listed trains like Jodhpur – Delhi; which would be why a lowly station like Nathdwara had a 1st class waiting room!
After my trip down memory lane, 6655 glided through the home-straight towards Mavli, following the parallel BG alignment that was randomly laid some years ago, to allow IR to run that one train a week to Nathdwara, which is neither use, yet ornament, to anyone; and I’ll be it runs almost empty from Mavli, if not Chittaurgarh?
6738 was already waiting to drop onto the opposite end of the stock, when 6655 rounded the corner into Mavli Jn with 09602. The same set of stock is used to form 09601 1230 Mavli Jn – Marwar Jn and while the locos were detached and attached, I headed across the tracks to get a ticket back to Marwar and then straight out of the station to fin some street-food; as all the vendors on the station had done one for the afternoon! I’d been banking on them for some afternoon substance, but the samosas I found at a stall in the street sufficed and filled a gap. Back on the train, all those waiting had shoehorned themselves into the rear two coaches, leaving the front one with only me in it on departure from Mavli.
I have to admit, I wasn’t looking forward to a run all the way from Marwar to Mavli and back but once I’d got to Mavli, the prospect of returning to Marwar wasn’t so bad and I quite enjoyed the relaxing run back. I was able to get some photos of 6739 arriving into Charbhuja Road with 52075 1120 Marwar Jn – Mavli Jn; and for once I wasn’t rushing about to the ticket window. At Khambli Ghat quite a sizeable group of tourists got on the train for the run down to Phulad, and on arrival they were shown around the station master’s office and allowed to use the toilets in the 1st class waiting room there. Meanwhile, bert at his stall, excelled himself to a new level of incompetency and didn’t manage to make any chai at all during the run-round of the loco and even the train crew gave up on him and went about their business; without chai!
Arrival back into Marwar was slightly later than the previous night and 19223 1120 Ahmedabad – Jammu Tawi had already gone, right time. Which was probably a relief for me, as had it been something I wanted to do, I’d probably have gone to Pali Marwar for 12479 back. I was craving a decent meal though and another very good Dal Makhani was rustled up in time, back at the Dhapudha Palace. It went down in no time and it was almost as though I’d licked the plate clean when I walked away from the table.
As I was checking out early the following morning, I paid the bill before going to bed. The Dhapudha Palace don’t take cards so I had t pay RS4200 in cash; for my 3-night stay. Thankfully, after my bank had kindly stopped me withdrawing money the other day, after replying to their text message, I was able to withdraw some cash on the way back to the hotel; otherwise there could have been an issue. As it was, there wasn’t, and I bode all the staff farewell before going to bed; and gave fare warning to “the boy” that I’d be waking him at 0530 in the morning, to get out again! The Dhapudha Palace had been an excellent place to stay, my only gripe being that their WiFi is restricted to the lower floor; but I’d not needed it, so it wasn’t an issue. Having spent less than 6 hours in bed the previous night, I was going to make up for it when I hit the sack at 8 o’clock and was looking forward to 9 hours in bed!
Gen for Sunday 13th January 2019
6655 09602 0610 Marwar – Mavli
6476 52076 0700 Mavli – Marwar
6739 52075 1120 Marwar – Mavli
6738 09601 1230 Mavli – Marwar
11542 VTA 12958 1955 (P) New Delhi – Ahmedabad
40334 LDH 22452 0545 Chandigarh – Bandra Terminus
Moves for Sunday 13th January 2019
|6655||Marwar Jn||Mavli Jn||09602||0610 Marwar Jn – Mavli Jn|
|6738||Mavli Jn||Marwar Jn||09601||1230 Mavli Jn – Marwar Jn|
Photos for Sunday 13th January 2019
Monday 14th January 2019 (My last day in Marwar before walking into a disaster that afternoon!)
As all my packing was done before I went to bed, a quick bucket shower preceded my departure from the hotel, but I wasn’t allowed to leave until I’d put something in the hotel’s guest comments book; which at 0530 of a morning, was just what I wanted to be doing. I obliged though and then headed to the station. I was going to miss Marwar, but it was time to move on, and no doubt I’d be back before the bulldozers had their way with the MG.
6476 was this morning’s 09602 0610 Marwar Jn – Mavli Jn and it sounded nice hammering through the darkness towards Phulad. There, the stationmaster, who’d watched me head through his station plenty of times in the last four days, accosted me and I had no option but to have a seat in his office and drink chai with him; while 6476 ran-round.
The loadings on board 09602 were no different to any other morning and as seemed to be the norm, I had the run of the mill at both ends of the train. It was another cool morning heading up the ghats and at Charbhuja Road, 6732 was waiting to take me back to Marwar with 52076 0700 Mavli Jn – Marwar; which was the one I’d been hoping for, more for the photos at Phulad than anything else as its in a different livery to the rest. While buying my ticket to Marwar, at Charbhuja Road, the station master there beckoned me round into his office too. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to drink chai and chew the cud with him and I walked out of the door when the token was carried out but his “boy”.
At Khambli Ghat a big group of tourists were waiting to board the train, the biggest group yet. There must have been a big bus load, numbering about 30, most of whom were Japanese but there were a few westerners as well. Hopefully their continued trips to ride on the MG would help with keeping it open? They weren’t disappointed at Goramghat either and the monkeys didn’t seem to know what to make of such a big group on the platform at once.
When I got off to take photos at the home signal at Phulad, the loco pilot immediately spotted me and I recognized him from the previous day at Mavli. He insisted that I take some photos of him and his crew and I now have an address to send three copies of each to. While I realised we were early, and my pointsman mate wasn’t at the signal to do his stuff yet, it hadn’t dawned on me that 52076 1120 Marwar Jn – Mavli Jn hadn’t arrived yet; and while I was taking pictures of the crew it trundled around the curve behind me! That was an opportunity missed.
Still, I got some decent photos of 6732 as it approached Phulad, including with the “Photography Totally Prohibited” sign and was pleased with how things had panned out. I even managed to get a chai out of bert at his shack, before clambering aboard for the run back into Marwar Jn, where I’d bid farewell to the MG and walk into the unknown!
I wasn’t expecting there to be a move available on the BG when I got to Marwar Jn and when ABR WDM3A 16582 rolled in, shortly after I’d arrived on the MG, I wasn’t going to smack he gift horse in the mouth; and did it to Dhareswar on 54805 2330 (P) Ahmedabad Jn – Jaipur Jn and when ABR WDG3A 14554 arrived there with the opposing working of 54806 0535 Jaipur Jn – Ahmedabad Jn, it made what came next a little easier to stomach; even though I knew what was coming….
So, on Thursday of the previous week Youth spotted 16311 Sri Ganganagar – Kochuveli at Madgaon with BGKT WDP4D 40580 at its helm, which is a train that’s booked for ERS WDM3A twins. At this point in my plan I was booked to now get on the return working of 16312 Kochuveli – Sri Ganganagar and do it the 700km to Sri Ganganagar, spend the day there and then do 16311 Sri Ganganagar – Kochuveli all the way to Shoranur; to allow me to do the ERS twins for their whole journey of 2694km, the longest journey any Alco twins do in India.
Kindly, and luckily, Youth had also been able to spot 16312 Kochuveli – Sri Ganganagar on its way north, south of Madgaon, and as expected it was the same BGKT WDP4, 40580, heading back towards its home depot I hoped; and I was expecting, or more like praying, that the ERS twins that had been in the circuit had failed at Ahmedabad or Jodhpur and would replace the GM on the journey back north. When I browsed Facebook, I even found that the BGKT GM had been used on an Express from Shoranur to Trivandrum Central and return, during its layover. When the headlights came into view at Marwar Jn though, my hopes were dashed and 40580 duly rolled in, spot on time, with 16312. And, to add insult to injury the stock was the opposite way around to what the electronic display screens were indicating, so I had to jog 20 coaches to the rear of the train!
It was only a 90-minute run to Jodhpur and I’d soon know the fate of my bash, all too soon. Unfortunately, by the time I’d walked down to the front of the train, the fresh crew were already preparing 40580 for the run through to Sri Ganganagar and the pipes between the loco and coaches were still firmly in place. 40580 departed with the 16312 a short time later, while I reluctantly remained on the platform! My back-up plan was to head through to Bikaner on it and get a hotel there for the night but my disgust with what IR had thrown at me made me decide to stay at Jodhpur, ned about for a bit and do 19223 1120 Ahmedabad Jn – Jammu Tawi through to Bikaner instead; which was at least the correct traction.
Thanks to Youth spotting 16311 going south, I was forewarned, and such is the way things are now, without having the benefit of an Indrail Pass, I spent a whole afternoon on the IRCTC website trying to find availability on trains that linked, to make myself an escape plan; which was now obviously needed. After a lot of messing about I managed to come up with the following plan, Thu 15/01 12467 Jaisalmer – Jaipur from Bikaner to Jaipur, for 17019 Jaipur – Hyderabad throughout (arriving HYB at 0730 Thu 17/01). The on Thu 17/01 17021 0930 Hyderabad – Vasco to Madgaon, followed by Fri 18/01 16333 Veraval – Trivandrum from Madgaon to Shoranur; which would put me into my booked 16338 Ernakulam – Okha back to Panvel that night.
