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Ganga Sagar Express - सारे तीर्थ बार-बार, गंगासागर एक बार - Rahul Kumar

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Oct 16 2015 (08:30)   12649/Karnataka Sampark Kranti Express (Via Ballari) (PT) | YPR/Yesvantpur Junction (6 PFs) | MLY/WDG-3A/13251
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Entry# 1618534            Tags   Past Edits
The 3 words which even now bring a sweat down my forehead are, ‘Karnataka Sampark Kranti’; As soon as I hear those words, in a rapid flashback, my mind travels back to July 19, 2013. I was headed to Delhi for a year’s coaching for competitive exams. Though the waitlisted tickets were booked barely 10days back, they got confirmed on the morning of travel day, in 3 AC that too, which I assumed was slightly difficult. What I didn’t realize at that point was that the Journey was never going to happen. July in Delhi meant hot summer coming to an end, but in Bangalore, the dark clouds began meandering overhead and made their presence felt every now and then. They managed to tamper with my fate as well that day. Looking forward to my first KSK Journey, I booked a cab to YPR at 17:30, the cab came at 19:00...
and we started at 19:15hours. No sooner had we started than it started raining like what they usually describe as ‘Cats and Dogs’. And if anyone knew Bangalore well enough, they can sum up what could have possibly happened after that. The route from my home to YPR was a good 17kms long and twisted and turned its way through the Airport road as well, “BOOM”- traffic personified. The cabbie tried his best, but we managed to reach at 22:15hours, 5mins after departure time. And there we found that Bangalore traffic didn’t manage to delay just us, but quite a few families who were to board the KSK were also stranded. What happened after that is an entirely different story, maybe sometime later.
Snapping out of my daydream, I immediately came back to the present, phone in hand; the Ola app had opened, by the time my wavering mind settled in 2K15. It was just about 18:00hours, and not wanting to take any chances, I booked an auto at around 18:30hrs, and immediately got a response. Bangalore Auto drivers are always in search of long distance mega bucks customers, and here I was; serving myself on a silver platter, that read 200+ bucks all the way to YPR. After waving my family Goodbye, I recollected the purpose of my journey en-route the station. I was headed to capture the MG rail network of NER in Uttar Pradesh. It was a long unfulfilled dream, which I finally got a chance to realize. Friends from Chennai were going to join me directly in Delhi, till where it was all ‘I, me and myself’. As we rattled along the roads, negotiated traffic signals and jams, I recounted my tale from 2years ago, to the auto driver. A cheerful chap that he was, we discussed things ranging from my missed trip to Bangalore traffic, politics and a lot more. All this was done and dusted while we were crawling between GPO Junction and Windsor Manor. Despite his best efforts, the Autowaalah couldn’t help me in spotting the link of the Yeshvantpur-Howrah express which departed at 20:35hours. After paying him and getting an additional blessing from him for the safe execution of my trip, I trudged into pf1 of Yeshvantpur at 20:40hours.
The Solapur bound tri-weekly was awaiting its starter on pf1 with the customary link, Pune WDM3D. As I walked along the trolley path towards pf6, I watched the starter of pf2 go green behind me; the Primo Supremo of SWR- Bangalore Rajdhani was approaching. Led by customary link KJM WDP4 20059, the Raj crawled through pf2. Surprising as it was, the Rajdhani took 25mins to cross YPR after departing SBC at its then timings of 20:20hrs. The Solapur bound express soon departed from pf1, and then came the Janshatabdi from Hubli which arrived bang on time into pf2. KJM WDS6 36243 was doing what it was made for- shunting; constantly from pf4, 5& 6; from a slightly funny aspect, the WDS6 seemed to be playing around with the DEMU rake it was shunting here and there.
Time flew like anything and soon enough, the Rani Chennamma express led by an LHF UBL hunk pulled into pf3 for a scheduled halt. By this time, I strolled down to the TK end of pf6 and found that my KSK’s link was picking up the 3 customary HCPVs from adjacent pitline. At first glance, I observed the side railings on the loco and concluded that it was an EMD in SHF. My train was shunted into pf6 sans the HCPVs and the SLR, as was the standard procedure. The loco would couple the SLR to the HCPVs and then shunt them again, to be coupled with the main rake on pf6.
