India 2012 - 27: Retrospective 1/2 (50 p.) is a free online Railroad Discussion Forum and Railroad Photo Gallery for railroaders, railfans, model railroaders and anyone else who is interested in railroads. We cover a wide variety of topics, including freight trains, passenger and commuter railroads, rail news and information, tourist railroads, railway museums and railroad history.


Proud Earthling

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

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.)

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.

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.

Sunrise at brick works in Motijheel, a few people already sat on the rooftops.

At Bamour village along the already widened highway I spotted this bandwagon of one of the omnipresent wedding brass bands.

But we turned away from the main road into a completely different countryside world, destination Sumaoli.

At the station I climbed the train for an ultimative native perspective of the oncoming train.


We left Sumaoli station and chased the other train back to Gwalior.

India 2012 - 3: Gwalior - Dusty Train to Dinner Train (50 p.)

Departure rush at Bamour Gaon station, the level crossing was secured by a chain.

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... ;-)

NDM-5 802 swayed along NH3 with its load of people.


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.

Train chasing in India.

And a last view towards the train near the fort at a quarry.

Afterwards I visited the partly dungeon-like Man Mandir Palace on the fort - a fortified hill.

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.

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.)

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.

The mood was fitting deserted Agra Fort metre gauge station, though.

So, I used the time at the hotel to cure my jetlag until the sun finally broke through around noon.

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.

Subsequently I was pedalled to the Red Fort.

India 2012 - 5: The present Glory of Agra Fort (50 p.)

View from the fortifications towards the Taj across a partly dry Yamuna riverbed.

At the beautiful panoramic spot I waited for trains across both bridges.

And was able to combine them with various details of the fort.

At red Jehangir's Palace.

In the evening I visited the river once more.

Stabled Mughal Sarai WAM-4 21283 during sundown at Agra Fort station.

In the evening I waited for my second overnight train, Howrah - Jodhpur Express.

India 2012 - 6: Jodhpur - The Blue City (50 p.)

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.

22482 Delhi Sarai Rohilla - Jodhpur Superfast rolled by hauled by Bhagat Ki Kothi WDM-3A 16003.

Suddenly emergency brakes were applied and dozens of people used the opportunity for a faster way home.

In the afternoon I visited Fort Mehrangarh:

India 2012 - 7: Jodhpur - Into Thar Desert (50 p.)

At the airy tourist attraction.

A view across the mighty fortifications.

On February 8 I departed early from Jodhpur station.

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.

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.

However, touristic desert pearl Jaisalmer was reached with just half an hour of delay.

India 2012 - 8: Jaisalmer - Desert Dreams (50 p.)

After I had captured the departure of the express to Delhi I caught more action with a proper desert shunting worker.

Evening light at Jaisalmer station.

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.

The yellow desert moon.

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.


View from the fort towards the station (white area).

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.)

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.

At the highest point of the line we waited for 52927 Udaipur - Ahmedabad Fast Passenger.

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.

One of the most spectacular scenes of the journey, ALCO smoke on Ord Viaduct.

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.)

Train meeting at Kankroli with level crossing guard.

Near Lawa Sardargarh we waited again at a level crossing featuring a wonderful bougainvillea arbour.

52076 Mavli - Marwar Passenger was approaching.

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