Sunday Mega Block Timings - 29 January 2012

Thane - Kalyan: Down slow trains leaving Mulund from 11.03 am to 3.03 pm will be diverted o­n Down fast line between Mulund and Kalyan stations. Down slow line services will not be available for Kalva, Mumbra, Diva, Kopar and Thakurli stations during the block period.

Up slow trains leaving Diva from 11.13 am to 2.57 pm will be diverted o­n Up fast line between Diva and Mulund stations. Up slow line services will not be available for Kalva, Mumbra.

However passengers for these stations are permitted to travel via Kalyan and Dombivli in Up direction o­n their valid card/season tickets.

Harbour line trains from Panvel / Belapur / Vashi to CST will run on Central Main Line from Kurla station to CST from 10.40 am to 3.54 pm. The trains will not halt at Currey Road and Chinchpokli stations.

Harbour line train services will remain suspended as follows:
Mega block from CST to Bandra / Andheri: 10.47 am to 4.03 pm
Mega block from Bandra / Andheri to CST: 10.41 am to 3.48 pm

Harbour line commuters for Bandra / Andheri can travel via main line / western line from 10 am to 6 pm during the mega block.

25 Best Train Routes in India

When you reach your seat / berth in a long-distance train what is the first thing you do? Right, you try to occupy the window seat!

While you might not spend a 16 to 26-hour journey gazing out of the window, every now and then you look out to soak in the beauty of the places the journey takes you through. It's like watching a Live Travel Show as the train travels through mountains, hills, plateaus, lakes, rivers, farms, villages and cities that portray the scenic beauty of the country.

Arnab Maity, an avid traveller and photographer, has taken great efforts to list out 25 Most Scenic Train Routes in India. Join him in this photographic journey and explore the highlights of each route.

Excerpts from Arnab's blog:

1. The Kashmir Railway (Jammu – Udhampur)

The Kashmir Railway is one of the most challenging engineering projects in India. The extremes of cold and heat along with the unfavorable terrain and political scenarios make this route one of the most thrilling of all Indian train routes. This route has 20 major tunnels and 158 bridges which offer awe inspiring views of the rivers and valleys around the beautiful Shivalik Mountain Ranges.

2. The Snow Sojourn (Qazigund-Srinagar-Baramulla)

This is a part of the Kashmir Railway, but currently work is going on the section between Jammu and Qazigund, thus making this another separate leg of the journey. When complete, this will be a part of the greater Kashmir railway which will connect Jammu to Baramulla, or rather the plains to the Valley.

Continue the journey here.

Mega Block timings - 22nd January 2012

Kalyan - Thane: Down slow line services will run one fast line between Mulund and Kalyan from 10:40 am to 3:40 pm. These trains will not stop at Kalva, Mumbra, Diva, Kopar and Thakurli.
Passengers for these stations are permitted to travel via Kalyan and Dombivli in Up direction on their valid card/season tickets.

Vashi - Belapur: Trains leaving Belapur/Panvel will remain cancelled from Belapur up to Vashi between 10.48 am and 4.01 pm.
Trains leaving Vashi will remain cancelled from Vashi up to Belapur between 10.41 am and 4.06 pm.

Trains for Thane leaving Panvel from 11.03 to 3.25 pm will remain suspended up to Nerul.
Trains for Panvel leaving Thane from 10.03 to 2.21 pm will remain suspended up to Nerul.
Special locals will run on the CST--Vashi, Belapur--Panvel and Thane--Nerul Sections.

Timings of Ladies Special Trains in Mumbai

Fast Ladies special train leaves Mumbai CST at 6.03 pm and reaches Kalyan at 7.15 pm.

Slow Ladies special train leaves Mumbai CST at 5.55 pm and reaches Panvel at 7.12 pm. Does not run on Sundays.
Slow Ladies special train leaves Panvel at 8.48 am and reaches Mumbai CST at 10.06 am. Does not run on Sundays.

Slow Ladies special train leaves Thane at 9.14 am and reaches Panvel at 10.07 am.

Ladies special train leaves Churchgate at 5.39pm and reaches Borivali at 6.48 pm.
Ladies special train leaves Churchgate at 6.13 pm and reaches Virar at 7.37 pm.
Ladies special train leaves Churchgate at 6.51 pm and reaches Bhayander at 8.10 pm.

Ladies special train leaves Virar at 7.39 am and reaches Churchgate at 9.19 am.
Ladies special train leaves Borivali at 7.42 am and reaches Churchgate at 8.47 am. 
Ladies special train leaves Bhayander at 9.06 am and reaches Churchgate at 10.29 am. 

Autobiography of a Window Seat

As soon as the Mumbai local train pulls into the station, you see people rushing towards me. They are just crazy about me... after all, I am the much sought-after Window Seat! Neighbour's envy, owner's pride eh!

There are umpteen reasons for their love for me. 
  1. I bring them fresh air in the crowded atmosphere where all that the rest of the commuters get to smell are sweaty armpits, oily stinky hair and the peculiar odour of the local train doors and handles.
  2. I present them with panoramic views of the entire city in a mater of few minutes! Tell me who else can do this except for You Tube? 
  3. I offer them the priority status as well! People first tend to ask the window-seater as to where he/she will alight so that they can 'book' the seat.
  4. I offer them an effortless glimpse of the station name boards; unlike others who have to either stretch their necks or ask the privileged traveller, "Kaunsa station aaya?". (Of course, the announcements are taking over gradually)

I love Mumbai's local train commuters. Even though I know they can be very biased.

