The first electric train connecting Bangalore to Nandi Hills is set to commence operations from December 11, providing a convenient travel option for residents seeking to visit the popular tourist spot located approximately 60 km from the city. The South Western Railway (SWR) revealed its plan to extend MEMU (Mainline Electric Multiple Unit) train services between Devanahalli and Chikkaballapur along the airport route.
The upcoming electric trains slated to begin operations from December 1 are 06531/06532 Bangalore Cantonment-Chikballapur-Cantonment; 06535/06538 Chikkaballapur-Bangalore Cantonment-Chikkaballapur; and 06593/06594 Yeswantpur-Chikkaballapur-Yeswantpur. Electrification between Yelahanka and Chikkaballapur was completed in March 2022. However, SWR delayed the electric trains' launch due to various reasons, as reported by Moneycontrol.
Presently, trains like 06387/06388 KSR Bangalore-Kolar-Cantonment Diesel Multiple Unit (DEMU) and 16549/16550 KSR Bangalore-Kolar-KSR Bangalore DEMU make stops at the Nandi station.
Concerns have been raised about the lack of multi-modal transportation facilities connecting Nandi Station to the Bhoganandishwara temple at the foothills of Nandi Hills, a distance of approximately 1.4 km. Additionally, travelers need to cover an extra 15-18 km to reach the hilltop. Residents emphasized the need for buses and autos to facilitate practical use of the train station for both work and leisure. They also urged the SWR to consider reducing travel time.
Scheduled to arrive at Nandi halt station by 6:37 am, the proposed train's timing might not suit travelers aiming to witness the sunrise at Nandi Hills. However, it will be advantageous for those planning visits to the 112-ft Adiyogi statue at Chikkaballapur built by the Isha Foundation. Notably, the proposed electric train will bypass stations such as Bettahalsoor, Doddajala, and Channasandra.
Previously, the SWR had proposed a one-day tour package encompassing the Bangalore-Devanahalli-Chikkaballapur heritage rail route. The package aimed at restoring heritage stations, scheduling trains for Nandi Hills' sunrise views, visits to Devanahalli Fort, the Adiyogi bust at Chikkaballapur, and other historical landmarks.