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Bangalore Airport Link Rail Corporation

TNN's R Jayaprakash(ToI Dec 18 2007) is reporting that in the next few weeks, the government will float a Bangalore Airport Link Rail Corporation and set up a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to handle the affairs. Quoting an official working on the project the report says that the tentative name suggested is Bangalore Airport Rail Link Corporation. This follows the meeting DMRC’s E Sreedharan had with the governor. The governor’s office will seek Centre’s consent in the absence of an elected body. And get this, apparently, the train promises to take you from MG road to airport in just 15 minutes!!!

Some more from the report

The rail link has been proposed from MG Road near BRV Grounds to Devanahalli International Airport. This 30-km non-stop train is estimated to cost Rs 4,000 crore and will be implemented on BOT basis. It will run parallel to the existing Hyderabad track — this will avoid land acquisition hurdles. Once the corporation is floated, a DPR will be prepared and global tenders floated. There will clarity once the jurisdictions of the SPV are spelt out.
Though there were several government agencies which could have been roped in to execute the project, the members at the meeting were unanimous about having a separate corporation. The corporation will have board members comprising civic stakeholders, railway authorities, BMRC MD and urban development secretary. It will be headed by a senior IAS officer.

After dilly-dallying over the proposed expressway from outer ring road to Devanahalli airport for over two years, the government now wants the Union government to take up the project. The 21-km expressway was mooted for dedicated road connectivity but the project is still on paper.

How long it will take to implement the project itself is not known right now. We ought to keep an eye for more details in the comming days.


tsubba's picture


mainly posting this for the link to railwaygazette. check it out. interestingly enough says it is partially elevated. http://www.railwaygazette... Karnataka state government has created Bangalore Airport Rail Link Ltd as special purpose vehicle to develop a fast connection to the new international airport which is due to open on May 11. The partially-elevated line would start at a city centre terminal at BRV Grounds on Mahatma Gandhi Road and run alongside National Highway 7 to the airport, with stops at Hebbal and Yelahanka. Six-car trains are proposed, with a journey time of 25 min. The cost of the 34 km line is estimated at Rs37·2bn. Delhi Metro Rail Corp has been appointed to advise on the project, which is to be completed by January 2011.
tsubba's picture

BARL “Talks with the NHAI (National Highways Authority of India) over the alignment of the elevated rail is being discussed. There are different views. Some engineers are in favour of only one of the two, while others are suggesting alternative alignments. We do not want the alignment of the high speed rail link to clash with the elevated rail. We are committed to having the high speed rail to get going soon. Work could begin in about nine months,” Mr Baligar indicated.
tsubba's picture

Integration problems II

High-speed rail link on slow track
The Hindu

NHAI seeks change in alignment for the second time
BBMP seeks change in alignment between Minsk Square and Hebbal flyover
DMRC forced to revise project report

The commencement of work on the proposed high-speed rail link between Bangalore city and the new international airport at Devanahalli will be delayed as the NHAI has forced a change in alignment for the second time.

The NHAI, on Tuesday, asked the DMRC, which will be implementing the project, to shift the alignment to the right side of NH 7.

The NHAI had first asked the DMRC to keep the alignment on the median of NH 7. But a few weeks ago, it said that the alignment should be kept to the left of the highway, as it proposed to construct an elevated highway between the Hebbal flyover and Yelahanka.

After the DMRC prepared a detailed project report keeping the alignment to the left side of the highway, the NHAI has come out with a plan to construct an elevated highway between the Hebbal flyover and Yelahanka-Kogilu Junction. The NHAI placed its suggestion during a meeting of the taskforce on airport infrastructure held in Bangalore on Tuesday.

Even the BBMP has suggested a change in the alignment between Minsk Square and the Hebbal flyover. It is studying a proposal by Delhi-based IDEB Inc. and Shanghai Urban Construction Group to construct an elevated road corridor between the two points above the existing stretch of the road. The BBMP wants the DMRC to change the alignment to suit the elevated road project. In its project report, the DMRC had aligned the rail link to the left of the existing road. The BBMP wants the alignment on the median so that elevated roads can be build on both sides.

The Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), which has agreed to build a rail link and related infrastructure within its premises, informed the meeting that it has been working on its expansion plan and will come out with a feasibility study report by April-end.

The DMRC has now been forced to rework on its design and come out with a revised project report. All these developments are likely to delay work on the rail link.

Commerce, Industries and Infrastructure Secretary V.P. Baligar told The Hindu that the DMRC would have to discuss the matter with the NHAI and the BBMP before finalising the alignment as all the projects are interlinked.

Mr. Baligar said that experts from the Zurich Airport, which is a stakeholder in the BIAL, had informed the meeting that they were finalising an expansion plan to build second and third terminals and a second runway at the Devanahalli airport. The BIAL would have to conduct a feasibility study on whether to have underground, on ground or above ground rail link within the airport premises depending upon the expansion plan, he said.

didn't this ideb+shangai group initially propose the under ground road? where is the space for air link on the median and elevated roads on both sides of the road on the road between minsk square and hebbal? and what happens to our beloved magic boxes if the metro is going to be on the median?

nhai is comming with alignments and proposals right left and center and by the minute. is it really so easy to come up with proposals?

tsubba's picture

Integration Problems I

Metro answer to airport woes
S Praveen Dhaneshkar, D H News Service
In a move that could end the Bengaluru International Airport's connectivity woes, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), consultant for the proposed high speed train to Devanahalli aerodrome, on Tuesday proposed integrating Namma Metro and the rail link.

A high-level meeting of officials of DMRC, BIA and Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRC) came up with the integration idea for better and faster connectivity to the airport.

Sources in DMRC told Deccan Herald that the meeting grappled with the issue of access between the Namma Metro station at Minsk Square and the high speed train terminal at the BRV grounds.

“A pathway from the Metro station to the train terminal is being planned. An underground travelator (a moving trolley link) or an elevated pathway could be the answer for seamless integration. A final decision on the project and its cost will be taken soon,” said officials.

