April 27, 2011

Winds of change: Our new train

My last trip home was a mixed bag. Of the three days I was there, one was spent sleeping, one doing nothing and the third sulking.

This post however, is about our new train- The Manuguru Superfast. Initially written off as an empty promise the system finally delivered and true to it's name it's quite fast. The distance is an odd 240 kilometers and our trusty old link express took a little more than 8 hours for the journey. The new one takes 6.

The new train starts at 21:45, almost an hour an half after the regular. With no provision for transportation for this train or the Kakatiya which leaves at 23:00, I took the regular bus from colony and waited it out at the station.Train nerd that I am, I went around checking out docked engines and carriages while mom got bored on a bench!

The Engine is a WAP 4a, meaning 4100 horses of raw power. The W stands for Wide gauge, A for Electric engines (our line was recently electrified) and P for passenger train. A diesel locomotive for goods on broad guage would be named WDG, and WAG for electric. The number denotes the rated horsepower with a,b,c adding hundreds respectively.

This simple infographic I made in Paint should make things easier to understand.

The train started on time and picked up speed pretty fast... and for the nth time again, I cursed myself for forgetting my camera. After a brief stop at kothagudem, the train chugged even faster and zipped past stations that would otherwise eat into the older train's already strained schedule. When we arrived at Dornakal, it was a funny sight to see the link express on the first platform waiting for Machilipatnam express to latch on to. We left after a 2 minute stop even as the passengers on the other side of the platform stared with their cups of coffee and tea. Wicked!

I sat on the side lower berth the whole time(mom had to curl up a little!) and as the loco pilot floored it, the wind became unbearable. People around me pulled down windows but the fun had just started for me. I gazed at the clear, star studded sky and the soft moonlight instantly took me back....our school Chennai trip. What days!

We arrived at 4:15- at least half an hour late than expected but it actually worked in our favor, considering city buses start at 4:30 and waiting in the halls is a nightmare.

The new train will phase out the older one gradually as it upgrades to daily(now it runs thrice a week). Good change.

No comments: