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Gatimaan Express: Raftaar meri Pehchaan - Sajid Akhtar

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Blog Entry# 4568868
Posted: Feb 19 2020 (12:48)

15 Responses
Last Response: Mar 13 2020 (18:21)
General Travel
Feb 19 2020 (12:48)   22863/Howrah - Yesvantpur AC SF Express
subhpesit   161 blog posts
Entry# 4568868            Tags   Past Edits
Trip report Part I
DOJ: 10/2/20
After spending a good time at Home, being back from Delhi, it was time to return to my workplace Bangalore. (Oh by the way, the Delhi Kolkata trip report Part I is now up under 12314 (SDAH RAJDHANI-Forum)
So there were many options available, as usual, from Kolkata to Bangalore. Flights, numerous trains and since I was
about to book tickets almost 60-70 days before the actual journey there were few trains where seats weren’t available and there were few where seats still available. Flight was out of question this time. So next question which train??
Having travelled in 12863,12245 many times in last 10 years didn’t encouraged me to travel in them again. I narrowed down to 2 trains. The HWH YPR AC Exp and the YPR Humsafar. As per my convenient date of travelling, I decided to try out the 22863 AC Exp. Now many of you might have seen me posting couple of questions in 22863 Forum, regarding the punctuality of this train, as it’s way too notorious of delaying and reaching YPR way behind its scheduled arrival at 4 PM. Well it was the time for me to find out why it does so. Why it gets delayed en-route every freaking Monday when it starts from HWH and reaches YPR next day some 2-3 hours late on a consistent basis since being launched.
So Hello ppl, get ready for a trip report that has got numerous things to excite and inform you as a traveler and as a rail fan. Initially I decided to vlog and upload them in parts, but then I love blogging than vlog. Hence a detailed trip report for a journey that last over 30hrs.
So without much expectations and a little bit anticipation my journey day (10/2/20) came and I reached HWH Jn at around 10 AM. 22863 was yet to be shunted and I was busy picking up some light refreshments from the stalls. Right at 10:15 AM, the display board showed 22863 will be shunted in PF22. Announcements were also made about the same along with the Coach Composition. I was booked in B5,4,LB.
I strolled in the PF with my luggage and kept walking towards the front. There were no Display boards all along the PF22 to mark the coach positions. But since I checked the CC in IRInfo, I was sure that it won’t change and hence bypassing the commotion and crowd, I went at an estimated position where B5 could possibly be stationed. By that time, the Adra Hwh Shiromoni Passenger arrived with SRC P4 at PF 20.
After a wait of another 10 mins, we saw a KGP Diesel loco entering the PF, with the LHB Coaches towed behind. Well it was a KGP WDM3A (16381) doing the shunting duties of 22863 which was coupled with a P7 at its helm. Now I didn’t had any idea about which P7 we were given (SRC/TATA/VSKP/HWH). And in the entire journey I didn’t check 
The coach composition was exactly same as mentioned here. Interestingly the same CC was for SDAH Raj (DOJ: 30/1/20). Now that the coaches were shunted I had to walk a little bit further ahead and there was B5, a Humsafar coach. Neat and Clean interiors and Exteriors. Excited !!!!. The train had only 3 mismatch coaches. 1 was ours B5 (Humsafar) and other two were B4 and possibly B10 (Both being Duronto Coaches). 1st impression was very neat and clean. The washrooms were tidy too. Something that made me glad but at the same time an expectation to have it remained clean the same way throughout the journey. Since the train was shunted late at 10:40AM, it was evident that in 10mins it won’t start. By that time, I already settled my luggage as there was only 4 more passengers in my coupe and adjacent SL/SU.
With a delay of 20 mins from scheduled time, we started at 11:10AM. Slowly and steadily we left HWH and were traversing through the complex rail tracks crossover. As soon as we’re about to reach the Tikiapara shed, another KGP shed WDG was shunting the HYD bound East Coast Exp with a VSKP P7 at its helm. No sooner, we started picking up sedate pace as we glide past Dasnagar, Ramrajatala and nearing SRC. The Tikiapara and SRC yard had many bright LHB Coaches lined in. It was so damn colorful in its Red and Green liveries. Out of that I was able to see the bright shiny LHB rake of the HWH CAPE Exp in SRC. As soon as we were leaving the SRC E-Shed which now houses some white beasts (P7) along with their traditional red Ferraris (P4), we were picking up speed nicely. The delay was still to cover but it was just about 20-25 mins. As we crossed Andul, we were greeted by the Big Boss, the SER KING, 12842 with a P7 whizzing past us. We were doing a good speed and soon we were around the 100-105 KPH mark as we crossed Bagnan. By the time we crossed Mecheda, Kolaghat and Panskura, I saw many new LHB Rakes lying along. Somewhere assigned to few zones while others were unmarked.
