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Karnataka: After Expressway, SWR surveys for four-laned Bengaluru-Mysuru Railway line

The South Western Railway aims to upgrade twelve lines, including Bengaluru-Mysuru, to four tracks, easing passenger congestion and boosting freight transport. The ₹38 crore survey spans 24 months, targeting independent tracks for freight, passenger, and express trains. Challenges like land acquisition delay some projects, while experts foresee benefits like streamlined transportation and expanded train services.

Karnataka: After Expressway, SWR surveys for four-laned Bengaluru-Mysuru Railway line vkp
First Published Dec 12, 2023, 9:00 AM IST

In a bid to reduce passenger traffic and bolster goods transportation, the South Western Railway has initiated plans to interconnect twelve railway lines and construct four tracks, including the pivotal Bengaluru-Mysuru route. The project, currently in the final site survey stage, holds promise in reducing strain on road transport in the bustling Silicon City of Bangalore.

The ambitious venture, aimed at upgrading several crucial railway lines from double tracks to four tracks, awaits the green light after the final site survey and approval from the railway board. A top source from the South Western Railway disclosed that the extensive survey, estimated at a cost of ₹38 crore, encompasses twelve train pairs and four tracks, with a target to complete the survey within 24 months.

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The proposed four-track upgrades include the Bengaluru-Tumkur (70 km), Bengaluru-Mysuru (137 km), Ghatta region including Bangarapet-Jolarpetai (72 km), Hubballi-Hosapete (143 km), and Chamarajanagar-Mysuru (60 km) lines. Additionally, efforts are underway to transform existing single-track routes such as Hospet-Vyasa Colony (58 km), Hassan-Kunigal-Chikkabanavara (166 km), Ginigera-Raichur (166 km), and Vyasa Colony-Kottoor-Amaravati Colony (196 km) into four-lane tracks.

The necessity behind these expansions stems from the need for twin tracks, particularly between Bengaluru and Mysuru, to effectively manage the surge in passenger traffic. It presents opportunities to diversify train usage, allowing freight, passenger, and express trains to operate independently on separate tracks, thereby streamlining transportation.

Experts foresee substantial benefits in running Shatabdi and Vande Bharat trains on these upgraded tracks. Furthermore, railway specialists emphasise that the increased frequency of train services on these routes could significantly alleviate pressure on Bangalore's road transport network.

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However, challenges persist in projects like Ginigera-Raichur, Kuduchi-Bagalkot, Tumkur-Rayadurga, and Tumkur-Chitradurga due to prolonged delays attributed to land acquisition issues. Moreover, while expansion plans for routes like Itta Mysuru-Chamarajanagar and Mysuru-Hasana-Arsikere are essential, hurdles loom over the Hassan-Mangalore route, primarily due to concerns regarding land acquisition and environmental impact in the Ghat region of Subrahmanya and Sakaleshpur.

The impending final site survey addresses critical issues including land acquisition, bridge construction over rivers, identification of power lines, and necessary diversions for construction purposes. Subsequently, the South Western Railway plans to submit a comprehensive report to the Railway Board, detailing the nuances of passenger demand and freight volume, facilitating informed decision-making.

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