Space constraints hampering projects

Space constraints hampering projects

Space constraints hampering projects

The major hurdles faced by the SWR in extending additional services to Bangaloreans are space constraints and capacity challenges.

The infrastructure at the City and Yeshwantpur Stations cannot handle additional capacity. Non-availability of tracks and platforms have forced the SWR to withhold the introduction of some long-distance trains and increase the frequency of a few short-distance trains.

“There is a huge demand from passengers for  additional services. We are making efforts to offer the best services,” explains Anil Kumar Agarwal, Divisional Railway Manager, Bangalore Division.

In an interview with Deccan Herald, Agarwal explained challenges that the SWR is facing.
Commuter rail project The State government will have a meeting with the SWR top brass on November 17 to discuss the final study report of the Rs 9,000-crore Commuter Rail Project. Rail Indian Technical and Economic Services (RITES) has submitted a feasibility study report to the State government for the implementation of the project. A new terminal facility will be created on the land where Binny Mills currently stands. The government needs to acquire the land and hand it over to SWR for the construction of the facility. The new terminal will have a double discharge facility (platform on both sides of coaches).

Another recommendation of RITES is to change the present system of tracks between the City Railway Station and the Whitefield station. At present, there are dedicated lines to receive and discharge trains, which will be converted into a twin single line (TSL) system to facilitate the stations to receive and discharge trains on the same line. It may take another four years for all this to happen.

More land required

More trains can be run with the double discharge facility, but it requires additional platforms and electrical multiple unit (EMU) maintenance shed. The SWR
requires large swaths of land for these initiatives, besides separate space for maintenance facility. Efforts are on to provide such facilities, as the City Railway Station will have two more pitting lines for maintenance by March next year. The facility will help the SWR introduce more long-distance trains.

Proposals rejected

The SWR did not accept proposals to introduce six long-distance trains to Darbhanga, Dadar, Machalipatnam, Tirune­lveli, Gulbarga and Bhubaneswar this year due to space constraints, capacity constraints, non-availability of platforms, stabilising line and pitline. The introduction of long-distance trains, conversion of weekly trains into daily services and increase in frequencies will help the travelling public, but such initiatives require huge spaces. The City Railway Station receives and discharges around 160 trains a day, while the Yeshwantpur station aro­und 84 trains. Some of the North Indian cities receive and discharge over 500 trains a day and Bangalore is way behind.

Increase in frequencies

The Railways faces certain challenges in increasing train frequencies, which include availability of adequate coaches, inter-linking, extension services, availability of platforms, loco pilots, maintenence and line capacity. Some short-distance trains terminate at a particular station and resume fresh services from there to a different destination. Normally, the time allotted for such fresh service is two hours. A train can’t be run between two destinations within two hours.

Stoppage issues

Stoppages have been provided at all stations in Bangalore, but express trains have limited stops. Commercial viability, timeline and demand from the public are considered for stoppages. A station sho­uld sell more than 40 tickets for a dista­nce of over 500 km to get a stoppage. But politics plays a crucial role here and the Railway Board provides stoppages ignoring even mandatory issues if MPs, MLAs and ministers concerned put pressure on it. The SWR has sent a proposal to the Railway Board to provide stoppage for Rani Chennamma Express at the Malleswaram station.

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