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Blog Entry# 2079194  
Posted: Dec 03 2016 (14:02)

6 Responses
Last Response: Dec 04 2016 (13:35)
★★★  Travelogue
Dec 03 2016 (14:02)   82651/Yesvantpur - Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra Suvidha Express | SC/Secunderabad Junction (10 PFs)

MTM missile is now superfast~   1963 blog posts   221 correct pred (93% accurate)
Entry# 2079194            Tags   Past Edits
Before I share you my more than a year old travel experience, I would like to thank #moderator for providing a great platform in the form of IRI for members like me, where people from a vastly diverse nation are able to share their passion, experience and knowledge of railfanning in unity.
Without wasting much of your precious time,
I would like to share my travel experience in 82651(22679 then) YPR-SVDK Suvidha Express(Premium then). For my convenience, I will refer to this train as Premium express in this blog.
This train journey from Secunderabad to New Delhi always holds a special place in my heart and those traveling scenes are still afresh in my eyes. There are many reasons for that like, BRAIN FREEZE MOMENT, OLA HURDLE, AWAITING EMPTY COACHES, BEFORE TIME SAGA, NATURE ON CENTERSTAGE, ET RRI ACCIDENT AFTERSHOCK, CHAIN PULLING, NEED FOR SPEED and last but not the least MY FIRST VISIT TO IRI.
People often say, “KHALI DIMAAG SHAITAAN KA GHAR” and this so called Shaitaan has ended me in costing more than 4500 bucks for mere Sleeper Class berths. It was on 19th June 2015. I was on cloud 9 for successfully graduating in Engineering without any backlog history and scoring 90% in final semester. Those were the days when I was eagerly waiting for joining date to step into professional life from placement department. Finally, the suspense regarding joining date was cleared on that day, when placement department called me to inform that the tentative joining date would be around the end of July month. With nearly more than a month free time, my mind didn’t hesitated for a single second and started planning for a long trip which can last for a fortnight. Immediately, I came to know that my cousin who was pursuing engineering in Vizag was also having holidays after completing semester exams. He always wanted to visit Delhi, hence I started checking for tickets availability in trains from SC to NDLS on immediate days. As usual, all the well known trains like Telangana, KSK, Raj etc. were in waiting list for immediate days and found more than 500 seats available in Sleeper class in Premium Express(Frankly speaking, in those days I was an absolute rookie in Railway terms and I was unaware about dynamic pricing in Premium trains). After seeing available seats, I rang him up and asked him whether he was interested in coming with me to Delhi. Within few minutes gap he called me back and gave me green signal to proceed for booking. After login and entering the details I realized that the fare was around 2.5K for a single berth. 3A was showing around 6K and 2A was around 8K. I was in the dilemma, whether to continue or not. Reply from my mother was positive and said me to go ahead for booking. As per her response I filled the details and went all the way till payment confirmation. Still my mind was in dilemma mode and for a moment hesitation was ruling it. Suddenly, I went into BRAIN FREEZE mode as if all the nerve connections were dismantled and thrown away like confetti. By the time I came into senses, I was staring at IRCTC message of confirm ticket. Yes, I finally ended up as a fool, only to realize that this will end up a memorable one after 3 days.
In meantime, I got the call from my cousin, who was unaware of the happenings, informed me that he will be departing immediately from Vizag in 18519 on 19th itself. On 20th evening, local news channel was scrolling the list of cancelled trains due to RRI fire accident at ET. After confirming that the train we were supposed to board has already departed from YPR and there is no hindrance for the trip, I booked a cab in OLA with Ride Later option on 20th night, fearing that cabs may not be available during such odd timings.
Finally, the day has come for commencement of journey. The start of the day was not quite so good. I got the call from OLA cab driver seeking apologies for not making up due to unavailability of fuel stations near his locality. After returning him few sweet words, he promised me to provide other service immediately. Living on his words, he arranged other cab for us and within few minutes, other cab was waiting for us at doorsteps. Even though it was raining cats and dogs that night, it took mere 15 minute ride for us from home to SC station as compared to 60-90 minutes average travel time, all thanks to odd departure timings of Premium.
After bidding vote of thanks for the rescue cab driver, we entered SC from main entrance. The electronic display boards were showing that the expected PF for Premium was 3. What we saw next was a very unusual scene. An empty train which resembled a freshly shunted train on to the platform was already waiting for us on PF3. Thanks to the heavy slack, the train reached SC nearly 40 minutes early. We casually made our way to our coach S10 and first thing first, checked our names on the chart. After scanning whole chart from top to bottom, we came to know that only 4 were on board, who were travelling all the way from YPR to SVDK. A total of 4 seats were booked from SC including both of us. And there were 60% booking from NDLS to SVDK, which means only 6 co passengers will be there with us throughout our journey in the coach and all the seats in my bay were empty.
First we were greeted by coach flooded by rain water, all thanks to couple of open windows which was the reason for rain water to make its way into the coach. It was a decade old coach, in fact whole train was a collection of decade old coaches with none of them having charging points. With still half an hour left for bang on time departure, we decided to have a walk on the platform. The SCR headquarters station was looking deserted and peaceful, with still time left for the great early morning arrivals carnival to start. Slowly announcements started to break the silence. First it was the nocturnal train of SCR, MUGR-SC Express to come and occupy PF5. Announcements were made for HYB bound Dakshin Express, for which PF3 was dedicated, confirming that it is running late. Then came the surprising announcement of the day, when nearly 8 hours late running VSKP bound 18520 was given PF4 for arrival. As announced, 18520 came and occupied its dedicated platform, without any announcement, our train was given starter to commence its marathon journey and this means, an already delayed 18520 has trail us all the way till KZJ. Our Lower berths were on track side and