RITES report on Implementation of Commuter Rail for Bengaluru

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Commuter Rail

The draft report of the Implementation of Commuter Rail for Bengaluru has been released by RITES to DULT. DULT has shared the report with us for our comments. We are expected to profvide our feedback before 30th of this month. SO do leave your feedback as comments to this thread. 


RITES Draft Report on CRS-Bangalore



great!!! finally something worth

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Went through almost 20% of it looks good. I do not think there is anyone who can say CRS would hurt Bangalore - we need to get this approved by Centre asap.

Sincerly hope GOK approves

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Sincerly hope GOK approves this at the earliest, which will immensly help people in and around Bangalore in a great way.


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1. The rumour is that Binny mill land has been sold off to a private party. Not sure how true that is. SO if the land is not available what are the alternatives? Why not leave just the Mandya trains to run thru SBC & run everything else on the Hebbal line like we had suggested in the Praja report? Also what is the alternate if NGEF land is going to be a problem?

2. Was looking for specific sequential action items (like a project plan) for each of the phases along with train schedule. Sec8.3 gives the number of trips for 2 phases combined. Not sure what we will get as outcome in each phase.

I dont think all these will need another study, GoK needs to ask for an addendum in the final report with these details.

Few comments

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Looks like the report establishes a case for commuter rail, though the report reads a bit rhetoric heavy. The good thing in the report is that they clearly advocates for going into SBC and not terminating at the periphery.

What is coming across is that 

(a) Commuter Rail is good. (b) Significant infrastructural upgrades are needed in the rail network (c) Land acquisition is going to be a major issue (d) Getting the railways to move on this is not going to be easy.

Beyond that, there does not appear to be too many details.  What will motivate GoK to act on this now?



Another thought

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The RITES report seems to be conservative on having fares that exceed current IR standards. With the telescoping fare structure, the Rs 10 from Hebbal to Hosur or the Rs 29 odd my buddy pays in passenger train fare from City station to Mandya is insanity!  There is no reason to provide that sort of subsidy.  In any JV or SPV, the fares should be reasonable / comparable to the extent that O&M costs are covered and a certain investment /expansion cost is covered.  Any RITES report should cover that fare structure.

IR may be foolish enough to stick to that fare structure, but there is no reason a SPV should support this.  We should ask RITES to estimate what sort of fare structure makes sense, assuming that we have full leeway in making those decisions.

RITES endorses PRAJAs call for full fledge CRS for Bengaluru!

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Just finished reading the report (139 Pages). Really felt good after going through the report specially its recommendations for a full fledged CRS without any short cuts.

It is a detailed report with lots of information, for sake of readability, let me post my comments in parts. I will start with my overall first reactions:

  1. It brings out a fact that in none of the GOks plans/study, commuter rail for mass transit was even considered.
  2. Even the Wilbur Smith's study which advocated 70 K crores of investment in urban transportation doesn't even mentions commuter rail once.
  3. Till now only road based PT systems are looked up to for mass transit systems until METRO came along.
  4. This report Clearly advocates and pitches for Bengaluru CRS.
  5. Recognizes the CRS potential and its capacity to meet city's 50% of commute needs.
  6. Also support with data and numbers to justify the lower investment cost of CRS compare to METRO.
  7. Metro costs 12 K Crores for 43 Kms Length with 1million carrying capacity /Day.
  8. Whereas CRS can achieve 405 Kms length with 2.5 Million carrying capacity in less than 8K crores.
  9. CRS to take the burden of 50% of B'lore commuter population
  10. It repeats in many sections how CRS positions differently in mass transit system in B'lore and the same can't be met by METRO/BMTC/KSRTC/Monorail/HSRL.
  11. Reconfirms PRAJA's belief in dispersing growth to towns and mitigating congestion in the city.
  12. Reaffirms PRAJA's advocacy for formation of SPV called Bengaluru Commuter Rail Corporation (BCRC).
  13. Does recommends Phases - 1A, 1B, 2 and 3.

After reading the report I can only say that it is a Ver 2.0 of  "Call to Action Report for Bengaluru CRS" with additional information, data and financial implications.

As Sanjay, IDS has alluded, it is silent on many aspects but that doesn't diminishes the value and importance of this report. This is the first report and first time has dealt the Commuter Rail as the mass transit system in Bengaluru. Hope the Namma Rail train conitinues its journey past DULT stations. :)

MMTS Hyderabad's feasability report and DPR was only 30-40 pages. Even the details in that report can hardly be considered as detailed project data. Compare to that PRAJA report looked like a DPR. This is more detailed and lengthier compare to MMTS report.

Here are my questions to RITES/DULT:

  1. Is this a feasibility report or DPR? If this is a feasibility report, reasons  thereof?
  2. Why did DULT go for feasibility Report instead of DPR as given to understand and even reported in media?
  3. What is RITES 2011 report? Where can public access it?
  4. There are no details given on replacing level crossings with ROB/RUBs - Locations, Total number, Cost of Building etc.
  5. No explicit suggestion/recommendation for specific CRS segments to be taken up in Phase 1a, 1B, and 2.
  6. KSRTC and Business/Industry chambers representatives should also be stake holders in BCRC SPV.
  7. What is the rational for leaving fare to be decided by IR and Surcharge for BCRC?
  8. The recommendation on 'Surcharge' doesn't make any sense. The total accrual due to surcharge for 33 yrs will yield only 3000 crores.

Rites report

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The RITES report is a positive indication to bring CRS to Reality. It gives  clear details about how CRS can be implemented by proper communication & co-operation between Gok & IR. It also suggests Gok steps to be taken for speedy imoplementation of CRS by forming a SPV lie BCRC.  To provide early service to the public the Gok should take up certain projects which can be completed  within short time and provide maximum benefit to Public, and these projects should be 100% financed by Gok.

