BENGALURU: Five long years after two crucial track doubling projects were proposed for the Benglauru Railway Division, they are close to completion.
The projects in question involve laying a second railway line between Yelahanka and Yeshwantpuras well as between Yelahanka and Channasandra.
Apart from the possibility of an increase in the number of trains on these sectors run along these routes, the creation of another rail track marks a significant step towards putting in place vital infrastructure if the much sought after suburban rail service for the City materialises.
The immediate benefit would be an improvement in punctuality of trains as a train proceeding in one direction would not have to move to the yard and give way to a train coming in the opposite direction if two tracks are available.
Both the projects were proposed in the Railway Budget of 2009-2010. The seven-km track doubling project between Yelahanka and Yeshwantpur (Lotte Gollahalli) that cost `27 crore when proposed, shot up to `94 crore due to the delay in implementation. Similarly, the 12 kms between Yelahanka and Channasandra that initially cost `37 crore skyrocketed to ` 107 crore.
“Funding was the main reason the key projects got delayed all these years,” said a top official of South Western Railway.
“However, much momentum was given to speedy implementation of these two projects this year and all funds have been released,” he added.
On the present status of the projects, the official said, “Over 95 per cent of the work has been completed. Putting in place Gradient Points (boards which specify kms along the track), Curve Boards and signalling system are pending.”
The project would be completed by February 2016 and after clearance by the Commissioner for Rail Safety, they are expected to be commissioned by March next year, another top official said.
The Yelahanka yard, which has been categorised as an ‘Adarsh station’ (Model station) is being remodelled entirely so that it would have enough space to house more trains.
“Three more platforms are being created in addition to the existing two platforms,” he added.
Presently, an average of 24 trains pass through the Yelahanka-Yeshwantpurroute. This includes four pairs of Express trains, four pairs of non-daily Express ones, one pair of daily passenger trains and two non-daily passenger trains.
Important Express trains include Yesvantpur-Sholapur, Yesvantpur-Bidar, Yesvantpur-Kacheguda and Mysuru-Basava via YPR in both directions.
The Yelahanka-Channasandra route witnesses four pairs of Express trains, one daily passenger train and one pair between Bengaluru Cantonment station and Vijayawada station. The Express trains are Kacheguda Express, Karnataka express, Udyan Express and Hampi Express.
When questioned on the immediate likelihood of an increase in the number of trains along these routes, a top railway official said, “The City station is fully saturated. Byappanahalli is being developed as the third terminal. Only when this is completed, there is a chance of a big increase in number of trains.” The second track would definitely help when suburban train service is planned in a big way, he added.