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WAM 4 - Father of the Nation for RailFans - Vikas Kumar

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Blog Entry# 1299824
Posted: Dec 07 2014 (17:23)

5 Responses
Last Response: Dec 07 2014 (20:02)
Dec 07 2014 (17:23)   52473/Pathankot - Joginder Nagar Passenger | JDNX/Joginder Nagar (1 PFs)
Railfan Z
rf_z^~   13657 blog posts
Entry# 1299824            Tags   Past Edits
A stereotyped outlook towards an offbeat segment of the Indian Railways conceives off-the-zenith expectations and curiosity of the highest order in whoever dares to give it a go. Heads stuck out from the tiny windows, perplexed eyeballs rolling in a topsy-turvy fashion scavenging out for prettier than Venice vistas, steeper than Everest gradients, deeper than Pacific valleys and sharper than ‘U’ curves. Every attempt at photography is expected to be a nominee, if not the winner at the national photography contests.
Every honking at the 'W' sign and every bit of chugging at the 'T' is meant to elicit nostalgia fulfilling all the ingredients of the 'Perfect Moment'.
Pack the cameras up and land in back to the reality, the scene won't look that blissful. And with Kangra Valley Hill Railway as the topic of discussion, the reel-to-real discrepancy climbs up another level. The 164 kilometres long narrow gauge journey from Pathankot in Punjab to Joginder Nagar in Himachal which solicits for a good ten hours from just another day of your life is not a ready-in-two-minutes noodles. It's rather the cake that you need to bake for hours to enjoy it in the end.
The journey kicks off in the all famous Pathankot railway station of Punjab and within minutes you find yourself in the famous town of Dalhousie situated in Himachal. As anticlimactic you read it as, this doesn't change things around much. Even while traversing through milestones erected well past the starting line, you’d still witness humungous chunks of time drawn out well past the threshold of patience where the feeling of dissatisfaction will rankle you as you'd just be traveling in the not-so-different-from-the-rest regions of North India with only the ride being rickety and slow as the journey takes its time to get into its distinct mood and taste. Slowly and steadily do the over-bridges elicit the awe that makes them a member of a World Heritage Site nominee. Gradually do the curves get steeper and the valleys deeper. The section demands immense patience from the travellers as an investment against the disturbance by the localites who'd on purpose stick themselves out of the doors the moment you do the same to your DSLRs to snap a scene, against those innumerable times when you think nothing special is happening and the train is just crawling at speeds just a tad faster than what cycle rickshaws do on the streets, against scorching heat in a state known for just the opposite weather conditions.
Enough said about the recipe, an insight about the taste of the cake might just give a fickle dimension to the tale. Once you acclimatize yourself to the section, the journey you’re a part of becomes an incredible memory. The barren land ends up converting into a landscape featuring the impeccable snow-covered Himalayan peaks, the local flyovers of the city turn into tunnels and the dry wind into a cool breeze. Post the halfway mark, you’d find your jaws dropped at the innumerable bridges and viaducts taking you over pristine water streams and scary valleys. The inadvertent appearances of water trickling down the alpine crevices, and out-of-the-woods gradients, for instance, are the little moments that together in their own quirky jargon, build the plot up for the final crest. The number of such moments gradually increases as the expectations soar newer heights. Fortunately, the section doesn’t disappoint you there either. The climax of the movie lies in the Baijnath-Joginder section where the maximum permissible speed drops down to 15kmph and you enter a new world altogether. Since it went dark the moment I stepped in there, as the narrator of my journey down this valley, I feel unfortunate enough at my inability to describe the finest section of the stretch in detail but at the same time this gives me an opportunity to leave it for the readers to explore the final summit through a personal visit and complete this tale individually for themselves. Needless is it to elaborate the extent to which doing this journey in the reverse direction would debase its charm, particularly if it is your first at Kangra for believe me, this movie is not meant to be watched the Memento way.
The Kangra Valley Hill Railway though is not as famous as its counterparts across the nation, but in reality it is an untold story, an unrevealed mystery. For the two-minute-noodles lovers, take a pillow and doze off till your train hits the station called Kangra Mandir, and for those who’d be baking their cake on the narrow gauge, go ahead, a thousand shrouded facets of Mother Nature are waiting to be unveiled.

7 Posts

Dec 07 2014 (19:55)
Guest: 74338b43   show all posts
Re# 1299824-8            Tags   Past Edits
Bro as you are aware that I don't read/write such a long report. So posting our trip pics directly. But marking great for the effort you put in to write:)

Dec 07 2014 (19:56)
Guest: 74338b43   show all posts
Re# 1299824-9            Tags   Past Edits
PTK NG Loco Shed

Dec 07 2014 (19:57)
Guest: 74338b43   show all posts
Re# 1299824-10            Tags   Past Edits
NG Freight coaches at PTK

Dec 07 2014 (20:00)
Guest: 74338b43   show all posts
Re# 1299824-11            Tags   Past Edits
FC Cabin

Dec 07 2014 (20:02)
Guest: 74338b43   show all posts
Re# 1299824-12            Tags   Past Edits
First crossing
52464 BJPL-PTK Pass lead by PTK 177 ZDM3
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