Mumbai-Pune is one of the busiest train routes in India. Several high speed trains run on the route. Construction of Mumbai-Pune line was completed in 1856.
I travelled recently to Pune by Udyan Express. I reached Dadar station 30 minutes early and had breakfast at Sree Krishna Refreshments. It is opposite the station and serves vegetarian food.
Aarti was in progress at Sri Hanuman Mandir near the pedestrian overpass. I stayed till the aarti was completed and later made my way to platform no. 4.
Signs are prominently displayed at Dadar station in English and Hindi. Train number, train name, arrival/departure times and platform number are shown. Announcements are made in Hindi, Marathi and English.
I travelled on an air-conditioned sleeper coach which was cool and comfortable. Udyan Express inexplicably does not have a pantry car.
The train’s next stop after leaving Dadar was at Kalyan. It is a major railway junction on the central line of the Mumbai Suburban Railway network
Midway between Mumbai and Pune is Karjat. It is famous for vada pav which you can buy at the well-known Diwadkar’s stalls at the station.
Karjat is at the lower end of Bhor Ghat which climbs up to Khandala. At Karjat station, two locomotives are attached to back of the train to enable it to go up the ghat to Lonavla. The train traverses 28 tunnels on the ghat section.
Near Khandala is Monkey Hill railway station. It serves as a technical halt where trains stop to check brakes.
Lonavla is a hill station surrounded by green valleys. It is at 622 metres (2041 feet) above sea level. Visitors from Mumbai as well as Pune seek out its waterfalls, lakes and greenery. It is well known for a popular candy known as chikki.
After Lonavla, the train picks up speed. Travellers are treated to beautiful scenery along the way. The train reaches Pune in about three hours. Pune is the second largest city in Maharashtra state and considered its cultural capital.