The much-awaited Sir M Visvesvaraya Terminal in Bengaluru will begin operations from Monday, June 6. The terminal, which is touted to have world-class infrastructure and is modelled on the Kempegowda International Airport, was completed over a year ago but the South Western Railways (SWR) had been awaiting a response from Prime Minister Narendra Modi for its inauguration. While the formal inauguration will take place at a later date, the first train — the tri-weekly Banaswadi-Ernakulam Express — will run at 7 pm on Monday from the new station.
The Visvesvaraya terminal is Bengaluru’s third railway coaching terminal, i.e., trains will originate and terminate trips from here. Two other trains — Kochuveli Bi-Weekly Humsafar Express on Fridays and Sundays, and the Patna Weekly Humsafar Express on Sundays — will also be operated to and from the station starting this week. As per the Times of India, the SWR plans to shift 30 pairs of long-distance trains to the Visvesvaraya station, including to Okhla, Patliputra, Gorakhpur, Allahabad, Tambaram, Shalimar, Hatia, Jaipur and Guwahati. The terminal has eight stabling lines and three pit lines to enable it to operate 50 trains daily.
The new terminal has come up at a cost of Rs 314 crore and has an area of 4200 sq metres to cater for a daily footfall of 50,000. It is touted to be India’s first centrally-air conditioned railway terminal, and has other amenities such as a waiting hall, a VIP lounge with a digital real-time passenger information system and a food court. It is also touted to be disability-friendly, with accessible waiting halls, braille signage and disability-friendly bathrooms.
The terminal, which was sanctioned in 2015-16 was supposed to be ready in 2018, but after missing several deadlines, was completed in March 2021. Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that the Sir M Visvesvaraya Terminal is the country’s third world-class terminal, after the Gandhinagar station in Gujarat and the Rani Kamlapati station in Madhya Pradesh.