The Stay at Retiring Room at Mangaluru Central
Upon my arrival at Mangaluru Junction, I had booked a non-air-conditioned retiring room at Mangaluru Central railway station. I tried to book a retiring room at Mangaluru Junction but the railway station has no such facility yet. (It is given to understand that there is a proposal to construct a full-fledged retiring room at Mangaluru Junction otherwise) I had to board Mangaluru Central-Chennai Central West Coast Express to travel up to Coimbatore and travel to Bengaluru by 11014 Coimbatore-Lokamanya Tilak Terminus Kurla Express up to Bengaluru. I reached the Kankandi bus stop located on the main road after a five-minute walk from the Mangaluru Junction railway station. Soon I boarded a private bus heading to State Bank circle bus stop and got down near the entrance of Mangaluru Central railway station. I reached the station within two minutes of a refreshing walk.
I enquired at the booking office regarding my online retiring room booking with an identity card. My identity card and e-tickets were verified by the booking clerk and I was handed over the room keys. I was asked to proceed to the first floor and occupy the designated room. I badly needed an air-conditioned room but at that point in time, there was no facility to book an air-conditioned room. But when I arrived at Mangaluru Central railway station, I learned that there is no facility for an air-conditioned room but only an air-conditioned dormitory was available. However, I could not find the details to book the dormitory online. It is given to understand that an air-conditioned dormitory is provided for walk-in passengers otherwise.
The allotted non-air-conditioned room was basic with a mattress, study table, and an attached restroom. The window was huge and provided views of the parking lot of Mangaluru Central railway station.
The West Coast Express to Coimbatore
Since my return journey to Coimbatore onboard West Coast Express was at 10.30 pm from Mangaluru Central, I decided to venture out and get some fresh air. Firstly I grabbed a fresh cup of filter coffee made available from the restaurant at Mangaluru Central's platform number 1. Then I made some quick observations of 16603 Mangaluru Central-Thiruvananthapuram Central Maveli Express leaving from Mangaluru Central at 5.45 pm and 16630 Mangaluru Central-Thiruvananthapuram Central Malabar Express leaving Mangaluru Central at 6.10 pm.
After sending off both the trains, I decided to venture out of the railway station. I also made an observation of the regional office of Konkan Railway Corporation Limited located opposite the Mangaluru Central railway station. I next went to the famous Taj Mahal restaurant famous for its pure vegetarian Mangaluru based dishes especially Mangaluru Bonda. I grabbed a plate of Mangaluru Bonda and a hot cup of coffee. I returned to my room at around 7 pm and decided to take a rest for a while.
As a curious railfan, it was obvious that I checked out of my non-air-conditioned room early and start to do some railfanning much ahead of my train's departure. Hence I checked out of my room at around 9 pm and decided to munch some snacks at the station's food stall. The check-out process was smooth with handing over the keys and a thank you note to the booking clerk.
Next, it was time to board the train to Coimbatore much early. My train 22638 Mangaluru Central-Chennai Central West Coast Express was shunted onto the platform at around 9.45 to 10 pm. I had booked my tickets in an air-conditioned two-tier sleeper (i.e. A.C. 2 tier coach) and was allotted a side lower berth in the designated A1 coach. The A1 coach was not much busy and had up to seven passengers all bound to Chennai Central. Soon it was time for departure at sharp 10.30 pm and my train left Mangaluru Central on time. The travel ticket examiner arrived with the chart and I showed my e-ticket received on SMS and my identity card. I slept soon after the train's departure as I had nothing left to do and slept early as I had to get up early to disembark at Coimbatore Junction railway station.
The Change of Plan at Mangaluru Central
My plan was to travel to Chennai Central initially i.e.to reach Chennai Central at 3 pm by West Coast Express and then return to Bengaluru by Chennai Central-Bengaluru Shatabdi Express leaving Chennai Central at 5 pm. I changed my plan at the last moment and was lucky to find a reserved accommodation in First Class Air-conditioned coach of the train number 11014 Coimbatore-Lokamanya Tilak Terminus Kurla Express leaving Coimbatore in the morning at 9 am. The next day West Coast Express reached Coimbatore at around 6.30 am.
It was a refreshing journey from Mangaluru Central to Coimbatore as I had a noise-free good night's sleep. As soon as I arrived at the Coimbatore railway station, I observed the delayed arrival of 12626 New Delhi-Thiruvananthapuram Central Kerala Express on the railway station's platform number 2. The next train to arrive was my incoming rake of 11013 Lokamanya Tilak Terminus-Coimbatore Kurla Express which arrived at around 7 am on platform number four. It was slightly drizzling for about twenty minutes in Coimbatore.
I had a cup of fresh filter coffee and decided to head towards my coach HA1 near the train's locomotive. A thought occurred to me then to buy some tasty breakfast and relish it en route. I went back to the platform's restaurant and bought Idli Vada and Masala Dosa for my breakfast.
Departing from Coimbatore
I was allotted cabin A with a lower berth with another passenger embarking from Erode Junction. At this point in time, I decided to buy some lunch through IRTC's E-catering service. I was given the option of food delivery at Erode junction. The cabin's door was opened for the passengers at Coimbatore's train platform and I occupied Cabin A in HA1 Coach.
Meanwhile, I decided to venture outside to get some fresh air but had to turn back due to a slight drizzle. The train started to bang on time at around 9 am. The view outside was cloudy as it was drizzling. I was very eager for this journey to Bengaluru from Coimbatore in the daytime. I took out Samit Da's Indian Rail atlas and started to make quick observations of the trains and railway stations en route.
After halting at Tiruppur, our next stop was at Erode Junction at around 10.30 am. My lunch was delivered to my seat by the food vendor of IRCTC's E-Catering service. The lunch consisted of a simple vegetarian thali with two chapatis, gravy, dal, sambhar, rice, curds, and pickle. I continued to enjoy my window railfanning in my Cabin A and was hopping off onto the railway stations en route to get some fresh air.
After crossing Salem junction and Dharampuri Junction, I decided to have my lunch at 1 pm. The lunch was tasty and wholesome. Soon I decided to take some rest and slept off till 4 pm. My train was delayed by an hour and we reached our sweet home town namma Bengaluru at around 5 pm after a brief stop at Hosur and Bengaluru Cantonment. I had to go back to Yeshwanthpur Railway station to ride back to my sweet home on my TVS Jupitor. I took an auto-rickshaw upon my arrival at the rear side entrance at Bengaluru railway station and reached my home by 7 pm.
- Trip to Mangaluru Junction Karwar Express
I traveled to Mangaluru Junction by Yeswanthpur-Karwar Express in the month of November 2018 for a short visit. I decided to travel by air-conditioned chair car coach, which was recently added to the train's composition.
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.