A Two Night Sojourn to Chennai – Part 2

Like my journey by 11027 Mumbai Chennai ‘supercrawler’ Mail, my blogs also tend to be long; thus necessitating a split into two or more parts. Sorry to keep you waiting so long for Part 2! Here is Part 1 if you have not read it yet! https://ashwinkumar1989.online/2017/11/22/a-two-night-sojourn-to-chennai-part-1/  Again, for technical terms and station codes; please refer to the legend at the bottom. As usual, the public’s interest with an everyday occurrence like a locomotive coupling operation continues to amaze! Our electric power from Wadi to MAS was AJJ WAP1 22015 – incidentally this loco had earlier hauled my 16102 RMM MS express from VM to MS on October 24!

In the distant left, the Indian Oil factory could be seen clearly; as well as the lines (exclusively meant for the freights) branching towards it. I had a heavy lunch from the pantry – a Veg.Thali comprising 2 chapatis and white rice along with dal, potatoes and paneer mutter. It was decent. We left Wadi at 13 44 (49 mins late) after a halt of nearly half an hour. There was a PSR of 30 kmph on the Wadi bypass line. As with the section between GR and Wadi, here also the DOWN and UP tracks were far apart, with eucalyptus trees enhancing the view. There were a lot of slanting solar panels meant for batteries, as well as a lady leading a bunch of goats to graze in the green fields. At Nalwar, our counterpart 11028 Chennai Mumbai Mail was standing with another WAP1. Our shift from CR to SCR was marked by the replacement of CR markers with IR markers.

The UP track kept playing hide and seek with us, as well as going on a higher level periodically. This sight was again enhanced by the presence of goats and sheep. We crossed a covered BOXN freight led by LGD WAG9 31609. There was a temple at Thangundi station. Later I observed some people and a cow bathing in a stagnant pond. Soon we were surrounded by mountains in the distant right. The melodious twin tones of the P1 were music to the ears; mainly the LT horn was used while running – the HT horn was used mainly for departure. The nallah before Yadgir was dry. The PSR on the loop line at Yadgir was 30 kmph; a welcome break from the standard 15 kmph PSR seen at most stations so far. There was a TSR of 75 kmph before Krishna; which seems to be the watering halt for most trains in the DOWN direction. The station again had its own charm with a few trees, and a lot of people were gathered at the front of the train.

Twin KZJ WAG7s 27742 and 28257 crossed us at MPS. They were followed by a BOXN freight with AJJ WAG7s 24656 and 24654https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_mTbYEsFdc  The Krishna river was unfortunately 50% dry.

We had an unscheduled halt lasting a minute at Yadalapur, and a tanker led by a KJM ALCO crossed us. There were twin Plasser machines at Chiksugur. That this was an industrial region was made clear by the presence of pipelines, and industrial establishments on the right after Yermaras (where there was a TSR of 30 kmph). There was also a big pond, as well as tall bushes and shrubs; and goats and sheep grazing as usual. The presence of a lot of cottages, bungalows, houses, buildings under constructions, a huge water tank, a highway across us (on a bridge), concrete roads and an underbridge marked the arrival of Raichur at 15 52; 1 hour 4 mins late.

Meanwhile, I helped an elderly co-passenger transfer photos (of a visit to Shirdi the previous day) from his wife’s phone to his via Bluetooth. I also helped him post the photos on Facebook – a tedious process due to the slow speed of the Mobile data; for some reason we could not create an album. To my pleasant surprise, there was a decent amount of water in the Tungabhadra river – in my earlier visit to Manthralayam this August, there  was hardly any water in the river; whatever little water there was quite dirty.

At MALM, 12164 MS DR ‘Super’ express came with a WAP7. A lot of people got in at the station. Here also (to my pleasant surprise) the loop line speed was 30 kmph. In fact this trend continued till Adoni (as far as I could note; for it grew dark from GTL onwards) The section till Adoni was marked by the presence of man-made rocky mountains in the distant right; many of which had uniquely shaped peaks. There were also shrubs, meadows and palm, ashoka and neem trees. There was a big crowd at Kupgal – many people got down here. The station was again charming with trees and huge pink rose bushes. There was also a temple at the south end. Later we crossed 57632 GTL GR passenger hauled by Pune WDM3D 11391.

Rocky hills now showed up quite close to us, along with palm trees and the usual bushes and shrubs. The presence of a road on the right, settlements, factories, wine shops, a TSR of 75 kmph and a highway across us on a bridge marked the arrival of Adoni at 17 20; 1 hr 2 mins late.  Then there was an unscheduled stop at Aspari, which was yet another scenic station with a lot of trees.

There were huge windmills in the distant background on both sides. Then there was a TSR on a small bridge and another unscheduled stop at Molagavalli. I had a brief nap before we pulled into GTL (Platform 6) at 18 18, now only 33 mins late due to the slack (as present before all junctions).  Here I spotted GTL WDM3D 11392 in a siding in the distant right. 17226 UBL BZA Amaravathi express pulled into PF 5 behind GY WDP4D 40328. We had a halt of 25 mins during which all the coaches and their toilets were cleaned thoroughly. Immediately after the station, there was an LC followed by a church and a temple; and a highway on the right. There was a Plasser machine with coaches at Pattakottacheruvu and then another highway across us on a bridge. At GY, 12975 MYS JP superfast was standing with twin ALCOs (leading – MLY WDM3A 16714R).  It departed at the same time as we did.

My elderly co-passenger offered me some guavas which I gladly had. Now it was too dark to see anything outside the glass windows, so I instead read a thin little book of poems by Rochelle D’Silva (a famous spoken word poetess whom I had the pleasure of meeting at a poetry event in Mumbai earlier this month) which I had bought. I then had a decent dinner of Veg,Biryani ( I loved that there was channa) before finally calling it a day around 9 pm. I took the MB at the request of my co-passenger’s wife (since she had difficulty in climbing). I woke up a few times during the middle of the night before I was finally woken up by my co-passenger at 03 35 – we had reached MAS! As I sleepily made my way towards the exit, I was accosted by a prepaid auto driver who offered to drop me at my place in East Abhiramapuram for Rs.200 (including night-time charges). I sleepily agreed, and reached home at 4 am. Thanks for patiently reading this long report of two parts!

Technical Terms

PSR – Permanent Speed Restriction

TSR – Temporary Speed Restriction

MPS – Maximum Permissible Speed

HT – High Tone

LT – Low Tone

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

LC – Level Crossing

Station Codes

AJJ – Arakkonam

RMM – Rameshwaram

MS – Chennai Egmore

MAS – Chennai Central

GTL – Guntakal

GY – Gooty

LGD – Lallaguda

KJM – Krishnarajapuram (KR Puram)

MLY – Maula Ali

UBL – Hubli

BZA – Vijaywada

GR – Gulbarga

MALM – Manthralayam Road

KZJ – Kazipet

VM – Villupuram

MYS – Mysore

JP – Jaipur

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