Railways to consult BIAL again on train schedule

There have been instances of some trains to the airport running empty

Published - March 15, 2021 08:55 am IST

On January 4, SWR launched five pairs of services from KSR Bengaluru, Cantonment, Yeshwantpur and Yelahanka to KIA.

On January 4, SWR launched five pairs of services from KSR Bengaluru, Cantonment, Yeshwantpur and Yelahanka to KIA.

In an attempt to increase ridership and entice people to use trains to Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), the South Western Railway (SWR) is contemplating making changes to schedules depending on the requirement of air passengers and people working in the airport campus. Since March 1, barely 50 passengers have been travelling from the city to the halt station at KIA every day. The return journey sees even fewer passengers at just over 30.

On January 4, SWR launched five pairs of services from KSR Bengaluru, Cantonment, Yeshwantpur and Yelahanka to KIA. However, ridership is yet to pick up. The services were temporarily suspended from February 8-24 to facilitate the commissioning of 'Sir M. Visvesvaraya Terminal' at Baiyyappanahalli. Before the suspension of services, there were instances of some trains running empty.

SWR Chief PRO E. Vijaya said, “Earlier, the SWR had fixed the train schedule after consulting the BIAL. In the coming days, we will consult them again, and changes will be done in the schedule only if required.”

Apart from air passengers, as many as 25,000 people work across various sectors at the KIA campus. However, not all of them find the train schedule convenient as they work on a shift basis.

“Before services were temporarily suspended, I used to travel by train regularly. But that time, my shifts were 12 hours long. It has been changed to eight hours, and the train schedule is no longer convenient,” said Noorulla who works at the international airport.

The few commuters who use the train believe that altering the schedule or increasing the frequency of the service may increase ridership.

Another official said, “People coming from Bangarpet and other points use trains that stop at KIA halt station. As of now, there is no proposal before us to cut down the number of services. If demand increases, we will run more trains.”

Many passengers and regular train commuters said SWR should take measures to popularise the service, especially as it will be useful for people residing in villages located close to the airport. This can be done by improving access to the halt station and providing basic amenities at Dodjala . For security reasons, the road connecting the halt station with the National Highway is closed. If given access to the halt station, residents in nearby villages, such as Bachahalli Gate, Kanmangla, Poojanahalli, Bhuvanahahalli and others, will find the services useful.

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