Visit to Daund

by Apurva Bahadur


Today I had been to Daund (76 Kms South East of Pune ) along with my wife Shyama and Daughter Aditi (3 years old, pet name Iti - the 'iti' in our email address) for a day trip.

I was standing in the door of the 2nd passenger coach of the WDM 2 hauled 329 Dn. Pune - Hyderabad passenger during the journey to Daund. It is a delightful experience, the booming exhaust, the hisses, snorts and whooshes from the loco. The unsilenced engine throws rich black smoke clouding the morning sky, tingeing the air with a unique fragrance. On curves I could see the back of the driver's heads through the rear facing windscreens. I could clearly feel in my coach, the Series Parallel jerk as the loco speeded over 39 Km/h. Do locos abroad, specially the Alcos also experience the jerk when crossing the transition from Series to Parallel ? Wish all of you, my friends were with me to share this divine experience. BTW the ticket to Daund costs Rs 15 each ( 33 cents approx.) for the 90 minutes ride. Iti travels free being less than 5 years old.

I saw a new station at Kadethan between Kedgaon and Patas. This is a 'flag' station with no buildings, loop lines or signals. Just a flattened earth platform with the name plate in three languages (English, Hindi and Marathi) and the altitude of the place above mean sea level. The stopping passenger trains make a brief halt and start after 30 seconds or so. I think I saw another yet to named station being constructed elsewhere on the line.

Just after the loco were three eight wheelers milk tankers (two homing at Erode and one homing at Vijaywada) thus making the 329 Dn a 'mixed' passenger. I wonder if these tankers actually carried milk as ED and BZA are more than 1500 Kms away from this place. One feature I saw was the provision of electric tail lights on a freight rake. The tankers themselves had no batteries or generator, but had power connection terminals, which would allow the red lamps to be lit in case these were shunted at the end of a rake.

Daund was hot and dirty but interesting. I saw the DMU rake soon to be introduced between Pune, Daund and Baramati. The two power cars of the DMU have been taken to HQ at Solapur for some repairs/familiarization/introduction/training. There were two non engine driving coaches with cabs (DTCs) and rest were Trailer coaches (TCs). Total six coaches in all. No one at Daund had a clear idea, but 15 of August (Indian Independence day) seems like a good day to start the service. I was told by a person on the platform that the traveler's association has some reservations about the DMU as it lacks toilets and sleeping berths, which today's Daund shuttles have.

I saw the WDS6 shunter at work. Brings back great memories as it has a YDM 4 power pack, the purring diesel is a great sound.

I saw a ZDM5A of Barsi Light Railway(BLR), Kurduwadi shed on a flat car by itself. From the tip top appearance, it seems like this loco has just been to the Parel workshops at Mumbai for a thorough overhaul. Even the WDM 2s from Pune go to Parel as do all the CR stuff for a total refurbishing. Similarly I saw a rundown NG rake without wheels also from BLR on a flat car heading towards Mumbai.

I saw the 2627 Dn Karnataka Express arriving from Bangalore and leaving towards New Delhi via Manmad. The loco pair today were from Itarsi and they were not refueled at Daund. This may be because an electric loco may be hauling the 'KK' from Manmad onwards, whereas earlier the Diesels may be hauling the train all the way to NDLS. Anyone who has actually traveled on the train could confirm the loco changing points. The load today was 1200 Tonnes - 22 coaches. On my request, the driver put on a lot of smoke for me during start. The black clouds could be seen for a long time until the long snakelike train disappeared over the horizon. Today the driver of the KK was carrying 2 liters of oil for the governor of a 'heavily leaking' loco on the 1604 Up Nanded Daund passenger stranded at Ahmednagar on the Manmad Daund road. 2 liters was all the Woodward's governor needed ?

We returned to Pune on the 1602 Up Manmad-Daund-Pune mixed passenger, whose loco was uncoupled twice to undertake some additional shunting on some other rakes. The 'mixed' part of the load was the BOX wagon used by the department to carry wheel sets right after the loco.

I saw the double decker rake of the Daund Pune shuttle which was previously used by the Sinhagad express. The rake returns empty at 1130 to Daund (no paying passengers - no schedules stops) so as to return to Pune as the Baramati Pune passenger.

6529 Dn Udyan Express crossed stopped 1602 Up at high speed at Urali station. The dark blue and black KJM (Krishnarajapuram) loco of the 6529 Dn. appearing over the hill and leading the train into the trough after the climb made a great sight from a distance.

I have pics of all this, which will be soon uploaded on my website.

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