MYSORE: The long awaited project of doubling the Bengaluru-Mysuru railway line will be complete with the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) on Saturday scheduled to inspect a crucial stretch of the second line, which is likely to be operational within the next two weeks.
South Western Railway (SWR) officials said all the necessary files were sent to CRS, K A Manoharan. The inspection was originally scheduled for October 28 but was postponed due to the arrival of the Railway Board Chairman. “Once sanction is accorded for running of passenger trains on this stretch, the line will be commissioned,” SWR Chief Public Relatons Officer E Vijaya said while interacting with media.
The spokesperson said the electrification of tracks was also nearing completion. “It is expected to be ready by end of November and electric trains will run between the two cities by December. This will avoid engine change currently being done at Bengaluru,” she added.
A senior official in the SWR told that they will start further streamlining the operations between the two cities within the next fortnight. The doubling work was dragged for years due to various reasons, including the need to shift Tipu armoury near Srirangapatna.
The railways finally shifted the armoury in March with assistance of two private companies, one of them from the United states, at a cost of nearly Rs 14 crore. The doubling project started in 2003 with the government sanctioning Rs 14 crore for the first phase of doubling between Bengaluru and Ramanagaram. The project cost has gone up from Rs 480 crore to Rs 875 crore.
The completion of doubling will help thousands of passengers who have long complained about their journeys stretched at the fag end. “The 1.5 km gap in the line meant a train had to wait at Naganahalli and Pandavapura for clearance. The waiting time of 20 minutes will be cut by doubing,” said T P Lokesh of Karnataka Railway Vedike.
About 20 trains run between the two cities every day with weekly specials taking the number up to 23 on weekends and select days.
While the bottleneck at Mysuru is removed, officials said the issue of trains from Mysuru stopping at various places after Kengeri will not be resolved as long as stations such as Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna station are decongested. “We need to build maintenance lines for which we have sought (Binny Mill) land. This will pave way for optimum utilisation of infrastructure.”