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Local Rail for Bengaluru with existing rail lines

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Commuter RailPublic Transport

Here is a suggestion to solve Bangalore's traffic problems, also crop up a series of improvements. Railways as mass rapid transport system can play a very big role in solving this problem. Bangalore has railway lines in almost all the directions. It is feasible to ply local trains on these lines.

The outbound trains terminus can be at outer stations, example:

  • towards Hindupur from Yelahanka,
  • towards Jolarpaet from Whitefield,
  • towards Mysore from Kengeri,
  • towards Tumkur some distance after Yeshwanthpur.

The local trains will also enable better connectivity to the outer terminus. This will be a win-win situation for the government and the public. By using local trains the travel time for the public to commute, especially to office, decreases. Also while in train a person can concentrate on his work using communication networks with laptops, mobile phones etc. The number of vehicles plying on Bangalore roads will get minimized which in turn brings down traffic jams, pollution, traffic policing, accidents, expenditure on road network. Public save on time and transportation cost, get cleaner air and safety on roads.

The government will benefit from the huge savings on expenditure for road network like construction of flyovers, underpasses, road expansion and new roads. This huge savings can be used for improvement of underdeveloped places which in-turn will address the migration of people to developed places. This chain can go on and on solving many problem faced by the government and the society.


silkboard's picture

See Namma Railu, covers all, except "outer stations" concept

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Dear Ravichandar, Praja folks realize this very well. Please read past posts on CRS, and also Namma Railu project, and see if you can join and help the 3-4 people who are doing most of the running around and advocacy work on it.

Only thing that Namma Railu doesn't include is what you call as outer stations (see a past post on "Edge stations", from Vasanth, Naveen or myself, don't recall right now). Shifting long distance train termination away from City station to "Edge stations" will be a bit too big a thing to ask for right now. The approach Namma Railu project team has taken is to avoid the very crowded lines in phase 1 of Commuter Rail Service, like KR Puram to City station line.

I guess you are thinking that moving long distance operations to "outer" or "Edge" stations (aka Satellite Terminals) would free up even the crowded lines inside the city limits for operating commuter services. While in theory that is right,

  • you have this issue of either forcing long distance travelers to use commuter service to get to their nearest destination point in the city. Or, you would have to provide majestic like connectivity at each "Edge station" (3 or 4 of them)
  • Also, there are no good examples of other cities who have done this. At Mumbai, they still bring most trains right till VT/Central, even though most people would get off and go back up to the suburban area. Cities in Europe too have long distance terminals in the central areas.
  • For trains that don't terminate at Bengaluru, you would either have to plan to them through on the lines inside city limits, or build new "ring line" to have them touch an Edge station and then go around the city.

Think more and you may realize that the Edge/Outer station concept (while a good thought) may not be that easy to bat for.

kbsyed61's picture

Edge station concept was considered!

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The proposed routes in NR was outcome of all the consideration of various available options including edge stations. The routes, city hubs and growth centers were proposed after giving serious thoughts on present and potential future needs.

One of the guiding principle in NR proposals is the concept of growth center. Towns around B'lore are conisdered as the grwoth centers , i.e Tumkur, Doddaballapur, Chikkaballpur, Bangarpet, Hosur and Ramanagaram. The potential that is realized is to get the traffic from growth center to the City Hubs and vice-versa. Another apparent benefit you could see by having city hubs is facilitating change overs to trains in other directions. Person from chikballapur can easily transit at Yelahanka to go to Whitefield, Ramanagarm and at Yeshwantpur going to Tumkur, Hosur etc. Similarly one can go from one growth center to the other with least change overs.

If the trains are terminated at the edge stations, you will still need connecting to the other end of the city. Which could be an unattractive proposition to the daily commuters and hence the NR proposition.

NR proposals put burden of additional infrastructure, but it is necessary and will surpasses the benefits over cost.

Vasanth's picture

Over shooted Projection of Burden on Existing Tracks

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 I live close to Bangalore - Mysore track and I am a regular Bangalore Mysore traveller. First train that arrives in Bangalore from Mysore is at 9:15 am and second train is at around 9:50 AM. Earlier in the morning we have the Mangalore-Bangalore train at 6:45 am. Goods traffic is not as much as predicted and projected by Railways.

