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Blog Entry# 1615074
Posted: Oct 12 2015 (17:42)

32 Responses
Last Response: Oct 16 2015 (13:02)
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Rail Fanning
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Oct 12 2015 (17:42)   17312/Vasco-da-Gama - MGR Chennai Central Weekly Express | VSG/Vasco-da-Gama (3 PFs)
 
SOURAV
COROMANDEL^~   11326 blog posts
Entry# 1615074            Tags   Past Edits
PART 1: /blog/post/1608223 [MAS-SBC]
PART 2: /blog/post/1609448 [SBC-NZM]
PART 3: /blog/post/1610374 [NDLS-BCT]
PART 4: /blog/post/1611430 [CSTM-MAO]
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PART
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more...
5:
Date: 1st October 2015
Train no: 17312
Train name: Vasco da Gama- Chennai express
IRI Trip diary link: /diary/trip/75757
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Finally the day arrived to reach my home, after enjoying a variety of Indian cuisine, now it’s the time to get back home and relax for two days before continuing my monotonous job :P:P . I was knackered with this extremely tight schedule but I will term this RF trip as one my favorite trips which I will relish forever. After a enjoying the sandy beaches in the Arabian Sea coast, now the time has arrived for the transit to Bay of Bengal. I reached Vasco da Gama station at 13:30. Despite being a diehard fan of SWR, I need to admit that SWR as usual disappointed me with its traffic management. Chennai express supposed to leave VSG at 14:30 hours, shockingly the rake was pulled out of the pit line only at 14:30!! The rake was shunted in the platform only at 14:35, KJM WDM 3A was the steed. The train departed at 14:48, it was 18 minutes behind the scheduled time. Interestingly no reservation chart was pasted in AC 2Tier, AC 3Tier and last two Sleeper class. I was not sure about other compartments since it was too far from my vicinity. The train was jam packed at VSG itself and most of the passengers were bound to Chennai. Next one which made me dumbfounded was regarding the announcements, perhaps VSG should be the only Major terminal in IR where not even a single announcement was made. I was really stunned, announcements acts as an integral part in a railway station. No announcements for Kulem passenger, Chennai express and Goa SF as well. The next shocking thing was the slack between VSG and MAO. I am aware of the fact that whenever a train is entering a new zone, slack will be provided but I think slack for this train in VSG-MAO is unscrupulous. Despite the delay of 18 minutes, it reached MAO with a minimal delay of just 5 minutes! It departed after a two minute halt at MAO and proceeded to Kulem. MAO – LD stretch is rightly termed as ‘The nature lover’s heaven‘, the drizzle made the environment even more charming, I was bewitched with the lush green environment at Kulem where the Bankers from Gooty cordially welcomed us. The attachment of banker was done quickly and the train was all set to chug through the dense jungle with the triple power of Alco. Slowly it started to Ascend, the tunnels and viaducts made the travel merrier. I took my camera out and snapped as many pics possible. The sad thing was with Dudhsagar, the water flow was very less which made me downcast. In the trip I met a tenth standard student, who was an ardent railfan, he had good rail knowledge, He was knowing about Alco, EMD, WAP1/4/5/7. It was a wonderful time with him. He was bound to MAS as well. After having a chat about railways, eventually we ascended the Western ghats and reached Castle Rock 30 minutes behind the schedule. Bankers bid adieu to Chennai express. When the train was nearing Tinai ghat, Vendors took the order for dinner. It was proceeding to Londa junction, where the slip coaches from Hubli was waiting to get it coupled to the Goa super-fast express. After a brief halt, Alco was cursing at moderate speed to Dharwad. Dinner was provided at Dharwad, it was one of the spiciest biryani I ever had in my life. Interesting, Chicken and biryani were of same in price. In place of two eggs, two pieces of chicken were kept. No difference apart from that. The same vendor came back, this time he was selling ‘Dharwad Pedha’, it’s a local sweet which is equally famous as Mysore pak. I guess he purposefully planned to sell Pedha since many ordered biryani so that he can have a good business: P: P... The train departed Dharwad at 19:40 with a delay of 20 minutes, next halt was the HQ of SWR, Hubli. We reached UBL 15 minutes ahead of the schedule. Once again slack played a role to maintain its schedule. Hubli railway station is just marvelous. The design and maintenance was incredible, I was looking at the other side of window where UBL-SC express