My plan was far from robust as at the time of booking I was WL16 on 17019 from Jaipur but with a 93% chance of confirmation. I was also WL5 on 16333 from Madgaon to Shoranur, and in 3AC not 2AC, but that wasn’t as much of an issue. If I didn’t get confirmed on 17019, the only option was to fly from Jaipur to Hyderabad, bit the bullet and accept I’d then been fucked royally by IR. Hopefully it wouldn’t come to that and having had a few days to come to terms with what was likely going to happen, I was quite liking my alternative plan; which would hopefully take me all the way from Jaipur to Shoranur, via Hyderabad, with Alco twins.
Back to the evening at hand! ABR WDM3A 16793 on 54825 1810 Jodhpur Jn – Bilara passenger was a good start and I was originally going to do it to Jodhpur Cantt for 14814 1725 (P) Bhopal Jn – Jodhpur Jn back into Jodhpur Jn. However, at Rai Ka Bagh Palace KTE WDG4 12822 was waiting the road into Jodhpur Jn with 22421 0705 Delhi Sarai Rohilla – Jodhpur Jn and doing it back to Jodhpur then getting an auto out to Bhagat Ki Kothi for 14802 0430 Indore Jn – Jodhpur back in, was a far safer move; as 14802 was in front of 19223, which I intended to catch to Bikaner. It was also a better move, when LKO WDM3D 11590, the last WDM3D built for IR, turned up with 14802; as 14814 was ABR WDM3A 16003.
When ABR WDM3A 16799 arrived into Jodhpur Jn with 19223 1120 Ahmedabad Jn – Jammu Tawi, I was beginning to regret not doing the GM forward to Bikaner on 16312. The unreserved was wedged at the front of the train and at this point I was seriously considering walking away and getting myself a hotel, then doing 12466 0555 Jodhpur – Indore to Merta Road in the morning to head off 12467 from Bikaner. I chanced it though and asked the TTE of the AC coaches if there was any room for a small one to Bikaner; and was pleasantly surprised when he said yes, but only in a side-upper berth. Like that mattered! It was a side-upper in 3AC as well, but a berth was a berth. I wasn’t given a ticket for the RS300 I handed over; but also, wasn’t bothered. I made myself comfy once on board, set my alarm to make sure I was awake at stupid o’clock to get off, and got horizontal; in a surprisingly calm 3AC coach.
Gen for Monday 14th January 2019
6476 09602 0610 Marwar – Mavli
6732 52076 0700 Mavli – Marwar
6738 52075 1120 Marwar – Mavli
40039 BGKT 19708 0840 Jaipur Jn – Bandra Terminus
16582 ABR 54805 2330 (P) Ahmedabad – Jaipur Jn
14554 ABR 54806 0535 Jaipur Jn – Ahmedabad
40580 BGKT 16312 1545 (PP) Kochuveli – Sri Ganganagar Jn
70714 KTE 14707 0930 Bikaner Jn – Bandra Terminus
40137 IZN 15014 2040 (P) Kathgodam – Jaisalmer
16793 ABR 54814 1300 Barmer – Jodhpur, 54825 1810 Jodhpur – Bilara
70059 RTM 22481 1900 Jodhpur Jn – Delhi Sarai Rohilla
40098 BGKT 12479 1845 Jodhpur Jn – Bandra Terminus
12822 KTE 22421 0705 Delhi Sarai Rohilla – Jodhpur
11590 LKO 14802 0430 Indore Jn – Jodhpur Jn
16003 ABR 14814 1725 (P) Bhopal Jn – Jodhpur Jn
16799 ABR 1120 19223 Ahmedabad – Jammu Tawi
Moves for Monday 14th January 2019
|6476||Marwar Jn||Charbhuja Road||09602||0610 Marwar Jn – Mavli Jn|
|6732||Charbhuja Road||Marwar Jn||52076||0700 Mavli Jn – Marwar Jn|
|16582||Marwar Jn||Dhareswar||54805||2330 (13/01) Ahmedabad Jn – Jaipur Jn|
|14554||Dhareswar||Marwar Jn||54806||0535 Jaipur Jn – Ahmedabad Jn|
|40580||Marwar Jn||Jodhpur Jn||16312||1545 (12/01) Kochuveli – Sri Ganganagar|
|16793||Jodhpur Jn||Rai Ka Bagh Palace||54825||1810 Jodhpur Jn – Bilara|
|12822||Rai Ka Bagh Palace||Jodhpur Jn||22421||0705 Delhi Sarai Rohilla – Jodhpur Jn|
|Auto||Jodhpur Jn||Bhagat Ki Kothi||RS150, 4km, 10mins|
|11590||Bhagat Ki Kothi||Jodhpur Jn||14802||0430 Indore Jn – Jodhpur Jn|
|16799||Jodhpur Jn||Bikaner Jn||19223||1120 Ahmedabad Jn – Jammu Tawi|
Photos for Monday 14th January 2019
Tuesday 15th January 2019 (Bikaner to Jaipur with a stop-off at FL DLS en-route)
Thankfully 19223 was a little over an hour late into Bikaner, which cut down the fester to just over 3 hours, until 12467 Jaisalmer – Jaipur Leelan Express arrived. It was no worse than the one I’d had at Ajmer the previous week and it passed in no time. As I had an upper berth in 3AC, the moment I got on board, I was upstairs, horizontal and dossed out; I didn’t see the TTE at all as ABR WDM3A 16826 led the way.
Thanks to the TTE on 19223 the previous night, and the fact I had a decent berth on the Leelan Express, by the time I got off at the building site that is currently Phulera Jn, I felt human again. The whole station area was in ruins and there were people digging up the platforms everywhere, mostly women with pickaxes! Restricted use ABR WDM3A 18665 was on a sort OHL train in the station area and the wiring looked to be completed in many parts of the station. So, wiring the Delhi – Ahmedabad mainline wasn’t something that was being done progressively, it was being done in pockets throughout the route, which would allow it to be completed much quicker; unfortunately!
As I walked over the tracks, at the Jaipur end of the station, towards Phulera DLS, I noticed that there weren’t any YDM4’s visible at all; yet less than 12 months ago there’d been plenty visible from passing trains. As I got closer though, I could hear a YDM4 running somewhere on the shed and as the ears tuned in, my eyes found LMG YDM4 6640 first, then the runner behind it, FL YDM4 6733. As I walked into the DLS it was evident that these were the only two YDM4s remaining at FL!
There were a group of guys standing around a bogie and 6733 was being used to shunt it, randomly with 6640 attached. When I asked, I was pointed towards the shed foreman, who point blank refused to let me take any photos. I thought that showing him some of the photos from the previous few days on the Mavli – Marwar line might help him change his mind, but it didn’t, and neither did the fact I was railway staff back in the UK. The whole situation was very random as I’ve known people get photos at FL when it was still a running shed. Eventually, I was directed to the new C&W shed, and once through the gates there I was pointed to the man in charge. He was curious to know why I was there and why I wanted to take photos but once he was satisfied I was only a tourist, with an interest in the YDM4s, he allowed me to take some photos; but insisted that I didn’t take any inside the shed or of his staff at work.
Back I trudged to the shed, where I was left to my own to take the photos I wanted but before I was allowed to leave the shed foreman wanted to vet what I’d taken. The staff there were quite friendly and told me that all the other YDM4s had been scrapped in the previous 3 months with just the 6 remaining at Mavli and 6733, which was covered in bird shit! Despite 6640 being in a state and not having its power unit cover on, they weren’t allowed to scrap it as it belonged to RITES and was denoted so in red letters across its front. It had been transported in as a parts donor to the two YDM4’s that FL overhauled two years previous, that were sent to SEFICS in Senegal as part of a batch of 6. Unfortunately, nobody could, or was willing, to give me the SEFICS numbers that corresponded to the relevant IR number during the overhaul process.
While I was sat drinking chai with the top man at the C&W shed, I asked him about IR’s recent announcement to gauge convert the Mavli – Marwar line and he told me that while the same was true, the BG alignment would go around the hills from Khambli Ghat and not through them. He then said that Mavli DLS would become a heritage shed and that the ghat section would remain open for heritage purposes. Between which points he couldn’t confirm though. Keeping a shed at Mavli, if your locos were going o be outbased at Khambli Ghat for example, didn’t make a massive amount of sense; but I guess it wouldn’t take much to transfer them on BG wagons between the two points?
