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Railfanning Report - Part 3
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soundar



Joined: 09 Sep 2008
Age: 32

Posts: 58
Location: PMK/TPJ

PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:09 pm    Post subject: Journey in 16617 If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

A Journey in 16617/18 is a long cherished desire for me as the train is one of the very few (three?) non capital train confined exclusively to TN. Glad that my desire got fulfilled last week.

Ticket was booked in 16617 two weeks before the journey date in SL class with more than 200 berths showing as available. I got a side lower while my wife got a lower one too. We were in station by 18.20 for a train departing at 19.00. RMM resembles MAS in its layout and it was a long walk to our coach S8 stationed in PF4. But it didn't take a lot of time to understand the rising popularity of this train - 2 UR + S14 + 3*3AC + 1*2AC + 1UR + 1 SLR making it a 22 coach affair. That's not just good but terribly awesome considering the day of operation, no chennai in picture and the roundabout route. No chart was pasted, was thinking could it be a new policy, err no, I could see the chart of 16618 clinging to the coaches against the evening gentle breeze. Well occupancy - All UR, 2 B1, S1-10 had very good patronage and rest were occupied sparsely.

I left my luggage in the berth under the supervision of my wife who was quite puzzled to see her husband sprinting across the platform frequently for no good reason. I took a leisurely stroll to the other end of the platform only to see a cranked up ED WDG3A in SHF avatar doing honours for the day. You know, you can't just ignore the melody of a diesel anyday anytime. Pitline in the distance had the rake of 8 pm sethu while the rake of RMM-TPTY/CAPE was stabled in the adjacent line. PF2 had the rake of MUV-RMM train and interestingly most of the coaches didn't have name board in Tamil.

Darkness engulfed us and soon it was time to depart. Any train journey, more than 50% of the traveling time, I will be at the door but not this time. Order was obeyed scrupulously and the availability of SLB made things somewhat easy. I was quite worried because we have two lower berths which is a premium affair and can be confiscated anytime. But what diverted my attention was a creepy noise coming from the wheels similar to that of coming from a flat tyre in car. Maybe, I was taking a train after a very long time but thought of updating the same to TTE on his arrival. And I waited for eternity.

We slowed down at 19.20 and that was a moment of inner joy. The mighty pamban rail bridge beckoned us in the moon light backdrop. There was a teenager along with his mom in our coach who was standing at the door and was amazed at the scenery. But his mother was scared that he would fall down. He was in no mood to care about her repeated warning. What she then did was amazing, she then hugged her from behind with one hand and firmly held the door bars with another hand as an attempt to protect him from falling down. No matter what, mother's love is unconditional and unparalleled. We crossed the sea track at slow speed and came to a halt at Mandapam station.

The run from Mandapam to Ramanathapuram(20.15) was brisk with no interruption. After RMD, it was time for dinner with home made prawns. Ask people hailing from coastal district and they will vouch for the fact there is nothing that can beat the seafood on taste. Tastebuds yearned for more but have to contain with whatever is available. Next halt was Paramakudi at 20.50. There was decent crowd to board the train at both RMD and PMK.

Both of us decided to hit the sack before someone raises a request to interchange the berth. However it became difficult for me to sleep as I was suffering from severe cough. So decided to counter the cough by watching a fairly recent movie (weird idea, isn't it?). Manamadurai, Sivaganga and Karaikudi came in a span of 30 minutes in order and I continued with the thriller.

There was again a halt at chettinad by 22.50 where we encountered a ghost train with minimal headcount. My ego was taken for a beating as I couldn't remember which passenger train this could be in all possibility. But wait, the ac coaches - it is the pallavan. The train was almost desolate and scary. Hope better sense prevails for the top bosses in IR for not to be influenced by politicians.

I was deeply engrossed in the movie to an extent that I realised the halt at PDKT only after crossing the city. Sleep then got the better of me but was intermittent. When I woke up, we were about to reach Erode (04.30). A good crowd alighted here. Seems contribution of Erode in the overall occupancy is significant. I refreshed myself in the meantime as we approached Tirupur (05.25). The climate was pleasant yet I couldn't doorplate. After tirupur, we crossed few trains on the opposite direction and finally reached Coimbatore north by 06.10 from where we proceeded to home.

