Cantt-Whitefield quadrupling project sanctioned Rs 493 crore

The quadrupling of the Bengaluru Cantonment-Whitefield railway line, pending for over 20 years, is set to become a reality with the railways sanctioning Rs 492.87 crore on Wednesday for adding two more tracks.

The original project, sanctioned in 1997-98, had proposed the quadrupling of Bengaluru City (Krantivira Sangolli Rayanna)-Whitefield section. But the scarcity of land between Bengaluru City and Bengaluru Cantonment stations and the high cost had put the entire project on the back burner.

“Though the Ministry of Urban Development subsequently recommended the Transit-Oriented Development of Krishnarajapuram and Whitefield stations involving (an) extension of Bengaluru Metro, it had been decided to drop the quadrupling project considering its non-viability,” a statement by the Press Information Bureau said.

Officials modified the proposal, limiting the quadrupling project to the Cantonment-Whitefield section, where the railways has the land. “One track will be built on either side of the existing two lines. The project will be taken up immediately and (is) planned to be completed within a period of two or three years. It will be a boon to the local public of Bengaluru, especially belonging to the IT hub of Whitefield area,” the ministry said.

Commuters and railway activists have been demanding additional trains on the Baiyappanahalli-Whitefield route for years. Traffic snarls on Old Madras Road and Whitefield Main Road after metro work began have frustrated people.

Railway officials had expressed helplessness in running more trains during peak hours, saying intercity trains have to be accommodated. On average, the route sees about 30 trains in each direction every day.

Thanks to the upcoming elections, the long-pending suburban rail project has been gathering momentum over the last few months, with the biggest boost being the announcement in the Union Budget approving the project at a cost of Rs 12,000 crore.

Cheer up! more trains will run soon

People travelling on the Cantonment-Whitefield route can look forward to more trains much before the line is quadrupled. The railways expects to fully automate signalling on the route by July to increase the carrying capacity of the tracks.

The automatic signalling system allows the railways to reduce the headway (distance between two trains on a single track). At present, a train gets the green signal only after its ensured the track is clear for the next 25 km as part of a safety measure.

“Theoretically, the automatic block signalling should reduce the gap between two trains from 25 km to a single digit. From a realistic point of view, the system will help in doubling the route capacity,” a senior railway official said.

The quadrupling of the Bengaluru Cantonment-Whitefield railway line, pending for over 20 years, is set to become a reality with the railways sanctioning Rs 492.87 crore on Wednesday for adding two more tracks.

The original project, sanctioned in 1997-98, had proposed the quadrupling of Bengaluru City (Krantivira Sangolli Rayanna)-Whitefield section. But the scarcity of land between Bengaluru City and Bengaluru Cantonment stations and the high cost had put the entire project on the back burner.

“Though the Ministry of Urban Development subsequently recommended the Transit-Oriented Development of Krishnarajapuram and Whitefield stations involving (an) extension of Bengaluru Metro, it had been decided to drop the quadrupling project considering its non-viability,” a statement by the Press Information Bureau said.

Officials modified the proposal, limiting the quadrupling project to the Cantonment-Whitefield section, where the railways has the land. “One track will be built on either side of the existing two lines. The project will be taken up immediately and (is) planned to be completed within a period of two or three years. It will be a boon to the local public of Bengaluru, especially belonging to the IT hub of Whitefield area,” the ministry said.

Commuters and railway activists have been demanding additional trains on the Baiyappanahalli-Whitefield route for years. Traffic snarls on Old Madras Road and Whitefield Main Road after metro work began have frustrated people.

Railway officials had expressed helplessness in running more trains during peak hours, saying intercity trains have to be accommodated. On average, the route sees about 30 trains in each direction every day.

Thanks to the upcoming elections, the long-pending suburban rail project has been gathering momentum over the last few months, with the biggest boost being the announcement in the Union Budget approving the project at a cost of Rs 12,000 crore.

Cheer up! more trains will run soon

People travelling on the Cantonment-Whitefield route can look forward to more trains much before the line is quadrupled. The railways expects to fully automate signalling on the route by July to increase the carrying capacity of the tracks.

The automatic signalling system allows the railways to reduce the headway (distance between two trains on a single track). At present, a train gets the green signal only after it’s ensured the track is clear for the next 25 km as part of a safety measure.

“Theoretically, the automatic block signalling should reduce the gap between two trains from 25 km to a single digit. From a realistic point of view, the system will help in doubling the route capacity,” a senior railway official said.

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