The O&M  Fare structure and timings at which the commuter trains will be run is decided by IR. Even if Gok levies subsidy the minimum fare will be Rs 5/ and the fares will be hiked only by rs 2/ if surcharge is levied.

The major hurdle pointed out is Crisscrossing of tracks at Byapanhalli and capacity of SBC to not accommodate any new trains. Considering the Present scenario a little delay is being caused for trains coming from Yelhanka towards byapanhalli mainly due to freight trains assing  byapanhalli and during Late running of regular trains sometimes. Also only about 7pairs of trains go towards salem crisscrossing BYPl and rest of trains towards Salem run bangarpet, jolarpet bypass line to Salem. Also only about 5pairs of trains cross to hebbal line at byapanhalli. So with automatic block signalling in Place criss crossing is only a minor problem when  freight trains are run. With automatic block signalling more trains can be Received & despatched quickly as Waiting Time for line availality reduces by more than 50% depending on number of blocks  between 2 intermediate stations.

The report says Banglore City Station cannot accommodate any new train unless a existing train is shifted out or by Remodelling the station by adding 2 or 3 new platforms. But with Block signalling the presnt Station can accommodate more trains and can  dispatch more trains in less time interval thereby reducing waiting time for incoming trains to get platforms. Also PF2 can be freed from Mor 7 to eve 5.30 by shunting Kachegudda Exp to nearby station on Mys sector and PF6 can be freed from Mor 10 to eve 5.30 by extending it upto Byapanhalli or Byapanhalli North and stabling it there. Also Weekly trains like ernakulam Exp, trivendrum Exp, kochuveli Exp which are stabled at Byapanhalli after offloading passengers at Banglore city can be made to start from byapanhalli north after the new coaching terminal is built.

The suggested trains to be made Demu/Memu takes more time as these services are run by rakes belonging to mysore div and rake sharing is done to minimise the Lie over time of these Rakes at Banglore City. The new time table is to be set for all these trains as tey are run in RSA with Arakonam Pass, Jolarpet Exp, Marikuppam Pass & Mysore Night queen Pass. At present Time table for this RSA is set in such a way that Pass train that arrives to banglore at mor4 waits for 3hrs at SBC , and after, no other Service of this train lies over at Banglore city for time ranging from 10 mins to max of 30 mins. Similarly converting mysore pass train to DEMU/MEMU affects its RSA with Shimoga Pass, Salem Pass & arsikere Pass Trains. So converting these trains to DEMU/MEMU will affect the timings of these Peak Hour trains.


RITES do NOT support terminating CRS at outskirts!

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On various occasions, Praja members have strongly advocated for CRS to cross the city center. The RITES report now has rightly endorses that position. Hope GOK through various its agencies would accept this fact and implement CRS in its complete form.

RITES data on existing travel pattern of Bangalore rail commuters do not support the various propositions to terminate the CRS at stations short of Bangalore stations. From every direction demand is to enter the city.

So NO to termination at outskirts, but cross the city terminals.

Sec 4.5, Page 32, 2nd Para

"...Therefore, it is recommended not to terminate the commuter trains short of Bangalore. Terminals need to be the farthermost stations in the CRS i.e. Tumkur, Mandya, Bangarapet and Hosur etc. All other stations including major stations like Bangalore City, Yesvantpur etc. need to be passing through stations..."


RITES - CRS Cheapest alternative!

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Sec 3.2  - Potential in terms of Capacity

Maximum Peak throughput:

Rail - 60000 Passengers/Hr

Metro - 40000 passenger/Hr

BRT - 500 Passengers/Hr

Sec 3.4 - Potential in terms of Cheapest Alternative

  • Metro costs 12000 Crores for 42.3 Km with carrying capacity of 1 Million (10 Lakhs) commuters per day.
  • CRS with 8000 Cr investment will yield 405 Km of CRS network and would carry about 2.5 Million commuters per day.
  • CRS could take the burden of 50% of greater Bangalore's total commuters population.

Sec 3.6 - Capacity Assesment Metro Vs CRS

  •  By its Width - Metro coach is 2.88 meters, CRS BG Coach is 3.66, i.e. it is 26% more.
  • By its length - Metro train - 6 Coaches, CRS train - 16 coaches, i.e. CRS train is 2.67 times of a metro train.

    Capacity of CRS train

                  1 CRS Train = 2.67 X 1.26 = 3.3 metro trains.


Thanks RITES

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Report is certainly still a draft, but thanks for sharing a version out. Thanks for clarifying on a few important points:

  • Commuter Rail (CRS) will meet an unfulfilled need. We all knew it, had to be reiterated. BMTC's long range Big-10 / MBS etc buses are trying, but they can't provide reliable one hour ride from far out suburbs to the central city. If Metro were to try, it would take 10 more years and four times as much money.
  • CRS is not an alternative or competition with Metro, both have their place.
  • Keeping us real regarding the cost. Its not that CRS is a very simple project, some money will need to be spent (SBC upgrade, BYP cross over, new stations etc). May be small relative to Metro etc, but why compare. 8000 Cr is not insignificant. Thanks for putting out a number that now needs to be raised from GoK, Railways and others.

Few hurdles have been pointed out. Its time for rest of us to jump into proposing solutions for them.

RITES - Capacity Enhancement Strategies!

