Lingampalli Trip Report
by Shashanka Nanda
Lazy Sunday, not much to do.... so decided to entertain myself with some trainspotting.... so there I was at Secundrabad station waiting for the 1712 MMTS to Lingampalli (LPI) some 24km away.
SC station was the usual hubbub of activity with many evening departures readying themselves. Chief among them was the 85 to Bangalore behind a WDP4 #20003. This fellow was the first to crack its GM fitted horn some time in 2002, and the replacment makes it sound like a Tata truck running on Bass Boost. Other notable mentions at SC was the Mehboobnagar passenger behind MLY WDM2 #17171. A lonely WAG5 was spotted near the COD sidings on the KZJ end. 2 KJM WDM2s (16289 & 17XXX) were busy shunting along with MLY's 18201. 2 AED fitted GY WDM3As were also standing light (14022 & 14039). My local arrived 2 mins late but started within seconds.... after crossing James Street & Sanjivaiah Park, we were made to halt at HZJ outer to ket the VSKP bound 7008 Godavari Exp through. It was being hauled by LGD's WAP4 #22305. Resuming... I saw a twin WAG5 set from LGD waiting for the signal on the BMT-SC arm. Around HSJ, new signboards have been put up which read "T/M" which are speed restriction termination boards for the 6 car MMTS rakes. Will put up pics of them soon.
The run to Sanathnagar (SNF) was uneventful... SNF itself was bare except for a BCN rake headed by twin BSL WAG5s (rear one dead as the rake was empty). Another empty BOXN rake was waiting for an electric power for the journey back to the coalfields. On the other end of the yard... another BSL WAG5 was standing light, while Kazipet's green colored beauty #16574 was shunting a flat car rake out of the CONCOR terminal. Both the electric & diesel trip sheds were empty, which was kind of a suprprise.
Moving on.... we were crossed by a twin WDG3A hauled empty BOXN rake measuring 42 wagons. The loco pair was 14897 and 14898 from GY, but what was more surprising was that 897 was in standard GY livery of blue-orange!!! It was the first time I saw a GY DG3 in the shed's own colors!! The 898 was in typical 'Shakti' colors. Two MMTS locals to HYB & FM whizzed past us on the way, while we waited at LPI outer to let the second one pass.. before we used the crossovers to move to Pf5&6 at LPI. I got off and moved to PF2 to witness the arrival of the Siamese Twin Express aka Rayalseema/Haripriya Express which was hauled by GTL WDM2 #16023. The station was very quiet after the departure of the Rayalseema, and hardly anything could be heard except for the occasional horn of a distant vehicle and the low hum of the MMTS on the far side.... when suddenly the phone rang in the SMs office and he jumped and set the starter & distant on the SC side mainline to green.... In the distance I could hear the unmistakable blast of my favorite horn and within seconds..... the beast clad in yellow and white and with its menacing long hood staring at me; stormed through the platform at around 95kmph, raising an enormous cloud of dust and disappeared around the bend in a flash.... it was none other than a light WDG4 #12006.
Calm was restored at the station, only to be broken soon by a saucy voice on the PA annoucing the departure of the MMTS back to FM. As it left.... I could hear an Alco approaching from the Wadi side, and voila a green-dark green WDM2 rushed into the platform at close to 60kmph... the starter was red and I was wondering what the driver was upto... i wa standing near coach position 16 and he braked after the trailing SLR crossed me... but man... was the driver confident... he slammed the brakes a second later and the SUR-FM passenger hauled by #17330 from Pune made a screeching halt about 10 metres from the starter.... hats off to the driver!!
With no more action expected for a while.... I trudged up to the nearby Level Crossing and bought myself some smokes from a shack and waited at the Pf1 catch sidings for more... next up was the KCG-MMR express which crawled into the platform in started within minutes.... darkness had fallen considerably and the twin beams were piercing the evening sky... at the helm was a rebuilt WDM3A from GY #18763R which looked freshly painted. The 23 coach rake (4 slip coaches tp Purna) slowly crawled by. On the Wadi end.... 2 Plasser track maintenance vehicles and a crew rest coach were parked on a siding. Of late... the entire HYB/SC suburban area P/Way is being upgraded with fresh ballast and packing... these 2 yellow bugs have been spotted all over town!
I decided to skip the 1845 MMTS back to BMT and catch the Purna - HYB passenger which came in 4 mins late at 1909 behind an ML:Y WDM2 #16551 .... it was fairly crowded and I positioned myself near the door in one of the middle coaches which was actually a SL coach!! Suddenly... 4-5 burqa clad women and children got up and hurried down just as the train started moving.. in the hurry all the yound ladies got off first leaving the old granny on the footboard and the train had caught speed.... there was no way I could let her get off now and me and 2-3 other fellow passengers held her back and hauled her inside.... while her daughters stood screaming on the PF!! At first I thought of pulling the chain... dunno why decided against... instead I got off with the lady at Hafeezpeta (HFZ) and asked the SM to call LPI and inform her family that she was waiting for them at HFZ... there were 25 mins before the next MMTS and the SBC Raj was also due... so it wasn't too bad.... but before that the GKP-SBC express hauled by #14022 (seen earlier at SC) went by closely followed by a wheezing Pune WDM2 #18549 which struglled up the grade into the platform line with a 54 wagon BCN/A consist... but instead of halting... the SM gave it a yellow thru the PF!! I aksed the SM why he did that, instead of letting it through the mainline.. he said that the gatekeeper of the LC on the LPI end was a a**hole who never closed the gate on time, hence he had to create some breathing space for the freight as the Raj was soon to follow.
The gateman got an earful soon after the freight passed as he opened the barrier while the Raj had already left BMT.... as a result the Raj got an amber on the mainline starter and a double yellow after that.. which meant it crawled through HFZ at 30kmph:o(At the helm was KZJ's special duty loco #16549. The lead gen car of the 12 long rake was in Raj livery , while the trailing and the operational car was in the new French livery (red top, cream middle & bluw bottom)!! The MMTs arrived soon after, and thankfully the ladies had got my mesaage and the old lady was reunited with her family. I settled down the last coach of the rake which was totally empty except for one other gentleman. Passing SNF i saw that the dual GY WDG3As seen earlier had already attached themselves to a BOXN brought in by twin LGD WAG7s (#27613 & 27298). The WAG7s themselves were leaving with the empty BOXN rake brought by the GY studs via the bypass line. The WDG4 was waiting in a corner ready for a night run.... while me was stretehed out on the empty rows of seats reaching BMT on time, after a satisfying Sunday evening:o)