Another long Mumbai-Chennai Trip: Part 2

Stuck with a critical project for the past week, I couldn’t find time to write Part 2 of yet another long Mumbai-Chennai train trip (by 11027 Mumbai Chennai Mail of course 😀 , starting on 14th August!) . Anyway, now that the weekend has arrived; here goes..before reading on, please refer to Part 1! We had departed GR at 12 20, 32 mins late. I saw Al-Badar Rural Dental College on the right, followed by a clump of coconut trees. On the UP line above us, a short ACC cement freight crossed us; hauled by twin WDG4s (the trailing loco was clearly imported, since it had the letters “GENERAL MOTORS GT46MAC” in a huge and bold font – an impressive sight! 🙂 ). We then crossed 57660 Falaknuma Gulbarga passenger after Hirenanduru. After Martur, there was typical countryside scenery with goats, lambs and sheep grazing; and women washing clothes in a stagnant pond.

After passing Asra School and the dry Shahabad Nallah, we made a scheduled halt at Shahabad station on the mainline platform; there was one line between the 2 PF lines. Then we crossed the Cognee river.

This was followed by a clump of eucalyptus trees as we neared Wadi.


There was the ACC cement factory in the distant right, with a herd of bullocks in the foreground.


We pulled into the junction at 12 54, only 4 mins late; thanks to slack. Here our EMD was replaced by an electric loco during a long 21-minute stop. I had a tasty lunch of Egg Biryani; ordered from the pantry. There were rows of solar panels before Nalwar. I felt rather sleepy after the heavy lunch, and thus clambered up to my SUB and slept for a good 2.5 hours. When I woke up, we were at MALM.


We departed after a 2-minute halt, and soon started blasting with melodious HT and LT horns; the HT horn being used mainly. At our next stop Kosigi, 12164 Chennai Dadar ‘Super’ express crossed at MPS; led by a honking AJJ WAP1 22071. Then there was more scenery in the form of coconut and palm groves, as well as rocky man-made hills. There was a TSR of 75 kmph and the UP track was on a higher level for a while. There were also a lot of tall and thin trees, before we crossed a BCNA rake headed by a WDG4D and a WDG4 (in the rare and beautiful mango-yellow and cream livery 🙂 ). At our next halt Kupgal, there was a family of monkeys on the other PF. I saw share-autos waiting outside, as well as a temple. Later, the rocky man-made mountains drew closer to us.


We overtook vehicles on the road. The approach to Adoni was marked by the presence of many factories, VRL Logistics, oil industries, a Ginning & Pressing factory; and a Hero MotoCorp showroom. We crossed 71302 GTL-GR DEMU before entering the station at 16 50, 32 mins late. There was a PSR of 15 kmph on a solitary non-PF line. Before Nagarur (where we had a stop of just 30-40 seconds! :O ), I saw a solitary man-made pond amidst red and black soil.  Then there was an old man and a lady shepherding a herd of lambs, goats and sheep. This was followed by another TSR of 75 kmph; after which we blasted away.

There was an unscheduled halt of 30-40 seconds at Aspari on the mainline, where I saw BOB8NM wagons and a caboose on the other PF. Then there was a TSR of 20 kmph before Molagavalli, where we made another unscheduled stop.

We accelerated strongly as a strong wind blew.

There was another man-made pond amidst black soil before Nancherla, followed by a muddy canal. Then the line from Bellary joined us on the right.


This was followed by a HPCL plant.


We crossed twin AJJ WAG5s (trailing – 23488) leading a tanker train. Saw BZA WAP4 22777 on a siding, before we arrived at GTL (PF6) at 17 43, 5 mins early; thanks to slack again! 😛 We had a long 19-minute halt, during which the coaches were cleaned thoroughly. The stop also provided me time for railfanning 😉 . The junction was bustling as usual.


I saw GTL WDM3A 16715R and MLY WDM3A 18910R in the distant right.


Our electric power was ED WAP4 22774.


I also spotted AEB-fitted UBL WDG4 twins 12071 and 12123.


There was an auto stand at the main station building on the right. The freight action continued as we crossed a BOXN freight behind twin ED WAG7s 27452 and 27752 before Timmanacherla, where there was a mosque. We overtook vehicles on the highway and crossed a light WDP4D, before traversing scenery again – in the form of goats, lambs and sheep grazing, many palm and date palm trees; and a solitary small and stagnant tank. There was another mosque near Nakkanadodi, followed by a beautiful lake. Then there was the strange sight of a stagnant pond in which a man was using a tire to float and fishing with a net at the same time! :O We passed through rich red soil, followed by another lake in the far right. A BOXN freight with twin ALCOs crossed us before we made a halt for clearance at GY home signal for 4 mins. The line from Kurnool joined us on the left.


We then crossed twin GTL WDG3As 13408 and 13240 on the right-most line – the pair was chased by twin WAG7s in WAP4 shell! :O Reached the junction at 18 32, 14 mins late. As we left after a stop of 4 mins, I saw a Tower Car shed. Then came the famous curve of the line from Bangalore, as a passenger approached from the mountains behind BZA WAP4 22657; and crossed us.


Later I found out that this was 56503 BNC-BZA passengerrunning 3 hours late! :O The freight action followed determinedly, as twin EMDs crossed us with a BOXN rake. We then crossed a stationary WDG4D and WDG4 at Jakkalacheruvu. The mountains continued to keep us company in the distant right, as we overtook vehicles on the highway. There were mounds of lime before we crossed another freight hauled by twin EMDs. There was an LC with many vehicles waiting, followed by a mosque; before we arrived at Rayalacheruvu at 18 59; 20 mins late. Here there was a GTL WDM3D 11393 heading a BOBYN freight in the opposite direction. There were RPF personnel in our coach; probably owing to the fact that it was Independence Day. By now it was too dark to see much outside the tinted glass windows; thus I instead settled into reading the Perry Mason novel ‘The Case of the Gilded Lily’. Later I had a tasty dinner of 3 Chapatis with Panneer Mutter. Slept soon after paying the fare for lunch and dinner combined.

When I woke up, we were pulling into MAS. Arrived at 03 23 (early by 7 mins, as expected! 😛 ) on PF3. An announcement was made for 12839 HWH-MAS Mail to arrive shortly on PF8. I had some coffee before taking an auto to reach home before 4 am. Thus ended another typically long 2 nights and a day trip from Mumbai to Chennai. Thanks in advance for patiently reading through yet another long blog! 😛

Technical Terms

EMD – Electro-motive Diesel (and a modern class of diesel engines)

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

HT – High Tone

LT – Low Tone

MPS – Maximum Permissible Speed

TSR – Temporary Speed Restriction

PSR – Permanent Speed Restriction

DEMU – Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (or diesel local train)

AEB – Auto-emergency Brakes

LC – Level Crossing

RPF – Railway Protection Force

Station Codes

GR – Gulbarga

MALM – Manthralayam Road

AJJ – Arakkonam Junction

GTL – Guntakal

BZA – Vijaywada

MLY – Maula Ali

ED – Erode

UBL – Hubli

BNC – Bangalore Cantonment

HWH – Howrah

MAS – Chennai Central

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