The Indian Railways Monday began operating train services from Bengaluru city station to the newly built the Kempegowda International Airport halt station (KIAH).
The trains operated by the South Western Railways (SWR) will be from KSR Bengaluru City, Cantonment and Yelahanka stations. Tickets are priced between Rs 10 and Rs 15 for a one-way commute.
Announcing the same, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa tweeted, “Starting Monday, Bengalureans can take a train to Kempegowda International Airport, Devanahalli station. Trains will operate from Bengaluru city station to the newly built KIA, Devanahalli Railway halt station.”
According to SWR officials, as many as five trains will be operated linking the station for the next few months. While trains from KSR Bengaluru City will leave once at 4.45 am and 9 pm, other trains will leave from Yelahanka, Yeshwantpur and Bangalore Cantonment stations at 7 am, 8.30 am and 5.55 pm respectively.
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For the return journey, trains from the airport will leave at 6.43 pm and 10.37 pm for KSR Bengaluru, and at 6.23 am, 7.52 am and 8.26 am from Yelahanka, Bangalore Cantonment and Yeshwantpur stations respectively. “All these trains will operate six days a week except on Sundays,” an SWR official clarified.
Explaining the benefit of the train, SWR Chief Public Relations Officer E Vijaya said reaching Bengaluru airport from the city was always a challenge for air travellers as it was time-consuming. “Given the traffic scenario in Bengaluru and the ever-increasing number of vehicles, reaching airport on time was a real problem for many. The new halt station built jointly by Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) and SWR with new train services is expected to eliminate this problem,” she said.
Located on the outskirts near Devanahalli, the KIA is more than 35 kilometres away from the city’s Central Business District. The halt station is 3.5 kilometres away from the airport terminal which will be linked using shuttle bus services running on fixed timings to cater to passengers using the facility in both directions.
“This will go a long way in enhancing last-mile connectivity to Bengaluru airport, benefit lakhs of people and reduce the traffic congestion drastically,” Railway Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted.
The Station has a booking counter, concourse area, rest rooms with provision for passengers with reduced mobility, granite benches for seating, and drinking water facilities. “Based on usage and acceptance, the facility will be upgraded over time to cater to the travel needs of the public and employees,” a BIAL spokesperson said.
The total project cost has been pegged at Rs 3 crore. BIAL, the agency tasked with implementing the project, brought up the facility on a plot between Dodajala and Devanahalli stations, allocated by SWR.