Rly station opens to a misty morn

Friday starts chilly and cloudy before the usual hustle-and-bustle

The passengers moved about with the usual energy and urgency to get into the trains- working people carrying their bags and lunch boxes, worrying if they would get the train in time, vendors carrying vegetable bags and even bundles of newspaper- almost oblivious to the change in the natural conditions.

Yet, some of them wondered if there would be showers, thanks to the thick clouds.
There was, however, no rain, although the chill forced many to pull out sweaters, shawls and even woolen caps.

A part of the building had been pulled down recently, for renovation. The station, therefore, has even lost its entrance, which was built in the British era.

The station is open to anyone at any time of the day. The ticket counter too has been shifted to a different building.

A railway station entertains more than only passengers, at different times of the day. Senior citizens, joggers, vegetable vendors are found here in the morning. In the afternoon, although the place is mostly deserted, one can still find children playing.

The train for Bangalore leaves at 4 pm and passengers gather in the station. Again, at about 7 pm, the station turns a popular hangout for non-passengers, who wish to spend some time without any disturbance.

The railway station is a shortcut to go to the Sir M Visvesvaraya Stadium or the adjacent temples. Athletes, school children, and even other people use the station as a thoroughfare.

The station is also a historic place- the British erected rail tracks here several decades ago and provided the city with railway connection. This had helped them run business in several other cities and towns. All business for Chikkaballapur was through trains, a uniqueness for the times.

Narasimhamurthy, retired government employee, told Deccan Herald the station was outside the city 'when he was young'. “We complained it was too far to go on foot. Now, it is in the heart of the city, there are several houses and stalls on the road leading to the station,” he added. “The change that has come about in merely a few years of time is amazing.”

Speaking about fares, he said, “We used to pay only Rs two to Rs four. Now, however, travelling to Bangalore costs us Rs 10-12. Buses are costlier, charging us Rs 42, so a train journey is far more preferable.”

Although he felt travelling by train is also more comfortable, he said there were several people who still preferred to travel by bus in the mornings.

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