Commuter Rail - Will it ever materialize ?

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Commuter RailPublic Transport

Most of us are aware that the CTTP-2007 report had recommended a Commuter /Sub-urban rail system for the city, totalling 204.0km (this includes city & suburban services upto Tumkur, Hosur & Ramanagaram). A few sub-urban trains are in operation & are being run by Southwestern railways (SWR), but the system is not of much help to urban commuters.

Please also see earlier discussions on this subject here, here & more recently here.

Within the city & the more developed suburbs, the following (twenty-two) stations already exist, but many of these stations are not much used :
1)  Yelahanka
2)  Chikkabanavara
3)  Kodigehalli
4)  Lottegollahalli
5)  Hebbal
6)  Yeswantapur
7)  Chennasandra
8)  Banaswadi
9)  Krishnarajapuram
10) Bangalore East
11) Whitefield
12) Malleswaram
13) Cantonment
14) Byappanahalli
15) City Station
16) Nayandahalli
17) Gnanabharti
18) Kengeri
19) Bellandur Rd
20) Karmelaram
21) Heelalige
22) Anekal Road

Except for four of the larger inter-city train stations, ie. (6), (9), (13) & (15), the other 18 stations are used very little. Can city service trains be run through these stations & could they be put to better use than they are at present ? On the drawing below, one can see the planned Metro tracks (phase 1 & also phase 2, as will most likely be built) in the backdrop of SWR's tracks :


( Click for larger image )

The following CTTP recommended routes would certainly be needed since the areas covered by CRS are not going to be served by Metro routes :

a) Kengeri to City Stn - 13 km
b) City Stn to Whitefield (via Cant R'ly Stn, Baiyyappanahalli) - 24 km
c) City Stn to Baiyyappanahalli (via Hebbal) - 23 km
d) Lottegollahalli to Yelahanka - 7 km
e) Banaswadi to BMA boundary (via Bellandur rd) - 29 km
( Total = 96 kms )

The fewer interfaces with Metro might not pose obstacles & could be overcome by connecting bus services to CRS stations. There are only 22 stations over the 96 kms of track. Thus, the average distance between stations is over 4.3km - additional CRS stations would be necessary - some ideas are as follows (marked with blue spots on the map above) :

a) On Kengeri-City Stn route: (23) near RV Engg College; (24) Deepanjali Nagar Metro stn; (25) Hosahalli main rd.
b) On City Stn-Whitefield route: (26) Seshadripuram (Sivananda store); (27) Jeevanahalli; (28) Beniganahalli (ORR); (29) Devasandra; (30) Hoodi; (31) Sadarmangal Ind Area.
c) On City Stn-Baiyyappanahalli route: (32) Jalahalli (ORR); (33) MS Ramiah rd; (34) Gundappa rd; (35) Kanaka nagar; (36) Kadugondanahalli.
d) On Banaswadi-BMA boundary route: (37) Beniganahalli (ORR); (38) Kaggadasapura; (39) Chinnappanahalli; (40) Varthur rd; (41) Sarjapura rd; (42) Chandapura (Hosur rd).

These additional stations would reduce the average distance between stations to about 2.3km, which is more appropriate for a suburban rail system.

SWR might have it's reasons for repeatedly rejecting operation of city rail services in Bangalore - such rail systems are faring poorly in almost every city in the country barring Mumbai, but then in India, city rail systems are directly being operated by divisions of Indian railways whose primary focus area is the operation of inter-city train services. Further, the other transport systems in use in the cities (such as buses, taxis, etc.) were never planned nor integrated for easy transfer of passengers between different modes. Each operated independently on it's own, sometimes even competing with one another & making commuting difficult for people. Thus, most cities continue to have transport systems that are not well-knit & therefore, inefficient, & this also explains why city rail systems have fared so poorly in the country.

We now have a situation where SWR has a lot of assets such as tracks, real estate & stations, but is clearly not the best option to build & operate the city /suburban rail system. It might be best if BMRCL could become the operator for CRS, sharing the infrastructure with SWR.

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Circular/commuter rail

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To a query on the Railways providing circular railway service for Bangalore city utilising the existing track network and building some more, Mr. Muniyappa said the Ministry has been watching the infrastructure development in the city.

“We have been watching and studying the public transport scenario in Bangalore. I’ll not make any commitment at present but definitely we are at it,” he said.

Asked whether the Railway Board has decided not to take up any new suburban railway project, Mr. Muniyappa said he was not aware of any such decision

Source

CRS / Local train for Bangalore Vs State Govt & SWR attitude

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Its good that now awarness is coming with people about CRS & how its important  to integarte CRS  with  METRO & BMTC.

I think too much of discussion on CRS at every level, but no action from any front. 

Refer earlier posts on Praja dt : 30th Dec'09 and 2nd Jan'10

http://www.praja.in/en/blog/sanjayv/2009/12/30/updates-railway-minister

www.praja.in/en/blog/sanjeev/2010/01/02/crs-local-train-bangalore-vs-state-govt-swr-attitude

Its  fate of Banglore  and Citizens to suffer on the CRS front for some more time : . Even when RITES took study on CRS on behalf of BMLTA,  they did't  consult SWR officers, SWR wants to do its own study as evident from BMLTA meetings. Then comes  MOS Mr K H Muniyaap ( due respect to his efforts for Karnataka ) making statement that State is not yet decided on CRS, so the Bangalore-Whitefield-Krishnarajapuram track-quadrupling work could not be implemented   Now SWR wants study the traffic voloume on Yesvanthpur to Devanahalli to start Local Trains. 

Existing stations arround Bangalore city within raidus of 30-40 Kms are more then 22 Stations. We have more then 33 stations. Balance station list is heer :

      23) Betta Hasoor

      24) Dodjala

      25) Devanahalli

      26) Tanisandra

      27) Bidadi

      28) Heijala

      29) Rajana Kunte

      30) Dodballapur

      31) Soledvana Halli

      32) Gol Halli

      33) Nelamangala

     

New stations needed :

1. RPC LAYOUT

2. BINNY MILL ROAD

3. SHESHADRIPURAM

4. KUMAR KRUPA ( BDA )

5. COX TOWN

6. MADRAS ROAD

7. HENNUR ROAD

8. NAGAVARA

9. RAJAJINAGAR

10.GOKULA

11. HMT ( JALHALLI )

12. GKVK

13.JAKKUR AERODROM

14. HOSUR RAOD INTERSECTION OF SELAM TRACK

 

Even  RITEs study is not accepted by SWR & it looks for shorter roots of 7 Kms length similar to Mono Rail. 

We  at Praja need to work with all these inputs and make strong representation to SWR & Minister K H Muniyaapa / Chief Minister or Transport Minister. Other wise we will be discussing on this even for next 2-3 years.

 

Its time for us to act on CRS to get the things on the ground going.

My stop suggestions here

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My stop suggestions here

Are SWR tracks in B'lore over-loaded ?

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From information available on IR webpages, the no. of trains stopping & then 'departing' in a 24-hour period from various stations are appx'ly as follows (trains passing by without stopping & goods trains are not included as there isn't available data) :

1)  YELAHANKA JN, YNK                       - 20
2)  CHIK BANAVAR, BAW                      - 12
3)  KODIGEHALLI, KDGH                      -   5
4)  LOTTEGOLLAHALLI, LOGH             -   6
5)  HEBBAL, HEB                                  -   2
6)  YASVANTPUR JN, YPR                    - 37
7)  CHANNASANDRA, CSDR                 -   2
8)  BANASWADI, BAND                         -   4
9)  KRISHNARAJAPURM, KJM              - 42
10)  BANGALORE EAST, BNCE            - 32
11) WHITEFIELD, WFD                        - 30
12) MALLESWARAM, MWM                 - 21
13) BANGALORE CANT, BNC               - 61
14)  BAIYYAPPANAHALI, BYPL            - 20
15)  BANGALORE CY JN, SBC             - 67
16) NAYANDAHALLI, NYH                     - 10
17) JNANA BHARATI HALT, GNB          -   7
18)  KENGERI, KGI                               - 20
19) BELANDUR ROAD, BLRR               -   4
20) CARMELARAM, CRLM                    -   8
21) HEELALIGE, HLE                            -   4
22) ANEKAL ROAD, AEK                       -   4

Comparitively, the no. of departures for some other dense stations are as follows :

Chennai Central                 - 50;
Chennai Egmore                - 28;
Chennai Perambur             - 38;
Hyderabad Deccan            - 14;
Hyderabad Kacheguda       - 21;
Secundarabad Jn               - 58   (Many passing thro' trains).

