#100happytrains: Day 15

Posted on April 15, 2014

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Madras-Guruvayoor-Madras Koodal Express

A former metre gauge train that was a Mandovi Express-like connection between Madras and Madurai (Koodal is another name for the temple city). In the broad gauge era, the train now runs up to the holy town of Guruvayoor via Nagercoil and Trivandrum. This route is the shortest between the two state capitals currently. A segment of the train is detached at Madurai and has been extended to Tuticorin sometime back.

One of the few morning departures from Madras Egmore, the most memorable trip on this train was from Dindigul to Mambalam in 2010. The train was three hours late, and reached Tiruchi for an electric to diesel locomotive change at around 4pm. A brilliant run from there ensured Villupuram was touched before 7pm, 164 kms in 150 minutes. But the single line meant, trains in the opposite direction got preference and I reached Mambalam only at 11:30 pm. I packed a nice little meal at Virudhunagar Restaurant in GN Chetty Road before leaving to Tirupati a few hours later.

In 2012, it was one last time that I was heading to Tiruchi before quitting that place forever. I boarded the reserved Sleeper Class coach of Koodal with an unreserved ticket and sat beside the door. It was the Ramzan weekend and the train saw heavy rush. The TTE or the RPF could not do anything to clear us out, they didnt even attempt. Such was the demand.

Sections covered: Madras-Tiruchi, Dindigul-Madras.

Koodal enters DG with GOC's WDG 3A. There were two dead Alcos connected.

Koodal enters DG with GOC’s WDG 3A. There were two dead Alcos connected.

 

Snaking into Tiruchchirapalli Junction

Snaking into Tiruchchirapalli Junction

 

The other Alcos after decoupling with the train.

The other Alcos, ED’s 3D and GOC’s DG 3A  after decoupling.

 

Erode WAP-4 gets ready to take over.

Erode WAP-4 gets ready to take over.

 

The Rock Fort crowned by Ganesha Temple.

The Rock Fort crowned by the Ganesha Temple.

 

It was disheartening to see the River Kaveri like this.

It was disheartening to see the River Kaveri like this.

 

The tributary Coleroon looked worse.

The tributary Coleroon looked worse.

 

Waiting for Madurai-bound Vaigai Express to cross ahead of Ariyalur. The other train in Tiruchi-Howrah Express.

Waiting for Madurai-bound Vaigai Express to cross ahead of Ariyalur. The other train is Tiruchi-Howrah Express.

 

 

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