Non-stop Duronto train between Bangalore and Howrah soon


Bangalore: Indian Railways will operate a Duronto (quick service) train between Bangalore and Howrah in West Bengal soon.

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“I am gifting the people of Karnataka a non-stop Duronto express between Bangalore and Howrah (a distance of 1,962 km). The service will begin soon by the South Western Railway,” Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee announced here Tuesday.

On her maiden visit to India’s tech hub after becoming the railway minister for the second time, Banerjee flagged off three new trains introduced in the zone from the city railway station.

The first train (a daily) is an inter-city express between Bangalore and Shimoga, the home district of state Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, about 270 km from here.

Banerjee flagged off the other two trains — Yesvantpur-Mysore Express and Yesvantpur-Solapur Golgumbaz (tri-weekly) — remotely by pressing an electronic button, as Yesvantpur is located in the northern suburb, about 10 km from the city.

In her railway budget for this fiscal, the minister announced the introduction of 12 pairs of non-stop trains called Duronto service, primarily between the national capital and state capitals and between metros to facilitate quick travel.

The service is currently offered on weekly, bi-weekly or tri-weekly basis.

Later, when asked why she had not announced a Duronto service between Bangalore and New Delhi as passenger traffic was more on this north-south route, Banerjee said the demand would be considered in the next rail budget.

“Though we would like to introduce more Durontos, constraints such as non-availability of tracks and limited resources come in the way of such a fast service on many routes,” she said.

Responding to a demand of the state government, Banerjee said four trains would be extended soon.

The Bangalore-Hubli inter-city express will be extended to Dharwad, Mysore-Tirupati passenger train to Chamarajanagar and Puducherry, Bangalore-Mangalore express to Kannur in Kerala and Mumbai-Karwar to Mangalore on the west coast through the Konkan Railway.

The minister also announced that the railways would build a southern freight corridor after completing the ongoing eastern and western corridor projects to provide dedicated tracks for fast movement of goods across the country.

“We are also modernising 21 stations in the south western railway division this year, including eight in Karnataka. Multi-functional complexes will also be built in the railway land surrounding the stations.”