Watch: Trains to KIA set in motion


The first set of trains finally moved towards Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) on Monday, thereby paving the way for people to avoid shelling out hundreds for bus and cab services.

The first train left KSR Bengaluru at 04.45 am and reached KIA Halt Railway Station at 6 am. Five pairs of trains will ferry passengers from various city stations to KIA halt station, which has come up on the existing Yeshwanthpur-Chikkaballapura rail line. The station is connected to the airport campus by a shuttle bus service, which is managed and operated by Bengaluru International Airport Limited (BIAL).

The train services have also increased the stoppage time from one to two minutes.

AK Verma, Divisional Railway Manager, said the tickets, which were currently priced at Rs 10 to Rs 15, could still become cheaper if one buys a seasonal pass. “The station should have been ready by July but was delayed due to covid. The service will help people who are working at the airport complex, logistic companies, courier services and other service agencies in the airport area too, besides air passengers,” he said. PC Mohan, Bengaluru Central MP, said this will greatly benefit around 28,000 employees working at BIAL. “While a cup of coffee costs Rs 20, the train tickets are cheaper than that,” he added.

The station is located on the north west corner of BLR airport campus with a 230-metre-long platform. It has a booking counter, concourse area and restrooms with special provision for passengers with reduced mobility. The timing and frequency of the shuttle service will be synchronised with the train timings. Airport authorities said based on usage, the facilities will be upgraded over a period of time.

(Clockwise from top) The newly inaugurated KIA Halt Station; shuttle bus service that connects the airport campus to the station; Ananda Murthy, who purchased the first set of train tickets to commute

The project has been a long pending one. Way back in 2014, BIAL, in collaboration with the Railway authorities, proposed the establishment of a suburban rail service to Bengaluru airport to the Government of Karnataka, recommending a halt station on the existing line that connects Yeshwanthpur to Devanahalli. This station is developed at a cost of Rs 4 crore, fully funded by BIAL. The operation and maintenance of this station will be done by the South Western Railway

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The Halt Station will be managed by Halt agents with Devanahalli Railway Station as the Nodal Station. In addition to this, the Railway authorities will also ensure the safety and security of users of the Airport Railway Station. BIAL will operate food and beverage outlets at the Airport Railway Station for two years.

BIAL sources said the Halt station will display a large mural on Indian dance form, made using mango crates and waste material. Titled Many Beats, One Dance, the mural has been crafted by members of FICCI FLO from Bengaluru. Led by Jyotika Kapoor, Chairperson FLO, a muralist for over 30 years, about 50 members came together during the pandemic to create six murals. They will depict dance forms like Kathakali, mudras and foot movements, using newspaper decoupage and tiles.

Srinivas Alavilli, of Janaagraha, who led the #ChukuBukuBeku movement, said Monday was a big day for Bengaluru “While we celebrate, we should not forget the fact that this train should have been since the beginning. It was an opportunity wasted for 13 long years, for no good reason. This route is not just about the airport but connecting lakhs of people in North Bengaluru. After projects like bus lanes, trains to the airport and the imminent expansion of Metro to Kengeri and Anjanapura, we can say that our city is now heading towards the right direction. It will get rid of the ‘bad traffic city’ tag soon”



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Sagar Biswas

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