The maiden run of the train from the Bengaluru City Railway Station to the Kempegowda International Airport started on Monday, much to the delight of commuters demanding the facility for over a decade. Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa joined many others to greet people on the occasion.
"Starting today, Bengalureans can take a train to the Kempegowda International Airport, Devanahalli station. The trains will operate from Bengaluru city station to the newly built KIA, Devanahalli Railway halt station," the Chief Minister tweeted.
Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers Sadananda Gowda too greeted people and expressed gratitude to the Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.
"Today, the local train service commenced between Bengaluru city & Devanahalli Halt Station connecting Kempegowda Airport. This crucial train link to a busy international airport reduces travel cost, time & energy drastically. Also decongests city roads. Thank you @PiyushGoyal ji," Gowda tweeted.
According to the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) of Bengaluru Ashok Kumar Verma, the train started at 4.45 am.
Lok Sabha member of Bengaluru-central P C Mohan accompanied the DRM in the maiden run.
" Member of Parliament Bengaluru Central P C Mohan accompanied the inaugural train from Bengaluru city railway station to the airport halt railway station starting its maiden journey from Bengaluru station at 4:45 AM. Thank you sir for constant support and guidance," Verma tweeted.
Mohan too expressed joy for being part of the maiden run. There was no rail link between the city and the airport though there was a railway line adjacent to the airport.
Various citizen groups had been demanding to improve mobility and a hassle-free journey from the city to the airport at an affordable cost.
According to the South Western Railway, three pairs of DEMU services would be introduced in the section from today.
The services would continue until further announcements, it said in a release on Sunday, adding that in addition to three DEMUs, Bengaluru Cantonment Bangarpet Yesvantpur DEMU and Yesvantpur Bangarpet KSR Bengaluru DEMU would run via KIAD Railway Station with a stoppage at KIAD.
Stating that Bengaluru International Airport Limited and South Western Railway have partnered to establish a Railway halt station near Kempegowda International Airport, it said in a tweet that this synergy would offer hassle-free, quick, environment-friendly commute to the airport and is bound to benefit thousands of passengers daily.
The train would be run only six days a week with no service on Sunday as for now.
The fare would be Rs 15 from the city to the airport.
Until now, people had been spending Rs 270 to travel by Vayuvajra, the special air-conditioned bus of the state-owned Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation.
Private cab operators were charging Rs 700 to Rs 1,200 for each trip.
With this rail service, one can spend a maximum of 45 minutes to reach the airport from Bengaluru city.