The train provides a very good connection between the two southern districts and the second largest city of TN in addition to Erode and Tirupur (the industrial belt that generates lot of employment opportunities for the whole state). Also I did see a lot of Malayalis in the train who must be using the train from Northern and Central Kerala. Hope the frequency gets increased either in the same route or through MDU-POY.
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ravi



Joined: 17 Jul 2007

Posts: 3304
Location: Mumbai, Hyderabad, CBE

PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:35 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

Hi Soundar !!

Nice report of yours narrating your experience of yet another 'Non Capital' trains of T.Nadu linking the temple town of Rameswaram with the Industrial City, CBE.. This train 16617/18 provides a good link between so many districts of West, Central and South TN, viz., CBE, TUP, ED, KRR, TPJ, PDKT, SVGA and RMM districts.

Sharing its rake with CBE - Rajkot express, 16613/14, this train has somehow, lived up and earlier, the reservation pattern was bit harsh to people of PDKT, KKDI, SVGA etc as they were in Pooled Quota !!!!! With 14 Sleeper class coaches, this can be an all General Quota affair and I think now, PDKT, KKDI etc have GQ. Good to note that 3 AC and 10 SL coaches had decent patronage for this train.

Good report overall.

P.S. :- Even if the legendary CBE - RMM overnight express is introduced at some day, by SR, I am sure 16617/18 RMM - CBE weekly express would CONTINUE to be operated in this route, WITHOUT any change as this train is the ONLY connectivity, for people from Pudukottai, Chettinad, Karaikkudi, SVGA with Karur, Erode, Tiruppur and Coimbatore.

As I had earlier opined, SR, can relieve this 16613/14 rake for 16618/17 and can break the full rake of 16616/15 CBE - MQ, Chemmozhi (செம்மொழி ) express, and at Tiruchchirappalli jn, half portion of it can be split with one portion going to Thanjavur (TJ) towards Mannargudi. From TPJ the other half portion can go via PDKT, KKDI, CTND, SVGA towards RMM. And same can be done vice versa. Thus, a daily link ( with half rake is not at all a problem) between the Chettinad, Pudukottai region with Western TN can be achieved and 16613/14 rake can be relieved.

bye & cheers,
ravi
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srirangam99



Joined: 17 Nov 2007
Age: 54

Posts: 4411


PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Journey in 16617 If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

soundar wrote:
A Journey in 16617/18 is a long cherished desire for me as the train is one of the very few (three?) non capital train confined exclusively to TN. Glad that my desire got fulfilled last week.


Yes, the other two being Kanyakumari-RMM, there is a new CBE-MDU express also, but it is said to be a special, a third is the CBE-MV Jan Shatabdi. A fourth may be a pair, CBE-NCJ/TN 16609/10 Exp. Sorry, of course, it appears that the third train is also from CBE only, the CBE-Mannargudi Express (possibly 16615/16)

Broadly, these appear to be the four non-capital trains confined to TN:

6609/10 and may be 6611/12 links (6609 between NCJ-CBE and 6611/12 between TN-CBE.

6615/16 CBE-Mannargudi

6617/18 CBE-RMM

2083/84 CBE-MV JS

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Jacob12



Joined: 01 Oct 2016
Age: 28

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Journey in 16617 If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

srirangam99 wrote:
soundar wrote:
A Journey in 16617/18 is a long cherished desire for me as the train is one of the very few (three?) non capital train confined exclusively to TN. Glad that my desire got fulfilled last week.


Yes, the other two being Kanyakumari-RMM, there is a new CBE-MDU express also, but it is said to be a special, a third is the CBE-MV Jan Shatabdi. A fourth may be a pair, CBE-NCJ/TN 16609/10 Exp. Sorry, of course, it appears that the third train is also from CBE only, the CBE-Mannargudi Express (possibly 16615/16)

Broadly, these appear to be the four non-capital trains confined to TN:

6609/10 and may be 6611/12 links (6609 between NCJ-CBE and 6611/12 between TN-CBE.

6615/16 CBE-Mannargudi

6617/18 CBE-RMM

2083/84 CBE-MV JS


22621/22622 CAPE-RMM Triweekly Superfast Express missing from this list.. One can also argue that PDY-CAPE Express can also be allowed as an exception on this list...
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Pbv15124



Joined: 06 Jun 2017
Age: 41

Posts: 324
Location: chennai

PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:52 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

Exp running within TN but not touching MS/MAS/TBM
CBE-MQ Exp
CBE-MV JS
CBE-NCJ/TN Exp
CBE-RMM Exp (Weekly via TPJ, KKDI) Exp
RMM-Cape (Tri weekly)
MV-TPJ Exp
AJJ-JTJ Exp

Pass within TN running more than 150 km
MDU-VM pass
PLNI-TCN pass
TEN-ED/MV pass
CBE-NCJ pass
TPJ-RMM pass
TPJ-MNM pass
TPJ-CUPJ pass
MDU-RMM (3 pass train)
MDU-SCT (3 pass train)
ED-JTJ (2 pass train)
VM-KPD pass
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Suganthan
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srirangam99



Joined: 17 Nov 2007
Age: 54

Posts: 4411


PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:22 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

Oh, interesting list of passengers running for 150 kms. or more within TN.

