Namma Railu

Project number:3110
Opened by:Sanjeev
Opened on:Saturday, 20 February 2010 - 9:28am
Last modified:Wednesday, 9 July 2014 - 10:53pm
Operations:add Case | view all project cases


Need for Suburban/Commuter Rail for Bengaluru makes to Railway Budget Speech in Parliament

This is how the railway minister, Shri. Sadananda Gowda describes in his maiden railway budget speech, 

"..Madam Speaker, as you are aware, Bengaluru with bustling, business activity attracts large commuters from surrounding rural areas and towns necessitating better connectivity of Bengaluru City with its suburban areas and hinterland. Study to Explore Possibility of enhancing the existing IR network of Bengaluru for meeting the above need will be taken up. In addition, to cater to the demand of Passenger Traffic in Bengaluru area, Byyappanahalli will be developed as a coaching terminal..." 

In addition, he has announced these train services to give immediate relief to the commuters.
MEMU services
i) Bengaluru -Ramanagaram 6 days a week(3Pairs)
DEMU services
i) Bengaluru -Neelmangala (Daily)
ii) Yesvantpur ­Hosur (6 days a week)
Passenger Services
i)Yesvantpur-Tumkur Passenger(Daily)


A petition with 5000+ signatures was submitted to the Railway Minister in person on June 29th, 2014




Catch the latest buzz here,

  1. Discussion on GOK's formal proposal sent to Railways

What NEXT?

The ball is in GOK court now. GOK must start the conversation with Railways to operationalize the SPV and get down to implement the Phase-1A.

How can we make it HAPPEN?

The approval process does take time in normal course of action. However, if GOK specially our Chief Minister can take up this personally with the Union Railway Minister, there is a real chance for early approval to the project. We all can help in that process if each one of us can reach out to our local area MP/MLA and pressurize them take up the issue with both the CM and teh Railway Minister.

Do not have the contact information? Don't worry. Here is the link for post with contact information for all the MPs/MLAs whose constituency fall in the proposed suburban rail network.

  1. Call your MP/MLA campaign for expediting the APPROVAL process


Have questions? Email it to ""


QUICK LINKS on Suburban Rail Project







CRS, Suburban Rail aka Namma Railu is a citizens' campaign led by Praja and supported by citizens' groups like Hasiru Usiru, CONCERN (Student's body at IISc), ITEC, Aid India, & BengaluruONE. It also has the support from government quarters like CiSTUP, DULT and recently RITES via its report

The population of the Bengaluru Urban area grew by 35% in the 1991-2001 decade and by about 47% in the 2001-11 time period. In order to cope with this growth the government has invested heavily. BMTC has added 3500 buses from 2006-07 to early 2011. Huge amounts of money have been invested in upgrading roads, building grade separators, the B-TRAC project and most recently for the Metro rail project which will add 115 kms of mass transit (phase-I and phase II combined) for a total estimated cost of 38,000 crores.  However, most experts are in agreement that even with the Metro fully operational, Bengaluru's public transport requirements are going to continue to exceed the combined capacity of BMTC and Namma Metro.  Here is where commuter rail comes in.

To read all discussions at Praja on the subject, use following links

  1. Collection/Book of selected posts on CRS

  2. All posts tagged CRS


Praja RAAG

Updated - Namma Railu Event, by invitation only, respond ASAP

Praja related
30 Aug 2010 09:30
30 Aug 2010 13:30

We are organizing an event with CiSTUP, IISc, to discuss hurdles and next steps on Commuter Rail Service (CRS, aka Namma Railu). Entry is only by invitation, respond ASAP if you want to attend.

PPP's of Indian Railways - A Report

Commuter RailPublic Transport

 Attached is a report on PPP projects of Indian Railways over the years. Thanks to CiSTUP for sharing this with/for Praja with permission from G Raghuram. Please do not redistribute without permission from authors as it may infringe copyrights. It makes a very interesting reading

Let me know what you think, after reading?

Thousand Cities - Growth Center Phenomenon!

Commuter RailPublic Transport


Namma Railu - Call to action report rightly places the empahsis of developing the towns around Bengaluru as Growth center. The same spirit has been articulated in today's editorial piece of Indian Express.

Bengaluru Train Network Map

Public Transport

Following map shows all the under construction and proposed train routes for Bengaluru. Commuter rail network is shown in Orange and the Monorail alignment approved this week under swiss challenge is shown in Dark Green. Click to expand the map in Flickr 

RTI response from SWR on Commuter Rail

Commuter RailPublic Transport

[Posting this on behalf of Ritesh who filed the RTI]

Attached with this blog is the response from SWR to the RTI queries posed on Commuter Rail for Bengaluru. If you have any further questions based on this response, leave them as comments here so we can include them in the next RTI to SWR.

