Shades of green
In Indian rail terminology, a 'ghat' is a section of rail line that is on a steep slope. The Braganza Ghat goes up and through the Western Ghats, a range of hills separating the West coast of India from the Deccan plateau. The main rail traffic on the Braganza Ghat was the movement of coal from the Goan port of Marmugao to the interior locations in Karnataka. These coal loaded trains go up the Braganza Ghat from Kulem station at the foot of the ghat to Castle Rock station at the top, with a distance of 26.1 km.
Platform of the station by JL SinghRail Enthusiasts' Society
Platform of the Castle Rock Station is a quiet and often empty place.
Display board at Castle Rock station by JL SinghRail Enthusiasts' Society
Display board at the Castle Rock Station.
Three locomotives, with a WDG4 (No.12140) in the lead by JL SinghRail Enthusiasts' Society
A 3-loco or Triple Loco Consist is used to push the trains that came from the port of Marmugao. Till it reaches Kulem, the train is pulled by two locos in multiple operations. The technical word for assisting a train up the ghat by pushing it is called 'banking'.
The Caranzol station is first of the three stations that come on the way from Castle Rock to Kulem. Caranzol station is an A-class station with two lines. There is a 'sand hump' at the end of each line for the train to run into in case the pilot is unable to control the descent. The 'sand hump' is an emergency dead end line covered with sand to take care of emergencies.
Curved track of Caranzol station by JL SinghRail Enthusiasts' Society
Past the Caranzol station, the track continues to wind through twists and turns.
The curved track of Caranzol station by JL SinghRail Enthusiasts' Society
Blasts of green, whether bathing in sunlight or soaking in the rain, make for yet another memorable train journey through the ghats.
Shades of green by JL SinghRail Enthusiasts' Society
It is difficult to imagine the number of shades of green that one gets to see as the train plunges down. On the same slope, the bright green gives way to solid army green that blends into hues of emerald, fern green and shamrock green.
The Dudhsagar station is named after the waterfalls that are located there. The falls cascade down the hill's slope, pass under a culvert over which the train line passes and then continue to flow down the hill. The white foam that is created as the water spills over the top of the hill gives the falls their name, which means a “Sea of Milk”.
Author: JL Singh