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Blog Entry# 6105362
Posted: Jun 25 (11:38)

5 Responses
Last Response: Jun 25 (22:55)
General Travel

Jun 25 (11:38)   12608/Lalbagh SF Express
Swadesh12608   723 blog posts
Entry# 6105362            Tags  
The charm and beauty of this train has always been its trademark aggression.

Absolutely ripping through its route, it would fly past its 10ish halts and reach Chennai just before lunchtime. It played the dutiful second-in-command to the Shatabdis, as did its partner Brindavan. This earned it the nickname ‘common man’s Shatabdi,’ after all.

was no ordinary express. In fact, it was followed an hour later by an express so ordinary in comparison that everyone called that train “The Express.”

Today, with the introduction of the Vande Bharat trains, the priority dynamics have changed.

Point to point Bengaluru - Chennai travellers pack the Vande Bharats. The erstwhile kings of the route, the Shatabdi trains’ purpose has been limited to carrying the waitlists of the Vande Bharat trains.

Where does that leave old Lalbagh?

More halts. A more relaxed timetable, to allow two Vande Bharat trains to overtake it on the way. The aggression is being systematically clawed away at.

Lalbagh has been squarely relegated to the role of trusty people mover. The common man from Kuppam or Sholinghur still waits for this train. It’s still faster than the Express, isn’t it? The unreserved coaches are packed. The passengers are unimpressed. The train screeches to a defeated halt every time it stops somewhere.

But then, as the whistle blows and the WAP-7 wails like it has a sore throat, passengers look out the windows with anticipation. The engine pulls. And pulls. And pulls some more.

The speedometer ticks steadily ahead as the train gets faster and faster. The rails emit sparks and sound like they have a tough time keeping this beast on them.

The train accelerates effortlessly to 130 kilometres per hour. The hand-me-down AC coach still wrongly reads “Shatabdi Express” but doesn’t feel out of place. The train skips Gudiyattam in style, with ballast stones flying off the tracks. A sight to behold. Vintage Lalbagh is back, leaving behind dust in its wake.

But it’s temporary. Another halt approaches, and the train’s new reality dawns on everyone again. Switching to the loop line, the tired train takes a breather while a fresh-looking Vande Bharat overtakes it and zooms ahead.

But Lalbagh’s proven itself once again. Under all the dirt and lethargy, the true aggressive face of this train still waits for a chance to show itself, between every single halt. After the premium trains, there’s no other train to contest it in terms of priority.

The old Lalbagh is not dead. Yet.

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Jun 25 (11:47)
kirk781^~   3800 blog posts
Re# 6105362-1              
Has this train speeded up or slowed down compared to past TT?
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Jun 25 (12:07)
Swadesh12608   723 blog posts
Re# 6105362-2              
Slowed down.
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Jun 25 (13:43)
deepak.yerr~   6410 blog posts
Re# 6105362-3              
When introduced it used to leave Benguluru at 630 and arrived Chennai at 1145 with 3-4 stoppages then made 1200 now 1220 an increase of 40 mins running time with 11 stops in between.
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Jun 25 (22:34)
Mahaveer Jain^~   11625 blog posts
Re# 6105362-4              
In VB era, still common man prefers these heroes
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Jun 25 (22:55)
SCRrailfan   235 blog posts
Re# 6105362-5              
Three legends of our industry ❤️❤️❤️
Three legendary classes of IR❤️❤️❤️
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