Leaving from Bengaluru
I traveled to Gadag near Dharwad district for a two-day personal visit in the month of February in the year 2020. Gadag lies between Ballari and Dharwad districts and is an ideal location to reach many tourist locations such as Badami, Pattadkal, Aiholey, Lakkundi, and Annigeri. Gadag is also a district headquarter and is just an hour away from Hubballi junction.
I had booked tickets by 16592 Mysuru-Hubballi Hampi Express in First Class air-conditioned coach i.e. H1 and we were allotted a cabin on the d-day. (We were a group of three family members traveling together). As the D-day neared we started to prepare for the journey at around 6 pm. We were ready to leave our home by 8 pm. I booked an app-based taxi to take us to Bengaluru City railway station. The nearest railhead for us is the Kengeri railway station. Hampi Express originating from Mysuru operated via Kengeri. We did not opt to board from Kengeri as there was a lesser chance of ticket confirmation, especially in the First Class air-conditioned coach. The quota for Kengeri to Gadag was only two berths against six berths for the journey between Bengaluru to Gadag. Hence we made bookings from Bengaluru itself and got confirmed accommodation to travel on the d-day.
We arrived at Bengaluru city railway station at around 8.40 pm. The train number 22691 Bengaluru Hazarat Nizamuddin Rajdhani Express had just left towards New Delhi from platform number 8. The next train to be shunted on platform number 8 was 16589 Bengaluru-Kolhapur Rani Chennamma Express scheduled to depart from Bengaluru at 9.15 pm. The scheduled departure of Hampi Express from Bengaluru railway station was at 10 pm. We still had some time and I decided to do some railfanning and observations in the railway station. Soon after the Rani Chennamma Express train's departure at 9.15 pm, platform number 8 was still abuzz with passengers bound towards Ahmedabad. As it was a Wednesday, train number 16508 Bengaluru to Jodhpur Express via Hubballi was shunted onto platform number 8 at 9.30 pm, immediately after Rani Chennamma Express train's departure. The Jodhpur Express was now ready to leave from Bengaluru railway station after the passengers duly boarded the train. The train left bang on time at 9.40 pm from platform number 8.
Travel by The Hampi Express
There were continuous announcements in the PA system regarding the arrival of 12080 Hubballi-Bengaluru Jan Shatabdi Express on platform number 9, the departure of 16594 Bengaluru to Hazur Sahib Nanded Express from platform number 10, and the arrival of train number 16592 Mysuru-Hubballi Express via Guntakal on platform number 8. Our train to Hubballi from Mysuru arrived bang on time at 9.50 pm on platform number 8. We occupied our coach H1 i.e. First Class air-conditioned coach that was positioned near the train's locomotive. We settled down in our Cabin A and decided to relish some home-cooked food for dinner. Soon it was time to leave from Bengaluru after a ten-minute halt and our train duly left Bengaluru on time at 10 pm. It crawled out of the station slowly heading towards the next commercial halt at Yeswanthpur. Yeswanthpur railway station too was crowded with people waiting to board the Hampi Express. Soon after a five-minute halt the train left Yeswanthpur and switched the tracks towards Yelahanka-Dharmawaram-Guntakal lane. The next commercial halt was at Yelahanka and we arrived and departed from Yelahanka railway station within a span of five minutes. After departing from Yelahanka, we had nothing to do and decided to sleep.
The next day I woke up in the morning at around 4.45 am as the train made its halt at Guntakal junction railway station. The train made its fifteen-minute halt over here and possibly had a loco change. We grabbed a fresh cup of coffee from the coffee vendor who had entered the coach. We also had a delicious breakfast consisting of idly, vada, and dosa. The train soon left Guntakal towards Ballari and reached Ballari at 6 am. I grabbed Samida's Indian Rail Atlas and was busy looking out through the windows and making notes of all the railway stations. After Ballari, Hampi Express stops at all the stations en route for the benefit of rail passengers. Soon our destination at Gadag arrived at around 9 am. We disembarked from the train on platform number 2 and headed to our hotel Keshav Clarks Inn located in Mulugund Naka. We had a sumptuous complimentary breakfast and settled down in the room. It was a refreshing and satisfying journey onboard Hampi Express from Bengaluru to Gadag and the journey was a smooth affair without any hassles.
Return to Bengaluru
I had booked the return tickets to Bengaluru by Golgumbaz Express operating from Solapur to Mysuru via Gadag and Hubballi. Solapur Express and Hampi Express originating from Mysuru shared the rakes on alternative days of operations. Hence the coach composition of Golgumbaz Express remained the same as Hampi Express. I booked the rail tickets through IRCTC's online ticket booking web portal. Our return journey was also by the First Class air-conditioned coach of Golgumbaz Express. We checked out of our hotel room at around 8.30 pm. We reached the Gadag railway station within fifteen minutes. Upon our arrival, I quickly made note of our names displayed in the reservation chart at the entry point of the railway station. Our names were listed under the First Class air-conditioned coaching chart.
After making an inquiry regarding the train's arrival we quickly moved to platform number 1 of Gadag railway station. The Golgumbaz Express bound towards Bengaluru via Hubballi undergoes a locomotive reversal at Gadag railway station. Hence we had sufficient time to board the train and settle down in the coach. The train arrived bang on time at around 9.10 pm and the train left Gadag after a brief halt of ten minutes post locomotive reversal at 9.20 pm. As soon as the train left for Hubballi, we had our dinner packed from the hotel. The expected arrival time at Hubballi junction railway station was 11 pm and since we had nothing to do we decided to sleep early. Hubballi junction arrived bang on time at 11 pm and the train's rake yet again undergoes a reversal at Hubballi junction towards Bengaluru. Soon it was time to leave at around 11.15 pm post the locomotive reversal. The journey from Hubballi onwards was uneventful as we decided to sleep early. The next morning I woke up at Tumakuru railway station at around 6.20 am. I got down from the train to get some fresh air and sip a cup of hot coffee. The train soon left Tumakuru at around 6.30 am and we reached our destination at Yeswanthpur railway station at around 7.30 am. We quickly disembarked from the train and took an app-based taxi back home.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.