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State of South Western Railways!

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Commuter RailPublic Transport

Going through the minutes of the meeting for "Namma Railu Round Table Event at Cistup, IISc" last August 30, 2010, one get an interesting insight into mind and thinking of Railways. In this case, railways is represented by Bengaluru Division of South Western Railway. A bit deeper digging reveals that the management at DRM office is more of a Production Line supervision in an manufacturing plant. Their main job is to ensure that trains are run regularly and any incidents are attended to. Apart from day-to-day operations, all other aspects which directly relates to passengers are taken up in second in priority. It is Railway Ministry and Railway Board who calls the shots for every little new thing or amenities.

The above assertions are not some loose ranting, rather based on facts. Recently came across a RTI response from South Western Railways.

Improvements Carried Over by SWR in past 4 decades

State of Signaling System used in SWR

The responses to the questions are very intriguing. This is what SWR has to say about the its state of affairs.

  • Improvements done at Bangalore City Station since 1970.
  1. 1970 to 1980 - No records
  2. 1981 to 1990 - Records not traceable
  3. 1991 to 2000 - Platform shelter for Plt Form No.1, 6, Mysore end, Improvements to Upper Class waiting Halls, Repairs to Station Building, Reservation Complex
  4. 2001to 2010 - Proposed improvements to concourse area., improvements to platform 1, 2, 7 and 8

Note - As per the RTI response, In last 4 decades there is not a single new platform was added.

  • Signalling System
  1. Currently Multiple aspects Color Light Signal, Panel, Route Relay, Interlocking & Electronic interlocking is being used.
  2. No plans to replace it by modern signaling system
  3. Is on par with SS used by Indian Railways in other divisions.

Certainly going by the current state of SWR, for CRS lot needs to be changed. From the SWR stated position, they are happy with what they have and they do not have any desire to bring in any pro-active changes unless mandated by the Railway Board.

Last but not the least, thanks to the RTI applicant for sharing the SWR responses.


idontspam's picture

 As per the RTI response, In

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 As per the RTI response, In last 4 decades there is not a single new platform was added.

Apt summary of the state of SWR & the region as a whole.

Sanjeev's picture

Its true about SWR Bangalore

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SWR Bangalore are happy  with what they have and  even projects sanctioned like Escalators & doubling of Tracks are not done.

Even so called Bayyiappanahalli Station & Yelahanaka are worst then the Chikbannavar station. 

Practice folowed in Bangalore Division are to run empty rakes between YPR to Yelahanaka / Baiyyappanahalli /  City  to Baiyyappanahalli for parking.  Terminate all trains at city terminal only, not to extend the trains to other cites and day time & nights are  not to be used for running trains.  Land to be used only after 50 yrs & not now.

Signalling system is outdated in SBC division with bigger block sizes.



Vasanth's picture

Timings of trains - Strange in SWR Bangalore Divsion

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As Sanjeev mentioned, trains are extended to other cities like Mysore for cleaning and parking.  These trains, while returning back would have become already dirty by the time it reaches Bangalore. For example, Hampi / Golgumbuz express uses the rake which goes to Mysore as Mysore - Yeshwantpur Express. By the time Mysore - Yeshwantpur Express reaches Yeshwantpur to leave for Hampi, it would have already been spoiled, including reserved coaches.

Also, the timings are not so convenient. Thousands of commuters travel from Mysore towards Bangalore during early morning and return back in the evening. There are only two trains, one express and another passenger to cater them. As a result, both of them are overcrowded. On the other hand, from Bangalore towards Mysore in early  morning there are 5 trains and evenings from Mysore towards Bangalore. All these trains are extended trains. Apart from this, there are weekly special trains like Ajmer Express, Jaipur Express, Howrah Express which also doesn't cater daily commuters.

If we take Tumkur side, early morning, thousands of passengers come to Bangalore for work and return back in the evening. Only one Arsikere Passenger train caters them. SWR is only interested in running long route trains, but not catering to daily commuters.


idontspam's picture

SWR is only interested in

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SWR is only interested in running long route trains, but not catering to daily commuters.

And hence trying to fit daily commute into long distance trains is like trying to squeeze the elephant into the bucket.

I hope these examples make people realize that they are different needs with different connectivity & reliability requirements. We need to get out of this habit & ask to get dedicated commuter rail services run by an SPV which will manage these services on the same/enhanced infrastructure. 

idontspam's picture

Hub? Integrated? just fancy words

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If you are one of those travelling by train from Tirupati or Chennai to Bangalore, forget taking a Metro Rail hop to the central parts of the city. For, express trains will not stop at Byappanahalli railway station, which is close to the Byappanahalli Metro Rail hub.

...SWR divisional railway manager Sudhanshu Mani said, “At present, we dont have any plans to stop long-distance trains at Byappanahalli station. There is a long-drawn process for it, and we require the approval of the railway board.”


Sanjeev's picture

How is that Public keeping quite for this mess

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For whose benifit METRO, SWR & BMTC exists.  After all their existence s on  Citizens using public Transport. 

Such huge amount spent on METRO where Center is also party to this, how is it  that Urban Development Ministry at Center not getting into action to make integrated hub for this.

How is it that BMRCL chief & BMTC chiefs & DRM SWR  keeping quite / blaming each other,  does  it mean that they don't want customers  of other public transport services to use other mode of Transport.

Some time back in 2nd half of  2010,  Praja had meeting with BMRCL and they told that METRO will be integrated with SWR at Byappanhallai & Yesvanthpur stations. comment guidelines

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