 

It indeed appears that the load in /around Bangalore is higher than other larger cities in the south viz. Chennai & Hyderabad.

Tracks in Chennai radiate independent of one another from one of two central points (ie. Chennai Central & Beach). This makes it easier to slot suburban trains inbetween intercity trains & run them with lesser interference since there are no criss-crosses.

Likewise, in Hyderabad, suburban trains are being run along existing train tracks that do not have intersections with other tracks. Thus it appears that they are being run without interference from crossing inter-city trains (ie. by slotting them inbetween two inter-city trains along the same tracks).

In Bangalore, we have many line intersections or bifurcations such as those near Yasavantapur, Yelahanka, Lottegollahalli & Banaswadi. Also, in addition, we have the 'tangle' of tracks between Byappanahalli, KRPuram & Chennasandra - I think all these make it more problematic to run regular suburban trains since halting for inter-city trains to cross will probably become a routine for every CRS /Suburban train. Rail track arrangements appear to be similar to our diffuse road system.

 

With all these negatives, it might be better to leave SW tracks for inter-city & the few suburban services & develop a whole new (elevated or underground) system of separate, independent tracks for Metro & Monorail. I think that having regular /frequent city /suburban trains on existing tracks (with simultaneous operation of so many inter-city trains - increasing all the time) might be quite difficult.

It is not tough to run

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It is not tough to run suburban trains though the number of trains arriving/departing are more. An analysis reveals many trains arriving/departing between 5 and 7AM.After the departure of 6731 to MYsore and arrival of Rani chennamma and Tirupathy Fast pass there isnt much fo train traffic until Seshadri arrives at 12:30. Again after 2PM there is not much traffic present until departure of Kacheguda Express at 18:20 after which teh station fills to the brim. But in the mornign peak hour and evening peak hour many locals can be run. Some adjustments can be made in this regard.

2785/86 Kacheguda Express generally stops at PF-2 for whole day. This can be taken to the yard to relieve this platform.

An expansion of the last platforms to the binny mill land and accommodate trains that side.

Trains like 6525/26 Kanniyakumari come onto the platform by around 7PM for departure at 9:45PM. t can come around 9PM.

Karnataka Express is also put onto Pf-1 at around 5:45MP for around 7:20PM.

Direction based train routes

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It indeed appears that the load in /around Bangalore is higher than other larger cities in the south viz. Chennai & Hyderabad.

Which might indicate there is a need to create alternate terminals like this and then connect them via the locals to the city. That apart we have the habit of running point to point trains from every city to every other city. There is no concept of change overs. Is it time for trains also to be direction based?

CRS for Bangalore

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Load on Bangalore city tracks is not much considering the length of existing  track and direction of tracks running.   Its mis-managed by SWR and  not having right infrastucture  for the Banalore city railway tracks.

Take the case of Pune  Local Trains running upto Lonavala with double electrified Track. Same track is  used to for Mumbai Travel & its one of  busy section. 

Reason for Bangalore city  Tracks overloaded which is not correct & its  an execuse by  SWR  & others :

1. SWR has managed the Tracks  & electric lines in Bangalore city   to run trains for Bihar, WB & Chennai not for the Bangalore city. 

2. Why all trains need to originate from SBC to Chennai. They can start these Trains  from Kengeri ( as this station was developed & can have  FOUR Platforms )

3. Trains starting from SBC to Mysore can be started from Yelahanka via Yesvanthpur & SBC. For this why Railway minister has not bothered to develop Yelahanka Station with SIX platfroms.

4. For all your information, Tracks from Yesvanthpur to Lottegollahalli looks double,  SWR has ensured that  one track rund for Yelahanka & other track  runs for Hebbal / Banaswadi.  They should have created junction at Lottegollahalli which would have given  double / 4 lane track from Yesvanthpur.  Its 4 Kms.

5. Till this day by giving all execuses by SWR or State Govt or  Center, we have allowed to run all types of  Long distance trains during  6AM -10AM & evening 4PM to 8PM. Now stand is tracks are over loaded.

6. When all Major cities have 4 Tracks to their central  place with fully electrified,  its ensured that  we need to fight for Bangalore. on this Take the case of Yesvanthpur to Yelahanka,  Yesvanthpur to BaiyyappanahaliI,  KR Puram to Yelahanka, still tTrack doubling need to be done. 

7. From SBC  to Kengeri,  Whitefiled, Chikbanavar, Yelahanka Four Tracks need to be provided with electric line,  when will Railway minister sanctions  this ?????

8.  BaiyyappanahaliI, to Yesvanthpur, hardly few trains running, its not used much.

9. Now take the case of Yesvanthpur to  Nelamangala track which was ready more then a year, ( state has invested the money in this )  till this  day starting of trains  is not  talked.

With above  details,  CRS can be easily put into  SWR tracks. Their is no issue on this. Its matter of action not the disussion.

Alternate Starting points for Long distance trains

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Alternate starting points for Long distance trains would free up the load on tracks inside the city particularly (BAIYYAPPANAHALI, BYPL    to  BANGALORE CY JN, SBC)

All Mysore bound trains to start from Whitefield/ KR puram ( Via BANGALORE CY JN, SBC).

All trains towards Bangarpet - Chennai & Hosur to start from Yeshwantpur( Via BANGALORE CY JN, SBC).

All trains towards upwards North to start from Kengeri ( Via BANGALORE CY JN, SBC).

Local trains with adequate frequency between all these stations via BANGALORE CY JN, SBC will take all the incoming or outgoing passengers very easily. Neither the state govt nor the SWR is interested due to vested interests of each inspite of many requests from public.                                                                                                       

SWR (Now) is no better than SR (Yester years) for Bangalore - Ultimately Bangalore is still crying for CRS and suffering.

Bangalore CRS

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My point was that the layout of tracks in Bangalore (as per map above) is somewhat complicated when compared with track layouts in other cities, which adds to the problem for running a CRS here. See maps of track layouts for Chennai & Pune below - these are much simpler than what we have in Bangalore.

I think the point made for shifting starting stations for inter-city trains away from SBC to clear up congestion is valid & can help a great deal, but I doubt if SWR alone can take such decisions - they might need concurrence from IR.

Also, for electrification of tracks, I think IR has to release funds out of the budget to have it done. I doubt if SWR alone can go ahead without concurrence from IR - this might be the obstacle.

The recent announcement makes clear that Byappanahalli will also be developed to another hub /terminal since Metro rail will integrate there. Maybe we will see some action then.

Something needs to be done

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My point was that the layout of tracks in Bangalore (as per map above) is somewhat complicated when compared with track layouts in other cities, which adds to the problem for running a CRS here.

But, thats what makes it circular and more appropriate for Bangalore. It covers more areas that metro doesnt so we can make metro focus on the uncovered areas instead.

SWR/IR should use Yeswantpur & Byappanahalli as terminals for interstates since they will have multimodal connectivity soon. This should free up other stations for Bangalore Circular. Long term move to BIA can happen for commuter trains which connect BIA catchment area.

CRS FOR BANGALORE

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Ref  : Layout of tracks in Bangalore (as per map above) is somewhat complicated when compared with track layouts in other cities

Track length of Bangalore is higher then any other city & reaches to most of the places.s in Bangalore  except the Jayanagar & Banashankari. Infact its an advantage for CRS to start, if  any one has travelled in Mumbai Local Trains,  they have built  Railway             FLY-OVERS for Railway Track to Criss-Cross so that  direct connectivity from differnet directions exists.

Compared to other METROs,   Mumbai, Kolkotta & Chennai have dead end terminals where  Inter City Trains / Passanger Trains takes very high time for turnout, its  almost double time,  arrival trains to reach platform, then drive in reverse direction, then once gain when departure again they need to bring the Train to platform.  In case of  Bangalore, Hyderbad,  Pune, Hubli-Dharwad, Tracks runs in different  directions without any dead end.  Take the case of Pune,  their are hardly few trains which originate from Pune city,  most of the trains are crossing city only,  hence the track availabilty is very high in Pune,  so they ar able to run Local Trains & advantage is they have fully electrified length.