The Rupnarayan river was crossed at a decent speed (Video Link to be uploaded).
As we were approaching Kharagpur, we had covered 15 mins delay, that means we arrived just 10 mins behind schedule at KGP which was Okay. At KGP, my coupe was 90% filled along with adjacent SL/SU.
I decided to have my lunch after KGP after the passengers were settled in with their seats and luggage. After a quick lunch, I decided to be at the doors for sometime to witness some back to back crossings. At Belda we crossed the HWH bound East Coast Exp with a P4 (Surprisingly) and just after few mins we were greeted by the BBS NDLS Rajdhani with a TATA P7. However upon reaching Lakshannath Rd, we slowed down. And to my surprise we were overtaking ANVT-Puri Express which was hauled by MGS(DDU) P4. As soon as we left we again picked speed and we had mouth watering crossing with the HWH bound 12246 Duronto with a P4 at Rupsa Jn. We reached Balasore with a delay of 15 mins. Our Coupe was now 100% occupied. So what are we looking at. An Elderly couple who boarded HWH were seated in SL/SU were bound for KPD. Another couple who boarded from KGP were also bound for KPD and small family of 3 boarded from BLS were bound for Bangalore. And there was me for Bangalore as well. So a packed scenario with all the luggage tucked in with little amount of space to move the feet around. Since it was post lunch, everyone started a bit tingy and hence the middle berths were laid out for a rest and just in time we crossed Tirupati Hwh Humsafar with a P4 near Markona.
I also took a short nap and woke up as we pulled in at Cuttack. Well now the delay increased by 30 mins. So Instead of 4:15PM we arrived at 4:45 PM. We started after 10mins instead of a regular 2mins halt and I kept lying down as dusk descended and we were yet to reach BBS. The Pantry staffs were moving around with snacks and tea/coffee. Snacks are available in ample amount throughout the journey (Biscuits, Cakes, Chips, Pakodas (Veg/Paneer/Potato/Chicken), Noodles). We arrived BBS at 5:25 PM with an additional delay of 15 mins and what that means is we are now 45 mins behind schedule.
The halt lasted for 10 mins and we were getting ready to start. By that time, it was already dark. We crawled through Lingaraj Temple Rd, Retang and reached Khurda Road, with a delay of 1 hour 5 mins at 6:00 PM.
One behavior or mentality of passengers, that really annoys me is when you are in Lower berth, you are depending on the Middle berth passenger as well for laying down or sitting up right and vice versa. In my case, the middle berth on my side was never laid down once it was up after BLS. There was a lady with a small kid. I asked the guy who accompanied them if he can have her sit in the LB so that we can just sit for some time as it was getting inconvenient for me to lie down always or sit in an abrupt lean angle. Well nothing worked, as the guy gave his own justification and the middle berth was still up.
We started again after a brief halt and maintained a speed of 100 kph and frequently going beyond 105 KPH. The Run looked good and we did recover some of the lost time. The P7 performance was very good. As we were about to reach BAM, we met the 12864 YPR HWH Exp leaving BAM outskirts with a P7. We still held the delay of 55 mins. My fellow passengers who were bound for KPD started having dinner and I was also planning to do so in some time.
After we left BAM, there was nothing much to do. So I decided to have my dinner and just be in bed after VZM, as I badly needed a stroll around. We maintained the 55 mins till VZM and we arrived there at around 10:50 PM. By seeing the cleaning staff and OBHS doing their job, it meant the train would certainly halt more that it’s scheduled 5 mins. The washrooms were getting cleaned and water refilling was going On. Here we were greeted by the Konark Exp.
I went out in the PF, had a good stroll for around 5-10 mins and came back feeling a bit better. By the time we started from VZM around 11:10PM, I prepared my bed. The linens were not clean and got it replaced by the coach attendant. Another problem that was more concerning was the Internal Door of the AC compartment on our side which had developed some issues and wasn’t getting closed on it’s own. Hence anyone who passes from the coach had to manually close the while getting in or out. Now no one cares about it and it remained same the whole night. The Cooling became ineffective since the door remained open-close-open owing to which passengers made complains to the attendant who had no choice rather than decreasing the AC temperature to make it a bit more cooler.
As we were heading towards Vizag bypass, we slowed down again and stopped at Kotavalassa Jn for a good 10-15 mins. We met the HWH bound Coromandel Exp (SER KING) with a P7. As we started again, I decided to call it a day and get a good night’s sleep, having a thought in my mind as how delayed we would be next day.
To be contd in PART II
PICS and Videos coming soon

6 Public Posts - Wed Feb 19, 2020

9 Public Posts - Fri Mar 13, 2020


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