BMRC Managing Director V Madhu said an underground pathway straddling the 550-metre distance between the Metro station and the train terminal would be the ideal option.

“On-surface integration is problematic. Travelators and mono-rails are in use in other countries to link metros to airports,” Madhu said.

V P Baligar, principal secretary (Infrastructure,Commerce and Industry), said the meeting also discussed the high speed train’s station at the airport end. “BIAL has sought time till April-end, saying that it is in the process of drawing up its expansion plans,” he said.

He also disclosed that the government is on the verge of finalising the board of directors for the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to implement the train to Devanahalli.

DMRC Managing Director E Sreedharan, BIAL CEO Albert Brunner, Baligar, Madhu and other senior officials participated in the meeting.
Not to repeat myself, here is a very simple idea to solve the problem of integration.
Why have two different systems to begin with? Why not lay metro tracks all the way to the airport and have trains with varying number of stops.
MG road to bial, airport shuttle 3 stops.  MG road to devanahalli, metro 12 stops.
RV terminal to bial, airport shuttle 5 stops. RV terminal to devanahalli, airport shuttle 15 stops.
(numbers are random, just trying to say fewer stops for the airport shuttle than regular service.)

Mithun's picture

SEZ at Devanahalli

A new multi product SEZ including IT & BPO has been cleared at Devanahalli. Courtesy: Hindu --> (Assuming that this rail link is completed) As the rail connectivity to Devanahalli will be expensive and go only into the airport, I guess all hell will break loose on Bellary road after few years. may be another Hosur road.
Vasanth's picture

Delayed and Expensive Connectivity

Connectivity will be after 3 years from now. Until then we have to manage using BMTC's services as well as private cars. Until then we would have got used to these modes of transport. Expense is also too high, it is OK since it is BOT. Until then, Railways could have helped, but it has washed its hands. Earlier, Metrail was after Government for Monorail project on BOT basis and HDK had nodded for Kanakapura Road to Majestic. Instead of Kanakapura Road, if HDK had granted it to BIAL, by now we could have seen some progress. Since Kanakapura Road is near PBNagar, he might have considered Kanakapura Road. Similar BOT lines could be even built for Namma Metro which is of more importance to Bangalore's citizens. Airport connectivity is the hype created by upper class society which Government is taking seriously than the actual Bangalore's traffic problem.
tsubba's picture

BOT for airport train

Train to airport put on fast track (Deccan Herald)

The proposed high speed train to the Bengaluru International Airport will be implemented under the Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) model with private participation, unlike the Bangalore Metro which is being jointly implemented by the State government and the Centre through a special purpose vehicle, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRC).

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), which is the consultant for the project, has decided on the BOT model to avoid any delay in implementation.

‘Compress time’
A decision in this regard was taken recently following Governor Rameshwar Thakur’s direction to DMRC to “compress the implementation time” as much as possible, official sources said.

As a result, the SPV (which is yet to be set up by the State government) for the high speed train need not look for raising of funds for the project and that it will only concentrate on project monitoring and management.
The BOT operator (also called project promoter) will be selected through global tender. The plan is to start the actual work in November 2008 and complete it in 2011.

However, the BMRC has been entrusted with the responsibility of not only implementing and managing the Metro project, but also raise on its own funds to the tune of nearly Rs 1,000 crore for the over Rs 6,000-crore project.

As per the BOT model worked out by DMRC for the high speed train, the BOT operator will have to bear almost the entire cost, which is estimated at Rs 3,796 crore, except for equity participation of the State and Central governments (Rs 135 crore each) and the Bengaluru International Airport Limited (Rs 30 crore).

Cost sharing
The State government will also bear the land acquisition cost (Rs 155 crore) and Bengaluru International Airport Limited will bear the civil engineering cost for the train at the airport premises (Rs 148 crore).

BIAL has been made an equity partner as the train is proposed to pass through the airport.

“In fact, the airport station for the train is planned next to the check-in terminal inside the airport. BIAL has agreed in principle to have its equity in the project,” the sources said.

They also said BIAL has laid down a condition that all civil engineering works for the train inside the airport should be done after consulting it, so that the design synchronises with that of the airport’s. So, BIAL agreed to bear the entire civil engineering cost, the sources added.

tsubba's picture

alt+shift left

Train to Devanahalli changes tracks By P M Raghunandan, DH The alignment for the proposed high speed train to the Bengaluru International Airport, has been re-worked, and it will pass through the left side of the NH-7 (Bellary Road) instead of the central median. The revised alignment will be very much on NH-7 and no additional private land will be acquired along the route. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), which has prepared a detailed project report (DPR), was forced to re-design the alignment as the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has come up with its own elevated road project between Hebbal and Yelahanka. “We have decided to change the alignment to take it on the left side to pave the way for the elevated road. But no additional private land, apart from what has been proposed in the original DPR, needs to be acquired because of the changes,” DMRC Advisor and Project Director Venkat Rao said. However, the original alignment for the stretch between the GPO and Hebbal flyover will remain unchanged. DMRC in its DPR stated that 48 hectares of land, including 28 hectares of private land, needed to be acquired. NHAI has recently proposed to take up a four-km, six-lane elevated highway between Hebbal and Yelahanka, to facilitate smooth traffic to and from the new airport. “The area along this four-km stretch is thickly populated. Chances are more that traffic gets disrupted on and off. So, the elevated road has been conceived,” Project Director (NH-7), NHAI, Sanjeev Raju said. For the stretch between Yelahanka and Devanahalli, NHAI has proposed additional two-lane service roads on either side of the existing six-lane highway (NH-7), making it a 10-lane highway, he added. Why is it moving slow? Even two months after the State Executive Committee cleared the project, the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) has not been set up. It is the responsibility of Karnataka State Industrial Investment Development Corporation to float the SPV. DMRC has in fact fixed the timetable to complete preparatory works. The work is slated to begin in November, sources said. State Budget 2008-09 has allocated just Rs 5 crore for SPV. “If things move fast, SPV would draw the money from infrastructure fund. The State share in the project is minimal and there is no need to worry about allocation,” sources said. The DMRC will soon set up its office in Bangalore to oversee project implementation.
santsub's picture

Design will solve this problem

If they can design it well the high speed train can be aligned sandwiched in between the elevated expressway even if it is only for a few kilometers. There are many cities which have done that. I am attaching a pic from google maps where you can see how Metro Rail passes in the center of a freeway.

