Holiday in Goa 14th Nov - 21st Nov 2001 [page 1]

Madgaon station at dawn

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The sun rises over the Madgaon horizon. This is the KR6/8 Up Madgaon - Sawantwadi - Diva passenger with the Erode WDM2 # 16802. Why does this train have two numbers?

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The KR 6/8 Up's assistant driver climbs the roof for a last minute check of the radiator water level.

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The Gooty shed MUed pair # 16684 + 16578 that hauled the 2780 Goa express from Londa till Vasco de Gama. Only a handful of these special locos, fitted with 'auto emergency brakes', are allowed to haul train through the steep Braganza ghat.

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Although these locos are relatively fresh, having picked up the 2780 only at Londa around 110 Kms from Madgaon, the tired crew have worked the Goa express overnight from Miraj.

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Ready to start the last leg of the trip. The crew has been on duty since 2200 hrs last night, and will remain on the footplate till 0745 hrs. These are typical duty hours for the IR crews.

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Sun has started to rise and the birds are leaving their nests. Not much of the exhaust smoke unfortunately.

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The Goa express reverses direction three times (Daund, Pune, Londa) and also changes locomotives three times (Manmad, Pune, Londa) during the 40 hour journey from Nizamuddin to Vasco.

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Stupendous power to weight ratio here! The 3100 HP WDM2CA # 14084 from KJM shed hauls the two coach (~ 50 t) KAM 2 Up 'DMU'. The 700 HP DEMU normally runs this service between Karwar and Madgaon, but as this was under breakdown, this rake is used.

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The assistant's seat in the 14084, a great improvement from the hard, round wooden stool found in many WDM2s. The device ahead of the seat is the emergency valve in the brake pipe. This can be used by the assistant to stop the locomotive (he is not supposed to operate the throttle), in the event of the driver being incapacitated. The crew often operate the device smartly to shake free a jammed spool valve in the brake system.

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