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Sec 5 - Capacity Enhancement Strategies

[Mod Note: have moved most report summary like comments to this new wiki post. Readers are encouraged to develop the  summary into a good 2 minute read on the RITES report]

RITES report on CRS

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i congratulate RITES for bringing out a fact file on Namma Railu.

we wud be losing time & energy fighting with other agencies on merits of this report. Pl note phase II of metro has already undergone financial closure with ADB chipping in substantial loan, which may be difficult to reverse. i wud rather say we shud highlight in "red" the plus points in CRS while approaching GoK.

coming to certain omissions-

-one route which doesnt find mention in the report is Nelamangala-Kunigal which is under construction & runs parallel to NH48 to Hassan. This stretch is already dotted with no. of pvt industries & the working class will find CRS more useful. A proper terminal can be planned at Kunigal which is apx 60kms from Nelamangala

-the other aspect which need highlight in todays context is the fuel savings with CRS as compared to other modes.It is common knowledge that as the carrying capacity of the unit increases the fuel efficiency goes up. A CRS carrying 4000passengers will definetely save a few hundred litres of precious fuel per journey of say 25kms as compared to 50/100seater carriages

RITES - 8000 crores over 3 Phases, 7 yrs !

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Yes. 8000 crores not a small amount. But that is the total cost of CRS for all 3 Phases (1A, 1B and 2) spread over 7 years if things goes fine on all front.

Here is the cost and phase breakup from RITES report:

Phase 1A - Rs. 3000 crores to be spend over 2 Years. To yield CRS carrying capacity from 1.8 lakhs to 5 Lakhs passengers per day

Phase 1B - Rs 2000 crores of works spread over 2 years. This would enhance the CRS capacity to 10 Lakhs passengers per day.

Phase 2 - Rs. 2500 crores of works spread over 3 years. This will enhance the capacity to 25 lakhs passengers per day.

Phase 3 - Cost and time frame not given in the report.


Note: Phase 1A delivers what PRAJA has demanded in its "Call to Action Report".

Feedback only in this thread

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Can we leave this thread for feedback only so I can send the link to DULT end of this week. please frame comment in the form of questions so it can be answered or as a comment for correction or point to be considered etc

Syed, notice new wiki

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Let us try keep to feedback and practical suggestions related to this Report. I have created a separate "Project Wiki" and merged your comments there into an abstract of the RITES report. I will add a link to this wiki on the CRS Wikipedia page too.

Proposed Fare Structure doesn't make sense!

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The report doesn't delved enough into fare structure. Instead it proposes this structure:

  • To continue with current fare structure decided by IR
  • Allow BCRC to impose a surcharge of 25% of the fare

This proposition doesn't make any sense even to the RITES own position on financing and O&M of CRS. First the current IR fares would lead to operational losses as seen in MMTS (Almost 60% loss annually). Second, surcharge proposal will only yield about     Rs. 100 crores annually. That is Rs. 3000 crores over 30 years

Given the current economic condition of IR, external borrowing would be the only option and private investment could be preferred route.

Therefore rationalization of fare according to the O&M cost and small portion to fund the investment cost would be the right approach to follow.

Suggestions to DULT/GOK:

  • Fares should be rationalized as per the O&M cost plus a small portion to fund investment cost recovery.

Nothing on Integration with other transit systems!

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Quite astonish to find that the report is silent on integration with other transit systems. There are references to feeder roads to stations but only as passing reference.

Can't imagine a PT system without proper integration with other modes of PT systems like Metro, BMTC, KSRTC, Taxis/Cabs/Autos.

Funding of CRS

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the funding aspect of CRS needs as much or greater consideration than technicals. the estimate for ph 1A & 1B is apx 8000cr. IR does accept joint ventures but with riders. i wud like to share info about some of their JVs as understood by me.

a) the most recent association was with Mumbai Suburban under head MUTP with MRVC as the lead agency. At MRVC the state govt had majority stake. MUTP was more of upgadation of existing set up by changing to modern rolling stock & signalling which brought in a changed outlook for the service with improved capacity &  passenger amenities. Also corridors 5 & 6 were added under the same project. Since the project involved considerable foreign exchange(for modern coaches & signal eqpmt) MRVC obviously pursuaded world bank to fund this project. The funding though under their soft window scheme came with lot of riders like transparency clauses in purchases, resettlement procedure for displaced people etc. The execution was delayed by over 5 years as some of WB terms were not adhered & disbursement held up.

The service is now operational & the passenger pay a surcharge on tkt to cover addnl capital

b)the one previous JV was with CIDCO(City & Ind Devl Corp of Maha) wherein IR joined hands with a state agency with IR as majority stake holder. Here the work involved was laying the lines on a virgin land for which CIDCO developed all infrastructure incl construction of pathways, bridges & platforms. The rolling stock, signalling & such services were by IR. The project was executed more under CIDCO flag. The passenger pay a fixed surcharge for crossing over to this new area besides the standard tariff.


Funding of CRS

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c) the first JV of IR was in Konkan Rail wherein 4 state govts & IR formed a 50:50 venture. This project was executed more with as a result of dedicated efforts of persons like Mr George Fernandes who Union Rail Min in 70s saw to it that KRCL got registered as a company with state govts chipping in their contribution & Mr Errapalli Sreedharan who executed it doggedly.

the tkt structure of KRCL was left to the company to decide. we need persons of both the above calibers to take up BCRL work.

Coming back to the funding, it is to be noted that none of the infrastructure project SPVs r doing well in our country. this is mainly due to bureaucratic hold ups besides litigations & not because of viability.

