Bangalore: Two Track doubling works between Tumakuru-Arsikere and Chikjajur-Harihar-Hubbali sections under the Mysuru Railway Division which was accorded clearance by the Railway Board, will help ease traffic congestion on the stretch and reduce commuting time significantly. A high-level meeting of senior officials was held in the city recently and the Divisional Railway Manager Rajkumar Lal confirmed that the tendering process had been initiated.
The projects have a time frame of four years to completion, as per the Railway Board directives, and will augment both freight and passenger revenue originating from the Mysuru division.
While the 96-km stretch between Tumakuru and Arsikere section is estimated to cost Rs. 960 crore, the Chikjajur-Hubbali section is the more important of the two, the section length being 190 km and estimated cost Rs. 1,900 crore. A directive by the Railway Board indicated that projects cannot be delayed, and has set a timeline for completing the work.
A senior railway official in the SWR at Hubballi said emphasis was on installation of the advanced signalling system, now prevalent in major trunk routes, to avoid or eliminate some crossing stations. Once completed, the track capacity will be augmented to facilitate the introduction of additional trains. At present the Tumkaru-Ariskere section has a track utilisation of 80 per cent, the Chikjajur-Harihar section has a track utilisation of 79 per cent and the Harihar-Hubbali section has a track utilisation of 84 per cent. If a few stoppages are eliminated on the Bengaluru-Hubballi section it could alter the economics of operating passenger services on the section, said the official.
At present, it takes about seven-and-a-half hours for an express train to cover 47 km and this could be reduced to less than six hours if the line capacity was augmented, he said.