Holiday in Goa [Oct - Nov 2000]

Arrival at Madgaon by 2780 Up Goa express

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Madgaon (MAO) station at dawn. These are the special 'Auto Emergency brakes-equipped' Gooty shed WDM2s which hauled our 2780 Up Goa Express from Londa. I request the crew to make smoke during start. The train would terminate at Vasco de Gama (VSG), which is 24 kms further west.

Majorda level crossing

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This location is the Majorda (MJO) level crossing. The yellow WDS6 is standing on the open line opposite the MJO station. As the main line is blocked, the Mumbai-bound 104 Up Mandovi express uses the platform line. The loco of the 104 is the Kalyan WDM2 # 18378.
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More Kalyan power on the Konkan Railways, the WDS6 # 36252 moves a ballast rake after the departure of the 104.
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The ballast rake crawls across the level crossing, shedding small stones on both sides.
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MJO is a junction. The lines bifurcate towards Verna to travel north on the KR to the right. Occasionally trains work from Mormugoa harbour past Vasco on the left hand branch and reverse at MJO for travel towards north KR.
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All wagons on the KR are air-braked, even the humble departmental ballast rake. Once on the main line, the WDS6 opens up towards Verna.
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Mid-day heat and humidity sees more trains at the MJO level crossing. This is the 6334 Up Trivandrum - Hapa Express crossing towards Verna. By this time, some tourists halted at the level crossing, realized that there is more to Goa than the beaches and were out with their cameras alongside.
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More TVC - HPX express. The second pic is of the point of bifurcation. This is about a km west of the level crossing. The view is looking towards MJO station. The line on the left is from Verna while the one on the right is from Vasco de Gama.

Verna station

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This the Verna station. The single platform is on the right, the large shed in the middle is the proposed KR loco shed (model of the KR loco with Verna shed livery), the shed on the left holds the 3-coach silver and orange Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) which is currently under breakdown. The second pic is the 104 Up Mandovi Express towards Mumbai powering through the Verna station. The station master told me that on an average, only ONE ticket is sold daily at this station. Note the diesel filling pipes for the locos off the platform.
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View towards the north; waiting trains, sick wagons, accident and medical relief rakes, also the ballast rake of the previous day on road 3. My daughter Aditi, then 5 years old, relaxes at the scooter stand of the Verna station.

Velsao beach level crossing

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This is the idyllic Velsao beach level crossing. The railway line skirts the beach. I saw the orange WDG2 locos approaching while I was at the beach and had to run to get these pics.
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The MUed Gooty shed light power thump their way through the classic Goa foliage in Majorda's direction.

Visit to Mahavir National park and the Dudhsagar falls

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A descending freight train seen from the vehicle park of the Dudhsagar falls.
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The waterfalls are some distance away from the vehicle park and visitors have to walk on a steep rock path and cross fast-moving streams to get there. The off-road vehicle that transports you between Kulem and the waterfall has to ford a few rivers, my wife Shyama and daughter Aditi at one such fording point.
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A mangled MG wagon frame lies by the base of the falls. A pair of climbing light engines at the falls.

Kulem station

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Scenes at Kulem (QLM) station from which we took a train to return to Madgaon. The 2779 Down Vasco - Nizamuddin Goa express waits for banker attachment. The view of lead power as the 2779 starts; in this instance, the loco is being pushed out of the station by the bankers. Note the yellow 'Fitted With Auto Emergency brakes' label under the cab window.
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Leading loco applies power by now while the bankers push hard.
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The leading banker is a 'Jumbo' while the banker crew are in the cab of the rear power. Shyama records the sounds while Aditi is given the responsibility to guard the bags, mainly to prevent her from wandering about.
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Colourful train is coming off the platform loop line and picking up speed. The train would climb the mountains ahead in the next 27 kms. Kulem to Castle Rock is one signaling block.
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The loco of the 363 Up QLM - VSG passenger train sleeps below the banyan trees at Kulem.
qlm4.jpg (196917 bytes) Vicious fire ants in the vegetation!
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Seen from the 363 passenger, an Erode WDG2 in the traditional ED livery, MUed to a Kalyan WDM2 at Sanvordem.