IR has certain philosophy in pricing the tkts as seen from recent budget fiasco. The funding of the project shud be attempted from soft lending agencies inorder to make it viable

CRS - Costing and investment options

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8000 CRORES – Well, compared to other mass transport options this seems the most cost effective.  But, 8000 crores is not a small amount to be sanctioned easily by GOI /GOK (especially the ruling parties in state and centre are different).   As mentioned in the report, the subsidized fares and commuter services do not attract private investment, but, there is a way to break down the cost and an innovative financial model can to be developed where it is a win-win for all the parties involved.

My Suggestion is:

Major Cost Breakdown

doubling lines cost:  as the report mentions, many sections are already sanctioned and the work is underway.  But, all other sections where doubling lines are required, it can be done on BOT.  The IR has already done that in several places.  This removes entire burden coming on to CRS as these lines are used by many long distance trains.  When it comes to paying the access charges to the BOT partner, IR will pay their share and CRS will pay their share.  


Electrification costs: this also works well on BOT model.  The private or semi-government entity, lays the lines and provide electricity (conventional and renewable) and collect electricity supply charges.        

stations Building and remodelling cost -  IR already has SPV which is charged with building, and managing stations.  Again, there is no value in CRS building and owning stations.  This also calls for BOT model where the private entities can build economically viable stations with several revenue sources.   


EMU Purchase: - why purchase? Lease it.   BMTC and KSRTC has program where private individuals, companies purchase the buses and lease it to KSRTC.    

All this will happen if CRS generates substantial revenues and are good pay masters.

The revenue sources possible for CRS

1.       Ticket sale  

2.       Advertisements

3.       Carbon Credits (huge carbon credits will be available for CRS.  Delhi Metro is availing it)


8K is for 400kms & 3 min headway

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8K crores is for 400 kms 10 times the 40kms of metro we are getting for almost double cost (14K crores). Also 8K is full fledged phase 3, 3 min headway dedicated CRS only tracks etc number. A 15 min headway phase 1 can be had for less than 100 crores. Also rake cost has been put at 60crores. I think the most modern of the ICF rakes are only 30 crores.  for 60 crores you may get a Bombardier or Alsthom. Overall approximately 8K is a very good cost for this. 8K is nothing compared to what we are getting & also nothing compared to the amount being spent for other mass transport systems.

RITES - SPV is essential for CRS

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Going by the various examples of Mega Projects taken in IR, RITES is categorical about SPV route for implementing CRS.

Talking of CRS, one thing to keep it in mind is unlike IR operations meant for long distance travel, commuter rail needs local area support for last mile connectivity. That requires co-operation from local civic and transport agencies. More ever, this is an era of seamless integration between different modes of transit. In B'lore case SWR, BMTC, BMRC, KSRTC are all sufficient with their own mandate.

A proposal with thousands o of crores investment and that too positioning for taking 50% of transit load, can't be expected to leave the job to any existing entity. If that is so, then expect more mess to the already existing one.

Another aspect that is important is the finances. Currently 100% govt funding is not feasible given GOK, GOI and IRs financial conditions. There is no other option except to go the PPP or Private Equity model.

Therefore RITES is 100% right in stating this fact that "SPV" is essential for implementing CRS in Bengaluru.

RITES, we fully support you on this proposal. GOK, go for it.

Wither timetable?

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I still cant for the life of me figure out, at the end of each phase, how many routes & what schedule the trains will be running at. Really knowing all that we know & all the things to be done, cant they just put out a timetable as an appendix?

Praja feedback on RITES

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Praja feedback on RITES report sent to DULT. Meeting has been scheduled with RITES for the 4th of July. WIll keep all updated.


PRAJA Feedback on RITES Report

phasing of CRS

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The phases of CRS in the report may be well thought off, but, based on the political situation in karnataka, 3000+ crores for 1st phase would be a pipe dream.  it may be required to create a phase one where like the metro, only one line is open (with may be few DMU rake) and only with couple of hundred crores.   Political party in power would be ready to throw in couple of hundred crores and take credit for initiating the project. if not, the project will be shelved until new government is sworn in.  


On the draft report of the

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On the draft report of the commuter rail, DULT commissioner V Manjula says at the project report level they should make it sure that opinions of all stakeholders connected with the project are taken. “We have already circulated the draft report on commuter rail to the South Western Railway, BBMP, transport department, etc. Only after receiving the opinion of the respective stakeholders, we will move towards finalising the report,” she says.

On the draft report of the

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With the current political scene - I doubt anybody (politicians) take it further.

Article in today's DH

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Today's Deccan Herald carries an article on commuter rail written by Prof. T G Sitharam. Chairaman, CiSTUP.


Cross posted from SSC, 

Thanks to Mahesh Nanjaunda


CTTP is BIble for Civi Agencies?

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Thanks for the link.

"...Bangalore Airport Rail Link (BARL) Director (Projects) C Jayaram says, irrespective of the rail or any public transport project, civic authorities have been directed by the government to be in tune with the Comprehensive Traffic and Transportation Plan (CTTP) as well as the Comprehensive Development Plan 2015.

“The CTTP is like the Bible for all civic agencies and we ensure that our plan didn’t violate the guidelines in it. For example, we have made sure that LRT intersects the Metro corridor and other mass rapid systems for better connectivity. Further, LRT and other rail projects have been drawn up after a detailed analysis of the traffic density and a field survey,” says Jayaram..."

Wow, CTTP is Bible!

Does this bible even considers rail as mass transit system that could be used for city/suburb commute? Anything on streamlining autorikshaw/cab service? Was HSRL part of the vision in CTTP?


