Rain rain go away: Bhopal to Indore

Rainy season: the famous “Monsoons” in India – heavy downpours everywhere, dark skies, lush greenery etc etc. Sounds lovely, feels soothing, entices romance, but not at all for me!!

I’m one of those people who would feel down during a rainy season or whenever it rains. Some would call it a disorder of some kind, others might laugh it off, but I feel at home on watching a clear blue sky with plenty of sunshine 🙂

Coming to the point, this blog is about a journey taken by me from Bhopal(capital of Madhya Pradesh, India) to Indore(my hometown and the industrial capital of Madhya Pradesh). I reached Bhopal for some urgent work on one of the rainy mornings of July 2016. After finishing my work in a span of 3-4 hours, it was time to return to Indore. The distance is pretty small (200 kms), which takes 3 hours over a 4-Lane Expressway. I was in no hurry and therefore decided to take the train: time-taking, cheaper option (around 260 kms; 5 hours). Got tickets easily and luckily, mine was a window seat in a sitting-class coach 🙂

I reached Bairagarh(BIH) railway station, a deserted suburban rail-head of Bhopal from where I would catch my train: 11703 Rewa-Indore Express. The train follows Rewa-Katni-Saugor-Bina-Bairagarh-Ujjain-Indore route. It was 1:30 PM and my train’s scheduled arrival was at 3:30 PM, so I decided to pass my time taking videos of passing trains. Trains didn’t disappoint me either:

After this high-speed action, a heavily loaded coal rake skipped Bairagarh at pace:

Around 3:45 PM, I boarded 11703 Rewa-Indore Express(late by 15 mins). The moment I grabbed my window seat, I looked at the sky outside: dark, full of clouds, as if the next moment it would rain. All of a sudden, I started doubting whether I’m going to enjoy this journey or not. What if it rains? In that case,  I would be closing my window glass, thus spoiling my plans of recording and enjoying the scenes ahead 😦

Somehow I warded off those thoughts and started enjoying the cool monsoon breeze coing through the window, as we departed from Bairagarh. Few minutes later, we met 59393 Dahod-Habibganj passenger at Bakaniya Bhaunri(BQE) railway station. We were now running on Bairagarh-Ujjain section, a double-line electrified train route(Surprisingly, our train was hauled by a diesel locomotive):

Few minutes later, as our train started speeding up, we crossed a freight train. The beautiful countryside of Western India had begun:

The diesel locomotive of our train was really getting in a speedy mood. After a scheduled halt at Sehore(SEH), we skipped Baktal(BKTL) station at brisk pace:

I was really enjoying this high-speed saga: we were doing 100-110 kph on most occasions, which is the top speed for most of the express trains in Indian Railways. The best thing was that a diesel locomotive was speeding nicely on an electrified section. I forgot about electric locos and most importantly, the overcast weather 🙂

We gracefully skipped Kalapipal(KPP) railway station and met 59385 Indore-Chhindwara Penchvalley passenger. Our train, initially 15 mins late, was now on time:

Our train went on a rampage after Kalapipal, overspeeding through the lush green surroundings. It was around 4 pm and I started feeling a bit sleepy. Thankfully, a sudden high speed crossing by the window awakened me once again 🙂

Slightly tired, I was feeling thirsty and was offered water and snacks by one of my fellow passengers: Arvind. A young guy in his 20s, Arvind was travelling from Saugor to Indore. Few tea vendors were roaming through our 2nd-class seating coach every 10-15 minutes(a common sight in Indian Railways). Me and Arvind enjoyed a cup of hot tea amidst cool rainy weather and started discussing things about Indore, Saugor and various other topics. I clicked few pics of the beautiful surroundings, we were around Shujalpur(SJP) station, almost midway through our journey:

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After Shujalpur, observing the rail route carefully, there are gradients and river bridges, making the train ride more interesting. We speedily crossed Badi Kalisindh river bridge and then skipped Kalisindh(KSH) station at Maximum Permissible Speed:

Few minutes later, our train furiously skipped Kisoni(KONY) station, a picturesque wayside station. Just see the level difference in the UP and DOWN railway tracks at Kisoni !

We crossed a goods train hauled by a WAG-9 class locomotive: the most powerful loco of Indian Railways, before halting at Berchha(BCH) station:

I noticed the time on my watch and realised we were running before time! A nice makeup from the point when we were 15 minutes late at Bairagarh. Around 20 minutes later, we blasted through Maksi Junction(MKC), a crucial railhead on Bairagarh-Ujjain section:

The train was not in a mood to stop at all. After another furious freight train crossing,

We were brought down to an unscheduled halt of almost 20 minutes at Pingleshwar(PLW), the last station before Ujjain Junction(UJN). Finally, our “before time run” was spoiled:

Our train had a loco reversal at Ujjain Junction(6:30 PM) for going towards Indore, which would be a  2 hour journey of 80 km on a single-line electrified track:

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After departure from Ujjain, we had to stop for a single-line crossing at Vikramnagar(VRG) with 18233 Indore-Bilaspur Narmada Express, probably the oldest train running from Indore:

Luckily, no rain was there till Ujjain and from Ujjain to Indore, the sky was clear. I was having a really good time, enjoying my journey. As it started getting dark outside, I realised in that for me(at least), every train journey, long or short, has been always special. There is something in those journeys, taken since childhood that they are like a beautiful memory of the past, a precious moment of time. Whether I’m busy at work or standing in a long queue, the mere thought of those journeys would make me alone in the crowd, and the mind starts wandering again, yearning for another experience…..

All of a sudden, I was awakened from this flurry of thoughts by Arvind, who was offering another cup of tea to me now(tea is something to which I can’t say NO). We were now stranded at Lakshmibai Nagar(LMNR), the last station before Indore, since 20 minutes. The reason was obvious, single-line crossing, this time with Indore-Nagpur Express 🙂

Our train finally pulled into Indore Junction around 9 PM. Promising each other to stay in touch, I waved goodbye to my friend Arvind, as we parted ways to different exits of Indore railway station 🙂

Thanking readers for their patience 🙂

 

 

 

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