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Sanity Check: A Namma Metro link to Bengaluru International Airport

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About 40 days ago, I had raised the issue of a "Sanity Check" on the proposed High Speed Rail Link (HSRL) to Bengaluru International Airport. The issues I raised were :

  • Sanity Check 1: Who is the target customer of the HSRL ?
  • Sanity Check 2: Convenience
  • Sanity Check 3: Close integration with Namma Metro and BMTC
  • Sanity Check 4: Affordability
  • Sanity Check 5: Financial Viability

In parallel, I began pondering, if there are indeed any alternate solutions. One of the solutions I have come up with is using the Namma Metro itself. The Metro depot at Bayapanahalli depot near the old NGEF factory, will be the first depot implemented. Expected completion date is 2010. At the same time, the Cabinet has approved, in principle, the expansion of the Metro Phase 2, which includes extensions to the IT centric hubs of Electronics City, and Whitefield.

My proposal is detailed below, and I welcome comments. The route will commence from the Bayapanahalli depot or Indiranagar station which will the interchange point for the Whitefield extension. Proceed east till the Outer Ring Road (ORR). Go north/northwest on the ORR along the median, since there is no space on the sides. At HBR 4th block, head north towards Kannur and Bagalur, passing Bangalore International School. From Bagalur, a straight trip to Bengaluru International Airport.

[If you do not see the map, please read the original article]

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The strength of my proposal. My own sanity check.

1. Utilises existing road or upcoming Metro infrastructure to reduce costs.

  • The route will commence from the Bayapanahalli depot or Indiranagar station which will the interchange point for the Phase 2 Whitefield extension.
  • Proceed along existing roads, so acquisition of land is minimised.
  • There is an existing BMTC depot at the Hennur Road - ORR junction which will aid in the integration of mass transport systems.
  • Opens up an alternate route along North East Bangalore, instead of duplicating existing route via Mekhri Circle, Hebbal, NH7.

2. Will be fast While not as fast as the HSRL, the distance of 32 km, can be covered in about 40 minutes. The metro can operate up to 80kmph speed. Beyond HBR layout, with the number of stations reducing, the average speed picks up.

3. Integrates with the city The HSRL is designed as a dedicated airport link and meant only for passengers. Without bringing non-passenger airport workers (employees, business visitors like importers, exporters, cargo agents, customs agents, etc.) on board, there is insufficient volume to justify the expense of the HSRL. The Metro increases the catchment and will additionally bring in passengers beyond passengers, including cross town commuters, who will use the metro till HBR layout, and beyond. The Phase 2 link from Electronics City to Yelanhanka, via city centre, Fraser town, Nagavara, Sanjivini Nagar will come though the centre of Bangalore, and can join up with the airport link at HBR Layout. Use of the Metro will also accommodate the needs of the people at "airport-city" when it comes up. A metro based airport line will also integrate with other surface transport mechanisms like bus and inter-city rail.

4. Decongests the city centre BMRC has a lot of land available at Bayapanahalli, and by integrating with the existing Metro Phase 1, the airport traveler can travel on rail all the way from the fringes of the city where he/she resides or works, instead of coming to an already congested city centre in a car or a bus.

5. What about special coaches for passengers Yes very possible. While the normal "in-city" phase 1 trains will commence with 3 coaches, the metro has a capacity of 6 coaches. 2 Coaches out of 6 can be modified with luggage racks.

6. City check-in (air) terminal (CAT) While it is very much possible, but the question I pose ..... is it really needed ? Most passengers today travel light, not carrying more than 1 small piece of luggage in addition to a briefcase or laptop bag. International passengers, and those with multiple pieces of heavy bags, will in any case take a direct service like their own car or a cab. In mainland Europe, the CAT system is prevalent only because there is an extensive long distance railway network. Even London does not have a CAT on its "Heathrow Express"

7. Are there proven models of my proposal Yes. MRTs of Singapore, New Delhi, and London . Despite having passenger numbers, the SMRT is essentially geared towards transporting airport workers, and those passengers with less baggage, for these two groups constitute about 80% of the airport traffic on a daily basis. New Delhi is planning a dedicated airport link, in addition to integration of the Dwarka line. Delhi can afford having two links. One primarily targeting passengers, the other for the rest of airport travelers. Being the seat of government and host to the Commonwealth games 2010, brings its own largess, and Delhi has the passenger numbers, to financially justify spending Rs. 3,800 Cr. on a dedicated rail link. Bangalore does not have the numbers, nor the largess.

 

 

 

7. Other benefits The line opens up a new avenue instead of duplicating existing connectivity. A successful train system is one that does not have buses running parallel to it, but rather, running to it, in a clover leaf pattern. Currently the entire land between Hoskote, Kannur, Bagalur and Devanahalli, is lying unused. Much of it is barren and not conducive to agriculture. By installing a Metro, it enables development of this entire segment, bounded on the west by the Metro, and on the east by NH207 which will ultimately become part of the Peripheral Ring Road/Satellite Town Ring Road (which ever comes up first). Companies are looking to Bangalore, but cannot afford the high cost of real estate now prevalent in most of the industrial areas of Bangalore, enabling decongestion of the city centre, and moving Bangalore towards its stated goal of creating self-sufficient satellite towns.

8. Finances I estimate my proposal for an over-ground airport link, will be in region of Rs. 3,500 - 4,000 Cr, significantly less than the HSRL. Higher ridership with ensure better financial returns than HSRL, since the line will cater to more than just passengers, or even airport travelers, which in turn will keep the ticket prices affordable.

9. Weakness My plan has one major assumption that presumes the cooperation and willingness of BMRC to do this link. As dynamic a person Mr. Sivasailam is, BMRC, might say that Metro should follow development, rather than precede it. The persuasion I offer is that the start and end points are already developed and so is quite a bit of the route. For areas near Kannur and Bagalur, the stations can be provisioned and constructed later when development commences. Ultimately it is the chicken and egg story. Which will come first ? In that remote area, development will not come without some form of transportation. The other weakness is Utopian ideals. I am assuming that the politicians will not "interfere". In case of the HSRL, being a separate entity, "interference" is far easier, than in an existing project like Namma Metro.

 Devesh Agarwal

http://aviation.deveshaga...

Comments

Transmogrifier's picture

Further thoughts on the HSRL/BMRCL

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The argument makes for some good reading and sort of parallels what I have been thinking too. I do agree that the HSRL as it is planned runs the risk of becoming a giant taxpayer burden severely underutilized like the Shanghai-Pudong Maglev. An 'HSRL' from Baiyappanhalli can make use of the already existing surface rail to railway stations in the city and the planned KSRTC/BMTC depots making it an attractive option to the current CBD starting point.

A quick thought regarding your idea of dedicated additional coaches; one coach is probably more than enough. However, not just on your suggested route, but on every train west of the Baiyappanahalli. East of that, on your suggested route, two coaches per train or as demand (hopefully) climbs, a dedicated train too. The task that remains then is to ensure that coaches remain free of non BIAL travelers. All you need for that is a smart pricing strategy.

Oh yes and we still need to hope for utopia on the determination of all major 'stakeholders' to consider a different option!

Transmogrifier

TM

Naveen's picture

BIAL Rail Link

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Devesh --- yr proposals :

The most obvious weakness is that people living in western & southern bangalore will be disadvantaged. With these proposals, they have to first come to east bangalore (byappanahalli), proceed further east on the airport train & traverse along the eastern crescent of the ORR to go to the airport, which will add a lot of expenses & commute time to their journey/s. Many, almost a majority of airport work-staff come from these parts, not to mention air travelers from western suburbs, who will all opt out & not use this train. They will all use the BMTC bus or taxi, as is the case now.

The second question mark is that, at this stage (ph-2 construction is slated appx’ly between 2011-2015), there will not be sufficient intermediate traffic to justify a Metro alignment between ORR & airport through the Kannur-Bagalur route, whereas, there already is far higher development through the Nagavara-Thirumanahalli route, where a Metro route is much needed. Hence, the CTTP had recommended the EC-Yelahanka route passing through Nagavara-Thirumanahalli. It seems highly doubtful if they will consider a train along the Kannur-Bagalur route, almost parallel to the one already planned.

A third question – during our meeting with Namma Metro officials recently, we confirmed that luggage would be allowed on Namma Metro trains, unlike Delhi metro. So, it would be possible to take luggage on any train in the network, & the need for special luggage storage facilities become less important, except perhaps on the last leg /reach to the airport.

City check-in terminal is provided in many cities overseas by the respective airlines & in certain cases for higher classed travelers, such as 1st class or business class. In Bangalore, an effort is being made by planners to provide this service for all passengers, owing to the greater inconveniences of within-city commuting, long distance to airport & the inconveniences of towing along their luggage through all of this.

Land between Hoskote-Kannur-Bagalur-Devanahalli is conducive to agriculture, & there are many fields & farms. In fact, a lot of arable land had been taken over for the airport.

I agree that HSRL is not really needed. Patronization levels will be very poor as ticket fee would be unaffordable by daily workers & staff at the airport. To make a train justifiable, particularly Metro or HSRL (costing much higher), it must combine all possible types of commuters. A dedicated service for the airport passengers alone will have less chances of success than one that combines air passengers, airport staff, general commuters & office workers /staff coming to work into the city from devanahalli side, etc.

My take on this is as follows :

During phase-2, a line will definitely come up to Yelahanka (most likely from EC). This will have interface/s with ph-1 line at MG road, & the other ph-2 line, probably between Kathriguppe & ITPL, at Vellara jn-Richmond rd. This line upto Yelahanka itself might be sufficient to cater to the airport needs, since it will be well networked with all the other line/s.

All that is required is an equivalent, smaller 2-coach or 3-coach train running between Yelahanka & airport. The coaches would have more sitting arrangements (unlike Namma Metro, which will have a lot of standing room) & space for luggage. This can be less frequent, say once each 15-20 mins or so, with the option to expand the train lengths (up to 6 coaches, as for Namma Metro), & also with provisions to reduce lead times to about 3 minutes, should this be necessary in the future. Presently, this train can have fewer stops in-between (about every 2-2.5km), such as at Yelahanka AirForce Base, Kogilu, Chikjala, Sadahalli, Kannamangala, etc.). Later, as growth escalates, the no. of stops can be increased as for regular city Metro (about every km).

We would thus, be assuming that the city extends to Yelahanka, up to which regular & frequent Metro services would be available; & are providing a service to just cover the additional distance from Yelahanka to the Airport. This might have much better patronization levels since all classes of people can start their journeys anywhere in town by Metro, get to Yelahanka, & then transfer to the airport train.
 
