BENGALURU: Here is sweet news from the Railways for Bengalureans, particularly techies: the first batch of the much-awaited suburban service for the City has begun operations. Without much fanfare, the services were launched by the Bengaluru Division of South Western Railway on Monday by connecting Whitefield with Baiyyappanahalli and the Bengaluru-Bangarpet-Marikuppam route. While the initial plan was to launch the services only along the Marikuppam route, the surprise element has been the connectivity between Whitefield and the City, a long-time demand from the IT sector.
There have been no new services with the existing Diesel Multiple Electric Unit trains replaced with Mainline Electric Multiple Units (MEMU) as proposed earlier. The Phase 1(A) of suburban project (Rs 2,427 crore) plans to connect these areas: Bengaluru -Bangarpet; Bengaluru to Mandya; Bengaluru to Tumukuru and Bengaluru to Kempe Gowda International airport (feasibility report on connectivity from Yesvantpur railway station is being readied).
A State government order in March 2017 had called for implementing it at the earliest. The State government also already released Rs 327.79 crore for purchasing coaches as well as another Rs 29.45 crore for upgradation of maintenance facilities for stabling of the MEMU trains at Banaswadi for running the suburban network. According to an official release from South Western Railway, three pairs of services have already been launched and two will be launched on Wednesday (October 18). The passenger train numbers have also been replaced.
TRAINS ALREADY LAUNCHED l Whitefield - Baiyyappanahalli - Whitefield MEMU (Train no. 06593/06594) began operations from Whitefield on October 16 and from Baiyappanahalli today (October 17). It replaced the existing passenger DEMU train running along this route. l Marikuppam - KSR Bengaluru - Marikuppam MEMU (Train no. 66519/66520) was launched from KSR Bengaluru on October 16 and ran from Marikuppam on October 17. It replaced the Marikuppam - Bangarpet - Marikuppam DEMU (Train no. 76519/76520).
l The Marikuppam - Bangarpet - Marikuppam MEMU (Train No.66517/66518) ran from Marikuppam with effect from October 16 and from Bangarpet from October 17. It replaced the existing Marikuppam - KSR Bengaluru - Marikuppam DEMU (Train no. 76517/76518)
TRAINS LAUNCHING TODAY l The Marikuppam - KSR Bengaluru - Marikuppam MEMU (Train no. 66545/66546) will begin operations from October 18 from KSR Bengaluru and from October 19 from Marikuppam. It will replace the existing DEMU train Marikuppam - KSR Bengaluru - Marikuppam (Train no. 56507/56508).
l The Bangarpet - Marikuppam - Bangarpet MEMU (Train no. 66547/66548) will run from October 18 from Marikuppam and from Bangarpet from October 19. It will replace the existing Bangarpet - Marikuppam - Bangarpet DEMU (Train no. 56511/56512).
Each MEMU train can carry 2,400 passengers Each MEMU train will have 12 coaches, and can carry more than 2,400 passengers. It will be much faster than the conventional rake used in DEMU since the pulling power will be very high as three engines (3 motor cars) will propel each of the trains, one on each end and one at the centre. Each engine has a power of 1100 Horse Power. Even if there is a failure of one engine, the presence of three engines ensures that the train does not stop its journey midway. It will cut down diesel costs for the Railways since it runs on electricity. It is eco-friendly too.