Thanks to 15716 Ajmer – Kishanganj being cancelled, I had a bit more time than I first thought at Phulera, which meant I didn’t need to rush. In the end, the time I had there was just enough and had time for a couple of chai’s at the station while waiting for 12991 0600 Udaipur City – Jaipur Jn to arrive. When it did so, with KTE WDG3As 14945/14645, I was impressed, and they gave a spirited run through to Jaipur, where I had no time to waste as 51973 0640 Mathura Jn – Jaipur Jn was late coming in, so an auto it was, to Gandhinagar Jaipur. I only had to wait 5 minutes for LDH WDG3A 14729 to arrive and I was back at Jaipur in no time, admiring IR’s handywork during the gauge conversion of the old MG platforms at Jaipur. It was as though the MG never existed and everything that had been part of the MG world at Jaipur, other than the C&W shed and the Hindu shrine that had been at the buffer stop end of the MG platforms, had been demolished to make way for lengthy new high-level platforms and the tracks were already laid in part of the works.
I used the Treebo Raya Inn, opposite the front of Jaipur station, for lunch and a decent lunch it was too. I’d been able to relax since Phulera as my wait-listed ticket for 17019 1500 Jaipur Jn – Hyderabad had been confirmed and although I’d got side-lower berth No.5 in A1, I was very grateful that my reservation had been confirmed; which wasn’t bad from WL16 to confirmed, after being booked only 4 days in advance of the train’s departure. Thankfully, KZJ WDG3A’s 14917/13201 were at the front of the 23-coach train, and the AC coaches were at the rear. This meant that after Ratlam, my A1 coach would be third from the locos all the way to Hyderabad.
Other than the trains I did in/out Jaipur, and their respective return workings, everything else was GM-hauled; it was pathetic. In the station area were out of town visitors KTE WDG4D 70443 and JMP WDM3A 18842. I got the impression that 70443 was going to work back to Udaipur with 12992, since the KTE shakti’s ex 12991 were parked in the carriage sidings when I got back from Gandhinagar Jaipur. There seemed to be quite a lot of KTE locos working in Rajasthan now, unfortunately, most were GMs though.
When the KZJ twins got 17019 underway, I used the excellent Food on Track app to order some food to be delivered to the train. The Hotel Bhagyodaya Residency’s Saffron Heritage restaurant delivered a good Jeera Aloo and Cheese Nan at Bhilwara, that didn’t touch the sides. It was all packaged nicely, still warm and had condiments and cutlery in the bag. It was all very efficient. As was making up my bed afterwards and relaxing. Despite being in the lower-side berth nearest the corridor door, and right over the bogie, the ride from Jaipur had been surprisingly good, apart from the coupling snatching that goes on with LHB rakes. Th coach karma was also very good too, with no children helping keep the noise levels to virtually nothing at all. It was a very pleasant surprise. With the berth curtains tucked under my seat, I managed to prevent them being ragged about when people passed in the aisles and was asleep before Ratlam. I did get woken by people getting on/off there but got straight back to sleep once everyone had settled down.
Gen for Tuesday 15th January 2019
16826 ABR 12467 2355 (P) Jaisalmer – Jaipur Jn
14945/14645 KTE 12991 0600 Udaipur City – Jaipur Jn
40584 BGKT 12955 1850 (P) Mumbai Central – Jaipur
40472 LDH 12956 1400 Jaipur Jn – Mumbai Central
40509 TKD 12215 0920 Delhi Sarai Rohilla – Bandra T.
14729 LDH 51973 0640 Mathura Jn – Jaipur Jn, 51974 1420 Jaipur Jn – Mathura Jn
14917/13201 KZJ 17019 1500 Jaipur Jn – Hyderabad
40301 BGKT 12977 2025 (PP) Ernakulam Jn – Ajmer Jn
16798 ABR 12468 1615 Jaipur Jn – Jaisalmer
6733 in service
6640 RITES spares
All other YDM4 scrapped in last 3 months
Moves for Tuesday 15th January 2019
|16826||Bikaner Jn||Phulera Jn||12467||2330 (14/01) Jaisalmer – Jaipur Jn|
|6733||Phulera DLS Yard||Phulera DLS Yard||Cab ride at FL DLS|
|14945||Phulera Jn||Jaipur Jn||12991||0600 Udaipur City – Jaipur Jn|
|Auto||Jaipur Jn||Gandhinagar Jaipur||RS150, 4km, 12mins|
|14729||Gandhinagar Jaipur||Jaipur Jn||51973||0640 Mathura Jn – Jaipur Jn|
|14917||Jaipur Jn||Secunderabad Jn||17019||1500 Jaipur Jn – Hyderabad Deccan Nampally|
Photos for Tuesday 15th January 2019
Wednesday 16th January 2019 (On board 17019 Jaipur – Hyderabad all day)
I’d been dreading an overnight journey in berth #5 but, I have to say it was pleasant, the coach was quiet, there were no rattling windows and the ride quality over the bogies was more settling than disturbing. Even when I awoke on the approach to Itarsi, most of the rest of the coach was still in a slumber; it was one of those journeys on Indian Railways, where you really did appreciate the calmness throughout the coach. As was usually though, Itarsi came with its organized chaos and while everyone made a mad dash for their breakfast, I leapt across the platform and onto a set of stock that was being shunted out by ET WDS6 36209. By the time I’d walked back down the platform everyone was chomping on their breakfast, allowing me free reign to find what I wanted. Samosas were going to have to suffice, and as usual, the last stall I get to, with samosas in hand, has omelettes; so, I had both in the end, and it was all washed down with copious amounts of chai.
As we were early into Khandwa Jn, I took a stroll over to the old MG platforms, which were all but intact, just with the tracks severed at the Akola end of the station but all the rails remain in place in the whole station area. There was even an MG van still standing in the station area! Having seen recent building works at both the old MG stations at Ajmer & Guntakal, one wonders how long Khandwa will be left before anything is done to enhance the capacity at Khandwa on the BG side of the station?
17019 was spot on time away from Khandwa but that’s where things took a turn for the worse and timekeeping went out of the window for the remainder of the train’s journey. We were held for almost an hour at a wayward station between Khandwa and Burhanpur, where another express was even allowed to go in front of us, after sitting in the middle road adjacent to us for a while. Once we got on the move, it was plain sailing until Bhusaval outer, where we stood for another 30 minutes. I wouldn’t have minded so much had I not booked a food delivery on the IRCTC Food on Track app, for delivery at Bhusaval; some 90 minutes prior to when we arrived! I was half expecting my food not to turn up, having had a phone call from the place I’d ordered from; which ended up with the vendor hanging up when he realised I didn’t speak Hindi. After 5 minutes I gave waiting and went to find chai, and while I stood drinking my chai, I gave my feedback on the Food on Track app. At least I’d opted for payment on deliver, so wasn’t out of pocket. Then, randomly, as everyone was boarding for departure, a guy was stood in the doorway asking everyone wat their berth number was; it was only my food delivery. I paid him as the train pulled away and then suffered the slop that they’d given me. To start with the Dal Makhani was actually yellow, watery dal, which was more water than dal and I’d eaten better 10 years ago when IR used to produce their own shit watery dal! It was also cold, which I can’t really blame them for with the train having stood outside the station for 30 minutes; but still, it was a crap meal and a far cry from those I’d had delivered to trains thus far. There wasn’t even a plate or cutlery in the bag and the bag itself was swimming in dal! Unfortunately, I can’t give any further feedback until I get a response about my initial feedback. At this point I was hoping that the Domino’s pizza I’d ordered for delivery at Aurangabad Jn would be better.
It was a nice relaxing afternoon on board 17019 and I was able to bellow at the KZJ twins on the front, from the front of the third coach. The loco pilot up to Manmad was better than the one forward and other than the really high-pitched screeching from one of the turbos, they were a good pair and easily cruised along at 100kmph with 23 coaches in tow. On board the train, the only thing of note was the water I’d noticed starting to make its way under the corridor door. I’d initially assumed that it was from when the coach vestibules had been cleaned earlier in the day, but I eventually figured out that it was water from the vestibule sink that wasn’t draining and leaking out onto the floor instead. I’ll give the coach attendant his due, he used bed sheets to mop the water and then hung one over the sink, with a note written on it to prevent further use of it. Needless to say, there was always one wanker in the coach, who had to use it! Even the woman in the compo opposite me could only say “Indians” when I pointed the water out to her, so her bags didn’t get wet!
At Aurangabad, where we arrived 80’ late, it was 2 minutes before I had a call from the Domino’s delivery guy, who was standing outside the coach door. He handed me my pizza, I paid him, he left, and I was left to devour a piping hot, cracking pizza, with Domino’s having done the business again! I’d never had a cold pizza off them yet, regardless of how late my train was, which is cracking customer service, if you ask me! After letting the pizza settle, while standing at the door for a last bellow of the evening, I clambered back into my berth, for a second night’s sleep on board.
