Electric Train to Nandi Hills: New Ride from Bengaluru Starts December 11

Last Updated: December 08, 2023, 19:00 IST

Electric Train to Nandi Hills: New Ride from Bengaluru Starts December 11. (Representational Image)

Electric trains to Nandi Hills start Dec 11, offering a scenic ride. Challenges remain, but SWR plans heritage tours.

Starting December 11, Bengaluru residents can hop on an electric train to reach the scenic Nandi Hills, located just 60 km away from the city.

The South Western Railway (SWR) has decided to extend Memu (Mainline Electric Multiple Unit) train services operating on the airport route from Devanahalli to Chikkaballapur.

The decision to extend these trains, namely 06531/06532 Bengaluru Cantonment-Chikballapur-Cantonment, 06535/06538 Chikkaballapur-Bengaluru Cantonment-Chikkaballapur, and 06593/06594 Yeswantpur-Chikkaballapur-Yeswantpur, comes after the electrification between Yelahanka and Chikkaballapur finished up in March 2022. This electrification was completed earlier, but the introduction of electric trains was delayed for various reasons by the SWR.

Currently, Trains like 06387/06388 KSR Bengaluru-Kolar-Cantonment Diesel Multiple Unit (Demu) and 16549/16550 KSR Bengaluru – Kolar- KSR Bengaluru Demu make stops at Nandi station.

History buff Siddharth Raja from Nandi Hills expressed, “The absence of multi-modal public transport from the Nandi Halt train station to the sites is detrimental to any practical use of this train station, be it for work or leisure.” He suggests that SWR should focus on reducing travel time.

These extended train services are expected to benefit not only students but also farmers and visitors heading to the 112-ft Adiyogi bust at Chikkaballapur’s Isha Foundation.

However, some stations like Bettahalsoor, Doddajala, and Channasandra won’t have stoppages for these trains, which has drawn criticism. Rajkumar Dugar, a rail activist, expressed concerns about this, citing the low wages offered to station agents as the reason behind the lack of stoppages.

SWR had previously planned a heritage rail tour on the Bengaluru-Devanahalli-Chikkaballapur route, aiming to showcase historical landmarks and scenic spots. Kusuma Hariprasad, Additional Divisional Manager (Bengaluru division), revealed that restoration work for heritage stations along this route, including Doddajala, Devanahalli, Avatihalli, and Nandi halt, is underway. Once completed, there are plans to operate an early train for visitors to catch the breathtaking sunrise at Nandi Hills.

The Devanahalli-Chikkaballapur railway line holds historical significance, being the first railway network established by private enterprise during Sir M Visvesvaraya’s tenure as the Diwan of Mysore in 1915. Muddenahalli, Chikkaballapur, is the birthplace of Sir M Visvesvaraya, adding another layer of historical importance to this railway line.

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