Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Will Lalu Express chug to a halt at Byappanahalli?

Will Lalu Express chug to a halt at Byappanahalli?
The Times of India

Bangalore: As railway minister Lalu Prasad puts his thoughts on track to chug out yet another Railway Budget, railway officials in Bangalore are confident that it will have a strong platform to flag off their dreams.

Topping the list is the Byappanahalli station, on Old Madras Road, which is showing sure signs to emerge as the third rail hub of Bangalore after Bangalore City Railway station and Yeshwantpur station. The South Western Railway officials are seeking to convert this crucially-located stretch (near Indiranagar) into a large station to accommodate 30 to 40 trains in the next five years.

Railway officials told The Times of India that the present goods train facility will be shifted to another location (possibly Doddaballapur) to make way for passenger trains. “There’s abundant land available here and all new services from Bangalore will emerge out of Byappanahalli in future,” sources said.

The government is also mulling over a proposal to connect Bangalore City with Devanahalli through a suburban link from Byappanahalli. “We are seeking electrification of the track around Bangalore to benefit the suburban route,” sources said. Rail Budget-2005 is expected to give the go-ahead for doubling of Mysore-Bangalore track for which the work has been already sanctioned between Bangalore and Ramanagaram.

Track-doubling will also be taken up on the Dharamavaram sector the Railways wanting to begin the work on the Hindupur-Penukonda stretch (40 km). If Lalu is generous, then Bangalore will also have four new passenger reservation counters. The budget is expected to announce the launch of two trains to Mangalore soon after the completion of the Hassan-Mangalore line. The officials are confident that this much-delayed section will be ready by March end.

The officials also want to run more trains between Bangalore and Howrah, Jaipur, Ajmer, Ernakulam and Chennai, with a proposal to start another Shatabdi between Bangalore and Chennai.

Among the other proposals are: some additional coaches for nearly 30 trains, renewal of tracks and signals, construction of level-crossing gates and installing hi-tech safety gadgets.


Bangalore has two railway hubs: Bangalore City Station and Yeshwantpur.
The goods train facility at Byappanahalli station on Old Madras Road will be shifted to a new location to make way for passenger trains, thereby creating a new hub.


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