If designed that way they will not need any private land for the rail link.

s_yajaman's picture

No cost benefit seems to have been done


Bang on.  What is this fascination with a 23 minute ride and a 160kmph train.  There is a saying in Kannada about stretching your legs only as much as the bed.

This should be a general purpose train track with airport specials thrown in between. 


Amazing that corporate "leaders" who talk a lot about embracing change, seem to be up in arms against this change. 

BTW - has anyone been along NH7 recently?  Have they put lights till the airport.  I would hate to be in a speeding taxi with a sleepy driver and no high-lumen lamps.  Anandnagar underpass is supposedly going to be quicker than last time.  Let's see.


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

tsubba's picture

north by north-fast

ok a detailed reply of mine just got nuked. anyways... these are all fundamentals. things like airports, highways and even roads like orr dont exist in isolation and by themselves. they are the epicenters of an ecosystem, even if heavily polluted. just like hebbal lake. that is nature, that is the tao of urban living. nah that is the dharma of cities. everybody understands it. remember the haggling HDK did with farmers of Bidadi? but they will not act on it. i have never undesrtood why there needs to be a special train to the airport? why not a metro to the north? ok bial takes takes 41 minutes instead of 23, so what?
blrsri's picture

We need the train but..

Was reading about express trains to airports around the world and came across interesting information on BBC about the Gatwick Express..

..The Department for Transport said "fast and frequent" services would remain but would serve additional stations.

Figures show that during peak morning hours the service is, on average, just over half full. Axing it would provide an extra 480 seats for commuters...

Cant we learn from them?

s_yajaman's picture

What sort of coordination is this?

Agree.  The BIAL expressway starts (if/when) from a not very easy to reach point.  Why spend so much money on a potential white elephant? We have enough of those to fill a circus with.

The scary thing is that the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing.  When did this elevated expressway from Hebbal to Yelahanka get conceived?  I am sure that the DMRC would have shared the plans for the high speed train with the NHAI.  Why was NHAI quiet at that point? 

Can you imagine how Brunner must feel about India?  He must wonder how we get anything done at all.   Have our bureaucrats and politicians have no shame at all?  No sense of duty?  No sense of pride in getting a job well done?  BIAL should take the government to court at the end of all this.

I think the delay is an opportunity to finish the underpasses and the trumpet interchange before the airport starts.  We have waited seemingly for ever for this new airport - so another month will not mean a great amount of damage except to our reputation(???). 


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

silkboard's picture

thank god ...

... the BIAL expressway project hasnt taken off. Bellary Road, now itself, with 6 lanes and space on both sides looks, looks upgradable to an expressway. Add the train, Outer Ring Road upgrade, and the BIAL expressway looks so redundant.

The main problem is in getting to the Outer Ring Road, and not from ORR to BIAL.

blrsri's picture

NHAI's Elevated Road to the BIA? Whats the use of express way?

TOI today: 

Bangalore: The Karnataka government’s efforts to put on track a high-speed train from the city to the Bengaluru International Airport (BIA) has suffered another hiccup. The project, planned on NH 7, has been sent to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for a relook at the alignment, which is found to be clashing with the elevated corridor planned on the same path by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). 
A 4-km, 6-lane elevated road — ahead of the clover-leaf flyover — will be taken up by NHAI from Hebbal to Yelahanka. The railway line, planned at the centre of the road to avoid land acquisition problems, would overlap the elevated road.
   “The distance between the rail and the road should be at least 3.5 metres. NHAI had suggested the alignment be taken to the extreme left of the road, off the service road. But this will mean private land will have to be acquired. We have sent the project to the DMRC for a relook at the alignment,” said infrastructure secretary V P Baligar.  “Once the DMRC freezes the alignment, we can start work on the corridor,” NHAI officials said.
   The road-over-road is a part of the Devanahalli corridor improvement project which includes widening of the highway and three mini flyovers.
   The busy Bellary Road now registers 20,000 passenger car units (PCU) daily. Studies conducted by BIAL say nearly 11.5 million passengers will take the aerial route annually — which breaks down to 40,000 PCUs per day on the highway.

tsubba's picture


Actually, long time back Naveen had spoken about the issue of frequency. He had then pointed out that ROB/RUB would be needed if the trains are to run at high frequency. Otherwise traffic in the city will be effected. A few days ago I was checking the CTTP about ROB/RUB. CTTP proposes 18 new ROB/RUBs. But from what I could figure out only two of them are between yeshwantpura and doddajaala. One of them on MES road and the other at kodigehalli railway station. (check the last page of this document: ) can they use these magic boxes for these get it done? or atleast some pre-cast tech? But what dissapoints me is the attitude of Mr. Mangal. He has 70% of what he needs already instead of being proactive and seizing an initiative, he is still thinking in the "If there is demand" mindset. And this after all the noise we have had about airport connectivity for more than a year now.
Vasanth's picture

Our Babus should work with Lalu to get DMU until express rail l

Our MLAs and MPs should have put pressure to Lalu to start a DMU train running every 30 mins until express rail link starts its operations as an alternative to BMTC's Volvo.
blrsri's picture

