This is Part 2 of my account of my train journey by 11042 Chennai Mumbai express on Nov 25 – sorry to keep you waiting; was busy with work over the last few days! Here is Part 1 if you haven’t read it yet! https://ashwinkumar1989.online/2017/12/03/a-return-journey-to-remember-part-1/ As always, please refer to the legend right at the bottom for all Technical terms (again, I haven’t covered all!) and Station codes! On the RU bypass line for freights coming from Gudur, a freight with twin maroon brown WAG5s was waiting for clearance. As we picked up speed, the scenery got even wilder than in the AJJ-RU section; as we were surrounded by forests and mountains (as always) in the distant right https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ewn1UuKcCGw&t=148s There was a board indicating the Ghat section with MPS of 60 kmph for passengers before Ballapele. The highway gave us company on the right, and it had a checkpost as well. A tanker train crossed us led by LGD WAG9 31154. Have a look at the stunning vistas on offer!
Incidentay, I have kept this as my laptop wallpaper background! 😉 There was a dirty nalla before we passed a forest with a lot of goats and sheep led by a shepherd. The approach to Koduru was very scenic
The loopline speed here was 30 kmph. Then we crossed two dry rivers as well as a WAG9 hauled BOXN rake. There was a plateau on the distant right, as well as a huge apparently rainfed pond on our immediate right.
12163 DR MS ‘Super’ express crossed us with a WAG7 at Pullampet. We were rocking along at a good pace, and overtook some many lorries on the highway. There was a pond which reflected a rock inside it as well as the surrounding mountains on the distant right!
The contrasting nature of the Rayalaseema landscape continued though, as we crossed two more dry rivers! The freight action continued as well, as we crossed a BOXN rake with twin WAG5s before Razampeta, where there was an Electronic In-Motion Weigh Bridge (Whatever that means? :O) on the UP line platform. We then crossed 56012 HX – AJJ passenger led by AJJ WAM4 21320 at Hastavaramu. There was a lake with crystal clear water near the mountains. Then we crossed the dry (except for a few patches of stagnant water) Chaiyyeru river on a bridge which had a PSR of 50 kmph.
At Nandalur, an AutoLinx Car Carrier freight hauled by a blue ED WAG7 stopped on the mainline. As we departed, we overtook a BCNA rake led by twin ED WAG7s 27496 and 27494. There was a beautiful lake with a lot of grass growing inside it, followed by a TSR of 30 kmph.
There was another lake with a lot of thorns before Ontimitta.
There was a line going to the right after Bhakrapet, followed by yet another TSR of 30 kmph and a dry river. We had an unscheduled halt of 3 mins at Kanamalopalle, which is yet another scenic station.
Here a flatbed freight with Iron Coils crossed us led by twin ED WAG7s (leading 27768). Meanwhile, in the Western bio-toilet; the flush leaked out water whenever I used it, and someone had thrown a paper packet in the commode! Yuck. A lot of people got in during our 3-min halt at Kadapa, after which there was yet another dry river with a few stagnant patches of water. The freight action rolled on as another BCNA rake crossed us with a WAG9. I dozed off for a while. When I woke up, we were leaving Yerraguntla (18 03, 29 mins late) ; and it was already dark. 57273 UBL TPTY passenger (which was running more than 2 hours late) entered led by GY WDP4D 40204 and a dead blue-white WDM3D behind. The line to Nandyal branched off to our right There were huge mounds of stone waste as well as pits, before we crawled through Kalamalla; where I spotted twin Ajni WAG7s (leading 27184) in Tigerface livery.
There was a factory in the distant right. Our coach was fairly crowded now. The never-ending freight action continued, as we crossed a BOXN rake hauled by twin Ajni WAG7s. From MAS to GTL, 11041/42 has a similar halt pattern as that of the supercrawler 11027/28 CSMT – MAS Mail. Our next halt was at Muddanaru, where again quite a few people got in. Funnily, there was a big board which spelt the station as “Muddanur”! 😛 At the next station Kondapuram, we had a longish halt of 9 mins for watering. Here, a freight hauled by an EMD skipped the station at MPS; sounding the LT horn (similar to that of an electric) continuously followed by a short burst of the HT horn. As we exited the station, there were two big water-tanks on the right; followed by a sub-station and a factory, as well as a highway on the right. This was followed by yet another bridge on a dry river with a TSR.
