The railway station building at Velankanni, Nagapattinam district, Tamil Nadu. Velankanni is famous as a Christian pilgrimage center and the station building reflects the Gothic style architecture used when building churches. The station is relatively new, only three years old and is the end point of a small 10 km spur from Nagapattinam Junction. Only one daily express train to Chennai (of four coaches) and one weekly express train to Vasco, Goa via Bangalore service the station, in addition to 4 pairs of daily passenger trains to Nagapattinam and Karaikal. Velankanni is part of the Kaveri delta region of Tamil Nadu.
The very dirty Royapuram WAP7 30362 rolls past Sadananda Nagar near Baiyyappanahalli with the 22625 Chennai Central – Bangalore AC Double Decker with all its 12 coaches trailing behind. Check out the patterns someone had drawn on the dirty locomotive! It was about to rain and actually quite dark for that time of the day that I had to crank up the exposure bias. The Double Decker coaches were also all very dirty with fading paint and cracked windows. Anyway, the train belongs to Southern Railway which is not exactly known for its maintenance and cleanliness.
Erode’s twin deep blue and white WDM3As (#16673 and #14045) together chug furiously as the 12677 Bangalore Ernakulam Superfast Intercity Express blasts past the stationary Kochuveli – Yeshwantpur Garib Rath Express. The Intercity recently became double headed with the two ALCo diesels chugging out 6200 units of pure horsepower between them hauling the 21-coach Intercity through the Hosur – Salem line filled with heavy gradients and sharp turns and a stunningly beautiful countryside in 2 hours and 42 minutes at an average 57 km/hr, the fastest on the route. This was another very tight angle to catch, note a fellow railfan at the other door capturing a video! Twin diesels are always a blast to watch!!
The 66301 Ernakulam Jn – Kayankulam Jn MEMU arrives at Kottayam railway station looking like a huge yellow-blue colored metal worm. The train is well patronized but is almost always late, consistently. Full form and definition of MEMU is Mainline Electric Multiple Unit, which means that though it is exactly the same as the EMUs (locals) or Mumbai, Chennai etc, it runs on the mainlines just like all other trains including long distance trains. MEMUs are usually found outside main cities running between towns and cities which do not have rail-based public transport systems. Fares are the same as for passenger trains.
One of Erode’s star electric locomotives, the WAP4 #22221 with the infamous 12508 Guwahati – Trivandrum Express rushes in a hurry to stop at Aluva. The 12508 which at one time held the dubious distinction of the “most late train” on Indian Railways but was on time to the dot that day! The sun was setting and a golden glow was cast everywhere very well reflecting off the locomotive. 22221 is one of the rare Indian Railways locomotives with rear view mirrors on all its driver windows!
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!