Once the project is completed, the Bengaluru Airport will become a unique airport, linked by three rail lines with the Metro, the suburban as well as the high-speed train.
Plans are on to develop a high-speed rail link (HSRL) between Bengaluru city and Kempegowda International Airport, said Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday. The CM said that there are plans to connect the airport with the city centre with a high-speed train. Once the project is completed, the Bengaluru Airport will become a unique airport, linked by three rail lines with the Metro, the suburban as well as the high-speed train. The high-speed rail connectivity was proposed in 2001-02. Later in the year 2008, the Karnataka state government had considered introducing a HSRL between MG Road in the Central Business District and Bengaluru Airport at an estimated cost of Rs 6,689 crore. The aim of the proposed 37 kilometres long HSRL project was to reduce the time of travel to KIA to around 20 minutes, according to an IE report.
Bommai, in his speech, said the project involves metro, suburban rail and high-speed train link. Till now, no other international airport has got all these three modes of connectivity. He also mentioned that his government has started all the necessary preparations. In October, the tender is expected to be finalized by the BMRCL for the KR Puram- Kempegowda International Airport Metro corridor, which will link the city with Bengaluru airport. Meanwhile, the Bengaluru City-Yelahanka-Devanahalli corridor of the suburban railway, which was approved by the Union Cabinet last year, will be taken up in the next phase only.
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Last year, an MoU was signed by Virgin Hyperloop and BIAL to conduct a feasibility study for a proposed hyperloop corridor from KIA to Bengaluru city. As per a statement issued by Virgin Hyperloop at that time, if implemented, such a project could reduce the time of travel between the airport and city centre to just 10 minutes. In 2011, five consortiums had been shortlisted for the high-speed rail project. But the plan for the high-speed rail had to be shelved in favour of the Phase-2 Metro project after considering the high costs involved.
According to the report, the implementation of the high-speed rail link project was to be done in a PPP mode by the Centre and the Karnataka government with funding from the Japan Bank for International Co-operation as well as the private consortia. Much of the project’s impetus was received between the period 2006 and 2011 before it was virtually abandoned. The BMRCL was later asked by the government to develop a metro line to KIA, which will be built under the 37 kilometres long Bengaluru Metro Phase 2B project, linking Bengaluru city with the international airport.