TOI ups the cause

Todays Blr TOI(2nd page)
"... The mega projects conceived to provide connectivity to the new airport will require not less than two to three years to become operational. Planners have, therefore, suggested making use of the existing railway corridor.
   “The proposed train between Chikballapur and Bangalore city will be taken up as a priority. Two trains run between the city and Chikkaballapur and these trains can be utilized if there is a demand,’’ divisional manager of Southwestern Railway, Mahesh Mangal, told TOI.
   At present, a train is operational between Bangalore city and Chikballapur with a halt at Dodda Jala, situated about 4.5 km from the international airport. The railways will start an additional train between Chikballapur and Yelahanka. However, the official clarified that the existing infrastructure cannot support separate train services between the airport and the city. “Any kind of connectivity requires a frequency which is not possible with the present infrastructure. The idea can be implemented only if the infrastructure is upgraded,’’ Mangal said.
   But traffic planners see it the other way. “The track between the city and Chikballapur does not handle much of the trains. At fixed intervals, there can be trains from Devanahalli to Bangalore. It requires minimal infrastructure. Moreover, about two km of railway line abuts the compound wall of Devanahalli airport,’’ explained chairman of Traffic Engineering and Safety Trainer

Lets hope this trail is taken further and the Janata trains might give the dedicated express trains the jitters. Or will the promoters of the new rail link stop the Janata trains from running itself? As it has happened with the agreement drawn with the authorities not to run HAL after BIAL opens!

Also on the main page toi today there was talk of Sitaram Yechury suggesting keeping the current airports in HYD and BLR open along with the new airports..he adds that they(politburo/parlimentary comitte) suggested lot of things earlier but nothing worked!

Vested interests!

tsubba's picture

BARL formed

BRV Grounds-airport link cleared
TNN, March 06, 2008
Decks have been cleared for the multi-crore high-speed rail connecting BRV Grounds (MG Road) to Bengaluru International Airport.

The state has created a special purpose vehicle (SPV) — Bangalore Airport Rail Link Ltd (BARL) — for the speedy execution of this project.

Though governor Rameshwar Thakur’s executive council gave its nod to the Rs 3,716-crore high-speed rail link, an SPV had to be created to give it legal status. This title has been placed before the Registrar of Companies (RoC) for its approval.

After studying the feasibility of the high-speed rail link to the new airport, a detailed project report was prepared and presented by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation MD E Sreedharan to the state government, which accepted it. Even though work is slated to commence in December, sources say it may begin earlier. Once the train becomes operational, passengers can reach the airport in less than 25 minutes.
The project’s blueprint specifies that a city air terminal (CAT) will be built at BRV Grounds. The track will run 34 km to the international airport, with two stops — one at Hebbal and the other at Yelahanka. Check-in and baggage facilities would be provided at CAT and the Hebbal stop, while only baggage facilities will be provided at the Yelahanka stop.
The SPV will enable the government to acquire 26.65 hectares of private land for the execution of the project. While nearly 40 hectares is needed, the government has 13.2 hectares for the project.

The cost break-up includes Rs 2,677 crore only for the rail facilities, Rs 155 crore for land acquisition and Rs 300 crore for various taxes.

SPV will be called Bangalore Airport Rail Link Ltd
Project cost is estimated at over Rs 3,000 crore.
Higher than the new international airport project cost.
High-speed train expected to reach the destination in less than 25 minutes.
The train will stop at Hebbal and Yelahanka.
Only eco-friendly trains will operate in this link

Just what type of train is this? At the risk of sounding like a parrot, why cant this be the same type of network as the metro?

blrsri's picture


can we get to the radio to voice our thoughts? Radio City / Radio Indigo could help for starters.. then probably talk to press/TOI..I know they love to talk in support of billion $ projetts..but we might make sense !
tsubba's picture

airport CRS

dont ask me for reference right now, but in of the news reports i read, it was either sridhar or madhu who mentioned that airport users might not want to get tangled in the mess of already busy railway stations. this is a big hogwash. in mumbai people use the same trains. but the fact is our stations cannot additional load. but could they build adjacent stations for CRS?
Vasanth's picture

Otherwise Plan for Another Metro Arm

With 4,000 Crores, plan for a normal BMRCL metro rail having stations and passing through Vyyalikaval, Sadashivnagar, Dollars Colony, Sanjay Nagar, Hebbal,Sahakarnagar, Yelahanka and finally reaching BIAL. Trains are shared with normal public with dedicated compartments to BIAL passengers. There should be few stations where train stops for say 1-2 mins where Airport Passengers can get into their dedicated coaches on the shared train. Instead of 30 minutes, passengers journey may take at the 1hr to maximum 1 hr 15 mins from the starting point. At the same time, passengers whose destination is Vyalikval, Sadashivnagar, etc.. can save their time by getting down before reaching the final point at BRV ground etc. At the same time, people of Vyalikaval, Sadashivnagar, Sahakar nagar etc.. will get Metro too. It servers double purpose. BMTC is also starting Volvo bus services from different parts of the city with BRTS from Hebbal. My personal feeling is that most of the executives who travel will use their Taxi since it will be reimbursed by their company. Also most of the hotels provide Airport pickup service. Few companies as well as Government officials will be received by their office cars. I wrote the same thing in TOI which was published this wednesday unfortunately with changed heading. Who is going to ring the bell?
blrsri's picture


we have discussed a lot on this..its a contractor friendly and user un-friendly approach that the authoritites are taking. Thats putting it too lightly! As Vasanth had put up earlier, running EMU service from byappanahalli would be the ideal. This is with metro station and the train station being at walkable distance..what say folks? This will be a cost effective solution too! So what are the next steps? How do we get people listening? I tried approaching MN Vidhyashankar..but he seems to be too busy announcing the IT growth in Karnataka, BlrBIO and being forign students tour guide for BlrOne! Any ideas??
Naveen's picture

Lot of Words - little sense !

