Long-cherished dream fulfilled as train chugs into Hassan

Yeshwantpur-Hassan Intercity Exp gets rousing reception on its route

The intercity express train between Yeshwantpur and Hassan chugged into the district on Sunday turning the long-cherished dream of the people into a reality. The train, which departed Yeshwantpur station in Bengaluru at 11.30 am, arrived at Shravanabelagola at 3.15 pm, amid cheers and claps from thousands of people gathered at the station.

District-in-charge Minister A Manju, MLAs Revanna and Balakrishna travelled by the train from Bengaluru. The train was accorded a traditional ‘purna kumbha’ welcome. Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swami of Shravanabelagola performed Aarathi to the train, amid people shouting ‘Bhagwan Bahubalige Jai’. Later, fruits and sweets were distributed among the passengers and the people.

Speaking on the occasion, Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swami expressed his happiness over naming the train ‘Gommateshwara Express’. With the new rail service more devotees are expected to visit Bahubali Mahamastakabhisheka in 2018. It will be convenient for the people visiting the district and will boost tourism, he said. The Jain seer also expressed his gratitude to former prime minister and MP H D Deve Gowda, who was instrumental in making it a reality.

As enthusiastic people performed pujas and accorded traditional welcome to the WDP3A locomotive hauling 14 coaches, the train reached Hassan railway station at 5 pm, around three hours behind the schedule, on the inaugural day. The train was flagged by Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu at Yeshwantpur railway station at 11 am. Average journey time of the train is two hours and 45 minutes. As per the schedule, the train would leave Hassan for Bengaluru at 6.30 am and on return journey, the intercity express would leave Bengaluru at 6.30 pm.

The stoppages of 22679/780 train are Chikkabanavara, Nelamangala, Kunigal, Yediyuru, BG Nagar, Hirisave, Shravanabelagola and Channarayapatna. It may be mentioned that the project was approved in the year 1996-97 when H D Deve Gowda was prime minister. The project was limping due to shortage of funds and finally has seen the light of day after 20 years.

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