June 30, 2008

New Railway Time Tables

If any of you folks are scheduled to travel by trains in India in the coming days, this is for you.

Every year, IR introduces a new timetable from July and this year is no different. This means that new trains are announced, many speeded up, a few stoppages are added and a few removed. The schedule of quite a few trains is tweaked and they might depart and arrive at a time different from when you might have booked the ticket.

So please do call up your nearest railway station or the railway enquiry number 139 before you head to the station. Lest you are left behind staring at the LV plate of the train you just missed!

Gyaan: the rear end of every train - passenger or freight - has a small plate with LV written on it, abbreviated for Last Vehicle.

June 29, 2008

Saree

Helping the Biwi get into a saree is probably one of the most irritating stuff I do !

June 26, 2008

Two Years

Two years ago on this day, June 26th, me and Biwi got engaged.


June 25, 2008

Sai Baba in Dharmsankat !!

That's what was the Breaking news on India TV last night.

And me n Biwi spent a few minutes laughing over it. They proudly proclaimed that at 10PM tonight Sai Baba will tell us who killed Aarushi. And all they did was show shome visuals straight out of some Aastha / Sanskar channel, and in between also told us that the prime accused Krishna and the CBI investigator were both devotees of Sai. So he was in a dharm-sankat (dilemma) regarding whom to support.

How do they get away with such crap? Calling themselves news channels... Sai Baba, save us!

June 22, 2008

Trip Jottings: VKB-SBC-KCG

Here are a few snippets from the trip I made to Bangalore.

VKB-GTL:

* Departed from Vikarabad on 6593 NED-SBC Hampi Link express. Train departed 30mins late at 1515hrs behind MLY WDM-2 #16363.
* 2748 Palnadu departed VKB on schedule behind GTL WDM-2 # 16656
* SBC-NED link was behind MLY's #16336.
* The loco which takes out the 347 HYB-PAU passenger on Day 1 heads the Hampi link upto GTL the next day.
* A loaded BOXN rake led by UBL WDG-4 #12128 was let to pass VKB at 1505hrs, even while the 6593 was getting late. This made 6593 trail the same till Rukmapur where it overtook the freight. Rukmapur also had a BCNA rake led by GY WDG-3A Baldie #14551.
* At Kurgunta, a BTPN rake led by a WDG-4 crossed us.
* At Malkhaid Road, a pair of Pune WDM-2 locos #17694 & 17713R were at the helm of a cement rake.
* Passed an empty BOXN rake led by twin MLY WDM-2 with 17399 at the helm.
* Just after Sulehalli, about 1km before WADI, SCR territory ends and CR begins. Basically, the CR territory includes the Halkatta bypass. So, as one progress from SC side towards RC, one has to travel about a km in CR territory. The KM markers showing 606 (to CSTM) are sure signs of the same.
* Nalwar is almost a suburb of Wadi, and 6593 seemed to have an unscheduled halt at Halkatta everyday since a lot of people were waiting for the train and a quite a few got in. I could make out that a large number of those were destined for Nalwar and Yadgir, and a few for RC.
* The Nalwar- Yadgir section is a fantastic straight line section with the tracks separated by about 20metres. Our train was constantly doing 100+ on that section. I guess its a good section for high speed videography.
* Crossed an express led by a GTL loco as well as a GY twins #13358, 13314 led freighter.
* UBL WDG-4 #12087 was at Yadgir with an empty BOXN.
* The run to KSN was good and thence it was decent upto RC. The Krishna new bridge is going to be a dual track bridge and the present bridge would be phased out. The work on the bridge towards WADI end is complete, while it might take another few months to do so at the RC end. No tracks have been laid on the entire bridge and neither on the approach.
* Space is being made for another line to come up after the bridge uptil Yermarus, maybe for an extra line to hold rakes, or a possible minor realignment.

GTL:

* Reached Adoni 45mins late, but reached GTL half an hour early, thanks to the enormous slack this train has got.
* 6593 was put on pf 4 at GTL. Announcement was made for arrival of 7604 on pf 5 and it arrived soon with a GY Baldie 14009. It reversed and attached itself at the other end,
* The KCG-VSG/UBL slip coach attachment is now back to GTL. It was shifted to DNC for sometime, but apparently complaints by passengers about lack of facilities at DNC made the authorities get the same back to GTL. This also saved the need for an extra loco at DNC for the shunting.
* The HWH-VSG Amaravati was cancelled on that day and hence a single GTL WDM-2 had brought in the 4 slip coaches from VSG and was going to do the same on return.
* Spotted GTL WDM-2 17944 and 17498 at GTL.
* Soon after 7604 departed, 1013 CBE-LTT with WDP-4 20037 arrived on pf5.
* Ahmedabad-SBC weekly arrived and departed soon from pf 3.
* Pf 1 and 2 (erstwhile MG) are now non existant, and another island pf is coming up which might become the 1 & 2 soon.
* At 11PM, announcement was made for arrival of 6591 UBL-SBC Hampi express on pf 6. It arrived with dual KJM WDP-4 locos #20025, 20027.
* The 6591 locos reached only halfway through the platform and stopped the rake so that the last coach was at the end of the pf. Then the locos were cut from 6591. In the meantime, 16363 had cut off from 6593.
* The twin Dippys were shunted to pf 4, attached to 6593 and headed ahead. After crossing the GTL yard, the 6593 was reversed back onto pf 6 and attached to 6591.
* It was now a 24 coacher. Never knew that 6591 even had a HA coach!!
* Departed GTL at 2330hrs and retired for the night.

SBC:

* Woke up at 5AM to find the train being looped at Dodballapur and a WDG-4 led freighter crossing us.
* Reached YNK at 0530hrs and departed after 5mins. YNK is now under wires. The catenary is ready so that electrics can come upto YNK from BYPL/KJM side. Empty rake of YPR-Muzaffarpur was at YNK.
* The YPR branch has poles up till Lottegollahalli where the Hebbal line joins. No wires though. After Lottegollahalli till YPR, the catenary masts are slowly coming up and most are not even fixed.
* Arrived at YPR at 6AM after a slow run, but were stopped for more than 15mins so that the JS could cross us.
* Rani Chennamma has also just arrived at YPR with dual WDP-4 locos #20007 and 20006.
* Soon we exited YPR and made our way to SBC which we reached at 0630hrs, 20 mins behind schedule after a small halt at MVM.
* Just as I reached pf1, Lalbagh was departing with LGD WAP-4 Monster #22716 !!
* Spotted the usual suspects at SBC, KJM locos 16669, 36016.

BYPL:

* Had a small session at BYPL, the same place where my IRFCA days all began.
* Thanks to Ramdev Gowda who spent the hot afternoon with me.
* Spotted ED WAG-7 #27756 and an OHE inspection car doing the rounds.
* The highlight was a fast running Brindavan led by ED WAP-4 #22526.
* Prashanti went with a WDP-4 LHF.
* The BWT-SBC MEMU arrived and was also seen departing later.
* The rake of SBC-KCVL exp was brought in from probably CSDR to BYPL and after a short halt, went towards SBC led by KJM WDM-2 #16670.
* CBE-LTT came in with ERS WDM-3A #14075.

YPR-KCG-BMT:

* On the return journey, I was booked on the 7604 YPR-KCG exp. It was stationed on pf 2 with GTL WDM-3A #18914R at the helm. (I made one mistake here. Did not actually see the shed name written. It was in the GTL blue-yellow-grey livery hence I assumed the home shed).
* The loco which provided me my first ever FP a few years back, KJM's 18704R was seen idling.
* Sidhaganga Intercity to UBL was late behind 20054.
* We started from YPR bang on time and SBC gangman Pavan Kumar was rushing to YPR to meet me, but I guess he made it to YPR just as the last coach crossed the platform.. never mind Pavan, there's always a next time. :)
* The run was good all the way although we were running just around 10-15 mins behind schedule.
* At Dodballapur, we were made to wait for the GNT-YPR passenger to cross. It was led by GTL's 18756, but had a dead 20032 WDP-4 behind it.
* Makalidurg never disappoints me. 7 out of 10 times I travelled on the section in the evenings, it has rained. And on this occasion, it did not pour but was a light drizzle. It was a wonderful scenery and the loco was making mincemeat of the rake down the ghats.
* The scenery changes from lush green to dull brown barren as we cross Vidhuraswatha, the last station in Karnataka and cross Devarapalle, the first station in AP on that section.
* Crossed Hindupur, Penukonda and SSPN uneventfully and just as we were approaching DMM, an unknown train led by an Alco was on its way on the direct line to PKD.
* The IRCTC stall at DMM was serving hot Dal vadas, idlis and rail aahar (poori and aloo sabzi). The rail ahaar is served in boxes and the rate was mentioned clearly and in bold as Rs 10. But the vendor was charging Rs 15 for the same. Of course I did not pay and a simple threat of putting in a complaint against him made him charge Rs 10 only. And he did that for all the people while I was lurking around !!
* The run to GY was fast. The MG line between DMM and Kalluru is still intact with no sign of GC. However, at Kalluru, the MG line has been replaced by BG. Also a new cross-over line has been built from the existing BG line to the newly converted BG line over a new embankment.
* The tracks and sleepers have been pulled off the MG bridge over the Pennar. I am not sure if the old girder bridge is strong and wide enough to accomodate the BG. I also think that is the exact reason why the GC has been halted between Kalluru and DMM and thats why connection to the old line.
* 7604 (and not 7603) has a loco change at GY. I assume it should be a GY-GY change as 18914 sped into the shed after being replaced by GY's 14038. Thats when my mistake of taking the loco's livery for granted came to haunt me. I was assured by the RPF hawaldar that it is a daily occurrence.
* The RPF on duty takes over 7604 at DMM and they disembark at DNC and take the 2785 back to DMM. This is their daily link. Another common link is Karnataka/7603 between DMM-GTL.
* Arrived on time at GTL on pf5. At the same time, MLY's 18539 brought in the Hampi Link from NED to pf 6.
* CBE-LTT arrived in sometime on pf4 behind KJM's 14084.
* 14038 reversed at GTL while the UBL slip coaches were attached at the RC end of 7604 and off we were towards KCG.
* I took up the side upper berth and dozed off. Woke up at 0445hrs to find ourselves entering Falaknuma. We were put on the pf 3 loop because a MMTS rake for FL-1 was blocking the pf2 mainline! That rake spent the entire night at FM. It could have been put on the pf 3 loop!!
* #360 FM-GR passenger was on pf1.
* Reached KCG 5 minutes behind schedule, probably missing the punctual arrival time due to the looping at FM. Took the FL-1 to BMT.
* At SC, Krishna exp was getting ready behind 22658. 22231 was idling near the pf 1 siding.
* Tungabhadra was on pf 8 while 713 BZA-SC special (which would go as 2706 SC-GNT intercity) was on pf 9.
* Announcements were being made about cancellation of SC-GHY exp and impending arrival of Godavari exp.
* Reached BMT at 0655hrs after a through run. I expected a crossing with AP to happen between SC-HSJ but there was no sign of 2723.

