Anil Kumar Sastry
Two trains will carry those bound for BIA from this month
BANGALORE: South Western Railway (SWR) has decided to run two daily passenger trains later this month from the City Railway Station to Bengaluru International Airport (BIA) terminating at Devanahalli even as the high-speed rail link project is to take off.
Travellers thus have one more option to reach BIA apart from the Vayu Vajra bus service, private cars and taxis. The rail service will cost Rs. 8, far cheaper than Vayu Vajra, which charges the present lowest, between Rs.100 and Rs.150. The new trains will be in addition to two existing passenger train services operated between the city and Chickaballapur.
“The trains will be launched this month itself,” said Akhil Agarwal, Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), SWR, Bangalore Division. Proposals have been sent to the Railway Board. Since these are short-distance passenger trains, operations will begin with the available rolling stock immediately, Mr. Agarwal told The Hindu.
The new trains may take 80 minutes to reach the airport station. However, the running time could be decreased and the frequency increased once the operations stabilised, Mr. Agarwal said.
While one service would run from Bangalore City Station via Yeshwanthpur and Yelahanka to BIA, the other would be via Cantonment, Channasandra and Yelahanka, Mr. Agarwal said.
While the first train will benefit those living in Malleswaram, Yeshwanthpur and Lottegollahalli, the second will benefit those from Cantonment, Bangalore East, Channasandra and Thanisandra. The timings will be finalised later. The Railways has planned to operate at least one service each in the morning and in the evening on both routes.
Mr. Agarwal said the State Government had promised to provide land near the Trumpet Interchange on National Highway 7. “As and when the land is handed over, we well build a railway station. Till then, we may provide an alighting and boarding platform at the place,” he said. From the Trumpet Interchange, one could take shuttle bus services to the airport, he added. At present, two passenger trains operate between the City Railway Station and Chickaballapur. While the morning train leaves the city at 8.30 and runs via Cantonment and Channasandra and reaches Dodda Jala, the nearest station to BIA, at 9.50 a.m., the evening train leaves the city station at 6 via Yeshwanthpur and reaches Dodda Jala at 6.50 p.m. Dodda Jala is around 30 km from the city via Yeshwanthpur, the nearest route.