BENGALURU: Following poor patronage to the special Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) train service from the city to Ramanagaram, the train’s departure will be changed by nearly an hour in a week’s time. The South Western Railway Division on Tuesday approved a proposal to change the timing recommended by the Bengaluru Division six months ago.
The idea behind launching the Bengaluru City-Ramanagaram DEMU Special (No. 06540) in June 2015 was to ease some pressure on the Chamundi Express to Mysuru which leaves from the city at 6.15 pm daily. “This Express train runs at an occupancy percentage between 150 and 170 per cent,” a senior railway official said.
The huge demand forced the Bengaluru Division to introduce it.
However, the DEMU, which was inaugurated on June 8 to depart at 4.30 pm from the City station from Monday to Saturday, did not pick up steam. “It has a 50-60 per cent occupancy, which is poor patronage for a passenger train. Only if a passenger train has 100 per cent occupancy, can it run at a no-loss, no-profit percentage,” he said.
Elaborating on the new timings to be effective from April 11, Divisional Railway Manager, Sanjiv Agarwal, said, “The train will leave at 5.25 pm and reach Ramanagaram at 6.30 pm. We received consent from the headquarters at Hubballi.”
The train leaves the City station at 4.30 pm and reaches Ramanagaram at 5.40 pm. The train will leave Ramanagaram at 6.50 pm and will reach the City by 8 pm, the official added.
After the departure of the Tippu Express (at 3 pm) and the Chamarajnagar Express (at 3.30 pm) from the station, there is a gap of two hours and 45 minutes before the Chamundi Express leaves at 6.15 pm.
It was to transport passengers during that period that it was introduced. However, it has not clicked with passengers.
An official in the Commercial Division said that this service has “caused a huge loss every day, prompting us to reconsider it. A passenger train has to run at 150 per cent occupancy for us to make profits,” he said.