Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Riding the Konkan Railway

Aaah! Finally I was able to get some time off to post another blog. Its been a REALLY LONG time since I had blogged last.

This is a short description of my rail journey in the Mastsyagandha Exrpess which I had taken last Sunday to reach my college NIT Surathkal from Mumbai. Had booked in an emergency and had to wait for the last day to get my waitlisted ticket confirmed.

Came to the Tilak Terminus in Kurla an hour before departure thanks to my heavy luggage which had to be stowed before anyone else comes there. (coz you see, in Indian trains keeping the luggage comes on a first come first served basis!!)
The train left dot on time at 2:10. About half an hour later Thane was reached for a short halt. Here I saw the Mumbai Chennai Express zipping past us. After Thane came the first tunnel on my journey - the Parsik Tunnel which separates Mumbai from Maharashtra. After the tunnel was crossed , we took a diversion from the mainline and entered the Diva Panvel mainline and reached Panvel.

I thought the scenery would get wild with the beauty of the Konkan railway after Panvel but no the fun doesnt begin there. One has to wait for another couple of hours at least. After Mangoan and Veer is where the scenery changes and the Western Ghats can be seen clearly. The first tunnel on Konkan was at Nagothane. For about an hour, I stood at the train door, feeling the gust of wind as the train sped at 90+ wathcing the scenery. Dusk fell soon after and we stopped at Chiplun.

From then on, I came back to my seat and started with my novel. Had dinner at Ratnagiri, which is the halfway point in the journey. I was tempted to stand at the door again after dinner and so stood for sometime. Though I couldnt see much thanks to the darkness, the journey from Ratnagiri was too good. I could make out that for most of the time, we were either inside a tunnel or on a bridge. My stay at the door, was however terminated by the AC coach attendant. I thus went back to my novel and spoke to some of my friends.

I have a wish to go to Goa so I thought at least I should get down at the station. So I did just that post midnight. After that I was too sleepy to stay awake and crashed, waking up only minutes before the train reached Surathkal.

It was a delightful journey but could have been more enjoyable had the coach been more clean and free of cockroaches. The only downside is that I could not see the Karnataka or the Goa coastline in broad daylight. Plan to take a day train to see this part of the coastline in the near future...lets see...

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