Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Train Trip Report -1

This is my first report. Kindly tolerate errors.

We reached MS railway station at 16:20 hours. 6713 (formery 7613)
was in Pf 3. The power was ED WDM2 17710. The empty rake of MS-CAPE
express was being pushed into Pf4 by ED WDM3D 11187. In all
probability this train would be pulled by the same loco. Pf2 was
empty and Pf1 had MS-PDY express with a sleeping AJJ barbie doll
WAM4 21320. The stabling lines beyond Pf1 had a couple of WDSx, some
WAM4s, ED WDM2 17811 (in white and blue WDM3D livery) and GOC WDP3A
15518. Pf 5 had 7651 MS-KCG Exp and Circar was on Pf 8. I couldnt go
and check the power on these two trains. Pf 7 had KJM WDP4 20054
light. Pf 9 had an unknown train with GOC WDP3 15504 facing towards
TBM side. WDS 4B 19533 (TNP?) was bring a coach to attach at the
rear end of Circar. We got our signal to start at 17:00 hours sharp.

The Gopalaswamy Nagar Yard between MS and Chetpet had empty rakes of
the night trains and WDS 4B 19534 (TNP?). 19533 and 17811 had moved
into the yard by then. We were going good till Chromepet. Near
chromepet there seemed to be some signal problem. We were waiting
for sometime. The EMU line had 3 units one behind the other waiting
for the signal to proceed towards TBM. Quite a sight it was, to
watch them queue up and passengers jumping down to get in the EMU in
front and on to the UR coaches of our train. There was a Gangman
flagging signal for the trains to go...

We pulled into TBM at 17:40 (15 min behind schedule). The adjacent
platform had TBM <--> VM <--> TPJ passenger with a AJJ WAP4 22294
waiting towards VM. There was also an AJNI WAG9 with a BCNA rake
heading southwards.

From here on till VM we had a MG line giving us company. Most
stations in the section had a MG platform or two. The masts of the
electrified line are still intact thro' the section. Only at
Tindivanam station the MG lines seems to have been ripped off to
give way for the platform. Some station had loop lines with some of
the MG goods coaches and tankers and caboose.

In between Paranur and Chingleput an unknown train (it was short
enuf to be a passenger train and too short for an express) was going
towards TBM with an ED WAP4 22357.

We entered Chingleput (after the obligatory wait outside the
station, near the lake) at 18:10 (this is about 20 min late) or so,
to be greated by the MS <--> PDY <--> TPTY passenger with a GOC WDM2
16789 waiting to go towards kanchipuram side.

The next stop was Melmaruvathur. We pulled in at 18:45 hours. The
loop line had LGD WAG9 31157 heading a BCNA rake waiting to proceed
towards Chingleput. And the second platform had 6128 GUV-MS Express
with a WAP4 (couldnt note the shed or road number). The wait here
was almost 5 min or so. The next stop was Tindivanam at 19:15 hours.

We reached VM at 20:05 hours (a good 40 min behind schedule). a KZP
WAG7 was waiting with a BCNA Rake in the goods lines. The pit line
near the platforms towards MS had LGD WAG5 23905 and another AJJ
WAG5 234xx. The other end of the platform had another pit line with
GOC WDG3A 14641 (a palindrome!) There was a small train (prolly a
passenger) with a AJJ WAM4 21228 waiting in one of the platforms. I
guess its a passenger to PDY as there were announcements made for
the same.

We left VM at just past 20:15 hours. With not many trains to spot or
scheduled to cross for a while, i dint care to look for them. There
werent any trains till SRGM. We passed Vriddhachalam at 20:55 and
Ariyalur at 21:35 (both being 1 min halts). The wiring for
electrification is done till here. AFter this there were only masts.

We reached SRGM at 22:10 hours (a good 30 min late) and were in Pf2.
The Rockfort express towards MS pulled into Pf1 with GOC twins 16880
(leading) and 16883. Most stations between VM and SRGM (included)
dint have any platform lights and all stations were pitch dark. we
left SRGM at 22:20 and headed towards TPJ. 6108 MAQ-MS Exp crossed
us between GOC and TPJ with ED WDM3A 17803. It had a white and blue

We reached TPJ Pf4 at 22:45 hours (20 min late). Pf 3 had the MDU-
JAT link express towards ED with GOC WDM2 17677, waiting to leave.
Pf 2 had empty rake of some short train and ED WDM2 17599 and GOC
WDS6 36018 (live and roaring).

While we were walking out of the station, 17710 which had pulled us
all along had got detached and went towards the GOC side of the
station thro the pit line between Pf 1 & 2.


The original plan for the Weekend was to take the 13:25 826A Tirunelveli - Mayiladuturai Passenger to MV on Saturday and to return to TPJ either by 6232 Mayiladuturai -Mysore express or 6178A from KMU to TPJ. We had to make a couple of religious stoppings around mayiladuturai.

However, as we reached TPJ station on saturday afternoon at 13:25, 826A had left for MV already. We hence had to do the trip to-and-fro by buses, hence i was pretty upset for not being able to travel by train. This is one section that i have travelled a lot in the MG days as a kid. It wanted to see if i could remember any of those places and how they look like presently. however, it dint happen. The only solace was that, while crossing MV station by bridge, one could spot a lot of MG rolling stock and the MG line towards Thiruvarur was still there. While returning past midnight, i also spotted MG coaches atop BG flat wagons on sidings near GOC workshops. The other observation i made, when the railway line was running close the to roads, was WDM2 17710 which had hauled our 6713 on friday night was pulling some passenger train in the TPJ-TJ section.