CDP has commuter rail

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CDP clearly mentions commuter rail as a mass transit to be developed, nevertheless pl keep this thread to feedback on the report. 

jnnurm as the investment vehicle

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JNNURM is perfect vehicle for funding CRS project.   In fact, it satisfies most of the mission eligibility criteria.   If part of the money is received as grants, there will be interest from Private investors on PPP model.  The mission started in 2005-06 will complete its 7 year duration in 2012-2013. we don't have much time to get this done.

it is possible to lobby the local Congress leaders to persue this option.  


66% funding from state govt

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State govt funding 66% for doubling and electrification of Bangalore-Mysore railway line. Also Hyderabad MMTS phase 2 funding from state govt and railways is 66:33, unlike Hyderabad MMTS phase 1 when it was 50:50.  But 8k crore is too steep and state govt budget wont be able to give more than 500 crore per year, it will take around 8 years to fund.

Yesvantpur/yelahanka/benniganahalli cant be terminating stations like shown in previous praja CRS map. They all should be passing through stations.

6400 Crs for HSRK, 8400 Crs for Monorail/LRT !

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Strange that we find 8000 cr for CRS too high figure for state investment. One should lookt at what will this 8000 cr would ultimately produce. 405 Km network, covering 70-100 Km in radius around B'lore with capacity to carry 20 Lakh commuters / day. More importantly with 99% on time arrival/departure.

Compare with this, GOK is willing to invest 8400 crores fro monorail, 6400 for HSRL. No qualms for these projects?






  Daily Ridership






405 Kms

115 Kms

60 Kms

35 Kms

 Total Cost

Rs. 8,000 Cr

Rs. 38,000 Cr

Rs. 8,400 Cr

Rs. 6000 Cr

  Construction Cost

  (Per  Kilometer)

Rs 15-20 Cr

Rs. 200-400 Cr

Rs. 150 Cr

Rs. 180-200 Cr

@rackstar, Why hung up on Praja report, time to endorse RITES report and move forward.It is time to push GOK to start implementing CRS ASAP. Time to act and demand CRS from politicians.

The current political musical chair game is not a good omen for CRS. If nothing happens in next 2-3 months, then rest assured nothing will happen till the state elections in 2013.

So lets do our part.

This CRS will be able to meet wider section of commuter

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With good connectivity to all suburban towns of Bangalore,  this will be able to meet commuter needs of :

1.  Students going to Enginering colleges, Medical Colleges, MBA colleges,  Bangalore University, GKVK, 

2.  Hospitals, Govt employees working as teachers / Banks / state govt offfices outskirts.

3.  Industrial Employees at Bidadi, Anekal / Jigani,  Dabaspet, Nidavanda, Tumkur, Dodballapur, Yelahanaka, Devanhalli, Whitefield, Sarjapur Road, 

4. IT employees of  Hebbal, ITPL,  ORR, upcoming ITR at Devanhalli,

5. Residentail layouts like KHB Suryanagar, Sahakar Nagar, Banswadi,  Henur Road,  Bellandur, Chikbanavar, Shivaram Karant  Layout,  Kengeri, Yelahanka, Hebbal,  Malur,  Aerocity.

6. Intercity Train commuters will be able to reach the Yesvantpur, Yelahanka, Bangalore city, Baiyappanahalli, Hosur, Tumkur, Ramanagar to catch the  express trains.

7. Vendors from villagers who sell the vegitables,  other local products will be able to do better trading with affordable commuting by Commuter Rail.

This complet project can take off with initial small investment of 500 / 600 crore and with phased investment going upto 8000 crore.

Look at other advantages :  You will be able to get BIAL connectivity,  Indian railway infrastructure getting upgraded for handling more intercity trains for Bangalore,  less land acquering,  displacing  families,   better connectivity with radius of 60- 80  Kms which will not be possible in next 15 years too. 

As Delhi  has done in 12 years since METRO work was started  with less land acquering problems in Delhi as roads are wide and lot of Govt land exists and complete funding by GoI & Delhi Govt.  which is difficult for GoK with different parties in state & center.



Could RITES provide a "Lite" option

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Though I agree that given the benefits of CRS and the amount of money proposed on other stuff, 8000 crores is not that much money.  However, it may be a good idea to develop a backloaded plan where future phases contain bulk of the expense...

Phase 1 costs less than a

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Phase 1 costs less than a 10th of the overall amount.

A 10th, really?

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According to Table 9.1 of the RITES report, Phase-IA costs 3433 crores and Phase 1B- 2363 crores.  Phases 1A, 1B and 2 comvbined work out to 8346 crores.  So Phase I, as per RITES report is 75% of the cost.

Hyderabad MMTS Phase-I, which was a lot less ambitious 43 km was 178 crores.

Whileit would be great if the 8000 crores of financing was arranged for and RITES process was followed, would there be a way to structure this to get maximum bang for the buck first and as people get excited about the advantages, make it easier to fund the future stages?  Just a thought.


To compare with Hyd, I am

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To compare with Hyd, I am thinking we should know the start state first! Maybe they started off with a few more lines which were already double lanes! That is just a possibility!



My bad I was referring to the

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My bad I was referring to the simple option of rake addition for 650 crores which RITES have discounted as not being sustainable in the long run. Anyway, I dont see how any shortcuts will help. we put 10K crore for a metro of how many kms again?

New Chief Minister - Is it right time to try?

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New chief minister is taking his duty. Isn't it the right time to take this? Within 6 months there is election.

Money, money, money

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Yes, but the big learning from this RITES report has been that major upgrades in railway ifrastructure are required.  Track doubling/tripling/ quadrupling, signaling upgradation, terminal/station development, flyover construction etc. seem to consume a large fraction of the budget.

While I whole heartedly agree that 8000 crores for 400 odd kilometers is nothing compared to what is being spent on the metro, the worry is the question of funding this amount.