Gen for Wednesday 16th January 2019
37054 (40167 ET) 11273 0900 Itarsi Jn – Katni Jn
36209 ET stock shunt P5 at Itarsi
Moves for Wednesday 16th January 2019
|ON BOARD 17019 ALL DAY|
|36209||Itarsi Platform 5 East End||Itarsi Platform 5 West End||ECS ex ???? – Passenger rake|
Photos for Wednesday 16th January 2019
Thursday 17th January 2019 (Arrival into Hyderabad then heading to Madgaon on 17021/17419)
I woke at 0650, on the approach to Malkajgiri, 10 minutes before my first alarm was set to go off. The floor area of the coach was dry, luckily, as I put my feet down before I’d checked. It didn’t stay that way for long as people just couldn’t resist pulling the sheet back to have their morning wash; and soon the vestibule was swamped, with water starting to flow into the coach. I got out while I could and stood at the front door of the coach, where a nice man was selling chai when we came to a halt at Malkajgiri. 17019 had recovered all of its time overnight and was early into Malkajgiri but was then held to await KZJ WDG3A 13407 coming from Kacheguda with 17641 0710 Kacheguda – Narkher. On the approach to Secunderabad 17019 ran in parallel with BL WAG7 28743, arriving with 82710 2150 (P) Kakinada Town – Secunderabad special and LGD WAP7 30673 was just leaving with 12706 0740 Secunderabad – Guntur Jn.
On arrival into Secunderabad I was in two minds whether to go through to Hyderabad or not, just to do 17019 throughout and reach the 2000km mark. I was hoping 57605 0740 Secunderabad – Vikarabad passenger would sway my decision but as 17626 2230 (P) Repalle – Secunderabad was being announced as arriving late, MLY WDG3A 14635 at the head of the late running 57564 2330 (P) Nanded – Hyderabad swayed me instead; and I went through to Hyderabad on that instead, leaving the KZJ twins and 17019 behind; having been my home for over 40 hours and having covered 1992km.
MLY WDG3A 14780 was sat in the bay platforms at Hyderabad waiting to depart with 57547 0755 Hyderabad – Purna Jn, and it seemed it was a good day for the Purna passenger as it was only a couple of minutes late departing; with me on board to Begumpet. By this point I’d not had time to buy a ticket so got myself one for the journey back into Secunderabad on 57129 Bijapur – Bolarum passenger but when GTL WDG3A 14984 arrived with the late running 57605 0740 Secunderabad – Vikarabad passenger, I found myself heading in the opposite direction after getting on the wrong train; the stupid tourist that I am! I didn’t have to wait long at Sanathnagar for 57129 though and PA WDM3D 11175 dropped me back at Begumpet, where I decided to wait for the approaching 17207 1710 (P) Sainagar Shirdi – Vijayawada; which turned up with KZJ WDG3A’s 14919/14742.
Back at Secunderabad, KZJ WDG3A’s 13412/13443 were just shunting their stock out after arriving with 17015 0830 (P) Bhubaneswar – Secunderabad and KZJ WDG3A’s 14923/13418 soon arrived with 17063 2050 (P) Manmad Jn – Secunderabad Ajanta Express. Breakfast was sought from the excellent new refreshment plaza on platform 1, where a good bread omelette was rustled up, and then I withered chai bert next door again; who’d seen me over a week ago and had seen Vic in-between times as well!
My 17021 0920 Hyderabad – Vasco Da Gama was eventually announced as arriving on platform 7. 17021 is actually a Hyderabad – Guntakal portion that gets shunted to 17419 Tirupati – Vasco Da Gama at Guntakal and last time I did the train, the PA WDM3A’s then shunted from one train to the other at Guntakal and worked through to Vasco. I could only assume that GTL WDM3A’s 16704/16703 would do the same on this occasion, as they rolled in with the 10-coach rake of 17021.
On board, the TTE was putting his tie on in my compo and left all his reservation sheets while he went to the door. It was nice to have a lower berth in a compo, as opposed to a lower side berth. The berths are wider, there was a charging socket and there more space to relax in. At Kacheguda, MLY WDG3A 14629 was sat with an empty passenger rake and KJM WDM3A 14053, plus its mate, were sat in the carriage sidings; I assume having arrived with 12786 Bangalore City – Kacheguda. Along the way we overtook GTL WDG3A 13468 with 57425 0940 Kacheguda – Guntakal Jn and at Mahbubnagar GTL WDM3A 16602 was waiting to depart with the opposing working of 57426 0545 Guntakal Jn – Kacheguda.
We had a cracking run through to Dhone Jn, where 17021 sat waiting time for 40 minutes. During which, GY WDP4D 40112 overtook it with 12708 0710 (P) Hazrat Nizamuddin – Tirupati, which it had been reengining at Kacheguda when we passed through. The great run extended through to Guntakal Jn, where we arrived 20’ early and GTL WDG3A 14999 was waiting outside the station to drop onto the rear and do the portion shunt. On arrival the GTL twins were detached in platform 5 and when 17419 1120 Tirupati – Vasco Da Gama arrived into platform 6 the Hyderabad portion was shunted t the rear and the twins replaced whatever had arrived with 17419, to work forward to Goa.
It looked like 17021 arrived into Guntakal at feeding time as all the vending stalls were shipping out fresh food, some had samosas and pakoras, others were just packing hot biriyani’s into boxes to be sold around the station. I caught both at their source, while they were being boxed, and had a piping hot egg biriyani, followed by two very nice samosas.
Just before 17419 departed, GTL WDS6AD 36345 shunted through the station with a brake van for 18048 0710 Vasco Da Gama – Howrah, which it would add to the rear after shunting the through Vasco – Kacheguda portion off the rear. I already knew that GY WDM3A’s 14009/18792 were on their way with the train as Vic had done it from Madgaon to Londa, leaving Flossy to head south on 12133 Mumbai CST – Mangalore Jn by himself; during his journey WDM3D 11398 suffered a traction motor fire and was lucky it was in multi wit shed-mate 11254; on a train that it solid KYN single Alco. While festering at Udupi, Flossy spotted the train I should have been on, 16311 Sri Ganganagar – Kochuveli, which still had BGKT WDP4D 40580 at its helm! After a week on the circuit, the bloody thing! Had I stuck to my originally planned move off 16311, which was to get off at Udupi and do 22114 Kochuveli – LTT to Mumbai, I’d have been treated to another WDP4 too! It would have been a disaster of large proportions. The GY twins arrived moments before 17419 departed and my coach was very lively after Guntakal; a far cry from the relaxing one on 17019 I’d had for the previous two days. I drowned it all out the only way I knew how, with some loud music in my ears for a couple of hours, before having to invite the infiltrators in my compo to leave; and closing the curtains behind them before getting dossed out.
Gen for Thursday 17th January 2019
16375/16684 GTL 12798 1730 (P) Chittoor – Kacheguda
13407 KZJ 17641 0710 Kacheguda – Narkher Jn
28743 BL 82710 2150 (P) Kakinada Town – Secunderabad
30673 LGD 12706 0740 Secunderabad – Guntur Jn
13412/13443 KZJ 17015 0830 (P) Bhubaneswar – Secunderabad
14984 GTL 17626 2230 (P) Repalle – Secunderabad, 57605 0740 Secunderabad – Vikarabad Jn
14635 MLY 57564 2330 (P) Nanded – Hyderabad
14780 MLY 57547 0755 Hyderabad – Purna Jn
11175 PA 57129 1830 (P) Bijapur – Bolarum
14919/14742 KZJ 17207 1710 (P) Sainagar Shirdi – Vijayawada
40401 KJM 12703 0725 (P) Howrah – Secunderabad
14923/13418 KZJ 17063 2050 (P) Manmad Jn – Secunderabad
13468 GTL 57425 0940 Kacheguda – Guntakal Jn
16602 GTL 57426 0545 Guntakal Jn – Kacheguda
40112 GY 12708 0710 (P) Hazrat Nizamuddin – Tirupati
40111 GY 17418 1910 (P) Sainagar Shirdi – Tirupati
23270 BZA 56503 0720 Bangalore Cantt – Vijayawada
16704/16703 GTL 17021 0920 Hyderabad – Guntakal, 17419 1120 Tirupati – Vasco Da Gama (from GTL)
14999 GTL shunt 17021 to 17419 at GTL
14009/18792 GY 18048 0710 Vasco Da Gama – Howrah
36345 GTL shunt Kacheguda portion off rear of 18048 at GTL
Moves for Thursday 17th January 2019
|14635||Secunderabad Jn||Hyderabad Deccan Nampally||57564||2330 (16/01) Nanded – Hyderabad Deccan Nampally|
|14780||Hyderabad Deccan Nampally||Begumpet||57547||0755 Hyderabad Deccan Nampally – Purna Jn|
|14984||Begumpet||Sanathnagar||57605||0740 Secunderabad Jn – Vikarabad Jn|
|11175||Sanathnagar||Begumpet||57129||1830 (16/01) Bijapur – Bolarum|
|14919||Begumpet||Secunderabad Jn||17207||1710 (16/01) Sainagar Shirdi – Vijayawada Jn|
|16704||Secunderabad Jn||Guntakal Jn||17021||0920 Hyderabad Deccan Nampally – Guntakal Jn|
|14999||Guntakal Jn Platform 5||Guntakal Jn Platform 6||Shunt 17021 to rear of 17419|
|16704||Guntakal Jn||Madgaon Jn||14719||1120 Tirupati – Vasco Da Gama|
Photos for Thursday 17th January 2019
Friday 18th January 2019 (Getting back on track and heading south from Madgaon to Shoranur)
I had an alarm set for 10 minutes before 17419 should get to Kulem, in order to allow me enough time to get my shoes on and be at the door ready to walk down to the front and find out what the breaker locos had been down the ghats. As it turned out, I was awake 10 minutes before it went off and wasn’t at all surprised to find that we were only just approaching Castle Rock; where the breakers would go on. So, I got a shift on and was at the door by the time we arrived and was at the front of the train before the breakers had backed on. With UBL WDP4s 40045/20026 being at Castle Rock on banking duties, I considered myself lucky when UDL WDG4s 12091/12039/12006 dropped onto the front of the GTL WDM3As to pilot 17419 down to Kulem.