I once landed in Coimbatore (I think I came on LTC or may be it was an emergency visit, the flight was from Delhi to Kovai through Hyderabad - nice sight in HYB, with Begumpet Airport being pretty close to HYB itself!!), probably started at 6/6.30 from Delhi and landed in Kovai at about 11 or 10.45 am. Beyond that it was poor planning by me, as I foolishly thought that from the Kovai Airport, I could rush to CBE and take 2678 bound for SBC, go to ED and take a TPJ-bound train from there. Forgotten the details, but what happened was that when I reached CBE, 2678 was indeed standing, but there was a long queue for the ticket and before I could get one, it was gone.

So I had no option but to wait for another two hours and watch trains like MAS-CBE Shatabdi come in hauled by an ET or GZB P4 and around an hour later or so, Kovai came in. I took it and went up to ED from where after another hour or so, the ED-TPJ passenger took me to TP by 7.30 or 8 pm.

Yes, ED-TPJ-ED passenger just fails to make it because ED-TPJ distance is 142 kms. just short of 150 kms. required to make your list!!!

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Aravi



Joined: 17 Oct 2010
Age: 38

Posts: 550


PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:00 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

Friends - I have registered myself for the IRFCA convention to be held in BRC in Feb. 2018. My father and a fellow railfan (passive) will be accompanying me in the trip:

Wed. Feb. 7, 2018: 22601 SNSI Express to YNK (SL Class)
Wed. Feb. 7, 2018: 16508 BGKT Express from SBC to BRC (1A)
Fri. Feb. 9, 2018: Arrive BRC, Attend convention on 9th and 10th
Sat. Feb. 10, 2018: 12656 Navajeevan Express from BRC to ADI
Sat. Feb. 10, 2018: Indigo Flight AMD - MAA.

Would be glad if our SRDF members in SBC can join for a dinner on Wed. Feb. 7, 2018 (most likely in Ramakrishna Lunch Home near Majestic).
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ravi



Joined: 17 Jul 2007

Posts: 3304
Location: Mumbai, Hyderabad, CBE

PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2018 6:51 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

ravi wrote:
Dear members,

This report is related to meeting a train lover who had struggled hard to see BG project see the light of the day in an underdeveloped region in Karnataka (Bijapur)

In search of a train lover...

This tete-a-tete would have happened about 7 summers ago in Bijapur, an otherwise dusty town with a hoary past tucked away in northern Karnataka a.k.a. Bombay Karnataka for old timers, yet memories of it linger fresh in my mind. To be frank,those days, I was totally in the dark of the fact, that this same very town, is where our IRFCA legend SJ (Sridhar Joshi), the Peerless Perambur Rail Afficionado, hails from & the only people with Joshi surname known to me those times were Sunil, a southpaw cricketer who represented Indian team once in a while & quite regularly played in Karnataka XI and of course, Murli Manohar who is a political bigwig from the popular Indian party which incidentally has its name similar to the station code of Bijapur. Yours truly, was at that time working in Mumbai, away from family in Hyderabad and invariably every weekends of mine in that city of dreams would be to venture out in the magnificient railway network, trying each and every possible train to various places, from where people flock to that megapolis to eke out a living.

Bijapur is one of that places, which always continues to fascinate me for reasons manifold,of course the well known of them being the Adil Shahi architectural marvels of Deccan Sultanate located more or less within the town and in its periphery, the magnificient chalukyan reminiscences of sculptural supremacy, sadly most of them ruined and yet having withstood the ravages of time standing even today as sonnets on stones.. But still, the list is not yet over, as a lover of railways, I had another interesting job to accomplish there & it was to meet a diminutive, humble businessman and farmer Vishwanath Santalingappa Bhavi, who had proven, inspite of his predicaments like lack of access to modern electronic gizmos, non IT savviness, locational disadvantage of being in a remote town etc and yet romping home with a duly deserved slice of cake which was the resumption of broad gauge train services back to his town, Bijapur, though his indefatigable efforts.

