This is the 7384 Down Maharashtra Express making a smoky start from Karad (KRD) on the Pune - Miraj - Kolhapur line.
: The 'Starter' signal of road 1 (track nearest to the Station Master's office) is at 'Caution' (45°) while the 'Starter' on the main through line (road 2) and the other platform loop line (road 3) is 'on' (horizontal — NO GO!). Please deprogram yourself — an 'Off' signal means 'Proceed', and an 'On' signal means 'Stop'. The throttle of the WDM2 has been brought off from idle. Not much of a trailing load today with 13 coaches = 650 tons.
: The governor kicks in! Raw fuel flows in the injectors, the Alco begins to accelerate from standstill. Note the 'derailing point' on the tracks just after the platform. This point is normally in the 'derailed' position and is closed only to allow a train on road 1 to enter the main line. Note the control rods for operating the points and the control wires leading to the signals on road 2 & 3. The shiny spots on the loco's face are the sand-filling ports for the leading wheels.
: This is the moment we have all been waiting for: the famous Alco exhaust!
: The loco passes me. Note the 'Advanced Starter' at 'Proceed' (fully vertical). Barely visible in the shadow of the hills is the gantry of triple 'home' signal which also serve as route indicators for the Up line in the reverse direction. The driver has brought the loco to idle (and hence no smoke) so as to enter the main line at 15 km/h over facing points. After the train comes on to the main line after the Karad signal cabin, the driver would accelerate once more to lead the train to next station, Shenoli (SNE), some 13 kms away. Note the spike below the driver's window which is used (not in this section) to collect the token hoop from a mechanical arm. The 'recycled' (retired?) pieces of vacuum pipes next to the spike are used as a damping element for the just caught token hoop. Note the small flag at the roof of the first coach. This turns vertical when the alarm chain has been pulled in this coach. This destroys the vacuum in the train pipe and applies the brakes. The alarm is reset by turning the flag back to horizontal position. The white building on the right is the local mosque.