Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Railway bypass to speed up city trains

Yeshwantpur bypass to put trains on fast track
Deccan Herald

The South Western Railway has finalised plans for a Yeshwantpur Railway bypass on the Tumkur-Yeshwantpur route, which will cut down travel time of trains from the western parts of the State going eastwards by a good two hours.

The bypass will be ready within the next six months and go a long way towards decongesting rail traffic in the Yeshwantpur railway station, which is fast emerging as the second terminal of Bangalore.

For the past two years since the Yeshwantpur terminal was built, all trains going via Yeshwantpur and Yelahanka have had over three hours added to their travel time because an engine change has to take place at least once, sometimes twice.

However, with the Hebbal-Banaswadi route thrown open now, engine turnaround has been spared at Yeshwantpur. Now a Yeshwantpur bypass has been proposed on the Yeshwantpur-Tumkur route, so that trains coming from the west — say Hubli or Mumbai and headed towards Yelahanka/Dharmavaram can go directly without touching Yeshwantpur at all. “We are in an advanced stage of acquiring land from the Air Force ahead of Yeshwantpur, which will enable us to build the track we need from Chikkabannavar to Yelahanka. What we need is only a 300-metre additional track. The project cost will be about Rs 50 lakh, while another Rs 6 crore is to be paid towards the land,” said Bangalore Divisional Railway Manager Mahesh Kumar.

Mr Kumar told Deccan Herald that while the main advantage would be for goods trains, the railways will also consider diverting those trains “which do not require to stop at Yeshwantpur for commercial reasons” to bypass Yeshwantpur and go on towards Yelahanka.

The plans are ready and work will begin in about three months, while it will take another three months to construct the short stretch of track. For trains starting from other parts of the State and connecting Yeshwantpur and Yelahanka, the problem till now has been that they would have to take an engine turnaround twice – each turnaround takes a minimum of 45 minutes but usually close to two hours because the adjoining track has to be empty to enable it.

Considering there are at least five-six goods trains every day, which could avoid having to wait at Yeshwantpur, get line clearance and then chug towards Yelahanka with an engine reversal, it would enhance Yeshwantpur’s station capacity immediately.

Yeshwantpur will now have the capacity to handle another 12-15 trains.


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