Good news for Bengaluru as new trains have been introduced! In a first, four diesel-operated suburban train services have been introduced yesterday, which will go from Banaswadi to Baiyappanahalli, via Bellandur and will also provide access to Namma Metro’s Phase I network, according to reports. In the timetable provided by South Western Railways, from Banaswadi, train no. 06571 will depart at 9.50 am and train no. 06573 will depart at 12.40 pm and will reach Hosur at 11 am and 1.45pm respectively. En route the trains will cover Baiyappanahalli, Bellandur Road, Carmelaram, Heelalige and Anekal Road.
Along with the diesel services, Mainline Electric Multiple Unit or MEMU services will provide connectivity to the KSR station and Whitefield stations as during peak hour traffic, train journey in this route takes more than one and a half hours of duration. While minimizing the duration of travelling, the train will leave KSR station at 7.50 am and will arrive Baiyyappanahalli station at 8.15 am, reports suggest. The rail connectivity in this route is also provided by Namma Metro, which takes a little longer time due to more number of halts. According to South Western Railways, the MEMU services are very popular among commuters as the train can carry as many as 2,400 passengers in its eight coaches. The report also claimed that the induction of the four diesel-operated suburban train services have been done on a cost sharing basis between the Railway Ministry and the state government of Karnataka.
According to Piyush Goyal, the central government has in the last 3 years “speeded up the development of rail infrastructure in Karnataka, helping improve speed of trains and facilitating uninterrupted & safe movement of road traffic in the state.” Recently, Goyal said that the pre-feasibility report for the long-pending Bengaluru suburban railway, has been prepared by South Western Railway officials and they have come up with an investment plan of Rs 12,000 crore. 68 km out of the 160 km long suburban railway network will be elevated, the minister said. Also, he said that a sum of Rs 5,000 crore will be invested for the upgradation of railway stations and for bringing the most modern locomotives railway coaches.
In addition to this, recently, Piyush Goyal said that he wrote to Karnataka’s Chief Minister in January, suggesting a 50-50 ratio of cost sharing between the state government of Karnataka and Indian Railways instead of 80-20 ratio, respectively. According to the minister, a 50-50 ratio of cost sharing could be done between the Karnataka government and Indian Railways. He also said that against the equal cost sharing, the Karnataka government could allow Indian Railways to increase the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) or Floor Space Index (FSI) of all their railway stations to five, so that some revenue could be raised by the national transporter, by the development of railway stations, making it modern and passenger friendly.