Konkan Kanya Express Trip Report with video coverage

2009-03-21

I was badly waiting for the day to arrive i.e 21/03/2009 as this
was going to be my overnight journey after 11 long years. Myself and my parents
reached Dadar station at 22:40hrs and spotted the Solapur bound Siddheswar
Express standing stationery at Platform 4 of Dadar station behind a KYN WCAM3.
After it left Dadar station, a Pune WDM3D# 11215 hauled weekly Cst Madgaon
Superfast Special started crawling right behind it. At 23:10hrs, a KYN WCG2
hauled Cst Pandharpur Passenger started arriving at Plt. 5 of Dadar station. The
train became jampacked from Dadar station. It left Dadar at 23:14hrs. At
23:20hrs, the 0111 Cst Madgaon Konkan Kanya Express started entering Dadar
station behind a decently painted KJM WDP4# 20056 running SHF. It was a 24 coach
train with Inspection Car right behind the WDP4. Our coach was a 3AC coach (B4)
i.e. right after the Pantry Car. It was 16th coach from the WDP4. As soon as we
entered our coach, stuff like Mix Fruit Salad, Chicken Lollipop, Leg Roast,
Veg/Non- Veg Spring Roll was being served. Lots of dishes were served and I just
can’t recollect all of them. We already had dinner that’s why we didn’t order
anything. At 23:30Hrs. we departed from Dadar and at Sion and Kurla we did
speeds of 103.8kph and 105kph. It was a WAP4 style acceleration and 24 coach
load was a baccha load for the KJM monster.

As soon as we left Dadar, the Pantry Car staff already started
taking order for morning breakfast well in advance. There was a menu of 65
dishes pasted after each and every Side Lower berth. We reached Thane at
23:55hrs and we departed from Thane at 0:05hrs. Green starter was given well in
advance at both Dadar and Thane but the LP’s used to halt the train for 10
minutes. The result was we reached Panvel at 00:45hrs about 25 minutes late.
Nobody boarded our AC compartment from Panvel and it was great to see such a
busy station absolutely deserted. At Panvel, we spotted a TKD WAG7, twin Kazipet
WDG3A, Pune WDG3A triplets and a KYN WDG3A hauled Bcna rake. We left Panvel at
01:00hrs almost 35 minutes late. At Somatne, we crossed a twin Pune WDG3A hauled
Bcna rake. After that I fell asleep. At 03:00am, the LTT bound Matsyagandha
Express crossed us at a high speed with horns blaring. The horns of the ED WDM3D
woke me up. I couldn’t see the station name as I was sleeping on the Upper
Berth. After we left an unknown station, the LP aggressively started doing
speeds from 110-115kph non – stop for 15-20 minutes and I was having a horrible
time. All speeds are from GPS. Even in AC coach, the effect of the train passing
through the tunnels at high speeds was terrific. The coaches were shaking
whenever the train used to pass through sharp curves at high speeds. I fell
asleep at 04:00am and I finally got up at 06:00am. From 03:00 – 04:00am, the
Pantry Car staff were preparing dishes like Paratha, Omlet and lovely aroma was
entering in our coaches whenever commuters used to pass through and open the
doors of our coach.

We reached Ratnagiri at 06:20am and in two minutes the Ratnagiri
Dadar Passenger started leaving the station behind a KYN WDG3A. There was also a
13 coach rake of Science Express idling at the station. After Ratnagiri, we
halted at almost every 1-2 stations and we crossed trains like Mangala
Lakshadweep, Roha – Diva Passenger. Both were hauled by ERS WDM3A. Also we were
greeted by twin UBL WDG4 hauled bcna rake, 42 Roro wagons hauled by KYN WDM2,
KYN WDG3A hauled bcna rake. At Vaibhavwadi, we were greeted by twin KYN WDG3A
hauled bcna rake. As soon as it got a starter, the twin WDG3A’s in no time
started picking up speed with 48 bcna wagons. I was really thrilled with
watching the acceleration.

At 08:00am, breakfast was being served in steel vessels and we
had ordered 2 plates of Upma (total 4 pieces) and 3 plates of Veg Cutlets (total
6 pieces). That’s why all stuff was too hot. The cutlets were hot, crispy and
very very tasty. Upma was served with Sev and it was awesome too. A plate of
Sheera and Upma was served for breakfast but we had ordered 1 full plate of Upma
only. Excellent breakfast for Rs.102 and also it was not very oily too. I have
to say this was the best breakfast I have ever ever had and it can equal the
class of breakfast/food served in Rajdhani/Shatabdi class of trains.
We reached Kankavli at 08:25am and we had to wait for 25
minutes for the TVC LTT Netravati Express. Kankavli is a very scenic and
peaceful station and after Kankavli the scenery is truly awesome with river
beds, mountains too. We did a max speed of 105kph only after leaving Ratnagiri.
The Netravati Express video on Vimeo and You Tube is as follows;

POWERFUL HONKING SHOW DISPLAYED BY THE WDM3D AT KANKAVLI STATION from arzan1980 on Vimeo.

The Thiruvananthapuram LTT Netravati Express makes it’s powerful presence felt
at the silent Kankavli station behind the ED WDM3D# 11186. On the right is our
Cst Madgaon Konkan Kanya Express being made to wait for 25 minutes for the
Netravati Express to cross us.

Since only 1 train can pass at a time through this section,
therefore capturing video was very easy. I was nervous when announcement was
made that Konkan Kanya will leave shortly even before the Netravati was to enter
Kankavli. I was worried that the LP shouldn’t start the train as soon as the
Netravati finishes crossing WDP4. But we left Kankavli after 2 minutes. Lots of
running time got delayed and as a result we reached Thivim at 10:05am
approximately 45 minutes late. But the train must have reached Madgaon on time
as ample slack time has been given to this train from Thivim to Madgaon. It was
almost a passenger train type run after Ratnagiri. There were lots of tunnels
too and also we were passing close to the rock cuttings. The rock cutting work
was going on in full swing to avoid tracks getting destroyed by landslides in
monsoons.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first journey on board a WDP4 hauled
express train. I have to say that diesels rule the scenic Konkan stretch.
Thoroughly enjoyed the honking, smoking and chugging sounds displayed by the
WDG3A’s/WDM2’s/WDM3A’s, WDM3D’s with express trains and freighters too. I should
consider myself fortunate to see action at every station after Ratnagiri. That’s
all from my end and I hope that you all liked the trip report. Video coverage
and trip report of the 2052 Jan Shatabdi Express will also follow very shortly.


Material provided by Arzan Kotval, Copyright © 2009.