There was even chai on offer at Castle Rock at 0530 of a morning, and right outside my 2AC coach door as well. I never managed to get back to sleep after we departed Castle Rock and was standing at the door spotting bankers when 17419 departed Kulem, minus breakers. Another set of passenger locos, UBL WDP4s 40544/40018, were also on banking duties, stabled at Kulem, along with KJM WDP4D 40400 with the stock to work 56591 0630 Kulem – Vasco Da Gama passenger.
At Madgaon, I was straight into the pure-veg refreshment room on platform 1 and stuffing two aloo parathas into my mouth as quickly as they’d go in. All that was washed down with a few chai’s while I waited for Vic to turn up for his Amravati Express, which was 20 minutes before my booked 16333 Veraval – Trivandrum Central should depart. Should, being the operative work as it was almost 3 hours late at that point! I managed a quick 20-minute chat with Vic, before GY WDM3A’s 14034/14032 whisked him to whence I’d just come from, up the ghats towards Londa Jn.
I then got bored of waiting and decided that doing KJM WDP4D 40400 to Suravali on 56591 0630 Kulem – Vasco Da Gama, for KJM WDP4D 40240 back to Madgaon on 56592 0735 Vasco Da Gama – Kulem, was better than hanging around on the platform; drowning myself in chai! There was still plenty more opportunity to do that when I got back, right after KYN WDM3D 11383 departed south with the late running 12133 2202 (P) Mumbai CST – Mangalore Jn.
16333 0430 (P) Veraval Jn – Trivandrum Central went from being 3 hours late to 90’ late by the time it arrived into Madgaon; thanks to plenty of slack time in the schedule from Ratnagiri. I’d been WL5 in 3AC on 16333 at the time of booking but was confirmed at charting, with lower berth No.9 in B3; which was only the 4th coach from the locos, when ERS WDM3A’s 16293/16564 rolled in. I took one look at the compo where my berth was, when I got into the coach, and breezed on by; plonking my stuff in a freshly vacated, and empty compo instead. There were two small children in my booked compo and one was crying away when I walked by. I eventually accosted the TTE and he confirmed that I could stay where I was until Mangalore. I then asked if there were any side-lower berths available from Mangalore, to which he confirmed that No.23 was available.
So, after doing pretty much nothing but vegetating until Mangalore Jn, I moved my bag and locked it under seat 23, then went to get some snacks. When I returned there were two people sat on berth 23, who had both 23/24 reserved. The couple that had moved into my compo told me that the TTE had told them it was empty all the way to Ernakulam; the twat! So, I ended up speaking to the new TTE, who told me that No.31 was empty to Khozhikode, yet at Kannur he was proved otherwise when a kid got on with a reservation in berth 31! What was it with these TTE’s? Couldn’t they read? I ended up sitting with the couple in the bay I’d originally sat in from Madgaon and the guy only turned out to be a station master at Udupi, and his wife taught Math’s in a school in Udupi; they were going home to Cochin for two days.
My new mate worked for the Konkan Railway Corporation, as did everyone else employed on the Konkan Railway. He went on to tell me that despite working for KRC, all staff got the same travel benefits as IR staff did and pretty much the same terms and conditions across the board. The only thing they couldn’t do was transfer from the KRC, straight into an IR position. As he’d been with the KRC for 22 years, he’d worked at 5 different station along the route, as station masters are only appointed to one station for a four-year period, before being moved one. This prevents familiarization with people and complacency once they know the job inside out.
There wasn’t much to note throughout the journey south from Madgaon. KYN WDM3D 11383 was waiting to head back north at Mangalore Jn, over an hour late, with 12134 1355 Mangalore Jn – Mumbai CST. Meanwhile, at that point 16333 had become less than an hour late. ERS WD3A 14055 was at Kannur with 56652 1720 Kannur – Kozhikode and ED WDM3D 11193, which I didn’t confirm until Shoranur later, was stabled with the stock for 16528 1805 Kannur – Yesvantpur. At Pattambi, ERS WDM3A 14075 was just arriving with 56663 1725 Thrissur – Kozhikode, which was at last something to get me off the train. Knowing the ED ‘3D was following with 16528, it was a safe move back to Kuttipuram for it into Shoranur; but no sooner had I got my ticket at Kuttipuram, did GOC WDG3A’s 13164/14962 drop into the station. There’d been no announcement and the train turned out to be 16856 1705 Mangalore Central – Pondicherry. Once they were hammering away to Shoranur, I realised why there hadn’t been an announcement, as 16856 isn’t booked to call at Kuttipuram! My bad……
At Shoranur the ERS twins off 16333 were parked in the station yard, GOC WDG3A 13157 was sat with the stock off 56620 1910 Nilambur Road – Shoranur Jn and ED WDM3D 11213 soon arrived with 16350 2050 Nilambur Road – Shoranur Jn portion, which it then ran-round to shunt to the rear of 16344 1545 Madurai Jn – Trivandrum Central. I didn’t have too long to wait before ERS WDM3A’s 16480/14046 were arriving with 16338 2025 Ernakulam Jn – Okha and that was me in coach 20 of 23 for the journey all the way to Panvel. I had split reservations on the train due to changing my plans so was in A1 berth 38 to Madgaon, and then A1 berth 5 from Madgaon; the latter having been wait-listed and confirmed after charting.
Its never easy making up and upper berth, let alone in the dark while trying not to disturb other passengers, but when there’s luggage in the compo preventing you moving about, it’s even harder. I eventually managed it by torchlight and clambered in, shoved my earplugs as far into my brain as they’d go and got horizontal; I was ready for it.
Gen for Friday 18th January 2019
Kulem – Castle Rock bankers
12039/12091/12006 – pilot 17419 Castle Rock – Kulem
40400 KJM 56961 0630 Kulem – Vasco Da Gama
40339 ED 22629 2040 (P) Dadar – Tirunelveli Jn
40530 KJM 12780 1500 (PP) Hazrat Nizamuddin – Vasco Da Gama
14034/14032 GY 18048 0710 Vasco Da Gama – Howrah
40240 KJM 56962 0735 Vasco Da Gama – Kulem
40346 KYN 10104 0915 Madgaon Jn – Mumbai CST
11383 KYN 12133 2202 (P) Mumbai CST – Mangalore Jn, 12134 1355 Mangalore Jn – Mumbai CST
16293/16564 ERS 16333 0430 (P) Veraval Jn – Trivandrum Cen
30622 RPM 16356 2000 Mangalore Jn – Kochuveli
40172 GOC 12620 1435 Mangalore Central – LTT
14055 ERS 56652 1720 Kannur – Kozhikode
11193 ED 16528 1805 Kannur – Yesvantpur
14075 ERS 56663 1725 Thrissur – Kozhikode
13164/14962 GOC 16856 1705 Mangalore Central – Pondicherry
13157 GOC 56620 1910 Nilambur Road – Shoranur Jn
11213 ED 16350 2050 Nilambur Road – Shoranur Jn
16480/14046 ERS 16338 2025 Ernakulam Jn – Okha
Moves for Friday 18th January 2019
|12039||Castle Rock||Kulem||17419||1120 (17/01) Tirupati – Vasco Da Gama|
|40400||Madgaon Jn||Suravali||56961||0630 Kulem – Vasco Da Gama|
|40240||Suravali||Madgaon Jn||56592||0735 Vasco Da Gama – Kulem|
|16293||Madgaon Jn||Pattambi||16333||0425 (17/01) Veraval Jn – Trivandrum Central|
|14075||Pattambi||Kuttipuram||56663||1725 Thrissur – Kozhikode|
|13164||Kuttipuram||Shoranur Jn||16856||1705 Mangalore Central – Pondicherry|
|16480||Shoranur Jn||Panvel||16338||2025 Ernakulam Jn – Okha|
Photos for Friday 18th January 2019
Saturday 19th January 2019 (Travelling up the Konkan Railway on board 16338 Ernakulam – Okha)
I managed to stay in my pit until around 9am, no thanks to the noisy fuckers that were sat down below chatting, loudly, and making phone calls at 0630! I repaid the favour, as they were dossed out when I got up, by putting on the light, opening the curtains, and generally doing everything a lot louder than I would do; and the sad part about it, there wasn’t an eyelid lifted! The irony eh?