Then there was suddenly a huge jerk as we apparently hit an object on the track (a stone, according to my co-passengers)! This was one of the rare times I had actually felt scared during a train journey, especially given the spate of derailments we have had in the last 1 year or so! Anyway, this sensation of fear would not last long; especially with a train fanatic like me! We passed a few more factories with fire burning in the chimneys of two such factories. There was another unscheduled halt at Challavaripalle for less than a minute before we pulled into Tadipatri at 19 24, half an hour late. 12708 NZM TPTY AP Sampark Kranti express with 5 AC coaches entered nearly 3 hours late behind an EMD. I had dinner from the pantry, which comprised 3 chapatis with paneer mutter. It was quite tasty.
Meanwhile, we were losing time; and the ride was not very smooth – there was a lot of lateral movement. We had yet another unscheduled halt – this time for as long as 16 mins, at Rayalacheruvu. Another family got in here. Then there was a halt of 3 mins on the mainline at Jakkalacheruvu which is a ghost station. The light from an excavator nearby shone on a family camping and having dinner on a mat – this is the beauty of train journeys, especially in non AC! You get to see so much of the countryside and its wonderful people, and these sights are even more scenic in the night! Anyway, coming back to the journey; I had thought these unscheduled halts would be the last in store for us that day – I was emphatically wrong. We were again halted at Gooty cabin (with the BPCL factory in the right), and this time for a monumental 40 mins or so!
A rather crowded 18464 SBC BBS Prashanti express was standing adjacent to us. It honked (HT electric horn, probably WAP1/4) and departed ahead of us. Then 17212 YPR MTM Kondaveedu express overtook us led by GY WDP4D 40150 honking continuously. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBtchfI0Xf0 Then 16570 KCG YPR tri-weekly express crossed us led by KJM WDG3A 13285 honking and chugging hard, as we finally departed! We limped into Gooty at 21 14, 1 hr 46 mins late. Here there was diesel freight action in the form of a BCNA rake led by GY WDG3A 13100, and a flatbed rake with Iron coils led by twin GY WDM3Ds 11351 and 11321. Again, there was more agony for us; in the form of an overtake by the shining rake of newly converted LHB superfast 12793 TPTY NZB Rayalaseema express led by LGD WAP4 22643 – believe it or not, both the HT and LT horns of this beast (as the train departed) were of the pure P7 variety! :O
Apparently to compensate (the railfan in me) for the long wait, the station was full of ALCO honking and chugging, and EMD whining sounds! We finally departed at 21 48, 2 hrs 18 mins late! There was another flatbed rake led by GY WDM3D 11342 and the Indian Oil factory on the right. We crossed two bridges over dry rivers (yet again!) . It was time for me to lie down on my LB. We were already running way behind schedule, and would lose more time during the next long halt at GTL – for our WAP1 would be replaced with a diesel; which would take us all the way to Mumbai! Of course, 11042 has huge slack later in the journey from Yadgir to Wadi – 2 hrs 5 mins for a distance of 38 km! Anyway, to find out how well we make use of this slack, you will have to wait for Part 3! Happy reading till then!
MPS – Maximum Permissible Speed
PSR – Permanent Speed Restriction
TSR – Temporary Speed Restriction
LT – Low Tone
HT – High Tone
EMD – Electro Motive Diesel (and a modern class of diesel engines)
ALCO – American Locomotive Company (and a class of diesel engines of the 1960s)
LHB – Linke-Hoffman-Busch (German company whose technology is used to produce modern coaches – mostly seen in Rajdhanis, Shatabdis and Durontos)
RU – Renigunta
AJJ – Arakkonam
LGD – Lallaguda
DR – Dadar (Central)
MS – Chennai Egmore
HX – Kadapa
ED – Erode
UBL – Hubli
TPTY – Tirupati
GY – Gooty
CSMT – Mumbai Chatrapathi Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (Mumbai CST with the ‘Maharaj’ in it! 😛 )
MAS – Chennai Central
NZM – Hazrat Nizamuddin
SBC – Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna Bengaluru (or just Bangalore City 😛 )
BBS – Bhubaneswar
YPR – Yeshwantpur
MTM – Machilipatnam
KCG – Kacheguda
KJM – Krishnarajapuram (KR Puram)
NZB – Nizamabad
LGD – Lallaguda
GTL – Guntakal