Demands of superfast trains between Bangalore and Mumbai via Hubli and Mangalore Central and Kacheguda (Hyderabad) via Kannur, Salem and Bangalore have been made
With the Inter Railway Timetable Committee (IRTTC) meeting scheduled on January 8 and 9 at Madgaon, Goa, as a prelude to the Railway Budget 2013-14, organisations in Karnataka have demanded inclusion of several new trains, including superfast trains between Bangalore and Mumbai via Hubli and Mangalore Central and Kacheguda (Hyderabad) via Kannur, Salem and Bangalore.
The IRTTC meeting examines proposals from different railway zones for running of new passenger trains, revising timings and extending the services of existing trains. The recommendations are thereafter sent to the Railway Board to be given final shape before the budget, said a senior Railways official.
Prakash Mandoth, Chairman, Infrastructure Committee, Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI), told The Hindu that people and the State government had been demanding a superfast train to Mumbai from Bangalore for over a decade. With the extension of Chalukya Express (Dadar-Yeshwantpur-Dadar) to Pondicherry and Tirunelveli, people in north Karnataka have been put to hardship. The committee should recommend a superfast train to Mumbai via Hubli, he demanded.
On the other hand, the West Coast Rail Yatri Sangha has demanded a new train connecting coastal town Mangalore Central with Hyderabad via Kannur, Palakkad, Salem, Krishnarajapuram (Bangalore), and Anantapur. Sangha technical adviser Anil Hegde said there is no direct train service between coastal Karnataka as well as the Malabar region in Kerala and Hyderabad.
The South Central Railway has promised to examine this issue at the IRTTC meeting, he said. The train could depart Mangalore Central at 3.45 p.m. and ply via Kannur (5.50 p.m.), Palakkad (9.45 p.m.), Salem (1.40 a.m.), Krishnarajapuram (5.55 a.m.) among other stations to reach Kacheguda (Hyderabad) at 4.15 a.m. Such an arrangement will also provide a day train facility between Bangalore and Hyderabad, Mr. Hegde said.
The committee has also been urged to meet long-pending demands for several new trains and modification of existing services. K.N. Krishnaprasad, a railway enthusiast, listed out these trains, which include a daily intercity express between Bangalore and Raichur; daily express between Bangalore and Miraj; Bangalore-Chandigarh/Jammu Tavi bi-weekly via New Delhi; Bangalore-Tumkur daily passenger leaving Bangalore at around 8.30 a.m.; regularising the Yeshwantpur-Devanahalli passenger special and running it up to Chickballapur and extending Hubli-Solapur passenger to Wadi to provide direct connection between Hubli and Gulbarga, among others. He also demanded operating separate trains between Yeshwantpur-Kannur and Yeshwantpur-Karwar in the night and operating the Karwar train via Arsikere to reduce the running time. The Yeshwantpur-Mangalore-Karwar day train should be run daily as announced in the 2008-09 budget while the Yeshwantpur-Solapur tri-weekly superfast should be made daily, Mr. Krishnaprasad said.
The Yeshwatpur-Vasco Express should be made to run four days a week and the Sampark Kranthi Express (Yeshwantpur-Nizamuddin) should be run daily via Hubli, Belgaum, Miraj and Pune, Mr. Mandoth said. He said there is a need to speed up the Bangalore-Nanded Express to facilitate Bidar and Yadgir passengers.
Timing to be revised
There is also a proposal to revise the timings of Train Nos. 16517/518 and 16523/524, Yeshwantpur-Kannur and Yeshwantpur-Karwar Split Express leaving Yeshwantpur at 8.35 p.m.
Sources said the departure timing of the train at Yeshwantpur is proposed to be advanced, to around 5.30 p.m. There is a proposal to cut-short the running time of the train in both directions.