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Blog Entry# 3888422
Posted: Oct 11 (14:13)

5 Responses
Last Response: Oct 12 (11:41)
  
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★★★
Oct 11 (14:13)   53340/Chandrapura - Dhanbad Passenger (UnReserved) | DHN/Dhanbad Junction (8 PFs)

You will always be in our hearts Mr Vajpayee~   6404 blog posts   66 correct pred (67% accurate)
Entry# 3888422            Tags   Past Edits
THE CLOSURE :- PART 1...
************************************************** *********************
Saying that the former Dhanbad Chandrapura line was an integral part of my childhood, would be an understatement...
From my earlier instances of remembrances involving the black & white smoke spewing, gigantic black steam engines to the thunderous Patratu and Bokaro WDMs ruling
...
more...
the roost, till the final days of electrification where Mughalsarai and Tata WAMs used to be calling the shots....
From my early childhood, I had developed an affinity for the railways by listening to the tales of my Grandfather from his days as a Guard in the Eastern Railways....
My first memories of the DC line involve the then Dhanbad-Bokaro passenger, those memories are extremely hazy, but the DC passengers was one of the last trains back then, that used to be still hauled by the steam engines, the other train that I can somehow recall having a limited steam haulage was the Asansol-Dhanbad-Bhojudih passenger that would have an electric service from ASN to DHN and then change over to steam traction....
Those were the last days of steam engines, most steam engines relegated for pushing duties at the back of freights which were mostly hauled by electric/diesels locomotives....
Though the visual inputs of the steam engines are mostly fuzzy now, owing to my extremely low age ( I was barely 3-4 then), I vividly remember how they felt....
Steam engines were hugely intriguing, fistly they were gigantic, whenever they used pass by the tracks would shake like crazy, secondly you would have a strange feeling of being overcome by first dust and then by a amazing feeling of wetness... The chronology of events could have also happened in reverse, as I am recalling this events out of my infancy, hence the exact order of events may be wrong.....
Steam engines also had this amazing variation in the amount of smoke that would come out of their chimneys....when the engines started or used to proceed at a crawling pace, the amount of black smoke superseded the amount of white smoke, when the train would be at a good speed however, the white smoke would be predominant.....
However to myself, barely in the post infancy stage, it was the third white smoke outlet, the one that would shoot out white fumes while the shrill whistle would be sounded....
The shrill pitch of those gigantic external combustion engines were soon replaced by the lower pitched boring WDMs and WAMs.... while the steam engines screamed excitement and adventure, the bland sounding diesels and electrics screamed reliability....
They may not be the most efficient locomotives but 'By Jove' they were reliable....
The period that I am next talking about involves the end of the last millenia...
The Kargil War had just ended...Donation camps and relief centres would be set up at an exponential pace to help the families of the martyrs and the injured soldiers....
The Gaisal train accident would be a major catastrophe before the Kargil war...two diesel hauled trains colliding each other at around 90kmph and setting off a disaster that would claim nearly a thousand lives....
Then came the Odisha supercyclone..... I remember a paper cutting that quoted a survivor who had just quoted, " Water, water everywhere....but not a drop to drink!"....
Those were difficult times.....
The advent of the new millenia brought many changes....
Our country started growing in leaps and bounds and from being an aid-dependent country, we started giving aid, our journey took us from the fragile five to being the fastest growing major economy in the world....
The HWH-MGS main line, the DC line and a plethora of other lines were getting electrified signalling the end of the diesel dominance...
Then came 'Project Uniguage' which kick-started the end of several metre guages and narrow guages......
It is amazing how I was able to recollect some many changes that have occurred in the last twenty_twenty-two years just by being in a pensive mood...just imagine the history that had been witnessed by a railway line that had existed for around 130 years.....

It is amazing how abruptly and how prematurely the Dhanbad-Jharia and the Dhanbad-Chandrapura lines were despatched to the gallows without giving any viable alternatives to the lakhs of people that were affected by it....
I am in now way advocating the restarting of the ill-fated railway line, it just pains me how haphazardly it was done....
The railways had plenty of time to look for any alternative but they didn't...
Coal India had plenty of oppurtunities to rectify their wrongdoings but they didn't.....
It's amazing how small mistakes tend to a cumulative catastrophe....
Rest assured, there will be an alternative line some day, new stories are inscribed in the pages of history everyday, everyday is a new beginning and newer breakthroughs do happen everyday....
But the DC line that formed such an integral part of my childhood, gave me so many wonderful memories will be missed...........
################################################## ###
Featured are some of the pictures of my last journey onboard the now extinct
53340 Chandrapura-Dhanbad passenger from Katrasgarh to Dhanbad station....
The pictures have all been uploaded with a lateral shift of 90 degrees which I have been unable to rectify, however please do enjoy all of these pictures as these pictures are a part of our chequered railway history...
I know it's been a while since the line has closed, but it has taken me this long to come to terms with it's demise....
PICTURES 1-3 :- These show some stretches of the Banjora-Baseria stretch which was one of the worst affected sections. If you download and observe the picture, you will realise how close the fires had come to the tracks... However the worst affected part was near the Angarpathra halt on the Katrasgarh-Sijua section where fire had been discovered under the tracks.
PICTURES 4-10 :- Shows the Kusunda marshalling yard in it's full glory. This yard has also breathed it's last.
PICTURES 11-14 :- Shows the Kusunda station built during colonial times in it's full glory..... Notice the obvious British architecture....
PICTURES 15-16 :- Onwards towards Dhanbad...
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
PS:- PART-2 WILL COME UP SHORTLY
Arnab

2 Public Posts - Thu Oct 11, 2018

3 Public Posts - Fri Oct 12, 2018

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