rain has stopped by then. I was expecting few back to back crossings with SC bound ONT trains. But to my disappointment only 2 trains that too with diesel links crossed us before Bibinagar, which means even trains on BZA-KZJ-SC line were delayed. Meanwhile our train was smoothly and effortlessly cruising at MPS towards KZJ, skipping all the intermediate stations without any respect. At last, breaks were applied just after crossing Nashkal and were halted just before a massive climbing gradient. After noticing green signal on down line, we decided to stand at door and witness a possible crossing. First we saw a powerful beam of yellow light which later started rolling down the gradient. It was none other than the puny rake of Dakshin Express. Just after the crossing, our coach had a first non passenger visit in the form of tea vendor. Train journey and Tea always go hand in hand for me, hence ended up sipping the first tea for the journey. Slowly our train started moving and a very young boy from pantry came with a cart full of water bottles to our bay. He marked our names on the chart and gave a water bottle each. Immediately another member from pantry came and gave us Tea. The second spell of tea was much tastier than the local vendor’s. Meanwhile as the sun started rising up, our train skipped from PF1 of KZJ at the speed of 10kmph and joined the trunk line to kick start a non stop action till BPQ.
After skipping KZJ and joining the trunk line it was time for a very slow skip of Wadepally lake which was full to its brim, followed by constant MPS show all the way. The weather outside was equally pleasant, with completely overcast conditions and scattered spells of drizzles, couldn’t have asked for anything better than this. We crossed Godavari river at a cautious speed and made a Platform skip of Mancherial to resume MPS action again. Now came the biggest event of the journey. On curiosity, I queried “22679” in Google and the first link was none other than indiarailinfo.com. The page looked very informative with information like coach composition, train ratings, detailed TimeTable etc. The page was so catchy that, I bookmarked it and after returning from Delhi, I surfed the site for a week as guest and later became a member on 7th July 2015. The most important thing which drew my attention was the TT of the train. The site was showing halts for BPQ and BPL in pink color(tech halt), whereas NTES wasn’t showing them. My cousin was on the side of unreliable, yet official NTES and I took the side of IRI. Later on, IRI data proved to be the correct, when our train crawled slowly into BPQ and stopped on platform 5. Water filling was done here and the train was halted for nearly half an hour. Once the starter was given, it was a slow run till Chandrapur and then started the MPS run. The weather was still overcast and we witnessed a series of back to back crossings, which was ended by a late running AP Express(now Telangana Exp). After skipping almost all the intermediate stations at flat MPS, breaks were finally applied and our train was halted at outer of Sewagram. The famous massive Sewagram curve was visible and we noticed that a train bound towards Wardha departed, for which our train was halted on outer. In meantime, the same young boy from pantry provided us with the lunch. For sake of variety, I opted veg for myself and non veg for my cousin while booking tickets. Rice, roti, pickle, dal were common and chicken curry was given for non veg, while mutter paneer curry was served for veg. The common part of the lunch tasted average but the distinguishing curries were surprisingly tasty, especially the chicken curry, which had a juicy and well cooked leg piece. By the time we finished our lunch, we were approaching Nagpur at brisk pace. Now it was time to have a view of the VCA stadium located at Jamta. As an adherent cricket follower, the view of these mega structures always fascinates me. The train was running well before time nearly by 30 minutes and was regulated at Ajni and NGP outer. Finally the train was halted on PF1 of Orange city’s station on 10 minutes before schedule. Here came the third spell of Tea for the day which turned out to be best for the day, courtesy: Licensed stall at the end of PF1 towards ET side.
Yet again it was a bang on time departure at Nagpur. After bidding adieu to Gondia bound line, the WAP-4 led Premium didn’t waste a single second to notch up MPS. After thrashing Godhani at MPS, it started raining cats and dogs. The scenes outside the window were nowhere encouraging to keep the window open, hence decided to pull the shutters down and have a power nap. After a brief sleep I woke up just to realize that our train was halted at Katol. Pantry boy provided us with evening snacks, which included Good Day biscuit packet, Haldiram’s Peanuts packet and customary Tea (4th for the day). After making an unscheduled halt for nearly 30 minutes, our train got the nod to resume the journey. In mean time, rain Gods decided to take a break, thus allowing us to lift the shutters and resume the so called railfanning fantasies. Train ride on NGP-ET stretch is always a paradise for nature lowers. The ride through those two significantly major ghat sections and curving through the topsy-turvy terrain reminds me the picture of a tireless ride though the meadows in the countryside of Europe as shown in 1990’s movies. As we exited Maharashtra and entered Madhya Pradesh, the climate also decided to change its color. The gloomy overcast conditions paved way for bright and clear sky to give us first glimpse of the shining sun for the day (can be seen in the pics). We were again stopped at Amla for 20 minutes to regulate the before time pattern. After performing a brief MPS show till Betul, it was time bow down and respect the “beauty in silence” Mahadev hills. After cruising through series of tunnels with caution and doing a mediocre run till Ghoradongri, the Premium Express again resumed the fast track mode, running through thick forest, with the Tawa river running parallel with the tracks. The constant run right from Amla was finally ended at a human deserted yet monkey populated Kesla. The train halted here for half an hour on mainline and departed. We were approaching ET and running nearly an hour before the schedule. At last, we were stopped on curve of Jujharpur cabin at 6 PM and what followed was nothing but a massive swing of pendulum.
