SWR plans three pairs of trains to KIA
The South Western Railways (SWR) is exploring the feasibility of operating three pairs trains to and from Kempegowda International Airport for the benefit of passengers. If all goes as planned, one train will leave Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna Bengaluru Railway Station at 4.45 a.m. and another at 9 p.m. The third train will leave from Yelahanka at 7 a.m.
E. Vijaya, chief public relations officer of SWR, said the schedule is subject to approval from the Railway Board. “The schedule was prepared after consulting airport officials. The proposed timings will cater to peak hour traffic,” she said.
For the return journey, the trains will depart from Devanahalli at 6.30 a.m., 7.45 a.m. and 10.30 p.m.
“Prior to the lockdown, eight trains were operational on this line. A stoppage will be given for these trains at the newly-built halt station on the boundary of the airport campus,” she added.
Tickets are likely to be priced at ₹30 from Majestic and ₹10 from Yelahanka.
From KSR Bengaluru, the train will halt at major stations en route and the journey time could be as long as 1.15 hours.
“It is likely to come down when the final time table gets approval. We may skip some stations en route. Halts include Cantonment, Bengaluru East, Baiyappanahalli, Channasandra and Yelahanka. The service will help people living in the CBD and eastern part of the city, such as K.R. Puram and Whitefield,” said Ms. Vijaya.
Ever since the relaxation of lockdown rules, there has been a growing demand to resume suburban train services and introduce services to the airport. KIA has seen a gradual increase in passenger traffic.
“As a result, road traffic has increased. The halt station [near KIA] is ready but the authorities are yet to introduce services,” said Rajkumar Duggar, convenor of Citizens for Citizens.
Citizens have highlighted the need for a good access road from the highway to the halt station. “The authorities should develop Doddajala station so that local residents also get the benefit of the train services. Starting train services from multiple points in the city will help a large number of people,” Mr. Duggar added.
Citizen activist Sanjeev Dyamannavar pointed out that if the service takes off, it will benefit not just air passengers but also people working at KIA. He urged the government to build a robust suburban railway network. “In the absence of suburban trains, people are spending a lot of money on other modes of transport,” he said.