Egmore Visit: #17544 and WAP-4
by Poochi Venkat
One of my visits to Egmore a few days ago, spotted interesting-loco #17544 ED WDM-2. The cab has been designed with two control desks in opposite directions, reminding you of the insides of a WDP4. The broad windshield resembles that of a tourist bus (except for the buffers!). Unfortunately, the right windshield pillar is bang in front of the forward control desk and totally blocks the view of the line ahead! The other desk gives an excellent view of the line beyond the long-hood.
The loco number on the sides has been made of individual thick SS numerals...and, of course, twin-beamers on both sides. Cab is a/c, the blower belonging to a split-unit. Though this beast is from ED shed, the livery makes it more of a KJM resident.
Last sunday we chennai guys went to Villupuram for some relaxed railfanning. In Egmore, spotted MS-BZA Jan Shat with ED WAP4 22219! Though an older loco, it appeared spanking new (hot off the stove??!). Made a nice contrast with the blue-white coaches.
Just then, a WDP2 pulled in with Kanyakumari Exp. Within minutes, at 6.45am, WAP4's superb two-tone echoed through the station and Jan Shat slowly pulled out. I grabbed my SLR (praying that no RPF had seen my act) and snapped away. Got a good shot of WDP2 and WAP4 side-by side. As the brute throbbed past me, I shot a few more frames. Lovely early-morning light!
The trip to VM was fraught with caution orders and halts... at VM spotted plenty of YDM4s, all busy in various duties. A couple of YAM1s were resting at the trip shed. Myself and Sriram walked to that end and shot a few frames. I had to use my olympus compact for this even though I had the SLR with me (there were many RPF chaps around). After some food and drink, we boarded the Vaigai back to Chennai. The train was absolutely full! Luckily Sriram's press card got us seats and we returned comfortably inspite of the heat.