I had read about this man's achievements earlier,many a time, in the online editions of newspapers and longed for that day, when I could possibly meet this train fan of a unique kind.

Well, to many of us, it may appear what is so great about it ? As reaching Bijapur by train today is as easy as reaching any other place in Indian railway network thanks to the Basavas, Gol Gumbazs and host of other train services from Bangalore and other cities.But, few would know the actual fact, that the Broad gauge link to Bijapur was not achieved as easy as many would think and Mr. V S Bhavi through his Bijapur BG progress monitoring committee, had played a stellar role in getting this rail connectivity back to this town.It was a workmanlike success for his team for it is damn sure that but for the sustained efforts of the BG progress committee headed by Mr. Bhavi, the maiden entry of BG train into the station would have been delayed by atleast a clear 5 years or more ! ( As the erstwhile MG network linking Bijapur was terminated and the gauge conversion project was in tatters)

At this juncture, I must give an addendum that, my longing wish to meet Mr. Bhavi got accentuated and inevitable for I had proposed a presentation in the IRFCA convention CNB 2008, at Kanpur on the topic of achievements of BG Progress monitoring committee of Bijapur and much to my glee the OC had accepted my request !! Now, the real challenge startled at me. Having received the nod from OC of CNB 2008, I was in a fix as from where to begin things in this regard and how to go about it !! As felt by a senior member of OC of CNB 2008 and IRFCA veteran, It would be the most appropriate thing to bring Mr. Bhavi to the IRFCA event at Kanpur. Well, excellent was the idea, but easier said than done ! Neither did I have any clue or whatsoever about Bijapur nor an iota of information on coordinates of Mr. Bhavi. The only source of confidence, I had, was that Bijapur being a small town, it would be rather an easier task to identify him, unlike in bigger cities, where such exercises would be akin to that of unearthing a needle in a haystack job.

With such varying thoughts, criss crossing my mind, I ventured out from Mumbai CST, by Siddeshwar express on a weekend, with a ticket all the way upto Bijapur and reserved upto Solapur. Thanks to the punctuality adhered by Siddeshwar express, I had little difficulty to detrain at Solapur and wait for Hyderabad - BJP passenger and board it at Solapur. As we crossed Hotgi jn, and veered off rightwards from the Mumbai - Chennai line towards Bijapur, skeptical I was as to whether my mission Bijapur would end in the way I would love to have it.
After considerable travel and crossing smaller stations, the majestic site of Gol Gumbaz beckoned me as it heralded that my destination was not far off. How wonderful it is to have a railway station nearby a great monument ? Blessed is Bijapur with such a magical concoction ! But, undeterred by the urge to visit the architecture splendour and holding my nerves and postponing my visit to Gol gumbaz, I was steadfast in making my meeting with Mr. Bhavi a reality, I took a tonga ( horse cart, which I had engaged for the whole day) the quintessential Bijapur mode of transport and asked him to lead to a decent hotel where I could refresh and get ready for the challenge. After getting myself ready, with breakfast etc, I ventured out and my tongawala too helped me. Though, he could not immediately come to my aid in locating Mr. Bhavi, we had together enquired about this man. I was'nt aware that he owned a small shop which dealt with garments. I had enquired in the vicinity of the railway station and through some people, I could trace some vague clues of his place in the town.

Our tonga was headed to Basaveshwar road, which,I was informed to be the business centre of the town. Not before the tonga wala, took his colt to a centralized place which was meant to hydrate the parched throat of his trusted bread winner, who had already overworked in the blazing sun. I took the opportunity of refreshing myself with a cola and of course, offered one to the tongawala whose joy knew no bounds at this humble offer of mine !! I was simply astounded by his thankful gestures for this gesture of mine which is hardly worth some ten bucks or so and then realized that for people eking out a living by driving tongas, an offer of colas etc would be a once in a blue moon day affair.

Then came the moment as we sighted the small, yet attractive garment emporium and as if I had luck all along my way, Mr. Bhavi was seated in his shop ( Imagine what would have been my plight, after successfully locating his shop, had he been out of station etc !! I would have to return empty handed and not sure whether I had the gumption to venture out again to Bijapur in search of Mr. Bhavi !!), . It was not at all a big deal to identify him as there was a big photograph in the backdrop, which showed a decorated WDM locomotive getting ready for flagging off for inaugural run and a big group of people headed by Mr. Bhavi were seen flanking it with happy faces. In no time, I could identify Mr. Bhavi and made efforts in communicating with him in whatever little Kannada, I could manage.Friendly he was & Understanding my predicament, He came to my rescue and started conversing in Hindi. I had by then, with all comfort in the world, started drawing him to the topic of railways and congratulated him for the wonderful achievement of struggling for the cause of getting BG train to Bijapur and eventually achieving it. He too narrated about the various stages of his movement filled with twists and turns and eventually ending up with the happy denouement of the long awaited chugging of BG train entering into Bijapur becoming a reality.