Right from SC to ET outer, it was a before time or on time run for the Premium express. The run on the trunk line didn’t resemble the usual trunk line business due to relatively less crossings and no overtakes. The reason was now visible in front of our eyes. There were many trains queued up in all the four directions, waiting patiently for indefinite amount of time to enter/cross Itarsi station. Many trains were cancelled and others were getting heavily delayed due to FIRE ACCIDENT in RRI cabin at ET on 17th June. Lucky for us, our train was leading the queue on NGP-ET line. Dusk was settling fast and light was quickly fading. As the blanket of darkness started to cover the sky, the powerful beams of headlight of locos started dominating the darkness. For next hour or so, we were standing there and waiting for our turn to enter. I could notice only two trains entered from North/East side and one got the chance to enter ET from West line. Meanwhile, countable numbers of passengers in my train were busy in their activities. A couple was busy in taking selfies and doing photography in low light, while a group of 4 members travelling in my coach from YPR started playing “Pakadam Pakdai” on an empty land present beside the track and some were busy in emptying the cigarette packs. Now we have entered one hour before time mode to one hour delayed mode. Right on 7:30 PM dinner was served for us. The menu was same as lunch, with curd being served extra. We finished our dinner, but still there were no signs of change in signal. Right after 8 PM when we decided to turn off the lights and go for sleep after losing hope on train of proceeding further, we got the starter to enter the station of Itarsi. For a moment we thought that our train was skipping ET and suddenly we were halted on PF. Many unreserved passengers tried to board the train. On confirming about the class of the train and its stoppages, all of them alighted with utter disappointment. Now for a change, it was time for a cup of coffee. So the final scores for the day settled as Tea-4 Coffee-1. After brief halt of 5 minutes, our train departed from Itarsi, only after gaining more than an hour delay. There were two trains waiting on JBP side and three trains on BPL side as we were gaining speed. Once we skipped Hosangabad and Narmada river, we decided to sleep.
Right from my childhood days, I always wanted to pull or witness the chain pulling, but never risked in doing so considering the consequences. The day to witness this action has finally arrived. Firstly, we heard couple of guys belonging to group from YPR screaming. By the time I woke up and put my spectacles, one of them came to our bay and PULLED the CHAIN. On looking out, I noticed that we were entering Bhopal station and loco has already entered the platform 3. After couple of minutes, train started moving and made to halt on platform. Within no time, a team of RPF and the duo of LP and ALP were on investigation. On asking one of the members of the group, we came to know that his friend, who was doing door plating, slipped and fell out of the train. The passenger was sweating heavily and their bay smelled foul. On enquiry, he confessed that they consumed alcohol onboard. Other members were on mission to find their friend. RPF took their luggage out of the train and by that time other members also assembled near the luggage on platform. The guy who fell down was fine and escaped with minor injuries. RPF handed them to station police. Amidst all the happenings, NZM bound SBC Raj arrived on PF2. Going as per the convention, Raj got the nod to resume its journey. After 10 minutes, when we were hoping for the departure, DEE bound YPR Duronto skipped Bhopal, which means that the departure of premium is delayed further. After the departure from Bhopal almost around 10 PM, it was time for nonstop action till Jhansi as well as a long nap for me.
It was around 5 AM in the morning when my body decided to give chance for my eyes to enjoy the view of northern plains for remaining journey. When I peeked out of the window, dawn has already scattered the darkness, all thanks for travelling on June Solstice or Summer Solstice as we call. We were cruising through the rocky landscapes of Chambal catchment area, which indicated that the train has maintained the same delay of 2 hours and no efforts were made to cover the delay. The run in the morning was simply enthralling for two reasons mainly. Firstly, for the continuous MPS show all the way till outskirts of Agra, with skipping the intermediate stations in a flash. Secondly, for the number of high speed crossings happening in gap of 5 to 10 minutes. The train was slowed down before entering Agra Cantt and skipped it at the speed of 15 KMPH through platform 2 and within no time, again notched up MPS. Crossings were happening and the panoramic view of agricultural fields right till the horizon with small scale brick industries here and there was the order of the hour. Approximately from 20 minutes after skipping Mathura came the crossing of the day, which may have lasted for mere 7 seconds but goose bumps are guaranteed for that. Yes, it was an MPS crossing with Bhopal Shatabdi which was as quick as a blink of an eye. The run thereafter was constant MPS with minor slowdowns here and there. There were a couple of parallel actions with freight and a MEMU where my Premium turned out to be the winner in both the occasions. Within no time, the view of agricultural fields were displaced by industrial constructions indicating that we are about to reach our destination. We were skipping all the suburban stations at a mediocre pace and the skip of Hazrat Nizamuddin was the last one. After the “sangam” with the line coming from Ghaziabad side, our train was halted for 5 minutes at Tilak Bridge. When our train resumed the journey, we were expecting our next halt on the platform of New Delhi. But we were trolled again for one final time, when we were halted at Shivaji Bridge for 20 minutes getting overtaken by a MEMU in the process. Finally after a continuous pendulum action for 29 hours, the Premium slowly crawled into Platform 5 of New Delhi Railway station. Many passengers were ready to board the train to start their journey till SVDK. After alighting we rushed towards Ajmeri gate exit to start another 30 KM journey till Huda City Centre on the YELLOW line of Delhi Metro. Well, these metro rides are always eventful which may need another travelogue :P.
Thanks for reading this long and boring travelogue. Improvements and suggestions from the members are expected.
Before I sign off, as I said before, this journey was the reason for my first ever visits to IRI. After returning from Delhi, I visited this site as a guest and started following the blog posts. After watching many railfanning videos and pictures as a guest for a week, I became the member of IRI on 7th July 2015. Before joining this site, I was just a train journey lover. But joining this site made me realize that there is a little child in the form of a railfan in a dormant state was living within me and it was time to bring him. Thanks to everyone in IRI for accepting me as a member and reading this travel experience.