En-route to Madgaon, it transpired that Flossy was planning on doing 16338 from Madgaon to Ratnagiri. So, before arriving, I locked my big bag under berth No.5 and told the fresh TTE on the platform that I was going to the front to sit with a friend until Ratnagiri; so, he didn’t give my berth to someone else, thinking I was a no-show. I then walked 20 coaches to the front of the train and found Flossy in the empty SLR at the front; with two of the best seats in the train.
It was a noisy 5 hour journey to Ratnagiri and en-route we crossed RTM WDM3A/D twins 16836/11492 with 22414 1055 (P) Hazrat Nizamuddin – Madgaon, GOC WDP4D 40572 with 12051 0525 Dadar – Madgaon Shatabdi, KYN WDP4D 40234 with 10103 0710 Mumbai CST – Madgaon, KYN WDG3A’s 13360/13638 with a failed WDP4 on 22656 1005 (P) Hazrat Nizamuddin – Trivandrum Central and GOC WDP4D 40133 with 12618 0915 (P) Hazrat Nizamuddin – Ernakulam Jn. We both managed to miss the locos on 22119 0550 Mumbai CST – Karmali Tejas Express, which turned out to be PA WDM3As 16013/16750; as we found out on their return.
As we arrived into Ratnagiri, ED WDM3D 11112 was waiting to depart with the late running 50105 0625 Diva Jn – Sawantwadi Road passenger. While Flossy figured out what he was going to do, I had to leg back to my berth at the rear of the train as I’d got food being delivered to my berth, courtesy of the Food on Track app. Thankfully, I was there before it arrived; and it was nice and hot when I unwrapped my parcel. As 16338 rolled out of Ratnagiri, I bode farewell to Flossy, who was still standing at the north end of the station, where SPJ WDM3D 11432 had arrived with a track testing train; which was a very long way from it home in Bihar!
North of Ratnagiri, while it was still daylight, we crossed GOC WDP4D 40472 with 12218 0930 Chandigarh – Kochuveli, GOC WDP4D 40172 with 16345 1140 LTT – Trivandrum Central and RTM WDM3D 11196 with 19578 2100 (P) Jamnagar – Tirunelveli Jn. When it got dark, it was sit back, relax, and do fuck all time; until Panvel.
16338 had been right time departing Madgaon but then ran all the way up the Konkan to Panvel, late. With plenty of recovery time from Mangaon though, it sat for 20 minutes waiting time after arrival there; and randomly 22120 1450 Karmali – Mumbai CST Tejas Express was arriving, well early, before 16338 departed Panvel. I already knew PA WDM3As 16750/16013 were working the train, after Flossy had hung around at Ratnagiri to view it. Unfortunately for him, everything I’d passed after he got off was GM hauled, so he was having a night in Ratnagiri before heading home the following morning.
Having never done the Tejas Express before, I’d been hoping for a KYN WDP3A for my troubles, but they all seemed to be alluding me when I was in the area; and while there’d been a pair out the previous week, 15518/15519 were nowhere to be seen now and other members of the KYN stronghold hadn’t been seen for weeks! Firstly, I’d forgot about the sliding doors on the Tejas stock, preventing that last-minute chai run while the train was pulling out of the station. Secondly, while I’d been expecting it to be crap inside, I wasn’t at all surprised by the airline style coaches, and clientele using the train. Thankfully, it wasn’t wedged, and I could sit where I wanted. There was no ticket checking from Panvel to Dadar and after departing Panvel on time, 22120 was 15’ late at Dadar; just prolonging my appointment with a much-needed shower, just that little bit longer!
I’d pre-booked the Hotel Bawa Regency and it took about 8 minutes to walk there from Dadar platform 6, on the Central side of the station. Out of the station, turn right, straight over at the big junction and then turn next left. Its at the end of the road on the corner, on the right. The guy at reception was expecting me and told me my name before it offered it! I was quickly checked in and shown to my first-floor room. It was spacious and had good air-con, tea/coffee making facilities, toiletries in the bathroom and hot water 24/7. As the bathroom had window slats, open to the outside world, I managed to let mosquitoes into the room while the bathroom door was open but was sent a mosquito plug-in when I rang down to reception for one. Randomly, the only thing not provided in the room as bog-roll.
My body didn’t know what was hitting it when I stepped into a hot shower, and likewise, the shower didn’t know what had hit it when I stepped out. My beard was that long, I’d have been as well using a pair of hedge shears to start the job off; but I felt very refreshed afterwards and with not having an early start the following morning, the very late night didn’t matter too much.
Gen for Saturday 19th January 2019
11355 KYN 12133 2202 (P) Mumbai CST – Mangalore Jn
16536/16459 ERS 16335 0720 (P) Gandhidham – Nagercoil Jn
12687 PA 10111 2305 (P) Mumbai CST – Madgaon Jn
13579 KYN 50101 0320 Ratnagiri – Madgaon Jn
16836/11492 RTM 22414 1055 (P) Hazrat Nizamuddin – Madgaon Jn
40572 GOC 12051 0525 Dadar – Madgaon Jn
40234 KYN 10103 0710 Mumbai CST – Madgaon Jn
13360/13638 KYN (40xxx dit failed) 22656 1005 (P) Hazrat Nizamuddin – Trivandrum Central
40133 GOC 12618 0915 (P) Hazrat Nizamuddin – Ernakulam Jn
11112 ED 50105 0625 Diva Jn – Sawantwadi Road
40472 GOC 12218 0930 (P) Chandigarh – Kochuveli
40172 GOC 16345 1140 LTT – Trivandrum Central
11196 RTM 19578 2100 (P) Jamnagar – Tirunelveli Jn
11409 KYN 50103 1540 Dadar – Ratnagiri
402xx ???? 22113 1655 LTT – Kochuveli
16750/16013 PA 22119 0550 Mumbai CST – Karmali, 22120 1440 Karmali – Mumbai CST
Moves for Saturday 19th January 2019
|16750||Panvel||Dadar||22120||1450 Karmali – Mumbai CST|
Photos for Saturday 19th January 2019
Sunday 20th January 2019 (A day in Mumbai nedding about)
Feeling fully refreshed after a good sleep, I was looking forward to my day nedding around Mumbai when I headed out of the hotel. NTES was on the ball with the late running trains towards Mumbai CST and after negotiating the Dadar unreserved ticket queues I boarded 12138 2140 Firozpur Cantt – Mumbai CST with my unreserved local ticket; as it seems impossible to buy an unreserved ticket on an express train for local journeys in the greater Mumbai area. Unfortunately, MGS WAP4 22910 led the way to the city, where the fun began.
I didn’t notice until initially, when I went to buy myself a platform ticket, but when I went to buy a ticket in unreserved later in the morning, I figured out that there were less trains heading into Mumbai CST with at least three of the Pune commuter-type trains being cancelled in & out of Mumbai on this particular day. It meant less stock shunts but with it being a different day of the week, compared to when I’d been in Mumbai the previous month, there were extra outbound trains and I was earlier into Mumbai CST than I had been the previous time as well.
My hectic morning, running around at Mumbai CST, started when CLA WDS6 36105 shunted the stock out off 17058 1225 Secunderabad – Mumbai CST and by 1030 I’d walked the length of the platforms 4 times and managed to cane 6 CLA WDS6’s in, in the process. During the respite period I managed to get some breakfast from one of the vendors on the station concourse, buy myself a ticket, eat my Vada Pav without the station crows stealing any, but a ticket and walk the length of the station for a 5th time; to do CNB WAG7 27280 to Dadar on 12869 1105 Mumbai CST – Howrah.
I barely had time to get a ticket back to Mumbai but KYN WCAM2 21873 soon had me back at CST on 12126 0750 Pune Jn – Mumbai CST; and in the following hour I managed to cane 3 more CLA WDS6’s in, without walking the length of the platforms at all. One out, another back to the blocks and another out. This did eventually result in me having to walk back to the concourse to buy a superfast ticket to Kalyan for 17031 1245 Mumbai CST – Hyderabad Deccan Nampaly. The stock for which had been backed into platform 8 by KYN WDM3D 11470; which then worked the train.
While waiting for 17031 to depart, I got talking to a loco pilot on one of the WDS6’s in the station. He told me he’d been a shunting loco pilot for 17 years and that most loco pilots did around 12 years on shunt locos before being made up to goods loco pilots and then they would do around 8 years on goods trains before being made to express/passenger loco pilots. He went on to tell me that there was a general shortage of passenger/express loco pilots and that the loco pilot on my 17031 was a goods loco pilot, with a loco inspector riding with him. Despite the shortage IR would never have an express train cancelled due to a driver shortage, he told me. The random fact of the conversation was that there are about 9 deaths in the Mumbai area on the railway every month; mostly due to people not paying attention while they’re trespassing. It was a shame I couldn’t talk longer with the guy, or should I say a shame I needed 11470 on 17031, as he offered me a ride out with him but just didn’t know what his next assignment was, so I chose to do 11470 to Dadar due to the uncertainty. Little did I realise that I’d get another offer later in the day.