Now, I didn’t quite realize why I felt that the loco was a little extra long at that moment, and I brushed aside my thoughts, given that it was dark and allowed the loco to draw near before jumping to further conclusions. The loco link came as a pleasant surprise; for it was not a KJM EMD at all, twin ‘Shakti’ WDG3As from Moula Ali (MLY) shed, 13251& 13377 were in charge of my KSK till KCG. A few whatsapp texts later, I moved towards my coach, S9, which was just the 6th from the loco, fully satisfied. Just a few minutes before my departure, our counterpart arrived from Delhi and pulled into pf5, delayed by a good 2.5hours. And the WDS6 again started playing shunting games, delaying our departure by 7mins.
We pulled out of pf6 at 22:17, with the MLY Shakti letting out a shrill EMD style honk. With a delay of 7mins from the outset, I wondered how the journey was going to fare, but couldn’t argue much as I got an Emergency window to glare out of. Crawling past the yard, the MLY twins switched tracks towards Yelahanka (YNK) as the KJM WDS6 reversed into the yard to shunt the Gorakhpur express. After ensuring all the coaches had joined the mainline, the MLY twins came into their element, and thereafter the acceleration was a literal rampage.
Lotegolahalli was dismissed in no time, and a minor slowdown at Kodigehalli, saw us once again accelerate and chug away towards YNK. After switching tracks in YNK, the MLY twins charged ahead like a couple of beasts possessed. Doddaballapur was the last skip I remember before dozing off.
After a good sleep, I opened my lids slightly to discover that the lag had gone up to 20mins from the 7min departure delay. We were pulling out of Kurnool after a scheduled halt. Knowing that KSK had enough slack to make up for the accumulated delay, I went back to sleep for some more time.
After 30 more minutes of sleep, I woke up and freshened myself for an action filled Day2. It was still twilight, and we had entered Telangana state. I ventured into the 29th state of India for the first time after its creation. At about half past 5, we raced past Gadwal, following which the Krishna River was also crossed. The first morning tea was served at 6, and it woke me up completely. An elderly couple in my bay were packing their bags and preparing to get down at Kacheguda. I wondered who would occupy the precious Track side Emergency window once they got down.
After an unconventional breakfast of Bread Cutlet followed by one more Tea, I was contacted by my friend Prithviraj, who was coming to meet me at KCG. By the time I answered his call, we had crossed Mahabubnagar, almost on the brinks of Hyderabad City. Soon enough, after crossing the ringroad ROB, we had entered Hyderabad city limits, and after a full patch of no-wire territory, the first signs of electrification appeared at Falaknuma. We had more than just made up for the delay and were now running before time, such was the amount of slack KSK had.
With the Sun shining down upon us like it would do on any other normal summer morning, we pulled into KCG pf1, at 08:05hrs- a good 20mins before time. Prithvi’s aunt was kind enough to pack me one more portion of breakfast, which I finished after KCG. While I was confident of an on time run, it was just natural of Prithvi to pull me out of what he called an illusion. ‘Macha, enadhru rare occasion aagi iratho (Brother, It must have been a rare occasion)’ was his reaction when I said a few weeks ago, KSK had reached NZM 20mins BT.
Such was the localite Prithvi’s confidence. He was ready to lay a bet, that our power henceforth- an LGD WAP7 won’t arrive any time before 08:30 from SC. And sure enough, LGD’s newbie 30418, our link in-charge for the remainder of the Journey to NZM, arrived at 08:35hrs (our scheduled departure time). After what seemed like an eternity, we were given the starter at 09:05hrs; Irony abounds- we arrived ahead of schedule by 20mins and departed with a 30min delay. ‘Oh boy, the day had just begun partner’; the Wappie seemed to be telling me.
