With my proposed trip to GY getting postponed due to Peter off on an official duty to ATP, I was rescheduling my appointments, when dad asked me to accompany him to GY for the inspection of the Accident Relief Van Stabled at GY. Well, why not? After all, this was a good opportunity to know more about the railways, and I hardly had any appointments lined up for the afternoon. Oh yes, I had to speak to the Andhra Bank folks, but that could be rescheduled. So, we left at around 1415 hours in our Mahindra along with the usual team (Senior DEE, TLI & me). We reached GY at around 1505 hours. The road was being improved between GTL & GY, but as of now it is pathetic.
Our first stop was at the office of the Assistant Electrical Engineer. Dad completed his work over there, and from there we all piled onto the Mahindra jeep and headed past the Goods yard (about 3 DG4s were idling away at the yard), below the rail over bridge, across the scrap yard to the BOX’N’ wagon ROH Depot at GY. As we were going to the Depot, I could see the LTT-CBE express depart from platform No: 2. We made our way through the Depot and I could see a huge German Made Heavy Duty Lathe profiling an axle. A couple of BOXN rakes were stabled inside the depot. After crossing the depot, we crossed over the tracks and approached the two-coach Accident Relief Van & the Medical Van stabled on one of the sidings of GY.
Every division is supposed to have a couple of AR Vans and MR Vans positioned at strategic locations so as to reach the accident site, in as short a time as possible. In GTL division, GY and GTL had these Vans.
We first boarded the 11022AB Accident Relief Van. Now let me describe this van. It is a standard coach may be an erstwhile Sleeper 3Tier Coach. One half of it has been stripped off of all the berths and other fittings. This section had all the necessary equipment to deal with an emergency. In the other half was a first class four-berth compartment, without the sliding door followed by a 6-berth bay (as in a SL). To the side were some berths for sleeping.
Coming back to the first half, I saw a huge board on which about 56 items available with the van were painted. I cannot remember all of them but here are some of them:
Apart from this equipment, foodstuff was also available. They had sufficient quantity of skimmed milk powder, tea packets and sugar along with biscuits. In the event of an accident, every second counts. Hence, it is of utmost importance to ensure that the Accident Relief Van reaches the spot within as short a time span as possible and that it is adequately stocked to meet any contingency arising thereafter. After checking out the ARV, we moved on to the next coach, which was the 11010AB Medical Van.
The 11010AB is the modified version of an SLR. It has an operation theatre on one side and a lot of open space on the other end, with berths lined up along both the ends along the windows. The operation theatre was equipped with the bare essentials required to run such a theatre. The generator in the adjacent coach powered the lights in the theatre. This duo was recently sent to Rayadurg to attend the LC accident near Somanahalli. Once in every month, it is taken out for a test run. Our next stop was the 6-coach Break Down Special, stabled on one of the sidings, provided exclusively for it.
This rake was located pretty close to the Diesel shed, and I could watch all the action from a distance. In one of the sheds, a DG3A was belching away huge amounts of smoke, obviously, under test. A stripped down DG2A was on another siding. Towards the far end, I could find a couple of DM3As being attended to in a shed. GY does have some DM3As left behind. They occasionally power the 9775/9776 SBC-Jaipur expresses between SC & SBC.
Coming back to the BD Special, this is a 6-coach affair. The first unit in the formation was a heavy-duty crane. It was a combination of an eight- wheeler open bed wagon, along with a couple of 4 wheeler Relieving units. It was a heavy-duty crane with a capacity of 146 ‘Te’ (What is Te?)It had last undergone a POH at the Parel Workshops in May 2000. It had a lot of heavy chains and hooks and the stuff.
Another interesting aspect noted was a board indication the Speed with which this special could be hauled. The max speed was 75 Kmph on some of the sections between KRNT & MBNR & the minimum was 10 Kmph. on the Wadi Bye-pass. Apart from this crane, the BD special had 5 other coaches, with an ‘Officers’ Coach, a Kitchen Unit a Workers Coach and the rest for the equipment. I boarded the last coach and found it to be an old converted Sleeper 3 Tier. The first few bays had berths. The next section was completely stripped of all the berths, and in the resultant open space, we had many strobe lights and about 4 generators.
It was about 1645 hours by the time we completed our work. As I was coming back to the BOXN Depot, I saw a KJM DM2A LHF leave one of the workshops. After having some biscuits and tea, we finally left GY at 1715 hours.