In case Bangalore, as sugested  above by Narayan,  SS87,   SWR need to start all Inter-City Trains from Suberbs & follwoing can be put in place easily with State & Railway  making  SPV & BEML can be included in SPV.  Bangalore city has more advantage then any other city to get Local Trains. With following alterations, CRS can start :

SWR to  start all inter-city trains as below :

1. From Kengeri to North bound Trains,  and towards Hubli

2. Yelahanaka Whitefield/ KR puram  for Mysore bound Trains,

3. Trains towards Bangarpet - Chennai & Hosur to start from Yeshwantpur

4. SWR meed to create more plaforms at  Kengeri, Yelahanaka,  Chikabanavar,     Lottegollahalli. Malleshwaram, KR Puram, Anekal & Whitefiled ( increase 2 more platforms )

5. Following Tracks can be  / need to be made four Lane :  Bangalore Central to Chikbanavar,   Yesvanthpur to  Yelahankai,  Bangalore Central to Kengeri. Bangalore Central to Cantonment,  KR Puram to Yelahanka

6. Local Trains can be stationed at Kengeri, Nelamanagala, Devanhalli, Anekal, Whitefiled for night halt.

7. As the Track in Bangalore Criss-Crosses, this is an advantage which will help  in better planning of Inter-city Trains &  Local Trains for CRS.

8. BEML can supply the Broad Guage CRS coaches  as per the design of  Delhi METRO which is based on Broad Guage.

9. Already  Binny Mill Land  handing over to Railways in progress, so the Bangalore Central will have more Platforms for Local Trains.

10. BAIYYAPPANAHALI station need to be developed on urgent basis without any further execuses. This will help in originating more Inter-City Trains.

With all this,  State will initiate or Center / SWR.

With Minister of State Railways  K H Muniyappa at Center,  he should bring State & Center / Railways and get the CRS for Bangalore without further delay 

Agreed - CRS can be possible

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Okay - I understand that the complicated track layout in Bangalore can actually be an advantage & can in fact be very helpful to organize running an excellent CRS since various areas can be connected much better & more easily than in other cities such as Chennai & Hyderabad.

To summarize, the following would need to be done first :

1) Develop Byappanahalli as a new greenfield terminal. As per railway minister's statement, SWR is awaiting transfer of NGEF land, though I noticed heavy construction activity adjacent to the existing Byappanahalli station platform - see pictures below.

2) Shift starting points for as many trains as possible out from SBC to terminals that are furthest from the respective train destinations, such as Mysore trains to start from Byappanahalli /Yelahanka; Chennai trains to start from Yeswantapur /Kengeri; North bound trains to start from Kengeri /Byappanahalli, etc. since this will also negate the need for everyone to come to the city to board inter-city trains.

 

I'm not sure why BEML should be part of any SPV for a CRS. To me, BMRC would be best since they would then be in-charge of all city trains (Metro & CRS) & be in a good position to organize all trains for best interconnectivity, scheduling, etc & to complement one another.

Logistical nightmare?

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SWR to  start all inter-city trains as below

I am not too sure we can create so many terminals, it may become a logistical nightmare for interstate travellers to change trains. But definitely Yeswantpur & Byappanahalli will be a good start for terminating trains. City station should continue to host transit traffic.

Land Plan near Byappanahalli

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I am not too sure we can create so many terminals

We already have KRPuram & Yeswantapur as terminals. Byappanahalli is also being added. At least these could be used easily as start points for most trains (thereby reducing load considerably on SBC).

it may become a logistical nightmare for interstate travellers to change trains

Travellers will not need to change any trains. If at all, their travel will become more convenient. For example, a train bound for Mysore will commence from Yeswantapur or KRPuram instead of SBC. Those who reside closer to Yeswantapur & KRPuram will be benefited & will not need to go to SBC. The train will, however, stop at SBC en-route to pick up other passengers.

 

As regards NGEF land, this plan makes it clear as to what Mr Muniyappa was talking about. It is the factory land on the northwest of tracks (portions on the northeast are earmarked for KSRTC & BMTC, whilst the land south of tracks is for Metro depot).

Need "edge" stations aka new terminals

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Excellent thread, with new inputs over past discussions. [see this page http://praja.in/tags/CRS to see all past talk on the subject]

It would seem that there are only two ways of doing CRS

  • Augment capacity of tracks in the city, additional tracks basically, just like BBMP widens the roads.
  • Or, IMHO better option, create new terminals at the edge or sub-urban entrance to the city. Use the freedup capacity to run commuter rails.

These edge stations (or lets use a new term, suburban terminals) would need further connectivity with other interior parts of the city, and that would come via the Commuter Rail itself. It would be just like how, to go to Vashi/New Mumbai, you go to Kurla or VT, and then take Harbour line commuter train to Vashi.

The suburban terminal option will help to better manage some other movement patterns as well. Like, a Terminal on the North Side near BIAL will increase BIAL's catchment, and will provide connectivity to the airport from city as well.

If Satellite Bus stations could be placed adjacent to the suburban terminals, Train to bus exchange pattern would get decentralized, currently, most of it happens predominently at one place, Majestic. did someone say there is no space? Well, remember, there is enough air space available over many railway stations in the city.

Edge terminals make sense

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 Edge terminals at BYP (Metro Stn next door), YPR (Metro station) and somewhere near Nayandahalli should be the order of the day.  People don't travel to Delhi and Chennai on a daily basis by train.  Commuter rail will enable tracks inside the city to be utilized for more than the 100,000 or so using it today.

Naveen, your idea is good, but it eats up track capacity.

One commuter stretch could be Mysore Road to BYP via SBC and BNC.

One could be from YPR to Mysore Road. 

One could be from SBC to E-City via Carmelaram?

 

Srivathsa

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

Namma metro will help

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Assume metro phase-I is complete, in which case we'll have metro running between nayandhalli to majestic to byapanahalli.   So it makes perfect sense to convert nayandanahalli and byapanahalli as terminal stations for long distance trains. 

 

Also from my daily commute i have observed there is enough land available from cantonment railway station to whitefield station to quadrapule the lines, which will increase capacity.  And also the the quadrapuling project was approved way back in 1997(src:vision document indian railways).  Why is it a project approved in 1997 hasn't made any progress, not even a murmur.  To me it seems CRS is inevitable, its only a matter of time.  The sooner the better else people will start using long distance trains for urban commute.  How about making a point by travelling  in trains  on a designated day?  Lets call it a "commuter train day"..

vinod

 

Harbour Line in Mumbai.

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Edge stations will really help the CRS. :  Yesvanthpur,  Byapanahalli,  KR Puram, Kengeri, Yelahanka.  More edge station will help the de-congest inter-city trains &  to create  parking yard for the Inter-city trains to halt.

Coming to Harbour line for Local Train to Vashi, Belapur, Panvel,  With such good project example in front of Railway & Govt,  it looks  some vested interest  acting against  CRS, reason CRS will not benifit the some Western companies in getting ordere as the supply of coaches & tracks will be done by ICF Chennai or BEML ( if possible ). This facility was created way back  1992-94, and station designs at Vashi, Belapur, Nerul, Panvel are really good,  even stations are maintained  very well and I have not seen any such Model station even after 16-18 year down the lane. These stations have all  facilities : Office space for IT companies,  Helipad on the top floor,  Conference hall with Exhibition center,  Underpass for the road trafic, Parking space for Private vechile on both sides, Bus yard for the local buses,  Railway reservation center, these facilites were created  16-18 years back. 

Belapur, Vashi, Panvel, Nerul stations concept  can be replicated  to certain extent for Yelahanka,   Byapanahalli,, Yesvanthpur, Lottegollahalli, Kengeri,  Chikkabanavara,  Gnanabharti,  Bellandur Rd, Karmelaram,  Whitefiled, Devanhalli, Malleshwaram, Canonment as mention by Pranav  : there is enough air space available over many railway stations in the city.  Land also is availbale  for most  these stations for expanding.

COMMUTER TRAIN DAY  is a required  to get the CRS  as mentioned by Vinod.

How do we push for CRS ?