Totally agree with Srivathsa. This will turn out to be yet another farce, & will soon sink under it´s own weight. Whilst the two line Metro system (including some 7km of underground tunnelling) costs about 7000 crores & benefits a large part of the city with tens of lakhs of riders, what sense does it make to dish out over half this amount for a service that benefits only about 100,000 hi-fliers (at the most) ? Clearly, the costs vs benefits of this rail link have not been carefully assesed by those that are responsible. Whilst there already are tracks on which trains can run on surface, no attempts seem to have been made yet to seriously study this option. Only when they realise that this project is unviable & not faesible in financial terms will they start looking at the at grade rail lines option, just as they have been doing such for almost every infrastructure issue, like the minsk-hebbal tunnel farce !
tsubba's picture

Hi Speed Progress

Just one week after having cleared the Airport Rail link project, the State government has decided to appoint the DMRC as the project consultant and has authorised it to prepare the tender document for the project. Deccan Herald reports...

“The State government is keen on utilising the expertise of DMRC for speedy implementation. The aim is to start the civil works by 2008-end and complete it by 2011,” the sources said.
In fact, the DMRC is the only government agency in the country having expertise in designing and implementing high speed rail projects.

By doing this, the government has saved a few months of time that would have gone in tendering for and appointing consultants to the project.

Once the tender document is ready, the process of inviting tenders will be taken up. On the other end, the Karnataka State Industrial Investment and Development Corporation which has been appointed the nodal agency to implement the project, will simultaneously call for expression of interest from investors, besides setting up a special purpose vehicle on the lines of the Bangalore Metro Railway Corporation (BMRC).
All these steps are likely to be completed in the next few days, the official sources said.
“The government move will save a lot of time, as inviting tenders for appointing a consultant would itself have taken months,” they added.

* Actual work to begin by 2008-end
* 34-km rail from BRV ground to airport
* Train frequency is 10 minutes initially
* Maximum speed of 160 kmph
* Each train to have 6 coaches
* Scheduled to be operational from 2011
tsubba's picture

Airport rail link notified

Airport rail link notified

The State Government has notified the high speed rail link to international airport at Devanahalli and has authorised the Delhi Metro Railway Corporation (DMRC), the consultant of the project, to finalise detailed project report (DPR).

A special purpose vehicle (SPV) will be set up to implement the project on public-private partnership and the project is to be developed on Build-Own-Transfer (BOT) basis by inviting Expression of Interest (EoI) and Request for Proposal (RFP) from private developers.

After deliberations, the Government Order issued on Wednesday, stated that it had been decided to locate the City Airport terminal at the Police Parade Ground between Mahatma Gandhi Road and Cubbon Road as recommended by the DMRC.

The notification states that the Jakkarayanakere land would be converted into a Police Parade Ground. It allows Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. to use part of Jakkarayanakere for casting of pre-cast concrete structures till an alternative site is provided to BMRCL.

The notification has advised the DMRC to appoint a suitable consultant to study the impact of City Airport Terminal on the traffic around Mahatma Gandhi Road and submit a report within four weeks.

Aparna Muralidhar's picture

Save Bangalore!

All over the world, leaders and environmental activists are screaming themselves hoarse about the ruin we're bringing on ourselves with mindless destruction of the ecosystem in the name of "progress" - and here in Bengalooru, the government seems to be deaf, dumb, and blind. We're so ready to destroy, we have no sense of history, no appreciation for natural resources, no respect for other creatures who share this earth with us - everything is secondary; greed is primary. I feel like crying when I think of the city I grew up in. Everywhere you look, the beautiful landscape of this city has been uglified beyond recognition. Look at what stands where Victoria Hotel once stood. Every time I look at Bangalore Central, it's like a fresh knife wound; look how easily they ripped out the bouginvilla from the boulevard on MG road; they've killed a part of Bangalore's soul - all for some foolish whim that no one needs. Is our city so big that we need a metro running through it? What are we progressing towards? We will just have a dead city very soon; as recently as 15 years ago, a bunch of sparrows and parrots used to come near my house every day - I haven't seen a single sparrow or a parrot in 10 years at least near where I live now. Our groundwater is depleting at alarming levels - when you build such monstrosities, is any thought given to their maintenance? From where are we going to find the resources? as it is, every summer, all the villages in Karnataka suffer uninterrupted power cut just so Bengalooru can blaze in all her glory - is this what progress is? Just one section of the society flaunting wealth and opulence while we drive those at the edge of the cliff, off it entirely? And this one section are not even Bangaloreans; today less than 30% of Bangaloreans live in Bangalore; a local like me has to struggle for a piece of land in the city; I have to go to the outskirts of the city because I don't have as much money to throw around; we're really too passive; we write on blogs, we meet and blow hot air, we write in to newspapers, we debate in TV studios, but none of us will take to the streets and skin the hides of these corrupt rascals who have destroyed this beautiful city beyond recongnition with their disgusting greed. I wish we could start a "Save Bangalore" campaign with a clear set of objectives on what we want to achieve and I wish we could come together to implement it.
s_yajaman's picture

How do the economics work out?

Today's newspapers carried the expected fare and frequency. By the time the rail link is functional, I think the traffic projections for BIAL would be in the 20-25 million mark (optimistic) given the recent growth rates of about 30%. Let's say we have about 100,000 people on an average flying in and out of the airport in 2011 or about 50000 each direction. Let's say about 50% of the people use the train - make it 25000 in each direction over about. Double that for people accompanying them, etc - 50000. Let's say the train operates for 18 of the 24 hrs. So - about 2500 people/hr in each direction. A train every 10 mins means about 400 people/train. Not unreasonable. All these are averages and would vary quite a bit. If about 20 million people use this each year and pay about Rs.175 on the average (more skewed towards MG Road) revenues would be Rs.350 crores/year. I am not sure this thing will even break even let alone recover the investment. If there is money to be made (and there should be) then you would find private players willing to run this. If there is no private player showing interest, then this is not financially viable. Why sink tax payers money into this? Why do we like these grandiose plans rather than a low cost option. Elevated sections make it horribly expensive. I hope they stop the expressway project now. The ticket needs to be priced up to about Rs.400. Else we are offering consumers an over engineered ride which they are not willing to pay for. Srivathsa

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tsubba's picture


i am a bit woozy in the head because of all the acetaminophens, so please bear... For some reason i thought it was to be BOT but i might be wrong. 3 coach metro is supposed to do 1000 pas. these trains i believe from what i read somewhere are 3(pas)+3(lug). 350cr is 9%/annum return. BOTs go for 30 years. BLR is already doing 30-40k pass/day both ways. bellary road is already doing that beyond ORR. (can find refs posted somewhere in praja). the way things are headed with airports opening up in shimoga, gulbarga, mysore, hubli, mangalore etc etc this will only increase before it stabilizes. plus consider the concomitant development around BIAL a few years down the lane. the volumes are so staggerring that this that and the other solution will all be needed. IMHO. do you know how tracks they are laying for these? unless it is double tracked, i think it is not worthwhile. it will not be able to achieve the frequency needed to handle the volumes.
s_yajaman's picture

Economics contd.