Common ticketing:  If BMRC is the builder /operator for this, it will facilitate common ticketing system from “anywhere to airport” at competitive fee/s. If another operator is brought in, such as a HSRL company, the ticket fee would not be common, & it will be seen as expensive & inconvenient.

srinidhi's picture

Yes to anything other than HSRL

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Wonder if any private co would dare to invest in HSRL during the current period of recession! Let all forces join together to put a stop to the HSRL blunder!
Vasanth's picture

Possibility of starting from Majestic?

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Majestic is the Transit heart of Bangalore. Is there any chance of starting it by Majetstic. Every locality from Majestic is connected through buses and will be connected by Metro in future where two arm meets.

I feel a line can run parallelly to the existing SBC - Malleshwaram - Yeshwantpur - Yelahanka - Chikkaballapur route. There is space on the sides of SBC -yeshwantpur - Yelahanka route.

Vinay's picture

Vasanth's suggestion makes me wonder..

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Vasanth has mentioned a route SBC-Malleswaram-Yeshwanthpur-Yelahanka. There are train tracks laid out there (and several other places in the suburbs). Why can we not have a suburban rail connecting these stations? I know this is slightly off topic here, but was just wondering - we have stations at Kengeri, Whitefield, Bellandur, Cantonment, and several more, the exact locations which I am not sure of.

Vasanth's picture

We have a big thread of Commuter Rail

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Vinay, we have a big thread of Commuter rail, who are it's prospective users, etc.

Thing is railways is not interested to run the local train services. It wants to run only Intercity services. Some of the tracks such as the Chikkaballapur track is almost empty with very few trains.

The Malleswaram-Yeshwantpur-Yelahanka track has got plenty of space on either sides. This can be utilized well.

I was just thinking that we already have the Yeshwantpur link which eventually will be extended to Hesaragatta Cross. If Yeshwantpur to Devanahalli via Yelahanka can be served by Railways itself on the existing tracks which is underutilized currently.

Second option is new Namma Metro Standard Gauge track is laid in parallel (elevated) to the existing SWR tracks which has got space on either sides, with special airport trains starting from Majestic, chugging along the Yeshwantpur -hesargatta namma metro track, taking a diversion at Yeshwantpur. These trains should have special coaches (executive for air passengers) and normal coaches for the airport workers and people along the path. Normal Metro trains will proceed towards Hesaragatta Cross.  For crossing the down track at Yeshwantpur, an elevated 'up' track should be constructed. After Yelahanka, this train can on ground due to the space availability on the sides of the Chikkaballapur route. Please check this map below:

 

 

 


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Vasanth's picture

Vayu Vajras on Majestic Route Most Collection

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In a recent statement by CTMO, BMTC to the press, Vayu Vajra from Majestic has got the highest collection and the poorest is the Padmanabhanagar route which was run to cater to 'Transport Minister'.

All the areas are connected to majestic and direct Vayu Varjra is not available to Many areas such as the popular Gandhi Bazaar , Chamarajpet !!. People travel to Majestic and then take Vayu Vajras.

Same will be the case for Metro Link or HSRL. If it is started somewhere at Byappanahalli, it will not cater to entire Bangalore.

Devesh's picture

BIAL rail link

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Some responses. BTW, Naveen, thanks for the critical analysis.

My proposal is just that, a start point. Incidentally, any one is welcome to take my proposal to BMRC and solicit their reaction.

Just as we do not consider the Metro as a point to point link i.e. from Bayapanahalli to MG Road, or Mysore road, etc.,  we should not think of the BIAL rail link as a point to point link, but rather an extension.

Then things begin to fall in to place.

Passengers from the west will be disadvantaged, yes. There are alternate routes. Any Metro cannot be the most efficient to all passengers. Bombay with its lengthwise geography is conducive to a Metro, but circular cities, Bangalore, New Delhi, etc., will have inefficiencies when a person has to go from East to South, etc. Even Singapore faces these problems, with its super efficient SMRT.

If I recall, the EC-Yelahankha line will go from Nagavara to Yelahanka via Kodigehalli and Vidyaranipura. So it can connect to my proposed BIA line at Hennur Road junction. This can be an interchange point since BMTC also has a depot in the vicinity.

I suggested Bayapanahalli as the start point, since it will be ready first. If we have to wait till 2015 and the Yelahanka line to complete, its good night. BYP will also be the interchage to Whitefield and eastern Bangalore.

The BJP government wants to move on infrastructure fast. Two reasons I can think of. 1. Election promise. They need to show Bangaloreans efforts so that the local city elections will tilt in their favour. 2. As ABBA said...... money money money, all is money, in a political world.

Most cities, with the exception of Asian cities, do not offer a city check-in. Even the city check-in at London closed down. Running parallel check-ins is expensive, and very frankly, for First and Business, airlines would much rather offer a personalised limo taxi as Emirates is already doing in Bangalore. Asian cities like Hong Kong need a dedicated link for two primary reasons. The airport is far away, and remote. No development along the airport road per se. So a dedicated link is a must. They already have an expressway which carries buses and trucks. If you see Singapore, it has massive development all along the road, so the Metro is the preferred option. Most of the rail riders to the airport are employees, or passengers with less baggage. Rest take a taxi.

We need to stop thinking of the Metro as a passenger carrier. Right now the need of the hour is person carrier. 85% of Bangalore passengers are domestic trips. Most of those are short trips which a Metro will suffice. With the double decking in progress, hopefully a Metro link will reduce the congestion, and also bring connectivity to North East Bangalore.

I have no problems with a HSRL, as long as it does not cost Bangalore any money. Any person wanting to come in, put in all the money, not expect any state support, other than a 25 year permission to operate, is free to do so.

Please see one comment on my blog. Makes a lot of sense. https://www.blogger.com/c...

Alternately go the article page http://aviation.deveshaga... and scroll down.

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Regards

Devesh R. Agarwal

Visit my aviation blog at http://aviation.deveshagarwal.com

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Regards
Devesh
Bangalore Aviation
Enjoy life, destroy FUD
Devesh's picture

Vayu Vajra to Majestic

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People travel to Majestic and then take Vayu Vajras.

Same will be the case for Metro Link or HSRL. If it is started somewhere at Byappanahalli, it will not cater to entire Bangalore.

And pray Vasant, why do you make this statement ? The Metro is under 30 minutes east to west and south to north, and a 3 minute per train frequency. A person can get from Jayanagar to Indiranagar in 30 minutes, and another 40 minutes to the airport.

70~80 minutes to the airport is just fine. For those in a hurry ........ Meru zindabad. I think, you had worked out the fiigures. Just by passengers, the rail link will not be economically viable, which incidentally, will be "integrated" to the Metro by a 200 meter walkway from Minsk square to the CAT.

Do you really expect passengers to walk in the open 200 meters dragging suitcases ?!?!?!

Taking a bus or a taxi from Gandhi Bazaar to the CAT will be a 45 minute affair, then 25 minutes and add 10 minutes to get out, and get in to the HSRL. I come up with 80 minutes.

It boils down to spending 6,000 Cr for 30,000 passengers, or 4,000 Cr for 300,000 metro passengers. Given today's economic climate, I vote the latter.

But, if some private company is willing to construct the HSRL and run it, at ZERO cost to taxpayer, I have no problem. Go for it.

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Regards

Devesh R. Agarwal

Visit my aviation blog at http://aviation.deveshagarwal.com

-----------------------
Regards
Devesh
Bangalore Aviation
Enjoy life, destroy FUD
Vasanth's picture

Majestic Suitability

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The route I suggested can run few trains once in 20 or 30 minutes to BIAL starting from the Metro starting point in the first phase itself (Jarganahalli).

Reaching Majestic in Metro would be 15 minutes from south most tip Jaraganahalli,whereas Byappanahalli 35 Minutes. Same is the case from Vijaynagar line.

Travel to BIAL from Majestic would take 40 minutes + 15 minutes +buffer 10 minutes on the other hand it would be  40+35 minutes + buffer 10 minutes. 20 Minutes extra. It is OK for extra 20 minutes, but, why ?

Starting from Majestic will also help those who come from other cities like Mysore or Hassan via Bus / Train  to Bangalore.

Naveen's picture

Airport Express Not Yet Justifiable

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Devesh,

Read thro' Richard Brown's comments under yr blogpost.

London Heathrow handles several times more passengers than does Bangalore. Also, Singapore & Hong Kong are large asian hubs & cater to very large volumes, compared to bangalore. A hi-speed or dedicated /limited stop rail will thus be more of a necessity there, similar to JFK /NewYork.

When we have volumes of only around 10 million, the need for "both" Metro & a Hi-speed or dedicated /limited stop fast link seems unnecessary, at least at present. A Metro that provides good connectivity from all over the city would be sufficient & shoul work well, provided that the last lap (Yelahanka to BIAL) is fast, with few stops. I am not sure how their firm has inferred that a fast train was necessary - I wonder what study they conducted. They may have assumed that a very large percentage of air travellers will use the service, which may not necessarily be the case.

Namma Metro's average speed would be abt 32km/hr, & it can do the distance from EC to Yelahanka (36km) in just over an hour. If the train from Yelahanka to BIAL takes another 20 mins, it's about an hour & a half from EC to BIAL, which I think is quite sufficient.

Of course, as you said - anyone is welcome to build & run a hi-speed or dedicated service without grants & state support - Northstar Consultancy is also welcome !

Devesh's picture

Indian railways vs. Metro

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Vinay,

Indian Railways does not consider itself responsible for in-city transportation. In fact the original connectivity plan for BIA called for a CAT at Cantonment station, and connection via BYP, Channasandra, YEL, on to Chikkabalapura line which passes right under the trumpet.

IR agreed and then reneged. The KRP - YEL section is fully choked with long distance trains.

The same with SBC-MLS-YES-YEL. There is a line that runs from BYP up towards Lingarajapuram that is defunct. The problem is how to connect it outwards. Tannery road and that area is a complete mess with its ultra narrow lanes.

From the Chamber, we have tried many times with the DRM for a simple train starting from Bidadi and Hosur at 7AM and running all the way across to reach by 9:30am to Hosur and Bidadi, and a similar return at 6pm. They are just not interested.

Next stop, Laluji. Arey bhaiyya, konee janey hai ka, Lalua bhai na?

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Regards

Devesh R. Agarwal

Visit my aviation blog at http://aviation.deveshagarwal.com

 

-----------------------
Regards
Devesh
Bangalore Aviation
Enjoy life, destroy FUD
Naveen's picture

BIAL Train from Jarganahalli ?

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Vasanth,

You are proposing a Metro alignment from Jarganahalli to BIAL. The construction of the ph-1 line from Jarganahalli to Hessarghatta cross on Tumkur rd (via Majestic) is already underway. Are you suggesting that it be changed now & led directly to BIAL ?

How will the route be ? After Yeswantpur, should it turn towards BIAL along the railway tracks ? Well, SWR will object & not permit their assets to be used.

