Airport metro line to have non-stop peak-hour service

It will be a high-speed, non-stop metro train service during peak hours for passengers heading to the Kempegowda International Airport.

The 29.8-km line connecting Nagawara and the airport will be 76% faster than the metro trains in the city limits. The authorities are incorporating Communication-based Train Control (CBTC) and Grade of Automation (GoA) systems to provide non-stop services on this line.

"There will be only seven stations on the airport line, allowing trains to move faster," Additional Chief Secretary (Urban Development) Mahendra Jain said. "We'll also be able to push non-stop trains on this line, especially during peak hours of the airport - morning and evening - when we will not have to stop at stations in between since all passengers will be airport-bound," explained Jain, who holds additional charge of the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) managing director.

Inclusive of the Nagawara station, the airport line will have stations at Hegde Nagar, Jakkur, Yelahanka, Chikkajala, one on BIAL road and another at the airport terminal.

The rolling stock planned between Nagawara and the airport can reach operational speeds of 90-95 km per hour (kmph). The commercial speed is planned at 60 kmph, up from the 34 kmph of Phase 2. The line will have six-coach trains.

Two depots have been planned on the airport line to ensure efficient rail management: one in the south at Kothanur and another at the airport towards the north. The Kothanur depot is already part of the Gottigere-Nagawara line.

The airport metro line is estimated to cost Rs 5,950 crore, of which alignment and formation will cost the highest (Rs 1,603 crore). Land acquisition is estimated to cost Rs 723 crore. "We may require 15-20 acres of land for this line. Most of it is government land, so we don't anticipate problems in the acquisition process," Jain said.

The majority of the line will go on the median of the highway, he pointed out. "Already five metres of the road width from Jakkur to the trumpet flyover has been set aside for the metro line."

The authorities have arrived at three ridership scenarios for 2021 when the line is expected to be ready: A conservative scenario will see a daily ridership of 60,000, a most-likely scenario will have 80,000 and an optimistic scenario pegs ridership at one lakh.

DH News Service

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