Summer Trip 2017: Maharashtra!
Train: Bangalore to Solapur
Train: Solapur to Kopargaon
Hotel: Sai Ashram & Dwaravati Bhaktinivas Shirdi
Vehicle: Shirdi to Aurangabad
Hotel: VITS Aurangabad
Train: Aurangabad to Mumbai
Train: Mumbai to Lonavala
Hotel: Ganga Zaran Lonavala
Train: Lonavala to Pune
Hotel: FabHotel Lakme Executive Pune
Flight: Pune to Bangalore
This was one crazy train ride! Just crazy! I can’t even begin to imagine why Indian Railways even made this train!
Now, 13 of us were going to board this train from Solapur, while my one cousin would board the train at Gulbarga, we’d join him at Solapur and continue to Kopargaon. Technically. On Paper. Kind of.
Officially, our train was Solapur – Gondia Maharashtra Express, Train No. 21028. And we were booked in coach S11.
Now the train is technically the Chennai – Mumbai Mail Express, Train No. 11028. But, this train doesn’t go to Kopargaon. Yep. It doesn’t.
We are supposed to be on Kolhapur – Gondia Maharashtra Express, Train No. 11039. Which does go to Kopargaon, but doesn’t come to Solapur.
Confused? Well, what happens is, 11028 begins from Chennai with S1 through S10. At Solapur, a lone S11 coach is added to it. The train continues till Daund, where it drops of the S11 and continues along it’s journey. Now, this solitary coach waits at the station for a few hours until 11039 from Kolhapur pulls in with S1 through S10. This single S11 is attached to it, and the train continues on it’s journey to Gondia.
What a trip! And all this time, 21028 isn’t mentioned anywhere. Not on the S11. Not on the other trains. Not on the stations. Not on the platforms. Not on the loudspeakers. Only on your ticket. I suppose, if you don’t know this story beforehand, you’ll be in for quite a treat!
So, my cousin boarded 11028 at Gulbarga and came all the way to Solapur. At Solapur, he had to alight, and find S11 and go board it. Not quite as seamless, but it’s okay. He couldn’t walk between the coaches because S11 is attached to either the front or the back of the train. Which means its the Second Class coaches next to it, so no walking. It can also have so unexpected ramifications.
The train continued fine and we reached Kopargaon on time. There, we discovered that my cousin and uncle who had flown in and were to join us had actually been on 11039 the whole time!
We also had a little tussle with the train driver :l. But we survived!