Anyway, all this will be quite impossible as the DPRs approved by central & state govts is for the line along the approved route only, without any changes. If changes are required, a fresh study would be needed & a DPR prepared. All this will take an year or more !

Hive off Bangalore Metro Zone from SWR

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Hiving off a seperate Bangalore Metro Zone from SWR is the best option. The lazy officials and chaprasis running SWR are only interested in their pay cheques and bribe money from railway contractors. They are not interested in developing their infrastructure. After a lot of pressure from people, the Mysore-Nanjangud-Chamarajanagar railway line was inaugurated recently on broad guage. The day it was inaugurated, it was 80% full. Seasonal tickets sold out like crazy. As usual, our dear bus mafia got hit badly and now are crying hoarse over the new rail.
idontspam's picture

Bringing BIA closer to the needy

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We have heard enough times already from the pro-HAL lobby that one of the reasons HAL needs to be open is that it is closer to the city and to a lot of the Bangalore population to the south. The HSRL with the city checkin was one way of bringing the airport closer to this constantly cribbing population. Yes we could reuse metro and run it from byappanahalli but that would not solve the connectivity to the "city". Yes we could ask people to use the metro but it may not have "city" check-in. Yes we could not build anything and save a ton of money, but then there would not be connectivity from the "city"!
srkulhalli's picture

HSRL not a best use of money, expedite ph2 instead

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We have discussed this before, but one must always remember that our pockets (govt's) are limited. SOmehow the cost effectiveness part does not get stressed enough. Is it the best use of money, anybody's money ? Can the money be put to better use instead ? The best use of money would automatically be the most financially viable. Whether the money is private or public is a secondary question.

 HSRL is not the best use of money. It is far from it.

The Byapanhalli line which Devesh's suggests is better, however as Naveen pointed out, it is too parallel to the planned Ph2 yelahanka line, to justify both lines. So instead of building a new line, put that same energy and money and start PH 2 right away, and extend the ph2 metro from Yelahanka to airport. If we can build the new line in 3 yrs, we can build this one also in 3. Thus people as far as Electronic City get into Metro and hop out at the airport. In the HSRL case, having to drive down to MG Road and not have any parking and then pay a high amount to get to the airport. Instead, with Metro, in addition to the Airport connectivity, you also reduce Bangalores traffic chaos in time for the next election.

Bottom line, more time, more money, more inconvinience with HSRL. Seems a no-brainer to me.

Suhas

Suhas

Naveen's picture

EC-BIAL will cost a lot to operate

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Suhas,

Operating a metro train every 3-5 minutes all the way to BIAL from EC wud be too expensive (power consp, labour costs, maintenance, etc) - the distance would be around 50km.

Hence, I had proposed a smaller, less frequent train between Yelahanka & BIAL, which can be scaled up later & made continuous from EC when there is sufficient demand.

srkulhalli's picture

Not a new line, just an extension

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Naveen, The PH2 line is planned anyway, irrespective of the airport link. The "Extra money" is only the Yelahanka-Airport link. The EC(or nearby) to Yelahanka is part of Ph2 anyway. Just expedite it, that is all. If that is too expensive, complete the MG Road to Yelahnaka to Airport part of it now and EC to MG road probably will have to wait. I am not sure how much, but Yelaahanka to Airport will not cost much and there is big advantage of not having to change trains at Yelahanka. But anyways, no: of lines and its routing is primary, how you want to stagger the development is secondary.

Suhas

Suhas

Devesh's picture

EC-YEL Line

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 Please check http://maps.google.com/ma....

This is MY understanding of the EC-YEL line that we are discussing. The HBR junction is the only point of contact, and after that the EC-YEL line will veer west, while the BIAL line will go NE.  In fact, one of the side benefits of my proposal will be to connect Eastern Bangalore with Northern Bangalore i.e. the crescent along the NE ORR.

You will observe that in the South, I have stopped at the Tilak Nagar area. BMRC officials told me, there is still some discussions on the way South. From discussions with various people, most likely the line will proceed along Bannerughatta Road, and then come to Electronics City via Jigani. This way the line will service the catchment area of JP Nagar, Bannerughatta Road, etc., and also serve industrial areas of EC, Jigani, Bommasandra, etc. Again, just as a reminder, these southern residential areas to the industrial areas and to Whitefield, are the maximum traffic areas.

The BCIC infra committee is having Prof M.N. Sreedharan address us on 20th. If Silkboard can make it, it will be good.

-----------------------

Regards

Devesh R. Agarwal

Visit my aviation blog at http://aviation.deveshagarwal.com

 

-----------------------
Regards
Devesh
Bangalore Aviation
Enjoy life, destroy FUD
Devesh's picture

BIAL Line

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 Very valid point Naveen. The BYP-BIAL line would be about 32 km. Out of which 20km would be the BIAL section. I am looking at BIAL not from a air passenger perspective, but rather from a worker perspective.

BIAL is in dire financial straits, 22~23 Cr per month losses is bad. They have to push forth their "airport city" project, and at the same time there will be development in the BIAPPA zone as well.

These developments will create day long traffic demand within 5 years, before which if the Metro is ready, it will gather mind share before hand. A one hour cross town commute while not good, is acceptable. Which opens up residents of JP Nagar being employees at an office housed in Airport City.

Later, when the EC-YEL line comes up, it only adds to the convenience and South residents can use it to interchange to the BIAL line at HBR. I am still concerned about the EC-YEL line. It goes all the way up the Hosur Road, Shoolay Circle, Brigade Road, Kamaraj Road. I cannot see an overground there. It has to be underground. The EC-YEL line is sure to take time. It is very complex, and can the city afford to wait till 2015 ? for a BIAL connection, even assuming the YEL-BIA portion is completed in parallel ?

Which brings up one point. What will be your proposed alignment for the YEL-BIA line ? Along NH7 ?

-----------------------

Regards

Devesh R. Agarwal

Visit my aviation blog at http://aviation.deveshagarwal.com

-----------------------
Regards
Devesh
Bangalore Aviation
Enjoy life, destroy FUD
Naveen's picture

Metro Alignment for BIAL

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EC - Yel route had been recommended by the Study Report (CTTP) via Fraser Town, Nagavara, & Thirumanahalli. However, possibly because other mass transit modes are not being considered (BRT routes that included Vidyaranyapura to Benniganahalli & Hebbal to BIAL routes; & Monorail route along Bannerghatta Rd), the new (Ph-2) Metro alignments are being planned to cover these areas too.

In any case, since we will have a line going up to Yel from the south (EC) that provides more convenient interchanges with other E-W line/s without having to waste time going far to east, why would we want an exclusive BIAL Metro line commencing in the east & passing thro' areas north of ORR that are still not developed much & do not really have too much traffic ? Such a train may not see much traffic & might fail.

East bangalore will be connected to North Bangalore with this same line as it uses ORR between Hennur Rd & Nagavara Rd (yr map shows this), also going past Thanisandra Main Rd, which is more than sufficient - people can arrive from Byappanahalli or ITPL in the east & change over to this line at MG Rd or Vellara Jn, similar to people coming from the West. For those coming from the south (Bannerghatta Rd-EC side), they will not need to interchange at all !

Further, the line from Byappanahalli is planned for extension further east to ITPL via KR Puram. I feel yr proposal might duplicate lines & might make it inconvenient for folks living in say, Jaynagar, Banashankari or Rajajinagar side, who will have to double interchange before hitting the BIAL train.

Suhas - You are right. The solution may be to run some trains from EC all the way to BIAL, say once every 15-20 mins or so, & then use the same line only upto Yelahanaka for regular 3-4 minute trains. This way, BIAL will also be directly connected with less frequent trains, whilst more frequent services can be stopped at Yelahanka to return back towards EC.

Naveen's picture

More on BIAL Line

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Employees & Worker's perspective would be to have a service that limits transit time, costs less & avoids inconvenience - actually this would be everyone's perspective ! More so for workers who will be daily commuters & lengthy travel times, time penalty & inconveniences at interchanges would be unwelcome.

Developments in BIAAPA areas may take time, particularly with the current recession. This recession may actually help infrastructure to catch up since leap-frogging development has left many areas far behind.

Abt the EC-Yel line, you are right : It will involve a large underground component (probaby from Langford rd cross on Hosur rd till past Ligarajpuram, passing UG  through Shivajinagar-Frazer town areas).

I dont think the BIAL connection is very urgent, as of now. BMTC buses are managing fine, & air traffic has slowed down. By abt 2015, it might be required if air traffic increases & the planned airport city materializes.

I think the line from Yelahanka to BIAL must pass through Yelahanka new town, existing railway station, & thence along NH-7, passing several catchment points previously mentioned (Yelahanka AirForce Base, Kogilu, Chikjala, Sadahalli, Kannamangala, etc.)., to increase ridership & make it more viable to run the long service.

Vasanth's picture

Re: BIAL Train from Jarganahalli ?

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Naveen, Jaraganahalli to Hesaragatta Cross will remain as it is. I know it is not going to change the DPR. Another new line is needed from Yeshwantpur Namma Metro Station to Devanahalli via my proposed route.

At Yeshwantpur station (Metro station), trains running to BIAL will take a diversion towards Yelahanka whereas normal Metro train travels towards hesaragatta cross. These trains will run once in 20 minutes or so, whereas normal metro train runs once in 3 minutes on the hesargatta cross route.

This reduces the land needed, duplication of efforts, connectivity of BIAL train to south most tip of Bangalore, also Majestic connectivity.

Another thing is getting land from Government (SWR in this case) is easier compared to private lands.

srinidhi's picture

Express Way Path for BIA train?

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There is no news about the expressway that was planned..no problem..but there is something that we can reuse from the expressway plan.. expres1 This has both elevated and at grade stretches.. I guess Devesh's plan is on the same lines.. The land owners will also not be too upset in parting less land than what the expressway would have taken..
Naveen's picture

Starting at Yeswantapur is Inconvenient

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Vasanth - according to yr plan, all people from east (& south, & also west) who wish to travel to BIAL will have to first go to Yeswantapur. This is similar to the plan of starting a service from the east (Byappanahalli). Will it not be better to carry the proposed EC-Yelahanka line from Yelahanka onwards to BIAL to enable easterners & westerners not to invest too much of their time on commuting ?

You say that it reduces duplication of efforts - an entirely new line from Yeswantapur to Devanahalli has to be laid, probably some 35 kms. Getting land from SWR is not going to be easy as they might need it for expansion of their railway tracks at some later time.

Srinidhi - the expressway has been written off as land owners have resisted the move. So, the alignment may not be possible now, either for road or rail.

