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Wed Feb 21 03:44:34 IST
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Blog Entry# 5899596
Posted: Dec 02 2023 (23:06)

7 Responses
Last Response: Dec 06 2023 (05:26)
General Travel

Dec 02 2023 (23:06)   22884/Yesvantpur - Puri Weekly Garib Rath Express
Siddharth S^~
Siddharth S^~   23596 blog posts
Entry# 5899596            Tags  
3 compliments
Great Great:Nice write-up. Great
Ting ting... The SMS on the travel day generally triggers chatting status, but this was not on starting day, but 2 days before !!!

What is YA ?? Asked my Dad... Ya I said ... Dei , railway code which station is YA ... Yarraguntala I said , having my breakfast , leaving for office... Why suddenly ... No message has come train is diverted via YA and will skip stop at DHNE ..whaaat...yes ... That will be a deviation of 60kms... What a starting notice .

From the day tickets were booked , butterflies churned in my heart and tummy. For this was 1st time I booked in a Garib rath coach ever since the series was introduced . And as everyone knows , the dreaded SMB is always present to welcome people . And our tickets were a MB, UB, SLB .. SLB is not a issue I guess

Anyway D-day arrived and a rush from office through the packing , dinner and a sudden thought, what to do with diverted train for breakfast. .. bindi at home became Bindi fry , corteous mom, and a set of philkas from Tasty bites ordered and packed before departure , we were off through the Saturday evening rush, to the YPR station !!!

YPR station always seems to have some grudge against me. I enter through PF-6 , the rake will be on PF-1, I enter through 1, the rake will be on 6. But this time no go, for PF-1 exit is closed for works, so we have to go through PF-6 and our green beauty , 22884 to PURI is stationed on PF-1 , the LGD WAP-7 pulling the rake for testing after the loco attachment . PF-5 had the arrived rake of intercity from Shimoga , PF-6 was empty mostly for Dilli Duronto

The rake was pulled into the platform way in, and the display position was way ahead of coSch position by 2 places. So our G-13 was in place where G-15 was supossed to be ..and Garib rath ICF coach ...number starting with 08xxxx

Contrary to expectations, coach was bright, clean , non stinking , full, with well padded cushions with brown covers (Just wish some thought goes into authorities cushioning the LHB thin cushions ), a very few small cockroaches rounding about . Time struck 2215 hours , a 25 min left for departure .

A group of youngster immigrant were on lower berth looking to sleep . Took chance and asked dad to request them for a lower, as we had a long day ahead next day . A lower middle will be more comfortable for day journey do as you wish type

Mom settled in SLB, the guys settled in UB, and opposite LB, MB were occupied, leaving my LB and MB only left . It's going to be same status till next evening, all berths up only our berth down

The 16506 Gandhidham weekly pulled into PF-3 with crowded UR coaches as time ticked to 2235 hrs . At 2240 hrs , Gandhidham proceeded and we too got the starter . Was waiting to witness the parallel action but a LHB rake was shunted into PF-2 blocking the view

Proceeded to sleep , thinking about views tomorrow. ICF has its own charm, most importantly the heavy sounds of the thugginf wheels and the lack of the customary jerk . We slowly pulled out, cleared the Bangalore urban, ring roads and pulled into Yelahanka 20 mins later as we laid the berths , after getting the pillow bedsheets from the attender

The berth was a full length berth, and a well cushioned one , giving a good sleep. Slept well enough , keeping data switched off for saving battery , WIMT anyway on to check the location

Chaos and lights woke me up in the coach . Noticed the trainnhad stopped somewhere and a huge group has boarded , berths allocated across the coaches.. all lights on, shouting for seat numbers. Checked the time , it was 335AM and we were departing Anantapur . Went off to sleep

Woke up around 615AM and we were ripping on double track . WIMT status had stopped at GY cabin at 5AM with no further updates but it was clear. The rising sun on the Madras bound line from Bombay , we were on the trunk route . The wheels moved as smooth as butter , soundless and sensed we are slowing down .

