By: Pune Pulse
December 6, 2023
Pune: Starting December 11, Bengaluru residents will have the option to travel to Nandi Hills, a popular weekend destination about 60 km from the city, in an electric train.
South Western Railway (SWR) has decided to extend the operation of MEMU (Mainline Electric Multiple Unit) trains on the airport route from Devanahalli to Chikkaballapur.
The trains are 06531/06532 Bengaluru Cantonment-Chikballapur-Cantonment, 06535/06538 Chikkaballapur-Bengaluru Cantonment-Chikkaballapur, and 06593/06594 Yesvantpur-Chikkaballapur-Yesvantpur.
As per the information provided, the electrification of the Yelahanka-Chikkaballapur route was completed in March 2022. However, the introduction of electric trains has been delayed due to various reasons. Currently, Nandi station serves trains such as 06387/06388 KSR Bengaluru-Kolar-Cantonment Diesel Multiple Unit (DEMU) and 16549/16550 KSR Bengaluru-Kolar-KSR Bengaluru DEMU.
As per the information received, the distance between Nandi Station and the Bhoganandishwara temple at the base of Nandi Hills is approximately 1.4 km. To reach the summit, an additional 15-18 km must be covered. The lack of transportation options from Nandi Halt train station significantly hampers its practicality for work or leisure.
Additionally, SWR prioritizes efforts to reduce travel time. The SWR also noted that extending services to Chikkaballapur would benefit students, farmers, and visitors planning to see the 112-ft Adiyogi bust at Chikkaballapur (Isha Foundation). However, these trains do not stop at stations like Bettahalsoor, Doddajala, and Channasandra.
As per reports, SWR has partnered with the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) to restore three heritage stations along this route: Doddajala, Devanahalli, and Avatihalli. The restoration work at Nandi halt will be completed within two months. Once finished, a train will operate early in the morning for visitors to witness the sunrise at Nandi Hills.