Just weeks away from operationalising a railway halt station at the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), the airport operator inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the South Western Railway (SWR) via video conference on Tuesday.
Signed by Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) and the SWR in the presence of Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi, the MoU puts an official stamp on the innovative model of financing for the halt station. Nearing completion, the halt station is being built by BIAL and will be handed over to the railways for operation and maintenance. “BIAL will provide free shuttle service from the halt station to the terminal and other parts of the airport, as per the schedule of the train services,” a spokesperson said.
The station is expected to offer a cheaper and faster rail alternative to bus connectivity to the airport. Thousands of airport workers, local villagers and even passengers are expected to benefit from the station and the trains to be introduced on the line later. Traffic on the airport road is also likely to be decongested once more trains are operated on the line.
Angadi had this to say: “There have been relentless efforts of all agencies of the state and central governments, and various stakeholders, including BIAL, working in tandem towards the dream of improving public transport infrastructure. This will boost our economy and facilitate growth.” SWR General Manager Ajay Kumar Singh said the railways was open to all innovative transport. The airport connectivity, he said, is a game-changer wherein road, rail and air are being networked for ease of movement.
BIAL Managing Director and CEO Hari Marar said the station was part of addressing the increasing need for seamless travel options to the airport, and facilitate optimal use of facilities at the KIA.