Bengaluru to quadruple Cantonment-Whitefield rail line

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The quadrupling of the Cantonment-Whitefield railway line has gained momentum with the South Western Railway (SWR) awarding the work to a city-based builder with a deadline of 2022.

The Rs 493-crore project will have four railway tracks between Bengaluru Cantonment and Whitefield, complemented with automatic signalling. This allows for an enhanced carrying capacity to enable suburban rail operation.

The tender has been awarded to Bengaluru firm PJB Engineers, and officials are working to clear the remaining hurdles.

“The Indian Telephone Industries Limited has agreed in principle to our proposal for acquiring patches of land along the corridor. The exchange of land between the BBMP and the defence ministry has ended longstanding issues in removing the level crossing at the Baiyappanahalli gate. The actual work will begin in two weeks,” said an official.

The initial concerns over altering the Benniganahalli bridge to fit the two additional lines have also been allayed.

“Structural engineers have assessed the bridge and found it safe. There are two vents to allow the passage of the additional lines,” added the official.

The quadrupling will end fears of saturation on the Whitefield line, often cited as a reason against introducing more suburban trains amid escalating demands for them since the beginning of the metro construction.

Having four lines to Whitefield means officials need not wait for the suburban rail project to introduce local trains.

Airport line

The railways is likely to start the doubling of the 2.5-kilometre line between Baiyappanahalli and Channasandra, which will open rail services to the airport. The Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) is expected to build a halt station below the Trumpet flyover in the next six months.

“Doubling the Baiyappanahalli-Channasandra line will allow trains to be operated from Cantonment to the airport if there’s a demand for the service,” the official said.

After the state government’s request, the railways has handed the doubling of the Yeshwantpur-Channasandra line to K-RIDE, though officials have decided to expedite the last stretch of the line linking Baiyappanahalli.

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