Bombay Trip, WAG-7, and BTPGLN Mysteries

by Bharath Moro

September 2004

Notes from yesterday's trip to Bombay and back. Apologies for the bad grammar. I have spewed this one straight from the rough journal entry.

Departure from Valsad was by 9022 Flying Ranee exp. Coach was D1U and seat was 134. For those you not familiar with the double decker coach numbering, the first part(D1) stands for the coach number, similiar to S1,S2, etc. The next bit(U) is for the deck - U is for upper and D is the lower deck.

Anyways the train arrived bang on time(6:44) at BL lead by a shiny looking WCAM1(21845). It's was by far the cleanest Valsad loco I had ever seen! The same could not about my coach, extremely dirty on the outside and smelling very bad inside what with twice the number of people inside than allowed. My reservation was of no use here - It was so crowded that I couldn't even get to my seat and was forced to sit on the deck staircase landing until Vapi. I have travelled a variety of ways(inside toilets, sitting on washbasins, lying on the side luggage racks) but this was a first. And it was a pain.

Jumped off the coach at Vapi and asked the TTE about spare seats in CC. He confirmed that they were available. Soon after paying the difference, I was sitting next to a very pretty lady (Shanx..don't ask me how!). Feeling very smug at the good turn of events, settled down to read the day's Times of India. Am not too sure how long afterwards, but a strange donkey-braying-dog-barking-cat-meeowing sound filled the compartment. I immediately thought that the one of the window seals was broken, and leaned towards the window to check, only for the sound to stop with a disdainful - "Hello Tarak! I am travelling right now and will call you once I reach Andheri." It turns out that the strange sound was pretty lady's mobile phone ringtone! She immediately apologized for the annoying sound and blamed the ringtone choice on her son.

While all this was happening, a couple of freighters cross with WCAG1's in charge. First stop after Vapi was Dahanu. While I grabbed some Vada-Pav, a RTM WDM2 16157 sped past light, not sure where It came from but as I found out later on in the day, it's destination was BL from where it took charge of the BL-PNBE express. As we left Dahanu, noticed a blue WAG7 at the northern end of the spur that leads to the power plant. On the other end of the line was a brown/cream/red shunter (WDS6 clone) that was being coupled to the loaded rake. The ADI Shatabdi thundered past us soon after. Rest of the journey was uneventful save a sighting of a pair of mu'ed KYN WDM2's at Vasai leading a large BTPN rake. Reached Borivali bang on time at 9:15. Made my way through the crowd and boarded slow local to Goregaon from pf1.

After an unexpectedly early finish to the meeting, decided to head to Bandra and catch my ride back home - 4708 Ranakpur exp. Got down at Bandra and walked the 1km to BDTS. Entering the station, saw the 9116 Sayaji nagari exp come into pf2. WCAM1 21814 was in charge. Surprisingly, the same loco reversed and attached itself back to the outgoing 9115. My train was shunted in by WCAM1 21823, surprising because of the scores of WDS4 that call BAMY their home!

Departure was bang on time at 15:00. BVI was reached at 15:30. Maddening crowd here! Some people tried to force themselves into the coach but were blocked by a large TTE mouthing the choicest gujarati swear words. On the adjacent PF5, Paschim exp arrived with WCAM1 21852 in charge. After a short, melodious blast from 21823, we notched up. Vasai was reached quickly where a WCAG1 21973 was bringing a container rake to a halt. Lots of freight at the Vasai yard. Here's a quick glance.

  • 21974 & 21976(dead) WCAG1 - container rake.
  • 21863(WCAM2) - BTPN, heading towards BL.
  • 23211 TKD WAG5 - BOXN rake.
  • 23008 BZA WAG5 - BCNA rake.

After Vasai, it was a regular uneventful journey. Saw the usual complement of WCAM1 hauled passengers and expresses cross us. Only the RJT - SC express with a Gooty baldie 14022 broke the monotony!

However, things livened up after I got down at Valsad. The aforementioned RTM WDM2 16157 was shunting in the Patna bound express. On the lines beyond pf3 were a WAP4, 3 WAM4, 2 WCAM1 and the three big surprises - JHS WAG7 27690 with a BTPGLN - HS rake and an unmarked WAG7 27698. The btpgl - hs rake had the characteristic white/red stripes to indicate its high speed nature. Anyone spot these types of tankers before? The JHS WAG7 was spanking new and looked like it came straight out of CLW, however 27698 was by contrast dirty. At first I thought the grime must have covered the markings, but closer inspection revelead nothing more. Any idea where this one's going? And has 27700 rolled out of CLW?

My legs by this time were protesting, and despite the good company at BL I returned home to find mom making some delicious and piping hot idlis!

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