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We already have established edge stations at Yesvantapur & KRPuram. As of now, I think KRPuram sees only one train that does not enter the city (6613 - Rajkot Coimbatore Exp). Yesvantapur has helped in reducing load at SBC, since people from north bangalore prefer to board trains there. Likewise, people from east prefer boarding at Cantonment, if the train passes & stops there.

Byappanahalli will also be added as an edge station & will help to further reduce traffic to & from SBC.

I don't think the suggestion to have inter-city train terminals far outside the city (similar to airport/s) will work since the type & number of users is very different. Inter-city trains are also a sort of "mass-transit" between cities & the number of travellers is huge & uncomparable with the number of air travellers. This is why we have train stations in almost all world cities closer to city centers than airports. Examples include Penn & Grand Central in the heart of Manhattan, St.Pancras & Waterloo in London Central, Hautpbahnhof in Berlin Central, etc.

The Metro alone will not be able to provide connectivity to inter-city train terminals. A CRS will certainly help, & for this, augmentation of lines is vital.

How do we push for this ? Vinod makes the point for a "Commuter train day", but with so very few users, most would be unaware first up, but maybe this is one way to start.

Air space

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Well, remember, there is enough air space available over many railway stations in the city.

Good point, I heard airspace is being provided over roads as well in Hyderabad as TDR. We still build single level and underexploit multilevel advantage.Over all railway stations a bus stand can be built with ramps to the road.

State built railways

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Cross posting from the railways thread as it seems more relevant here:
"
Just curious - is the state as an entity prevented by law from building metro-like (mostly on-grade) "railways" connecting corridors or ringing metropolitan areas?
My dream: Karnataka invests in building ring / circular railways around major cities / metropolitan areas that connect the various suburbs and/or the surrounding towns. Travel using IR inter-state, seamlessly connect to circular on-grade suburban, reach your town, use bus or transfer to intra-city metro, use bus to reach home. Have specialized rakes for baggage like farm produce in the suburban railways so that a tractor-trailer can can directly enter a luggage section of the platform, unload hydraulically (or by other mechanical means), farmer pays for the baggage (much less than paying for private transport like lorry), unloads at a APMC scheduled stop of the suburban, sells his produce and returns home on the PT. True farmer-loving politicians ;-) should look at providing this convenience.
Much better (reliable, faster, cheaper?) to acquire approx. 2 (rail lines) + 2 (misc.) lane width for suburban railways than to acquire 8 lanes for PRR and encouraging private transport.
"
There seems to be adequate interest for a commuter rail day type event to occur.


Is SWR necessary for CRS ?

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N:

I'm just as curious. As far as commuter rails in other cities are concerned, all of them are being run by Railway divisions (Delhi suburban rail is run by NR, Kolkata by ER & SER, Mumbai by WR & CR; Chennai by SR, Hyderabad by SCR, etc.).

As discussed earlier on this thread, CRS is said to be a state subject & not with SWR or IR. What this probably means is that the state must also participate financially to build & run the service. For eg. the state of AP & SCR contributed equally for Hyderabad MMTS, but it is being run by SCR. Thus, the state govt has to push for CRS, if they need one. The reason why railways participate in the project is probably because they do not want to part with their assets (tracks, land, etc.), & so, they might have tended to insist on operation & participation, atleast thus far.

CRS - interfaces with other modes of transit

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Thought of recycling this old image, though Metro Ph 2 routes are likely to change, and BRT may not happen as well, the pic gives an idea of possibilities using CRS.

Railway act restrictions

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Just curious - is the state as an entity prevented by law from building metro-like (mostly on-grade) "railways" connecting corridors or ringing metropolitan areas?

There is a condition i think in the railways act which prevents non-IR entities from running rail services. It is phrased cleverly like the route should fall within a single logical city corporation or some such thing. This is why Bangalore metro used an amended mysore tramways act to allow them to build the metro. This is aIso why to execute HSRL BBMP had to take administrative control of the entire region that the route falls under.

I am unable to articulate the exact provisions but one thing is clear, its not straight forward for the states to lay rail lines without violating some railway act provisions.

For circular rail IR owns the tracks anyway, so we have to ask them to swalpa adjust

CRS - Tracks details & works necessary

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Another drawing of the city rail map --- from this, the following is clear :

1) Electrified double line exists - only between SBC to Whitefield (via Cant, Blore east, Byappanahalli & KRPuram - appx 24.0km).

 2) Non-Electrified double line - fitted between SBC & Lottegollahalli (via Malleswaram, Yesvantapur - appx 10.8km).

These are the only sections that have been doubled (34.8km).

The following are single lines (mostly within the city) that need to be doubled & electrified (or quadrapuled in some cases, if an efficient CRS is to be operated):

3) Lottegollahalli to Byappanahalli (via Hebbal, Banaswadi - 12.2km appx).

 4) Lottegollahalli to Yelahanka (7.0km).

 5) Byappanahalli to Anekal Rd (via Bellandur rd, Karmelaram - 29.0km appx)

 6) Yelahanaka to Byappanahalli (via Tanisandra, Chennasandra - 16.1km)

 7) Yelahanka to Dodjala (via Bettahalsoor - 12.5km).

Thus, about 77 km of tracks need doubling (or trebling /quadrupling) to operate a CRS network, besides station improvements & rolling stocks, etc. Even if costs were of the order of 25crs /km, this would cost appx'ly 1925crs - still much smaller than the 9000 crs for 43km of Namma Metro.

 

Track doubling between Yesvantapur & Nelamangala & onwards upto Tumkur has been completed. Also, track doubling between SBC & Ramnagaram has been completed (this information is from another updated SWR map).

CRS

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Clarification on : Non-Electrified double line - fitted between SBC & Lottegollahalli

From SBC to Lottegolahalli is already electrified and  Yesvanthpur to Yelahanka  is also electrified  more then  six months.

Yelahanaka via Malleshwaram, Yesvanthpur,  Lottegollahalli to Byappanahalli (via Hebbal, Banaswadi - 12.2km appx) is also electrified with single line. Now all trains originating from Yesvanthpur to Patna / WB  ? Orissa are running with electric  enginines only.

From Yesvanthpur to Lottegolahalli , two track runs parallel  but one goes to Yelahanak & other goes to Hebbal. Here SWR should create  junction at Lottegolhalli, also plenty of land available  from BEL next to station which can be used to bulid  4 platforms.  Now Yesvanthpur to Lottegolahhali / Hebbal track is used mainly for parking goods trains going towards Tumakur / Mangalore almost 8-10 hrs daily.

Railway has already sanctioned doubling of Yesvanthpur to Yelahanka & Yelahanka to Byappanahalli,  I feel we may see the tendering process very soon on this.

Even the total cost may be near 1900 Crore for CRS,   with initial cost of say  Rs 300-400 Crore CRS can take off  within span of 6-12 months once State & Center decides to impliment.

I thinks its time for Praja & all of us to write pettion to Railway Minister K H Muniyappa,  Chief Minister of Karnataka , Transport Minister of Karnataka &  SWR GM. Also we need to take this petition with all three MP's & 16 - 18 MLA''s of Bangalore. 

Other things is to make Commuter Rail Day  similar to Bus Day. 

For Commuter Rail Day :  Plan of action or Project can be created  here with all input from Members & then take the same to MOS Mr K H Muniyappa  & Transport Minister  Mr Ashok and with SWR GM & DRM.

We have already passanger trains running  on particular root as discuused in earlier thread.  We can ask SWR to add more coaches on the particula Comuter Rail Day & to stop the passanger trains in all stations.  Request BMTC to run more  buses  from the Suburban  Stations like Whitefield to ITPL  Similarly  to run special train from Kengeri to Devanhalli  say at  7am & 8 am with feeder buses from  Devanhalli station to BIAL. 

CRS - Updated track details

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Sanjeev - Thanks yr inputs. The list has been updated - could you confirm flwg as correct :

 

1) Electrified double line - fitted between SBC to Whitefield (via Cant, Blore east, Byappanahalli & KRPuram - appx 24.0km).

2) Electrified double line - fitted between SBC & Lottegollahalli (via Malleswaram, Yesvantapur - appx 10.8km).

3) Lottegollahalli to Byappanahalli (via Hebbal, Banaswadi - 12.2km appx) - lines doubled, but only one line electrified.