Surawali halt

ncjgim.jpg (154662 bytes) This is the Surawali halt, located between Madgaon and Majorda. Two low-level platforms, a booking office (with no one inside) and a few benches is all that this lovely station consists of. Exotic yellow and green tropical birds in the trees and the ever-present fire ants on the ground!

6336 Up Nagarcoil - Gandhidham express speeds through.

suraw.jpg (182016 bytes) 2431 Up Trivandrum - Nizamuddin Rajdhani.
suraw1.jpg (114682 bytes) 104 Up Madgaon - Mumbai Mandovi express.
suraw2.jpg (117391 bytes) And in the other direction a very late 0111 Down Konkan Kanya comes from Mumbai.

The MG Madgaon station

maostn.jpg (69612 bytes) Madgaon station from the road flyover - the old MG station is on the left while the overbridge of the BG station can be seen in the distance.
maomg.jpg (92202 bytes) The abandoned MG station.
maomg1.jpg (99817 bytes) Interior of the station shed.

Scenes at Madgaon station prior to departure by 2779 Goa Express

maostn1.jpg (85288 bytes) The six-coach Vasco - Kulem 366 Down passenger arrives with two powers at Madgaon.
maostn2.jpg (164167 bytes) Smoky start for the 365 Up QLM - VSG passenger at MAO.
maostn3.jpg (67910 bytes) One more view of the 365 Up passenger.

From the footplate of the 2779 Goa Express

footpl.jpg (42537 bytes) The Gooty WDM2 climbs the lower part of the Braganza ghat. Note the black line on the track made by leaking oil from some earlier loco.
footpl1.jpg (135644 bytes) Approaching one of the many tunnels in the route.
footpl2.jpg (126057 bytes) Another tunnel under dense vegetation. Some of the tunnels have signs of the cross to bless them and reflect on the Portuguese ancestry of the line.
footplat3.jpg (159011 bytes) Doodhsagar falls from the footplate, the train would curve to the left and cross the falls at about the midpoint.
footplat4.jpg (104183 bytes) Looking down the Doodhsagar falls from the assistant's window. The right hand seat of the loco gets slightly drenched at this location due to the spray from the waterfall.
footplat5.jpg (88282 bytes) BCN coaches derailed in the ghats. During our visit by road to the Doodhsagar, I thought I saw a loco abandoned in the ghats, but I could not locate it during this ride. However Phil Wormald and friends did confirm the existence of such an abandoned locomotive. AFAIK, this freight was running between Mangalore & Nanded, so why was it not using the KR? I have always suspected that the IR does not prefer using the KR as they have to pay to use their lines.
footplat6.jpg (140978 bytes) The two-aspect colour light signaling is used in the ghat section. There are unique aspects such as yellow over red.

Castle Rock and Londa Jn.

clr.jpg (82366 bytes) Our Goa express waits on road 2 while the Vijaywada - Vasco Amravati express comes round the curve to use the platform road.
clr1.jpg (112397 bytes) I believe that only double-headed powers are allowed to descend the ghats, so it is possible that the twin bankers at the rear of the Goa express would be now attached to the Amravati express, replacing the single power that came with the train.
ld.jpg (22607 bytes) Not a very great picture, it documents the Goa express waiting on the platform road of Londa Jn. The Haripriya express to Tirupati is also waiting on the platform to the left of Goa express. This is the approach of the Hubli - Londa passenger with Hubli - Nizamuddin coaches on the open line. The Pune loco of this train would be used to haul the Goa express between Londa and Pune.

Pictures from 1999

Unfortunately I dropped my camera during the trip and all the pics came fuzzy, I would try and recover some of the significant ones.

Brig1.jpg (58155 bytes) This is the 7318 Down Vasco - Londa link express which would connect to the Goa express which was running between Londa and Nizamuddin. The air-braked train had double-headed power right from VSG.
Brig2.jpg (45574 bytes) Double headed bankers at the rear…
dsagar.jpg (52563 bytes) Doodhsagar from 7318 at the Sonaulim station.
Brig3.jpg (55263 bytes) A Jumbo banker waits at Castle Rock.

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