by K. K. Subramaniam
I made a trip to Gurvayoor yesterday by 6526 and returned by 7029. Below is the trip report.
I reached CBE station at 4:30 in the morning to board the 6526 express, te first sighting as is entered PF3 was 2 WDM2s from ED shed nos - 18232 and 17584 from ED powered, i thought they might be there for any freight though most freight takes the Irugur PTJ bypass.The next sighting was of 22258 WAP4 from ED with single beam headlight which i guessed was for the 2680 intercity express to CBE.
At 4:45 sharp the 6605 reached PF1( the arrival time for both 6526 and 6605 is 4:50 at CBE) , though 6605 arrives earlier since its timings at SA where both routes converge are 1:20 and 1:40 respectively. As a surprise 6605 came hauled by AJJ wam4 20652 since this regularly gets a WAP1 or WAP4.
The sectional service to CBE by 6605 is detached here and the train reverses directions at CBE on its ways to MTP. 18318 WDM2 backed up to haul the 6605. Then i went off to have a look at 1014 waiting in PF 4 at its head was ED power 18533. One has to be careful in CBE station since there is a lot of policing ( the city was scene of communal riots and bomb blasts in 1997-98) so you find more RAF personnel in CBE than all stations in SR put together.So i had to be slightly discreet, but this still created a problem since one RAF personnel approached me as i was taking notes and i had to explain to him, to which he said( you could have better thigs to do in life) i replied that the better thing would be to photograph these trains. The RAF person was clear that it was not done.
I decided to heed to his advice and play safe.
Now i could see a light in th distance and i guessed it was 6526 and 2 minutes later 6526 entered hauled by 18558R from ED shed. I chatted with the driver about footplating , he seemed to be scared of senior officials and i decided not to push him further.
By this time the signal went green and the driver started the train i moved into the S2 compartment and converted my normal ticket into sleeper class.THe stretch from CBE to ERS is a good beautiful stretch which runs parallel to Western ghats once they are crossed to reach PGT via Walayar ghats.
Just as we were leaving CBE i spotted the twin WDM2 mentioned first shunting the 2680 rake into PF2.What a waste of power.
CBE station has 2 BG pit lines one which can handle 21 car rakes and the other which handles 9 car rakes . And out of this they run some 3 daily express trains one daily sectional carraige service to MAS and 3 passengers. I would say some efficient use of facilties.And once has to see the rakes to believe how cleanly they are maintained.Even 1014 which only has secondary maintenance is fairly well maintained.
The section between Madukkarai and PGT is twin single line.We reached PGT at 6:20 instead of 6:00 hrs. AT PGT i saw a Military train with both freight and AC3T coaches being guarded by military men with SLR's.
Since the train was late reaching Punkunnam i got there to catch the EG1 passenger to Gurvayoor. The line gurvayoor takes a sharp left turn after punkunnam and goes away from the SRR ERS line. However EG1 was delayed i could spot a 16854 Ed wdm2 running light.
EG1 came behind an ERS wdm2 which i could not note the number.
I went to the temple of guruvayoor and then came back to TCR by cab. There i spotted a 27404 WAG7 which was shunting a goods train.
I boarded the 7029( AJJ WAM4P6PD 21236) which was running to time. At TCR station we crossed the up Parusuram express hauled by a ED wdm2c.
7029 crossed the Bilaspur TVC express which was a vaccum braked train with 2 Second AC compartments in 18 car rake hauled by WAM4 21240 at 13:20 hrs at vallatol nagar
7029 goes into SRR instead of taking the link between SRR ERS and SRR OGT line as followed by many other trains and hence has tp reverse at SRR. AT SRR as we were entering the station we crossed 22222 WAP4 from ED which had come in with the venad express and was backing up to attach to Venad express for its journey to TVC. This happened even as we pulled into SRR station.
The WAM4 reversed ends at SRR even as Parasuram express (ED wdm2 18320)bound for MAQ entered PF3(SRR has 5 Platforms).As it entered PF3 the WAM4 which had used the PF3 line to get to the other end of 7029 backed up to be connected to 7029. All this activity happening in less than 3-4 minutes.
Also at SRR i spotted 11007 WDM7 belonging to ERS shed.Also at SRR the pantry manager sent a message since the axle generator in the pantry was not functioning properly. At the same as we were leaving SRR the MAQ TPJ came in powered by ED 18697 and funnily the engine had its dome lights on.
At ottopalayam we crossed a freight hauled by WAG7 from AJNI and it was followed by another freight hauled by WAG7 from CNBE.
We finally reached CBE at 15:50 hrs late by 10 minutes