4) Lottegollahalli to Yelahanka (7.0km) - single line, electrified, track doubling sanctioned.

5) Yelahanka to Byappanahalli (via Tanisandra, Chennasandra - 16.1km), single line, not electrified, track doubling sanctioned.

6) Byappanahalli to Anekal Rd (via Bellandur rd, Karmelaram - 29.0km appx), single line, not electrified.

7) Yelahanka to Dodjala (via Bettahalsoor - 12.5km), single line, not electrified.

 

With the present status of tracks as above, it appears that only the flwg can be thought of for running a regular CRS :

a) Kengeri to City Stn - 13 km
b) City Stn to Whitefield (via Cant R'ly Stn, Baiyyappanahalli) - 24 km
c) City Stn to Baiyyappanahalli (via Hebbal) - 23 km
d) Lottegollahalli to Yelahanka - 7 km
( Total = 67 kms )

Even for this, a lot of augmentation might be necessary (such as more track additions, electrification, stn platform additions, rake interchanges, etc.).

CRS

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Navven : Further inputs on this

For Point No 2 : Electrified double line - fitted between SBC & Yesvanthpur, From Yesvanthpur to Yelahanak is single line with electrified,

For Point No 3 : Yesvanthpur to Byappanahalli (via Lottegollahalli, Hebbal, Banaswadi - 12.2km appx)  is a single line with electrified.

Point No 7 : Yelahanaka to Devaanhalli  ( via Dodjala & Bettahalsoor -  22 km ), single line, not electrified

Point No 9 : Yesvanthpur to Nelamangala / Gol-Halli via Chikbanavar  Approx  20 Kms  is a double line but not electrified.  In fact Chikbanavar station looks very good compared to Yelahanka station

With the present status of tracks as above, it appears that only the flwg can be thought of for running a regular CRS :

a) Bidadi via Kengeri to City Stn &  Yesvanthpur  to Yelahanks  -  Approxi 49  km with electrifed double line except the single electrified line btween Yesvanthpur to Yelahanka. Here  we have 11 stations, SWR can run EMU services.

b) Similalry EMU can be started between between  Bidadi via Kengeri to City Stn &  Yesvanthpur, Hebbal to Whitefiled EMU  services can be started with length of Approx  54 Kms,  here also we have double electrified line except the Yesvanthpur to Baiyyappanahalli.
 

c) Similalry EMU can be started between  Bidadi via Kengeri to City Stn & Cantonment, Baiyyappanahalli. to Whitefield with Double Electrifed Tarck of  Approx length of 50 KMs

Here how SWR can start EMU services on electrified Double line with distance of 40- 50 Kms. Its basically State & Railway should agree leaving Egos & work for CRS so that Banaglore Citizens will get the better Transport fascility with alternate transport options of CRS, BMTC, METRO.  Let  the frequency of  45-60  Minites during morning & evening with 4-5 schedules during starting. Then after the 6-12 months,with further investment, full fledge services can be started.

Coaches for this CRS can be sourced  from BEML as they have now experience for METRO coaches on Broad Gauge line for Delhi METRO pHase-1.

If we think for full fledge CRS, its going to be in dicussion. Take the case of METRO, its going istart n phases, similarly CRS can be in three phases.

Phase-1  to start immeditaly with above  three options.

Phase -2 Increase the frequency to 15 Minites after agumenting track & plaform capacity. 

Phase 3 : Build new Stations where ever  required & extend the services further to  Chikaballapur, Anekal, Dodballapur, Dabaspet, Ramanagar, Kolar

We hardly see any bus

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We hardly see any bus services to many of the above listed stations and is one of the major drawbacks for commuters not using commuter rauilway systems.The transport minister should seriously look at integrating bus & train services in bengaluru.We hardly see usable of bicycle as in chennai where the parking lots are filled with bicycles. They should start on priority with construction of new EMU/DEMU train yard as an immediate priority as we see the pit lines and railway tracks filled with capacity in the various city terminals.

CRS - Shorter routes better

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Mr Sanjeev,

All routes that you suggest commence from Bidadi & Bidadi is too far. Would it not be better to have short routes within more dense /urban areas, for a start ?  I think routes need to be only upto Kengeri initially - & the following might be better :

a) Kengeri-SBC-Yesvanthpur-Yelahanka (30.0km). Track between Yesvantapur & Yelahanka is single electric, rest double electric.

b) SBC-Yesvanthpur-Hebbal-Byappanahalli (23.0km). Track double electrified, except between Yesvanthpur & Baiyyappanahalli, which is single electrified.

c) SBC-Cant-Byappanahalli-KRPuram-Whitefield (24.0km). Track double electrified throughout.

( Total - 77.0km )

SW Railways Expansion ahead

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They should start on priority with construction of new EMU/DEMU train yard as an immediate priority as we see the pit lines and railway tracks filled with capacity in the various city terminals.

There is overcrowding of trains, no doubt - this was my impression too. However, capacities are coming up with Binny mill land for SBC stn /depot & NGEF land for Byappanahalli stn /depot, & these should reduce congestion, & assist in operating a Commuter rail service for the city.

Agree that integration of bus & parking lots at various local stns is a must, if CRS is to be operated.

Commuter vs Circular

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We need to draw a distinction between Commuter and Circular rail. I hope we are not using it interchangably in the discussions.

Route Suggestion on Map

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Commuter Rail route suggestion on map.

 With this route, most of the places can be covered with just 1 changeover.

 

 

Circural Rail - Where ?

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We need to draw a distinction between Commuter and Circular rail.

Are you optimistic about a new circular rail, or are you referring to the existing tracks ?

Building completely new circular rail tracks seems doubtful & is highly unlikely (especially after the failures of circular rails in much bigger cities - Delhi & Kolkata).

We do not have a circular rail track laid around the city - as such, we could only be discussing Commuter rail when we say CRS. The only fragments that resemble small sections of circular rail tracks are :

  a) From ORR (off Tumkur rd) to a short distance past Hebbal on the Yesvantapur-Banaswadi line - maybe abt 6km; &

  b) From Bellandur rd upto abt Doddanekundi on the Selam line - appx 5km.

These add up to as little as 11km (out of some 62km circumference - below 18%).

 CAG Report which was

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CAG Report which was submitted during June'2006 for the DEMU services of SWR.

Ref : Page No 4  / 2.1.3

South Western Railway  : Loss of earning capacity due to under-Railway utilisation of Diesel Electric Multiple Unit services

CAG report  indicates that SWR has incurred loss of 0.67 Crore by operating DEMU services between SBC to Whitefield & SBC to Chikbllapur. The utlization / traffic volume on this DEMU was only 10.54%  &  15.91% . 

Any one has idea / aware on these DEMU services as adversly indicated by CAG report.  As this type of report may be coming in the way for CRS starting . This is due to non-planning or awarness to public by Authorities. Also their may not be any feeder services provided for this DEMU by BMTC.

 

http://www.cag.gov.in/reports/railways/2006_6/chap_2.pdf

CRS - Awareness, Acces, Image lacking

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Excerpts from the CAG report (quoted below) reveal contradictions --- On the one hand, they claim that they had been trying to meet social commitments, & soon after, they add that the city, with it's high growth should be the first choice for DEMU service. Why didn't it work then ?

I think there are a number of reasons. Awareness is a key factor as is image. When one adds lack of proper access to stations with bus services, patronization levels drop dramatically.

Some publicity & good connecting bus services would have been sufficient. The railway minister's job does not end with just getting new trains - I think he is also required to push the machinery that arranges peripheral services that feed these trains.

 

When the matter was taken up (December 2004 and March 2005), the Railway Administration contended (August 2005) that cost benefit analysis based solely on monetary factors cannot be the only tool for justifying a train service. Railways have an obligation for meeting the inescapable social commitments to the development of backward areas. Running of trains to meet the larger national interest in backward areas/ transport disadvantaged areas is an issue decided by the Railway Board. Zonal Railways have to follow the instructions of Railway Board, which has a wider perspective of traffic planning. Moreover, as Bangalore City is expanding faster in the suburban areas, it has the highest density of commuter traffic and, thus, deserves to be the first choice for DEMU service.