Dad woke up from LB and sending opportunity jumped out of the MB. Time to take over the window seat for the day ahead , our destination is at night . Well this was what we actually thought in mind, when we discarded the expensive flight to this train- hardly a few hours of saving compared to cost - and despite the 9th berth, seating is pretty comfortable, courteous none of the UB guys are ever going to come to LB

We have pulled into Yarraguntala in the meantime with the tracks glittering under the sun. We move to the rightmosy track switching across the main lines and stopped onto the PF. WAP -7 had reversed itself on the other platform line and was waiting for departure with the Dharmavaram bound express from Machilipatnam, the sleeper coaches giving an half filed look

Tea vendors boarded across , so took a gulp. Rs.30/- he said , a shocking one . Not understanding what was there for Rs.25/- per cup of the liquid , anyway already taken, gulped it down

Nandyal 120 kms, showed the gmaps , so average of 2 hours if we depart. Went to the door and spotted our WAP7 at the end of the rake at a faint look, waiting to enter the main line for reversing . WAG9 pulled in with a BOBYN rake and halted between us and the Dharmavaram express. Our WAP7 now pulled into between us and the BOBYN for reversal, as the WAP7 with DMM announced its departure . So it is going to be a line up for the station controllers here

The DMM express slowly moved out , clearing points and onto the GTL line. Once he cleared the section later , the WAG9 too left . Our WAP7 too went ahead to join us at other end, and we were now the 4th coach from the loco . A LHB rake blasted past on opposite as another WAG9 pulled into halt on mainline next to us

Time slowly ticked to 705, our scheduled time of arrival at NDL. We are 120 kms away , so on average we are 2 hours late as of now. Of course , we need to see when we get the proceed

At 715AM we got the time to proceed, slowly cleared off the GTL points ,veering off to the Nandyal line , as. WAG9 awaited towards Cuddapah with a BOXN rake . One of the new experiences on this line and a once in a lifetime opportunity. The belt wasn't dry as expected and the landbeds and cotton plants spring up . Before long we had slowed down, and as I wondered the reason, a huge gap in land was visible, indicating an approaching bridge. Penna river beamed the board and a distant town indicated our approach to Prodattur . The semi filled river bed was crossed , tracks diverted and slowly pull into unscheduled halt at Prodattur

10 mins into the halt, the staff came enquiring about breakfast order. We contemplated finishing chappatti vs the breakfast , and decided for the latter. Upma Vada * 3 ordered for Rs.180/-, same cost as swiggy order for chappatti previous night .

A WAG7 freight ran across and we pull out . There were mild shakes across the coach as we speed up on the not much explored section. Delay adding up, but only relief there were not much of crossings expected , but for freights . And trains on diverted route seldom get chance to recover .. do they ??

A quick dart past a small station past the waiting DMU to Kadapa and next we slow down again for a halt . Strained again to see the name , S Uppalapaadu said the board. We held up there and wondered what was next ?? Freight crossing ?? Only possibility

A long 10 minutes halt with the early morning liveliness across the farmlands. Drongos and sunbirds hovering about on bushes close to tracks , as a group of storks take a long flight above . Egrets flutter across as if to say - aaya Naya ujaala , chaar boondon waalah aa aa as their white contrasts the green fields below .

Songs praising Lord Venkateshwara suddenly flew across the coach echoing through. The group who boarded and woke us up at Anantapur have now decided to wake up the sleeping G-13 in entirety as they join chorus in singing . Meanwhile our signal changes to amber and we pull out

20-25 mins and now the coach is again silent . There are hardly any obstacles now and the km mark changes quickly . Koilakontla, Banaganapalle pass through and as time ticks to 10 mins past 9, an approaching line indicating our approach to the junction. It was our original line we were supossed to take , and now we are back into the track . We slowly cross the bridge across the Kundi stream and pull into Nandyal junction 2 hrs 10 mins past our regular schedule. Not bad thought to myself , we have enough slack till Vijayawada to make up this and reduce

Breakfast was served and I quickly open mine to devour. Upma no Vada... Look up at the caterer and he immediately replaces it with one with Vada. I will get it changed immediately he runs out of the coach , as our WAP7 leaves

WAP7 prepares to tackle the Nallamalla forest section as I quickly savour the upma and Vada with the chutney . 2 hours delayed, slack to makeup, a 9PM arrival at VSKp seems a good time to reach . Well it does is a good time , provided we do not encounter any further obstacles. No passenger train crossing till Guntur atleast , I am a free guy , cries out the horn of WAP7, echoing with the EoG sound , barely few coaches away ....

But , we do not know what could be in store.. that's Railways ...

Time for popcorn and snacks guys !!!

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2 Posts


Dec 03 2023 (21:59)
Siddharth S^~   23596 blog posts
Re# 5899596-3              
2 compliments
Great Great
We pull out of Nandyal , and slowly move past into the greenery filled Nallamalla forest , as the MPS beams 105-100 continuously. A good strength track for this section indeed as the stations were zipped past, before we pull in for our next unscheduled halt , the station board reads "Chelma".

