Thursday, 24 Aug, 3.02 am

Connectivity gaps before Baiyappanahalli terminal

The city's third railway terminal in Baiyappanahalli could eventually decongest the Yeshwanthpur and Bengaluru City stations. But before the terminal's scheduled launch late next year, the railway infrastructure around the area requires a hyper-upgrade in sync with the original purpose: Decongestion.

A single track currently links the Baiyappanahalli Goods Yard - the area identified for the terminal - with the Baiyappanahalli railway station. This link, less than 500m, should be doubled or quadrupled to ensure seamless exit and entry of trains to and from the terminal. More tracks will ensure that the busy City-Chennai line is left largely undisturbed.

But trains on the Chennai line get stranded at Baiyappanahalli station for another reason: An unfinished Road Over Bridge (ROB) stuck due to a land issue between the Defence and Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). Road commuters use the Old Baiyappanahalli railway gate, delaying trains at the station.

To further ease the congestion on the Chennai line once the terminal comes up, a third track has been proposed between Baiyappanahalli and K R Puram railway stations. Space is not a constraint for this. But, as urban rail analyst Sanjeev Dyamannavar points out, the issue is with the Road and Rail Over Bridges over tracks approaching the Baiyappanahalli station.

The ROB near the Metro station is too narrow and stands on wall-type structures that take up much space. Rebuilding the bridge on pillars will allow more tracks. This is also the problem with the rail over bridge where the Hosur line cuts across the Chennai line.

Sharp gradient
Trains heading to the new terminal from Hosur side will move on the track that branches out to the left from the main track leading to Banaswadi and Yeshwanthpura terminal. However, the gradient is sharp and the 300m track towards Baiyappanahalli station is linked to the main Chennai line.

Effectively, this leaves trains on the Hosur line stranded at the gradient. Solution: Reduce the gradient and extend the track all the way to the station and beyond towards the terminal. This would leave the Chennai line undisturbed.

Dec 2018 launch
The new terminal is expected to be operational by December, 2018 with three platforms. Three more platforms will be added in the subsequent year. This would enhance the terminal's capacity to handle 50 to 60 trains.

Again, there is an issue with trains heading to Baiyappanahalli from Yelahanka through the Channasandra line. The 500m track from Channasandra to Baiyappanahalli is not doubled. Electrification of this line along with the Hosur line, says Dyamannavar, will have to be completed to maximise the terminal's utility.

* Doubling track from Baiyappanahalli station to terminal

* Reducing gradient of track from Hosur line

* Upgrading Road Over Bridge and Rail Over Bridge near Baiyappanahalli station.