Vasanth's picture

You Missed Me

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Naveen, you missed me. No need to goto Yeshwantpur.  A BIAL special train starting from Jaraganahalli on Namma Metro track will go upto Yeshwantpur and continue to travel towards Yelahanka and BIAL.

No need to change trains. For example, I can get into this train in National College Station and go till BIAL. No need to change train.

People from Vijaynagar or Byappanahalli can come to Majestic in special BIAL coaches equipped trains. There can be trolleys like airport in Majestic station to change the east west train to BIAL bound train.

Naveen's picture

BIAL Ex-Yeswantapur

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Vasanth,

1) First of all, there is no need for any special BIAL coaches as Namma Metro trains will be permitting luggage on all trains.

2) Second of all, Phase-2 Namma metro is planned for Yelahanka, though the route alignment is yet to be confirmed, but it will defnitely intersect the two east-west lines at probably MG rd & Richmond rd.

3) Third of all, why should commuters from east or south east have to go via Yeswantapur in the North-West to get to the airport ?  Will it not involve additional, avoidable commute time ?

4) Fourth of all, though you claim no duplication of lines, a new line some 35 kms would be required from Yeswantapur till BIAL when a line to Yelahanka is already being planned, & can easily be extended by only some 15km to BIAL.

5) Fifth, & last, what about the routing ? You say it's no problem to align it along SWR, but the fact is that there are many trains along Guntakal section & SWR might not budge & hand over space. The Metro will have to find new real estate for it's tracks, which will involve very high land costs, if at all possible.

 

I beleive the Yelahanka route is the one most suited for BIAL since they have to run the line anyway. So, why duplicate from east or west that inconveniences one set of people & why lay a new set of tracks when one is already being done in the middle ?

Devesh's picture

Naveen .... I cannot understand your post

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 why would we want an exclusive BIAL Metro line commencing

Naveen, who said anything about an exclusive line ? Similarly in your post you talk about duplication of lines which are going toward Whitefield. Tracks become common. Just becuase two lines run parallel for about 1 km does not make it a duplicate line. The interchange will be BYP station, whether going to BIAL or going to Whitefield.

In fact for Jayanagar riders, your proposal will involve them coming up the south line to Majestic. Change to East line, and then change to YEL line, and then change to BIAL line. 3 interchanges. So sorry, but I cannot understand your post.

Ultimately, you are proposing putting more people back in to the centre of town on road, rather than on rail. Where in Vellara junction do you plan to have a major pick-up drop off point. That whole area is already a mess. Unless you plan to knock off the church.

Trains are not buses, and it never makes sense to run a train all the way through. One does not run all north south trains in India from Jammu Tawi to Kanyakumari.

I think you are misunderstanding my proposal. In any case, the EC-YEL line will not come up before 2015. And as you can see in my map the EC-YEL line will touch the BIAL line at HBR. Then BIAL line goes NE and YEL line goes NW.

-----------------------

Regards

Devesh R. Agarwal

Visit my aviation blog at http://aviation.deveshagarwal.com

-----------------------
Regards
Devesh
Bangalore Aviation
Enjoy life, destroy FUD
Devesh's picture

Expressway path .... Srinidhi

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 This has both elevated and at grade stretches.. I guess Devesh's plan is on the same lines.. The land owners will also not be too upset in parting less land than what the expressway would have taken..

You are right on the button Srinidhi. Except I have taken the rail over the road to further minimise land acquisition issues.

We have to keep one more point in mind. The recession, in India, is not as bad as it is being made out to be. This year has been a good monsoon. Farmers have money. In India, it is agricultural demand that always drives industrial demand. The UPA will not fight an election during poor economic times. Government controlled banks have already been instructed to commence rural sector lending.

Air demand will return by end 2009 for sure.

NH7 will be double decked. NH4 is already being double decked. The NH4 traffic will be diverted from Dobbspet to Devanahalli and onto NH7. That single road is going to be a mess.

Even my proposed link to BIAL will take 3+ years to fully execute. Funding has to be put in place.

-----------------------

Regards

Devesh R. Agarwal

Visit my aviation blog at http://aviation.deveshagarwal.com

 

-----------------------
Regards
Devesh
Bangalore Aviation
Enjoy life, destroy FUD
Naveen's picture

BIAL Route - Devesh

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Devesh,

If you cud convince planners about the route you propose, I would only be too happy as it will add another additional line northwards !

I am trying to focus on feasibility & viability of the line/s as also commuter convenience, which is what the planners will concentrate on when you put forward a proposal. We are not even sure that the Yelahanka line proposed by BMRC would pass the test for viability - a DPR is required, first, & several authorities are involved (State & Central govts, Planning Commission, JBIC or bank/s that would lend & finanace the project, etc.).

I am more confident about the Yelahanka line being extended to BIAL since it looks far more feasible as it includes many daily passengers to & from the area north of Yelahanka (along NH-7), in addition to BIAL personnel & air travellers. It also takes care of commuter needs better than the line proposed by you does for the reasons already mentioned (which is that it passes from appx'ly midway in town, & not from too far east or west, which would inconvenience one set of commuters).

Yr proposed line passes thro' much less developed areas that will result in meagre passenger pickups en-route - the main pickup points will generally be confined upto ORR & a few kms northwards. I can say this because I know the area fairly well. Thus, it will more or less be a sort of dedicated airport service train, with very few other passengers. This will not be the case if you run it along NH-7 past Yelahanka, as the train will have much higher patronage from areas that are more developed than areas along Kannur-Bagalur rd. I will also add here that Metros worldwide are usually planned on routes that are already fully developed & where there is sufficient travel demand, & not on less developed areas, awaiting development to take place, since the anticipated development may never happen !

What I meant by duplication was that since the tracks have to rise up again from Byappanahalli eastwards, towards Whitefield when the extension is being done, it might not leave enough room for another set of tracks for Metro trains in the same direction, unless as you say, lines are shared - I am not sure if such is possible.

As regards travellers from Jayanagar - the same will be true with yr proposed line too, only they would have to go further east to take the train, resulting in more commute time. They will not have 3 interchanges as you state if the Yelahanka train itself is extended up to BIAL, as Suhas proposed (& I also had agreed).

In Ph-2, there are proposals for interchanges (underground) at City market & at Vellara Jn. So, from Jayanagar, the commuter will change at City Mkt & then change again at Vellara Jn & get on to the BIAL line, saving on commute time. If he had to take the train from Byappanahalli as you propose, he would have to proceed further to change at Majestic, & travel all the way east to Byappanahalli & then interchange, which will add more time to his commute.

The major pickup & dropoff point at Vellara Jn would all be underground as this second N-S line is expected to have UG section from Langford rd to past Laingrajpuram, as I had already mentioned (This is yet to be confirmed, though). No churches or other structures will need to be knocked off as you mentioned !

The EC-Yel line will come up by 2015 - the alignment DPR is under progress, now. Feasibility is no problem as all routes that it covers have already been recommended for mass transits in the CTTP report, though viability is dependent on the DPR.

If your proposal has to be considered, it will also have to follow the full procedure - feasibilty /viability studies (particularly land acquisition as this had already been a non-starter earlier for the expressway), DPR, funding options, approvals, etc. No such capital intesive project will get off on a quick start & be ready within 3 years, for sure ! Not just in India, but anywhere, as it costs hugely & must be fully investigated & found justifiable.

Vasanth's picture

Yelahanka - EC Namma Metro as HSRL - Out of Phase 2

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Naveen, it would be fine if the HSRL budget is used for Phase 2 EC Yelahanka link and extended upto BIAL if the work starts now itself. In other words, it should come out as phase 2 and should be treated like Metro + BIAL link. Otherwise, the option I told would make more feasible.

Srivatsava's picture

Alignment of the BIA metro link.

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         I definitely agree with Devesh that the HSRL will be a bloated investment. I also do agree that Metro is the right alternative. But, I do not subscribe to Devesh’s opinion on the alignment of the metro link.
Vasanth makes the case for the BIA metro to be starting from Majestic (or at least connected to Majestic). I greatly agree with this viewpoint. But, then Majestic is already a congested place, and Metro will not reduce the load on Majestic. Hence, I propose the below solution.


           A metro from Byappanahalli (BYP) to BIA will be costly (in terms of the long distance) and the utility will be low, since south bangaloreans may not prefer to take the long route through BYP. Instead, we can build a line from Malleshwaram (or Yeshwantpur, depending on the land availability for an interchange station) which passes through Hebbal, Yelahanka and then to BIA.
The biggest advantage of this solution will be that the line will not be ‘dedicated’ for BIA travellers. Presently, there are a large number of bus commuters from Yelahanka (both the new town and ‘old’ town) and Hebbal. These busses have high occupancy rates even late in the night, and do not suffer from low occupancy during the afternoon hours. Hence, there is enough market (rather commuters) for this line from Malleswaram to Yelahanka.


            Also, if the BMRC agrees to this solution, they can make a decision the alignment of this line between Hebbal and Malleshwaram. One option will be to take the ring road. Another alternative will be to take the Bellary Road/Palace Road route. That will connect Gangenahalli  and nearby areas to the metro. But then, that its best left to authorities to assess the cost and value for money.


Yelahanka - BIA

Beyond Yelahanka, we can run separate trains with 2-4 coaches every 10-20 min, depending on the load, as proposed by Naveen. In fact, this is the approach taken by SMRT in Singapore (I take this example, as the model has already been referred to in this thread). There, the Metro line from airport connects to the main East-West line, which has just one intermediate stop for a distance of around 7-8 kms. This distance can be covered in no time, since there are not many stops in between.


Ticketing: While all metro users pay the fare proposed by BMRC, the users of the Yelahanka-BIA metro line can be made to pay a small surcharge. (BMTC charges more for the ‘red-board’ busses which travel to the outskirts of the city. So, BMRC can charge this surcharge for providing metro facilities in under-developed areas.) This surcharge may tilt the opinion in favour of the BIA line and its financial viability.


Extension of line 3 (EC- Yelahanka)
Also, there is already the third line proposed from EC to Yelahanka. So, my proposal can be seen as the extension of this line (on the Yelahanka side) to Malleshwaram. This will actually make the line more complete, since it will integrate the third line(EC-Yelahanka-Malleshwaram) with the existing Metro lines increasing the value/utility of the third line, and hence that of the metro.


Now, considering the point that Vasanth makes about airport users from other parts of the state (Hassan,Hubli etc), I have question. Are there any regional trains coming to Yeshwantpur railway station? If such travellers indeed come to Yeshwantpur, then it makes sense to extend the EC-Yelahanka line to Yeshwantpur, instead of Malleshwaram.


Also, a monorail from Yeshwantpur to Hebbal along the ring road is being planned. Since this will be redundant after the proposed extension, we can divert the funds for the mono-rail to this extension, so the additional cost of this extension will not be exorbitant.

