Baiyappanahalli, Yelahanka, KIA rail link to the airport

Airport halt for existing trains could take face bureaucratic delay

Baiyappanahalli, Yelahanka, KIA rail link to the airport

 Dedicated coaches designed exclusively for air passengers, hassle-free, traffic-free and super quick transit from Baiyappanahalli station to the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), shuttle bus services right up to the terminal... The existing railway link from the city to Devanahalli/Chikkaballapura could be tweeked with minimal cost to make this proposal a reality in months.

South Western Railway (SWR) officials say the rail traffic on Bengaluru City to Yelahanka line is extremely high, and it does not make sense to run airport trains from Yelahanka to KIA. Urban rail experts have a ready solution for this: Change the route from KIA to Yelahanka to Baiyappanahalli, a station already linked to the Namma Metro network. But this will require the ongoing track doubling work on the 13-km Yelahanka-Channasandra line to be extended by another 3.5 km to Baiyappanahalli.

BIAL had earlier proposed exclusive coaches customised for airport passengers to be run frequently from Bengaluru Cantonment station to KIA. But this proposal, a detailed project report (DPR) for which was submitted to the state Infrastructure Development Department a few months ago, could take years to reach implementation phase.  

Halt delays

Here’s why: Even the halt proposed for existing trains near the KIA trumpet flyover will not happen in a hurry. Top South Western Railway (SWR) officials say the infrastructure for a halt --one minute or two minutes--, should first come up. The stoppage has to be then sanctioned by the Ministry.

“Let the Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) first send us a proposal. If they can fund it as well, things might move faster,” a senior official told Deccan Herald. The cost of a halt station is estimated to be about Rs 60 lakh.

BIAL sources say a feasibility and ridership study had already been conducted on running trains with coaches customised for airport travel from Cantonment to the airport on the Chikkaballapura line. “Since rail traffic on this route is low, more airport-oriented trains could be run. The entire system could be operationaliseed in one or two years,” explained a BIAL official. The report is awaiting the Railway Board’s nod.

To boost seamless connectivity, BIAL had also proposed shuttle buses from an airport station (along the North-western side of the airport enclosure) to the passenger terminals.

“The Metro connectivity will take at least another five years. The rail connection will ensure multi-modal access to KIA till then,” the official said.

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