MRTS-Bangalore Sub-urban Rail Corporation

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Commuter Rail

There was a news the other day that the Karnataka State Government is showing keen interest in developing suburban network around Bangalore and proposed Indian Railways to be an active partner.

There was also a news a few days back that there is drop in the sale of Rail tickets in 0-100 km category.  It was stated by Member Traffic/Railway Board that booking in long distance journey has not been affected. The fall in ticket booking has been noticed in short journeys. This is making to happen the way Indian Railway has decided its priority neglecting marketing effort for sub-urban demand. Sub-urban demand is getting diverted to Road for the fundamental reason of convenience. There is no development plan in this category of rail business because of the strong belief that this is a loss making business. It is important for Indian Railways to come out of this misconception and innovate to prove that this is in the best interest of nation and civilization. The State Govt. and passenger shall contribute to make it a financially viable system.

Marketing Strategy

When passenger business was going down all over the world and tilting in favor of road and air, Railways initiated marketing strategies. This should be done even when going is well. This is the right time for Indian Railways to project the benefits of rail transport to passenger, planners, policy makers. It is only for this reason that urban transport has been able  to garner funding at the rate of Rs. 350 Crs/Km and Indian Railways running pillar to post even for up gradation of its system. Points for marketing strategy are

  • That it is for sustainable development. Rail uses the best mode of energy for transportation i.e. diesel or electricity. The road is trying its best to go for electric vehicle whereas the same is available with ease in electric traction. Tomorrow when renewable sources of energy are developed for economic use, rail transport is in the best place to make use of it for transport purpose.
  • That it is for energy efficient. Based on many studies it has been proved beyond any doubt that rail transport is six times energy efficient. It is possible regenerate 30 %  traction energy thus making it more favorable to adopt.
  • That it is the safest way of transport. As per the advertisement issued by the Transport Ministry, there is one death every four minutes and one road incident every minute. Railways is also not devoid of accidents but insignificant as compared to road.
  •  That sudden application of brake to save an accident is very common in road transport. Watching such incident in front of your eyes raises adrenaline level, stimulating heart rate, contracting blood vessels and dilating air passages, all of which work to increase blood flow to the muscles and oxygen to the lungs. This is for some extent potentially life threatening condition.
  • That rail uses minimum surface area per passenger kilo-meter of travel.
  • That unless sub-urban demand is fulfilled, it will be difficult get the support for high speed network. It is the sub-urban network which provides connectivity to high speed network.

When Railways fail to provide satisfactory infrastructure for sub-urban demand, the pressure of local bodies builds up on State Govt. The most convenient option for the state Govt. is to depend and develop road transport, a win-win situation for all stakeholders like passenger, road transport operator, politicians, business person, car industry and even banks providing loan for purchase of cars etc. Construction of highways at the cost of Rs. 20 Crs/Km provides more votes for the ruling party then rail track and the State Government has all along been comfortable in building road network.

Proposals from State Governments

Mumbai was the first to start action for development and improvement of Sub-urban network resulting creation of MRVC with 50% share each by State and Railways. This is followed by a proposal from Kerala State Govt. and now by Karnataka State Govt. on similar lines. Look at the Rail Network around Bangalore and judge for yourself,  the wonderful opportunity to improve the network and meet the demand of sub-urban habitats.

There are six sub-urban directions from where the route converges at Bangalore. The State government had initiated a feasibility study by M/s RITES to understand the capacity constraints of the existing railway infrastructure. On the basis of RITES’s report, the government has already initiated action for preparation of a detailed report for the first phase of the project, setting up of Bangalore Suburban Railway Company Ltd. and acquisition of Binny Mill’s land for the project. The project cost is 8759 Crs. of which State Govt. will provide funding the extent of 50%.

Thanks Mahesh Kumar Jain /  Ex - Adviser/Railway Electrification/Railway Board and  Director/IRIEENs  for writing such  good and  bringing out the  important  points to railway board.  When will Railway Board approve the Bangalore Suburban Rail Project ???