Next was my task of explaining to him about the purpose of my visit and my intention of making prominent his success story in form of a presentation in IRFCA convention of CNB 2008 for which he readily accepted !! A plethora of photo collections which he could show me, gave me a world of confidence, that I could be able to put up a fairly decent enough show at CNB 2008.

Now, that my acquaintance,with Mr. Bhavi having been made and having ensured his co ordinates, were intact with me, I took leave of him with real sense of confidence and reminded him that one or two more visits of mine to his place related to this event would ensue in days to come. I returned back to my hotel in my tonga and having completed my lunch it was time to peep into few of the myriad of monuments dotting the town of Bijapur like Ibrahim Rouza, Upri Burj and finally culminated with the magnificient Gol gumbaz. I had the feeling that my accomplishment for that day ( of meeting Mr. Bhavi & getting his nod for my IRFCA convention plan was equally monumental !!) Then, I had my passenger to Solapur waiting from where I could return back to Mumbai by Siddeshwar express.

Post IRFCA convention CNB 2008, Mr. Bhavi has become a good friend of many irfca'ns and he has now become far tech savvy to the level he can be, but it was quite a momentous occasion for me, for having introduced him to the gathering at CNB 2008 in the elite IIT - K auditorium and perhaps Mr. Bhavi would have been the easily the sole person on that day who did not have an e-mail ID and was not aware as to what was it for !! Yet it was great to see him getting good reception from the attendees of the convention, and for 'Bijapur - Opening a New gateway to History'( as we named the presentation for his story) a much needed pat on the back for his indomitable efforts. And even more happier, me was on that day, as the pains & tribulations took by me in arranging for this event to happen paid rich dividends and make me feel it was worth taking the challenge.

Thanks for the patient reading. (one can see Mr.Bhavi sitting in right side in front row ( with metallic watch strap)

http://www.irfca.org/gallery/Events/...154ab.jpg.html

For further inferences.. ( CNB 2008 glimpses)
http://cnb2008.wordpress.com/2008/02...y/#comment-196

Though, Sridhar Joshi could not attend CNB 2008 for some reasons, he was glued to the blogs.. When, the presentation on Bijapur got completed, he was the first one to compliment like this..

Thus wrote Sridhar Joshi.... ''Could someone please pass this message on to Shri Bhavi?

Bhaviji, I hail from Bijapur, and today, my entire family is proud of you. I would surely like to meet you when I come there next''

= = == = = = = = = == = = == =

bye & cheers,
ravi




Dear members,

I am digging it from the archives of this trip report forum ( 84th Page to be exact) and I am doing it for a very poignant reason. Yes, to share the news that my friend, SHRI. VISHWANATH SATALINGAPPA BHAVI, who struggled hard for getting SOLAPUR - BIJAPUR - GADAG broad gauge line, in becoming a reality ( by Gauge conversion) is NO MORE with us. He passed away few days before in Bengaluru.

A farmer, an Ex Serviceman, fought in 1971 war, and a Garment merchant, he was an Avid train fan and rail activist.

But, for his die hard attitude and approach, the SUR - BJP - GDG, line GC would have been languishing far behind.

I still remember the moments, I had spent with Shri. BHAVI, in his native town ( Bijapur, now Vijayapura, where I had met him for the very first time, later in Hyderabad, where he joined me to go together to Kanpur and later in Bengaluru)

For a while, Felt SAD. But, then realize, that Shri. Bhavi will be living, and continue to live amidst the ballast of the railway station of his home town BJP and hearing the Clickety clacks, as he cannot go elsewhere without 'em

With regrets

Ravi
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kpchandru



Joined: 17 Jul 2007

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Location: Chennai/ formerly Nagapattinam

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:06 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

VEry poignant intdeed.
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Raja



Joined: 17 Jul 2007

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 2:42 am    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

Sad to hear this Ravi. I was even talking about Bhavi recently with another fellow SRDFer. May his soul RIP.
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