Reached home in another 10mins and dozed off again!!

Hope you enjoyed.



June 18, 2008

Trip to Bangalore

Hi folks

I would be in Bangalore for the next three days.

Reaching SBC by 6593 Hampi Link express. I would be returning back on
Saturday by the 7604 YPR-KCG EXP.

Please do try to plan out a meet.

I can be contacted at 09885357014.

Ciao !!

--
Regards,
Vrijilesh Rai

----

Fedex or Nadal ?
Ferrari or McLaren?
Find out at www.vrijilesh.com
----

June 16, 2008

Coach Gyaan

If u already do not know, then let me tell you that I'm a major fan of the Indian Railways. And people around me make it a point to tell me about the rickety state of the coaches they travelled in, some going to the extent of telling me that the coach they travelled in was probably of Independence era.

Unfortunately for them, I dont buy the statement. As a policy, no coach more than 25 years old runs on tracks in Indian Railways. Now how does one know how old the coach is? Some coaches do have the manufacturers plate near the vestibules, but not all. Then? Its simple. All one has to do is check the coach number printed on the outside of the coach. The first two digits give you the year of manufacture. A number which reads 04028 is a coach manufactured in 2004. A coach numbered 96286 is 1996 product.



Now, the year of manufacture does not give the state of a coach. Each coach undergoes an overhaul every year. This includes checking and repairing of suspension, broken seats and uphostery, electricals, etc and a paint job. Its a complete overhaul and not just a service. So a coach just out of overhaul is as good as a new one. How does one know when it has undergone an overhaul? Just check the back of a coach near the vestibule.. you will have the month of overhaul with the date of return for the next.



I also see a lot of people fumbling to find their seat numbers in the coach. They do not know which end to go in from. An indicator near the coach door should be of some help.



A lot of people who travel AC 2 Tier might find themselves allotted a coach which reads HA-1. Now they fumble hopelessly to find their seats in there. HA-1 is a Composite First AC and AC 2 tier coach, half of each. There are two charts on the coach, on near each door, one entrance for AC First Class and the other 2 Tier AC. Suit your reservations!!

If you are still at sea and have a coach thats pretty bad and unclean, you can complain to the Senior Section Engineer, Coaching and Wagons, Division (SC here is Secunderabad) as indicated on the destination boards of a coach!


Happy Journey !!


June 14, 2008

5 minutes

"Utho"

"Tum Utho"

"Utho na.."

"Tum Utho"

"Uthooooo"

"5 minutes"

"Acha, theek hai"

.. and we collapse into each other's arms again !!

June 12, 2008

Obituary: Common Sense



An Obituary printed in the London Times........ Interesting and sadly rather true.

'Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of the rain; why the early bird gets the worm; Life isn't always fair; and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an Aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents Truth and Trust, his wife Discretion, his daughter Responsibility, his son Reason.

