Bharuch-Borivali by 2934 Karnavati Exp
by Karan Desai
I travelled from Bharuch to Borivali today morning by 2934 Karnavati Superfast Express and here are some interesting observations enroute-
- 2934 Karnavati Express arrived at Bharuch 15 minutes behind schedule at 0755 hours behind BL WCAM-2 (no longer P) #21872.
- The rake, as everyone knows by now, has lost its uniform livery and my coach- D4 was in normal blue livery with "bus type" seating arrangement. My seat #108 was against the direction of travel and since it was the first window next to the door, it had 8 horizontal barks on the window instead of the customary four.
- The reserved compartment was jam packed with unreserved passengers. Three ladies with unreserved tickets were occupying seats #106,107,108 which were all booked from Bharuch Jn. Moreover, they refused to budge when I said I had reservation. After telling twice, one of them got off, the others shifted towards the window and asked me to occupy the aisle seat. Only after a stern third call to vacate, did they finally get up and give the reserved passengers their rightful places! In this melee, I missed seeing the beautiful Narmada Bridge!:(
- A Bhilad bound MEMU (Electric Multiple Unit)had just gone 5 minutes ahead of Karnavati at Bharuch Jn. At the very next station- Ankleshwar Jn, the MEMU (Electric Multiple Unit)got a taste of Karnavati's power as we sped past the station at nothing less than 110kmph with dust and papers flying all over the platform as the MEMU (Electric Multiple Unit)patiently waited in loop line and the passengers watched in disbelief!
- At Sachin, spotted a WAG-9 hauled BCNA freight. Since there is no junction south of Sachin, I believe the WAG-9 would haul it to Valsad and if it did further south, railfans from Mumbai might get to see a WAG-9 in their home territory for the first time!
- From Bhestan to Dungri, the LP drove like a man possessed- for 35 minutes, we did not go even a little below MPS even once! No wonder then, that 60km were covered in this time interval!
- Navsari station got a free morning cleanup, thanks to our Karnavati blasting past at 110kmph from PF-2 and at the same time 2009 Shatabdi speeding through PF-1 at 120kmph! The 18 coach Shatabdi crossed us in around 5 seconds!
- At Valsad, spotted WCAM-1 #21850 freshly out from the shed after a makeover. Though the livery remains same, the road number was written in italics (thankfully the digital style numbering still remains) and while the shed name which was earlier written on one lower corner. "VALSAD" is now prominently displayed in the middle light blue stripe, again in italics. Looks nice overall.
- The GZB WAP-5 #30018 and the RDSO Oscillograph rake which was spotted by me the previous day, was still present at Jawahar Dhakka, south of Valsad station but the WAP-5 was now resting on a different loop line. This makes me conclude that it must have gone for a stroll somewhere in the meantime. Did any railfan find her roaming around?
- The Dungri-Vapi stretch on the Up line has become a graveyard with virtually all bridges on the section under overhaul or repairs. It took us 45 minutes to travel the 25km stretch.
- The run after Vapi was again at constant MPS with just one slowdown at Dahanu Road and one outside Virar. The favourite haunts of the Mumbai gang- Kelve Road and Saphale both were done at 110kmph.
- The pleasent surprise of this run was that both the rickety Vaitarna bridges were crossed at 100kmph without the train plunging into the creek below! Since years, I have always seen that some sort of restrictions are in place on these bridges and the trains never do more than 40-50kmph here. Vaitarna station which is undergoing beautification was also crossed at 100kmph.
- Another interesting event was that we entered the Dahisar Neutral Zone at 60kmph, cruised down to around 50kmph and entered straight into PF-5 of Borivali at the same speed without the customary halt on the Dahisar "nullah"! The Borivali-Virar run was done on the AC lines in 18 minutes.
- Timing and Speed: We started from Bharuch 15 minutes late and reached Borivali 18 minutes late inspite of best efforts from the LPs. Apart from the Speed Restrictions, the LP drove the train very aggresively, giving one hell of a ride! The 303km distance was travelled in 4 hours 3 minutes with 3 halts at an average speed of 74.81kmph! Impressive!