Railway Administration’s contention is not acceptable in view of the provisions contained in Chapter II of the Indian Railway Financial Code, Volume I which require clear financial justification showing net gain to the Railways after meeting average annual costs and working expenses for any fresh investment. Introduction of new services must pass the test of financial remunerativeness as prescribed in the Indian Railway Financial Code, para 205. Moreover, running two small composition of DEMUs did not address the transport related problems of the growing population of Bangalore City as many other express/ passenger trains run on Bangalore – Jolarpet section and running of any additional train was found to be financially unviable by Commercial Department.

The matter was taken up with the Railway Board in September 2005. Their reply has not been received so far (December 2005).

Commuter is suburban

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Are you optimistic about a new circular rail, or are you referring to the existing tracks ?

I was referring to the existing tracks. But Circular is a term being used by some authorities in the press reffering to the same thing we are discussing but only within city limits, as Commuter trains generally connect suburban towns.

So, we are talking of connecting Byp to Ypr at 2 min frequency akin to a metro in the same breath as running 20 min trains to tumkur & dodballapur which may or may not pass through the same stretches. Obviously we want both but there is a distinction.

CRS throughputs can be higher

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Byp to Ypr at 2 min frequency akin to a metro -- 20 min trains to tumkur & dodballapur

I doubt even the Metro running at 2 min frequency. 6 or 7min is more likely, just as most metros do. SBC-Ypr-Byp & SBC-Byp-WF can be run at about 12-15 min. Ken-SBC-Ypr-Yelahanka can be at about 30 mins.

Tumkur, Devanhalli & Hosur could be once an hour - might not see too many commuters even at hourly intervals since carrying capacity will be higher than Metro - train per train.

Anyway, I doubt if a CRS for Bangalore will materialize at all.

SWR available capacity for Bangalore city ???

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As SWR is keepon claiming  City tracks are over loaded  Once we study  the Train timings of  summer spcial trains announced by SWR, its very clear  SWR is  having spare capacity  to run  more intercity trains.

1. YPR to Shiradi  Train No : 0685  Dep  at  morning 7:30 from YPR via Yelahanaka on Tuesday. Here the same could have been used to run local trains between Kengeri / SBC / YPR via Yelahanak to Devanahalli / Chikballapur.

In return direction, train is reaching YPR at  8PM on Thursday. So here also SWR could have planned Local Train starting at 7PM from Devanahalli to Kengeri.

2. Ernakulam -SBC Train No : 0659 arrival to SBC at 8:30AM on Tuesday & 0657 arrival to SBC at 10AM on Friday. Here this time is most suitable for Kengeri / SBC to WhiteFiled  Traffic

In return direction Train No : 0660 & 0658 are starting at 5:15PM  on Tuesday & 6:50PM on Friday which is again suitable for the  Kengeri / SBC to WhiteFiled  Traffic

3. YPR-KORBA Train No : 0682 arrival  at 1:30 at Yesvanthpur via Yelahanaka. This can be used for Devanahalli to Kengeri

4. Recently started YPR-Lucknow Train No : 6503  leaves YPR at 11: 15 on Wed  via Hebbal,  Banswadi. On return Train No : 6504  s arriving at 20:10 on Sunday. This was announced in last budget & statred in Feb'2010

5. YPR-Howrah Duronto Exp Train No : 2246 leaving YPR at 11:15 on Sunday  and in return direction Train No : 2245  arriving at YPR  on Saturday at 4 PM. This was announced after  the budget.

http://lite.epaper.timesofindia.com/getpage.aspx?pageid=16&pagesize=&edid=&edlabel=TOIBG&mydateHid=22-02-2010&pubname=&edname=&publabel=TOI

So one can see how SWR  is fooling  all  of  Bangalore Citizens on Local Trains / CRS. One more reason is Efforts State, they are  blaming Center & Center blaming state. Who & how much funds required for CRS. Hence SWR officers are running more trains to WB / Bihar / UP / Kerala.

Above facts show that SWR can start immediately many  CRS / Local trains even during the peak hours.

 We may not be surprised,  if  more trains announced for WB / Bihar / UP / Kerala. during peak period of day Morning / Eveneing arrival & starting  at SBC

SWR Capacity Load - CRS

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The real problem again is political will from the state, neither the CM puts in a thought nor the MoS for Railways, to make matters worse both are in different parties and they always think the other will derive the mileage of any success..

Even if MoS Muniyappa can get the CRS cleared for Bangalore, again the cost sharing will come into picture for which State needs to pump the money atleast 50-50 basis. State govt needs to come out of the blame game and be proactive here.

Will CRS work with few trains ?

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Sanjeev,

Agreed that SWR whilst claiming to be overloaded, seem to have 'space' to accommodate new trains inbetween other inter-city departures, but will CRS ever work with a few sporadic trains thrown in between only where possible ?

I think CRS would need regular departures, say one each half hour or one each hour for it to to pick up & sustain it's patronization by regular commuters. If a few trains are started here & there to suburban destinations, I doubt if it will be of much use for regular users since the service may only suit the rare /non-regular inter-city kind of travel - this had already been tested & had failed once, isn't it ?

Nothing half hearted

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I think CRS would need regular departures

Absolutely, piecemeal efforts will result in excuses for discontinuing. Its not just the trains, its the platforms, the ticketing, the feeders, the timetable, the scheduling, the interchanges the whole deal.

No lip service should be acceptable, its all or.... everything

Railway losses, state trains

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At CAG report, state's limitations:
The state does seem to be constrained against building / operating rail systems as per the Railways Act unless it can be proved to be a tram (based on a hurried look at the relevant sections - 2.31, 16 and 20 respectively).
And, Railways are losing money for lack of feeder service as per the CAG article. Witness feeder service being run by Delhi metro than the bus companies.
Doesn't this situation ideally lend itself to a 2-way MoU? The State govt. can assure feeder service (by KSRTC) and the railways can allow part ownership (some routing, frequency etc.) by the State on limited (suburban, circular) services. BMLTA is the perfect state liaison and coordinating agency. Just needs the push (most likely by state govt.).


Its already 10 Years, talking of CRS / Local Trains

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No lip service should be acceptable /  piecemeal efforts 

The debate to have local trains / CRS between public, State & SWR is going on for more then 10 years & 3-4 times RITEs has submitted report on CRS.  Amount spent on RITES study  any one has idea???

In last  Ten year lets look at  what SWR  & State have  made efforts to improve on the  following fronts :

1. State has called RITES for study,  RITES has done  study without involving SWR officers.  CM / Transport minister have not bothered  involve iin detail to get the CRS

2. Now we have too many cooks : IDD, BMLTA, BMTC, METRO, HSRL, Mono Rail, SWR,  BMRDA. Here I feel BMLTA has moe role to play  on CRS, but  they do not have any authority.

3. SWR has not developed any stations in last ten years in Bangalore except 2-3 stations : Kengeri, Chikkabanavara and to certain extent Yesvanthpur.  Now SWR wants  SBC & Byappanahalli to be developed as world class stations.  This will not happen  for next 4-5 years as SWR officers are interested to run trains for Bihar, WB, UP, Kerala.

Also SBC will not start as Binny mil land is under court case.


4. Byappanahalli wcould have been developed  by  SWR by  now as an regular station,  which could have helped.  Also Yelahanaka is really in bad shape & it looks like some village station.  Why SWR does not own  the developement of thiss tation,  Railway are developing all stations in Bihar, UP, WB.  Next to Yelahanka, Railway has its own factory Wheel & Axle Plant.

5.  Also the doubel tarck & electrification arround banaglore  could have been taken up by SWR long back.  Its blame game between State & Center./ Railway

Now Bangalore will have further Traffic disturbance  for the following

1  As Mejestic area will get disturbed over the period of 2-3 years for METRO & KSRTC Bus Stand, where is the alternate  transport facility for this.

2.  NH-7 raod widening by NHAI for 22 Kms over the period of  3-4 years.

3. HSRL will disturb the traffic on MG Raod, NH-7

4. METRO work Phase-1 & Phase-2 at diiferent parts of city will have effect on public transport system.

5. Ever growing traffic in city will further have problem.

Where is the alternate mode of Public  Transport system for the above for next 3-4 years.

In this above process,  we may keep on saying  piecemeal efforts & No lip service should  be acceptable
In the process, we see more Intercity trains starting to Bihar, UP, WB, Kerala &  further SWR will take stand that it is not possible to even start  few local trains. 

