Bangalore Railfanning report
Sunday(August 8)dawned droopy and wet...not dampened were the spirits of Sandeep Mohan and myself.
After we had collected our photographic equipment (stored in a cricket kit) we departed on a ride to YPR(Yeshwanthpur) on a loco called the Pulsar 180. Unfortunately, MPS could not be observed as weight was a major issue here...!! We pulled off the highway at YPR and took a jungle road to the point where the YNK(Yelehanka) and BAND(Banaswadi) lines from YPR turn off 180 degrees to the right from the UBL(Hubli) line forming a sort of triangle.
As soon as we were seated on the ballast, we saw a gangman moving toward us with a smile....nice gangaman he was, anyway he delivered a message to us that was like mannah from heaven to us thirsty railfans....a freight was at YPR, now reversing lines and would shortly run past us toward YNK. The freight had arrived from ASK(Ariskere) and was reversing direction toward YNK where another reversal would take place thereby leading the train to CSDR (Channasandra).As of now, no loaded freights are running on the YPR-BAND lines hence the twin reversals.
In about half an hour, we heard the LC close and at the same time we also heard the freight from YPR as it started up. But all we could see was thick black smoke spiralling up like a stairway to heaven!Soon approaching us from ahead on the UBL line came a GY WDM-3a 14022 with the Vasco-Yeswantpur Express. As if there were no seats inside the train, half the population were standing outside the door..for whatever reason is beyond my understanding...
Well, tragedy struck then! (for the motorists on the Highway) as the home signal was ON for the Express and it was stranded across the LC. Mind you, the only horns were from pissed off truck drivers!!!In a moment the freight had switched point and was now on the YNK line (hence the Express was made to wait) and it gathered speed as it crept up on us...and lo and behold.. there was old friend WDM-2 17176 from KJM at the lead and very proud of his Wills Power..as he smoked and smoked!!!..The rake moved at about 45kmph..and we were wondering from where this WDM-2 had the energy to pull a loaded rake at that speed in such a short span of time when the answer came to us in a thunderous explosion....twin GY WDG-3a Shakti's were powering the rake from behind!!! Man, this was heaven!In the meantime the Express had pushed off to some remote corner of YPR.
The next train to disturb our silence was the SA-YPR Fast Passenger with an ED(Erode) WDM-2 17946 at it's head as it rolled in at 50 kmph...and neatly slid into a PF at YPR. Next up was a hurried WDG-3a 14615 from KJM(Krishnarajapuram) which was running to some nearby station (Tumkur perhaps) to return with a freight later. It did so in about 2 hrs but by then the skies had wanted a piece of the action too!!. After a bit, the distant sound of an Alco notching up was heard and in the direction of the YNK line, and soon enough from out of the trees stepped a fine MLY(Maula Aly) WDM-2 17736 in classic maroon livery with the ever-extended KCG(Kacheguda)-YPR Express....in it came with no troubles at all!!!. After this the LC closed again and the Shimoga-Mysore Passenger with a million links came in headed by an ED WDM-2 18787. The train roared in as the ED was damn proud of it's heritage and wanted to compete with the best....a good show indeed!!
Next up the Beast!!!...UBL-SBC(Bangalore City) InterCity with the beastly WDP-4 in control of matters. And soon enough we heard it's blast... and for once no vehicle ventured across the LC in a last moment effort...and soon enough appeared round the bend 20011 superhero LHF with his puny load... for him everything is puny...!!. The SBC-ADI Express left via the YNK line with a DCW livery KJM WDM-3a 17970R as it accelarated smoothly out of YPR....again an incredible pull for a 3a with 21 coaches....!! Good viewing!!
While we awaited the return of the beast with the SBC-UBL InterCity a mighty amusing incident took place..
A civilian dude passed Sandeep and myself twice whilst we were at the spot and upon seeing us a third time could not control his intelligence and suspected us to be 'TERRORISTS'...which he quite unashemdly used in the open ....imagine someone asking us openly if we were terrorists...like we would tell him if we were!!.I think he just saw the morning show of SpiderMan-2 and was in possession of a superhero ego....thought that we'd make a run for it looking at him.Anyway he dissapeard with a threat to call the ACP as he evicted no response from us and in a few minutes returned with an ex-sniper from the Army to vanquish us from this battleground.
By then Raghu had also joined us and he pitched into the battle with laughter and mockery!!...The sniper was an awesome dude who had no problems with us beign terrorists!.Raghu further explained that if we were indeed terrorists why would we sit at YPR waiting to bomb up a train when 2 km up the road we could be at SBC and bomb any train we wanted???.
The point struck home after further explanations that we were Final Year BE students doing our Project Work in Traction from UVC...courtesy Raghu. As the case was the civillian dude thought me to be a Pakistani with my french beard and Sandeep to be an Iraqi...man was that guy watching war-movies all day or what???????
After all the smoke and fire...came the WDP-4 with the returning intercity..and it looked like the chief was interested in ending up in UBL by Eight p.m. itself to have a drink with his mates as he blasted past us at 90Kmph..powering up the DP-4 that the horn was hardly audible over the turbines hirring up to their max!!
After that all hell broke lose and showers of blessings were thrown upon us in mighty torrents that sent us scurrying only to realise that we were already drenched...so off home we went with bag and baggage.....