A small picturesque station , with a small platform that seems to hold just a 6 coach DMU. But long loops to.keep freight and trains waiting on opposite side . So we have pulled into the last line curve and
stopped with signals beaming red on both sides

Monkeys occupied the tracks coming running towards passengers expecting some titbits. Some got , but my heart kept pumping at thought of approaching train and monkeys

Of course , monkeys are more alert than us, realised me 15 mins later , when the monkeys moved out of the track . Green Goblin twins moved on opposite , ending our wait ... Where wait will end, we are delayed

I stood by door , admiring the scenery around , recaping the visit to Shrisailam few years back . The curves , the greenery , and above all, the speed still maintaining at 80+as we tackle the curves past the ghats . Old tower structures cropped up in middle of the greenery, indicating the high level elevation the MG line took , as we stayed way down below

Darkness suddenly enveloped on all sides , as we enter into a tunnel. By choice , I open the video in mobile, 10 secs into the tunnel, and it was a pretty long tunnel, with video recording 1 min 31 secs before we move out to the daylight again . Minutes later , we come out to Digguvametta station, with the hills enveloping the station at a distance , but at a arms length

We pull into Digguvametta , on the mainline for a complete halt , with the water pipes next to us. But the halt , expected a crossing , but 15 mins into the journey , we are given the starter . Dhone was supposed to be our water halt , but with the deviation,seemed to have to been a temporary one , to last us till we reach Guntur

We have finished the hills and now on plains and pick up speed. The time has gone well beyond limits and we need to speed up and we have already done that to maintain schedule . The towns of Cumbum, Giddalur passed by soon , reminding of the APSRTC buses to these destinations. Tracks have doubled in some parts here , so we do not have to wait for the passing freight . The hills, seem to move away , but still stay on the border . We are curving past hills

The next time we halted was on the scheduled halt of Markapur road, where about 8 people from our coach deboarded. The town nor the highway seem to be close to the station, that's generally seen as the gateway to the Shrisailam . Wonder if they are all pass through, how do people get into the buses at midway .

There were equal number of passengers + extra who boarded our coach . This train doesn't seem to have long vacancies. The Nandyal cum Markapur road vacancy has now filled up at Markapur road . But the station looks too odd for anyone to deboard at night . But maybe night atmosphere might be different

The loco pilot was in aggressive mode to accelerate and maintain the speed now and we are trying to make use of the slack to make up for last time . Continuous speeds of 90+-100-105 (ICF coach boss) and few shakes here and there like a siever filtering sand from flour , but wheels are still butter laid. No unnecessary sounds and most importantly, very low horn from WAP7 , who was more on the pace . EoG growls also were minimally heard, leaving us to admire coach design 15 years ago , still working good for passengers .

The towns of Donakonda and Vinukonda pass through and the 90 km stretch was covered at average 75 and we pull into PF-1 of Narasaraopet at 1225PM raising hopes of a before 130PM arrival at Guntur . Good time for lunch I thought , as we pull into halt

5 mins 10 mins pass through but no sign of departure raises eyebrows . The lady in opposite LB was either in sleep mode or phone mode, talking about how slow the GARIBRATH is compared to Duronto . Duronto doesn't stop at Brahmapur and only reason I booked this and I don't even know where the train is ..Not understanding this route ...complaints flew across to every contact on phone. Brahmapur arrival is anyway at odd 1AM, delays should make you happy , thought me to myself

The station was devoid of any catering service except some samosa vendor . But the shock was LC just outside the station that was open and signal showing red. 5 mins 10 mins ALP is out of the loco, station master is near the loco and even RPF. What's happening .

Match at 130, train not moving , spoke a person standing behind . Oh man, we are worried about lunch and you are worried about the match ?? Match is available online to watch, lunch can't be had .. RPF person moves towards the coach and station master goes back to cabin . Went to ask the RPF what happened..signal issue at next station, we should get approval and clearance sir he replied. tTE was walking up and down the platform and I board back the coach to the confines of AC

Halt continues..gets bored as it continues and all sorts of discussions go across the coach as to why the train is stagnant . Time for our chappatis I told my mom, need to have it, because even if we start, it will take 50 mins to reach Guntur atleast .

Washed hands , took out the chappatti, as time ticked to 1325 .As I put the chappatti on the plate , the train starts moving and now our made up time is lost by another hour . We respect the next halt and the signal issue with a stop ,halt ,go trotting past and then again we pick up speed. How much more will we pick up ???