I waved Prithvi goodbye, and the Track side Emergency Window was ready to be occupied. For the 1hr that Prithvi and I chit-chatted away; no one occupied any of the 6 berths in my bay. It was only me and a boy on the SUB. I was all smiles when I realized that the next commercial halt was Nagpur, and I wouldn’t be disturbed by anybody till then. Within no time, the second breakfast (dosa) was gobbled up and we reached Sitafalmandi; our branch off point to avoid the reversal at SC. As we switched tracks and moved towards Malkajgiri, the Tirupati bound APSK, was pulling into SC for a scheduled halt& reversal led by LGD WAP7 30287. We crawled on top of the SC-KZJ mainlines, which we were to join in a few mins. As we approached Malkajgiri, twin Kazipet WDG3As awaited their starter to move towards KCG, with a spl train from Shirdi. Slowly but steadily, we switched tracks once again and moved towards the mainlines which we joined just after Moula Ali.
Just as we were slithering into the mainline, a late running Kakatiya fast Passenger charged past us led by KZJ Shakti 13447. After this, we were not disturbed by any crossing till Bibinagar. Here began an interesting part of the script. I can’t seriously remember the last time I traveled through SCR and got end to end mainline clearance. Yup, you read that right, SCR has a reputation of looping trains, irrespective of what that train is.
On that day, there was an interesting twist to my journey; that many were to follow is a different story altogether; but it all began at Charlapalli. Already lagging behind by 30 odd minutes, KSK was speeding through Ghatkesar, when suddenly a mother-daughter couple back in S5 decided they had overslept and it was time to get down. Mainline clearance in SCR end to end was a rare blessing in itself, but some or the other hiccup was bound to emerge. Those 2 women pulled the chain just as the train was entering Bibinagar. While we grinded to a halt barely 10 coaches into Bibinagar, BZA golden oldie WAM4 21271 pulled into the opposite pf leading the Bhagyanagari express for a scheduled halt.
A small drama unfolded on the opposite platform as the mother-daughter couple got caught red handed. Well, that was a sadist kind of relief. My train started moving again, and we were soon cracking on. Bhongir and Raigir were dismissed at allowed MPS, after crossing the station of Raigir; we slowed down to negotiate the curve at restricted speed of 90kmph. Post the Raigir curve, it was MPS all the way till KZJ; no stops whatsoever.
As we approached Wangapalli, Coimbatore bound Kongu express screamed past us led by offlink Santragachi (SRC) WAP4 22566. Following this, Mumbai bound Konark express speeded past led by Kazipet WDG3A twins. Closely chasing the Konark express, the Satavahana express rushed towards Secunderabad led by an LGD WAP4. As we approached Ghanpur, I noticed that the westbound mainline starter was green; the Mumbai LTT bound Vishakapatnam-Mumbai LTT express rushed ahead led by customary link; a Kalyan ‘Shakti’ WDG3A 13589. This was the last crossing before we reached Kazipet.
The slowdown began just as we crossed the DLS, and surprisingly we came to a dead halt on pf1. We resumed after a few mins of unscheduled halt, and as we moved towards the GT lines, a BCNA rake led by WAG7 twins moved parallel to us towards Warangal. A surprise awaited me on the pitlines of Kazipet outer. Brand new WAP7 30424 allotted to RPM shed, was waiting dead with AJJ WAP1 22023. Just as we crawled forward, Ajni-Kazipet Passenger arrived hauled by a BZA WAG7 and tagging along was another newbie allotted to RPM shed- WAP4 25023. Following this, I also spotted a visitor from SER, TATA WAG9 31515 awaiting its starter with a freighter at Kazipet Town. Finally we joined the Grand Trunk line, and the acceleration towards Balharshah began with earnest.
Part1 link- click here
As soon as we joined the GT lines, Southbound Kerala express crawled past us led by offlink ET WAP4 22780. It was a day of offlinks I presumed. Pretty soon, the LPs did what they do best, charge ahead at MPS. An interesting thing I observed at Hasanparthi road was that the all the south bound loops and the mainline included were occupied by freights; all stationary. It led me to think of the fate of trains which would escape through the station by the reverse loop.