 -Srivatsava V

http://srivatsava-vajapeyam.blogspot.com/

-Srivatsava V

Naveen's picture

BIAL Train - Let's Be More Realistic !

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Lets do a reality check about this, based on currently planned alignments by BMRC & also, remembering the very high costs for rail systems, especially Metro systems, & the need to minimize lines /lengths as much as possible, whilst also providing the essential connections ---

With the routes already being planned, there will be a connection from Majestic to the Ph-2 EC-Yel line (& onwards to BIAL, if the line is extended) at MG Rd. So, the need for starting another fresh line right from Majestic /Malleswaram for BIAL is not really necessary, not to mention the difficulties for arranging one, besides high costs for long routes & inconveniences during construction.

A Metro line cannot be arranged past Hebbal Flyover due to space constraints & therefore, the Ph-2 EC-Yel route is being aligned most likely on Nagavara Rd, past ORR & crosses Bellary Rd at Sahakarnagar, thence on to Kodigehalli–Vidyaranyapura–Yelahanka, crossing Dodballapur rd, & reaching Yelahanka Town /Railway station.

People from Southern, Western, Eastern, South-Western, South-Eastern & North-Eastern areas can access the Yelahanka (& BIAL) line with minimal loss of time with the planned routes, as there will be interchanges at MG Rd (Ph-1 elevated, Ph-2 Underground) & at Vellara Jn (two Ph-2 lines EC-Yel & Kathriguppe-ITPL, both passing underground, below the Intersection).

This leaves only North Western areas that need a connection to areas in the North, & to the proposed EC-Yel (& BIAL) line. This connection should also take care of commuters to /from Yelahanka to Northern parts of the city. They cannot be expected to ride back Southwards to Majestic & then change over & travel back North or North-Westwards & Vice-versa.

There was a proposal for Monorail along the western crescent of ORR, but it appears that Monorail & BRT are not being considered, since Metro routes for Ph-2 overlap with Monorail /BRT routes that were planned earlier.

Malleswaram will be connected directly to Yeswantapur & Tunmkur Rd-ORR with the N-S Ph-1 line.

A far more simpler & easier solution is with a small Metro route (appx 6km) from Tumkur rd along ORR to BEL circle, thence Northwards along BEL rd past Nagaland circle & Kodigehalli to link up with the EC-Yel line. With this line, commuting between North & North-Western areas should be solved, as also the connection to BIAL, if the EC-Yel line is extended & has direct trains from the south every 20 mins or so, whilst more frequent trains upto Yel can be run on the same tracks.

srkulhalli's picture

Making the proposal cost effective

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Devesh,

One thought on making your proposal compelling.

What I understand is the North Eastern corridor is not well developed. Now if we make the proposed METRO run on the surface, you get a cost advantage of 3 times to 6 times ! (depending on where you read up), which is HUGE. Suppose you assume the land cost at Rs 1000/sq. ft, that would translate to Rs 10 crores/km for a 10m wide strip, which is still far lesser than the Rs 150 cr/km for the elevated line.

Every 500m, you could have a 10m wide two lane + footpath underbridge, and all major roads can have bridges over/under the METRO line. Assume we need 20m width for every odd bridge, that translates to the METRO having to be elevated 30m in a 1km strech, which means its on surface still 97% off the time. Still keeps it cheap. And at any given point, the maximum distance to a crossing is only 250m, so it does not divide the city into halves.

If you can make the cost come down to 1200-1400 crores, now it is a completely different ballgame. Compared to the Ph1 cost of the METRO, for what looks like some additional change, you have connected vast areas of the North East AND helped allievate the BIAL connectivity issue.

With this, you can have Naveen's solution AND your solution. When Ph 2 comes up, we can go ahead with the Yelahanka - BIAL link and the Tumkur Rd-Yelahanka link to give very good connectivity from across all Bangalore.

Before somebody says METRO should not run on the surface, reason I am proposing is that the area is not developed. Once it becomes very dense, and this becomes a hindarance, say 25-35 yrs from now,  on the same route we can elevate the tracks. No additional land acquisition at that time and build can be smooth since infrastructure is in place. 

Suhas

Suhas

srinidhi's picture

Devesh's plan shd go at grade..

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I second what Suhas says above..the cost factor is too big to ignore at grade metro lines to the BIA..
There could be a 'developed regions' lobby like the MLA's and others from Sahakarnagar and Yelahanka who might want to scuttle this plan..so the case presented should be very cost effective and at grade lines will help with that!
Naveen's picture

At Grade Not Faesible

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Suhas, Srinidhi,

If an "At Grade" metro is constructed on existing roads or on government lands & kept on the surface throughout, with only the odd bridge or two , it will be cheaper than elevating it, no doubt.

However, in this case, "At Grade" means land acquisition that will add to the costs, if at all land acquisition is possible in the NE - an earlier attempt to acquire land for an expressway was scuttled by landowners in the area with support from the court.

The 10cr/km is only a conservative estimate for land costs. Costs for trackage, rolling stock, construction, etc. are not included, as also the maze of bridges each 500m.

Further, the estimation of 30m /km elevated for bridges /pedestrian crossovers is grossly incorrect - ramps to ride up & down over the bridge will result in the actual figure being about 600mtrs (150 mtrs ramp each side, for each bridge). Hence, costs will be high for such construction if such is possible - it may actually run up to nearly the same cost as for elevated.

Also, the train journey will end up being a roller-coaster ride. Running costs (power consumption, wear & tear, parts, etc) with such frequent rises & falls will also be much higher & uncomfortable for passengers, if at all such construction is admissible.

srkulhalli's picture

No convincing arguments against at grade

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Naveen,

The proposal will work in only an undeveloped area. My presumption is the area under discussion is undeveloped. If it is already well developed with exorbitant real estate costs, then yes, elevated is the only way to go.

If the costs are reasonable, as I had shown, it makes more sense to run it on the ground. The land acquisition process is a seperate issue, and that needs to be done with due diligence to make it successful. Land acquision has got a bad name becuase the process is unfair and adhoc. If we go by the principle that one whose land is taken away must profit more than his neighbours who kept their land, land acquisition can be made to work. We do eventual acqure land for new roads, dont we ? Why not acquire land for new rails ? By your argument there would have been no new roads including Outer Ring road or PRR. Even elevated METRO needs land underneath, just the amount varies.

On the ramps, your interpretation is incorrect. I did not mean that the train should be going up and down. That obviously will not work. The METRO itself will should be at a constant gradients, with RUB and ROB(Road Under/Over Bridge) at intersections. We do have the rail lines of the SWR. Dont we have so many RUB/ROB's. Yes, the roads would have gradients, but by keeping the METRO slightly elevated or depressed, and some good designing, it can be made smooth 

I mentioned only the land costs. Other than tracks and stations, for what else do we need the land, I am not clear.

When we mention the cost per km, it is the net cost divided by the net distance and the various costs you mention are already accounted for. It is this net averaged cost which is 1/3rd to 1/6th of an elevated rail. The bridge cost from my reference would not be more than 10cr for two either. (CTTP), remember bridge needs to span only 10m or so.

.Suhas

Suhas

Naveen's picture

The Route to BIAL - At Grade Vs Elevated

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Suhas,

The path to BIAL thro' Kannur-Bagalur is what is being discussed here - the route is the same as an earlier proposed road expressway route (that was planned partly elevated, too) & had been stiffly opposed by landowners with help from the court/s. This is again being put forward by devesh & will only be met with even more opposition & very high land costs, even if land acquisition were possible, as all the landowners know now that they are holding prime real estate that will become valuable in the years to come, & of course do not want to give it up now.

We have already been thro' this before – If the area is under-developed, it does not justify a Metro that is designed to transport tens of thousands per hour, with trains running every 3-5 minutes. An ordinary train should be sufficient, running at low frequencies with only manual signaling & without sophisticated gear that is used for a metro system. The initial construction costs would also be much cheaper for suburban rail. If you put up an ordinary suburban rail, it has to be broad gauge as per Indian railways standards & SWR will have to operate it as none of the state agencies has the expertise to do this. The tracks & other rail gear will not serve the purpose for a Metro later, & will need to be re-laid to Metro specs if & when travel demand increases, in say 15-20 years, if the area does develop highly, but the real estate can of course be reused.

Thus, land costs are not going to be reasonable, as you have estimated, even with the due diligence that you state. If we go by yr recommended fair process that one whose land is taken away profits more than his neighbors who kept their land, land acquisition will be even more expensive than perhaps going elevated ! So, eventually, you would have spent more to put it on the surface than to sensibly have gone overhead, that involves lesser land, for sure.

However, yr argument will make sense for PRR or even further out, where land is available very cheap & can be easily acquired in large tracts for rail systems & left for many decades before a rail (or metro system) may become necessary there, if ever the city develops so far in that direction & a rail or metro becomes justifiable. Govts (& civilians, too) do not work with such ideas as it might turn out to be unnecessary locked up money for too long that becomes questionable, & after all that, most of the anticipated development may never occur – development is hard to predict, & may take it’s own course & direction.

Land acquisition for road widening within the city & for new roads on the exteriors is quite different. Land within city is obviously a huge expense, whilst on the outskirts, it is lesser priced. Thus, land acquisition on the outskirts (such as PRR & also ORR, earlier) are being acquired without much resistance & at much lower costs, whereas land within is being paid for heavily since roads need to be widened with heavy growth - the costs here are justifiable, to some extent, similar to the Metro system under construction - you would remember that the BMRC MD had stated that an amount of 53crs was paid for a single parcel of land on Mysore rd.

As you say, if underpasses are positioned every 500m along the track, what about the costs of real estate & construction of the approach & exit road & pedestrian ramps to the underpasses ? Rain & storm drainage for these underpasses will have to be arranged where drainage is perhaps non-existent now, else they would all be flooded in rains. These will involve recurring costs for pumping out & maintenance of pump stns, power, etc. Also, we must also remember that road /underpass expansions may come up in the future that will cause inconveniences & will again incur recurring costs. Inconveniences to pedestrians with so many underpasses will also have to be borne in mind. Good designing has to include all this & costs substantially, besides the inconveniences.

Metro systems are hence designed mostly elevated since they typically operate in very dense areas with very high travel demand, allow free movements beneath, permit any possible eventuality, whilst also being relatively safer from saboteurs & flooding.

Other than tracks & stations, land would be required for these underpasses & also for arranging road access & road widening to stations at intervals along the tracks, since in most cases, they would not be readily available.

Vasanth's picture

My Proposal Can Have Direct Trains from Jaraganahalli to BIAL

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My proposal which will run once in 15-20 minutes of BIAL special trains on Namma Metro North South route starting from Jarganahalli, covering JP Nagar, Jayanagar, Basavanagudi, Market, Malleshwaram, Yeshwantpur, yelahanka and finally reaching BIAL. No need to change train for Southern and Northern Residents. Only Eastern and Western residents need to change train at Majestic.

