Railways
At present, there is only one daily train connecting the state capital and Hosapete, the gateway to Hampi.

A section of people living in Karnataka’s Ballari and Bengaluru, who have for long been demanding an additional train between Hosapete in the mining heartland and the state capital, took to Twitter over the last few days over the issue.

The citizens reiterated their demand after the much delayed re-introduction of a passenger train between Harihar and Hosapete on Thursday. The passenger train which connects Hosapete and Harihar via Kotturu is being launched 25 years after such a train last ran on the route. The Harihar-Hosapete train services were stalled since 1994 as the tracks between the two places were being upgraded from narrow to broad gauge, but trains could not be relaunched due to several technical issues and delayed infrastructural work.

The #hampibengaluruintercity hashtag was also trending on Twitter among the top 3 Indian topics for some time on Thursday.

 

 

 

According to regulars, the only train now connecting Bengaluru and Hosapete, Hampi Express, is always fully booked. With this, passengers are forced to rely on bus services, which usually cost double the train fare and are less comfortable. Other than this, there is the weekly Garib Nawaz Express and other interstate trains over the week that pass between the two cities.

Activists said that apart from benefitting regular travellers, an additional daily train will be a boost for tourism to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hampi. They also point out that the train can be launched easily as the tracks between Yelahanka to Dharmavaram have been recently doubled and electrified.

Users requested that the new train run via Ballari-Guntakal and Gauribidanur so as to benefit local businesses as well.

Krishna Prasad of the Karnataka Railway Vedike member (users forum) said, “There is a big demand for the train during daytime, as we all know Hosapete is a tourist gateway as people can go to Hampi and other places from there. And Ballari being an industrial hub with thermal power plants and mineral extraction units, there are a lot of business travellers between the cities. If the train is launched, it will benefit a lot of people.”

The Karnataka Rail Users Forum also cited a 2011 commercial justification report in which the Railways itself had found the additional train to be viable. The report had proposed the introduction of a Jan Shatabdi train connecting the two important cities