Mangaluru, Feb 05, 2017: Kudla Express, the day train between Bengaluru and Mangaluru via Mysuru announced by the then Railway Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda, is now likely to be operated via Shravanabelagola by March-end. The move would drastically reduce the distance and time taken for the journey, from 447 km to 340 km and from 13 hours to eight-nine hours.
As per the timetable published in 2014, the yet-to-be introduced Train No. 16575 was to leave Bengaluru at 8.30 a.m. to reach Mangaluru Central at 9.15 p.m. and Train No. 16576 to leave Mangaluru Central at 6.30 a.m. to reach Bengaluru at 7.30 p.m. via Mysuru.
Subject to conditions
However, the re-routing of the train is subject to several conditions. The first being authorisation by the Commissioner of Railway Safety to operate passenger trains on the newly constructed Nelamangala-Shravanabelagola line. The second being availability of coaches to form the rake for the train and the third is concurrence by the Railway Board to change the route.
South Western Railway’s Chief Public Relations Officer E. Vijaya told The Hindu that the South Western Railway was planning to run the train via Shravanabelagola. Since the zone is facing shortage of coaches to form a rake, the process may take some time; but by March-end the train should run, she said.
Via Mysuru initially
R.L. Dias, president of the Railway Yatri Sangha, Udupi, who has filed a public interest writ petition before the High Court of Karnataka, seeking a direction to South Western Railway to run the train as announced in the budget, said that the zone has told the court that it would start the new service by March 1. Since its route and timetable have been published, South Western Railway cannot change it on its own and would initially have to run the train via Mysuru itself. Thereafter, the board’s concurrence has to be taken to re-route it, he said.
Ms. Vijaya also concurred and said that South Western Railway would have to solicit opinion from beneficiaries of the train. Since Mangaluru comes under Southern Railway and change in timings is involved, that zone’s concurrence too is required, she said.