Line capacity on the Sakleshpur-Subrahmanya Road Ghat section under Mysuru division of South Western Railway (SWR) is all set to increase. The division with funds made available by the Hassan Mangalore Rail Development Corporation (HMRDC), that technically owns this line, has taken up work on the state-of-the-art signalling in the Ghat region at a cost of Rs 5.3 crore and this work is expected to be completed by September this year.
On completion, the line capacity will go up to 20 trains from existing 13, noted Aparna Garg, divisional railway manager addressing a virtual press meet from Mysuru on Wednesday (19th August 2020).
The work was sanctioned in the budget that chief minister B S Yediyurappa presented on March 5. It aims to enhance line capacity in the Ghat section between Sakleshpur and Subramanya Road stations with crossings provided at Kadagaravalli and Yedakumari stations.
The inter-locking and signalling works that have been taken up, will allow trains to be given precedence, Aparna said. Prior to lockdown, the division operated on an average 9 express passenger trains, 4.5 each on up and down lines respectively and an average of 4-5 goods trains. On completion of work, assuming the number of passenger trains remains the same, the division will be able to operate around 11 goods trains, she said.
Noting that HMRDC opened the Ghat section primarily to facilitate the movement of goods to and from the hinterland, Aparna said movement of additional passenger trains as sought by the local train yatri sanghas is a call for the Railway Board to take.
“As a division, we can forward proposals including one to restart trains between Bengaluru and Karwar via Mysuru that has since been cancelled, to the board and will act on their direction,” Aparna said.
Besides, introduction of new passenger trains along the ghat section also depends on the occupancy of the existing trains, operation of which has been suspended since the outbreak of the pandemic and are yet to resume, she said.
Incidentally, a senior official of HMRDC reacting to the budget proposal said “We are striving to introduce both freight and passenger trains in equal measure post this signalling improvement”.