1.24.2007

Chasing the Barbie doll

Yes... some moments in life are truly rewarding and these just spring on
you in a rather unexpected way.

To begin from the beginning (duh!), I recently have started doing a bit
of railfanning continuously nowadays at Trivandrum. What was earlier
confined to merely peeking from inside my school bus everyday to check
out the state of affairs in TVC station while passing on the overbridge
now got a shot in the arm and grew into waiting for trains (rather,
arriving at the correct time by speed-regulated walking) at Vanchiyoor
rail-overbrige and photographing them!

One fine Sunday morning, I looked over the bridge as I returned from
Maths class and nearly fell off the bike in astonishment... None other
than Miss "Barbie Doll" WAM4 from AJJ! It was staying outside the small
trip shed in the north end of the station. Now my mind set working...
since the time was 0745, I had every reason to believe theat it would be
taking out the Kerala exp or atleast the MAS mail in the afternoon. This
was because the only trains ggetting an electric were MAS mail, Kerala
exp and sabari exp. Since Sabari had left at 0730, I sat home and made
up my mind to try and get a pic of the long Kerala exp hauled by the
barbie. I told mom about this... that I was going off to vanchiyoor to
spot the train at 1130. She was hesitant... after all, vanchiyoor was
about one and a half kms away from home and i had not even recovered
properly from that cold and coughing fit I got a few days back. Also,
since I dont have a (proper) bicycle, the only way was to walk all the
way there under the hot sun or ask dad or uncle to take me there. As for
the latter, *ahem* I knew better ... They were both busy that day and I
didnt want to take my "train spotting" request before them. So I was at
wits end what to do.

Time: 1100 hrs... If I was going on foot, I needed to start in 5mins.
Mom told me to atleast tell dad and then go by myself. I did so and
golly! dad offered to take me there. Gud... so far so gud. My little sis
also decided to come with me as she also wanted to spot the WAM4 ;o)

We reached there by 1130 sharp and saw to my dismay that the MAS mail
had pulled in before the home-signal and was blocking the photographic
view of the outgoing train-track. (MAS mail had a WAP4, by the way.
Erode.) So we went to the other side of the bridge (the rail line is
surrounded by road on both sides). and waited. In the distance, I saw to
my utter disappointment tat it was a WAP4 that was coming. Anyway I kept
a straight face and took two snaps of it. ED WAP4, 22560, built in 2002.
Nice.

So that left the chances to be the MAS mail. For this I had luck, as I
had physics class till 1430 and the Mail come to the bridge by around
1435 hrs and I cud easily get there before that. But a bloody girl there
had some doubt to be cleared (some IIT question) and Sir made us wait
till 1439exact time heh). I was out of breath by the time I ran to my
spot... just in time to see the Mail pulling along behind another stupid
WAP4. DAMN! Cudnt even get a fleeting foto *grumble* Now that left only
Sabrari exp next day morning. I was creastfallen. No chances of catching
that! It leaves just as I get ready for school at home. So I rid my mind
of it and next day morning, I didnt see the loco in the shed... So that
was it. Left with Sabari, I thought..

That evening, I had chemistry class and wanted to get a nice photograph
of the diesel-hauled trains that leave at around 1715-1745 hrs evening.
So I adjusted my speed to catch the 1730 train (the MAS superfast xp).
Just as I was climbing up the road, I saw an incoming passenger rumble
down and stop before the Home-singal. As always, it blocked a view of
the outgoing train. I quickened my pace as i cud shoot only from the
bridge now... I heard a honk behind me and thought it was the passenger
getting the clear to enter thestation a but it drew nearer turned out to
be the MAS exp. I started running and was nearly breathless as I stopped
atop the bridge.. And wonder of wonders!!! BARBIE DOLL WAM4 was hauling
it! I shot out my cvam and took a nice pic of it..

I was feeling
euphoric... got the loco I was running after for the past two days...
unexpectedly today!