The 138-km double railway line between Bengaluru and Mysuru in southern Karnataka was opened for traffic, an official said. “Completion of the 1.7 km stretch at Srirangapatna has enabled us to open the 138.3 km double line between Bengaluru and Mysore for operating express, passenger and goods trains on the route in the state’s southern region,” an official of the South Western Railway (SWR) told IANS. The doubling project got delayed and took 10 years to complete, as the railways had to shift the armoury of the 18th century Mysuru ruler Tipu Sultan, located on the 1.7 km stretch near the Kaveri bridge at Srirangapatna.
“The archaeological protected monument (armoury) was translocated by the US-based Wolfe House Building Movers in March,” recalled the official. The Commissioner of Railway Safety inspected the 1.7 km stretch of the double track on November 6 and authorised the SWR to operate the service. The delay also escalated the cost to Rs 991 crore or Rs 7.2 crore per km though the state government shared it as its contribution. Efforts are also on to electrify the entire route for reducing running time between the state’s official capital and its cultural capital by at least an hour from average three hours currently.
“Work is underway to complete electrification of the remaining 39 km stretch between Yeliyur and Mysuru to increase the travelling speed of all trains and operate more of them to meet the surging demand due to explosive growth in and between the two cities,” reiterated the official.
The railways also built new bridges for accommodating the twin tracks.
Besides two Shatabdi superfast trains to Chennai via Bengaluru, the zonal railway operates a number of direct express and passenger trains to Hassan, Hubballi and Mangaluru in the state and Chennai and Tirunalveli in Tamil Nadu, Tirupathi in Andhra Pradesh, Jaipur in Rajasthan and Ahmedabad in Gujarat.