One midnight in the early 1900s, Bharat Ratna Sir Mokashgundam Visvesvaraya heard an unusual sound while travelling by train. Understanding the gravity, he pulled the chain and stopped the train. When the railway authorities rushed to the compartment in which Visvesvaraya was travelling, calmly, yet firmly, he said: “A few metres ahead, there is a crack in the track. If the train passes over it, there can be a major mishap.”
Officials and travellers gathered around him in utter disbelief. “How would you know if there is a crack in the railway track? Are you playing the fool,” they asked.
But India’s greatest engineer very quietly asked them to check the tracks ahead and then get back to him. A few metres ahead, they found a big crack and the bolts loose.
This was the greatness of Dr Visvesvaraya who identified the problem by just resting his head on the train’s seat.
Today, Sir MV would certainly be proud of the sound of the trains chugging out of Bengaluru’s most sophisticated and hi-tech railway station in Byappanahalli.
Named after him, the station today stands as the most sophisticated railway station in the country.
The Byappanahalli terminal is the third major railway terminal in Bengaluru and the first air-conditioned one in the country.
Although the project has been delayed by a year, this Bengaluru’s first airport-like station will see the first train rolling out on Monday at 7pm. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to launch this station, however, the plans has been shelved for a later date.
South Western Railway (SWR) has given clearance to roll out three pairs of long-distance trains that were originating from Banaswadi railway station to this swanky new Sir MV terminal.
Spread over 4,200 square metres, this station is expected to cater to a daily footfall of over 65,000 people per day.
SWR officials told News18 that the seven platforms, apart from the eighth stabling line and three pit lines, will be beneficial for smoother functioning of the station. On a daily basis, the railway station can handle 50 trains.
This terminal was sanctioned in 2015-16 and the work was completed in March 2021.
When asked about the delay, E Vijaya, Chief Public Relations Officer, South Western Railway, clarified that there was no delay as such. The yard was operational for the past one year, catering to cleaning and maintenance of train rakes. It was decided that starting of passenger services shall be done once optimum road connectivity to the railway station is put in place.
“This is one of the newest stations with state-of-the-art facilities. We wanted to ensure seamless movement of road traffic connecting to the terminal. We worked very closely with the BBMP to build connecting roads to improve the road access to the new terminal,” Vijaya told this reporter.
Two other stations, Habibganj in Mandya Pradesh and Gandhinagar in Gujarat, were also upgraded with centralised air-conditioning and facilities.
“Sir MV terminal is a greenfield station, the first-of-its-kind. The other two stations in MP and Gujarat are brown field stations. Brown field stations are those that are already existing operational stations that were upgraded or redeveloped, whereas ours is a brand new station built from the scratch, complete with one of the biggest yards in South India with state-of-the-art electronic interlocking signalling system,” she said.
“We have tried to make travelling a pleasant and comfortable experience for our passengers, with modern architecture, aesthetic illumination, beautiful landscaping and environment-friendly features. Our endeavour has been to ensure that this terminal gives our passengers a world-class feel right in the garden city of Bengaluru,” she added.