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Airport Train Decisions ------------------------------------------------- International airport rail link alignment changed BS Reporter / Chennai/ Bangalore December 24, 2007 With March 28, 2008, set as the day the Bangalore International Airport will commence operations, the Karnataka government has changed the track alignment of the proposed dedicated rail link between the Bangalore International Airport near Devanahalli and B R V Grounds, off M G Road. The government has proposed to lay a fresh track along the National Highway 7 (Bangalore-Hyderabad section), which connects the city to the new international airport. Earlier, the track alignment was proposed as B R V Grounds — Cantonment Railway Station — National Highway 7 point-New International Airport. The Cantonment-Doddaballapura railway line is just 5 km from the new international airport. All that the government had to do was to lay a new track from B R V Grounds to Cantonment station and the NH 7 point to the new international airport. According to the state executive committee, headed by Governor Rameshwar Thakur, the new route has been proposed by the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation. However, no proper explanation was given for changing the track alignment. Sources pointed out that there were conflicting interests among stakeholders. “We have to implement the project by calling global tenders. The selected firm has to lay fresh railway line next to the existing track, which connects Cantonment railway station to the new international airport. The Indian Railways would have been a major stakeholder in the project. The firm selected for the project could object to such an arrangement. Therefore, the alternative was evolved,” the sources said. The new railway line will start from B R V Grounds (M G Road)-Police Thimmaiah Circle-Raj Bhavan Road-Sankey Road-Windsor Manor junction-Mehkri Circle-Hebbal flyover. This stretch of the track will be elevated. From the Hebbal flyover, the track will be laid at the ground level along the NH 7. The entire stretch of the track will be 34 km, from B R V Grounds and the new airport. The travel time is estimated to be 25 minutes. The project cost is estimated at Rs 3,716 crore. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, which has been appointed the project consultants, will start the preliminary work in December 2008. The entire work is expected to be complete by January 2011. The government needs to acquire 29 acres of private land for the project. The cost of land acquisition is estimated to be around Rs 150 crore. --------------------------------------- As can be seen a 'could object' clause led to the decission to spend about few thousands of crores more! Cant we have gone ahead with the tenders and then written contracts which are fair for IR and the selected contractor for the BOT?
sree's picture

Rethink about this project

I am very much surprised to to read about the proposed Metro railway line to new International Airport. I was associated with construction of broad gauge railway track between Yalahanka and Cikkaballapur by modifying the existing meterguage track during 1988-1991.When I was passing through Devanahally about 6 months back,I found that still the tracks are not being utlised well due to dealy in completion of guage conversion works between Chikballapur and Kolar.We can see that only a single passenger train is being operated in this route ,one in the morning and one in the evening. I happened to read about the proposed Metro railway link from MG Road to Airport at a cost of Rs.40 Billion,I started thinking, why authorities had not thought about this existing railway line which was constructed at a cost of almost Rs.1.5Billion (exluding land value which will be not less than Rs.10Billion as per present market rates).I strongly feel that no bureaucrats or politicians had studied the existing available system in place to utilise in an efficient way. We can run high speed trains from City or Cantonment railway stations and reach Devanahally Airport in 30mnts time by utilising the existing lines. We can save our public money by doing this to the tune of Rs.40 Billion proposed for Metro railway, which will be a mockery of democracy otherwise. Use part of this money for electrification of this track and buy good coaches suits to international travellers. And spend some part of the money for modification of existing signalling system. This will help Railways to improve their system also who are badly in need of funds for modernisation of existing tracks. As such the traffic density in Bangalore-Cantonment-Byppanahally-Yalahanka section is very less and even we can think about doubling the track between Krishnarajapuram and Yalahanka without affecting any land or buildings.bangalore City – Krishnaraajapuram stretch is already having double line. We can even run trains between Bangalore city to Devanahally via Yaswantpur and Yalahanka with check in facilities at Malleswaram,Yaswantpur and Yalahanka.(Approx Distance-30 Km by rail road-Max running time-30mnts at an average speed of 70kmph).Electrification of this stretch is already in progress up to Yaswantpur from Bangalore City and this can be extended up to Devanahally. I request the authorities to study this proposal once again to save valuable public money which can be utilised for better use of mankind.
Vasanth's picture


