India 2012 - 27: Retrospective 1/2 (50 p.)

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ronik24

Proud Earthling
Hi,


I returned from India about a year ago, reason enough for a two-part look back consisiting partly of photos not published in the reports, partly newly edited pictures, concluding with a gallery of images in large resolution.

On February 2 2012 I took off from Vienna, a description of travel preparations and the first, long train ride Mumbai to Gwalior February 3-4 by "Punjab Mail" can be found in the first trip report part.


India 2012 - 1: Punjab Mail, not into Punjab
http://railroadforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=39510



On February 5 the proper journey started with a visit to Gwalior - Sheopur Kalan narrow gauge railway which I was chasing by car with driver.


India 2012 - 2: Gwalior - Bilevel Suburban Trains (50 p.)
http://railroadforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=39525



An exciting, cool morning at the foot of Gwalior fort. At the long level crossing secured by guards with lamps several vehicles chugged by until finally NDM-5 803 with its narrow gauge train approached, while a lady was fetching water balancing it on her head.
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My driver Salim, enthusiastic on the chase and even helping me handling the video camera, took me to the next spot along National Highway 3.
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Sunrise at brick works in Motijheel, a few people already sat on the rooftops.
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At Bamour village along the already widened highway I spotted this bandwagon of one of the omnipresent wedding brass bands.
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But we turned away from the main road into a completely different countryside world, destination Sumaoli.
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At the station I climbed the train for an ultimative native perspective of the oncoming train.
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We left Sumaoli station and chased the other train back to Gwalior.


India 2012 - 3: Gwalior - Dusty Train to Dinner Train (50 p.)
http://railroadforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=39597




Departure rush at Bamour Gaon station, the level crossing was secured by a chain.
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500 Rupees (about 6 Pounds) or 3 months imprisonment were the threats against anyone sitting on the roof - interesting on a train where hardly anybody possessed a ticket... ;-)
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NDM-5 802 swayed along NH3 with its load of people.
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At Motijheel you can see on one hand the traffic jam caused by closed barriers as well as the crowd that just had left the train.
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Train chasing in India.
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And a last view towards the train near the fort at a quarry.
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Afterwards I visited the partly dungeon-like Man Mandir Palace on the fort - a fortified hill.
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With a chance aquaintance I took an autorickshaw to Jai Vilas Palace where the current family of maharajas still owns a residence. One attraction there is the silver dinner table model train.
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In the evening I took the fastest express in India, Bhopal - New Delhi Shatabdi, to the grey and hectic tourist city Agra.


India 2012 - 4: The former Glory of Agra Fort (50 p.)
http://railroadforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=39656



After the magnificent rural adventure the day before, the murkiest morning of the trip on February 6 combined with a depressive mood surrounding Yamuna river bed was a real shock. Some advice for travellers to India: always plan a few days in the countryside inbetween and don't immediately storm tourist hotspots. The hustlers there are a complete contrast to the hospitality encountered in the rest of India.
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The mood was fitting deserted Agra Fort metre gauge station, though.
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So, I used the time at the hotel to cure my jetlag until the sun finally broke through around noon.
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A visit to Taj Mahal of course was a must, here you can see optical illusions at the Great Gate, sometimes the double amount of turrets is appearing.
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Subsequently I was pedalled to the Red Fort.
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India 2012 - 5: The present Glory of Agra Fort (50 p.)
http://railroadforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=39709



View from the fortifications towards the Taj across a partly dry Yamuna riverbed.
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At the beautiful panoramic spot I waited for trains across both bridges.
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And was able to combine them with various details of the fort.
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At red Jehangir's Palace.
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In the evening I visited the river once more.
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Stabled Mughal Sarai WAM-4 21283 during sundown at Agra Fort station.
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In the evening I waited for my second overnight train, Howrah - Jodhpur Express.
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India 2012 - 6: Jodhpur - The Blue City (50 p.)
http://railroadforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=39774




Arrived on February 7 in the second largest city of Rajasthan I took a look around suburban station Raika Bag Palace junction after a short rest at the hotel.
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22482 Delhi Sarai Rohilla - Jodhpur Superfast rolled by hauled by Bhagat Ki Kothi WDM-3A 16003.
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Suddenly emergency brakes were applied and dozens of people used the opportunity for a faster way home.
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In the afternoon I visited Fort Mehrangarh:


India 2012 - 7: Jodhpur - Into Thar Desert (50 p.)
http://railroadforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=39796



At the airy tourist attraction.
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A view across the mighty fortifications.
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On February 8 I departed early from Jodhpur station.
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I took a seat in the last coach of Jodhpur – Jaisalmer Passenger to the desert town near the Pakistani border on a seven hour ride, of course only one class available.
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Meeting the ultimate desert freight at Ashapura Gomat on one side of Pokaran track triangle, we had to wait almost one hour for the crossing.
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However, touristic desert pearl Jaisalmer was reached with just half an hour of delay.


India 2012 - 8: Jaisalmer - Desert Dreams (50 p.)
http://railroadforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=39820



After I had captured the departure of the express to Delhi I caught more action with a proper desert shunting worker.
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Evening light at Jaisalmer station.
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On the rooftop terrace of my hotel built like an old haveli I could enjoy the view of the fort (in this case old city centre), eat dinner, write my diary and relax under the stars.
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The yellow desert moon.
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Next day, February 9, I was in no hurry as only a sightseeing tour was planned. It was one of just five mornings in three weeks when I did not rise with the sun. On walkabout around the old, touristy caravan town the amount of artistic balconies immediatly caught my eye.
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View from the fort towards the station (white area).
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The most inconvenient ride of the trip in a sleeper bus followed, I had never been that cold in my life. But it paid off, rewarded by two amazing metre gauge days with Heinrich Hubbert and Harish around Udaipur.


India 2012 - 9: Metre Gauge to Udaipur (50 p.)
http://railroadforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=39853



Morning of February 10 in the mountains of Umra near Udaipur with 19944 "Ahmedabad - Udaipur Express", one of the last metre gauge night express trains.
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At the highest point of the line we waited for 52927 Udaipur - Ahmedabad Fast Passenger.
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A wonderful day in the countryside ensued, at noon we rested near a farm and could enjoy the tasty lunch Harish had brought. Late afternoon due to a few speed restrictions delayed 52928 Ahmedabad - Udaipur "Mewar" Fast Passenger approached us pulled by Sabarmati YDM-4 6258.
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One of the most spectacular scenes of the journey, ALCO smoke on Ord Viaduct.
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February 11 we departed early towards the other metre gauge remnant of the region, Marwar - Mavli line north of Udaipur.


India 2012 - 10: Udaipur - A Morning in the Life of Rajasthani Level Crossing Guards (50 p.)
http://railroadforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=39872



Train meeting at Kankroli with level crossing guard.
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Near Lawa Sardargarh we waited again at a level crossing featuring a wonderful bougainvillea arbour.
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52076 Mavli - Marwar Passenger was approaching.
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We will continue in the Aravalli Mountains..
 




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