Soon after, the Chennai bound Rajdhani express rushed past led by LGD veteran 30250, surprisingly with the front panto up. The last stations in SCR limits within Telangana state were dealt with at MPS. Korba-Trivandrum express chased the Chennai Rajdhani led by ED WAP4 22568; and the one spotting I missed while skipping Manchiryal was the Gorakhpur-Secunderbad SF. As usual, mainline was occupied by a freighter and the SF was in the dn line loop. We were cruising ahead at 110 clicks, so I didn’t bother much about the missed capture. The sun was beating down upon us till the moment we crossed the border.
Lunch order was taken when we departed from KZJ and was served when we crossed the Godavari. With some doubt in mind, I ordered the Veg Thali. What I anticipated was far from what I had got. The scrumptious lunch compensated for the barren look of the river. Priced at Rs. 120; the KSK lunch comprised of a white rice variety mixed with carrots, a little bit of Cumin seeds and a few peas. It was served with 4 hot rotis, a mutter-paneer sabji, a dal and some pickle. Curd was missing, but at 120, I found this far better than the above average meal that is usually served in the SBC Rajdhani. Not wanting to keep the lunch waiting, I devoured it in minutes, and Dessert was served in the form of SBC Raj. Led by a white beast bearing roll no. 30312 from LGD school of IR, the Primo Supremo raced past at MPS.
It was only when I watched the replay that I noticed that the surroundings had suddenly changed from a brown-green mix to an all green scenario. June in Central India is not the same as South India I guess. Pretty soon, we were curving towards the Wardha river bridge; we were approaching SCR zonal limits.
Soon after crossing the Wardha, we slowed down to enter Balharshah; knocking on the gates of Central Railways. Maintaining the 30min delay was a noteworthy highlight of the journey so far. Crew was changed, water was refilled in the tanks, and after a 10min technical halt, we were on our way again. Wasanapura, Babupeth and Chandrapur were dismissed at MPS, but what SCR didn’t do CR did it with interest- slowdown, loop, overtake, repeat. Adding insult to the injury was missing the AP crossing, since a very alert ‘ME’ was checking the space left in the memory card. Nevertheless, the crossing of the Andaman express and GT express followed; the former being led by an offlink ET WAM4 21335; and the latter being led by RPM WAP7 30332.
We slowed down to an unscheduled halt at Tadali Jn. and were looped to overtake a freighter at Majri Jn. If there was one thing my KSK wasn’t doing, that was gaining on its delay. It took us some time to accelerate after Majri, and during this time, the Patna-Secunderabad SF moved towards its destination, led by LGD WAP4 22685. It was lagging behind schedule by about 2hrs, and just like us was nowhere close to covering up the delay.
While the KSK darted past Warora at a good speed, a very pleasant experience occurred over the next 3 stations- Chikni road, Nagri and Yenor. At Chikni road; the climate was pleasant, and at Nagri it began pouring down, a welcome relief from the heat. While we were moving past Yenor; it was neither sunny nor was it raining. It was that kind of sultry but pleasant cool climate, which was enjoyable. And we were again slowed down, this time it was at Hinganghat. The advanced starter for the southbound line was green, but the mainline was occupied by a freighter and its starter was danger. It meant only one thing, whatever was approaching was going to escape through the station via loopline; which is exactly what we were doing as well. Damn, it’s always a problem when both mainlines are blocked by freights.
My heart almost skipped a beat when I realized that the next crossing I was expecting was the Chennai bound TN express. In all my journeys so far, I have never missed a TN crossing, if there was one; and that was a record which I wanted to keep Intact.
Thankfully, TN hadn’t quite entered the station when we were crawling out of our loop. Just as my coach had moved ahead of the loco leading the northbound freight rake; the WAP4 came into frame. Led by RPM WAP4 22888, my all time favorite; the SR king- ‘TAMIZHNADU ADHI VIRAIVU VANDI’ pulled into the loop. Soon after moving out of Hinganghat, the skies opened up again for a few minutes. Pretty soon, we slowed to negotiate the Grand Sewagram Curve; and join the lines coming from Mumbai. Just as we switched lines, the Mysore bound bi-weekly express from Jaipur pulled out of SEGM led by yet another LGD newbie, 30405 was the loco.