Catering order came to take orders, a confident state that we would reach Guntur and lunch would be still there . We have despatched the smaller stations at ease and next we slowdown is when a double line approaches from the left. Secunderabad, Nalgonda, Guntur line approaches and join us outside the station and we slowly pull pull and pull into PF-5 of Guntur at 1420 hours and I get down to get a bottle of limca for the afternoon . A LHB rake was stationed on PF-2 , not sure which rake was stationedn

The halt was almost for 20 mins and slowly get the proceed at 1440 hours , clearing the points , trotting past the CDO, breaking free of the Tenali line to curve towards Vijaywada, past waiting and crossing freights and it was time to get to the next landmark , the Krishna river bridge . Waited as we glided past Simmhachalam and slowly moved past Krishna Canal junction at a slow speed , clearing the points , moving on the right side line , as a WAG9 BOXN moved in the opposite right . Speed limit boards of 30 followed by 50 showed up and we move into the girder bridge

Water was safely stored in the Prakassan barrage behind as remaining water trickled down , exposing sand banks . Behind the barrage , a vast blue mass was seen , indicating the water gallons stored behind

We move past the bridge but the speed kept slowing down and in the end , we come to a halt over the egde of the bridge as the signal at end showed red. The watch ticked to 1510 hours- delay staying back at less than 2 hours delay again

The wait just prolongs and after watching the bridge from both the doors , was preparing to go back, when the honk was heard. Not from our side, but from the bridge on the opposite . Waited at the door to watch who was coming . The Chennai (Via Renigunta) bound Vande Bharat from Vijayawada pulled out on opposite bridge and crossed us, and our signal turns to amber , to cross past the electric loco shed with WAP4 and 7 , we move to rightmost end of one of the major junctions of South India , to Platform 1 , at 1535 hours , delayed by 2 hours and 10 mins ...

Time to have a cup of tea before we join the Eastern trunk !

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Dec 04 2023 (09:53)
ER_PRAGADESH_SK_NGT^~   17594 blog posts
Re# 5899596-4              
WAP 7 be like: give me recovery run
controller: Go and sit in loopline let freight goes.
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Dec 04 2023 (19:48)
Siddharth S^~   23596 blog posts
Re# 5899596-5              
Yes yes anything possible
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Dec 05 2023 (22:14)
Siddharth S^~   23596 blog posts
Re# 5899596-6              
Garib rath has had its own share of passengers with multiple booking from various stations . As much as people get off the train , the berths get occupied by next station . About a decade back when it was a special , I had posted in irfca as to regular 800 berths available and why they have to make it regular and train being a white elephant for slow run. But now 3A booking has happened for day journey from station like Markapur road, guntur to reach the other end of the state. Hindupur to Ichchapuram inside single state on a Saturday night Sunday morning is what seems like making it a hit. And if course for a 1K distance of SBC VSKP 3A fare is just about Re1 a km, same reason why I booked train against flight . My 3 tickets were lower than a single airfare when...
I checked by Rs.1.5K. and +1.5K for taxi to airport in Bangalore

Anyway now after allowing passengers to deboard , I too get off for a quick round of coffee. The caterer was right next to door , so I run to him and ask for 3 cups while dad follows all the while scolding me - Train is late how long you think he will stop . Minimum 10 mins pa , I said pointing to the tomato red signal at loco. Anyway it's here only i said grabbing it and allowing dad to proceed 1st, followed him into the coach siping the coffee

Seeing the coffee, the group who boarded at Anantapur started enquiring about where to get it and how long train will stop . I said the shop is right outside , but then it's already close to 10 mins of halting and I am not sure how long he will halt. I finished my coffee in meantime and went to drop it in thrash as group was still discussing whether to take coffee or not.

In meantime , super crawler 13352 from Dhanbad to Allapuzha pulls into PF-4 with its good share of crowd as usual . In meantime 2 gents from group get off to get coffee while the loud horn scares everyone off platform , as we get the starter to proceed at 1550 hours

We pull out, taking the curve to the East onto the main line , deviating frommthe Gudivada bound tracks and onto the middle line . WAP7 is now in now mood to slow down and this 350 kms is going to be the turf club for the stallion . We slowly pick up, accelerate quickly to show the power

There is a huge commotion in bay behind us . A new set has boarded at Vijayawada and were trying to occupy their berths . The Anantapur group had earlier exchanged few seats with passengers who deboarded at Vijayawada. Now the new set laying claim to berth and didn't want to get seperatd at different berths. The higher luggage with the group provoked the new boarders , who fight for luggage space. 9 berth luggage in this coach vs 8 in regular is causing issue .. but regular gets RAC , garib rath is Smb, 9 is same .. it's only adjustment

We run parallel to overtake a concor on the third line, as freights pass by on the opposite . There is a line up of express trains on opposite , but they are lined up between Rajamundhry and Samalkot / Ankapalle , and the next few minutes it's freight era . The freight traffic on trunk route is pretty high with a freight crossing is every 10 mins gap for time being, while in our direction they wait station wise for signal or occupy the available 3rd lines wherever possible proceeding with us .

