South Western Railway to run MEMU trains to Bengaluru airport, Tumakuru

SWR proposes to run 60 trains on electric traction by March 2022, which is expected to save ₹9.05 crore every month.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

In a couple of months, South Western Railway (SWR) will run MEMU trains on suburban routes, including the popular Bengaluru-Tumakuru and KSR Bengaluru-Devenahalli lines. It has completed electrification work till Hirehalli on the 56-km Yeshwantpur–Tumakuru line. The remaining 11 km will be completed by the end of June.

SWR has set August as the deadline to electrify the Yelahanka–Devenahalli line, which will enable the Bengaluru division to run MEMU trains to Kempegowda International Airport (KIA).

Aneesh Hegde, Chief PRO of SWR, said, “MEMU trains usually operate on a distance of 100 to 150 km in suburban areas. They have many advantages over conventional locomotives, such as higher average speed and lower maintenance cost as well as environmental benefits.”

Anywhere between 10,000 and 15,000 people travel every day between Tumakuru and Bengaluru. The journey from Yeshwantpur to Tumakuru takes one hour.

Listing another advantage, rail activist Sanjeev Dyammanavar, said, “Use of conventional locomotives necessitates engine reversal at terminal points, which is time-consuming, but MEMU trains have no such need.”

Electrification of 8 lines by 2022

South Western Railway (SWR) aims to complete electrification of eight lines totalling 318 km by 2022. The only exception is the Chikkabanavara-Hassan line, which is expected to be electrified by March 2023.

SWR proposes to run 60 trains on electric traction by March 2022, which is expected to save ₹9.05 crore every month.

20 more services being operated

With restrictions on bus services yet to be eased, South Western Railways is seeing a rise in demand from people wishing to return to Bengaluru not just from neighbouring districts but from other States as well.

To cater to the increasing demand, SWR has decided to run more MEMU and DEMU services connecting Bengaluru to neighbouring districts. An official said 20 more services were being operated from Thursday and Friday, including DEMU trains between Yeshwantpur and Tumakuru, and Bengaluru and Mysuru.

“Due to non-availability of BMTC and KSRTC buses, there is demand for suburban and inter- district train services. The number of people returning from other States has also increased considerably so a decision has been taken to operate 40 special trains,” said an SWR official.

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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 5:31:08 PM |

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