So, halfway through my first experience by the ‘Humsafar’ class of trains (in this case being 22920 ADI-MAS Humsafar); we departed Raichur right on the dot at 12 45. For our progress from Mumbai please refer Part 1: https://ashwinkumar1989.online/2018/12/28/my-first-ever-humsafar-experience-part-1/ . I spotted WAG9H 316X2 and KJM WDP4D 40454 on a siding in the left. The time on the display board inside the coach was 7 mins too fast! 😛 We passed through maize and corn fields as well as ponds before Marichethal.
At Matmari we overtook a BOXN freight hauled by Pune WDG4 12838. Then we passed through fields full of white flowers, followed by forests in the distant right at Hanumapura. There was a decent amount of water in the Tungabhadra river.
I had a heavy but tasty lunch (from the pantry) comprising jeera rice and 2 chapatis with vegetable gravy, panneer mutter, dal and curd. It was expensive though; at Rs. 155. We skipped Adoni at a good pace with continuous HT honking by our diesel. An express led by a diesel loco crossed us after Aspari. Then there was contrasting scenery in the form of arid land with some green patches, ponds and goats, lambs and sheep grazing (as well as windmills! ) before Molagavalli. We overtook another BOXN rake headed by twin WDG4s (leading – 12969 of KZJ) at Nemakallu. Reached GTL (Platform 6) at 14 31, 14 mins early 🙂 .
We finally departed at 14 58 (3 mins late) after a long halt of 27 mins, with 2 blasts of the HT horn. Electrification seems to have started on the route to Kurnool. We passed through green fields and cow sheds with cattle grazing before Nakkanadoddi. Then there was a pond full of moss and weeds, followed by a beautiful lake.
We skipped GY at a slow pace; was pleased to travel by a train skipping such an important junction in broad daylight! In the process, we crossed a stationary freight hauled by twin GTL ALCOs. I also saw GY’s WDP4Ds 40191 and 40375 (as well as a WDG4D) in the DLS. Then the line to SBC curved sharply to the right and took an almost 180 degrees turn! :O
We soon picked up speed and blasted away, accompanied by melodious LT & HT horns of the WAP4. The mountains continued to give us company in the far left.
There were coconut and palm trees as well as plantains and maize fields before Rayalacheruvu. Then we passed through bushes and shrubs as well as rainfed ponds before Komali, followed by another skip (of Tadipatri) at MPS 🙂 . Spotted a Gerdau factory and a line branching off sharply to the left at Challavaripalli. Then I dozed off briefly. After I woke up, we had an unscheduled stop at Mangapatnam on the mainline. Departed after 3 mins with a melodious twin tone horn (combination of a whiny and a melodious HT horn!) and overtook twin WDG4s (leading 12055 of UBL – AEB-fitted as well) in the process. Then we were treated to the sight of windmills on a hill in the distant right, along with some greenery.
I spotted ET WAG5As 23195 and 23248 at Muddanaru. A line again branched off to the left. I suppose these lines (this and the one at Challavaripalli) are exclusively for freights? There was a pond, followed by a Thermal Power Station with 5 Cooling Towers and 4 towering chimneys before Kalamalla 🙂
We passed a beautiful lake besides towering mounds of stone waste on the right, before ripping through Yerraguntla; where the line from Nandyal joined us on the right. However, the inconsistency in our run continued, as we came to a halt on the mainline at the very next station Yerragudipad. Left after a stop of 5 mins, with the LP blowing both the LT and melodious HT horns together; sounded like an ALCO horn! 😀 Then there was a rainfed stream before we overtook a BOXN rake through the loop line at Kamalapuram. This was followed by a dry river with a sand bed.
There was more scenery in the form of bovines grazing, irrigated fields and palm groves; before we blasted through Krishnapuram (where there was a goods shed). This was followed by Fatima Institute of Medical Sciences and Nagarjuna Model School, before the skip of the all-important Kadapa at MPS at 17 36; overtaking a freight pulled and banked by a WAG9 in the process! :O . So, we had covered the last 184 km (from GTL) in 2 hours 38 mins; at an average of approximately 70 kmph. Not bad, especially considering the two unscheduled halts 🙂 . There was a solar factory, followed by forests and mountains in the distant left. Railway lines emerged from an Indian Oil factory before Bhakarapet. We overtook vehicles on the highway before Ontimitta; where there was a beautiful lake full of thorns and weeds.
There was yet another unscheduled stop on the mainline at Mantampalle for 3 mins. Then there were steep mountains, followed by herds of goats, sheep and lambs; before the culprit for the halt at Mantampalle was revealed at the very next station Nandalur – another freight which we had to overtake through the loop. Typical of SCR! 😛 This was followed by another bridge over a dry river with a sand bed; spotted a family huddled together near a fire down there! :O Then there was another predictable unscheduled stop on the mainline at Razampeta; where 12793 TPTY-NZB Rayalaseema express made a scheduled halt. It left before us and accelerated quickly out of the station. Then we departed after a stop of 9 mins; once again with melodious twin tones blown by the LP.
By now, it was dark (since it was 18 30) and so I could not see much outside the glass windows. Thus, I instead settled into reading ‘The Murders in the Rue Morgue and Other Tales’; a book of short stories by 19th century American author Edgar Allan Poe – originally credited with inventing the detective crime fiction genre. We were held up briefly for clearance at RU home signal; before pulling into the junction at 19 39, 16 mins early in spite of all these unscheduled halts! Oodles of slack this train has; with 5 hours given to cover the distance of 310 km (from GTL) and no commercial stop in between! 😛 Anyway, here I had a dinner of Egg Biryani purchased at the station. We departed after a long stop of 20 mins; 1 minute earlier than the scheduled departure of 8 pm! :O
There was (as had become the norm by now! 😛 ) another unscheduled halt somewhere, before we were held up for 14 mins at AJJ; where a local overtook us! 😛 After finally departing, we blasted in a blur of melodious twin tones for a while; before dropping to a sedate speed. It was a crawl from Villivakkam onwards and we were held up at Basin Bridge for 5 mins; before finally limping into PF10 of MAS at 23 03, 28 mins late. I took an Uber Go to reach my home in Abhiramapuram by 23 45.
Thus had ended an enjoyable first-time experience by the ‘Humsafar’ brand of trains; which left me with mixed feelings – good extra facilities like CCTVs, smoke and heat detectors, devices to preserve the heat of food cooked by the pantry and the train real-time status display; but with not enough speed (too much slack) or sectional priority (too many unscheduled halts) accorded in this train’s case to justify the dynamic pricing and premier train tag – cost of food being on the higher side as well. The curtains being removed (as against when the Humsafars were originally introduced) was a sore point as well. Anyway; thank you for patiently reading through these 2 Parts ! 🙂
- HT – High Tone
- LT – Low Tone
- AEB – Auto-Emergency Brake
- ALCO – American Locomotive Company (and an old class of diesel engines of the 1960s)
- DLS – Diesel Loco Shed
- MPS – Maximum Permissible Speed
- LP – Loco Pilot
- SCR – South Central Railway
- ADI – Ahmedabad
- MAS – Chennai Central
- KJM – Krishnarajapuram (KR Puram)
- MALM – Manthralayam Road
- KZJ – Kazipet
- GTL – Guntakal
- UBL – Hubli
- AJJ – Arakkonam Junction
- BZA – Vijaywada
- GY – Gooty
- SBC – KSR Bengaluru (Bangalore City/Majestic)
- ET – Itarsi
- TPTY – Tirupati
- NZB – Nizamabad
- RU – Renigunta