A quick halt at Eluru at 435PM indicating we are utilising the slack to RJY. If we were on schedule, we had to encounter Corro and Janmabhoomi attack, but now we are free . There is only one Shalimar bound 12641 which is about 35 kms behind , so we have good lead to proceed

Post Eluru and the speed , it was now time to encounter the massive long bridge on Godavari next and I kept looking at the GPS to check the position. Rajamundhry was good 90 kms away , but the excitement looked like train was carried away by it and maintaining a good 100-105 Regularly. The rake had markings of 130 fit ,but being ICF , wasn't sure whether it would go 120+ and it didn't , but yes 105 is still a good score. Century is a century

The entire coach had gone into silence form afternoon roars. Yes, the performance of team India in finals wasn't up to mark, and the death overs saw more casualties than survivors and there was no century except for our GARIBRATH .

In the usual style of expecting , forgot a main thing that we are heading east. As light starts to diminish, notice that time is past 1715 hours only and we still have atleast 30-40 mins before we can reach Rajamundhry . But whether the light would fade faster or train would move faster

Both went at their chores and when we approached Kovvur , I approach the door , only to see the fallen dusk . The flowing Godavari was seen in the well set dusk, black to an extent to see there is water in the backwaters of Dowleshwaram. The RCC bridge on up.line added little to the excitement , but the length was huge .. Exited the bridge and approached Rajamundhry at 1755 hours , delay now at 1 hr 40 mins

The caterer came asking for dinner order and we ask where he would board . Next stop he said, we will give it by 7-715 he said. Train is late , can reach Vizag by 10 he said. Yep I said , and gave the order for meal at Rs.120/-

It was now dark enough to witness anything , and match seemed to take a turn with 3 wickets falling , but then again there was silence as the Aussies dominated the match . Express trains kept crossing on opposite , as Dad remarked , those days weekly means that slot had a train once a week, now weekly has slot on all days to different destination,some even has a clone and sometimes even clones are full.. and still we do not get tickets on the train

Samalkot junction was despatched by making up a bit more time but lost athe outer and we reach at the regular 120 mins delay . Looked like we could have a 75 min delay at VSKP, but I realised I made a error minutes down the line . Dinner was served around 715PM and I quickly devoured it . Our chaffuer from package called asking whereabouts and I replied saying we are at Samalkot and came reach by 930. 930 I will be at station he replied

The line post Samalkot wasn't quick . We had regular slow downs, halts , unscheduled slow downs indicating someone is blocking us ahead. One fo them was a freight whom we sidelined . We picked speed in bursts , slow down , but the run was still good at an average of 60+ that 835PM we reach Ankapalle. Last slack should help us

We approach to our next halt at Duvvada ,but end up looping at Thadi. This was when I realised I hadn't been seeing ahead . Opened WIMT to find it was MAS SRC AC weekly occupying the platform at Duvvada. And ahead of him was the crawler , 18046 at Hyderabad who possibly stops at all stations possible . So we need to move one at a time

WIMT showed SRC clearing Duvvada , when we hear a loud horn, frommbehind us . 12641 has caught up with us and given priority , and blasted past us , while we are held up. So for entering into Vizag , we are 4 of us one behind other and should enter in a queue like students moving to classroom from assembly

Slowly we get to move and in meantime , the Secunderabad bound trains line up one behind the other . Nagavalli, Duronto, Garib rath follow each other as we make our way past Duvvada, trot past the suburbs of Vizag and pull ourselves after slow runs onto PF-4 of Vizag , positioning ourselves right next to the FoB ramp at 945PM, 1 hour 45 mins delay , bringing the end to the rather long , comfortable and slightly eventful journey , at 23 hours of travel time

Thanks for reading !!!

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Dec 06 2023 (05:26)
deepak.yerr~   5671 blog posts
Re# 5899596-7              
Yes 10-12yrs back when it was introduced as SPL it used to be half empty and the travel time is also more both sides that too leaved Benguluru on SAT almost midnight. Earlier travel to Benguluru is single travellers or employees but now after many have settled, married with kids parents are also travelling and any train to Hyd, Bengaluru, Chennai is full irrespective of timings and day of operation. Last 5 yrs travelers have increased in GS and without reserved tickets it's difficult to travel in day and arrival at Vskp is now convenient.

contrary employees travel by bus from RJY to Nellore stretch to Benguluru as they reach Tin factory, ORR, Silk Board by 600-800. From Visakhapatnam there are 4-5 flights per day after covid costing 5K.

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