If the SWR can start few local / CRS trains in the peak period say four shuttle services in the morning  between 7 to 9 with frequency of 30 Minites & same way in the evening  four shuttel services between 4-6PM. ,  this will help in bringing  pressue on Raod.. Say even 20000-30000 passengers  can  start using  the CRS / Local trains,   Take the case of  MMTS at Hyderbad,  now the ridership is arround 75000 & they are planning for 2nd Phase with further investment of Rs 400 Crore, here SCR is forcing state to come forward.. In the same way  CRS /  Local trains can be started in Bangalore.

Other wise if seperate tracks to be needed for CRS & full fledge service required , then let us be ready to invest  Rs10000 Crore, which  will be in DREAMS only.

 

@n - thx for the link

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Good find n. 

This is what I was trying to say.  2.31 reads (i) a tramway wholly within a municipal area

Metro built under municipal limits of Bangalore took shelter under the mysore tramways act  so they did not have to get it built by IR.  This also means metro cannot service areas outside BBMP limits. I wonder how Delhi Metro can go to Gurgaon & Noida then.

HSRL on the other hand will not fall within a municipal area so BBMP had to acquire administrative control of the area of the route so it could satisfy this condition. It will be difficult to do this for lets say a Bangalore Mangalore line If the State needs to buid commuter rail lines on its own. It is not possible to have the entire Bangalore Mangalore area under one municipal administration

This clause needs to be altered so states can build their own railways and own it as long as it doesnt interfere with IR and maybe confine itself to the state instead of municipal limits. So effectively the alteration of clause from municipal to state and removal of the word Tramway will allow decontrol of the railways from IR stranglehold. There is no need for them to monopolize the services like this. 

On a lighter note 2.31 also reads (ii) lines of rails built in any exhibition ground, fair, park, or any other place solely for the purpose of recreation. Classify Bangalore city a theme park because it is one hairy ride anyway. In which case you can build mono rail for the joy ride. its a toy train anyway.

Half Measures - Half results

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Sanjeev - your frustrations are shared by many of us.

Unfortunate as it is, the railway structuring at central level is such that local realities & needs are often ignored, despite the many railway sub-divisions. As we know, their focus is primarily on inter-city or inter-state travel.

New trains to /from Bihar, WB, UP, Kerala, etc are probably a result of demands from those states for direct connections to the south & to Bangalore, since these had also been neglected over the decades. Even direct trains between Kolkata & Bangalore had not been available earlier & one had to change over at either Chennai or Guntakal. At least inter-city travel has improved a great deal, now.

The traffic disruptions that you mention are for putting in place much better exclusive track train system/s that will provide long-term, permanent relief for commuters, based on data. Though this will take some time, it is perhaps worth investing in & waiting for.

In the interim, BMTC buses can do the job. I was on ORR /Kundalahalli yesterday at peak hour evening & saw the hundreds of buses going full, ferrying people to various parts of the city. Increasing the number of buses & schedules alone might be a much better option for providing temporary relief than the operation of a hastily built CRS that will have too many restrictions in operation such as too few schedules, limited no. of stations - many of which lie away from normal commuter traffic flows with no proper access to stations, etc.

After experiencing CRS at Chennai recently, I am firmly of the opinion that planning a CRS based on existing tracks or new tracks fitted only where possible, will never work. For the system to succeed, the focus has to be firmly on ease of travel for commuters based on studies & must never be based on where physical assests exist or for the ease of construction.

Though we are fortunate that a couple of SWR tracks run through the city & could be used for mass transit, running a CRS as things stand is easier said than done since the question of arranging inter-modal transfers arise at both ends. Thus, unless buses are permitted into railway stations to pick up & drop off passengers, CRS may never work. As of now, none of the stations have such facilities. This will of course change with Byappanahalli & maybe other stns later.

Its all or nothing for me

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If the SWR can start few local / CRS trains

I insist we deserve and need a real CRS with proper rolling stock, not get-the-monkey-off-my-back efforts. 

2010 kaiydu nodona, illade iddre, IR mele KRV avaranna choo bittbidona :)

It will not materialize - realism and not pessimism

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 Our agencies cannot even coordinate and provide decent footpaths to walk on in the centre of the city.  And we actually think they will provide a decent commuter rail service.  

There is nothing in it for SWR to provide commuter rail service to Bangalore.  Even the twice a day service to BIAL which was supposed to have taken off a few months back has not.  This is realism and not pessimism.

Srivathsa

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

okay, can we meet people and hear from them once

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It will be worth the effort to meet a few SWR and GoK people to get their 'official' versions.

Lets also speak to few journalists, and help one paper or TV channel do a detailed report on CRS possibilities (feasibility is different from possibility). Such a thing would raise the profile of this issue/demand.

Can try DNA, Express, Hindu, or TV9.

Some observations

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Just finished reading all the posts on this thread, and here are some of my thoughts.

First, I share the pessimism of many on this thread because IR will not evince interest in suburban railway projects due to their low profitability. Long-distance trains will continue to be given priority because they earn more revenue. Read this article for further details: <business.rediff.com/report/2010/feb/22/budget-2010-railway-railway-ministry-may-hive-off-suburban-traffic-operations.htm>

Second, as a corollary of the above, the only way to enable a CRS for Bangalore is on the Hyderabad MMTS model, with the State Government sharing half the cost. I am still not clear whether BSY & Co. are actually interested in this, particularly given that the State is already heavily investing in the Metro.

Third, not all of the rail corridors in Bangalore, either in their persent state or otherwise, are suitable for suburban traffic movement. For instance, the Yeshwantpur-Yelahanka line passes through the BEL and GKVK campuses for a significant portion of its length. Likewise, the Yeshwantpur-Chikkabanavara line passes through mostly forested area or defence land beyond Jalahalli and does not serve any major population centres.

Fourthly, the region around Bangalore still has large expanses of single line track without the doubling of which suburban services cannot commence. Baiyyappanahalli-Yeshwantpur, Yeshwantpur-Yelahanka and Yelahanka-Krishnarajapuram are instances. Some hope lies in the fact that the doubling of the latter two stretches (26 km in all) had been sanctioned in the previous budget at a total cost of Rs. 125 crore.

Fifthly - and this point has been made many times over - intermodal connectivity at stations is an absolute must. Some stations (like City, Whitefield and Yelahanka) have bus stations in the close vicinity, others (Cantonment, Krishnarajapuram, Byappanahalli, Hebbal, Kengeri) are benefited by their proximity to a major road, and still others (Lottegollahalli, Nayandahalli, Kodigehalli, Banaswadi) lack connectivity altogether. Unless the gaps are filled up, the success of the service will be in doubt.

It is a long shot, though, to expect any or all of these to materialise smoothly, particularly given the number of coordinating agencies involved (SWR, BMTC, BTP, BMLTA etc.). Short of hoping for the best, it would be a good idea for us (and the authorities involved) to identify areas needing improvement and lay out a roadmap towards achieving a final solution.

