Bengaluru

Three pairs of trains to stop at KIA Halt station

The halt station coming up near Kempegowda International Airport.

The halt station coming up near Kempegowda International Airport.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Station to be ready by second week of April; MEMU trains to be operated after electrification of Yelahanka–Devanahalli line

The much-awaited railway halt station near Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) will be ready by the second week of April, and initially, South Western Railway (SWR) will provide halt for three pairs of trains being operated via Yelahanka.

Divisional Railway Manager of Bengaluru division Ashok Kumar Verma told The Hindu that the decision on stepping up services would be taken depending on patronage and availability of rakes.

“The railway station is being built very close to the airport campus where tracks are already operational. Platform works are going on at a good pace. Initially, three pairs of trains being operated via Yelahanka will halt there. The move will benefit not only air passengers but also those who are working at the airport. At present, 17,000 people are working at the airport in allied sectors,” he said.

It is said that Bangalore International Airport Ltd. (BIAL) is providing ₹3 crore for the work on the halt station, which will have platforms for 16-coach trains, a waiting lounge, ticket counters, a cafeteria, and other facilities.

Mr. Verma said there was a plan to electrify the line and the authority concerned had floated a tender, and the work would be completed by the year-end. “Once the line gets electrified, MEMU trains will be operated on this line,” he said.

In the first phase, electrification of the railway line would be done from Yelahanka to Devanahalli, a distance of 23 km.

‘Low-fare option’

Sanjeev Dyamannavar of the advocacy group Praja, said, “The SWR is planning to provide halt for three pairs of trains — Channapatna–Kolar train that runs via Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna (Bengaluru), Yeshwantpur, and Yelahanka; KSR–Kolar train that runs via Channasandra and Yelahanka; and Whitefield–Kolar train that runs via Channasandra and Yelhanka. These three pairs of trains will benefit air passengers as well as people working at the airport. We were told that BIAL and SWR are deliberating on the timings to introduce trains that will help a large section of people who travel to the airport. The train ticket costs about ₹20 from the city and the monthly pass costs ₹300. The rail network will be a low-fare travel option for people.”

Rajkumar Dugar, convener of Citizens for Citizens, said, “At present, all air passengers and people working at the airport are relying on road transport that is expensive when compared with the train service. A rail network to the airport by providing services from major points will benefit lakhs of people and reduce the traffic congestion drastically. We are hoping that BIAL sticks to the revised deadline to commission the halt station and provide shuttle services to the terminal that is located 4 km away from the station.”

More options

Under the suburban rail project, the Karnataka Rail Infrastructure Development Enterprises (K-RIDE) is planning to take up Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna station to Devanahalli in the first phase (48 km) via Yeshwantpur, Yelahanka, KIA Halt.

On the other hand, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. has proposed to bring a metro rail network from Silk Board via K.R. Puram, Nagawara, and Hebbal to the airport.

BMRCL has already floated the tender for the ORR line (K.R. Puram to Silk Board), while it is yet to float tender for the rest of the line.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 11:45:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/three-pairs-of-trains-to-stop-at-kia-halt-station/article30837859.ece

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