was stationed. It was raining cats and dogs, I noticed few workers who were drenched in rain and still they were cleaning the platforms!!! I guess no other zone has this kind of dedicated workers. Hats off to SWR workers.. Water was filled at Hubli. Same way the OBHS team was no less to them, they cleaned the coach every now and then, after dinner, they collected the empty food packets as well! It departed Hubli bang on time. At Kundgol, Siddhaganga Intercity went past with an EMD, It is also known as Hubli intercity and its One of my favourite intercity during my child hood days. I used to run to Tiptur station from my house just to see this train, I guess Hubli intercity train was the only superfast express during the 1990’s in SBC-UBL section. As soon as Intercity crossed our train, it was Amber to my train and it crawled slowly for a while and immediately it was halted at Saunshi station for KSK. After KSK went past us, it was the show time for KJM WDM 3A, it showed its class and being an Alco fan I was just enjoying the mad run by Alco. It reached Haveri at 21:55, 25 minutes behind the schedule. I decided to sleep so that I can wake early and have a glance at YPR station. I just closed my eyes and when I woke, the train was entering into Whitefield at 7:05. I was cursing myself for missing the loco change, finally the emerging railfan said me “Anna, I tried to wake you but you did not even move a bit, the loco was a WAP4 from Erode shed.” Then we both were seeing the pics which we snapped in Western Ghats. As usual SBC-MAS never cease to impress anyone in terms of speed. We crossed KCVL-SBC express powered with RPM WAP4. It reached BWT at 7:35 AM and started immediately after a one minute halt. Within one hour it reached JTJ, with an average of 74.5kmph, that run was really amazing. It halted at JTJ for some 5 minutes, where many bought Vadas and Idlies. The breakfast by catering service was Dosai and Vada /Bread omelet / idly with Vada. Once again OBHS collected empty plates and at Kettandapatti, MAS Shatabdi cruised past us with a Milky white WAP 7 from RPM. Its road number was 30331. The WAP 4 reached the MPS of this section in no time, At Melpatti we crossed Bangalore bound Seshadri express with AJJ WAP1 which was closely trailed by Kovai express with RPM WAP4. We reached Katpadi at 09:40!!! , The ED WAP4 took just 1 hour to cover the stretch with an astonishing average speed of 84Kmph. It was slowed down at two places in JTJ-KPD stretch. One was Gudiyattam and the other was Kavanur. As usual ED proved why its WAP4s are class apart from others. It was really a splendid run. It departed KPD after a 3 minute halt, here the OBHS team gave me the feedback form and I gave full marks in all categories. They did their job leaving no stones unturned, so obviously I have no other choice than rating them as excellent. It sadly took 1 hour for Arakkonam since it was slowed at many places like Sholingur, Melpakkam Bye pass, Arakkonam outer since it as closely trailing Bangalore Shatabdi express. We reached AJJ at 10:38 and departed after a couple of minutes. ED WAP 4 once again became a merciless monster and reached 110 in no time. It was slowed at TRL as expected since it needs to switch to the Fast line. Next it skipped all the poor little MAS suburbs at MPS reached Perambur at 11:25!!!! The time taken from Whitefield to Perambur matches Shatabdi’s running time!!!
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RATINGS:
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Speed:
I would like to rate the speed of this train as per section.
VSG-MAO: 2/5-[It has huge slack in the initial phase itself]
MAO-CLR: 3/5- [It will be slowly crawling in this stretch since it’s a ghat section, since it’s a ghat section, it needs to adhere to Minimum speed but this section is an absolute visual delight to nature lovers ]
CLR-UBL: 2/5-[once again huge slack, No MPS action]
UBL-YPR: 3/5-[Despite having very less stops it takes more time than it should take]
YPR-MAS: 5/5-[High speed action guaranteed]
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Cleanliness: 5/5 [The cleanliness was awesome, the rest rooms were cleaned with disinfectant, OBHS does a splendid job during its run]
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Maintenance: 5/5 [Rake belongs to SWR, I think I need not say anything more. The abbreviation SWR will suffice]
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Food: 4.5/5 [On board catering is available, Food may not be tasty but it’s good enough to shoo away the appetite. Same way Breakfast will be available on the following day. Snacks, chocolates and cool drinks are available on board. So one need not worry about food]

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