The average Indian (Railways) passenger train is so long that its other end cannot even be viewed properly. In this case, the 13351 Alappuzha – Dhanbad Express rushes towards Aluva in Kerala with the far end of the train shrouded in the early morning mist. The 13351 “supercrawler” isn’t even among the longest trains in India. It is headed by Erode’s WAP #22221, famously known for its Rear View Mirrors, possobly the only Indian Locomotive to have rear view mirrors! (Railfans, correct me if I am wrong).
Ernakulam Diesel Loco shed’s (ERS) WDG3A #14835 diesel locomotive rushes towards Idapalli with the Ernakulam – Nilambur passenger in tow. Behind the peeling and flaking paint of ERS’s standard beautiful orange and cream livery can be seen the old paint of her previous green and cream livery of the Golden Rock (Ponmalai) Diesel Loco Shed, Trichy, the shed it belong to before it was transferred to ERS. The WDG3A is a specialized goods engine but shortage of locos forces these to be used for passenger services too. This full-length photo was taken with quite a bit of difficulty at a tight angle from another train.
Offlink Lallaguda WAP4 #22214 speeds past Vaikom Road with the 16302 Thiruvananthapuram – Shoranur Venad Express in tow on an insanely hot morning with the greenery of central Kerala in the background. An offlink, in railfan terms, is a locomotive that is not the regularly assigned one for a train. Offlinks create tremendous excitement among railfans. In this case, the magenta-ish red locomotive is the same class (WAP4) that hauls the Venad, but from a different shed. Lallaguda is in Hyderabad. Note the mid-mounted headlamps of the electric locomotive. Most WAP4s now have their headlamps mounted on top. The straight, long shadow cast on the locomotive and train was that of my KCVL Garib Rath which was pulled over to let the late running Venad pass.
The empty rake of the Guwahati – Ernakulam – Guwahati weekly Express lies idle at the “Mashalling Yard” at Ernakulam, in between the Ernakulam Town (North) and Ernakulam Junction (South) Railway Stations. The train stretches out idly among the teeming flora of the “Outer” of Ernakulam stations, a real jungle where nature flourishes. Note that the Sleeper Coach on the left was manufactured in 1987!
The Green meets the Green! The 12257 Yeshwantpur – Kochuveli Garib Rath Express has stopped outside Kottayam station (outer) just after of those glorious rains Kerala is famous for. The train and the nature surrounding it have been washed clean, Mother Nature’s Green glinting off the Rath’s Green, complementing each other. Nature stands refreshed with pure, fresh air and light mist hangs over the train as it curves into the distance, a chilled refreshing residue of the shower.
The 16041/16042 Chennai – Alappuzha (Alleppy) – Chennai Express at Thrissur Railway Station, hauled by Erode’s WAP 4 #22232. The first coach (SLR) with the name board. The Board says Alappuzhaaa Express in Tamil and Malayalam, and Alempi Express in Hindi. Hahaha. The 16041/16042 is the Second Express train ever in Kerala and the very FIRST Express that started running in South Kerala and survives to this date. The history of the train goes back as far as 1944 when it started running as some slip coaches to be attached to the then 12/13 MAQ – MAS Malabar Express. Later it became a separate train and for a time was named the 41/42 Madras – Cochin “Kerala” Express, the most prestigious and premium train in Kerala! Later it was downgraded and now stops everywhere, and even goes to Coimbatore lately!