The sun was nowhere to be seen for the next few minutes, and made a brief guest appearance at Jamata before disappearing again. All this while, a few more crossings were missed too. I barely managed to capture the BSL WAP4 22848 hauled Azad Hind express bound for Pune; the Mumbai LTT bound Jnaneshwari Super deluxe led by some SRC WAP4 was missed thanks to a phone call.
Our delay was now 50mins and I got info that the Mumbai bound Vidarbha express was ready to depart NGP. Now that was not a scheduled crossing, but it came into picture because of our delay. But fate seemed to mock at me ‘Dho Paaru thambi, adhu scheduled ille na, adhu unakku ille (Look brother; If it’s not a scheduled one, it’s not yours)’. Just when we moved past Ghumgaon, I got info that NGP pf6 was expecting a certain Ahemadabad-Howrah express, reason why we skipped Khapri and Ajni at a very sedate pace. And at Ajni outer, while I was quenching my thirst, BSL WAP4 22307 leading the Vidarbha express said bye. Having missed the Vidarbha crossing, I stayed awake to capture the LGD WAP7 30297 hauled Dakshin express pulling out of pf2 as we trudged into pf1 after spending some quality time at the home signal. 17:55hours; we were 50mins late, and were in no position to recover from such a huge delay, the crossings and spottings were the only respite in what would have otherwise been a drowsy 3.5hour journey from BPQ to NGP. Railfan Ketan Chaoji came to meet me in NGP and we updated each other of what we had spotted in NGP and on board the KSK respectively.
Part 2 Link:- click here
We departed from NGP at 18:05hrs. After waving goodbye to Ketan; I looked out for my track side emergency window seat to find it still unoccupied. After a double check which revealed no one but a husband-wife couple had boarded my coach and settled in my bay, I went to the door. The Howrah bound Ahemadabad-Howrah express had departed parallel to us and was heading towards Bilaspur while we moved towards Itarsi. Just at the same time, a Nagpur Motibagh (MIB) ZDM4A decided to make its presence felt with a shriek. It was shunting the Nagpur-Ramakona Passenger into NGP.
Pretty soon we were galloping northwards and the sun was going down behind the mountains yonder. The atmosphere was perfect for yet another cup of tea; don’t ask me why I drink so much tea. ‘Masala Chai’ is my weakness. It was 18:30hrs and we were approaching Katol when I ordered my last cup of tea for the day. Just as I paid up and held the glass in my hands, a WAP4 hauled train flashed past. It was more like crawling past us and we were charging ahead at 110kmph.
It was the Chennai bound Ganga Kaveri express hauled by an ED WAP4. Well, there was nothing much I could do about it; my tea was beckoning and I obliged with glee. The daylight soon became twilight and boy, what an atmosphere that was. Those last few moments of the fading daylight are always the best to travel in. Narkher Jn. was skipped in this twilight period. And soon enough darkness engulfed us completely.
We slowed down to negotiate the first set of tunnels between Teegaon and Chichonda. If you don’t realize that you are in a tunnel, the kids in your coach (if any) will make you realize it soon enough. The skips were accompanied by shrieks and screams coming from young and innocent throats. Some were of excitement, some of thrill and some seemed to be of genuine fear. After getting out of the tunnels, the 6350hp beast leading us came back to its element. Amla Jn. was dismissed at 105kmph and Betul was also given similar MPS treatment.
Soon enough we came to an unscheduled halt at Maramjhiri, where we crossed the Madurai bound Tamilnadu Sampark Kranti express, led by RPM WAP1 22045. Unlike KSK which was a fully fledged 24coacher; TNSK had enough space to accommodate 2 Milk Vans at the end. As soon as the TNSK came to a halt, we departed. And along came the second set of tunnels between Maramjhiri and Dharakhoh. After Dharakhoh the acceleration was fierce and by the time we reached Ghoradongri, it was back to MPS again.
