Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My Mumbai trip

I was in Mumbai this weekend. It was for some official reasons and some personal reasons. Following are the travel details to Mumbai.
17/1/2009 - Nagpur to Thane : 2106 up Gondia-Mumbai Vidarbha Express
Loco: 22680 WAP 4 CR BSL
Coach: 96038 CR First AC cum Second AC HA-1 coach
Manufactured by: Integral Coach Factory, Year 1996
First AC part: Two cabins (A and B)each for four passengers and one coupe(C) for two passengers.

Second AC part: 20 berths

My accommodation : Cabin B (with my family)

Though the coach was old one, it was nicely maintained. The door separating 1 AC and 2 AC was a peculiar one.

The coach composition for the train: SLR,D-1,D-2,HA-1,A-1,A-2,B-1,B-2,B-3,S-1 TO S-12,D-3,D-4,SLR.

The loco from Igatpuri onwards was 21887 WCAM 3 of Kalyan shed. As soon as I got down I rushed ahead to capture the loco. 2106 was taken up on Platform 7 at Thane.

At Thane there was a feeling of relief. No duties were waiting to be joined. Only close friends were.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The day of oddies and a beauty at Nagpur- part 2

I was busy observing the Parivartan bus and I noticed an activity near the entry (South Gate). A brand new semi luxury on the route Sakoli-Aurangabad entered. She was really a queen for the moment at the scene. A rare look of MH-12/EF series bus in Nagpur and she was really beautiful have decided to follow her. I went all the way to PF 2 where it was parked.I had a closer look

I went inside and the conductor was courteous enough to allow me have the photograph from inside. The arrangement was 2x2 and was quite comfortable. The leg room was ample as it is a common feature in these Semi Luxury buses.No push back so no reduction in leg room.
I was eager to compare this with an old one from Aurangabad. This was Nagpur-Brahmapuri bus.
Does it have the proper patronage on this rural route? Instead,thse Semi luxuries should run between Nagpur and Amaravati/Akola/Chandrapur/Yavatmal.These are the routes earlier captured by the private luxury buses but in the recent years the private operators failed to maintain the standards of their fleet and started losing again to ST. It is observed that ST failed to grab this opportunity too.
And time comes when the WARI bus entered the stand and was parked on PF 17.
This is the bus with the highest capacity. It carries 66 passengers seating and a few standees. It is 12 m long bus.The intentions behind manufacturing these units were to clear the festive season rush or a short distance rural route which are heavily patronaged. Few such units are manufactured at Aurangabad W/S.See the length of this bus.
The irony is this bus at present plies between Ramtek and Pandharkawada. A distance of about 220 odd kms. The leg room inside was lesser than that of regular ST buses and one can imagine the woes of the direct passengers between the two towns. A poor thinking and planning on the part of MSRTC.
Chandrapur-Nagpur super are my attraction since childhood. I had a strong emotional bond with these buses. I spotted one such bus near the depot entrance.
The bus started from Chandrapur at 06.15 as Urjanagar- Nagpur.(Urjanagar is the Super Thermal Power Station in Chandrapur.) This used to be a timing for the Semi luxury bus of Chandrapur depot but for last five to six years this was made a regular express bus timing. The conductor told me that it is returning back with 11.00 a.m. timing to Chandrapur. This series (MH-40/8501 to MH-40/8510)of buses impressed me the most with their looks and performance. I had a 2 hour 50 minutes run in MH-40/8510 to cover 153 kms between Nagpur and Chandrapur.
I had decided to retire from the bus fanning on that day and while returning back I saw this bus parked on PF 20.

Katol-Aheri is a 350 odd kms route and this old bus plying on that route. Definitely this is not a regular link. The regular links are good, new buses and I witnessed few of the Leylands that were in Aheri depot plying on this route. (MH-20/D86XX series). This bus really looks very poor as far as Aheri depot standards are considered.The paint job of the front grill added to the grim look.

So quits for the day. Next weekend I will be in Mumbai and a lot of rail fanning and other posts will follow.

The day of oddies at Nagpur bus stand and Parivartan bus.part 1

Dear Friends,

As it was promised in the beginning of the year, I found this Sunday a bit free to enjoy bus fanning at Nagpur Bus stand. As soon as I entered from the north end I noticed Nagpur-Ramtek bus. It was MH-20 passing and was TATA. Aurangabad W/S started building TATA chasis.

In the last two odd years I oberved that the Vidarbha region is getting catered by Aurangabad buses instead of Pune (Dapodi W/S buses,MH-12 passing). The reason may be that the Aurangabad W/S started building TATA and in Vidarbha one can find ST buses only on TATA. The no. of buses from Pune has reduced substantially.

I went to soutern side of the stand to find typical Aurangabad Leyland from parali depot parked.

The phone no that was displayed on the front was an odd thing. This bus will ply on some local routes around Nagpur in the day before returning to Parali in the evening. It is a good thought to share the bus as it happens in trains about rake sharing. One such sharing recently noted was Latur-Nagpur. Nagpur-Aheri and Aheri-Latur. This will reduce the losses due to idling of the bus throughout the day at Nagpur or at Aheri.The phone no. was still a mystery.

I looked towards the platforms and to my joy the two Parivartan buses were parked side by side. Both from Nagpur W/S and with different pattern.

The earlier bus was with split wind screen in the front while the new design has a single windscreen. I think this started from MH-40/8950 onwards and is getting continued in MH-40/N 8XXX series.The internal arrangement of both the buses is same and both are 2x2 seating.

I was praying for old Parivartan bus in 3x2 pattern to emerge and I was very lucky as Gondia- Yavatmal came in and just parked in front for the photo pose.
It was 3x2 seating arrangement and the front grill was not a typical TATA grill. For the reasons best known to the ST personnel the grill was modified for the prototype buses in all the three W/S. Thes buses were on the roads in the last year and later the decision was reversed to allow standard TATA or Leyland front grill. I think standard TATA grill looks beautiful.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Hi friends,
Started with the new year. We all need some reason to start afresh. 1/1 is the date that provides us the reason. Everything is fresh right from the sunrise and morning tea to diary writing while retiring in the night. Most of you must have felt that we are so eager to write the diary that we feel that we should fill up the pages on 2/1 and even 3/1 on the first day itself.

For those who can not keep up their words to themselves and miss this opportunity, the next day is Gudhi padawa(The Hindu New Year Day). They will pretend to be orthodox and will strongly advocate to follow the Indian New Year to start the good things.

If this deadline is also missed the other opportunities will keep on coming to the persons as Ramnavami, 1/6 (Start of the new academic year), may be the birthday, Dasara,Diwali and so on.

This is not important. In one's heart,this feeling of need to improve is more important. Some day or the other that person will find proper timing to start. That will be the First January for the person. In fact once that succeds every day will be a fresh begining, every day will be the First January.