Colonial era structures will be retained and integrated with the new infrastructure as the South Western Railway (SWR) redevelops the Cantonment Railway Station. The SWR is investing ₹442 crore on the project and has already floated the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) tender to implement the project.
The proposed redeveloped station will have salient features such as centralised air-conditioning, multi-level car parking, sewerage treatment plant, rain water harvesting and solar energy. The SWR will also integrate the station with the proposed suburban rail network.
Chief PRO of SWR Aneesh Hegde said that as per the plan, the new station building will come up on the main entry – Vasanthnagar side, and second entry – Millers Road. Ticket issuing counters will be completely separated from the entrance concourse for easy flow of public and passengers. Separate pick up and drop zones will be built that will help in reducing the congestion. There will be a two-floor basement parking facility on both main and second entry points.
Divisional Railway Manager Shyam Singh told The Hindu that at present, close to 100 trains go through the Cantonment station on a daily basis and the footfall recorded is around 55,000. “The proposed infrastructure will help in giving more comfort of travel for passengers and increase the footfall. For the benefit of commuters, various amenities will come up including basement parking facilities and construction of railway over bridges connecting either end of the station. At present, there is congestion at the entry point. Existing roads will be widened for smooth flow of the traffic,” Mr. Singh said. The official said that enhanced infrastructure will help to increase the footfall from 75,000 to 1 lakh per day.
Cantonment will turn into transport hub
In future, the Cantonment Railway Station will turn into a transport hub as three rail networks will be integrated. Other than the existing rail network, Cantonment will have a suburban rail system and Namma Metro’s underground station nearby. The K-RIDE (Rail Infrastructure Development Company (Karnataka) Ltd.) is building the Kengeri-Whitefield suburban rail network via Cantonment. K-RIDE is yet to float tender for this corridor.
The BMRCL is constructing a tunnel network from Dairy Circle to Nagawara under phase II of Namma Metro project and the proposed Cantonment metro station is located 500-800 meters from the existing rail station. The BMRCL had initially proposed to build a skywalk or travelator connecting the two stations, but the plan is yet to be finalised.
The BMRCL has set 2025 as the deadline to complete the Pink Line from Kalenaagrahara to Nagawara that includes a 14-km tunnel network from Dairy Circle to Nagawara.