I could tell the loco pilot on 17031 was a goods driver as he seemed to be scared of driving at speed and was shutting off power with green signals ahead. I wasn’t bother that we passed the opposing working near Parel as I knew, thanks to Vic who seen it at Hyderabad, that KYN WDM3D 11242 was heading towards me with 17032 2040 (P) Hyderabad – Mumbai CST. While bellowing out of the door at Parel, I also spotted two ET WDM3D’s over the wall of the shops; 11192 & 11314. Both looked like they’d just been outshopped and there were a few other Alcos visible, but I couldn’t focus on the numbers.
I remembered from last time I’d arrived into Dadar off 17031, that the stock shunt for the Jalna Shatabdi had occurred almost immediately after it had arrived and sure enough the set for 12071 1400 Dadar – Jalna was just being drawn out of the carriage sidings and the set ex 12072 0445 Jalna – Dadar was in platform 8 with KYN WDG3A 13370 on the blocks. The same move happened as had done last time and I made it up the platform before the set for 12071 was backed in and then made it back up the platform before CLA WDS6 36290 had then shunted 12072 out into the carriage sidings.
I’d ambled back to platform 6 with plenty of time before 11042 1220 (P) Chennai Central – Mumbai CST arrived, unfortunately, it did so with KYN WDG4 12535 but I did it into CST anyway, to view the opposing working of 11041 1400 Mumbai CST – Chennai Central; which at least produced KYN WDM3D 11383, so it wasn’t a wasted move and I did it through to Thane for 50104 0530 Ratnagiri – Dadar back to Dadar with KYN WDG3A 13579. Which I knew would be coming, having seen it at Madgaon the previous morning after it had arrived with 50101 0320 Ratnagiri – Madgaon Jn. As I’d expected, KYN WDG3A 13370 had shunted off the blocks when the Shatabdi stock had been removed from platform 8 and was sat outside the station waiting to drop onto the opposite end of the stock and work back out with 50103 1540 Dadar – Ratnagiri; which, of course, I had to do back to Thane.
The day of the week meant that the Madgaon Double-Decker wasn’t running and there were no afternoon moves in/out of LTT, so I decided that I would head to Bandra Terminus and see what WDS6 action was going on there. To get there I did and EMU back to Dadar on the Central Railway, for a walk over the connecting footbridge to Dadar’s Western Railway station and did another EMU to Bandra and then it took me about 10 minutes to walk to Bandra Terminus, via the back-entrance.
There was more going on at Bandra Terminus than I’d expected and there were 5 different WDS6s in action during the time I spent there, with a sixth inside the loco stabling shed; randomly, VTA WDS6R 36506, a long way from home. It was being kept company by VTA WDM3A 14098. After I’d walked out of the station to the carriage sidings, I had more of a clue what was about, and I had to hurry back when BAMY WDS6 36293 started towards the station with the stock for 12907 1635 Bandra Terminus – Hazrat Nizamuddin. The RPF on the platform were keeping all the unreserved passengers in order and those trying to jump the well-established line were threatened with the big stick and soon towed the line. I kept well out of their way and hung around at the end of the platform. Despite being spotted by the RPF, they didn’t seem to mind me riding down the platform in the guard’s compartment. They had other things to deal with as some persistent passengers just had to attempt to open the doors of the unreserved coaches as the set was drawn in.
Two more sets were brought in, in quick succession, one for 19217 1710 Bandra Terminus – Jamnagar by BAMY WDS6 36333 and the other for 22955 1745 Bandra Terminus – Bhuj by BAMY WDS6 36285, which I had no issues hitching a ride up the platform on. They were followed by a very late arriving Khumb Special, 09086 0830 (P) Chheoki Jn – Bandra Terminus, with NKJ WAG7 27464. This gave another opportunity when BAMY WDS6 36289 dropped down to draw the set out into the carriage sidings. I was going to call it a day after that but was accosted by the loco pilot of BAMY WDS6 36282 while I was hanging around in the shade of the shed, watching the local dogs messing about. He’d seen me taking photos in the carriage sidings and invited me into the cab of his 36282 for a chat. We got talking about our respective jobs and once he knew I was a railway employee myself, there never seemed to be an end to the conversation, which eventually led to him asking where I was staying, what I was doing and where I was heading at that point. With nothing else to do I was going to head back to my hotel at Dadar for a while, before going into CST to view a couple of trains later that night. I ended up having a cab-ride from Bandra Terminus, via the connecting line onto the Western Railway at Bandra, to Mumbai Central Carriage Sidings; while 36282 took a coach between the two locations. It was infinitely better than heading back to Dadar on an EMU and once at Mumbai Central, after thanking the loco pilot profusely, I was able to hop onto an EMU into Mumbai Churchgate and then walked the short distance to Mumbai CST. Where, I got myself something to eat and had a few celebratory chai’s to wash the food down with.
The queues for tickets of an evening for tickets were twenty-deep at every available counter but they moved quite quickly, and I probably only had to queue for 10 minutes to get my express ticket to Kalyan. It was a stark contrast to the 10 seconds it had taken earlier in the day when there hadn’t been anyone queuing at any of the open windows. None of the WDS6’s I’d seen during my morning jaunt had changed, so I relaxed and milled around at Mumbai CST watching the world go by. It was hard to imagine that just over 12 years previous the station had been turned into a battle zone when terrorists had opened fire on the main concourse. Not only did Mumbai CST have a fabulous station façade but the platform areas of both the local and express stations have so much character; they make our big London termini look boring in comparison. Even from a non-crank perspective, tourists should visit Mumbai CST station concourse, just as they do with Grand Central in New York, it’s fascinating and I was never bored of my surroundings when hanging around that night.
Back to business, I was pleased to find KYN WDG3A 11362 heading 22107 2100 Mumbai CST – Latur and noted the following while waiting for it to depart: TKD WAP7 30396 with 17057 2110 Mumbai CST – Secunderabad Jn, KYN WDG4 12535 with 12701 2150 Mumbai CST – Hyderabad and PA WDM3D 11348 had arrived with 11030 0755 (P) Kolhapur – Mumbai CST. As 11632 eased 22107 out of CST, KYN WDG3A 13619 was just dropping into the station and having had a cracking run out to Dadar I decided to head straight back into CST on 16332 0425 (P) Trivandrum Central – Mumbai CST with KYN WCAM3 21882 leading the way. Unfortunately, Shakti 13619 looked to be just leaving as I arrived but when I walked over the concourse, I noticed a set of stock stood half way down the platform with people out on the platform milling about. Sure enough, when I got closer, I could hear the hiss of the chain that had been pulled. The train was 11139 2120 Mumbai CST – Gadag Jn, which I’d not realised was diesel from CST but I had to make do with being in the rear unreserved coaches from CST to Dadar; which was comfy if not wedged to the gunnels. I daren’t not jog to the front during the stop at Dadar but found 13619 at the head of the train when I did get to the front.
Not quite wanting to call it a day, I was al geared up to do 22106 1835 Pune Jn – Mumbai CST Indrayani Express back into CST but when PA WDM3D 11400 turned up with it, I decided that was it. I’d originally been going to finish up on the Tejas Express back into Dadar, but I couldn’t be bothered to wait the 45 minutes for it to turn up and was back at the hotel packing my bag, for the long journey home the following day, well before it did arrive at Dadar. Before I went to bed, I found a message from Flossy, who’d spotted BGKT WDP4D 40580 heading back north from Kochuveli with 16312 1545 (P) Kochuveli – Sri Ganganagar; so, it must have gone all the way back on 16311 after I’d dissed it at Jodhpur earlier in the week.