We could have additional trains plying either on our Namma Railu Proposed routes or alternatively, if the railways do not want to operate on the Namma Railu Proposal, let them start additional trains on Bengaluru-Mysore tracks during peak hours travelling towards Bengaluru. Samething applies for Tumkur line as well. All the commuters are dependent on the Passenger former Push-Pull train that arrives at around 9:30 AM.

All the problem lies in innumerable trains being added every budget connecting the Railway Minister's state with Bangalore as well as too many combination trains connected to Bangalore. We should identify  the trains which is necessary to enter to city centre since used by daily commuters and trains which doesn't really need to enter the city centre and can afford to stop at the edge station. For example, weekly specials can stop at the edge station. Those trains which need to enter the city centre can do so after 10PM  and before 8 AM except for the trains used by daily commuters allowing the bandwidth for subarban trains during the day.

Track widening like road widening is also an option, may not be possible on SBC - Whitefield Route, but possible on the YPR - SBC Route. It is also not possible on SBC - Kengeri route due to tight curves.But, it is easily possible from EDGE stations of the city to nearest suburb, It is high time when the lands are availble to quadraple the track. For example Kengeri to Channapatna, land is available on either sides for quadrapling, same is the case from YPR - Tumkur, Whitefield - Bangarpet, Hosur - BYPL. This is keeping future in mind by reducing the load on Bangalore to develop these suburbs. The roads leading to Bangalore needs to be Tolled heavily at the entrance points pushing the people to park at the entrance of the city and take the train.

Most of the tracks near Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai are quadrapled. 

Railways is not considering these things due to the low season ticket fare. This has to be increased.


idontspam's picture

The tale of Indian Railways

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  let them start additional trains on Bengaluru-Mysore tracks during peak hours travelling towards Bengaluru. Samething applies for Tumkur line as well

They will dispute this till kingdom come & spin you around in circles

All the problem lies in innumerable trains being added every budget connecting the Railway Minister's state with Bangalore as well as too many combination trains connected to Bangalore

This is indeed their scope & method of operation. They are not willing to change it because you or me say so.

Railways is not considering these things due to the low season ticket fare. This has to be increased

They are bound by railways act but we have to use exceptions like golden chariott as precedents. 

In all, you have said the exact things that is being said but the listener(SWR) will not accept these "suggestions" from us and our politicians are busy with CYA campaigns because they forgot they are supposed to do these things also after elections.

Every other city in India has got commuter rail I am surprised with the same level of traffic how they manage to run trains. Its not rocket science.

kbsyed61's picture

Vasanth, Railways needs to wake up from slumber!

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The railway's claim of full capacity utilization should be looked from whole some system of train scheduling and operation. It is also depends upon platforms at each station, block signaling system and operational efficiency. Platforms and signaling being the paramount. Waht is happening is in most stations the main platform is also used for parking, maintenance also. That would reduce the actual number fo paltforms available for trains to pass.

Based on the painstaking information that was gathered by none other than Sanjeev, I will concede that there is some truth in what IR is saying. But in deeper analysis what it tells is railways has been sleeping all these years and have not scale up their infrastructure to achieve operational efficiency. The reason being, all upgrades happens due to political orders rather than need and operational efficiency. They are happy with what they are doing and what they have. Even if inefficient and operating with antique ifrastructure.

As IDS said, it is a matter of political willingness from the state and union. One thing I would like to caution is not follow the commuter rail impelmentation in other states. Because they are done half baked and even reported to be bleeding.

In Bangalore we need a proper CR system that is truly catered to meet the needs of commuters.

idontspam's picture

 I was just looking at some

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 I was just looking at some train details on the Tumkur line with Sanjeev today and we could identify at least 8 more trains can fit in with comfortable headway on initial glance. Believe me they will run additional trains on the very same stations they claim to be full if MoR demands. I believe the alignment we have suggested can easily take a commuter rail service as well as if not better than Hyderabad's. We are just not talking to the right people to make this happen.

ravichandar's picture

Namma Railu with existing tracks

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While putting forward Namma Railu proposal the anticipated reply from Railways or State Government is the infeasibility of extra track due to land unavailability or funds. To overcome this it is proposed to shift the terminus of the outer bound trains to outer stations and use the inner tracks for Namma  Railu. The expenditure involved in this case will be mostly to upgrading outer stations, which will be comparatively meager. Also Namma Railu itself will be a better connectivity between outer terminus and anywhere in Bengaluru.  Space should not be a constraint for the outer stations.

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