It was here that I was served my dinner; the order for which was taken right after Nagpur. Just for the sake of change I ordered Veg Biryani instead of Thali again. After taking a couple of spoonfuls, I realized my mistake. On a rather serious note, I could cook better; far better than what I was served. With great difficulty I finished nearly 90% of it, and just tried to ignore the gravy that they tried to pass on as Kurma. The LPs played an important role in helping me gulp down my food, with the constant MPS run, which helped me keep my attention away from my food in between spoons.
At about this time, we were nearing Itarsi Jn. All my co-passengers were preparing to turn in for the day, for it was well past 22:00hours. At about 22:30hrs, we negotiated the huge curve to enter into Itarsi Jn. At Itarsi, my KSK overtook the Gorakhpur bound Kashi express from Mumbai LTT and simultaneously the Ernakulam bound Mangala express arrived pf4 led by a BSL WAM4. I chose to observe the ‘Overtake’, and saw that the ET WDM3A twins 16779& 16014 had already been coupled to the Kashi express and were ready to take off from ET. Post Itarsi, my heavy eyes got the better of me and I went to sleep.
I woke up momentarily at Bhopal. We departed from pf3 at exact 12 midnight. The station was still hustling with activity, with people waiting for other trains. Shutters closed as soon as we reached the end of pf and opened at 03:55hours, to find us crawling into Jhansi Jn. We entered what I presumed was pf3 and towards my left, there was already another train which had probably arrived before us. Upon closer observation, I found that it was the Chattisgarh Sampark Kranti express. While I was wondering who would depart first, a 3phase honk was heard from up front. It was TKD beast saying bye to its younger cousin from LGD and pulling out with CGSK. Now, all my doubts were clear. Both SKs had non-stop JHS-NZM runs; our delay had already escalated to 65mins and there was no looking back. The addition of CGSK in the equation sealed that notion. After the CGSK’s departure Indore-Bareilly exp hauled by LDH WDM3A 16137R pulled into the same pf. We departed from JHS at 04:08hrs, just minutes after the CGSK.
I went back to sleep for some more time, and woke up at daybreak. It was 04:59hrs. We were racing towards Gwalior. The crew change happened for one last time at Jhansi, and the new crew were enjoying the clearance while it lasted. Stations like Antri, Sandalpur and Sithouli were merrily thrashed at 110kmph. A restriction saw us slow down before Gwalior, and in the meanwhile a freighter headed by twin WAG9s cruised southwards. Another 30kmph TSR ensured that we crawled into Gwalior. Acceleration began as soon as we cleared the restriction but we didn’t gain speed. We struggled all the way to Birlanagar Jn. where we ultimately to a halt. After a few minutes of unscheduled halt, we took off again, and were back to business.
The early morning MPS run was worth it truly. We rushed past Morena as the newly introduced Sushasan express pulled into pf1 for a scheduled halt, led by JHS WDM3A 16043. We slowed down momentarily at Hetampur, courtesy a late clearance. Following this, we moved past Dholpur Jn., where the Ujjaini express led by LDH WDM3A 16072R was looped for us to overtake it. This was the last speedy skip before Agra Cantt., till where both my KSK and CSGK struggled- one behind the other. Mania, Jhajau and Bhandai, at all stations, we were held up at the home signal, allowed in, stopped on the mainline and then let go.
I ordered my breakfast- Upma and chutney at Jhajau. It was served hot and the chutney was the exact opposite- dead cold. If a person wants to eat a breakfast devoid of any vegetables, this is a good option. We came to an unscheduled halt on pf2 of Agra Cantt.
Part3 Link:- click here
As we pulled into Agra, we had a small parallel run with the Allahabad-Jaipur SF express. Surprisingly, CNB WAP4 22308 was towed along the train which was departing towards Mathura from pf4. Now it was three trains in the race between Agra and Mathura, but trust NCR to surprise you always.
