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Blog Entry# 1907829
Posted: Jun 26 2016 (13:05)

4 Responses
Last Response: Jun 27 2016 (19:43)
Travelogue
37294 views
28

★★★
Jun 26 2016 (13:05)   12343/Darjeeling Mail (PT) | SDAH/Sealdah (21 PFs) | SGUJ/WDP-4D/40090
 
soumitra.chawathe^~
soumitra.chawathe^~   34403 blog posts
Entry# 1907829            Tags   Past Edits
TRIP REPORT
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TO THE DOOARS IN THE QUEEN OF ER
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Dear Friends, I am glad to present before you the second of my four trip report series, this one, a short and concise
...
more...
report featuring my journey from SDAH to NJP on board Darjeeling Mail. In case you’ve missed the first one, you can catch it up here
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It was 4th of May, me and my “ardhangini” spent the day in roaming and exploring the City of Joy. We got up early and had a superb darshan at Kalighat Temple, where greedy temple priests pounced on us the moment we got out from our car. We shooed them away and straightaway stood in the line. It took some 35-40 minutes, but every minute spent there was well worth it. The temple visit was followed by a Victorian sojourn amidst vast open green spaces of the Maidan at Victoria Memorial, where shooting for a Bengali movie (most probably a remake of No-Entry) was ongoing. It was a welcome respite from the hot and humid weather of Kolkata. Post lunch, we spent the time in exploring the wonders of science at Science City, a fascinating place to learn and unlock the gigantic world of scientific mysteries. We concluded our sightseeing by seeking blessings at the beautiful Birla Mandir. The clock had struck 18.00 when we decided to head to Sealdah to catch the legendary Queen of ER, 12343 Darjeeling Mail. Battling the chaotic evening traffic along AJC Bose Road, we arrived there at 18.30 and headed to the upper class waiting room. SDAH, a major terminal was bustling with activity with numerous arrivals and departures of EMUs and express trains, loading and offloading vast amounts of human cargo. It was a sea of humanity everywhere. Nevertheless, to our surprise, we easily got place to sit. The attendant in-charge took our details in the register. The waiting room was great with multiple fans and AC working in tandem to beat the heat. Several vendors selling green tea, jhal-muri, magazines, etc. made their rounds in search of a prospective buyer. We had some light dinner there itself. The clock ticked fast and struck 21.00 when we decided to move out and go to our designated platform 9B from where DJ Mail takes off daily. There was ample time for departure and no sign of rake anywhere. Our coach was B1, third of loco (the Haldibari Slip portion) and thanks to the perfect info regarding coach composition and PF allotment on IRI, my nerves were calm. The crowd was slowly building up and had eyes on the horizon. After a few moments, the gleaming clean rake finally appeared on the scene, led by a BGA shunter. The positioning of coaches was slightly ahead of the coach position indicators, so we had to walk a bit.
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First step inside the coaches and Wow! DJ Mail was pure class, befitting the benchmark of an ISO Certified Train. Everything was perfectly in place, the bedrolls had been kept, the interiors were sparkling and washrooms were dry and spotless. Our seats were 47 and 48, on the sides. The coach soon filled in, our adjacent bay had a 4 members of Nepali family and two elderly Bengali gentlemen all bound to NJP. Very soon, a few vendors again made their rounds, offering water bottles, dinner packets and other stuff. We got the starter at 21.57 and at the stroke of 22.00, we set out. Traversing through the various points, we slowly started picking up speed post BNXR and hit MPS soon. We were cruising past stations at a decent pace. Prior to Dankuni Jn, we were put on the Calcutta Connector line which connects SDAH with HWH-BWN Chord line. Having entered the high speed HB Chord, our loco 40090 WDP-4D, a huge monster from SGUJ cut loose and hit flat MPS, belting past stations furiously. The run was thrilling to the nerves as the EMD was making its presence felt in the land of electrics, as if saying to its electric counterparts “hum kisise kum nahin.”
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At around 22.35, TTE came and checked the tickets. After he had done his duty, the passengers started to make their respective beds. We too made ours and retired. Most of the lights were off by 23.00. The annihilation of HB Chord was in full swing and we made it to BWN at 23.40 after which I slept. I found myself awake at NFK at 03.40 and perhaps the highlight of the journey – the train over Farakka Barrage was a sight to behold. I slept again and awoke at around 06.30. I checked the train TT on IRI’s RailCal App and we were late and yet to reach Kishanganj. We were rolling at a decent pace. At Barsoi, I relished the wonderful curve and crossing with GHY-KOAA Garib Rath.
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At around 07.15, our train curved in to Kishanganj. A handful of people alighted here. On the adjacent platform, NJP-HWH Shatabdi arrived like a boss. We shook our hands with and took each other’s leave in a couple of minutes and picked up speed. KNE looked like a small trading town, with various lorries all over the place. The city had already woken up and groups of people could be seen sipping tea at roadside kiosks. It was already bright outside and the geography was soothing, with vast green fields everywhere. The farmers had begun their day too. Most of the passengers had woken up as well and the vendors made their rounds offering tea and coffee. A newspaper vendor too had his day with decent sales. On the last leg of the journey, the Dippy was trying its best to minimise the delay by hitting MPS whenever it can, but controllers had something else in mind. There were numerous slowdowns midway, kind of those 2 minute stop and go in the middle of nowhere. We were looped at Tin Mile Hat again and some train overtook us here. The passengers had already resigned to the fate and were restless to reach their destination and why not as we were within striking distance; but alas, were helpless. The halt was over 15 minutes as we were given starter again. This time, the controllers ensured a smooth run and we made it to PF-3 at NJP at 09.10. Thanks for reading :-)
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Pic-1: Train Board
Pic-2: Sealdah Facade
Pic-3: Victoria Memorial
Pic-4: Toy Train at Science City
Pic-5: Birla Mandir
Pic-6: Sunrise in NFR
Pic-7: NJP-HWH Shatabdi at Kishanganj

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Jun 26 2016 (13:39)
PKV~
PKV~   25536 blog posts
Re# 1907829-1              
A superb and outstanding travelogue Soumi. Indeed you excel yourself.
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Jun 26 2016 (23:55)
maheshsunda~
maheshsunda~   7046 blog posts
Re# 1907829-2               Past Edits
No superlative word I can find in my vocabulory. All I can say it is a scintillating masterpiece of travelogues. May your tribe grow.
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Jun 27 2016 (16:26)
KrisGopal^~
KrisGopal^~   19011 blog posts
Re# 1907829-3               Past Edits
Wonderful report,Soumitra. Left me speechless!
Simply great.
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Jun 27 2016 (19:43)
S Majumder   2212 blog posts
Re# 1907829-4              
Superb Report.
Is it second Queen of ER :)
First is our SDAH Rajdhani. Queen of ER.
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