What are the options? A. Part state funding B. Part central/railway funding C. Loans. If money comes from the railways, unless the railway minister is from your state and has some clout, the available funds are spread very thin across a variety of projects across the country.  The railways as an organization is in dire need of reform.  

State funding - from a quick check, 8000 crores is about the money the state collects from the Excise department in a year.  So it is not a small amount. 

Central funding - Does this qualify under JNNURM?

Loans - have to be repaid.

My worry is that somebody will balk at this amount.  If that happens, what is another approach?  Can we develop One or two lines?  For example, could we develop towards one or two directions? Say Tumkur and Bangarpet and then do the necessary infrastructure and terminal upgradation to accomodate these? If they prove popular, maybe pressure will build for the other lines?

Again, to reiterate, nothing like this getting funded through some mechanism at one go. I am just thinking of a plan B.

What is the base minimum required to get started?

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What is the least cost required to start the CRS and which segments can be covered? Hopefully RITES can answer that.

Agree with Sanjay that should start on a small scale  and then add more funds to enhance capacity and more reach/coverage.

RITES has submitted a clean

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RITES has submitted a clean and decent report. If this seriously happens then it would be a blessing to all bangalorens. 

I pray and beg the god that atleast now the govt would turn its head towards commuter rail. They have a really worthy and intelligent report by RITES on thier table. I hope and wish they would give the go ahead for this project.

Atleast they can start of with phase 1 immediately and run trains towards whitefield and kengeri during peak hours.

To all the govt and non govt bodies who are responsible to sanction the project, please consider the report given by RITES as it is the best report for commuter railway for bangalore.



the worry is the question of

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the worry is the question of funding this amount

JBIC, WB, JNNURM, bonds, grants etc etc... tons of options. Capex for infra is not done with full downpayment of cash in hand. It always requires mopping up.

Capex for infra is not done with full downpayment

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Yes, agree.  If they decide to fund the whole thing using grant, loan, bond etc., nothing like it.  Political will is what is required.  If that is missing, easiest way to cop out is to say that money is not available.

More often transportation is a Political Problem!

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Our friend Naveen had commented in his well written white paper that"

"Transportation is not a technical problem. It is not an infrastructure problem. It is not even a financial problem. Most often it is a political problem”

Very true for CRS.

Phase I A

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Phase-I A costs 3433 crores, they could finish it in 3 years with half the state expenditure and see patronage. And stations are far apart, so it will be like "fast passenger line" of mumbai railway, not slow passenger. State govt has 1 lakh crore budget, but i dont think it can give more than 500 crore for this, other tier-2 cities of karnataka get 100 crore fund overall every year.

Hyderabad MMTS has ridership of 160,000 and chennai suburban has 1,400,000. Expecting 2,000,000 ridership is 50% more than similar size city of chennai, that is unrealistic.

To start with can they extend Bangarpet Passenger to Kengeri

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To start with commuter rail, the MEMU train Bangarpet Passenger if extended upto  Kengeri, people will get a feel of the commuter rail.

This was proposed in last budget, but did not get implemented.  Electrification is underway till Ramanagaram. Once done, it can be extended till Ramanagaram.



outcome of yesterday's meet

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Updated by the Moderator - The comment has been converted into the Discussion post "Proceedings of DULT meeting on 2012 RITES Report on Bengaluru Commuter Rail Service".


Muralidhar Rao

Good co-ordination between GoK, SWR & RITES

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After long time,  with past meetings,  this   report review meeting was really productive one. 

Dr Rajkumar Katri   IAS / IDD  & Ms Manjula IAS /  DULT with Mr Sudhansu Mani DRM were having good understanding and  were looking forward instead of putting ball game between GoK Vs SWR / Railway.

GoK should make up its mind to over come the Traffic problems by giving some portion of Binny Mill Land  to SWR to establish required facilites for Bangalore station and Commuter Rail hub. If the GoK agrees on this,   this will make Railway board more attractive as they will be able to expand the Bangalore city station with 15 Platforms  to handel more Intercity Trains along with Commuter Rail.

At the same time,  Railway Board should be considerative for Bangalore  without putting too many hurdles for the project to take off or provide administrative approvals or  necesary Rakes in time.

More or less Report was agreed and  phases details with expected outcome  and  details on stabling line outside Bangalore,  Maintenance facility,  some more depth on Airport connectivity  with  financial investment  comparisions  between  Commuter Rail and HSRL.  Looks like GoK has finally realised HSRL  project  should not be pushed further.

Innovative Strategic Mnagement: The Case of Mumbai Suburban Rail

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Paper by   P C Sehgal and Teki Surayya

Innovative Strategic Mnagement: The Case of Mumbai Suburban Railway System


Will our Bangalore counterpats in SWR and GOK learn liitel bit from MRVC project  learning.


ಕಮ್ಯುಟರ್‌ ರೈಲು ಸಾಕಾರಕ್ಕೆ 6 ತಿಂಗಳು ಸಾಕು!

