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Commuter rail to E-City may happen soon!

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Commuter RailPublic Transport

I was at a BCIC meeting this week wherein Devesh had invited Mr Arvind Jadhav (GoK's principal secretary for infrastructure development) over for a talk. Mr Jadhav mentioned some exciting plans, we should hear them soon in mainstream media. Commuter Rail Service was one of them, looks like things are moving, and we may get one or two services pretty soon! Here is a summary of CRS stuff that Mr Jadhav mentioned:

 

  • The main problem is this - SWR doesn't have capacity at the times when CRS would get used - peak morning and evening hours. They might have capacity during mid-day hours, but then, whats the point!
  • However, they have figured out possibility for a Yeshwantpur (YPR) to Attibele (Electronics City) service. It could start as early as six months from now. This is not official news yet, but Mr Jadhav sounded confident enough.
  • Services from YPR to Devanahalli side again has capacity problems, but GoK is pushing for doubling of line between YPR and Yelahanka. Its going to happen, and happen quick.
  •  I didn't hear anything concrete on Whitefield, Nelamangala and Bidadi/Ramanagar sides. There is a long pending demand for Nelamangala-Bidadi service, it is being looked into.

Before jumping into details and using them to criticize (will stations be upgraded, how about the fares, is there a business case with just one or two services, will frequencies be good enough, any integration plan with BMTC, quality of coaches etc etc), let us congratulate the government on pursuing this with seriousness and intent. Lets get one foot in the door first, and the we shall see and ask for more - that seems to be the approach here. Not an issue with that sir, we all look forward to building some serious public interest and excitement for a Commuter Rail Service!

Another very interesting thing we heard regarding South Western Railways, and I see this linked to Commuter Rail in the long term was this. An idea being floated is to give SW Railways land near Devanahalli (ten tracks width worth of station) and request them to move some or all of their services from the City station. That would be a master stroke as it'd 1) develop BIAL's airport as a real mobility hub - arrive at Bangalore, take your Shatabdi to Mysore. and 2) it could possibly free up capacity on the tracks within the city to help expand Commuter Rail in future. Yep, it did remind me of this old post (Edge stations ...) here. Either way, I love this line of thinking.

Keep thinking GoK, we look forward to more action on these lines!

[PS: the post is based on my recollection from the talk, there may be some inaccuracies]

Comments

asj's picture

Realistic and good

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Good news indeed. In fact, this is so true for Pune - I was delighted that the railways are planning to augment the service as reported here http://www.indianexpress.com/news/a-pune-local-train-every-15-minutes/397960/%20

It seems lack of rakes and technology is the issue more than anything and indeed trains could even run once every 5 to 7 minutes.

The above can be done in significantly less time and expense, in fact Pune's movement between Pimpri-Chinchwad-Khadki to Pune and Hadapsar in east (on Pune - Solapur rail lines) can solve huge transport problems in North-East Pune.

ASJ

blrsri's picture

Rail to EC?! hmm!

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Attibele/Chandapura is no EC....probably lil close to the last phase of EC and Biocon!

Also they will probably run a diesel loco..lets see how popular that will become!

Anyways any commuter rail option for blr is welcome!

idontspam's picture

I like that too

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Moving inter city rails to originate and terminate at Devanahalli. If intercity buses also move there, It will be the ultimate hub solution.

Congratulations!

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I congratulate Shri Devesh Agarwal and Shri Arvind Jadhav for their efforts. I am sure this will go a long way in alleviating the transportation problems of Bangalore Metro region.

Taking CRS seriously and working towards it will yield rich dividends for Bangalore.

IT companies should co-ordinate with the Railways so that a TTMC can be built in the Attibele or Chandapura Railway Station. This can enable workers from various parts of Electronics City to commute between their respective offices and the railway station in an easy manner.

Kengeri to Attibele

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Additionally, Kengeri to Attibele can also be explored. The upcoming 'Nadaprabhu Kempe Gowda Layout' and other developments like SMV Layout would be better positioned as residential areas that need transport linkage to EC.
Vasanth's picture

Great News

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Great News. Something moving on this front is really great. Let us have  the service in  first place, then the amenities at the station, route changes, Connect ivity to stations etc.

