Sunday Jam Trip Report
by Naren Damodaran
On Sunday the SBC inhabitants, namely Sandeep Mohan and Naren Damodaran were not too happy to spend the Sunday at home and do what many others consider to be a 'Sunday' i.e.sleep!!..so we decided to lug oursleves from tiredness and hit the rails...!!..and I very nearly did so coz my bike slipped in the slush and very nearly rolled down onto the rails at BYPL!!
Anyway, I was the first spectator at BYPL and quietly saluted the Chennai Passenger with a BZA WAG5A, the MYS Shatabdi with WAP-4 22219 and twin Kazipets. Then Commander Sandeep Mohan joined me and thats when the Sunday Funday began!!
Firstly we were treated to a taste of some WAG-7 action...a light WAG-7 set trundled into BYPL from the Yard to pick up it's daily dosage from Chennasandra. It was an ED set (refer pictures) and Commander Sandeep got talking with Mr Driver and soon realised that if we were to footplate this loco then we would need to go only 2km..!!...So with a heavy heart we had to abandon our thought of footplating.
Then a KJM Triple Sundae treat of locos came in moving toward the shed; in order of leading: WDM-3A(baldie)/WDM-3A/WDM-2A with the drivers very happy to do the Mexican Wave to us!!
The KJZ Rajdhani loco that hauls the SBC Raj, came in to reverse at the CSDR Triangle and after an eternity of waiting finally proceeded to reverse and when it came back...IT CAME BACK WITH A VENGEANCE!!! The dude smoked so much that my red shirt was soon branded 'DIESEL'!!
As soon as he left, an old warhorse called the WAG-7 from ED rolled in and beside it (on the platform) Master Anil Tharian..probably this is the only time Anil has beaten a loco in a race!!! As soon as it stopped a KJM dual loco pair from the shed moved toward SBC (WDM-2's) to do duty on the UBL line.
So again, Sandeep with his extraordinary HR skills spoke to the driver who happend to be the Secretary of the Driver's Union..and hence as they say..The rest is history!!
We had got the green for the footplate, and the loco the yellow to proceed, but the driver was worried about one thing..our bikes!!!!parked for a few hours at BYPL??man we had to make a hard decision, and the WAG-7 won!!!..Initially Anil was not to come along as he was too worried about how to get back, but then as he saw the WAG-7 depart, with Sandeep and myself inside, he realised he woudl face a tragedy..so he jumped in too!!
So off we went in ED WAG-7 27497 in Tigerface colours to Devanagonthi (wher IOC is located). And what a ride we had!!!
Never before have I footplated, and for someone on his first experience it was true and unbrundled joy!! Oh man!!!!!! Lord of this world!!!! The WAG-7 blasted past BYPL Overpass and while doing so we passed a nice couple in cozy embrace called an AJNI WAG-7 and KYN Shakti..see all races and colours are compatible!!!!
At the approach to KJM we had to incur the wrath of a DANGER signal!! and so we did...but did he rip after the green!!! Oh boy!!! KJM was passed at 50Kmph and there on it was 75Kmph, the max allowed, till Devangonthi. En route Brindavan Express and Seshadri Express bound for SBC were passed in a blur of blue, cyan and red!!!
En route, Sandeep called Bharat Narayan, another Railfan, and set up a meeting at Devangonthi as Bharat stays in Whitefield. He is an 'electric' fan and he wanted to catch the outgoing Brindavan at a railfanning spot. I was in heaven...my first footplate, and if not for the fact that one door of the cab was closed and the other had a trunk wedged in it I would have fallen out for sure!!!
So in the course of the hour as we explored Devanagonthi and then later found refuge in the shade of a tree we heard the sound of Bharat's loco...Santro!!and contact was made!! So information followed information and finally it was decided to catch some high-speed electric freight action at a spot which Bharat chooses for his sessions...and when we reached there we knew another great location had been spotted.
