The Railway Board on Wednesday approved South Western Railway’s (SWR) proposal to divert Bengaluru-Karwar/Kannur-Bengaluru night express through the shortest route, via Kunigal and Shravanabelagola, four days a week.
The train would run via Mysuru, the present route, during the remaining three days. The diversion via Shravanabelagola reduces the travel distance by about 90 km. The rail-road distance between Bengaluru and Mangaluru Central is about 447 km via Mysuru, and about 357 km via Shravanabelagola.
This comes as a relief to people who had been demanding complete diversion of the train for faster commute between the State capital and the coast. A public interest litigation writ petition by Sanjay Revankar of Kadwad village, Karwar, is also pending before the Karnataka High Court.
Sources in the Railway Board and SWR confirmed about the approval of the diversion. SWR sources said advanced reservation for the train on Mysuru route has to be frozen immediately and the diversion date has to be decided considering the advance reservations already made.
The journey hours between Bengaluru and Karwar are expected to come down by two hours from the present 18 hours.
Sources in the Railways said there may not be any advancement in the arrival timing of the Karwar Express either at Mangaluru Central or Karwar. The train might have a delayed departure, at around 10.20 p.m. from Bengaluru. There could be some changes in the arrival timing of the train at Bengaluru, though its departure timings at Karwar and Mangaluru Central are likely to remain the same.
Opposition from Bengaluru Division
The Bengaluru Division (SBC) of SWR, from where an average of 620 passengers board Bengaluru-Karwar/Kannur Express every day towards Mangaluru and beyond, had stiffly opposed the zone’s proposal to divert the train to the shortest route.
The division had said the proposal was not feasible either technically or commercially. If the train is diverted via Shravanabelagola, maintenance of its rake, stabling it and shunting it back to the platform for departure becomes difficult. Many people’s representatives too have opposed the diversion as it is the only train from Mysuru towards the coast, the division had informed the zone.