Tarle, Rs.350 crores is only the revenue. Assuming a net margin of even 20%, this thing will make only Rs.70 crores a year as profit. Cash flows might be in the order of Rs.150 crores/year (Depreciation would be quite high in such capital intensive projects). Somehow the investment does not seem to be justified (I could be completely wrong). The voices to keep HAL Airport open keep getting louder! Srivathsa

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blrsri's picture

ticket cost

I see that relatives have been factored for travelling on the train for now..but I am not sure if many/any of my relatives would come visiting the airport if the ride is going to cost so much! Coming to the passenger itself..the ticket cost itself is greatly reduced because of the low cost airlines and if we are add a train tkt cost and airport cess(departures) its unreasonable! Think half the price(100Rs) with slight compromise on the travel time can be a good option! Also, since there is a mention about stopping at hebbal on the existing IR line..the path taken should be: BRV -> Cantt -> diversion near byappanahalli -> banaswadi(taking cue from the above route diagram) ..if this is the case then why dont we explore starting the train from byappanahalli...this would reduce the setup cost greatly! People can anyway use the metro to get to byappanahalli! MG road/BRV grounds can be saved and so can the big trees there!
s_yajaman's picture

Misplaced priorities

I just cannot believe our governement's sense of priority. Based on a 2001 report Karnataka's literacy rate was just 66% vs 90% in Kerala, 73% in TN and 82% in Goa. Infant mortality is 49 per 1000 live births. 20000 farmers have committed suicide between 1997 and 2005 (I don't know the details for 2006 and 2007). Yet - we seem to have tonnes of money for elitist projects. What else can you call a 4000 crore railway to an airport that itself cost about 2000 crores? If there is a railway line, then where is the need for the 1000 crore expressway? But talk goes on about that. With 1000 crores one can build good state highways for 500 km or more. I saw some news about the tunnel road in the ToI. Again some 800 crores. If the so called magic boxes are enough, then where is the need for this tunnel road? I can bet my last rupee that the elevated expressway to E-city will only succeed in creating a mega bottleneck at Silkboard junction and at E-City. They probably needed 3 or 4 grade separators at most to clear bottlenecks (as they have done on the Western Express highway in Bombay between Bandra and Andheri) A 4000 crore project should benefit at least a million people every day and not just 40 or 50000. Srivathsa

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tsubba's picture

airport rail

aha thanks. as you yourselves mentioned single gauge and dominion of IR over all BG tracks is the root cause. but why is it that Sreedharan pushes for non BG metros for the rest of the country (spare Delhi)? because he has seen and understand how railways works. he had concede in Delhi, but for the rest of the country he knows withdrawing from the strangle hold of IR is the way to go. In 60 years all states have achieved more economic and political autonomy than 'railway' autonomy. Even rail bhavan is not responsive to even mumbai, it presided over the decay of chennai and HYD mrts until delhi showed that it was possible to do more than IR did. S recognized this and it was mostly due to his efforts that we and however followed us got SG. if you see BMRC's work-done list one of the things they are doing is framing legislation on this issue. so what does all this nonsense mean? well it means that BLR is completely respnsible for how good its metro transit is.
tsubba's picture


i did not understand the guage funda. explain maaDteera?
blrsri's picture

Sreedharan's DMRCL..

uses broad gauge...think this again works in Delhi as the roads are long and big! But Bangalore opted for standard gauge(world std) for namma metro cos of its advantages for narrow roads etc! So, they cant and wont run trains on the metro rails here!
blrsri's picture

Rs 3,716 crore for experiments?

They seem to say they will lay tracks next to existing rail lines..and inturn spending little on where are they spending? To procure rolling stock? BEML is seeing lucrative biz for high speed bogies now! If they are starting from BRV and getting to the nearest IR tracks(cantonment), cant they use the metro lines that are being put up touching byappanahalli? Not willing because it does not conform to 'common gauge' mantra of the IR? Why spend money again again to reach the same place..its a foolish attempt to spend tax payers money like this! All it needs is a exception to a policy which would accomodate standard gauge with better turning radius within city for metro! Better still..think they should start from Byappanahalli instead of BRV, they can reduce costs and spare the people the pain they have to go though of another construction in the central dist..this will also address their gauge issues!
tsubba's picture

Airport Rail

Deccan Herald flushes out more details.
* It will be about 25 minutes to the airport with stops at Hebbal & Yelahanka.
* DMRC thinks BRV grounds station will not increase traffic at MG Road. Apparently they considered LRD park and then dropped it.
* DMRC has also suggested walkways and other road improvements.
Will 'Speed' Station Slow Down Traffic?
P M Raghunandan

Will the city station for the high-speed elevated train for the new international airport, proposed at the Police Parade Grounds, choke traffic on the surrounding major roads?

No, according to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). The DMRC, which has prepared a detailed project report, has told the government traffic on MG Road, Cubbon Road and Residency Road will ease considerably once the new airport becomes operational in March 2008.

“There is no need for re-thinking on the location of the city station at the Police Parade Grounds. It is an ideal location and there won’t be any increase in traffic on surrounding roads,” a top official in DMRC told Deccan Herald.

