The name is Bond, James Bond. The venerable WAP1 #22007 of Arakkonam is seen braving a hot sun under clear blue skies hauling the 12081 Kannur-Trivandrum JanShatabdi Express on the newly opened double line between Changanasserry and Thiruvalla in Kerala. As the 7th WAP1 ever produced, almost 25 years old and nearing the end of its eventful service life, the 22007 is one of the oldest dedicated passenger electric locomotives in operation today. This veteran has seen much of Indian Railway’s growth, and even in its twilight years has he honors of hauling prestige trains.
Twin ALCO WDM3As, (#18704 and #16296) in the classic blue-turquoise-blue livery of the Krishnarajapuram KJM diesel loco shed wait at Trivandrum Kochuveli railway terminus with the 12258 Kochuveli – Bangalore Yeshwantpur Garib Rath express. This train was until recently hauled by a single KJM ALCO locomotive, but now gets two of them, a great and stunning upgrade! Twin ALCOs are always a sight to behold, and it is an honor for the GR to get them! You are looking at 6200 horsepower, which is frankly needed to haul the rake of 16 heavy 81-seater AC coaches.
The 12640 Brindavan Superfast Express from Bangalore City SBC to Chennai Central MAS is seen near Bayyappanahalli at Sadanandanagar hauled by Royapuram electric locomotive shed’s WAP7 electric locomotive #30379, seen in its full 24-coach length glory. It was an unbelievably hot and sunny day, as can be seen from the photo, and to catch the legend I was almost fried to a crisp. It was on the same day I captured the Double Decker and the Howrah Duronto in their full lengths as well.
On a wet and overcast day with rain threatening to fall any minute, the 16650 Nagercoil – Mangalore Parasuram Express passes over a rust-stained girder bridge in central Kerala, just after Aluva and the famous bridge across the Periyar river with the view of the Aluva Manappuram, hauled by a mud-splattered bright orange-red and yellow Erode 5350 hp WAP4 class electric locomotive with road number #22580. The waterbody across which this bridge is built is a small overflow channel of the Periyar. The locomotive sliding majestically across the girder which has no side rails, the rails on the edge of the bridge which is in all lesser in width than the train itself, has always fascinated me. These bridges are however becoming increasingly rare.
Ernakulam ERS diesel loco shed’s Diesel Locomotive WDM3A #14046, one of ERS most trusted and oldest workhorses blasts past Anjani on the Konkan Railway with the 12202 Trivandrum Kochuveli – Mumbai Kurla LTT Garib Rath in tow. The orange-cream-orange livery of the Ernakulam hunk contrasts nicely with the green of the Garib Rath, the stunning green of the Konkan and the bright deep blue of the early morning sky. You can see the flagman waving his green flag at the orange hunk as it rushes by (Look how small he is in front of the locomotive!). Anjani is in Maharashtra nearer to Panvel and is one of Konkan’s most beautiful stations.
Southern Railway’s Royapuram shed WAP4 #22841 stands at Krishnarajapuram (KJM) Railway Station in Bangalore with the 16316 Trivandrum Kochuveli – Bangalore City daily Express on a gloomy morning, looking all sleek and fresh, after a scintillating run, reaching well before time! The paint has started flaking around its edges. The infamous “hanging bridge” can be seen in the background. The WAP4 is a 5350 hp AC powered electric locomotive which is a direct descendant of the legendary WAM4. It is the current workhorse of the Indian Railways hauling most long distance express trains.