Bengaluru-Mysuru track doubling to be completed in a month

Electric trains to start from Bengaluru to Mysuru in 3 months making train route between Chennai and Mysuru via.Bengaluru green from June with electrification work between Mandya and Mysuru stations set to be completed in three months.

BANGALORE: The travel time by trains from Bengaluru to Mysuru is expected to be reduced by another 10 minutes, in a couple of months, once the gap of 500 metres between the two pairs of bridges, across the two branches of the River Cauvery, is bridged over the next one month.

Addressing media persons here on Friday, General Manager of South Western Railways A K Gupta said, once the 18th century armoury of Tipu Sultan is translocated, the works on the remaining gap of the 500 metres on the Pandavapura-Naganahalli stretch, that includes the Srirangapatna station, would begin. Thus the long-pending track doubling of the 139-km Bengaluru-Mysuru route would be completed.

Pointing out at the mainline electric multiple units (MEMU) shuttling between Bengaluru and Ramanagaram, Gupta said, the electrification of the Bengaluru-Mysuru route would be completed by June and it will help the Mysuru-Chennai Shatabdi Train reduce its travel time. However, he was non-committal on the introduction of MEMUs up to Mysuru from Bengaluru. He did not comment on the extension of the MEMU up to Mandya too. He said, MEMUs may be introduced based on the availability of the rakes.

Stating that works are under progress to convert all routes under the SWR as double tracks, he said, there are proposals for 30 new lines. “Taking into account the pressure on the Mysuru City Railway Station, a blue print has been prepared for the establishment of an additional railway station at a cost of Rs 100 crore. Even though Kadkola is an option for the new station, the location is yet to be decided. It may materialise in the next five years,” he said.

Besides the proposed Mysuru-Kushalnagar line, for which a survey is under progress, there are a few more proposals for new lines. “The State has to take a call on the new projects as they would be executed in partnership with the government,” Gupta said.

He left for Bengaluru by the Mysuru-Bengaluru passenger to hold talks with State Chief Secretary Subhash Chandra Khuntia about the proposed Kolar Coach Factory. “The Railways is seeking 1,000 hectares of land free of cost from the State, in Kolar, for the project,” he informed. Earlier, he had arrived by the Dharwad Express train to Mysuru, before reaching Srirangapatna.

Bengaluru Divisional Railway Manager Sanjiv Agarwal told that completion of electrification work will also cut travel time of Shatabdi Express by around 10 to 15 minutes. The present travel time by Shatabdi Express from Chennai to Mysuru is seven hours.

“At present, the train runs on electric traction between Chennai and Bengaluru. The electric locomotive is detached in Bengaluru to be replaced by a diesel locomotive. The electrification of the entire stretch will eliminate this process and save time,” he added.

However, long distance trains running to Mysuru from other places will continue with the diesel locomotive. “Changing locomotives at Bengaluru station is time consuming. Besides, we do not have spare electric locomotives to move other trains,” he said.

The senior official, however, said electric locomotives will dominate the future of railways. “It will start with trains originating in Bengaluru and Chennai stations to destinations with electrified tracks. Electrification has been sanctioned in all the directions from Bengaluru, including Tumakuru and Hosur sections. Work on Dharmavaram section is already over,” he added.