How will the traffic ease? “Nearly 20 per cent of present traffic flow on these roads is towards HAL airport. With the new airport at Devanahalli becoming functional, this traffic will get diverted to Bellary Road. Once the Bangalore Metro Rail is commissioned, the traffic flow on roads surrounding Parade Grounds will come down further,” the official said quoting a DMRC’s traffic survey.

Though DMRC had proposed the Parade Grounds for setting up the station, the State Executive Committee, comprising the Governor and his three advisors, had raised doubts over its feasibility. It was feared locating the station there would increase traffic on surrounding roads. Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation too had expressed similar apprehensions and recommended Byappanahalli.

Lung Space
The Executive Committee, therefore, had summoned DMRC Chief Sreedharan to explain the pros and cons of the proposal. “In fact, the Executive Committee had come up with a new location, at LRD Park, but the government was advised against it, as the Park is one of the prominent lung spaces of the City,” the DMRC official said.

The train project is estimated to cost around Rs 4,000 crore, and people can travel to the new the airport within 25 minutes. Besides one of the stations located in the centre of the city, there will be two other stations -- at Hebbal and Yelahanka -- before reaching the airport.

The DMRC has also suggested some short-term and long-term measures to ensure smooth traffic in this area, like - converting walk path between Chinnaswamy Stadium and the Parade Grounds into a six-lane road, constructing road over bridge and road under bridge at key traffic junctions, introducing one-ways, etc.  
santsub's picture

Rail Connectivity to Airport

I was wondering why is the govt. hell bent upon a solution like this. High speed rail only to the Airport. I wish they had a more spread out plan like implementing a mono or a metrail system that can act as a feeder for metro other than reach the airport itself. This will help in integrating a well developed transportation system to complement Bangalore Metro. Express way is a good start but train only to the airport sounds funny. Even if they have the idea of an express rail link to the airport can they build something that can be scaled further to cover other parts of the city?? Is some one thinking and then coming up with such Ideas?
Aparna Muralidhar's picture

How many people will use this everyday?

Are we assuming that every single person who wants to go the the international airport will hop on to the train? And even if that's the case, how many people will be going to the international airport everyday? I have to wonder how this project is justified seeing how much of inconvenience it is causing to Bangaloreans in different areas. The problem here is no one thinks they're answerable to people. They just do what they please - no explanations, no permissions, no discussions, no weighing pros and cons - some idea pops into one sun-baked head and all the weapons of mass destruction are unleashed on this already battered city.
tsubba's picture

airport volumes...

bangalore is currently doing 1.2-1.3 mil passengers/month. that is about 30-40 thousand people/day both directions. i.e., entire population of mysore flies in and out of bangalore in one month, approximately.
Vasanth's picture

How many people will use this everyday? - Very good question

You are right Aparna. I have travelled thrice in flight so far during my lifetime and I don't mind travelling 2hrs to airport!!. It is only needed by frequent flight travellers and who are emphasizing too much on the airport link. With the same cost we could have had 2 more arms of Bangalore metro rail which is badly needed by a common man.
tsubba's picture

More Details

New Rail Link To International Airport Next To Existing Track
(Business Standard)

The Karnataka government has proposed to set up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to create a rail link from the city to the new international airport coming up near Devanahalli to the north of the city.
A high speed train will be able to ferry passengers from BRV Grounds next to MG Road at the city centre to the airport, a distance of 30 kilometers, in 15 minutes. A preliminary estimate has put the project cost at around Rs 4,000 crore.
The proposal involves three parts:

1.  laying a new track next to the existing railway line connecting Cantonment station to Doddaballapur,
2.  an entirely new five kilometer long railway line linking the Doddaballapur end of the existing line to the airport and,
3.  building another new line of approximately 2.5 kilometers to link the BRV Grounds to Cantonment station along Cubbon Road, Ali Asker Road and Millers Road.

The plus point of this proposal is that “except for a stretch of defence land near M G Road, we do not have to acquire any land for the project. The new track between Cantonment station and the airport will be laid next to the existing track. The Indian Railways is already in possession of the land,” a senior state government official associated with the project, said.
Interestingly, this solution which involves vitually no land acquisition has been thought up only after President’s rule has been imposed. The Kumaraswamy government did not come up with the idea even as the expressway project remained a non-starter because of court cases initiated by those holding land around its proposed alignment.
Another government official said, “This is a startlingly simple solution which has been known to many. But politicians have no interest in projects that take advantage of existing railway fcilities and do not involve land acquisition or related property development. Look at the time it is taking to double the railway link between Bangalore and Mysore, even as court cases continue over the NICE road project.
The government now plans to rope in the Indian Railways, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation, Bangalore Development Authority, Bangalore International Airport Ltd and Greater Bangalore City Corporation as stake holders of the project. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation will be appointed as consultants.
“We are yet to work out the equity structure. Once the SPV is launched, a detailed project report will be prepared. The DPR has to be approved by all the stake holders. It will also freeze the track alignment. As of now, we have not decided which parts of the track whould be elevated, underground or run on the surface. These issues can be finalised only after conducting the soil survey,” the official explained.
Once the DPR is ready, the SPV will have to float global tenders. We have to negotiate with the bidders and the financial closure has to be achieved. These processes will take close to one year,” the official pointed out. If things got going right away it will take two for train services to begin.
“The high speed rail link is the only option before the government to provide hassle free journey to air passengers from the city centre to the new airport. We have to complete it at any cost,” state government officials said.

tsubba's picture


BRV Grounds is police department property.

Also, last week they were thinking about the problem....

Starting bug hits train to Devanahalli (Deccan Herald)
DEC 08, 2007

Whether to have the starting point at BRV Grounds in the heart of the City, as has been proposed by the infrastructure development department, or somewhere else, is the Committee’s dilemma. Hence, when the proposal on high speed rail link came up before the Committee meeting on Friday, it was decided not to take any decision in a hurry.

“The proposal is for having the starting point at BRV Grounds. But the Committee wants the City traffic police to study the proposal and submit a report,” S Krishna Kumar, one of the Governor’s advisors, told reporters after the meeting.

