Saturday, February 6, 2016

BENGALURU: The proposed suburban train service aimed to redress the city’s traffic woes came a step closer to being realised with the Banaswadi Railway Electric Multiple Unit (MEMU) shed getting the green signal.

For, this shed will be available to take care of all the maintenance aspects of these trains.

The shed has just been cleared by the Commissioner of Rail Safety and is all set to become operational very soon, said Divisional Railway Manager (Works) Lakshman Singh.

“This will mark a breakthrough for the Bangalore Railway Division on the maintenance side. Presently, Mainline Electric Multiple Unit (MEMU) trains have to be sent up to Avadi in Tamil Nadu for maintenance work,” he said. 

Also ready for commissioning is a second loop line running to a length of 700 metres.

Loop line refers to a railway track created for trains to be parked temporarily to permit crossing of an approaching train.

“This is a positive step for suburban train services as MEMUs are mostly used to run the network,” said a top official of the constructions division of the South Western Railway. There are presently just two pairs of MEMU trains running from the City Railway Station — to Kuppam and to Marikuppam in both directions.

“Apart from being eco-friendly compared to the Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) trains, the ability for speedy acceleration

right from ignition as well as cost-effectiveness are huge points in favour of MEMU trains,” said a top railway official. The availability of the shed will also pave the way for conversion of DEMU trains to MEMUs in future, he added.

DEMU Trains to MEMU

According to the operations department, the city presently runs five pairs of DEMU trains daily both ways between these railway stations. These trains could be gradually converted to MEMU.

“The Jolarpet and Yelahanka-Dharmavaram section have already been electrified and the Bengaluru-Mysuru section has completed 35 per cent of electrification. As electrification of tracks increase, we can contemplate introducing these electricity-based trains,” the official added. 

When asked about the possibility of an immediate increase in services, Divisional Railway Manager, Bengaluru Division, Sanjiv Agarwal, said there are no extra MEMU rakes as of now. “We have asked for more MEMU rakes to be provided. When that happens, we can increase the number of trips.”


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