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Blog Entry# 2347767
Posted: Jul 09 2017 (23:10)

2 Responses
Last Response: Jan 01 2018 (17:46)
★  Travelogue
Jul 09 2017 (23:10)   22637/West Coast SF Express

TopGear   104 blog posts   48 correct pred (59% accurate)
Entry# 2347767            Tags   Past Edits
Hi all,
This is just a memory that i felt like sharing during my journey by the Chennai Central-Mangalore Central West Coast SF on 9th of June last year between Chennai and Palakkad. The incident came to my mind as i was going through my archives so i decided to share the same.
After a 3 day stay at Chennai at my cousin' place and 2 days of super trainspotting with my cousin-who is also a rail buff, it was time for me to get back home-to Palakkad. The trip itself was unplanned
and the booking were done in the last moment and thankfully, was fortunate to manage a ticket. It was semester study holidays and i decided to use the last week of the holidays for a trip, for a refreshment may be as it was long since i had visited my cousin at Chennai.
The tickets were booked the day before i left for Chennai by 12686- the only savior for all Chennai travelers from Palakkad. It as decided that i would return 2 days before my semester starts and booked he return by West Coast and eventually got a Side Upper birth in S11.
All set, and me and my uncle left off to the station as early as possible as it was always difficult to judge the Chennai traffic in the morning and we had to come all the way from Poonamallee which is in the outskirts. Eventually, there wasn't much traffic and to a railfan' joy, we reached the station 1.5 hrs before the departure time. Uncle dropped me and left for his work while i started roaming around the station. Sadly, no railfan was available to be met so i had to do all the strolling alone. TNP WDM7 11007 shunted the West Coast rake into pf5 (if my memory is correct) and i waited at the pf so that i could check out my link. There came the red devil from ERODE ELS and it was Mr.22636 which was given the duties. We left Chennai 5 mins late as soon as the Chennai-CSTM Mail was shunted in. We were galloping and did a parallel overtake of a mixed freight with a TNP WDM3A in the back end and a NKJ WAG7 powering it in the front.
The only special link that i spotted was the YPR-HWH Duronto was with a dead SRC WAP4 and led by a LGD WAP4. All the usual crossings took place in and around the customary places and it showed we were keeping up with the schedule. We crossed the Cauvery river which was very much dried up as the rains hadn't started (rains were pretty less last year around). Slowly we sneaked past the mighty Erode Electric Loco Shed with WAP4 222xx waiting to enter the shed. We came to a halt exactly 1min late and left 5mins late from there. From the honks, i could make out that a new WAP4 had taken over.
Again it was a super run all the way and we took the line towards CBE from Irugur. The train was blasting through the cityscape. We negotiated so many curves at decent speed. Soon, got a glimpse of a line from the right side and then i could make out that we were almost Coimbatore North.
What happened next was was surprising!
We were snaking into the pf that trains towards Tirupur use it to halt/skip. Suddenly i could notice some rake standing in the adjacent pf, to my surprise, it was that of Trichy-Palakkad Town passenger. The train that should have entered Kerala state by then was still at Coimbatore North. I thought it should have either been a loco failure or it was running late for some reason but i was wrong. Even we were halted. I thought it was the usual scene that happens if there were no free pfs at Coimbatore. But there was no sign of it being cleared for a good 10 mins which was unusual. I kept on guessing all the possibilities for the prolonged halt. Soon Eorde also came crossed us hauling the Coimbatore-Nagercoil/Tuticorin Exp. It was followed by terribly late running CSTM bound Jayanti Janata Exp and Kerala SF which was almost on-time.
It had been nearly 45 mins and there were no signs of either of the trains moving an inch. A WAP7 had come beside the passenger with the slip portion of Nilgiri SF from Mettupalayam and it was made to wait too. Strange!
I decided to check out and saw that the crew of the passenger were sitting on the pf beside the loco. They looked too pissed off and i decided not to go and enquire to them and moved towards my loco. From Erode, WAP 22274 had replaced 22636- so i was right about the loco change. I walked upto the crew and they were Malayalee speaker. Upon enquiry, i was able to know that they were PGT crew who had taken over from Erode and would get down at Palakkad(didnt know West Coast had crew change at Palakkad).
I asked them if it was a loco failue of signal problem- the ALP replied that there was some problem with the pantograph of the loco of LTT-TVC weekly and it had not been able to enter Podanur as a result. They really didnt know how long it would take. Some friendly conversation with the ALP and another gentleman came and asked me why i was so much interested in trains. I said i follow trains and before i could end- he interrupted me, are u one among the group called railfans? My son is also acts like how u do. Upon further enquiry, i was able to make out that the gentleman(Mr. Laly Joseph) was none other than the dad of fellow Palakkad based railfan and friend of mine- Amal Joseph. A serious Laly sir went on to become a little jovial. We had a good chat for about 10 mins and the time was almost 9:15pm. He asked me to go by bus to Palakkad as they were not sure about when the issue would be solved (i also had told him about my exams).
Immediately, i rushed out of the station and took an auto to Ukkadam bus stand. Fortunately, the last K(L)SRTC was waiting to leave. I hopped in in the front seat and we set off to Palakkad at around 9:35PM.
At Madukarai, an Alco with a dead WAP4 crossed us from above- it was the kid who messed up that dat-LTT-TVC Weekly! The drama didnt end there. We were halted just before he toll booth at Attapallam by Highay police for an inspection. It was sual for black marketers to take things by bus in the night time. Again, lost 15-20 mins there. Finally we took off and reached Palakkad stand by 11pm from where i reached home by 11:15pm.
I was in no mood to have anything and straight away went to bed. Although, it was a drama filled trip- it was one that would remain with me for the rest of my life. A ontime running train got late by almost 3.5 hours, a crew which was due to get down in the next station were held up- passengers who had boarded it as a connection to take Trivandrum-Veraval from Shoranur missed their train and many other things.
This is my first ever report and i hope it is not too lengthy. Please give your suggestions so that i could keep those in mind when i write the next time :)
Cheers and Regards

Jul 13 2017 (22:27)
West Coast Express   7 blog posts
Re# 2347767-1            Tags   Past Edits
ED does not have 22636, it was maybe 22626 or 22646.

Jan 01 2018 (17:46)
Soumitra Chawathe*^~   30357 blog posts   100949 correct pred (72% accurate)
Re# 2347767-2            Tags   Past Edits
Nice and crisp narration!

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