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May 2005

Summer in the south - Railfanning!

The first ever...

After a long journey and ‘sound' sleep, I got up at about 0800. I just connected my Bro's laptop to the Internet and was checking the latest happenings in the group when my mobile started ringing! That was Naveen Jain from IRFCA Bangalore! He welcomed me to Bangalore and invited me for a rail fanning around Bangalore . He confirmed my presence and informed that he would call a bit later to get my exact location and to finalize the program! Some time later he called up and told me that we would be leaving by 1130. I had a quick bath, finished my breakfast and got ready for the outing. Minutes later, he called me up and asked as to where my house was. At about 1130, he came to my home and we were ready to dash off! As started his Scorpio, he called up Shailesh Jasani and the meeting place was finalized.

So, after picking Shailesh we hit the Outer ring road and we were proceeding to Hennur. Naveen wasn't sure of the location since he had actually gone there a long time back. But the Eicher City guide that Naveen had really helped up in getting to the place. Hennur is located between Chennasandra and Yelahanka on the Baiyappanahalli – Dharmavaram section. We finally reached the place at about 1300. We walked along the tracks and took positions. The first train to pass through was the Bangalore bound 2628 Karnataka Express. The loco ‘leading' was WDM3A #18593 from Itarsi. We were expecting the Coimbatore-Lokmanya Tilak 1014 Express to come in soon. This train finally came in at 1343 hauled by WDM3A #17993 from Krishnarajapuram. After the 1014 went by, we decided to go to Baiyappanahalli. Accordingly, we set off in the Scorpio. We reached Baiyappanahalli, and went to the station. Naveen saw railway staff sitting in one corner of the platform and decided to ask if he had any objects to our photography. The person told that some higher-ups have come to the station, and told us to go somewhere else! We decided to go to a level-cross just outside the station. This level cross was closed under the pretext of “Maintenance” a long time back when the section was under SR!

As were talking, we noticed a Gooty WDM3A (#14009) coming from Chennasandra Side. AS we prepared to take photos, we noticed that this loco was tugging a dead WDM3D (#11116, also from Gooty). The next known crossing was the Prashanti Express bound to Vishakhapatnam . Soon, we spotted a GTL loco arriving from the BYPL side. We took positions near the place from where the line separates. Each one of us was standing in different positions to have a totally different angle for our images! Shailesh was standing just metres away from the Main-Line towards Chennai. Soon the loco came close. The speed was less…The train was crawling to be clearer! As I was looking through the viewfinder of my camera, I felt that the train wasn't taking the turn!!! How could that be! Shailesh, who sensed trouble, moved from the spot! The train was not Prashanti but Sheshadri Express towards Kakinada !!! The loco in-charge was WDM2 #16200 from Guntakkal. As we reviewed the images, we understood that Shailesh was too close to the loco!

Shailesh was visibly shaken on seeing the images! But the sight of a WDM3D at a distance relaxed him. The loco seemed to take the line towards Hosur. We ran towards the triangle to have an image! The loco was WDM3D #11104 from Krishnarajapuram. After the loco went past, we went back to our spot this time to shoot the Prashanti! Soon the train came by, slowed down, and took the turn! The loco was WDM3A #18972R from Guntakkal. After the Prashanti, we decided to wait for the Brindavan Express towards Chennai. The train came in with Arakkonam's WAP4 #22617 at its helm! Brindavan stopped for a signal just a few metres ahead, and then proceeded! We decided to call the day off!!! In no time we were back on the Outer Ring Road. Some minutes down the line, we overtook the Brindavan near Krishnarajapuram. On the way back, we dropped Shailesh in BTM Layout, and I got down near my home! This marks an end to my first and only railfanning with IRFCA members! Thanks for reading!

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©2005 Binai Kochunni Sankar