Jolarpettai Trip by Sangamitra Express
by Karthik M.V.
Last tuesday I had been to JTJ by the YPR-Patna Sangamitra express from KJM. This train is quite a 'GEM'!!
It departs from YPR at 5:30am a very unearthly hour for SBCites! It is supposed arrive at 6:55am at KJM. But, this is impossible because, it has to let the chennai bound lalbagh exp overtake around 7am. Hence, it practically arrives at KJM at 7:15am only. I made use of this anomaly! I left my house only at 6:50am by an auto and arrived at KJM at 7am. As, I bought the ticket I also saw the Lalbagh zoom through KJM. At 7:15 the Patnaexp arrived behind a KJM WDM2c 17961R. Here is the rake composition SLR-2GS-5SL-Pantry-5SL-A2T-A3T-GS-SLR
The train had an unexpected 5min halt at whitefield due to some chain pulling ( I think!) After that it was a smooth high speed flight to JTJ with only a halt at BWT. It was a great feeling to glide through Kuppam. Due to AP CM pressure even the giants Lalbagh and Brindavan stop here!
We arrived at JTJ at 9:25am. 137km in 2hrs! Here there is a loco change. The 2c is replaced by an AJJ WAM-4 No.21239. The exp later left at 9:45am. All this took 20mins!!, though TT says only 2 mins.
I personally feel a loco change is totally unwarranted for this train. The 2c should go up to MAS and it can save around 20mins! Anyway even if loco change is done at JTJ, because MAS being a terminus, there has to be another loco change there. So 3 locos in just 360kms, a real waste of time!
Another good alternative is an electric can be put at CSDR/KJM itself becuase, anyway this train halts at CSDR for abt 15mins for the Lalbagh overtake. Also, SBC has enough electrics in its stable! The case for HWH exp is different as it does not touch MAS at all.
Some more comments: Except for one SL coach everything was totally empty. No wonder that pantry is closed btwn SBC-MAS. But the GS coaches were packed (very normal in SBC-MAS corridor). I boarded a SL coach and had a full coach to myself!! All the SLcoaches in Sangamitra are in excellent condition. It was like travelling by flight all the way upto JTJ. I guess the track is in super condition too! On the whole, this is a kind of 'silly' train because, sbcites going to Patna, can take the comfortable Lalbagh at 6:30am and arrive at MAS at 12noon..... take some rest and catch the same Sangamitra at 1:30pm. So, this anomaly is the main reason for Sangamitra going empty.
Anyway, after sending off this train, I did some train spotting at JTJ. Erode-JTJ pass arrived behind a Rajdhani livery, Iarsi WAM-4(2s-3p) 20624. Kovai-MAS Intercity arrived behind Erode WAP-4 22218. Spotted a Lalguda WAG 7 27554 hauling a 58 boxn coal rake. This loco was unique as it's face was modified to appear almost like a WAP-4!!!! Also saw off the packed SBC bound Brindavan express and MAS bound chennai Exp. Both Erode WAP-4.
I later caught the MAS-SBC passenger back to BYPL. There is a loco changeover at JTJ. The train left JTJ at 1pm and arrived at BYPL at 4:30pm. This was also a packed train, but luckily I got a window seat at JTJ itself.
Below are avg speeds of the Sangamitra exp from KJM-JTJ:
|GDP-KPN||10km||100kmph||abt 30kmph through Kuppam|
|MAR-JTJ||27km||81.2kmph||got into an argument with TTE:-)|
One of the reasons for speeds being quite high is that, all the way upto JTJ there is abt 450m fall in gradient!