Srivatsa was metioning about the pressure on Majestic area, but, people will come here through Metros or Buses only and should be encouraged only that way.

I would like to see a Poll on this. I will submit shortly.

srkulhalli's picture

Give supporting data please

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Naveen,

Let us see where we agree. We agree that there is a context space where an at grade solution is optimum. The decision on where it is optimal should be based on data. Without numbers, we are just story telling.

For a quick sanity check back of the envelope calculation, we need the following numbers

1. What is the land cost in the proposed area

2. How much land would an at grade system need/km length.

3. How much land would an eleveatd system need/km length.

4. What is the cost of an underpass 10m wide and 10m long, drainaige et al.

5. What is the fully loaded cost of a METRO (rolling stock, tracks et al - minus land) of an Elevated and at Grade per km.

If we have these numbers, we both will agree quickly what is an optimal solution.

As I said, otherwise we can discuss forever, with both giving great reasoning but it is a fruitless discussion.

Suhas

Suhas

Naveen's picture

Costs for Metro

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Suhas,

BMRC officials had tried to explain what I had also described, but since you ask for data, I will try to answer what I can :

Land cost in the proposed area :  Varies from Rs.6500/- (ORR) to abt Rs.1000/- (BIAL area) - Average would be, say 3500/- per/sqft, assuming fare compensation based on market rates.

How much land would an elevated system need/km length : Initially, for Ph-1 comprising 33km, 228.62 acres was the land requirement, which included 6.9km underground, where land requirement is much lesser. Ignoring this, & going by the same ratio, for 24km of elevated section (appx distance Byp~BIAL via ORR), the area required would roughly be about 166.3 acres, assuming that the section is fully elevated. 1 Acre = 45,000 sq.ft appx’ly. So, cost of land acquisition for elevated section would be about 2,619crs, which itself is very steep since land costs have gone up considerably.

How much land would an at grade system need/km length : No estimates are available - my guess is that the area would roughly be two to three times more than for elevated sections since all stations will be on ground + width of the corridor itself would be larger due to double-track lines.  Thus, costs would appx’ly be 6,547crs, assuming land required is 2.5 times that required for elevated sections. It is incorrect to assume that 10m strip is all that is needed. A depot will likely be needed at BIAL + stations are involved, including entry & exit arrangements, lay-bys, power sub-stations, generator rooms, etc.

What is the cost of an underpass 10m wide and 10m long, drainaige et al. :  As per CTTP table 9.10, the average cost for Rail Over Bridge /RUB is 24crs (width & length have not been specified). Thus, for 24 of these, the cost would be 576crs. For Pedestrian underpasses of narrow width, the cost may be lesser, say half, which will add another 288crs.

What is the fully loaded cost of a METRO (rolling stock, tracks et al - minus land) of an Elevated and at Grade per km. :  Out of the total cost of 6395crs for Metro Ph-1, 2593crs was for civil works & the remaining for various other heads, including 600crs for land acquisition based on 2005 rates (see table below).

Thus, it is clear that it is better to go elevated as land costs are too high + for other benefits previously mentioned.

 

Transmogrifier's picture

BIAL link and a democracy

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There appears to be atleast four major trains (no pun intended) of thought here:
  1. Link from BYP
  2. Elevated extension of Ph2 line
  3. Surface extension of Ph2 line
  4. Link from Majestic
I think as suhas says we can argue this for no end which we don't need to... that's the beauty of a democracy. All these are valuable and valid suggestions that can be made to those concerned. Next stop... a compliation of all these into one document (maps, benefits, pitfalls etc.) that can be hosted here. What say?

transmogrifier

TM

srkulhalli's picture

While we are at it

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Naveen,

What would be the cost break up of a suburban rail ? As far as I know, in Mumbai suburban rails have a frequency of few mins and average speeds are similar. Their capacity is also good.

What is the cost difference between a suburban rail and an at grade METRO system and relative advantage if any ?

Suhas

Suhas

Naveen's picture

Suburban Rail

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The CTTP report has quoted Rs.15crs per km for augmentation /improvements for Commuter Rail System (not a new system) to run on existing tracks, with few additions. This estimate probably includes station improvements, additional coaches, some new tracks, etc. Land requirement of 62 hectares (153.2 acres) for running about 62kms, mostly within ORR has also been quoted, but has not been included in the cost estimate.

Another 142km of CRS has also been recommended to connect exterior areas & nearby towns (outside ORR), which does not involve land requirements.

In Mumbai, trains are run appx'ly every 3-5 mins during peak hours & about 15-30 mins during other times on the Western railway (Churchgate to Borivli – 34km) & on Central railway (CST to Kalyan – 54km). Trains on the other line (Harbor line) are not as frequent during peak hours.

The trains have some 13 coaches & are very long & carry over three times their capacity regularly. Punctuality is good, though comfort levels are very poor – conditions within coaches & stations is quite depressing with overcrowding, & people frequently get pushed around at stations & also within trains by those boarding or alighting. It is unsuitable for quality-seekers - AC buses have begun services & these are far better.

Compared to this low-quality service, Metro is far superior & much more comfortable. This is the best choice for BIAL, in my opinion, provided that it is run from Yelahanka onwards to include all possible types of users, & since it can include air travellers also.

Another likely option is elevated Monorail along centre or at the side of existing roads, but since the builder /operator may be different, ticketing will be separate with increased costs for commuters. Also, maintenance & operation would be a separate issue.

srkulhalli's picture

Data needs to be more solid

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[ Hard to take care of niceties at 3:00 am in the morning. Am editing my original mail to be more .. appropriate]

Naveen,

Getting back to your cost estimate. The BMRC response to my question was, in my opinion, not precise.

From an engineering design perspective, it is good to have a handle on the key tradeoffs, especially in terms of being able to quantify it. In that respect, as regards to "at grade vs elevated", the key tradeoff would be the land required. While you have come up with the numbers, it is not clear how they actually come about. That is, how much of it is land for tracks, for stations, depots etc and how they differ in terms of the grade vs elevated.  Then we can easily compute the difference easily. Since our judgement call is based on these being accurate,  having these numbers with a high level of confidence is critical.

From the BMRC chief, would have liked a more specific answer, that is how much more land it takes,  how many crossings would be needed every x km to make it practical, thus above what cost of land it becomes unviable. The answer appeared to me to be more a perception that it cannot work.

Unfortunately, there is a mindset that suburban means bombay local. There is no reason that a suburban cannot be as comfortable as a METRO and vice-versa. Given  that suburban can also be made comfortable and classy, the comfort factor should not be a consideration while making a choice between METRO and suburban.

The PRR also has provision for at grade, which means that is a viable alternative.

I think you have a very good handle of city geography and understanding of various options. To add to that, it would be great to have key engineering data, like what would be the widths of METRO dual track, LRT, BRT, Suburban. Cost of laying each of these at grade per km and why it differs. Cost of rolling stock for each. Station areas required. Cost of elevating it in each case. Key composition of  the civil engineering, it percentage of cost taken by steel and cement for eg: so we know the impact of these prices and so on. Think it would enhance the quality of our discussions, and feel it is worthwhile we spend effort to get this.

Suhas

Suhas

Vasanth's picture

At grade suburban vs Metro

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I agree with Naveen, Suburban trains are not as good and as comfortable with Metros and will not be preferred by Air Travellers. Air Travellers are very particular about the comfort, say for example the Suvarna buses started by BMTC to BIAL was not used much and everyone preferred Vayu Vajras. Same is the case here. 

Technical point is most of the suburban tracks in Bangalore are laid in some congested areas with lot many sharp curves. One can observe this very much in Bangalore-Mysore track within Bangalore. Trains which are travelling at 100+ kph outside Bangalore will reduce to 50 kmph due to the curves, as well as the people crossing the tracks hapazardly, the stiffness of the land below which will vibrate to hold the heavy weight of the normal trains.

On the other hand, Metro trains are lighter alluminium structures. Going elevated will prevent all the pedestrain and vehicle crossings, those stone throwing incidents (which still occurs).

This can cater in the absence of Metro and solve the long commute such as the whitefield commute, but, can cater to suburbs such as Bidadi, Kolar, Hosur effectively. Our chief minister told the extension of Metro to Kengeri, it is really waste and should be addressed by commuter rail. Mumbai local like crowd and the chaos, no way we can take. It happens only in Mumbai since it is linear and Local  trains serve most of the city.

asj's picture

Some thoughts

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Its useful sometimes to get an outsider perspective.  Some thoughts raised in my mind through this prolonged debate -
  1. 10 million use the airport, how many are from Bangalore? This is more important before any consideration for additional costs of extending Metro or other costlier forms of transport to the airport. Comparison to London etc is rather unuseful (Heathrow caters for 60 million).
  2. Heathrow is probably served far more by National Express bus coaches, London buses and London tube (Picaddilly line), taxis/cabs and not Heathrow Express which is being considered as a benchmark by some.
  3. It seems arguments are all or none (black and white - no gray shades). Every London tube line runs more at grade rather than under and certainly small proporitions are elevated. Thus there is nothing stopping tube trains running at grade.
  4. I disagree that elevated routes are less costlier than at grade - they will consume just as much space, the only difference being between pillars over which these lines get erected space may be utilised - but for what? Its unlikely to be for vehicular transport - more probably for parking and few small shops. By simply going elevated, its not as if the stations are going to hang in thin air? So at the point where stations are built, just the same amount of land will be used.
  5. Now do tubes get uncomfortable? I should know, I use them daily. The answer is they are not any more comfortable than a Mumbai local once they are filled beyond capacity. I don't know how 2-3k will fit in to 4 coaches on a standard gauge line (all tubes in London are standard gauge - picaddilly can manage at most 200 people per coach).
  6. In contrast Mumbai's broad gauge manages a lot more (I am not referring to overcrowding, I am talking of optimal capacity).
But as the post is about sanity check - my first question is rather vital as otherwise all these alignments going in to few thousand crores is yet another - for the elite by the elite mental masturbation akin to making paper aeroplanes (that will never fly).

ASJ
blrsri's picture

why at grade can be an option..

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Disclaimer: this thread can itself remain a pipe dream..

theres no doubt that some sections need to be elevated..like they had planned for the expressway..but major part can be at grade..
I guess, if there is already a two way road with a wide median..building a elevated metro is a breeze..no land acqusition needed etc..