Railway Board working on Four Suburban Rail projects

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Ongoing Suburban Rail Projects under Ministry of Railway :

1. Mumbai Suburban Rail thru MRVC  at the Cost of Rs 8800 Crore 1:2 ratio between Railway : Maharastra Govt.

2.  MMTS Ph-2 for Hyderabad  at the Cost of Rs 900 Crore  1:2 ratio between Railway : Telangana

3. MRTS for Chennai Suburban Rail  at the Cost of Rs 500 Crore,  1:2 ration between Railway : TN Govt

4. KMRCL  for Calcutta  METRO for Ph-2 at the cost of Rs 14,000 Crore   100 % by GOI


Why is that Railway board not writting to Karnataka Govt  to share the project cost of Bangalore Suburban Rail on 1:2 ratio between Railway : Karnatak Govt. 

Will MPs of Karnataka put pressure on Railway Minister ???

Railway Board working on Four Suburban Rail projects

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It is really unfortunate that our MP's are not at all taking a word of suburb railways in bangalore while we are struggling so much due to traffic problems.  I think we need to start pressurising our MP's to take this concern to the parliament and get the thigns done.  

CM of GOK requesting finally Central Govt to give approval

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Suburban railway

Mr. Siddaramaiah said the State had requested the Centre to give concurrence for implementing the Bengaluru suburban rail project to provide sustainable railway connectivity between Bengaluru and other cities/towns in the hinterland. But the request was pending with it. However, the Union government had invested on suburban rail projects in Mumbai and Hyderabad, he added.

Finally some thing has changed for CM and now he is requesting PM and Central Govt to clear the project Suburban Rail Bangalore



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This looks like one of the most significant development after the RITES report. The railway instructure itself has to develop. Then the infrastructure could be leveraged for suburban rail also.  Now, Karnataka especially south has the least developed railway infrastructure. Could be change of heart because of changing political climate. Hope this time the momentum is not lost after a few days.  If the state is given in construction activities there may be more interest rather than just cost sharing.

An appeal to Venkaiah Naidu..

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When Honble Union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu visited Bangalore, he was upset with the slow progress of Namma Metro. Most of you might have read this:

Why not Suburban Railways to Major Cities like Bangalore should be taken over by Urban Development Ministry and supervise Indian Railways.

Should we approach him when he is in the city next time?

Metro man proposes high speed trains

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Facts to showcase benefits of Suburban rail over metro


The advisor to govt. on Metrol Rail calls for laying a dedicated track for rail corridor

Metro man E. Sreedharan has suggested to the State government to consider setting up of a suburban transportation facility linking Vijayawada, Guntur and Tenali by high speed trains and laying a dedicated track for the proposed high speed rail corridor.

According to him, the existing railway lines could be put to use wherever necessary and the new facility could be integrated with the metro corridors proposed in the city and the Capital region as well .

Speaking to the media persons on Friday, Mr. Sreedharan, who is also the advisor to the State government on Metro rail, said, “Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has responded positively to the suggestions. The proposal is still in nascent stage. A survey will be undertaken after getting a formal approval from the government.”

The metro expert said that the proposed high speed rail was “cost effective” when compared to the metro rail. It would cost Rs. 8 crore to Rs. 10 crore per km to set up the high speed train facility as against an estimated Rs. 160 crore per km for metro rail.

The project could be taken up as a joint venture of State and Central governments.

It would bring down the burden on State government, he said.

Referring to metro rail, Mr. Sreedharan said that they were waiting for the master plan for the Capital city. “We can commence our study and prepare designs to connect the Capital city with Vijayawada and Guntur, if the government provides the concept plan on structures those are coming up in the region,” he said and averred that the metro connectivity to the Capital region would be taken up in the phase-I of the project itself.

He further said that the field and traffic studies had been completed and soil tests would be completed in a fortnight. The detailed project report (DPR) would be submitted to the government by March-end, he said.

The Eluru Road corridor would be extended up to Indrakeeladri in phase-I, and a tunnel would be constructed in the phase-II to extend it further up to Kummaripalem Centre, he added.