Bengaluru launches first electric train service to Nandi Hills

The South Western Railway’s first electric train service in Bengaluru has been a hot topic of discussion among the city’s residents. The service aims to connect the city of Bengaluru with Nandi Hills, a popular weekend getaway, via the Devanahalli to Chikkaballapur route. This exciting development, which was launched on Monday, December 11, provides a new mode of transportation for locals and visitors alike.

The Mainline Electric Multiple Unit (Memu) trains have been extended to service this route, further enhancing the city’s public transport options. The decision to extend these services is a significant step towards a more sustainable and efficient transport system, which is expected to be of great benefit to the city’s residents.

Currently, Diesel Multiple Unit (Demu) trains such as 06387/06388 KSR Bengaluru-Kolar-Cantonment and 16549/16550 KSR Bengaluru – Kolar – KSR Bengaluru Demu make a stop at Nandi Station. From here, the Bhoganandishwara temple, nestled at the base of Nandi Hills, is a short 1.4 km journey. Siddharth Raja, a local history buff from Nandi Hills, suggests that the South Western Railway should focus efforts on reducing the extra 15-18km journey required to reach the top of Nandi Hills from the station.

The new morning Memu train from the city which is scheduled to arrive at Nandi halt station at 6:37 am, however, may not be early enough for those who wish to witness the sunrise at Nandi Hills, according to Manjuu Nair, a college student.

Rail campaigner, Rajkumar Dugar, suggests that the trains should also make a stop at intermediate stations such as Bettahalsoor. However, the South Western Railway has not yet agreed to halt at these stations due to a lack of personnel willing to manage these stations for a monthly salary of ₹1,500.

In the past, the South Western Railway organised a one-day tour package along the 108-year-old heritage train route connecting Bengaluru, Devanahalli, and Chikkaballapur. The package included visits to historical landmarks such as the Devanahalli Fort, the Adiyogi bust at Chikkaballapur (Isha Foundation), and the restoration of heritage stations. Plans to schedule trains for sunrise at Nandi Hills were also discussed. This new electric train service could potentially incorporate similar touristic elements, providing another layer of interest for those travelling on the route.