by Shrinivas V. Joshi
It was on Sat. 18th , I took 1401 UP Panchvati to Nashik with my family & few relatives . We arrived at Kalyan at 7:35 PM, watched the Miraj-Mumbai Koyna arrive & kept aside on platform no 5 for the Pune -Mumbai Shatabdi pass by from Up thru line , it was full to the capacity,could see the inside of AC chaircars, as it was dark outside & coaches quite well illuminated
The 1401 DN Panchvati arrived about 7 minutes late at Kalyan. All previous locals were right on dot. But it made up for that small delay as it pulled in at Kasara.
It was after few minutes & the banker was in place . Mine was 16th bogie from engine so, it was out of the platform at Kasara. The onto Igatpuri & again it was ahead of schedule, so a long halt of 20 minutes here. As it left Igatputi, just outside was stationed the "Lifeline Express"(Jeevan Rakha) the hospital on wheels and had read about it , when introduced on railways some 5-6 years back.
About this stay of Lifeline , I learned in local newspapers in Mumbai on return . It will be stationed in Igatpuri yard for another month, treating patients from surrounding villages. In addition to basic medical facilities,it has fullfledged operating facility, including plastic surgery.
Now on to Nashik, it reached before time at 10:30 PM. Two days later on Tuesday morning was at Nashik station at 6:35 AM for the return trip. The Patna-Kurla came in at about 6 :45 & was kept aside on platform 3.Here the locomotive WAM-1 series, was taken away & the train was sidelined there,waiting for a new loco -which one I could not see as the Mumbai bound Panchavati 1402 UP arrived on time at 7:00 AM.
Here, was a major problem. The train halts for about 2-3 minutes & the full capacity reservations seats, about 108 + unreserved passengers try to enter thru 3 entrances. And few those who have come from Manmad trying get off the train.And almost all were having heavy luggage, grape boxes. It being long weekend & holi holiday many been to Shirdi,Trimbakeshwar-atleast here I feel the need of a train starting from Nashik. Imagine what can happen if Indrayani was to come to Pune from down south point & all the Mumbai bound passengers trying to enter during the 2-3 minute halt.It doesn't happen so as the rake is brought in Pune atleast about 25-30 minutes before the dept. time. Railways , atleast can run some holiday specials to Nashik on weekends, although on trial basis.
This time too the train was right on dot reaching at Kalyan at 9:50 AM, on the way it made way for Howrah-mumbai mail at Igatpuri. Gliding down the ghats one could smell the burning of rubber lining , was it due to constant braking?
The arrival being in the morning peak hours, preferred not to take the local to Dombivali, instead took a rickshaw from Kalyan.