Namma Railu - call to action report authored by members

Commuter RailPublic Transport

Friends, here is the Call to Action report on Commuter Rail service for Bengaluru authored by Namma Railu project team members. Report is attached in full, and will be used for discussions at the Namma Railu - Mobilicity event at CiSTUP, IISc (scheduled for Aug 30).

Commuter Rail - Station air space could give 2000 Crores/year

Commuter RailPublic Transport

There is air space available above all railway stations in Bangalore. What if some stations can be utilized as a source of income by the PPP or SPV operating Commuter Rail Service in Bangalore? What would the numbers look like? Tried doing some, and came close to Rs 2000 Crores per year. Here are the calculations for everyone to poke holes and correct.

Bangalore region - Track doubling & electrification

Commuter RailPublic Transport

The below figures should speak for itself. Except for the line from Mysore towards Chennai via city & Tumkur, all other lines around Bangalore are single track. I cant think of any other major city (even tier 2 towns) which is in such a pathetic situation?

Namma Railu Meetup, on the Hosur Train

Commuter RailPublic Transport
31 Jul 2010 06:30

Agenda: Update on commuter rail event and preparations. Preview of Report we have prepared.

Venue: YH1 Commuter train

Date: Saturday, 31 July

SPV Case Study - Konkan Railway !

Commuter RailPublic Transport

These days I am in search of information on working of Special Purpose Vehicle. In this pursuit I have come across many pieces of info available on Internet.

Commuter Rail meeting with CiSTUP, went well, summary

Commuter RailPublic Transport

Sanjeev, IDS, PS Anantharam sir and myself went over to IISc today to meet head of CiSTUP. Short summary on how it went

  • CiSTUP to add their review comments / foreword to the report
  • We will jointly organize a roundtable/seminar at IISc/CiSTUP to formally release the report and discuss the subject with relevant government officers and leaders
  • Will invite all transportation and investment related departments of Karnataka, railways as well, and also, local MLAs and MPs who have shown interest or tend to attend these.

We are thinking end of August for this Commuter Rail / Namma Railu seminar. Keep watching for mroe updates, or join in if you want to help organize this.

A hard copy of the report is available now, contact IDS or anyone from the Namma Railu project team if you want to see it. Wll upload the soft copy here as well as part of work for this seminar at CiSTUP.

Lets go Namma Railu :)

Summary of Praja CRS Report - Namma Railu

Here is an overview of the Praja Report on CRS, titled "Namma Railu".

Decongestion of Bengaluru is a burning issue facing the administrators today. With the kind of visibility Bengaluru has in the international arena and the role India is going to play in the world of the future, it is important for both central and state governments to sit up and take notice. Ignoring the long term mass transport needs of the city can backfire on the country. The economy of any city thrives on availability of good quality labor at affordable cost. Expensive housing and increased travel times only put more pressure on productivity of human capital. This may ultimately lead to flight of capital and hurt the economy with cascading effect.

No response from Mr Madhu's office

Commuter RailPublic Transport

Want to share with all that I have tried several times to contact Mr Madhu for a meeting to share our now-ready CRS report with him. Have sent emails to his, and his PA's office, at least 5 emails. Have made at least 3 calls to his office as well. The person at other end, on one occasion, carried a chit for him while he was in the middle of a meeting.

Some of us took half day leaves from our work to meet him that day. We started on this report after our meeting with him, where during the meeting, he asked us to come back with a report summarizing our thoughts and suggestions. Now that the report is ready, and people have spent serious time putting it together, its only fair to expect him to at least accept the report.

He just got additional responsibilities, so its likely that he is busy with increased work load. We will try reach him again this week, email as well as phone, and in case there is no response yet again, we will assume that he didn't really expect us to complete it when he suggested that we prepare a written report.

Brownfield incremental cities

Commuter RailPublic Transport

Brownfield incremental cities

The challenge for India is to write a new chapter in low-cost urban development, the way it has done in wireless telephony and automobiles (Nano) writes Subir Roy

Why did I post this under Commuter Rail? Because it ties in very well with what we are trying to say. Commuter rail infrastructure costs afraction of the fortune we spend today as most of it is already available. Incremental investment in mordenization of signaling and operations is all that is required to make it efficient. If one picked the cities identified in this report, connect them to Bangalore and did all that the author is trying to say, we can have a world class ecosystem up and running in no time.5 years tops.

Is the govt listening? Are the bearucrats up to it?

Commuter Rail Map - Need Metro, BMTC and HSRL Connection/Transit Point Information.

Commuter RailPublic Transport

As IDS and others had mentioned, the Praja Demand Report for 'Namma Railu' (Bengalury Commuter Rail) is in finishing stages of realsing it to the GOK, GOI and Media agnecies. The release is planned for 1st week of July.

As a supplementary efforts, a commuter rail map is being developed and is in drafting stage. We are looking for following information:

  1. List of Metro Stations
  2. List of BMTC's Transit Centers (TTMC), Major Bus Depots/Stands
  3. List of HSRL stops apart from Parad Ground, Hebbal, and Yelahanka

Don't need to write the big list. Just web links to the pages or the websites would do.