As per experiences of friends, this zone provides section clearances ranging from 5 to 12minutes long, for premier class trains. Now, if not that long, the three of us could definitely ask for good clearance to constantly be on the move, and that is exactly what happened that day.
The CGSK led the race, the Jaipur SF followed and we completed the lower order. We departed Agra within minutes after the Jaipur SF left. The train was now up and alive, with many Delhi bound UR pax entering the S9 and other coaches. We accelerated through Runkuta at over a 100Ks. Kitham was dismissed at flat 110kmph, and I was more than ready for the 150kmph crossing of the IR Speed king, the Bhopal Shatabdi. But fate grinned again; we crossed the Bhopal Shatabdi at a place called Govardhan Naala, a small canal of sorts.
Both the up and down lines were cursed by TSRs of 30kmph each. At first I didn’t realize it was the Bhopal Shatabdi, but when I did realize, I had no choice but to groan. Nevertheless, a crossing was a crossing, and I recorded with utter disappointment. I wondered if this day could get any worse. By now my friend Nitin had figured out that my KSK was late and was constantly calling to find out about my position, the reason being he was to book my ticket for our onward Journey to Lucknow the next day and Tatkal was the only option left. That was an entirely different story and you can read about it here- /blog/post/1549580
After crossing the Bhopal Shatabdi, we accelerated again and in no time were crossing the Bilaspur bound 18238 Chattisgarh express at Farah. It was entering the loop led by offlink BSL WAP4 22267. After being overtaken by the Bhopal Shatabdi, the Chattisgarh exp was probably entering the loop to face the fury of the Mumbai CST bound Punjab mail. Soon enough, the Punjab mail also crossed led by GZB WAP4 22706. Closely chasing the Punjab mail was the Trivandrum bound Swarna Jayanthi express led by ED WAP4 22249. It crossed us just a few kms outside Mathura Jn. where we came to yet another unscheduled halt.
The Patna-Kota express pulled out of Mathura just as we arrived. As we departed from pf2 of Mathura after a few minutes of unscheduled halt, I saw that an AGC WDM2 17965 was standing coupled to the Jaipur SF express on pf5. The north summer heat was now beating down upon us quite harshly. After updating Nitin that we had crossed Mathura, I got back to my seat to enjoy the high speed run upto Palwal.
Vrindaban road was skipped at full on MPS. The Jhansi bound Taj express soon crossed us led by GZB WAP7 30235. Post this, we rushed into Ajhai at MPS and LGD WAP7 30289 hauled APSK flashed past us. While Chhata was dismissed at 110kmph, we slowed down at Kosi Kalan to negotiate some TSR. Here is where I witnessed a rather strange spectacle. Twin Tughlakabad (TKD) WAM4s pulled into pf1 hauling a CONCOR rake, the only difference being, they had now adorned WAG5 colors. Yes, the twins were repainted in WAG5 ‘Chocolate Brown’ livery, maybe TKD decided to do so considering their restricted duty in hauling only freights. After Kosi, Hodal, Banchari& Sholaka were skipped at MPS of 110kmph, with Hodal and Sholaka homing freights in their south bound loops.
It was the morning rush hour in NCR, and it was quite evident. We crossed the legendary Golden Temple mail led by BRC WAP4 22920 between Hodal and Banchari. Skipping Sholaka brought back memories of my first expedition to this place. I had boarded the early morning 04:45hrs local to come here and capture Bhopal Shatabdi at 150kmph, way back in April 2014. After Sholaka, the Howrah bound Udyan Abha Toofan express rushed past led by a HWH WAP4. The lush green fields of UP were a pleasant sight to watch other than this high speed crossings and skips. After crossing Rundhi at 110kmph, we slowed down before approaching Palwal. It was here that the Vishakapatnam bound Samata express crossed us led by TKD WAP7 30373. As soon as the Samata exp crossed, we entered NR. That was the end of the high speed run for the day.

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Apr 11 2012 (19:44)   VSP/Wasanapura
® राहुल जैन ™18 🚅🚃🚃🚃🚃🚃🚃🚃🚃🚃🛌 ☺ Chai Wal
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