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.
The 12625 Thiruvananthapuram – New Delhi Kerala Superfast Express seen in its full 24-coach length just outside Aluva in Kerala. It is so long that the rear end is reduced to a blur! Here it is seen with its regular link – an Erode WAP4 – the gleaming #22904 this time, which will be detached at Erode. The legend holds a couple of records in its name, including being the longest distance-running superfast train in India and the electric locomotive that runs the longest distance (12626 – New Delhi to Ernakulam) – a WAP4 from the Erode shed. The Kerala Express which started as the KK Express in 1977 still runs full packed year round and is Trivandrum division’s most premier train, which sadly has lost much of its former glory thanks to nonsense stoppage politics.
Erode Electric Loco shed’s freshly POH’ed and painted electric engine WAP4 #22388 hauled 16301 Shoranur – Trivandrum Venad Express stretches out between Ernakulam Town (North) and Ernakulam Junction (South) at ERS home signal on a very wet day among blooming greenery waiting for the all-clear for it to enter Ernakulam Jn. The blue-blue livery of the train is broken by the AC Chair Car coach which was covered in dirty and peeling flex advertisements.
The 16525 Island Express to Bangalore stretches out in length at Kottayam railway station with all of its gleaming 2012 and 2013 manufactured coaches on a hot, cloudless sunny afternoon. Erode’s newly overhauled workhorse WAP4 #22391 heads the train standing tall looking all majestic and powerful though a bit splattered with dirt. The ERS-KYJ MEMU waits at the end of the other platform, whose blue and red colors can be seen reflecting on the coaches of the Island. Despite its “supercrawler” status, the Island is one of my favorite trains mainly because of all the nostalgia associated with since I have been regularly traveling on it since 1999 🙂 And this is the second time I have captured the Island behind the #22391! Here is the first.
Gleaming spotless in the Kerala summer sun, Erode’s freshly painted electric loco WAP4 #22665 looks in mint-fresh condition as it slams around a curve as it approaches Kalamasserry station near Ernakulam in Kerala with the 12075 Trivandrum – Kozhikode Jan Shatabdi Express. The train on the opposite track was the two-hour late running Yeshwantpur – Kochuveli Garib Rath Express. Its bright off-red puts up a contrasting picture from the green all around. This close up photo of the WAP4 was taken when it was doing around 80 kph. Rarely do you get to see such a spotlessly clean locomotive in India!
The 12075 JanShatabdi Express from Kozhikode to Thiruvananthapuram Central slowly grumbles its way past Ernakulam Town with Erode’s WAP4 #22294 in the lead. The JS was once Kerala’s most prestigious train but is today ruined thanks to ridiculous stoppages introduced everywhere by populist politicians. The full length of the first coach is seen with the unique JanShatabdi livery and design. I have often wondered why the same window design is not adopted for all types of trains in India.