My Madras Trip
by Karthik M.V.
All these days I was on a vacation in Chennai. I did the SBC - Chennai - SBC trip by the 2608/7 Lalbagh Exp.
Along with fellow IRFCAite *Chennai Karthik*, I did a lot of railfanning there. It was also a great and an enjoyable experience to meet the ever humorous and knowledge bank, shri S.K ji. We deeply thank S.K for inviting us to his house. We discussed for about 6 hrs!! on a variety of topics and in the process I also gained a lot of knowledge from him.
During my stay at MAS, I comprehensively covered the entire chennai division EMU system. The greatest thing about this trip was, as a pure railfan, I travelled only by trains and shunned the road almost completely!!
Both the Karthiks, took a to and fro trip to Sullurupeta from Chennai Central. We did the trip by a BG suburban train. Luckily as the train was empty it was an enjoyable trip. I think the local train door is the best spot available for doing railfanning on a moving train!! As, the door is large and has holding bars, it is really comfortable and fun for 2 or 3 people to stand together and enjoy the journey.
The 83 km Chennai - Sullurupeta line is Double line, electrified. At many sections the distance between the 2 tracks is atleast 20-30 m, so it is really convenient to photograph trains coming on the opposite track. There are lots of lalaguda electrics plying on this route. It was a gem of a sighting, to see the Pinakini Exp zipping past us, headed by a WAP-4. Also the back - water scenery is excellent along the route.
After we came back, we had a delicious lunch at Hotel Saravana Bhavan at Fort, then we went to Light house stn from Chennai Beach stn by the MRTS. Some of the MRTS EMUs have only 3 coaches in them due to less patronage. We closed the day, after enjoying a delicious ice-cream beside the scenic bay of Bengal!!
Again, it was a great railfanning trip, as we had to take the BG and MG EMUs to Perambur from Mambalam. We had a visit to S.K's house at Perambur. One of the best railfanning spots that I have seen till date, is the Terrace of SKs flat. You can view the entire formation of a train from here. Apart from this, always meeting a Railway man also accounts to a great railfanning trip ;-)
Also, purchasing return tickets at the origin, gives you the illegal freedom to travel by any other route on the return journey ;-) So, on the way back we took a Perambur- Washermanpet- Chennai beach route. The Chennai - Arrakonam route has lots of activity. There are lots of WAG 5HAs and WAG 7s plying this section.
Also, lots of passenger trains, but most are headed by a WAM-4 only:-( Also, on the return we did some WDP 2 spotting at chennai egmore:-) It was surprising to see, even guntakal WDM2s coming to Egmore.
Along with my cousin, I went on a 3 hrs to and fro Chennai Beach - Tambaram MG EMU return trip. The cute and powerful MG EMUs will shortly be scrapped, so I personally wanted to enjoy them for one last time. It was really a great experience to be rocked in a *cradle*, especially with the train wheels and the DC motors playing a melodious background music for 2 hrs:-)
Also, from Mambalam to Beach, I took the YAM-1 headed, pondicherry pass. This is the only non EMU coming into chennai city, under MG electric wires!!
So, friends, if any of you want to enjoy MG electrics, please do it as soon as possible, or else I guess they will be lost for ever pretty soon!!
Finally,I sincerely Thank the almighty God, for allowing man to create something called trains!!:-)