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ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು: ಎರಡು ದಶಕಗಳಿಂದ ಬೆಂಗಳೂರಿಗರು ಎದುರು ನೋಡುತ್ತಿರುವ "ಕಮ್ಯುಟರ್‌ ರೈಲು' (ಸಬ್‌ ಅರ್ಬನ್‌) ಕೇವಲ ಆರು ತಿಂಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಸಾಕಾರಗೊಳಿಸಬಹುದು!
- ಹೀಗಂತ ರೈಲ್ವೆ ತಜ್ಞರು ಅಥವಾ ಹೋರಾಟಗಾರರು ಹೇಳುತ್ತಿಲ್ಲ. ಯೋಜನೆ ಕಾರ್ಯಗತಗೊಳಿಸಬೇಕಾದ ನೈಋತ್ಯ ರೈಲ್ವೆ ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು ವಿಭಾಗೀಯ ಕಚೇರಿಯೇ ಲಿಖೀತ ರೂಪದಲ್ಲಿ ತಿಳಿಸಿದೆ. ಆದರೆ, ರೈಲ್ವೆ ಇಲಾಖೆಯು ಹೀಗೆ ಹೇಳಿಯೇ ಒಂದೂವರೆ ವರ್ಷ ಗತಿಸಿದೆ.

ಉಪನಗರ ರೈಲು ಸೇವೆಗೆ ಸಂಬಂಧಿಸಿದಂತೆ ನೈರುತ್ಯ ರೈಲ್ವೆ ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು ವಿಭಾಗೀಯ ಕಚೇರಿಯು ವಿಭಾಗೀಯ ರೈಲ್ವೆ ವ್ಯವಸ್ಥಾಪಕರ ಅಧ್ಯಕ್ಷತೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಈ ಹಿಂದೆ ಸಭೆ ನಡೆಸಿತ್ತು. ಯೋಜನೆಯನ್ನು ತಾಂತ್ರಿಕವಾಗಿ ಅಧ್ಯಯನ ಮಾಡಿದ ಅಧಿಕಾರಿಗಳೂ ಹಾಜರಿದ್ದರು. ಸಭೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಯೋಜನೆಯ ಕಾಮಗಾರಿಯನ್ನು ಎಷ್ಟು ಹಂತಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಹಾಗೂ ಎಷ್ಟು ಅವಧಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಪೂರ್ಣಗೊಳಿಸಬಹುದು ಎಂಬುದರ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಗಡುವು ಹಾಕಿಕೊಂಡು, ಅದಕ್ಕೆ ತಕ್ಕಂತೆ ರೂಪುರೇಷೆ ಸಿದ್ಧಮಾಡಿಕೊಳ್ಳಲಾಯಿತು.

ಪ್ರಾಥಮಿಕ ಹಂತ ಸಾಕು:
ಕಮ್ಯುಟರ್‌ ರೈಲು ಯೋಜನೆ ಮಂಜೂರಾದ ದಿನದಿಂದ ಕೇವಲ 6ರಿಂದ 12 ತಿಂಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಈ ಯೋಜನೆಯ ಪ್ರಾಥಮಿಕ ಹಂತಗಳನ್ನು ಪೂರ್ಣಗೊಳಿಸಬಹುದು. ಈ ಪ್ರಾಥಮಿಕ ಹಂತದಲ್ಲೇ ಜನರಿಗೆ ರೈಲು ಸೇವೆಗಳನ್ನೂ ನೀಡಬಹುದು. ಇನ್ನು ಹಂತ-1 ಅನ್ನು ಒಂದರಿಂದ ಎರಡು ವರ್ಷಗಳಲ್ಲೇ ಮುಗಿಸಿಬಿಡಬಹುದು. ಈ ಅವಧಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಅಟೋಮೆಟಿಕ್‌ ಸಿಗ್ನಲ್‌ಗ‌ಳು, ಹೊಸ ನಿಲ್ದಾಣಗಳು,  ಪ್ಲಾಟ್‌ಫಾರಂಗಳ ವಿಸ್ತರಣೆ ಕೆಲಸಗಳನ್ನು ಕೈಗೆತ್ತಿಕೊಳ್ಳಬಹುದು. ಇನ್ನು ಎರಡು ಮತ್ತು ಮೂರನೇ ಹಂತದಲ್ಲಿ ಮಾರ್ಗಗಳ ವಿದ್ಯುದ್ದೀಕರಣ, ಜೋಡಿ ಮಾರ್ಗ ನಿರ್ಮಾಣ ಸೇರಿದಂತೆ ಮತ್ತಿತರ ಪ್ರಮುಖ ಕಾಮಗಾರಿಗಳನ್ನು ಕೈಗೆತ್ತಿಕೊಳ್ಳಬೇಕು ಎಂದು ತೀರ್ಮಾನ ಕೈಗೊಳ್ಳಲಾಗಿದೆ.



Can Commuter Rail Take Pressure off Roads?

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When construction of the Metro project in Bengaluru commenced in June 2006, it was thought that the city would be able to deal with increasing congestion and provide a convenient alternative mode of transport for people. But works for Phase 1 itself started a good three years after the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation had submitted the Detailed Project Report.

As completion of Phase 1 gets delayed, there has been an explosion in the number of vehicles in the city, to around 50 lakh, bringing congestion to a peak. What is evident is that the Metro will not be able to single-handedly shift the majority of commuters off the roads.

Sanjeev Dyamannavar from the advocacy group Praja, which has been fighting fiercely for starting a Commuter Rail System (CRS), argues that a city should have all forms of transport — motorised and non-motorised — to have any serious impact on lessening the congestion on the roads.

There are different kinds of demands of people travelling every day. So, we are not merely looking at Metro as an alternative, but also services like commuter rail, proper pavements, foot overbridges, taxi bays and metered taxis. The government is investing so heavily on Metro and the cost overruns are scary enough on Phase-1. Phase 2 is going to be even more expensive,” he says.

