After years of sustained campaigning by rail activists in Bengaluru, the first train route to the Kempegowda International Airport will start functioning from Monday. With this, commuters will get the first non-road, faster alternative to reach the airport. One can board a train from the city and reach the airport halt station (situated at the edge of the airport boundary) at fares as low as Rs 10-15. A total of five trains will run between the city and the airport halt station for the next few months.
From City Railway Station the trains will leave once at 4:45 am in the morning and once at 9 pm in the evening. From Yehlanka, Yeshwantpur and Bangalore Cantonment stations—the trains will leave at 7 am, 8:30 am and 5:55 pm respectively. Similarly, the trains from the airport will leave at 6:43 pm and 10:37 pm for Majestic, and 6:22 am, 7: 45 am and 8:21 am from Yelahanka, Bangalore Cantonment and Yeshwantpur stations respectively.
The train timings by the South Western Railway have been fixed in consultation with the airport authority so as to primarily benefit hundreds of airport staff. From there, the Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), the company that manages the KIA will run shuttle buses to take the passengers to the terminal. All other options to reach the airport are way more costlier with bus tickets costing at least Rs 250 from most parts of the city and cab fares costing upwards of Rs 700.
By the end of 2023, another train line to the airport as part of the recently approved dedicated suburban rail project is also expected to be ready. That line is expected to run trains more faster and frequently. A proposed metro rail line project connecting the city and the airport is yet to be approved by the union government.
It was earlier reported that the halt station built with funding from BIAL in the Yelahanka and Devanahalli section had been ready for use since September. However like in many routes, the trains were not running since the imposition of lockdown in March 2019 in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.