Bangalore has a local train option!!!

Was chatting with a pal of mine who works on the Outer Ring Road (ORR) - his office is right behind the JP Morgan building. This guy lives in Fraser Town, and has started driving recently (a biker all his adult life so far - rides a Pulsar and a scooterette as well) and started feeling the stress that accompanies driving in the city.

What he told me totally took me by surprise - apparently he tried out a train from Bangalore East - which is close to his home - to Krishnarajapuram and then took a BMTC bus to his office. Saved money, time and huge amounts of stress! Even more surprising - it seems a lot of folks who work on the OMR (Old Madras Road) and live anywhere along the railway line - Cantonment, Bangalore East, Byapanahalli, etc - take this option regularly with the last leg on foot/bus. Fare to KJM - 2/- :) Time : 10 mins flat!

Found an appropriate map with the tracks and localities marked along that route.

I guess it can actually work for a whole lot of people who travel to the OMR/ORR/Whitefield area, and we're not even talking about extra expenditure on a Metro etc.

One "downside" he mentioned is that one needs to plan a little in advance, there's a train approximately on the hour! Hey thats not bad at all. even in a car or on a motorcycle we end up trying to factor in traffic conditions and plan leaving home at certain hours to beat the rush. Whichever mode of transport you use, there's a little bit of working around its mechanics and optimization one learns in a week or so.

I'm thrilled that existing railway infrastructure is being used by commuters, and that many cars are effectively being kept off the roads. The trains are quite empty though at least a few dozen people use them already - so go ahead and try this option as well. At least from KJM there are buses along the ORR every couple of minutes. I'm nor certain but Whitefield Station may work well too for that area, or KJM might have buses going there.

Now all we need is a few pull-push services on the same tracks including connections to other parts of B'lore railways network, and integrated ticketing with the BMTC. Tall order, given that a central and a city organization will need to collaborate on this, but from the positive action I've heard about from BMTC's end, it's definitely not impossible :)'

[ Addendum : while I'm dreaming, a bike park-rent station at KJM/Whitefield would rock for the office goers in that area. Train + ride. Maybe even a cycle-carriage on the train itself, someday ? ]

[ Even more : followed the tracks around Bangalore even more. Its all connected! The univ - BSK - City - Malleshwaram - Yeswantpur - Hebbal - East/Cantt - OMR - Whitefield - Banaswadi - Bellandur - Sarjapura Road - Chandapura. Oh the possibilities! 5-6 3 rake trains going around continuously will solve a lot of pain. Just ensure good bus connections and it'll cover a lot of this city. ]

8 comments:

shreelesh kumar said...

"The trains are quite empty though".. I'm surprised that its existed all this while in the city and no one has discovered it yet. Worse, the successive governments have ignored this option.

Big Foot said...

neat! I'm surprised this news hasn't caught on at all! Trains are massively massively efficient ... fuel consumption, passenger volume, speed, pollution ... in every damn way!

Sids said...

A cycle-carriage on the train would be awesome! Maybe someone with some influence should try to get such a thing done for the upcoming Metro!?

sameer said...

@sids - opportunity to voice this and more at the workshop on Sat - http://rideacycle.org/?page_id=53

Sids said...

Ah, the cycling workshop does seem like a nice opportunity for such a thing. Unfortunately I won't be in town.

Glifford said...

Thanks Sameer for picking up on what I told you yesterday. I hope many readers of your blog try it out and actually begin using it.

I myself am planning to begin using it.

Well some more details.

Bangalore East <-> Krishnarapuram (one way) is Rs. 2 (lower than a platform ticket!!!) on a normal passenger train or Rs. 24 on a Mail/Express train. Either way, way cheaper and faster than any other form of transport.

Bus fare from Krishnarajapuram <-> Kadabeesanahalli (J. P. Morgan, Prestige Tech Park) one way is
20 on a Volvo
15 on a Suvarna
maybe 10 or cheaper on Pushpak or regular class (blue) buses.

Still works faster and cheaper than even the (motor)bike or scooter.

And finally, how do you plan your journey? This is what I do. Some time before leaving, I just check the current train status on:

http://www.trainenquiry.com/PassingThroughTrains_Display.aspx?sel_val=KJM+&queryDisplay=KRISHNARAJAPURM,+KJM+&time=24&name=&code= (for Krishnarajapuram) or for others search here: http://www.trainenquiry.com/PassingThroughTrains.aspx

Then plan accordingly considering about 20 mins for a bus ride from my office to KJM. Simple!

Maybe you should update the post with your links. And yes!

These trains are regular up-country trains. Not local trains. But nothing stops us from using them as such as long as we pay the fare and it stops where we want (Mail/Express have reserved compartments which you may choose to use, but not legal).

And yes, IT (or new economy) guys/gals are not the only ones who use it. Many sales people (the credit card types) and courier boys regularly travel to Whitefield station. This is from the conversations I managed to eavesdrop when sitting in these sparsely filled compartments!

We said...

Hi,

Yes, train option is really good. I used to stay in Hoodi as it was near to my office. But whenever I want to go to city and travel further, I would prefer taking a train from KR puram to City central which hardly takes me 30 min. I do the same when returning back. Its work paying Rs 2 or Rs 25(super fast) to avoid autos or any traffic surprises in bangalore.

Other good news is, There is a plan to run more trains between Bangalore city, Kengeri, Yeshwanthpur, KR pura, Whitefield, Yelahanka, Devanahalli in near feature. I think the plan is already done, only the start dates has to be announced. Hope to see in this Railway budeget. Thanks to Muniyappa who is taking good interest for these things..and ofcourse thanks to BJP who pressurises Muniyappa for these things.

Regards
Sreenivas.

Sajil said...

All,

there is already work( lobbying ) happening by citizens to use existing tracks and run local trains..

See the details in below link and join them if you wish
http://praja.in/nammarailu