They run for me and fight for me only when I face the direction of the train's movement. If I am on the opposite direction, I am only treated as a compromise. They also prefer the side of the train where sunlight doesn't fall. I am not the Hot Seat when the seat is hot!

Some of them simply ignore me during winters and rains. They push away from me as much as possible... how rude! This is the time when people willingly 'offer' Window Seat to others. Here's a small  Survey conducted on the Facebook page of this blog about the same:

Do you aim for the Window Seat even in winters?

Well, I can understand. However, I hate the fact that often they treat me as garbage-exit point. They shamelessly throw wrappers, spit paan/gutkha and discard other kachra from the window while occupying me. If only I could throw them away from me and the entire train!

Well guys, looks like it's time for me to go as aglaa station Churchgate hai! Keep looking out for me... I am loving it!

Sion Aaya, Sion Aaya... Video

The flavour of travelling by Mumbai trains captured in this video:

The flavour of travelling by Mumbai trains captured in this video
Written & Sung By: Ashok Hande
Produced By: Chaurang

Sunday mega block timings - 15th January 2012

Kalyan and Thane: Up Slow/Semi fast line services leaving Kalyan from 10.13 am to 3.48 pm will be diverted on up fast line between Kalyan and Mulund stations.

Up slow line services will not be available at Thakurli, Kopar, Diva, Mumbra and Kalva stations during the block period. Passengers wishing to reach these stations are permitted to travel via Dombivli / Thane in down direction.

Harbour line trains will not run from CST to Bandra / Andheri  from 10.47 am to 4.03 pm.
Harbour line trains will not run from Bandra / Andheri  to CST from 10.41 am to 3.48 pm.

Trains leaving from CST to Vashi / Belapur / Panvel between 10.39 am and 3.53 pm will run on the Main Central Line up to Kurla station and will then be diverted to the normal Harbour route. These trains will not stop at Chinchpokli and Currey Road stations.

How to help someone in train

Saket Gokhale's presence of mind and the efforts of Railway cops helped save a drunken woman from all we know she could have faced in the late-night hours travelling alone in a local train on January 10, 2012. The incident, which should be a learning for us all, highlights that while harmful elements exist in the city, there are still many who go out of their way to help others. It also puts light on that fact that Railway police is indeed helpful.

Helpline Numbers
Read on Saket's account of the story, so that you know what to do when you face a similar incident:

This happened just a few hours ago and did quite reinforce my faith in this city and the people that keep it running.

I dropped a couple of friends from the airport to Mumbai Central this evening and then decided to take the last train northwards. The Virar slow local train was just pulling in to platform 1. A woman (in her late 20s) dressed in a salwar kameez asked me 'Bhai, yeh train Goregaon jaaega?' (Will this train take me to Goregaon). I said yes, and instinctively felt something was wrong. I was just about to board the train and then realised this woman was too drunk to be able to walk. She narrowly missed falling down and somehow stumbled into the train.

It was the 2nd class general compartment and the train was relatively empty. She again asked a few people if the train would go to Goregaon and then passed out on the seats. In the beginning, I didn't think much of it until a few stations later a few drunken men got into the compartment and kept staring at her. The whole thing felt super odd and as Bandra approached, I was getting a bit worried about how this woman will get off at Goregaon (she was completely sloshed and has passed out). The one drunken guy sitting across the seat from her did not look like he was up to any good.

Brahmaputra Mail Accident in Jharkhand: Helpline Numbers

Delhi-bound Brahmaputra Mail rammed into a stationary goods trains leading to a derailment at 5.50 am today (11th January, 2012) at Karanpura, Jharkhand.

Reportedly, the goods train was stationary on the tracks after developing a snag. At the time when Brahmaputra Mail reached the spot, the goods train started rolling back. The goods train hit the sleeper compartment (10th coach) of the Brahmaputra Mail.

Brahmaputra Mail Accident Helpline Numbers:
Bhagalpur: 0641 2421232 / 1901
Delhi: 011 23362296
Dibrugarh: 0373 2300131
Tinsukhia: 0374 2312131
Mariani: 03771 2420044
New Bongaigaon: 099575 54456
Rangia: 03621 244353

Constable loses his life after being hit by a stone

Constable Deepak Jadhav lost his life as a stone hit him in a local train near Seawoods station. Read the Mid Day report here.
We offer our condolences to his family.
The commuters had stopped the train at Belapur and rushed him to hospital, but unfortunately he could not be saved. Requesting all commuters to take timely action in case of such emergencies.

Mega block timings on 1st January 2012

There will be no mega block on central main and western lines today. The harbour line mega block timings are as follows:

Up harbour line services from to CST leaving from Vashi between 10.21 am to 4.16 pm will remain suspended up to Kurla station. 
Down harbour line services for Panvel/Belapur/Vashi stations leaving Kurla from 10.38 am to 4.08 pm will remain suspended up to Vashi station. 
Special local trains will run between CST and Kurla stations as well as between Vashi and Panvel stations during the block period. 
Harbour line commuters can travel via trans-harbour line on their valid ticket.