I So Miss Those Days

I so miss those days

When diesels ruled the roost

Whether it be the ALCOs

With their ferocious chugging

Or the EMDs

With their intoxicating humming

I so miss those days

When I used to travel

By the legendary Mumbai-Chennai route

And couldn’t wait for Pune to arrive soon

Because, the electric engine hauling our train

Would be replaced by a roaring ALCO

And then the journey would truly begin

For the next sixteen-seventeen hours

It would be sheer bliss

Speeding through the countryside

With its fields, bushes and trees

Ponds, lakes and meadows

And the villages, with their charming cottages

Accompanied by rhythmic track sounds

And some beautiful music

In the form of furious ALCO chugging

And equally melodious honking

By the time Renigunta arrived

The journey would effectively end

As another electric locomotive would take over

And the last leg of the journey

Would just pass in a blur

Leaving me no time

To enjoy the scenery on offer

I so miss those days

When I used to travel

The length and breadth

Of the mighty Konkan Railway

With its many tunnels, bridges and viaducts

And rivers, lakes and mountains

Accompanied by rhythmic track sounds

And either fierce ALCO chugging

Or mesmerising EMD humming

And of course, melodious honking

I so miss those days

When diesels ruled the roost

Sadly, times have changed

The diesel era has come to an end

And electrics are here to stay

Of course, I like electrics too

After all, they do come with the promise

Of sheer speed and oodles of comfort

However, as mentioned earlier

A journey by a train

Hauled by an electric loco

Is usually over in a flash

Leaving you no time

To appreciate the finer points

Whether it be the scenery

Or the stations en route

Or the trains crossed

I so miss those days

When those venerable diesels ruled the roost


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

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

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