While agreeing that Railways is working on outdated infrastructure, Sanjeev says modernising is also very important to introduce new services. “Take Byappanahalli for instance. The proposal to turn it into a world class station came in 2007, but even to this day, except for the Railways spending `15 crore and creating some infrastructure, nothing has happened. The state government, in all these years, has given it a mere `1 lakh. But spending on railways is a less expensive proposition than the Metro. “Byappanahalli will require two years and `105 crore to turn into a world class station, but under Phase 2 of Metro, each station will cost at least `300 crore,” Sanjeev contends.

Urban transportation expert Lokesh Hebbani says international agencies like Japan International Cooperation Agency have shown an interest in funding the suburban rail project. “The state government needs to pursue this and put pressure on the Central government. Otherwise, there is no way for it go forward.

With 3,000 new vehicles being registered every day, there is only so much you can do to avoid congestion. The government has to consider public transportation, which takes people off the roads. You cannot keep widening roads,” says Hebbani.

With connectivity to surrounding areas like Tumakuru, Kolar and Ramanagaram, it would encourage people to ditch their cars, he adds. “If stations can provide pay-and-park facilities, then people would readily shift to trains rather than bring their personal vehicles into the city,” he said.

Krishnaprasad, a retired Central government employee who is now involved in gathering consensus for the commuter rail project, says while both modes of transport are essential, there are certain advantages to commuter rail. “It is cheaper to execute and also inexpensive to the commuter as well. The kind of expenditure, expertise, technology required for Metro is not necessary for establishing a suburban train network,” he says.

Do Away With RITES, Say Officials

Supporters of CRS and Railway officials agree on one thing. That the state government should consider looking elsewhere if they want a proper study on feasibility of CRS.

A senior railway official said, “RITES is filled with retired railway officials aged around 70 who will not go to the field. The government can ask another agency to study the feasibility.”

In their reply to DULT on the RITES report, the Railways say that vital elements have not been brought out by RITES and a realistic assessment of multiple problems of land acquisition and demolition of built up area has not been presented.

“Similarly, critical analysis of dislocation of the existing services has not been presented,” it stated. They recommend that RITES should be impressed upon to prepare an in depth analysis supplementing in a cohesive manner on all aspects. The report further states, “At the same time, they may also explore possibility of adopting alternative economic cost effective solutions to bring down the cost of certain large scale investments so that viability of the project becomes better.”



Letters, Reports Aplenty, But No Work on the Ground Yet

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If letters shot off by the ministers and elected representatives to the Centre seeking assistance for setting up of a commuter rail system could qualify as progress, then yes, there has been a bit of it. But beyond this, there is very little to show in terms of actual proposal or planning, despite everyone agreeing that suburban trains need to be an essential part of the city’s transport system.

Letters have been written at regular intervals to the Centre, including one written last year by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to the Union Minister for Railways Suresh Prabhu. The CM had asked the minister to consider the proposal for commuter rail on a 50:50 cost-sharing basis and also said that they have set up Bangalore Suburban Rail Company Limited to enable the implementation of the project. But on the ground, there is little progress.

Speaking to Railway officials and the Directorate of Urban Land Transport, one thing that is evident is a lack of coordination on the way ahead.

In September 2015, the Railways replied to a feasibility report from engineering consultancy company RITES about running commuter trains from the city centre to Whitefield, Tumakuru, Hosur, Hindupur, Ramanagaram and Chikkaballapur.

“The report had a lot of technical flaws. One has to visit the sites, check the existing infrastructure and see if there is a possibility of running the trains on the existing infrastructure, and whether it can be augmented. None of this was done. It was report was prepared in the offices and was not practical at all. People think we are responsible for the delay, but RITES should be informing the state government correctly on what can be done and what cannot. They are keeping the state government in the dark and we are being blamed for it,” said Divisional Railway Manager of SWR, Bengaluru, Sanjiv Agarwal.

The railway infrastructure in the city is in dire need of modernisation and expansion. The planned development of Byappanahalli station into a world class station never materialised. The running of intercity trains on time and increasing their frequency is a daily headache. “How are we going to run suburban trains in this situation? Unless we decongest our platforms and shift some of our trains, this is just not possible. Even if we are expanding, there is the question of land acquisition, which takes forever. All these things are to be considered,” Agarwal said.

Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT) Commissioner V Manjula whose department was responsible for commissioning the study by RITES, said a new report has been prepared as per which they can run some lines, and needs very little land acquisition.

“We will be sending the report to the Railways soon. There is a small amount of land acquisition, but otherwise it will use existing lines. It is definitely possible,” Manjula argued. The one thing that Manjula agrees with the Railways is on the delay that results from land acquisition, but says that the revised RITES draft points out to lines which can be run with minimal changes.

On one hand, proponents of commuter rail allege that DULT is not serious about pursuing the project and that the RITES report was hogwash meant to delay progress. On the other, Railway officials seem reluctant to shift focus to suburban trains due to their own constraints. “Where is the revenue in it?” asked a senior railways official.

“We have enough problems trying to stick to our schedules with intercity trains. Suburban trains will not give us the kind of revenue we need. Will we be allowed to charge ticket rates like Metro does? We have to face a dharna and a rail roko even with minor increases in ticket prices. Why should we run on lines that are bound to make losses for us?” the official said.

In the last couple of years, however, halt stations have been built at Krishnadevaraya at RPC Layout and Hoodi and MEMU maintenance station at Banaswadi has been constructed purely for use of suburban rail.

Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers Ananth Kumar, a believer in commuter rail, is firm it will get a mention this Railway budget. “I have met Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu and explained the necessity of a commuter rail system and I am hopeful it will be included this year,” he said. Ananth Kumar believes that if the four radials of Bengaluru City to Kengeri, Yeshwantpur, K R Puram and Yelahanka are equipped with double line, electrification and automatic signaling, then Phase 1 of will be ready.