Sources said almost 90 per cent of the track laying work on the section was completed, and this had augmented the line capacity for operating more services besides speeding up the existing trains. “Some of the trains could be speeded up to reduce the running time by 20 to 25 minutes”, said an official of the South Western Railway.
In view of the ongoing doubling works, there are too many speed restrictions along certain stretches and there are plans to lift them so that the running time of the trains are reduced.
The locomotive pilots are issued Caution Drive (CD) slips before each departure mentioning the stretches along which speed restrictions are to be observed. “There are as many as 15 CD stretches along the Mysuru-Bengaluru section and some of them are as long as 500 meters where the train speed is limited to 15 kmph or 20 kmph and all these will be lifted before the end of the year. This alone will help gain about 20 minutes while increasing the speed will help further reduce the commuting time”, said the official.
At present, some of the trains take up to three hours to cover the distance while a few express trains take around 2 hours and 30 minutes to cover the 139-km stretch between the two cities.
If speed were to be increased, then commuting between Mysuru and Bengaluru in express trains could be covered in two hours by most trains on a conservative estimate, the official added.
There are also plans to introduce additional train services on the section and a proposal had already been submitted for running a new train departing from Bengaluru at around 7.15 p.m. for which there is a high demand from the public. From Mysuru, there are demands for operating additional services between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m during which period there are not many outbound trains to Bengaluru.
At present, 25 pairs of trains operate between Mysuru and Bengaluru, including 4 weekly, 3 bi-weekly and one train 6 days a week. Of these, 18 trains are express trains and 7 are passenger services.