KARNATAKA

Duronto train service to Mumbai likely in rail budget

Improving service:There is a demand for passenger train service from Bangalore on Sundays, especially to Tumkur, Mysore and from Kolar.— File photo: M.A. Sriram

Improving service:There is a demand for passenger train service from Bangalore on Sundays, especially to Tumkur, Mysore and from Kolar.— File photo: M.A. Sriram  

At least six new express trains linking Bangalore with different parts of the country, including a Duronto express train to Mumbai, are likely to be sanctioned in the Railway budget.

At present, journey to Mumbai by express trains takes about 24 hours, either by Udyan, or the Chalukya or by the Lokamanya Tilak Express.

On the other hand, the Duronto, a brainchild of the then Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee, is expected to reduce the journey hours by at least six hours.

The train runs non-stop from source to destination and is proposed to run via Guntakal. Sources in the South Western Railway told The Hindu that besides the Duronto, a weekly (Garib Rath) express to Jaipur, one more express and a Shatabdi to Chennai, one express train to Puducherry are likely to be sanctioned in the budget.

The sources said that the South Western Railway has proposed to terminate the Mysore-Bangalore-Chennai Shatabdi at Bangalore itself as the passenger load is comparatively less between Bangalore and Mysore.

The Railways has proposed to operate one more Shatabdi between Bangalore and Chennai in addition to the existing two.

To cater to passengers from Mysore who wish to take the Shatabdi, the Chamundi Express will be operated as a non-stop connecting train between Mysore and Bangalore.

Sunday service

The sources also said that there was demand for passenger train service on Sundays, especially to Tumkur, Mysore and from Kolar. At present, passenger train services are not being operated on Sundays.

A proposal has been made to the Railway Ministry to operate all passenger trains between Bangalore and Tumkur, Mysore and Hindupur, and one way from Kolar to Bangalore on Sundays.

Also, the Chalukya Express, which reaches Yeshwantpur at 9.55 p.m., is proposed to be run as a new train between Yeshwantpur and Puducherry, because the rake remains idle between 10 p.m. and 6.30 a.m. the next day till its trip to Mumbai.

However, the South Western Railway has to procure one more rake of train to make this possible.

If this proposal is accepted, the weekly Garib Rath between Yeshwantpur and Puducherry will be withdrawn, and the rake could be used for the Bangalore-Jaipur Garib Rath service, the sources said.

Gearing up

The divisional railway administration in Bangalore has geared up to accommodate the new trains.

While one more pit-line and three stabling lines will be completed at Yeshwantpur by April, two more stabling lines will be ready at the city railway station by this time.

Also, the administration is in the process of shifting parcel service trains from Yeshwantpur and the city railway station to the Satellite Goods Terminal at Whitefield. Thus, there will be space to accommodate at least six new trains a day, the sources said.

About 50 and 20 pairs of express trains and 24 and four pairs of passenger trains are handled every day at the city railway station and Yeshwantpur railway station respectively.

About 1.25 lakh and 50,000 passengers make use of the city and Yeshwantpur railway stations respectively each day.

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