However the route Devesh was talking was max 30 ft road..with probably nice trees on the sides..ok..that makes it 40 ft?
We carve out a median there and make it 15 ft two lanes with a 10 ft median..cutting the trees..what gud that road will be?
Hence a limited aqusition for at grade line should be viable! Did we hear third rail? If yes, then we need good fencing all the way!
costs will not be low..but having traveled on elevated monorail and other metro rails..metro at grade is the best option..shd say!

idontspam's picture

at grade=bombay local

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On a side note, I notice in most discussions at grade is likened to a local train. Where we lay tracks does not need to dictate which rolling stock runs on it. Its almost like a metaphor for good looking stuff need to be kept out of reach/sight of Indian populace :)
Naveen's picture

ASJ, Srinidi - Yr Queries

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ASJ, Yr questions ---

There is already a huge 6-lane road (NH7) going towards the airport in the north (abt 35km from city) that has numerous suburbs that are partially developed. A Ph-2 Metro line is planned to an important suburb (Yelahanka), which is on this rd & is about halfway to the airport. Devesh had proposed a Metro line along a previously planned expressway route that had to start from the east of the city & also required the route to be longer (abt 24km), passing through lesser developed areas.

I had suggested that it was better to continue the route coming up in Ph-2 from Yelahanka to the airport. My point was that this would reduce the length & of course, costs for construction + there would be many daily commuters coming to the city + also the question of a city-airport rail connection would be accomplished, perhaps making the extension more viable.

I agree that an airport catering to just 10 million users does not warrant a separate Metro system for the airport. I also agree that comparison to London etc is rather useless (See my earlier post/s above).

There is nothing wrong in running trains on grade, no doubt, but it has to be less expensive than going elevated. Many old European & American Metros (London, Berlin, Munich, Paris, Bilbao, etc.) do have portions on the ground, generally in the suburbs (they are mostly underground within the city), but the problem with Bangalore (& other larger Indian cities) is really the relatively very high cost of land & stiff opposition by land owners.

Using central medians or on sides with some road widening on existing roads is the only option to erect pillars for the metro & run it elevated - Mumbai & Hyderabad are planning the same, & also, this was what was done in Delhi, except for a small on ground section outside the city. Kolkatta's Metro runs entirely underground. Costs for tunnelling for underground sections are much higher, so the general focus is on elevated sections.

As regards space consumption, the elevated sections will allow traffic underneath as has been done in Chinese cities & also in New York. There is also the possibility for commercialization of the space beneath along some sections which is another revenue stream that can subsidize ticket costs & running of the Metro. Designing stations is also less complicated as a floor is built overhead, covering wider parts of the road, without the requirement for large land parcels, except for entry /exits & for providing parking for park & ride facilities.

I have also travelled by the underground in London & on the New york subway, & I know that in peak hours, they are quite full, but not like in Mumbai. Mumbai's locals are possibly the worst as regards commuter comforts with all the pushing & shoving & I had stopped using them a long time ago.

Srinidhi - If the tracks have to be laid on the ground, much more land would be needed & perhaps more trees will have to be cut, instead of the single row of trees along one side of the road, if the alignment is at the side. The Kannur-Bagalur route has been widened now & it may be possible to run an elevated metro on it, limiting land requirements, but since the area is less developed, the no. of commuters will be fewer.

 

asj's picture

Missing the point

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The fundamental difference between London and our elevated rails is this - The trains don't run parallel nor over the main arterial roads.

Barring the crowds in Mumbai (which is no fault of the trains per se) and the fact that seats have no cushions (which can be added with ease) - there is no difference in comfort levels.

Moot point is - how many Bangaloreans use the airport (out of the 10 million) - that should justify or not the case for added expenses being mulled over in this thread.

Anyone knows this stat? Can the rail line to BIAL pay for it self?

ASJ
Naveen's picture

Trains in India are Rudimentary

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The London Underground (also most other European metros) do not follow the road alignments since most were built underground a long time ago. Our Metros are being planned mostly elevated over roads for the reasons mentioned.

There is a lot of difference in comfort levels between our suburban & long distance trains & Trains /Metros overseas. I had recently used the eurorail pass for travel within europe, particularly deustsche bahn & had also travelled on the Inter-city in UK + Amtrak in USA previously - these are far superior to any of our trains with noiseless, smooth operation. The train system in Japan is also a great experience. I recently read a report about the new train in China to Lhasa (Tibet) from the eastern shore, built to international specs before the Beijing olympics to satisfy protestors from worlwide - the report was by a british author, who had stated that it was the best train in China & comparable to Inter-city !

The Metros in India are being planned as per the latest international specs & would offer the same comfort levels - Delhi Metro being the first such, with Bangalore & other Metros to follow.

Our present trains are quite uncomfortable - they vibrate, there is noise, the coaches are of rudimentary design, etc.

The coaches on Mumbai locals do not have automatic doors for safety, no PA system, no vestibules, the electric motors are very noisy, no inetriors panelling, no AC, no WifFi, no station display or PA announcements within coaches, etc. But then as you say, the excessive crowds do not permit any of these.

Most users of the int'l airport are from bangalore - many from within the state (as also some from outside) use them as it is the only international airport with many connections to overseas destinations in the state. Even these users from outside the city will mostly use bangalore city as a transit point, though how they commute to the airport is a different question - at present, there are volvo buses & also suvarna buses, costing lesser operating between city & airport from various city pickup points. Cabs /taxis also operate. Auto-rickshaws are not permitted within the airport.

Other than these air travellers, there is a huge cargo complex & many other airport related facilities (airport city) that are coming up. Thus, there are already many daily commuters. Added to this, there are many developing suburbs en-route along the highway. A high-speed airport train with limited stops is being planned, but will be hugely expensive & may never materialize, & may remain just a thought.

A metro train is not immediately required, but with further developments, it may become a necessity & will have large patronage, of course if it includes the suburbs en-route that are also developing fast.

asj's picture

Rudimentry?

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Some arguments are irrelevant -

The coaches on Mumbai locals do not have automatic doors for safety, no PA system, no vestibules, the electric motors are very noisy, no inetriors panelling, no AC, no WifFi, no station display or PA announcements within coaches, etc. But then as you say, the excessive crowds do not permit any of these.

IDS has already replied to this - Where we lay tracks does not need to dictate which rolling stock runs on it. Its almost like a metaphor for good looking stuff need to be kept out of reach/sight of Indian populace :)

So, the fact is that - Mumbai trains could also be as posh as anywhere else (and one day they will be so), but who is to pick the tab up? I have a 2 hour documnetry on Bombay Railways made by BBC where the Mumbai Railway Chairman says - The season ticket for annual pass holder works out to be 7 (naya) paisa per kilometer. Both Mumbai locals and BEST are the cities life-line where the service (due to economic constraints and population density) provision is based on NEED and not WANT. They provide water (needed for life) rather than a jazzed up Tango (a want, a luxury). So these services that run accuracy ratings of International standards make Mumbai what it is - a GDP four times that of Bangalore.

Even Bangalore trains could get over-crowded (in fact they will as migrants pour in to ensure their survival due to lack of investment in rural India) and just as uncomfortable as Mumbai trains.  In fact I am curious to know how they intend to fit 2-3k in 4 rakes.

But this thread is more about comparing at grade Vs elevated - so why not compare exactly that? Mumbai trains outstrip the Metro in terms of capacity (even Delhi broad gauge can't compete coach for coach, never mind fact that Mumbai locals chug 12 coaches at a time), speeds can be as high as 70-90kph but in reality no train (not even London tubes) run more than 30 kph.  

Now lets look at BAA Heathrow airport (stats from their website) -

67.3 million passengers - 23% UK business, 19% foreign business, 33% UK leisure and 25% foreign leisure. 44% are foreign passport holders. Figures like these justify the services of Heathrwo express.

I still wait to hear about similar break up for BIAL (perhaps its something that ought to go within the RTI in planning).

Now some facts:

International trains are not noisy?


I use the tubes every day. I have used surface british rail (inter-city) and also Euro rail. They are not silent (although sitting inside one may think so due to sound proofing), stand aside a passing train to find out how noisy they can be.

Tubes happened before roads?



Look at the black lines - these are the tubes in London. I specifically observed my journey today. I started at Hounslow East on an elevated section - why was it elevated - because it crossed a road (Kingley road). As we moved towards Acton town, we were below ground level but not under (still open air) - but here the train went through what we have come to understand as a magic box.

The roads were always there, trains came later (hence zones 1,2 have had to dig deep underground).

But the alignment is another aspect of this thread's larger debate. Its hard to find a elevated rail in London going along and on top of a major arterial road.

In contrast, look what is happening in our cities -


 
Now the image above - elevated tracks above a major road in Delhi - is this not public property already? What acquisition costs are we talking about on such stretches?



This is one of the train stations in Delhi - has this taken up substantially less space than an at grade station?

And what about the comparisons with regards pros / cons of the two models with regards following-

Maintainance costs, life spans of these elevated sections, upgrade costs in future, service delivery (what happens when a train atop elevated section fails - given that this is two track pony one should expect everything to come to a grinding halt) and of course emergency response - say there is a derailment - many more will die if the train falls over the hudreds on the crowded roads underneath, but take another situation where the derailed train does not fall but remains hanging with injured - has bangalore got the services of helicopters for evacuation or will they rely onrudimentry fire brigades of our country?

Finally, I come back to need Vs want and wonder who are we planning these services for? Air-con, wi-fi and god knows what - the last two generations of this country have never bothered to ponder over this luxury but all of a sudden this has been re-classed as a NEED by the elite who want to build a service for the elite.

ASJ
 

PS: do check up http://en.wikipedia.org/w... before calling the Indian railway 'rudimentry' - much has been done by this public sector undertaking over last 60 years, more for the poor than the rich

Locals in Mumbai do have excellent on platform PA as well digital boards, its not desparately important to have these inside the train (again its just a want rather than need).

Naveen's picture

Needs & Wants Vary

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Normal 0

ASJ,

Let’s not contest or challenge one another. Keeping praja’s objectives in mind first, this should be a useful discussion from which we could learn from each other as also involve others reading in – & I am sure you are in agreement.

1)      The needs & wants of different sections of society differ. The poorer sections of course want low ticket prices & punctuality, which the Mumbai local trains offer to them. Comfort /cleanliness are not too important for this group. The upper classes want clean surroundings, AC in hot climate & more advanced features on the trains, in addition to punctuality. A higher fee for travel is not much frowned upon by this group that has grown steadily now to very large numbers.

Having spent 5 years in Mumbai earlier, I know the city very well & I visit the city quite often even now in the course of my employment. The existing local trains there do cater to millions of people at very low cost, & they are referred to as the lifeline of the city. For decades, the punctuality of these trains was what made Mumbai what it is – the largest city economy of the country, as you say.