Gen for Sunday 20th January 2019
22910 MGS 12138 2140 (PP) Firozpur Cantt – Mumbai CST
27280 CNB 12869 1105 Mumbai CST – Howrah
30677 BRC 12810 2000 (PP) Howrah – Mumbai CST
21873 KYN 12126 0750 Pune Jn – Mumbai CST
21870 KYN 11024 2250 (P) Kolhapur – Mumbai CST
11470 KYN 17031 1245 Mumbai CST – Hyderabad
11242 KYN 17032 2040 (P) Hyderabad – Mumbai CST
13370 KYN 12072 0445 Jalna – Dadar
36290 KYN ECS for 12071 1400 Dadar – Jalna
13303 KYN 12071 1400 Dadar – Jalna
12535 KYN 11042 1220 (P) Chennai Central – Mumbai CST, 12701 2150 Mumbai CST – Hyderabad
11383 KYN 11041 1400 Mumbai CST – Chennai Central
13579 KYN 50104 0530 Ratnagiri – Dadar
13370 KYN 50103 1540 Dadar – Ratnagiri
27464 NKJ 09086 0830 (P) Chheoki Jn – Bandra Terminus
21887 KYN 11008 1515 Pune Jn – Mumbai CST
30489 ??? 12105 1905 Mumbai CST – Gondia Jn
11348 PA 11030 0755 (P) Kolhapur – Mumbai CST
11362 KYN 22107 2100 Mumbai CST – Latur
21882 KYN 16332 0425 (P) Trivandrum Central – Mumbai CST
40234 KYN 10104 0915 Madgaon Jn – Mumbai CST
30396 TKD 17057 2110 Mumbai CST – Secunderabad
13619 KYN 11139 2120 Mumbai CST – Gadag Jn
11400 PA 22106 1835 Pune Jn – Mumbai CST
21963 KYN 17618 1005 Nanded – Mumbai CST
11192/11314 ET in Parel Shops
36105 CLA ECS ex 17058 1225 (P) Secunderabad – Mumbai CST
36297 CLA ECS ex 12290 2040 (P) Nagpur – Mumbai CST
36103 CLA ECS for 12869 1105 Mumbai CST – Howrah
36296 CLA ECS ex 12810 2000 (PP) Howrah – Mumbai CST
36326 CLA ECS ex 12138 2140 (PP) Firozpur Cantt – Mumbai CST
36311 CLA ECS for 16339 1210 Mumbai CST – Nagercoil Jn
36350 CLA ECS ex 12126 0750 Pune Jn – Mumbai CST
36102 CLA ECS for 12188 1330 Mumbai CST – Jabalpur Jn
36351 CLA ECS ex 11024 2250 (P) Kolhapur – Mumbai CST
36122, 36321, 36544 CLA – Mumbai CST ECS locos
36293 BAMY ECS for 12907 1635 Bandra Terminus – Hazrat Nizamuddin
36333 BAMY ECS for 19217 1710 Bandra Terminus – Jamnagar
36285 BAMY ECS for 22955 1745 Bandra Terminus – Bhuj
36289 BAMY ECS ex 09086 0830 (P) Chheoki Jn – Bandra Terminus
36282 BAMY ECS Bandra Yard – Mumbai Central
36506 VTA & 14098 VTA at Bandra Terminus
Moves for Sunday 20th January 2019
|22910||Dadar||Mumbai CST||12138||2140 (18/01) Firozpur Cantt – Mumbai CST|
|36105||Mumbai CST Platform 14||Mumbai CST Platform 14||ECS ex 17058 1225 (19/01) Secunderabad – Mumbai CST|
|36297||Mumbai CST Platform 16||Mumbai CST Platform 16||ECS ex 12290 2040 (19/01) Nagpur – Mumbai CST|
|36103||Mumbai CST Platform 13||Mumbai CST Platform 13||ECS for 12869 1105 Mumbai CST – Howrah|
|36296||Mumbai CST Platform 10||Mumbai CST Platform 10||ECS ex 12810 2000 (18/01) Howrah – Mumbai CST|
|36326||Mumbai CST Platform 15||Mumbai CST Platform 15||ECS ex 12138 2140 (18/01) Firozpur Cantt – Mumbai CST|
|36311||Mumbai CST Platform 14||Mumbai CST Platform 14||ECS for 16339 1210 Mumbai CST – Nagercoil Jn|
|27280||Mumbai CST||Dadar||12869||1105 Mumbai CST – Howrah|
|21873||Dadar||Mumbai CST||12126||0750 Pune Jn – Mumbai CST|
|36350||Mumbai CST Platform 11||Mumbai CST Platform 11||ECS ex 12126 0750 Pune Jn – Mumbai CST|
|36102||Mumbai CST Platform 14||Mumbai CST Platform 14||ECS for 12188 1330 Mumbai CST – Jabalpur Jn|
|36351||Mumbai CST Platform 9||Mumbai CST Platform 9||ECS ex 11024 2250 (19/01) Kolhapur – Mumbai CST|
|11470||Mumbai CST||Dadar||17031||1245 Mumbai CST – Hyderabad Deccan Nampaly|
|36290||Dadar Platform 7||Dadar Platform 7||ECS for 12071 1400 Dadar – Jalna|
|12535||Dadar||Mumbai CST||11042||1220 (19/01) Chennai Central – Mumbai CST|
|11383||Mumbai CST||Thane||11041||1400 Mumbai CST – Chennai Central|
|13579||Thane||Dadar||50104||0530 Ratnagiri – Dadar|
|13370||Dadar||Thane||50103||1540 Dadar – Ratnagiri|
|36293||Bandra Terminus Platform 2||Bandra Terminus Platform 2||ECS for 12907 1635 Bandra Terminus – Hazrat Nizamuddin|
|36333||Bandra Terminus Platform 3||Bandra Terminus Platform 3||ECS for 19217 1710 Bandra Terminus – Jamnagar|
|36285||Bandra Terminus Platform 4||Bandra Terminus Platform 4||ECS for 22955 1745 Bandra Terminus – Bhuj|
|36289||Bandra Terminus Platform 1||Bandra Terminus Platform 1||ECS ex 09086 0830 (19/01) Chheoki Jn – Bandra Terminus|
|36282||Bandra Terminus Yard||Mumbai Central Yard||ECS Bandra Yard to Mumbai Central Yard|
|EMU||Mumbai Central||Mumbai Churchgate|
|11362||Mumbai CST||Dadar||22107||2100 Mumbai CST – Latur|
|21882||Dadar||Mumbai CST||16332||0425 (19/01) Trivandrum Central – Mumbai CST|
|13619||Mumbai CST||Dadar||11139||2120 Mumbai CST – Gadag Jn|
Photos for Sunday 20th January 2019
Monday 21st January 2019 (Heading home to the UK)
I was awake early and couldn’t resist a look at NTES, which resulted in me walking to the station and doing KYN WCAM2 21871 into Mumbai CST on 1225 (P) Secunderabad – Mumbai CST for PA WDM3D 11348 straight back out on 11029 0840 Mumbai CST – Kolhapur. After breakfast from one of the street vendors outside the station, I sorted my crap out at the hotel, checked out and stood outside the front doors of the hotel to book an Uber to take me to Mumbai International Airport. It turned up within 5 minutes and despite the traffic I was still at the airport within the hour.
Having checked in online the previous day, I still had to get a boarding card from one of the desks; which took minutes. They were on the hard-sell too and their attempts to sell me the last “great-value” upgrade were fruitless. At least there had been more than 4 seats to choose from when I’d checked in and my seat on the plane was ok. The flight itself was harmless and the food/service was decent. I was glad to get off at Heathrow though, where a strange evening followed.
I was straight onto a tube to Kings Cross and having swapped my sim cards over while on the plane, I was a little confused why I couldn’t get any reception or data on my UK sim. I initially assumed it might have been due to Three having network problems and I’d still not been able to get anything by the time I reached Kings Cross. The good news though, was that I’d just made the 2003 Kings Cross – Leeds, the bad news was that the set for it was still north of Connington having been caught up in a points failure farce! Even worse, it was a bloody HST too! Quite why the 2000 Kings Cross – Sunderland departed right time, without any special stop orders, was a mystery; but it left everyone for anywhere to York waiting for a set arriving from the north. Which was over 75 minutes after it departed!
Meanwhile, I was able to get onto WiFi at Kings Cross, firstly to let people know I’d landed safely, 2 hours ago! Secondly, I got on to Three via their web-chat, a conversation that lasted the duration of my 90-minute fester at Kings Cross and all the way back on the train to Doncaster. As the HST for the 2003 was closely followed by 91124 for the 2035 Kings Cross – Leeds, I opted for the latter and it was only 10 minutes behind the 2003 all the way to Doncaster.
By the time I got to Doncaster, Three had told me that my contract with them had been terminated 6 days ago and a PAC code had been issued to me via text, after I’d closed it. Of course, I hadn’t closed my account at all, and the penny eventually drooped at Three’s end that it had been done fraudulently. During the discussion they confirmed that my account password had been given to enable the account to be closed, and what’s more, I was still within contract so there was an almost £300 charge for exiting it early. It took almost 3 hours to get them to agree that I’d not closed the account and that a new sim needed to be sent. Long story short, it took 10 days to get my new sim due to the security issues surrounding my account closer and I had to use a PAYG sim and get a data package on it myself during the interim period. Three never confirmed what had happened to allow my account to be closed but as I couldn’t even remember the password on it myself, it took longer than needed to resolve the sim issue. One thing was for certain though, whoever had got my password hadn’t done so from me as I’d not even got it stored anywhere! The journey home to Doncaster that evening flew by as a result of me being on Three’s web-chat, the ironic part being that they were in Mumbai; where I’d just flown from…!
Gen for Monday 21st January 2019
21872 KYN 17058 1225 (20/01) Secunderabad – Mumbai CST
11348 PA 11029 0840 Mumbai CST – Kolhapur
Moves for Monday 21st January 2019
|21871||Mumbai CST||Dadar||17058||1225 (20/01) Secunderabad – Mumbai CST|
|11348||Dadar||Mumbai CST||11029||0840 Mumbai CST – Kolhapur|
|G-YMMO||Mumbai Terminal 2||Heathrow Terminal 5||BA198||1315 Mumbai – Heathrow|
|91124||Kings Cross||Doncaster||1D32||2035 Kings Cross – Leeds|