Within a few minutes we heard a distant rumble and sure enough a twin WAG-7 ED freight came in at about 75Kmph with the load looking easy as it blasted past!!! In a few moments another freight followed in the same direction (toward KJM) with a Tigerface WAG-7 ED twin set. Joy pure Joy!!!
Next up was the much awaited Seshadri Express to Kakinada which is a proven ripper...we have never seen it below the speed of 50Kmph anywhere!!! It is a pure ripper like the Prashanti!!
It came up with a whistle and a hustle as the GTL WDM-2 was just beginning to make up speed on the up-gradient. Bharat is an automobile engineer by profession and it surprised me when he did some forensic examination and came upon bones of a dog killed on the rails!!!
Anyway, next up was the Brindavan..and we waited and waited with aching legs and burning stomachs...so much so that the actual horn of the WAP-4 was blown away by the growl of the stomach!! Anyway the Brindavan came in at a pretty high speed nearly touching 95plus, and gaining on the up-gradient with a Raj liveried WAP-4 from ED. After the thunder had passed, we too had to return home to de-load all the pics and videos in order to catch the evenings action at Dodballapur. So we did that and grabbed a few bites and sips on the way and by 6pm we were safely at our special spot near Dodballapur where we can see trains rip at nearly speeds of 100Kmph and one train at well above 100Kmph.
We received further information that the Secunderabad Express would be 15minutes late from Anil who did his job of watching trains from the comfort of his room as he had left us after the afternoons action. Now we were on the other side of Bangalore...in the morning on the road to Chennai and in the evening on the road to Hyderabad!!
So as we were eagerly awaiting the WDP-4 led train, we heard a faint sound and in moments it became real...a freight!!!!!! yes!!!!! Toward SBC with a GTL WDM-2 and GY WDM-3A locos which were both SHF. The GY loco is a regular on the Prashanti!!! And it did rip by!!!!
Soon as this train reached Yelahanka, it would give way to the Secunderabad Express which would be impatiently awaiting the goods!!..And it came by in a blast!!!!!!of it's blaring horns and a burst of speed!!! WDP-4 20007 was at the helm LHF and it didn't disappoint as it crossed us at about 95Kmph!! Video to follow in a couple of days!!
After all the dust had settled, it was 1900 hrs and time for the Raj to pass... and soon we heard the rumble.. all glory to this line which we could see straight as it climbed and then leveled for more than a km, and as we looked into the approaching darkness we were treated to another freight!!!!! Yes another!! This one was led by a WDG-3A `Garuda' and WDG-3A Shakti 13086, the latest in Shakti locos, as it blasted past us with a seemingly puny load!!!
At about 19.25 the sky was dark and the denizens of the surrounding fields began their nightly activites and exciting sounds..and in the midst of the insect maze we saw the aspect go green and instantly, down the line, the headlamp of the WDM was seen....it came on at an amazing speed, covering the km in almost 30 seconds flat and was upon us before we realized it!!! It slammed past at speeds well in excess of a 100Kmph and surely was the `Raj'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Soon after this, owing to the slight delay of the Raj, the Karnataka to NDLS too was late and that would mean an extra yard to it's already blistering pace!!!
In a few minutes the sound of two uncrushable giants was heard as the diesels were at the top of their game...with cylinders whirring and creating the sound that we die for...and it came with a rush of breeze and dust!!! And then we saw...we saw it NOTCH UP RIGHT IN OUR FACES WITH THICK BLACK SMOKE...after the 2 locos, we never saw the train as it was pitch black with diesel smoke...but it was the greatest sight ever!!!
No matter that the WDP-4 led SC Exp and the WDM-2A led Raj had blasted past in pure speed of 95plus and over a 100 respectively, the Karnataka was the undisputed leader..just imagine twin WDM2's in total control and working in unison...the rumble and then the certain crush of the motors whirring at top revs and then notching up in your face at nearly 90Kmph was a sight to behold!!!!!!
So that was the day, and the end of the story, and for all you diesel fans out there, we are planning a trip to Makalidurga next week to spend a whole day there and be one with nature and the steel giants!!