Traffic load
According to official sources, the Committee is concerned about the traffic load on the areas surrounding BRV Grounds if the high-speed train too has its station here.

“The advisors, therefore, decided to collect more information on the merits and demerits of the proposal before clearing the project,” the sources added.

As per the original plan, the elevated high-speed rail link was proposed to have its starting point at Byappanahalli. But it was later changed to BRV Grounds. Estimated to cost around Rs 3,716 crore, the rail link will have stations also at Hebbal and Yelahanka.

DMRC Managing Director E Sreedharan will meet the Governor on December 15 to discuss the rail link and later it would be discussed by the Committee before taking a final decision, Krishna Kumar added.

Nevertheless, the Governor assured that work on a road with an adequate capacity to accommodate the traffic flow, would be completed before the new airport is opened (scheduled for March 28, 2008).

blrsri's picture

who owns BRV grounds?

Lot of talk about the train station etc..but does anyone know who owns that land? last I heard was the chinnaswamy stadium was built on Army land and on lease from them..has any thing being done on acquiring the land from the army(if it belongs to them too)?
silkboard's picture

Overloading the CBD

So the assumption is that everyone will need to get to BRV Grounds first. And then 20 mins to the airport, non-stop. Not a bad idea as such, provided they would plan for these: 1) Getting to BRV grounds from all corners of the city: This could mean planning for parking spaces (for cabs and private vehicles), a bus terminal, and enticing 2) Check-in counters at the BRV G station, since this would be a non-stop. But, how much load would this thing place on Central Business District? If this link gets used a lot, you would be mixing work-commute traffic into CBD with air travelers. Good idea or bad? How does this link fit with the theme of de-congesting the city, and spreading out the CBD? Rs 4000 Crores is a lot. That much to make an exclusive MG Road to the airport link may not be the best use of money. London and NYC come to my mind, didn't mind the 45 mins to an hour I had to spend to get to JFK or Heathrow. Ditto for Singapore - is it a non stop exclusive link to the city? I think not. There would examples of airport exclusive links, please share here if you have used them. I bet Mr Sreedharan and others have done some groundwork and thinking behind justifying 1 billion dollars. I only wish they shared their wisdom with us, the people.
s_yajaman's picture

A schematic of SWR around Bangalore - courtesy sbckarthik

Someone I know forwarded this to me. Plenty of options for using surface lines to Devanahalli. This seems to be copyrighted by sbckarthik and I have given it due acknowledgement. If he has any objection, we need to take it off. The LOGH-Hebbal-Banaswadi line is operational now. A friend took the Chennai weekly special from YPR and it went along this stretch to join up at KJM. It was hauled by 2 diesels. If you see the picture, it is fairly straightfoward to start a service from Kengeri to Devanahalli and from Whitefield to Devanahalli - even on a single line operation with a diesel pushpull service. Srivathsa

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tsubba's picture

Hebbal & Yelahanka

i think it is still early days. all previous reports mention hebbal and yelahanka stops apart from mg road stop. i think the last meeting with sreedharan was mainly about how to fund this. lets wait till DH and Hindu catch up on this. an old article about metro that has some info about this rail to airport. As connectivity issues continue to plague the upcoming international airport in Devanahalli, the BMRC has lined up a dedicated route from the City centre, right up to the airport. Originally planned to start at Byappanahalli, the route will now commence near the BRV Parade Grounds on MG Road and have stops at Hebbal and Yelahanka before reaching the airport. There’s also a plan to establish an underground link between the Metro station at Minsk Square and the Parade Grounds station. Madhu says the airport link will take more than two years to materialise.
blrsri's picture

why did they miss this?..

Speculators/Airbus/Jewellers.. etc are some of the people who are already planning shops around BIAL. And then we have Yelahanka/Sahakarnagar/Hebbal already in place. These people will need a metro type/affordable connectivity! Why are Sreedharan's not looking at this??!!..and why the exclusivity for the train..? Best would be to provide a few more stops on the way..we dont need a 15 min ride..we need a problem solving ride..30 min maybe..and on SG.. Can praja do something about this before they start putting up the piers!!?
tsubba's picture


I didnot make the 4000 cr 1 bill$ connection. wow!! But i guess the cost for this 30 km line matches with cost for 33 kms of the metro. naveen explained that there are differences in the train itself. but do you know if this is other wise metro compatible? can metro trains use these tracks? I am hoping SG but how about the rest of it power and the rest? we had discussed how multiple sources/sinks within the city were needed. like byappanahalli, yeshwantpur, majestic and prolly mg road. the thing is they insist on having remote checkin terminals and all. we will ultimately have to see what it means to MG road congestion. cant imagine it handling more than it already is doing. hope they have some plans for it
s_yajaman's picture

Cost-benefit and other options? reposted

Read the ToI (I should change my newspaper quickly). As usual there was a headline - BIAL in 15 minutes or some such nonsense. The price tag - Rs.4000 crores - US$ 1 BILLION!!! Understandably commuters to the airport should not have to suffer to get there. But was this the only option considered? Was any option laid out that gave say a one hour ride from Kengeri in the west and Whitefield in the east at say a cost of Rs.1000 crores. This could have been done by augmenting the current network of surface lines and electrifying them - in fact the report said that land acquisition was not needed as it would run parallel to the existing line. Maybe possible, maybe not. But we never seem to know and TOI never seems to ask. Given that in the next few years about 50000 people will fly in and out (25000 in either way), a once in 30 mins service to/from Kengeri and Whitefield with a 500 capacity rake could have done the trick. Even a 45 min journey for a 35 km journey should be fair. It would have also benefited more people and crowded MG Road less. The remaining money could have been used to extend the Metro to ITPL or ECity. Why do we need a train that averages 120 kmph? Our government is truly of the elite, by the elite and for the elite. Can we use RTI to force them to share the financials for this as well as the other options that they had considered and ruled out? Srivathsa

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