Photo trip to Mysore Rail Museum
Participants : Samaresh Biswal & Dr.KJS Chatrath
Mysore rail museum timings : 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (Monday closed)
Social media has always been my third love after food and off course road. However, how it can lead to surprises and adventures in life has always been my astonishment. And so it had begun somehow with my droopy eyes bleakly looking at the blink of my phone. I opened up to have the info of the world at my finger tips on a lazy and hazy looking morning. And came the news that Dr KJS Chatrath is in Mysore. I text him and to my surprise, he called up. Somehow i sobered up myself to be best over the phone and I introduced myself and also told him that am a great admirer of his works and blog. I wished to meet him and he readily accepted to meet me and enrich me with his knowledge. So we set a date and out I went to see my second love with my ride. However, somehow I thought, let’s skip the road for once and cheat on her with a rail trip. Off course the rail trip was always on my mind after the Jayaram Rail fanning blog, but the roads have always given me the pleasure of fresh air and freedom of a lone rider.
Anyway, i dropped in the SBC station and booked for Mysore and informed about my details to Mr. Chatrath & will rendezvous at MYS platform 1. Meanwhile, some spotting at SBC are: PF1-12608 Lalbagh Express with LGD WAP-7 30237, PF2-12677 ERS Intercity Express with ED WDM-3D, PF6- 56213 Tirupati-Chamarajanagar. Fast Passenger had arrived with AJJ WAM-4 20622. I went to PF7 where the 16235 MYS Express was scheduled to depart. It is a 18 coacher with 6 GS,2 SLR,1-HA1,1-2A,1-3A and 7 SL since it shares rakes with the 16592 SBC-UBL Hampi Express and 16535 YPR-SUR Gol gumbaz Express. The same train also shares rakes with the 16559 MYS-YPR Express and returns to YPR. However, the AC coaches are kept locked and the SL class coaches are treated as open for the SBC-MYS leg of the journey which makes the 16235 a fully UR train. Basically, this seems to have been introduced to take the load off the long distance trains bound to MYS from SBC like the 16231 MV-MYS Express, 16731 TN-MYS Express and the perennially crowded 56213 TPTY-CMNR Fast Passenger. I wanted to check out the loco so went ahead to see the power. It was an original EMD UBL WDP-4 20006 LHF. I started to lookout for some corner to take some photos and videos, I started hunting for a right place to sit and soon found coach S6 to be perfect.
Our train left dot on time and the run up to Nayandahalli was quite sedate. I have always raved this part of the city on road, but to see it on a rail was a whole different experience. Later, the train gained speed slightly and we entered Kengeri (KGI) at around 8:35 AM for a two minute halt. The train then left and crossed the SBC bound 16215 Chamundi Express at Bidadi (BID) led by a KJM WDM-3A.This route is a must for all rail fans who love the mean hard old diesel engines. It has an MPS of 90 if I am not mistaken and there are numerous curves and gradients which make rail fanning a joy. It is not hard to understand why most IRFCAns from SBC prefer this route to capture the Shatabdi in this stretch.
Also, the hills around Ramanagaram and the lush green fields of Mandya district which offer a lush green carpet are indeed a feast to the eyes. The serenity and silence of the route is only shattered by the horn of the loco and the chugging of the trains at MPS. One can gaze at eternity out of the window in this stretch fall in love with the scenic barren beauty of the land. Sholay played on in my mind, and I hope that some horse would follow by the train side to mob it or so. Well, seems it only happened in the 70s or in the films. When the train halted at Ramanagaram (RMGM) (Gabbar’s Heaven) my Whatsapp beeped. And as if telepathy was at work, I got a text from my Basanti. I told her I am on my way to Mysore to meet Dr.KJS Chatrath. Then we started texting dialogues of sholay as we immersed ourselves in the character of Veeru & Basanti, with a promise that soon both will plan for a trip together (may be on Dhanno’s tanga). We were just enjoying our chat and the song of Koi Haseena Jab Ruth jaati hai, and the diesel loco came to a halt at Hanakere (HNK) for about 15 minutes and had a crossing with the 56229 MYS-SBC passenger led by a KJM WDM-3A where the following spotting. It had a GR AC Sleeper coach attached with POH at MYS and base as SBC. It also had a JS liveried guard cum coach of WCR. And at Maddur (MAD), I had a taste of my first love in the form of the famous Maddur Vada. Though she was not hot, but she tasted alright. The train then had another excellent run and passed Mandya (MYA) at 10:08 AM with a minute’s halt and finally entered Mysore (MYS) on PF4 .
As soon as train reached I called up KJS Sir & he told me to wait at the designated meet up point . Though we haven’t met before, but reading about his travel blog for a long time has made me feel as if I was meeting an old friend. We greeted each other and came to know how small the world was. I was surprised to know that he was a retired IAS officer of Orissa cadre & he started his career from my home town Hirakud. Well, surprises always keeps on coming to the seeker. We chatted for few minutes and then I suggested we should check out Mysore rail museum, which is situated at the other end at the platform 6 exit. This museum was established in 1979 by Indian railways after National Rail Museum, New Delhi. It showcases the rich history of Indian railways through pictures. There were also a few important restored locomotives. There was a restored 1925 Austin car fitted with a rail wheel. Joy ride in toy train inside the museum bought back child hood memories. Our conversation drifted from colonial cemetery to sustainable development. After a while, and with aching body and legs, we headed to a nearby restaurant to end our meet with a south Indian thali. As we bid adieu at the station, MYS 16557 was ready for departure to SBC. I grabbed a window seat & dozed off after a fruitful and enjoyable but tiring day. I was waken up by whatsapp beep & was surprised got a text from my Basanti. Something had gotten into her and she had texted me dialogues from the movie DDLJ
SRK: pyar karti ho mujhse
Kajol: sab se zyada
SRK: bharoosa hai mujhpar
Kajol: khud se zyada
SRK: to bas phir to doli uthne ki dair hai
So when i got down, I waited for my Simran to someday hold my hand and catch the train of life with the adventure and mysteries of life waiting ahead of us. A bleak smile came on my lips thinking of my Simran, My Basanti, My Love…..
Youtube link : https://www.youtube.com/user/samareshbiswal
Jayaram blog : http://jayaramrailfan.blogspot.in/
Dr. KJS Chatrath blog: http://gravematters.in/