He is survived by his 4 step brothers:
I Know My Rights
I Want It Now
Someone Else Is To Blame
I'm A Victim


Not many attended his funeral because so few realised he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.



June 10, 2008

Serial Killers

The other day I happened to watch an Ekta Kapoor serial for a few minutes. Basically, Mom and Biwi were watching it and I just happened to be in the same room at that time reading the newspaper.

The scene was thus. A group of youngsters dressed in party wear were talking about smoking openly at home. At which one of the girls says that her Mom and Dad were pretty cool about it and there was no problem in fagging or boozing at home. She takes out a ciggie and is about to light it when her Dad appears. This cool Dad, apparently named Mr Walia, approaches her with anger on his face, shouts at her saying she was not supposed to smoke that cheap brand of cigarettes and asks her to smoke the best and costliest brands available. And he walks away ushering his servants to serve costly liquor to his children and their friends. The scene closes with one of the girls telling what a cool Dad she had.

Now, according to biwi.. it was a plan that Mr Walia was using to get his children off smoking. Ok.

I, as a non-regular viewer, saw almost 10-15mins of the episode. There might have been hundreds across the world who might have channel surfed and landed on this channel at the time the scene in question was being screened.





They would surely not know the story, and hence such a scene forms an indelible impression on those minds. If they are young malleable minds, it might send them into a whirlpool of unhealthy activities. Not just smoking and drinking, but also expecting parents to be appreciative of that.

I might be ok with a solitary dialogue in which one protagonist might ask another to smoke or drink, but an entire scene lasting atleast 10minutes unfolding on an entertainment channel is completely the wrong thing to happen.

More views solicited.

June 09, 2008

Tagged a-long

Honoured to have been tagged by Chandni

So here goes...


I am: basically a nice chap, masquerading as a rogue.

I think: a lot of things. My mind is never ever idle.

I know: that I am capable of so many things that I dont even try.

I want: small comforts and only happiness

I have: my brains intact and working.

I wish: that people get some civic sense.

I hate: people spitting on roads and those who drive the wrong way.

I miss: Bangalore and its weather, and the uncountable hours spent at CCD 7th blk, Jayanagar

I fear: God

I feel: that there is a lot of good we can do to others if we think selfishly.

I hear: the damn alarm on my mobile every morning :(

I smell: blood!

I crave: to just take a train ride across the entire country!

I search: using Google.

I wonder: if Manmohan Singh can ever get out of Sonia's shadow.

I regret: not finding my wife earlier.

I love: my sweetheart biwi.

I ache: when I'm deprived of my rightful place in front of my comp.

I am not: a saint.

I believe: that I have the answer to all the traffic woes of Hyderabad.

I dance: when i need to make my wife laugh!

I sing: always, in my mind..

I cry: within myself. Seldom express my pain/frustrations to others.

I don’t always: get what I want.

I fight: with some bozo or the other, everytime I drive.. much to biwi's chagrin!

I write: only on my blogs.

I win: rarely against biwi... whether its arguments or a card game or monopoly.

I lose: my temper easily.

I never: will leave my biwi.. for her always.

I always: want to be the best.

I confuse: others.. naah, just joking.

I listen: to old hindi songs.. mukesh, rafi, kishore, saigal..

I can usually be found: online atleast thrice a day, either on the comp or the mobile.

I am scared: of failure.

I need: flattery.

I am happy about: the fact that I'm doing this tag.

I imagine: myself and biwi as a khadoos old couple nagging the neighbour's kids n grandkids day in and day out!!!

I tag: Chakoli, Cinderalla, Pri, Anjuli, Ria and Ankur.

June 06, 2008

A year and a half


Its an year and a half exactly to the day since me & D exchanged wedding vows (woes ??) !


Have taken an off from work and we are gonna celebrate it together. Going out for a nice drive, to be followed by a neat lunch. This would also be a gift to her for the challenge I lost a few days back. Thanks folks for the idea! I hope to have a wonderful time ahead.






June 04, 2008

Enviro-ideas

Folks

Tomorrow is World Environment Day.

Give three solid ideas that can make a small but sure positive impact
on the nature. Keep your ideas practical and simple.

The best opinions featured in the comments will be displayed in the
next post here.

Go Green.
With Trees, not envy!



June 02, 2008

Lost it !


I'm happy that I've lost the Abstainism Challenge. Even the Biwi was sure that I'd not survive the entire duration. Let alone a week, even 3 days were tough going. So folks, I'm back!

Now for the catch.. ab biwi ko kuch toh gift dena padega.. so suggest something achcha, sasta and tikau !!!

Link