I also had posted the same along with the map. Chikkaballapur line was completed quickly keeping international airport in mind. Why they want to spend so much of money on this project which is not going to help any common man. Also the international executives and political people who are the main users of the Airlines. They anyhow will not use public transport as we have seen many times. They want to go in their fancy cars from home to Airport. For people who really want to use trains, they still have to drive till the starting point of the train in downtown Bangalore. Instead of this, BMTC's Volvos from various locations seems to be much better idea with a dedicated lane on the existing National Highway road. Train is also a must, the existing railway link should be used to its best possible extent with fancy EMUs such as Delhi Metro coach running on the existing track. This will also help to handle Airport Cargo. It should start from a dedicated station somewhere along the path. Same billions of dollars can be used for a new arm of Bangalore Metro rail such as extension upto Electronic City, where lot of people are suffering in traffic. It is the force by the Airline companies which is pushing this kind of hifi project.
blrsri's picture


very true..Air Deccan got 'Mr Citizen' for promoting themselves..this is a move away from 'The Maharaja' of earlier Air India. The air travel prices are down..I personally know of many who do Blr-Hubli for holidays regularly with cheap tickets..this is one of the many examples..all these people need to reach the airport cost effectively.. I do not know why this decission was taken..I had some place read about Sreedharan himself talking about using line from cantt to reach the airport, laying lines next to the existing tracks.. Somethoughts on the rail: 1. If the train is super fast(15 min ride), as they are proposing, then the best option is to go elevated than on land. This will avoid many issues, including accidents! So, we dont need a super fast train..instead we need a fast train(30 min). 2. Check-in counters at the BRV terminal ?! Can we not move ahead with phone checkins..internet checkins? This will save the airlines a lot! 3. Byappanahalli is the best option to reduce costs..metro is reaching there..then cant we just have the train from there? These are just some of the auguments ..but we desperately need to get this across to the authorities! I emailed the Guvernor with the email ID on the rajyabhavan website..not sure if he read it at all..but we need to get this acorss soon!
Vasanth's picture

Start DMU/EMU Service from March Instead of Big Ideas

We need to urge railway department to start DMU service to Devanahalli as soon as Airport starts. From the Devanahalli Station to Airport, a shuttle service will put an end to all the circus of Express Highway, road widening, highspeed rail link, second airport and helicopter shuttle service.
s_yajaman's picture

Low investment should be preferred

Is there some way to find out how this decision to spend Rs.4000 crores was made so quickly? I am not questioning the Governor's bonafide intentions, but is this the best use of money? Doubling the line till Devanahalli from Kengeri via Yeshwantput, Bangalore City via Cantonment and Whitefield via Channasandra should cost a whole lot less and be ready quicker. On a recent trip to Hyderabad I had the chance to use the MMTS from Kacheduda station to Secunderabad station. It covered the 8 km in about 15 mins which is pretty good. It cost be Rs.3 for the ride. It shared the tracks laid by Indian Railways. Apparently it carries about 100,000 passengers a day which is still good. With 4000 crores they can ensure a really good hospital(with MRI, heart care, etc) at each taluk headquarters and also good schools across Karnataka. I intend to use RTI to understand a bit more. Srivathsa

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blrsri's picture


Had to look up google to get what EMU was Electric Multiple Units.. :) As you say, EMU's must be the way to go! Simple and efficient and low on cost! We can experiment on few coaches initially depending on the demand and increase it as ridership improves..think this is the brilliant yet conservative approach for the rail access! This can start from Byappanahalli (where the metro has a stop) If it is like this.. http://www.railway-techno... I will ask my clients to ride it! :P Think BEML is already building such brushed steel units for various Metro's!
blrsri's picture


Hi Srivathsa, Did you have a chance to raise the RTI? If yes, were there any responses? There is an uneasy calm on this matter..I was listening to Mr Mishra(Lead India) talk about infrastructure..he is part of the high powered commities which work on Infrastructure here.. Maybe we can also challenge him on it! There is so much talk from so many people that they have worked on infrastructure issues in Bnagalore..but nothing seems to have worked on ground.. regards comment guidelines

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