by Roopesh Kohad
This is about my trip to Rewari on MG. Few days ago there was a trip report to Jaipur (I forgot name of the gentleman). There I realized that there is a MG track in Delhi too. Actually I never gave it a thought. I used to live near Delhi Cantt. Rly station some 12-13 yrs. back and our house was near the track. I had never travelled on this route. So on reading this mail, I made up my mind to do this "railfanning" trip.
Firstly I decided to go upto Alwar and come back. I researched TAAG which did not give whether the train is an MG or BG. I also visited www.inidanrail.gov.in and found out the timings, though it also did not give info whether the train is MG or BG. So I decided to go station and find out there. So, on Saturday(03-02-2001) I reached Delhi Cantt. station at 12.45 (I had to go to office in the morning for some work). There I saw the time table and enquired about train to Alwar. I was told that there is no train before Ashram at 3.05pm which was quite late. Then I thought to cut short my trip to Rewari for which a weekly train runs on saturdays only at 1.50pm. So I bought ticket for Rewari which was just 15 Rs. and confirmed that it is on MG.
Delhi Cantt. station is a small one with platform no. 1 and 2 for MG and 3 and 4 for BG. Between 1 and 2 were 2 other MG tracks. And no overhead wires made the station so open. I tried to look for Palace on wheels rake, but it was not there. Two Fairy queen coaches were there, with Fariy Queen engine locked inside a compound. With bright sun, no activity and cold atmosphere made it perfect and I enjoyed standing on station. Then I saw Delhi Sarai Rohilla - Udaipur chetak exp from Udaipur. It was hauled by YDM4 and was 15 coach train with two AC. I wondered how the AC coaches, which are smaller than BG coaches, look from inside. It came on platform 2 and departed after 2 minutes.
I took a quick lunch near station and came back on platform and waited for train to arrive. The crowd increased every minute. I was little bit worried how are so many people going to come into the train. Then I thought may be they were waiting for other trains. Mostly the passengers were daily passengers or milk vendors with their milk cotainers. All the crowd looked rural. People were standing both side of the track i.e. on platform and on the ground to embark on train from both sides.
Train arrived I don't know at what time as this was one of the few days when I forgot to tie my watch so I don't remember any timings. People tried to get into it haphazardly. I was also standing on the ground on other side of track. I had already decided to footplate, so I did not try to get into the train. Milk containers were clunged to window bars. I also got into one of the coaches standing at the door.
Train started moving. It was crowded but not packed. It went upto 60kmph and after few minutes came Palam station whose view I could see from distance as train curved into it. It was so crowded that I thought, are they all going to borad this train? I have seen this station many times but only deserted. So came the station. No people to get off, only to embark. I got down to let people get in. The train now was packed. Then I saw few people going on roof from the space between coaches. Trains hardly stopped for one minute. The coach in which I was travelling was so packed, people leaning out of the door that I had to find a different coach. I could get hold to one of the door bars and space to keep my foot.
Train started, I was completely out of door, holding on to bar and door. 2-3 other people were like that. Same condition of other coaches. People were leaning out with their bags on their shoulders, completely out of train. When train attained some speed I was a bit scared that I should not fall off or bang on some pole of tree branch as I have not travelled like this anytime, but nothing happened. There were few people more out of the coach than me. It was so amusing, people were carrying wooden table and chair and other heavy luggage with them in such a crowded train.
The cool breeze and scene of "yellow mustard fields" made me a bit happy. I decided that I will get off the train, take a bus and go home as I found it a bit dangerous. Then came Shahbad Mohammad Pur station which was not that crowded. Here also people only embarked. I remained in that coach. Again I was leaning out of coach. At Bijwasan also, people only embarked, in coaches and on roof. I again decided to get off the train but persisted.
Train was usually around 40-50 kmph. My palms were aching holding the vertical bar and bars of window in door. At some curve, I had a view of the roof. It was completely full, I could see people walking on roof while train is moving and one of the gentleman sleeping with his blanket, his legs coming upto side face of the coach. Few women were also on the roof. With people on roof, milk containers on every window, and people leaning out of doors, I remembered the picture of a crowded train in which people leaning out, on roof, on engine etc. Only difference was that here nobody was on engine.
Then we reached Gurgaon. It was also crowded but there were few people to get off. After a minute, train departed with a man running after it on platform with few others yelling "baccha rah gaya" (child left on the train). I don't know where the man was looking, on the roof or in the coach. After few seconds, he stopped, may be some of his relative was also travelling on thetrain with whom remained the child.
There were few chain pulling cases but resolved within 3-4 minutes. The single MG track was always on the right of BG and I was on the right side of the coach i.e. I could not see BG track and any activity on that. Changing side was not possible. But I never a heard a train passing only except a freight.
After some time came "Garhi Harsaru Jn.". I wondered what other route goes from this station. Then I saw an MG track going on the right and disappearing into the field with an MG train "Delhi Sarai Rohilla - Farukh Nagar" waiting on the platform with live YDM4 with only 6 coaches. Does anybody have an idea which major station does this route goes? Many stations passed where now people started getting off and milk containers also getting off. I changed side so that I could see BG track.
Now the train emptied a bit. But people on roof did not try to get down and crowd the coaches. I expected some train on BG track but could not see any. I also forgot time table of trains on this route so that I could logically expect some train. Standing on the door with mud blowing, all my face filled with mud and clothes got dirty. But I could see open green field, cool breeze, bright sun, and most importantly very few people in the open except the train. I had never been to villages of haryana but this trip was a cover up.
Then came one station called "Kumbhawas Mundhalia Dabri" which can also qualify for longest station name. Reached Rewari junction after "Khalilpur", I don't know at what time as I did not have a watch. I could sense approach of Rewari as there were consistent mile stones on ever kilometer indicating distance from Delhi. I knew, Rewari was 83 kilometer which came out to be. The train was really a rural train. Even a goat travelled with us. I don't think most of the people had bought any tickets.
Rewari was a big station with many parallel track, both MG and BG. Also saw one MG freight and 1-2 empty MG rakes. I did not know how to get back to Delhi i.e. go by train or bus. Till now I did not see any BG train. One BG train I saw on one of the platform was Rewari-Bhiwani passenger.
I knew, Ashram express will be coming as it was to leave at 3.00 pm from Delhi. So I waited on the overbridge for it. The tracks come straight into Rewari station so you can view train coming from quite a distance. I thought it would be quite a scene to watch long express train crawling into the station. When I reached Rewari, there were people already ready for this MG train. Also the loco got detached immediately, so I sensed that it will be going back soon.
Instead of Ashram, I saw "Chetak exp" from Delhi. It stopped very oddly. It came on middle track and crossed over to track beside platform and stopped. Out of 15, 5-6 coaches remained on middle track including the 2 AC coaches. After waiting for 1/2 hour, and no sign of any BG train from any side, I decided to go back to Delhi by bus. I was also looking forward to travel on Delhi-Jaipur National Highway no. 8 on which I had never travelled. I came to bus stand by rickshaw. It took 33 Rs. for ticket to Delhi as compared to Rs. 15 for train. So train travel was much cheaper. Rewari was a small town, crowded in market area. From there I took bus to Delhi and came back home at 7.30 pm.
Overall, I enjoyed this experience. Only glitch was that I could talk to no one. Whole crowd was so rural talking about trains or other things was out of question. This was my first railfanning trip. I hope to do some more. But it would be wonderful, if I had some one with me. Hope to find and meet some rail fan soon. Tell me how did you like the story. I now I am not a good writer but still.....