 

~~~~

Manish.

Its already 10 Years, talking of CRS / Local Trains

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Navven ;

 unless buses are permitted into railway stations to pick up & drop off passengers, CRS may never work

BMTC playing feeder services to CRS  on existing is not a problem.

Already We have  BMTC Bus Stand infront of the follwing  stations (  my knowledge ) and their are regular services of BMTC :

1) Yelahanka
2)  Chikkabanavara
3)  Kodigehalli
4)  Lottegollahalli
5)  Cantonment
6)  K R puram
7)  Yesvanthpur
8)  Hebbal
9)  Bangalore East
10)  Kengeri
11) Gnanbharathi 
12)  Malleshwarm
13) Gol Halli
14)  Whitefiled

With few changes to BMTC root, further stations can be included for Local Trains.

I agree completely, In the  long run, we need Full Fledge services of CRS with frequency of  10  Minites. To come to this situtaion, we need to start some where & its already more then 10 years, things have not changed.  Once we have this small services of  four shuttel services in the morning & four in the evening in each direction, then awarness will come  with Public & further  things will start moving. 

Lets take this CRS / Local Trains  in  three -to four phases  to have full fledge service :

Phase - 1  Start immediatley  : four shuttel services in the morning & four in the evening in each direction  on existing SWR  traclk, already capacity is available with SWR.  Services should be during peak hours only. Time line : Within one to two months

Phase  -2  : Build necessary tracks  & electrification with few more new stations & platforms   to be added.  Increase the frequency of services to  16 per day in each direction  Timeline : 12 -18 months

Phase - 3 :  Build additional tracks  and extend the track to BIAL Terminal,  upto Electronic city from Karmelaram Station . Increse the frequecny of services  to every 15 Minitues. Timeline : 30 -36 months

Phase - 4 :  Extend the CRS  further BMA boundry  upto Hosur,  Kolar, Chikaballapur &  if possible put the tarcks from Kengeri to Electronics City along Nice Road.  Increase  the frequency to  8 -10 Min. Timeline :  42-48 months

With this was even  State and Center can mobilze the required funds and  Ridership will also improve over the period with all three BMT,   METRO & CRS  complimenting each other.

Even as you sugested  on increasing BMTC buses,  as roads already are chocked, then  how do we ensue the speed of travel, forget the compfortness of travelling.

 insist we deserve and need a real CRS with proper rolling stock, not get-the-monkey-off-my-back efforts. 

2010 kaiydu nodona, illade iddre, IR mele KRV avaranna choo bittbidona :) 

Then wait for the next decade 2020, we will get complet  METRO, let us  enjoy the further polluion, congested roads &  increase in travel time. KRV has not  raised issue  till now on Local Trains or CRS.   I agree on this. & we should explore this.   They can make difference on this, but I am not sure they will do this???

Yes We can meet the people & push for the CRS .

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It will be worth the effort to meet a few SWR and GoK people to get their 'official' versions  as suggested by Pranav.

this is very much  needed to  make more public awarness & force the authorites make the things start.   Call DNA, Hindu, Express,  TV9,  and other channels & news paper.

Alos we need to file RTI with BMLTA, SWR, IDD & Chief Secreatry of GOK for the status of  CRS.

I have spoken to BMLTA, IDD & SWR DRM office, but the  BMLTA is more positive. SWR Hubli is not giving any response on this. IDd is passing buck to SWR Hubli.  DRM Bangalore is some what interested.

 

Where is the capacity?

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Sanjeev,

four shuttel services in the morning & four in the evening in each direction  on existing SWR  traclk, already capacity is available with SWR.  Services should be during peak hours only.

Bangalore City station (and the rail corridors in general) are quite crowded between 6 am - 9 am and 6 pm - 9 pm (broadly what could be classified as peak hours) due to several arrivals/departures of long-distance trains. As such, I don't think it will be possible to run services during peak hours with the existing infrastructure.

~~~~

Manish.

CRS may be considered only later

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When the state is investing almost 11,000 crs on a metro system & is seriously considering expansion with a second phase & possibly a monorail system as well (all calling for huge investments), why would they pursue a CRS in the interim which they will have little control over & when overwhelming evidence suggests that such systems cannot be run efficiently within our goofed up bureaucratic setups & with so many agencies needed for co-ordination ?

This is without mention of the land crunch which SWR has been facing for expansion of SBC station & their insistence on overloaded systems.

I don't think there is much demand nor is there much expectation from the public for a CRS since they already know too well how such rail systems have been functioning in other cities, Mumbai excluded.

Mumbai's dependence on suburban rail, as we all know is more to do with the city's N-S terrain & travel habits that have historically been established due to this - in fact, the city's suburbs were developed based on where rail tracks could be expanded, akin to Curitiba's BRT. Thus, comparison with bangalore would be incorrect.

Action from the state for acquiring a CRS may start only after the Metro has been made operational.

Cant have it both ways

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There is nothing in it for SWR to provide commuter rail service to Bangalore

In which case they should allow the state to do it themselves. Lets ask SWR/muniyappa to go and campaign for the IR act 2.31 modification in lieu of us getting off their back or even easier provide IR land for the state to lay their own tracks adjacent, over, under their tracks.

I am more interested in decontrol of IR monopoly so the state can lay their own tracks, it is a hassle to go behind this state provider to get anything done.

Barking up the wrong tree?

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Then wait for the next decade 2020

No thats not how you solve problems. Get IR to deregulate and let go of monopoly over railways then either IR will implement CRS just to get you off their back or really let go of monopoly, in which case its easier to catch your local govt.

THe former is very much unlikely, but the latter is very much possible. Like Manish has pointed out, suburban services will be hived off and new ones may not need IR approval.

CRS - Looks improbable

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IR will not evince interest in suburban railway projects due to their low profitability. Long-distance trains will continue to be given priority because they earn more revenue

Exactly - Unless we find a proper, sustainable manner to meet operating expenses through revenues, there is no point in demanding CRS - & CRS, as of now is still largely an IR subject, though states may have funded it partially. Thus, fares have to remain low, revenues have to remain poor, & train systems /stations have to keep rotting away!

The cities that have already benefited with CRS may seem to have been blessed, but the reality is that these rail systems are not maintained well, do not fulfill objectives & keep bleeding the economy.

 

 

BMTC playing feeder services to CRS on existing is not a problem. With few changes to BMTC root, further stations can be included for Local Trains.

This is not entirely true - many of the stations including important transit points such as Cantonment, Bangalore East, Kengeri, Gnanbharathi & Malleshwarm do not have bus stops close by. Some do not have bus routes that pass near enough.
 

Get IR to deregulate and let go of monopoly over railways

We are probably talking about 2050 now! The central govt's stanglehold on railways in the country will take a lot to break. They will never wrest control since IR has been a prized pocession for them to use in many ways to appeal to the masses. No harm in trying though, I guess.

Konkan Railway Model

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If legal wrangle is the issue for starting a railway by state, how was KRC possible? IR was just a minor share holder in KRC and still continue to be so.

KRC is the model to go if we need to resolve the local problems. If Delhi continue plan and execute we will definitely continue to have hundreds of  KR Puram/Whitefield like engineering disasters called flyovers.

With a minister from Greater Bangalore area cann't we try with a Bangalore Railway Corporation? This should have all the railway land/assets transferred under it, covering Bangalore Urban & Rural for a start. The rolling stock can be outsourced to private players, Bangalore need a lesson or two for infrastructure out sourcing too :). IR can continue to run their services with a revenue sharing model on the line of KRC and the assets transferred is its share in the new corporation - BRC. If it succeeds it would be a role model for other new railway corporations/companies. If it is doomed to fail, the loss is limited and its just for Bangaloreans, Delhi mandarins will/shall not care a hoot

Ramesh.

As Manish mentioned about

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As Manish mentioned about the  Railway ministry may hive off suburban traffic operations.

Also as mentioned by Naveen, We are probably talking about 2050 now on IR deregulations and let go of monopoly.  With MoS MR K H Muniyappa from Bangalore,  we have seen last one year, what Mamatha has allowed him to do. Even the Rajdhani announced last budget not yet started.

As mentioned by Navven on IR control by Center,  now state has to depend on IR at mercy of Mamatha.  Its better now for state to go with Railway on Sharing basis ( SPV ) 50% by State & 50% by Railways ss done in Hassan Managalor Rail Developmenet Company ( HMRDC)   with NMPT & MEL or MMTS ( Hyderabad Metro )

Other wise BEML can participate in SPV.  Lets say State 40%, Center / Railway 40% & BEML :10%, with FII's & public 10%. Here BEML can supply the rolling stock for CRS as BEML has gained expetise in MTERO Rakes on Broad Gauge line for Delhi METRO.    Rakes can be as per METRO design  for CRS. State will be more interested in BEML as the State will get more tax collections.

This type of debate will keep on going for Bangalore may be for next one decade &  Hyderabad MMTS is planning for phase-2 this year. Similalry in Karnataka we need CRS for Mysore, Managalore, Hubi-Dharwad  If the Banaglore gets CRS, then it will help other cities of  Karnatak for Locla trains getting.

No harm in trying though, I

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No harm in trying though, I guess

Not like that, it has to be a sustained campaign with possibilities discussed right here on the site itself. Lets work out a model and then present it. Ramesh's model on Bangalore Railway Corporation can kick of the discussions.

Let me start a project to discuss models and possibilities for deregulation. Will be good to post relevant articles that may have been written by experts on this subject in that project

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