Railway to bifurcate existing Bengaluru-Kannur/Karwar train?

Image for representational purposes only

Image for representational purposes only   | Photo Credit: M.A. SRIRAM

Board is yet to make a formal announcement; Shobha

As against the popular demand for a dedicated overnight superfast train between Bengaluru and Karwar, the Railway Board appears to have decided to bifurcate the combined overnight express--Bengaluru-Kannur/Karwar-Bengaluru (16511/12-16513/14), and operate the Karwar portion via Padil bypass without touching Mangaluru.

Though the Board is yet to make any formal announcement, MP for Udupi-Chikkamagaluru Shobha Karandlaje gave a hint when she tweeted to thank Minister of State for Railways Suresh C. Angadi for his positive gesture on Saturday.

She said: “Hon. MoSR informed that it’s decided to run 16513 Karwar express via Padeel bypass which will save apx 2Hrs travel time”, and thanked him.

Rail activists however were not happy as they wanted a new service. Gautam Shetty from Kundapur, working in Bengaluru, who had been coordinating the struggle, said, “Delinking the combined express at Subrahmanya Road consumes about 30 minutes. While the Karwar portion may get about 10 coaches, the Mangaluru/Kannur portion may get 13-14 coaches. This arrangement would not serve any purpose,” he said.

Mr. Angadi a couple of months ago announced that a new train would run between Bengaluru and the coast. Activists resorted to a massive campaign to realise the announcement following South Western Railway’s reluctance to it.

SWR had been citing “restrictions” in the 55-km Ghat stretch between Subrahmanya Road and Sakleshpur as the reason handicapping it to run more trains on the section. Senior SWR officials told The Hindu the zone is working to get the restrictions relaxed so as to introduce more trains.

Mr. Shetty hoped that the bifurcation would be only a temporary arrangement till the Ghat restrictions were eased.

“Discrimination against the rest of the coastal area should stop,” he said. With the Karwar portion not touching Mangaluru, the train could reach Karwar by 11 a.m., he said urging SWR to further speed up the train between Nelamangala and Bantwal to take it to Karwar by 10 a.m.

Kundapura Railu Prayanikara Vedike president Ganesh Puthran, welcoming the move, said the fight for a new train would continue.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 7:56:37 AM |

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