However, times have changed. With improved affordability now, many people have been buying cars as these trains had reached saturation. They are now overcrowded & have become very uncomfortable. The city had tried to overcome this by building new roads & widening existing ones to cater to the increasing no. of cars, but realization dawned on them that they needed to address the aspirations of this group that is quality conscious. Since road construction cannot go on for long, they now plan a Metro system with all the quality standards that this group seeks. Accordingly, the new Mumbai Metro system, planned in 3 phases, would connect most parts of the city from North to South & East to West, with 9 new lines.

It is quite unfair that train systems costing thousands of crores are being provided for the richer classes whilst the poor will continue in low cost trains, but this is part of a much larger problem that our country has to somehow cope with over the next few decades.

The story is no different in Bangalore - the city can have a network of low-cost commuter trains too, but South-Western Railways are not interested, probably after the failures of Chennai & Hyderabad MRTS. The bus system, under the circumstances, is performing satisfactorily, but has become inefficient & very inadequate due to increasing traffic. With these new upper classes in very large numbers, the city desperately needs a mass transit to get them off their cars. Hence, after almost 20 years of debate, they are now building a modern metro system, but the bus will continue to be indispensable. Migrants will keep pouring in, but if controls are exercised on roads to keep traffic volumes low, the bus system & the metro should be able to cope.

Bangalore metro will finally have 6 coaches (not 4) that can accommodate over 2000 passengers. The capacity is larger as standing space is more & seating space is made fewer with longitudinal row of seats on the two sides, with an open middle left for increased standing room.

2)      Re. the break-up of BIAL users, I have not come across any such stats, & doubt if they are available. The transport survey (CTTP) has recommended a BRT up to the international airport, & in my opinion, this would have been the least expensive & the best choice. Differences between NHAI (the road is NH-7) & the city authorities as also rejection of BRT by the airport connectivity infrastructure committee, probably under pressure from industry, has resulted in more attention to a hi-speed rail system, that will cost heavily. This is being pursued without any notion of risk, & is wasteful, in my opinion.

3)      Trains are noisy on the outside anywhere, no doubt. What I was referring to was that noise levels within were very low on trains in Europe, USA, etc, with increased comfort for travellers.

4)      Tubes did not happen before roads – the older subway systems in Europe happened a long time ago & did not probably follow the roads as routes for guidance of travel patterns, but were probably based on connecting different points effectively (this should be so even today). This was also before excessive motorization took place. London’s Metro is called the ‘Underground’ because much of it is buried deep.

The London route that you took may not have elevated sections. The pictures below show that elevated sections are very common in Asian cities as also elsewhere (NewYork, etc). It is not that India is the only country opting for this.

Bangkok

    

Manila; & NewYork

   

NewYork

   

Taipei

        

 

Yr first picture of Delhi Metro shows that when tracks are elevated above the road, it reduces land acquisition when compared to surface rail since the road is already public land, as you stated. It may not demonstrate that roads have been widened for building the Metro since the road may have already been wide enough. In Bangalore, roads are not as broad. Some of the roads along which the Metro is aligned are being widened to accept the pillars, either along medians or along the sides. So, the construction process involves land acquisition at very high cost along these roads for road widening.

Yr second picture of Delhi Metro may show a large station structure that does not demonstrate that land on the surface for the elevated station was saved. How about the designs in the pictures below – use of land can certainly be saved with proper designs for stations.

 

 

 

And some land-saving station designs for Bangalore Metro ---

  

  

  

5)      Maintenance costs would certainly be higher for elevated sections when compared to surface rail, but lesser than underground since lighting & ventilation would be necessary continuously for underground, as in London tubes.

As regards safety, elevated routes have been in use & the development of safety standards has probably been progressing, undoubtedly, though I am not aware of the technical details. Elevated tracks are safer than underground against sabotage & flooding. A walkway path on both sides along elevated & also underground sections is being provided throughout.

 

asj's picture

Its our job to ask questions

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Let’s not contest or challenge one another

I disagree. Unless we do this we will end up taking wrong decisions. The debate was being repeatedly influenced by unrelated rhetorics - that a Metro system is posher or more comfortable than at grade commuter rails or indeed the idea that Indian railways is a rudiment is worth challenging.

If you want to build a metro (not that I am a fan of this model), do it for the right reasons and then do it the right way. Corridors need deciding first on current and anticipated PPH, alternatives considered, cost-effectiveness (which I keep harping about) looked at , alternative alignments studied - I have my doubts about going elevated over arterial roads, effectively we are still asking people to travel to the arterial road in some way (as is the case now) - in contrast, London trains when elevated go across (not longitudinally parallel) small roads and create alternative corridors - if you have to go under or over, why get stuck within the bounds of a road? The answer is simple, the authorities want to implement (much like the BRT in Pune) a successful model that transends lack of space on the cheap. Going over as they do in London will cost slightly more, but decent solutions always come at a cost - a lot is missing for me to be satisfied.  

If PPH is likely to be high enough (20-40k) then I would rather ask the question why the road its self was not converted in to a at grade rail line - cheap as well as makes way for more than 2 tracks. If you can carry 40k instead of 20k why would you not consider it (if projected rise in population suggests that need in the future)?

The whole process of doing feasibility studies needs questioning. If you ask DMRC to carry out a survey of whether Metro can be implemented in Timbuktoo, the answer will always be a resounding YES.

The question should be what type of PT will best serve our needs of today and tomorrow. Rather than asking which is the best solution, one needs asking which is the most cost-effective solution?

I can't help if raising questions that I suggest are put to the authorities disturbs those who wish to answer for the authorities.

ASJ
asj's picture

It seems pointless

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No one is prescribing anyone anything. Its a fair debate, although some seem to take slight at the idea of anyone asking a question - if that is the case, it is pointless.

To clarify, I did say, I was commenting with the intent of you and others leveraging the outsiders perspective. Its not for me to decide what anyone chooses to do with the feedback on the thread. Nobody is stupid enough to think I am saying go the London way (that was an alternative cleraly not looked at), nor am I suggesting there have not been any studies. Those who read enough, will get past the concrete sense some seem to have derived.

The idea of a road being replaced by a rail track at grade is not absurd - all one needs to imagine is how one connects two cities across a river (if we presume the river in this case is the rail track).  Those images of two elevated rail tracks and packed roads below hardly make me feel optimistic.

Suhas did make an effort to get this across but like him I do not wish to be subjected to what seems to be getting close to a personal attack. Hence I too will bow out of this thread.

ASJ
Devesh's picture

Nefarious note by DMRC being circulated?

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There are rumours of a note written by DMRC for the HSRL. This note proposes that state via BBMP and other agencies, acquire 7 meters of land (not sure on one side or both sides), all the length of the HSRL from Minsk square to BIA.

Why ?

This way the acquisition cost will get camouflaged and not shown in the already high cost of the HSRL.

Any way to confirm this rumour ? I did get it from very authoritative sources.

-----------------------

Regards

Devesh R. Agarwal

Visit my aviation blog at http://aviation.deveshagarwal.com

-----------------------
Regards
Devesh
Bangalore Aviation
Enjoy life, destroy FUD
Devesh's picture

BIA Namma Metro link .... part post from CRS thread

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Continued from the Commuter Rail Service thread

Guys

A couple of clarifications to filter the numerous ideas floating around Yelahanka.

1. Yelahanka station is choked. So please do not look at ANY solution that relies on Yelahanka station. Indian Railways is willing to give track BEYOND Yelahanka.

2. Forget CRS as a high frequency solution. By the GoK letter, we should realise that Railways can at best provide a high volume (not high frequency) solution for peak hour. This is ideally suited for shift based industries which will have a massive movement at a fixed time. i.e. industrial estates including the IT dominated ones.

3. Standard rail services have a much larger block size (larger trains) when compared to metro rail services, and world over railways use a block system (one train on one block of track). Which is also a reason why Mumbai cannot increase the frequency of trains.

4. Security. We cannot always assume as the crow flies and put all our eggs in one basket. One strike and the airport gets completely cut off.

5. There is a BMRC long term plan to put in a central line that will come up NH7 from Bommasandra/EC side, through Vellara junction, to Hennur Road junction (which is where my airport track proposal cuts to Hennur Road from ORR) and thenon to Yelahanka via Nagavara and Sanjay Nagar. I have discussed this earlier. Trust me on the route I have seen the proposals. But this plan is at least 5, more likely 10 years away.

. . . . . . .

Coming to the Namma Metro link proposal I made.

Keeping these in mind, I had proposed the start point at BYP, since this will be ready by 2010. Other reaches of Metro will take another 2 years.

Another aspect to keep in mind is traffic penetration and peak hour flows. One the best HSRL in the world is HKIA express, and even that has only 26% passenger penetration. This is with high levels of safety HKG is famous for. Metro is not yet know, but let us give benefit of the doubt.

This is an old graph. I am sure the peaks and valleys have become more radical.

What that translates to :

10 million pax per year x 26% = 2.6 MPPA. Divide by 52 = 50K pax per week or about 8K pax per day. Dividing by 6 to balance out non peak days. At 8K ppd, no rail system on god's green earth will work out economically. Putting in airport workers is essential. At present that is around 8K workers.

45% of an airports passengers travel during the 6 peak hours. 6am - 10am and 5pm - 7pm. Balance 50% will travel during non-peak hours 10am - 5pm, and 7pm to 12 midnight (assuming the running hours of Metro). 5% will travel outside the metro hours.

So PHP (peak hour passengers) = 3,600 passengers during 6 hours = 600 PHP per hour. Non PHP = 4,400 during 12 hours or 365 non PHP.

We will expect a train to BIA every 20 minutes during peak and 30 minutes during non peak. But as you can see, there is a significant dip in passengers during the middle of the day. A metro can fill capacity with commuters who are more prevelant during the non peak times.

Yes, initially, the Metro proposal will appear to favour passengers in the east, and I do not mean this as a justification, but most air passengers are based in the South to East quadrant of the city, and in any case this is a mute point. Once the Metro is completed, it will take only 30 minutes to cover the metro end to end (as per BMRC). Add another 5 minutes max to change over between NS and EW line. Add another 5 minutes to change over to BIA line and 40 minutes to BIAL. Total 80 minutes from the furthest point on the Metro is most definitely a good transit time to the airport.

We also need to look at this line beyond the narrow confines of an airport link, and more in service of a city grid. As my proposal shows, there will be a stop at HBR. At that location is a BMTC depot so there will be multi-modal connectivity. Also, when the Central line comes, it will come to HBR before going left to Nagavara. So the BIA line will also service to the airport from the NH7 corridor, as well as provide a link from Yelahanka to Whitefield and ITPL.

I think I will stop now. Have gone on enough. :)

-----------------------

Regards

Devesh R. Agarwal

Visit my aviation blog at http://aviation.deveshagarwal.com

-----------------------
Regards
Devesh
Bangalore Aviation
Enjoy life, destroy FUD

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