BENGALURU: Due to the postponement of launch of the new railway table from October 1 to October 15, the Bengaluru railway division last week decided to reschedule the launch of the first set of its suburban train services to coincide with the timetable. With the Indian Railways again postponing the launch of the timetable, the division is keen on meeting the new deadline. However, a stumbling block is that passengers along this sector feel these trains will affect them due to the reduced number of coaches on the trains.
The Bengaluru Railway Division plans to run a pair of new Mainline Multiple Electric Unit (MEMU) trains which are getting ready at Banaswadi along the Bengaluru-Bangarpet-Marikuppam route as part of its first suburban service in the city. The plan is to replace the existing passenger services on this route with the MEMU trains. The division has already begun trial runs.
Former Divisional Railways Users Consultative Committee member Muthu Manickam met top Railway officials last week in Bengaluru and conveyed the apprehensions of passengers. Speaking to Express, he said that the Suvarna Passenger Mail that departs from Marikuppam has 19 coaches. “This train is packed and one can see over 150 passengers in a coach, which is meant for 108 passengers, due to the rush to reach offices in Bengaluru. Due to this overcrowding, over 3,000 passengers are on board the train,” he said.
The MEMU train, proposed with 12 coaches, can only carry a maximum of 2,400 passengers. “After launching the new suburban trains, if they remove these passenger trains, which are the lifeline for commuters along this stretch, many will be affected. We are okay with the new trains, provided the existing passenger services are not affected,” Manickam says.
Passenger trains to be replaced
Train no. 56511: Departure from Bangarpet: 5.30 am; Arrival at Marikuppam: 6.05 am.
Train no. 56507: Departure from Marikuppam: 6.25 am; Arrival at Bangarpet: 7 am; Arrival at Bengaluru: 9.15 am.
Train no. 56508: Departure from Bengaluru: 7 am; Arrival at Marikuppam: 9.30 am;
Train no.66512: Departure from Marikuppam 8 am; Arrival at Bengaluru: 10.25 am.
Train no. 56505: Departure from Bangarpet: 1 pm; Arrival at Marikuppam: 1.35 pm;
Train no.56509: Departure from Marikuppam: 2 pm; Arrival at Bangarpet: 2.35 pm; at Bengaluru: 5 pm
Commuters oppose cancellation of regular train service
Kolar: Commuters from KGF, Bangarpet, Takel, Malur and Whitefield have decided to oppose the suburban train service between Marikuppam and Bengaluru city which will be introduced soon. Commuters says that instead of introducing MEMU services, railways can add another two coaches on the existing trains. Chander, who has been travelling by the Suvarna Passenger for the last 15 years, said it is shocking that the railway authorities have decided to reduce the number of coaches by introducing MEMU services, as thousands of people depend on the Suvarna Passenger for their daily commute. Shantha Kumari, who works as computer engineer in a software company felt that elected representatives should take up the issue with the authorities concerned. “No doubt the suburban train service will reduce travel time, but what about the regular commuters?” she questioned.