Contact me for any question.




CRS Project discussion

Commuter RailPublic Transport
5 Jun 2010

 This is a meeting to discuss planning & data collection for the report. Project members mandatory. Others interested welcome. RSVP with comments.

When: Saturday June 5th @ 6:30 PM IST

Where: TBD (Possibly on Skype also)

Citizen's Demand Report for Bengaluru CRS

Commuter RailPublic Transport

Here is the draft version of the planned 'Demand Report' for CRS Bengaluru. This is work in rpogress, I am still working on and need lot of information to go into this document. I will keep updating this document and post it here for your review and comemnts.

CRS for Bangalore


Per McKinsey report on India’s urbanization to 2030:

Commuter Rail meetings with Mr Ananth Kumar, Mr V Madhu - report

Commuter RailPublic Transport

Yesterday was kind of a big day for this project. Some of us met Mr V Madhu, Principal Secretary, Infrastructure Development Department, Govt of Karnataka. And Sanjeev managed a meeting with BJP MP, Mr Ananth Kumar.

Murali, blrsri, N, IDS and myself were there with Mr Madhu, spent about an hour with him, mostly listening to his thoughts. He seemed like a high energy guy. And as it happens in the most of these meetings, the ball was thrown back in our court. Mr Madhu asked us to return in a couple of weeks with a report carrying all our ideas on CRS and an actionable way.

Sanjeev too, from his meeting with Mr Ananth Kumar, got this task of getting back to him with a solid presentation on Commuter Rail for Bangalore.

Meeting with Mr V Madhu, Infrastructure Development Dept

Commuter RailPublic Transport
20 May 2010 15:00

On the subject of commuter rail plans, finally, we have a meeting comfirmed with Mr V Madhu. got this from Mr Madhu's office. Thursday 20th May, 3 PM, Vikasa Soudha.

You are invited for the Meeting with Shri V.Madhu, Principal Secretary to Government,  Infrastructure Development Department on 20th May 2010  at 15:00hrs  in Room no-28, Ground Floor, Vikasa Soudha, Bangalore-560009   You are requested to carry a copy of this mail to allow yourself inside Vikasa Soudha.


Time for a meeting on this one?

Lets do it on the train. Hope its still running. 

This will allow us to get a feel of what we have got and plan the next steps on getting to what we need.

Commuter Rail System for Bengaluru

First we need to have meeting with BMLTA  and IDD  get the latest status on CRS.

It looks BMLTA  is pushing for CRS,  but constraint is   may be without any powers. So we need to get all the correspondence between BMLTA  to IDD, SWR & Govt of Karnataka.


IR's policies make no sense

IR is way behind times & totally out of sync with realities - truly an iconic remnant from the license permit raj that will not change, no matter what.

On the one hand, the railway act allows only them to run commuter /suburban trains. If they do run such trains, then they must have very low fares. If 1st class compartments are included, fares have to be about 10 times higher than ordinary class fares (almost equivalent to auto fares), whilst all they provide for the exorbitant cost are cushion on seats.

Will such conditions ever fetch them daily city office going commuters ? No wonder their image is so bad. And no wonder that all commuter rail systems in the country are running so poorly & losing heavily.

In some respects, it's perhaps a blessing in disguise that Bangalore hasn't gotten caught up with such draconian CRS systems that would never have been responsive to user needs & would have posed obstacles for building /expanding a Metro system that is far more in sync with present day realities & commuter needs.

IR does not like to run commuter services

 I spoke to an ex-IR friend and  he says that IR does not like to run commuter railways as they are not profitable for them.  Why are they not profitable - because the IR is forced to keep the same fares as it does for the lowest class of  train travel due to its fare policies.  

You would think this can be an easy one to crack.  But the IR bureaucracy is not to be trifled with.  They can drive a teetotaler to drink.  

They want to put their investments where they get most profit.  Which is okay for the most part, but this profit should not be measured on every service and every route.




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

Not as easy ...

Must understand that it is not as easy, BMRC (Metro) is also an interested party as any Commuter Rail plan will have an impact on their plans and projections. To some extent, BMTC may be an impacted party as well.

Anyway, we will understand and share all information, dynamics etc we will be allowed to put up on the website.

Joined, lets begin

Let us plan first few meetings. The candidates are

  • IDD, Mr V Madhu (to get his stand on the subject)
  • DRM, South Western Railway (status on current plans that were announced)
  • Mr Muniyappa (what will it take to get CRS in next Railway Budget)
  • BMLTA (assuming they can help push for it)

IDD = Infrastructure Development Department cell of GoK.

DRM = Divisional Railway Manager, top babu for a Railway Region

BMLTA = Bangalore Metropolitan Land Transportation Authority, mostly powerless comment guidelines

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