On sunday night, we reached TPJ station at 21:30 a good 50 min early for our return journey by 6108(formerly 6608) to MS. It wasn't easy to convince my parents that i wouldnt wait with them at the lounge, but would wanna walk around the platforms. However, i had it my way.

In Pf1, WDS6 36018 had deposited the TPJ-MS part of 6178 and was heading back towards the loop lines with one 3 AC coach alone. This loco had a Jumbo-type short hood. The short hood was not as wide as the cabin, but it was shorter than the height of the rest of the loco, that having straight windows. Does that qualify as a Jumbo?

Pf3 had two trains with their locos facing each other. One was the TPJ-RMM passenger with ED WDM2 17914 facing towards MDU side. The other was an unknown passenger with ED WDM2 17599 facing towards GOC side. Both these locos dint show any signs of being live. GOC WDM2 16867 was going across the pitlanes, light. Pf 1A had another unknown passenger train with ED WDM2 17475.

10-12 minutes to 22:00 hours the KMU-MS part of 6178 was pushed into Pf1 by GOC twins WDM2 18317 (leading) and 16882. It is quite a strange thing that happens with 6178(A) at TPJ. The TPJ-MS part of the train is pushed into Pf1 much before the KMU-MS part arrives from KMU. The KMU part of the train is received in any of the other platforms which is empty, and then the leading loco comes back to the other side(or new loco attached?) of the train to pull it out and push it back into Pf1 to be attached to TPJ-MS part of train. When some delays happen, there is a lot of confusion. 6178A arrival is usually not announced. While there might be passengers waiting for other trains, this short train arriving, pulling out and coming back into Pf1 causes quite a confusion on somedays. (on one of the previous visits, i myself was running all over TPJ station coz of this confusion). 6178 departed from Pf1 at 22:00 hours. Also, noticed was the presence of non AC First Class coach in 6178. In the meantime 6351 CSTM-NCJ express arrived and left from Pf4 with ED WDM2 18537.

6108 arrived on Pf1 at 22:12 behind ED WDM3D 11121. This loco's Short Hood was modified to look like a WDP4 or WAP4. The train came into TPJ from Karur side in LHF mode. Hence, when it reversed at TPJ, it was SHF from TPJ to MS. WDS 36018 attached the 3AC coach to the front end of 6108 before the Luggage Van. 11121 reversed and got itself attached by 22:25 pm. However, we did not get our starter signal.

Announcement were being made for 6713's arrival. In the meantime, a BCNA rake came into Pf4 from MDU side with GOC twins 17620(leading) and 16883. AT 22:45 6713 Madras - Rameswaram express pulled into Pf 2 with ED WDM2A 18698 from GOC side. It was interesting to note that the though announcements at TPJ station still referred to MAQ-MS express as 6108, all the display boards and electronic display screens still refer to it as 6608, which is the old number. Also, the announcements referred to 6713 by its old name, Sethu Express. This name is not being used these days, officially atleast.

When we got our signal to depart it was almost 23:00 (a good 40 min delay here!). The curve from Pf1 to join the TPJ-GOC line is a nice place to see the full train from Loco to the last coach. Spotted the 2633 MS-CAPE express between TPJ and GOC waiting to get an entry into the station. It was lead by ED WDM3D 11200. While waiting for entry, its head light was off, and only the markers were on.

We reached SRGM at 23:20 and Ariyalur at 23:57. Pearl City express came in with GOC WDP3A 15534. There was also a BCNA rake headed by WDMx 14032 in the sidings. I felt it was having the usual ED shed livery. After a weekend full of Road Travel, i couldnt stay awake for long. However, i did note down crossings whenever i woke up.

At sendurai, an un-spottable express went past towards TPJ. At Mathur, a very late running 2642 NZM - CAPE express was waiting for us to crawl in and leave after a momentary halt. At Ichchangadu, WDP4(?) headed Nellai/Pandiyan went across zipping thro'. I was half asleep and couldnt really go to the window/door to check the road numbers of the loco. The horn was of a much high pitch compared to the normal WDMs. We reached Vriddhachalam at 01:20 hours. an unknown passenger train headed by a sleeping ED WDMx 18533 was in the adjacent platform.

We reached VM around 02:20 hours. As we entered, 6178 was leaving from the line of the other side of our island platform. There were some WAMs and WAPs resting the sidings, i couldnt note details though. As we were leaving VM, MDU-MS Pandiyan express pulled into the other platform with GOC WDM2 twins. 16880 (leading) and 16861 (a palindrome!) Also spotted in the sidings a BCNA rake with VSKP WAG-7 27885.

I slept again to be briefly woken up at CGL, by the absence of breeze. We reached TBM, a good one hour late, 05:15 or so. We pulled into MS pf6 at 6:15 am.(one hour delay!) Rockfort had gone to the yard. The TNP WDS4B shunters were doing their duties. MS <--> PDY <--> TPTY passenger was in Pf1 with AJJ WAM4 20613 (panto down). 7644 Circar express came in from MSB side into Pf7 with AJJ WAM4 20573. Announcements for Pandian Express to come into Pf4 was being made.

I found that travelling by SL is much more comfortable than normal Lower berth to be peeping out and seeing things from a train. Going to the door is much better, however i couldnt drag myself out of my berth most of the time.

We had a good weekend.


PS: i hope the numbers and details are right. I did note down the numbers and details on a sheet of paper, thro' the journey and hence am that much confident about them. It is very nice of IR to display the Loco numbers on the sides so prominently.

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