1 posts - Sat Dec 03, 2016

Dec 03 2016 (21:43)
RAJWDP4~   2837 blog posts   95 correct pred (53% accurate)
Re# 2079194-3            Tags   Past Edits
Great Sir!!!I enjoyed reading every bit of it,it made me feel as I was in the train.Chainpulling got my nerves but was releaved to know the person who fell was safe.I also am a tea lover like you and sip 5-6 cups in one day on wheels! I must say sir the travelog is written in a very good and interesting tone which never makes you feel bored.Respect and appreciate your efforts for taking out such time and the energy you put into writing this travelogue!Great work sir Hatts off!

Dec 03 2016 (21:43)
Waiting GKP ANVT Humsafar~   763 blog posts   2431 correct pred (70% accurate)
Re# 2079194-4            Tags   Past Edits
Very nice write up. Thank you.

Dec 03 2016 (21:48)
RAJWDP4~   2837 blog posts   95 correct pred (53% accurate)
Re# 2079194-5            Tags   Past Edits
This right here showed us that Railfanning is not only about clicking pics,there is another aspect of it and that is observing and being able to express your observations!

Dec 04 2016 (13:25)
MTM missile is now superfast~   1963 blog posts   221 correct pred (93% accurate)
Re# 2079194-6            Tags   Past Edits
Sure sir. Currently drafting travelogue for return journey. Will be out soon.

Dec 04 2016 (13:35)
MTM missile is now superfast~   1963 blog posts   221 correct pred (93% accurate)
Re# 2079194-7            Tags   Past Edits
Thanks for your kind and encouraging words. Happy that you enjoyed it. :)

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