I would like to see Nelamangala to EC via YPR, BYPL and Kengeri to Whitefield via SBC(Majestic), BNC (Cantonment), BYPL, Whitefield criscrossing each other at BYPL where people can change routes.

YPR - Devenahalli is also good initiative.

 Elecrtification of YPR - BYPL route is completed. Also,  BYPL - Yelahanka track is now electified. Kengeri, Bidadi, Hejjala stations on the Mysore route has been just improved wtih more platforms and more tracks after the double track work completed upto Ramanagaram.

sandeepckeerthi's picture

Good News Indeed

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SB,
This is indeed good news. Like you mentioned let us go with the existing platforms, diesel engines and other infrastructure for now and get one foot in. No harm there.., in fact diesel engines are still being used for many CRS across the world.

It is indeed heartening to see some change of heart in the SWR about CRS.

The key here though will be connecting the CRS to the Metro network to enjoy the full benefits of the CRS and and not let it go the Hyderabad and Chennai way. Hopefully this will come about without having to organize demonstrations like what Devesh, you and I had discussed for the train to BIAL..!
tsubba's picture

awesome news

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awesome news. one step at a time.

Arun's picture

Good move!!

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So this plan comes out of cold storage! Only wish this becomes a reality. If only Bangalore’s traffic planning had started with this Commuter Rail and BRT (now in deep freeze J…probably dead) as solutions, the Govt could have saved several thousands of crores on Metro, road widening, underpasses and flyovers. This would have saved several thousands of trees as well. As talks of Commuter Rail and Metro took serious proportions post 2002, I have always felt that Commuter Rail and BMTC (read BRT – which was actively pursued till the end of 2000) would fare better vis-à-vis Metro
 
Commuter rail would surely take off a good percentage of vehicles off the road. Except for BSK, Jayanagar, Koramangala, JP Ngr, etc, the rail connectivity within the Bangalore Urban and most parts of Bangalore Rural Districts is more than satisfactory. Now SWR and the concerned authorities should chalk out connectivity issues as the city grows, since extending Metro cannot be a continuous process given the costs involved. 
 
This is a very good move and hope over the next 3-5 years we see Commuter Rail, BMTC, BMRC and others take care of the commuting needs.

Peak hour capacity

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I noticed that during the holiday season now for the past few days, traffic was absolutely minimal in Bangalore. I made it to JC Road from Malleswaram within 20 minutes, instead of the usually 1 hour it takes.

It just highlights the need for better spinal (read Metro and Mono) and peak hour commuter transport (Commuter Rail).

The top cop of Bengaluru, Shri Shankar Bidari suggested a plan to decongest the city centre by opening more satellite bus stops and satellite railway stations as well. His plan is not being seriously implemented by the BMLTA which has the authority to do it. 
Devesh's picture

CRS and decongesting Bangalore

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SB is being modest. This is the initiative of the BCIC Infra committee this year, and SB is playing a pivotal role in helping draft a white paper where we want to highlight the integration of various forms of surface transport to decongest parts of Bangalore.

CRS is a crucial part of our efforts, which until now were stymied by Indian Railways. Things are moving in a positive direction, albiet slowly.

I request for Prajagale to give SB some inputs for the paper.

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

Regards

Devesh R. Agarwal

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

 

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

Shankar Bidari

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Devesh,

The city's top cop - Shri Shankar Bidari had some time in the past unveiled a decongestion plan for Bangalore. At the core of his solution was Commuter Rail.

Perhaps BCIC Infa Committee should meet Bidari for a push this needs. 
SB_YPR's picture

Excellent!

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However, this would be most effective if the line were doubled all the way upto Yesvantpur. Then, we could have frequent shuttles between YPR-Heelalige or even YPR-Hosur.
The stations on this route are (km):
Yesvantpur (0)
Lottegollahalli(2)
Hebbal (8)
Banaswadi (14)
Belandur Road (29)
Karmelaram (33)
Kodathi (37)
Heelalige[EC] (43)
Anekal Road (53)
Hosur (67)
Doubling the line will not be a problem since most of the section has vacant land on either side of the tracks. But GoK should be willing to bear the cost of the same. Also, as pointed out, a TTMC could be constructed ast Heelalige. I believe some companies in EC already provide transport to/from Heelalige station, to connect with the Bangalore-Salem passenger in the morning and evening.
~~~~
Manish, Nagarbhavi.

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Manish.

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