It's time to change City station's 'Terminal' status

Turning it into a pass-through station will boost efficiency, say experts

It's time to change City station's 'Terminal' status

The acutely overstretched Bangalore City Railway Station (Code: SBC) could dramatically improve its efficiency if converted from a terminal to a pass-through station.

But this recommendation by a RITES survey would mean a radical redesign of the Station, virtually impossible with only 3.3 acres of the 16-acre Binny Mills land handed over to the South Western Railway. 

Currently, the Station’s 10 platforms, six pit lines (maintenance lines) and eight stabling lines (during idling hours) are grossly inadequate to handle even an additional train. Since the SBC evolved historically as a terminal, there is no interconnectivity of all the platform lines, which is critical for the smooth functioning of any big station.

Ideally, all platform lines should be universal. This system would have allowed trains from or to any direction (Baiyappanahalli, Yeshwanthpura or Mysore side) to enter or exit any platform line. But this universal choice is uniquely unavailable at the City Station.

Platforms from 1 to 4 allows entry and exit of trains only towards Baiyappanahalli side, while platforms 5 to 7 allows trains to both Baiyappanahalli and Mysore sides.
Platforms 8, 9 and 10 is open to only trains going towards Mysore and Yeshwanthpura sides. Thus Yeshwanthpura-bound trains are restricted to only the last three platforms. Although seven platforms allow trains from Baiyappanahalli side, four don’t have exit to other directions. All these increase the shunt movements (from one line to another). Each train on shunt movement takes about two hours.

The current design of the Station requires the trains to spend much more time than required in the yard. Some trains are stationed in the yard for more than 18 hours.
This time, called Lie-Over, increases when the trains undertake Engine Reversal, thus reducing the yard’s capacity. About 50 trains need engine reversals at the Station.
Hardly any trains depart the SBC within three hours, the minimum Lie-Over required.
Space crunch

To tide over the space crunch, many empty rakes are now taken to Baiyappanahalli Marshalling Yard, KR Puram, Whitefield and Bangalore Cantonment for stabling.

RITES has suggested that the Lie-Over and engine reversals should either be eliminated or minimised to boost the SBC yard’s capacity. This can happen only if SBC is made a pass-through station.

Terminal activities (maintenance of rakes) could be shifted to another convenient location, freeing capacity to handle more commuter trains. This could also let additional long distance trains too to reach SBC, instead of getting terminated at KR Puram and other stations.

Acquisition of more Binny Mills land will help the Railways build at least two additional platforms exclusively for the Commuter Rail Service (CRS). In fact, railway experts are convinced that without this land, the city could forget about the CRS.

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