Royapuram WAP4 #22841 with the Kochuveli – Bangalore Express

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.

The Picturesque Nilambur Road Railway Station

The quaint, picturesque rural Indian Railways setting: Little train headed by a hooded cab unit diesel engine waits among hills and forests. The rake of the Nilambur Road – Thiruvananthapuram Rajya Rani Link Express headed by Erode WDM3D #11149 rests at the Nilambur Road railway station in Kerala on a cloudy and rainy evening, awaiting its departure later in the day. The Nilambur Road Railway station near the little town of Nilambur in the far reaches of Malappuram district, is the end point of the Shoranur – Nilambur spur, at the foothills of the Western Ghats which can be seen in the background. This 41 km historic Broad Gauge railway line was built by the British to easily transport Teak and other forest produces easily from the forests to the coast for shipping to England.

Love is When a Goods and Passenger EMD Locos Haul an Express Train!

Two EMD Diesel behemoths: Kalyan’s Dual-Cab Freight Locomotive WDG4D #70380 and Bhagat-ki-Kothi’s (Jodhpur) Single-Cab Passenger Loco WDP4B #40082 together haul the 12977 Ernakulam – Ajmer Marusagar Express at Chalakudy, Kerala! Now this is absolutely rare since usually always locos of the same class are coupled together, even more so as the WDG4D is a rare class of loco and hardly spotted this far south! Now, barely after the train departed ERS, the WDP4B failed, that is its coupling broke and was stuck on the track unable to proceed further. The crew made a makeshift arrangement that allowed the train to reach the next station, Chalakudy, where they waited for a long time until both locos were detached and the 4B put on the loop line and the WDG4D left hauling the 24-coach load alone. And further on the Konkan line the G4D also broke down! The train finally reached Ajmer 10 hours late on that run. I was on the train and could capture this rarest of rare occurrence where both locos face each other with their lights on! Night. Rain. Two locos facing each other with both their headlights on. Intense. This is love. <3

Green Everywhere! Green Garib Rath Headed by Green Offlink!

Headed by an epic GOC offlink, the 12258 Kochuveli – Yeshwantpur Garib Rath Express waits patiently at Kelamangalam in Tamil Nadu 10 km south of Hosur early in the morning for the 12677 Ernakulam Intercity to cross past it. This was a green-letter day in the GR’s history. Its regular loco link, a KJM WDM/G3A had failed the previous day at Chingavanam in Kerala, and hence it was hauled by an electric WAG7 Tigerface from Trivandrum to Erode (first time ever!) and from there the green offlink GOC WDG3A #13562 took over. The livery of the engine nicely complements that of the train! This was among the best offlink combinations I have ever spotted! Go Green!!

The Ever-Reliable Old Monk Waits at Bayyappanahalli

Arakkonam (SR) shed’s old faithful WAM4 class electric locomotive #21219 hauling the 56262 Bangalore City – Arakkonam passenger waits for the starter at Baiyyappanahalli Railway Station, Bangalore. I took this photo from a train (TVC-BNC SF special) hauled by another WAM4 from the same shed, #21233. Though they look beaten up and dilapidated, WAM4s are the most reliable and successful Indian Railway locomotive class ever, that even after 35 years in service they are still going strong! The WAM4 of my trains covered the Trivandrum – Bangalore distance in juts 13 hours 30 minutes at speeds exceeding 110 kph! WAM4s are lovingly called “Old Monks” by railfans 🙂

WAP4 22350 Heads the Howrah “Shiny Windows” Duronto!

Santragachi’s (SRC) WAP4 #22350 heads the 12246 Bangalore Yeshwantpur – Kolkata Howrah Duronto Express as it crawls past Baiyyappanahalli in Bangalore on its almost 2000 km journey. The windows of the train happily reflect the morning sunshine reflecting off the platform. The 5350 hp electric locomotive will singlehandedly haul the (technically) nonstop train on its 29 hour journey at an average speed of 67 kph. This 5-day a week train is one of the most successful Durontos on Indian Railways, seats always fully sold out for the entire two months in advance. Here is another picture of the same train.