Nelamangala-Shravanabelagola Railway Line to be operational Feb-end

CRS line inspection between Nelamangala, Shravanabelagola ends. The track inspection on the Bengaluru-Kunigal-Shravanabelagola rail line, which connects Bengaluru and Mangaluru, was completed on Monday. If all goes as per plan, the route will become operational by the end of February or the first week of March.

BANGALORE: The inspection of the 110-km railway line between Nelamangala and Shravanabelagola by the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) was completed on Friday.

More than 80 railway officials, led by Central Railway Safety Commissioner K A Manohar, began the track inspection between Nelamangala and Shravanabelagola on February 6.

Officials in seven trolleys inspected the route from Nelamangala, passing through Thippasandra, Solur, Kunigal, Yediyur, Adichunchanagiri, Bellur Cross, Hirisave and completed the process at Shravanabelagola. The officials got down from the trolley at several points to check the track and strength of the mini-bridges and curves. They pointed out minor glitches and provided technical suggestions for rectification.

K.A. Manoharan, Commissioner of Railway Safety (Bengaluru), conducted the five-day inspection, which began on February 6.

The track’s suitability was also tested by running the train at 110 km/h.

The team, which included Chief Administrative Officer (Construction) Ashok Gupta and Divisional Railway Manager Sanjiv Agarwal, inspected the track, bridges, stations, signal and basic amenities along the route.

Mr. Manoharan, speaking to presspersons at Shravanabelagola, said that the track condition was okay but there were minor issues with regard to other things.

“The issues that need to be improved have been brought to the notice of officials concerned,” he said.

The line connecting Hassan and Bengaluru via Shravanabelagola was proposed 20 years ago when H.D. Deve Gowda was the Prime Minister.

The line is expected to be operational by the end of this month. Mr. Gupta said that he was hopeful that the train would run by the end of February.

K.N. Krishnaprasad and T.P. Lokesh from Karnataka Railway Vedike, a rail advocacy group, who witnessed the inspection on Friday, said that the construction was remarkable despite two-decade delay. Platforms at all stations are designed to accommodate a full-train (24 coaches) even as there are no level crossings on the entire section.

An engineer with SWR construction wing however said only one level crossing exists near Soladevanahalli, off Nelamangala, which can be eliminated.

Otherwise, railway under or over bridges are constructed between Nelamangala and Hassan for crossing roads.

This helps operating trains at high speeds, Mr. Prasad said.

Parts of the Bengaluru-Hassan new line (166 km), Chikkabanavara-Nelamangala and Shravanabelagola-Hassan, are already commissioned.

After inspection, a trial run was conducted with a double-engine nine-bogie train at a speed of 110 km/hour from Shravanabelagola to Nelamangala, carrying railway officials and technicians. Railway safety commissioner Ashok Gupta said big and small bridges on the route, tracks, cables of the signals and the stations have been checked.