Borivali-Ankleshwar by 9011 Gujarat Express
by Karan Desai
I was on a quick trip to Ankleshwar yesterday for personal reasons and I would like to present some interesting observations enroute-
- As soon as I boarded the 9011 Gujarat Express from Borivali, the 2932 Ahmedabad-Mumbai AC Weekly Superfast Express crossed our train. It is running on an old ICF Rajdhani rake.
- At Boisar, two brand new MRVC rakes- 107 061-064 and 107 065-068 were parked joined to each other. There was no loco attached to this consist.
- At Dahanu Road, yet another MRVC rake was seen. I could not see its numbers. It was being hauled towards Mumbai by a brown and yellow liveried diesel loco. I could neither spot the shed name nor the road number.
- At Dahanu Road, I missed meeting Dr. Jitendra Mulky by a whisker. He was waiting on PF-2 when my train arrived at Dahanu Road on PF-1! I had thought of informing him about my travel on 9011 before reaching Dahanu Road but then thought that the probability of finding him at the station so early in the day (around 0730) was remote and decided not to bother. I was wrong though!
- Just after Dahanu Road, a WAG-9 hauled BOXN freighter crossed our train. I informed about this and the MRVC rake spotting to Dr. Mulky and that is when I came to know of our "close encounter"!
- The Biggest Surprise of the Day: Just outside Valsad (at the place known as Jawahar Dhakka locally), spotted a 4 coach RDSO Oscillograph rake. Next to it was GZB WAP-5 #30018! This was for the first time I spotted a WAP-5 so close to Mumbai!
- The food available onboard this train has a lot of variety, even though the train does not have a pantry. Apart from the customary Upma, Samosa, Dal Bhel, Vada Pao and Khaman, there were unusual items like Strawberries, Freshly cut Green Salad, Dhokla etc on sale!
- About the puncuality- we departed from Borivali at 0630 hours and good old BL WCAM-1 #21836 did a good job of depositing us at Ankleshwar at 1115 hours, 15 minutes before time! 303km in 4 hours 45 minutes at an average speed of 63.78kmph even with 10 halts for a NON SUPERFAST train is indeed impressive! (I hope Lalu is not reading this, else this would be immediately shifted into Superfast category!)