Calcutta Trip Report
by Vasudev Kamath
Travelled by AC 3 tier, so not much watching possible.
Hauled by Pune WDM2 from Pune to Manmad.
Halted for crossings for 2 passenger trains as well as 2628 Karnataka express, between Daund and Belapur.
hauled by 21345 WAM4 Bhusawal loco shed from Manmad to Howrah. Reached Nagpur 20 minutes early (7:30 AM). Left 10 minutes late at 8:10, due to 1391 NGP-ET passenger (vacuum braked) leaving from PF 4 and going towards Itarsi. Saw 22317 WAP4 SRC shed hauling 2860 PF 1 at Nagpur. 1029 came on PF 3.
Saw the diamond crossings of tracks (lines coming from Itarsi and going to the goods lines) just outside NGP station, towards HWH. The angle between the 2 tracks is nearly 90 degrees!
The Itwari line takes off (single track) with parallel NG, to the right. Trains which do not stop at Itwari junction take the single straight line upto Kalamna. The line coming from Itwari joins it at Kalamna.
At Kanhan, the two tracks go over separate bridges, with a single line on each bridge, over the Kanhan river, with a road bridge in between the 2 bridges!
made an unscheduled halt at Tiroda. About 20 minutes late at Gondia.
Made an unscheduled halt at 10:35 at Salekasa, which is the start of the ghat section upto the next station- Darekasa. There are a lot of curves and the entire section is through a forest. There is a tunnel for only the up line (coming towards Mumbai).
Passed Gondwana express going to NZM at Bortalao, near Dongargarh.
Went through Dongargarh station (famous for temple of Ma Bamleshwari) at 15 kmph. The unique feature of this station is that the lettering on the board is not painted but raised and embossed on the yellow background!!
Bhilai-Kumhari section is complicated and worth figuring out., The 2 tracks are separate and the Bhilai marshalling yard (largely disused now, from the looks of it) is in between the 2 tracks. There is a flyover from the marshalling yard, over the up line, into the Bhilai steel plant. Today Probably only full rake loads get filled/emptied at the steel plant.
Sarona is where the Raipur bypass line (used by freight) takes off. From the signals, it appears that Sarona-Raipur is probably twin single line.
The line to VSKP takes off just after Raipur station. It is electrified for some distance (as much as is visible), but actually the line is not electrified upto VSKP.
The Raipur bypass line joins the line from Raipur just before Urkura station. A Single electrified line takes off to the south, but that probably is a siding to a local factory. There are a lot of factory sidings at stations between Raipur and Bilaspur.
Passed 8477 just before BSP. FOrgot to see if it was diesel or electric. Bilaspur-Naila (just before Champa) is triple line, with the new line built to the north of the down line.
At Champa crossed a passenger train hauled by 23369, WAGx WR TKD!!! 1029 stops at Raigarh!! This halt was introduced 1.5 months ago!
Slept early. Darkness comes early at this part of central and eastern India. Just missed Nimpura yard- got down to watch just before KGP and we were just entering KGP station at 1:05. Left KGP at 1:22.
Arrived HWH 25 minutes early at 3:35 on PF 19.
Spent the morning of 20 Nov in HWH station.
There are 21 platforms. PF 1 to 11 are (generally) ER platforms and PF 12 to 21 are SE platforms. It appears that PF 16 and 17 do not exist! (COuld not find them)!
Saw Mokama-HWH passenger empty rake on PF 1. It was air-braked, and had electric loc (WAG5H)- the shed was not marked on it! (my guess is Asansol) Saw 2303 Poorva express on PF 9. Its composition was SLR GS GS 1A+2A composite 2A 2A 3a lots of SL TS ExtraSL SLR and double headed HWH WDM2!! The livery of the loco was like Ernakulam WDM2 or like Rajdhani-coloured Kazipet WDM2.
Saw HWH rajdhani (2302). Hauled by 30002 ABB loco WAP5. Composition was Loco LRRM H2 H1 PC2 ExtraAScoach AS7 AS6 AS5 AS4 AS3 A5 A4 A3 A2 A1 AS2 AS1 PC1 LRRM Interesting to note that there are 2 1AC coaches, and that all the AS coaches are not together!
Saw 4 trains leave HWH together!! (EMUs):
- 1 SE EMU
- 2 ER EMUs to car shed
- 1 ER mainline EMU (via Bandel)
Saw a DMU and MEMU in yard at a distance
Saw Vishwbharati fast passenger 215/216. It was airbraked, and had AC chair car!! (1203/A) One of the few passenger trains to have AC chair car.Hauled by WDM2.
saw 3005/3006 air-braked hauled by WDM2A HWH loco shed. had a postal van (PPS) with wide doors (just like the push-pull on Diva-Vasai section)
saw 3121/3122 Danapur-HWH express hauled by WAPX.
saw Kalka-Howrah mail: hauled by WAP4 Kanpur loco shed.
Saw Sri Jagannath express, hauled by WAP4 SRC, has 1 2A, 1 3A and 1 FC (one of the few airbraked rakes having First class)
Saw Kamrup express, hauled by WDM2 of Malda Town. Loco + Dibrugarh SLR + ((GS GS SL SL SL SL from Tinsukia)) + 2A + 3A + few SL from Dibrugarh + GS + SLR
saw Agniveena express (Airbraked) Asansol-Howrah, hauled by WAP1 ASN.
Saw Coalfield express (airbraked) DHN-HWH, WAP1 ASN. Toofan express was WAM4 MughalSarai, vacuum braked.
Some SE rly locals come on PF 10 at HWH. In other words, there is no rigid distinction between ER and SE platforms at HWH.
I went on to get a better view of HWH yard from one of the road bridges overlooking the yard. Due to a hole in the footpath on the bridge, I almost fell on top of the Mokama-Howrah passenger train which was being shunted to the yard!!
Bought a season ticket to Dashnagar (just for the sake of buying a season ticket on SE rly), took an EMU (Mecheda local) to Dashnagar. At Dashnagar, the empty rake of Sri Jagannath express was hauled by the same loco that hauled it, and was going to SRC yard.
EMU local for HWH came at the same time as the Purulia-Howrah express (which used the middle line). The loco that was hauling the Purulia-Howrah express looked like a KJM loco!!! (navy blue with cream centre). My regret was that I did not investigate it further at HWH station after returning to HWH.
Another day, took an EMU on the Budge Budge line, from lake gardens to Budge Budge. The line is single track for EMUs from lake gardens to Akra (2 stations before BudgeBudge). From then on, it is double track. There is a parallel goods double line which accompanies the BudgeBudge line upto Majerhat.
Except for Tollygunj, all the other stations are crossing stations- New Alipore, Majerhat, Brace Bridge, Santoshpur, Akra Nangi.
There is a goods terminal at Budge Budge and apparently transshipment occurs to barges on the river at that station.
Return trip to Pune via KYN was less eventful. I was tired, so did not watch out much. 8002 was hauled by WAP4 SRC. The empty rake from the SRC yard to HWH station was hauled by WAM4 from SRC!!!
Saw electric poles between Hijli and KGP. Note that the down line scetion between Hijli and KGP runs parallel to the up line between KGP and Kalaikunda. Saw the framework of what is likely to be an electric loco shed at KGP. Nimpura yard is as confusing as ever! Must resolve the mystery on my next trip.
Arrived at KYN outer at 5:35!! and KYN PF 5 at 5:48!! 8002 is notorious for being late, this was the first time I have seen it come early!
Had booked by 1007 Deccan express because of uncertainty of making the Indrayani connection. Took it and arrived in Pune 10 minutes before time.