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Majestic to Whitefield by Train


It’s yet another usual day in Bangalore city with traffic snarls at all major business hubs. Somewhere between KR Puram and Whitefield Railway Station, behind one of largest housing complexes of the city a passenger train bound to Arakonam comes to a screeching halt at an unscheduled stop. Utilizing the micro stoppage, dozens of decently dressed people mostly from IT background, get down and start walking towards their workplace by hiking on and around the railway tracks. Whereas, the typical travellers in the train will be wondering by having question mark expression on their faces .. have these people have gone crazy ? what're they up to ?

Actually, the effort of mini-hiking is negligible in comparison to positives i.e. reaching workplace with just an hour ride from Majestic(SBC), by-passing all notorious traffic bottlenecks Kundanahalli, Marathahalli, Richmond, HAL and Graphite-India. If you can’t believe here’s the GPS log captured during train travel from Majestic to Whitefield. Distance=23.3 km, Time=42 mins, Max Speed=127.6kmph; the stats which is impossible to emulate when you travel by road between Majestic-Whitefield :)


It’s the frugal transport system followed by techies who reside around Majestic and work in Whitefield. Due to inept town planning by local administration, the commute time by roads from heart of the city to Whitefield has increased 2x times over last 2-3 years. The authorities planned for IT hubs but forget to create livable residential hubs. And the people residing in old and traditional localities have no option to make "long commute" part of their life. 


The frequency of trains from Majestic to Whitefield and vice versa are limited, no complaints as they're meant for long distance travel. There’re only three trains in morning from Majestic (Bangalore City Station, SBC) i.e. Chennai Express at 8.00 am, Arakonam Passenger at 9.20 am , Bangarpet passenger at 9:45 am. In cliched terms, there’s no perfect option ! For catching 8.00 am train you need to rush from your home at a time when majority of people in your locality (around Majestic) would be snoozing their alarms and BMTC buses won’t be reliable for reaching railway station on time. But if you manage reach the station on time then you’re ensured to be in Whitefield Station(Kadugodi) by 8.45 pm. However, the scenarios are different for 9.20 am and 9.45 am trains. There will be a bus every 5 mins which will take you to SBC station on time but problem is that you will manage to reach office by 10.30 am (best case) that too after hiking on the railway tracks. If you want to avoid hiking then you need to get down at Whitefield Station and then take a bus from Kadugodi towards ITPL/EPIP and you will waste your precious 30 minutes and manage to reach office around 11.00 am (best case). And for obvious reasons you’re bound to be greeted through raised eyebrows from your colleagues !

Train Option Pros Cons
Chennai Express at 8.00 am * Possibility of reaching your office by 9.00 am (best case)

* Lack of reliable first mile connectivity (early in morning) from localities around Majestic.
* No option of getting down at SGW
* No back-up option. If you miss this train you either opt for 2.5 hrs bus ride from majestic or wait for next train at 9.20 am
Bangalore-Arakonam Passenger at 9.20 am * Very difficult to miss this train
* Option of getting down at SGW
* Unreliable w.r.t. timings. Sometimes gets delayed by 30-40 minutes
Bangarpet passenger at 9:45 am * It's an EMU train. Can make up the delays with swift acceleration/deceleration * If you choose to get down at Whitefield then you can reach office by 11.30 am (best case).


On top of all pros and cons you will have a peaceful ride to office, inhaling fresh air most part of the journey. Best moment in morning would be experiencing cool breeze between Bangalore East and KR Puram station which is rarity when you’re on roads, even in an AC bus/car. In evening, for getting to Majestic from Whitefield there’re limited options as well.

Train Option Pros Cons
Arakonam-Bangalore Passenger at 5.50 pm * Takes you Majestic by 6:45 pm(best case) and 7:00 pm(worst case)
* Option of boarding at SGW
* Reliable most of the times. Can’t recall any day where it has arrived/departed more than 15 mins late at/from Whitefield
* Very difficult to catch. One needs to leave desk by 5:00 pm
Chennai Express at 7:00 pm * Can catch this train by leaving workplace at 6:15 pm * Unreliable w.r.t timings. Usually it will be 15-20 mins and one day it arrived 1 hr 20 mins late.
* Sometime it gets stuck near Baiyappanahalli for 30 mins for allowing 2 trains from Salem side to proceed ahead.

However, all the cons can be ignored after having looking at impressive stats on a Friday evening, that too on a day before holiday weekend. Distance=23.3km, Duration=56 mins, Max Speed=102 kmph !


Let's analyze this frugal public transport through Cost, Time and Convenience

  • Cost: Excellent. One-way fare on a passenger train is Rs. 4 10 only :)
  • Time: Above average. Even though actual transit time is very less, delay in trains, first and last mile connectivity increases overall time.
  • Convenience: Average. From one perspective you can have non-bumpy ride along with breathing natural air. But from a different angle, less frequency of train and occasional crowd in trains makes things inconvenient. 

Note:
  • All train timings are based new time table w.e.f 1st July 2012. 
  • SGWT is the official name of the platform-less unscheduled stop between KR Puram and Whitefield. Most passenger trains stop here for picking/dropping railway employees working at power sub-station.
  • Recent report from RITES on Implementation/Revamp of Commuter Rail System (CRS) in Bangalore looks promising. 
  • Namma Metro will take ages to touch Whitefield. It comes under phase-2 and recently BMRCL has started Geo-techincal survey at a few locations. 
  • In morning, Sanghamitra Express at 9 am is also a fair option but it doesn't stop at Whitefield Station. People working in ITPL/EPIP need to get down at KR Puram and take unreliable 500 DF/DG from the bus stop adjacent to KR Puram station.

Updates: 
  • The shared autorickshaws service from SGWT to ITPL back gate has been boon to fellow train travellers. Nowadays, close to 200-300 people get down at SGWT in morning !

What's others say:

23 comments :

  1. Vignesh8:02 PM

    good useful analysis Sandeep ! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. nice Useful Artcile!! Keep it up !!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Damn good. I took the bangarpet train. Surprised to know that it costs only Rs.4/- from City station to Whitefield.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous5:03 PM

    will the trains crowded r what???

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous8:22 PM

    its very good see,but its better to give update info..thanks

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for the account. I tried googling many times until I got this webpage. http://indiarailinfo.com/arrivals/136 gives a long list of trains - dont all of them stop at whitefield? I know only few of them are during evening times.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Also since most of the folks who take these trains are techies - I would appreciate if the following two can be done:

    (1) Create an android app that gives this info
    (2) it will be good if the app auto updates the actual train timings so that folks can leave at the right time
    (3) Have some kind of auto SMS service for folks who subsribe who get the train timings on their mobile by default every day

    ReplyDelete
  8. That's a good idea .. let's meet-up and work on this .. and hunt for an android developer among our namma-railu community :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous12:52 AM

    good to see that people in Bnagalore making us of the few services of Trains.
    What we need is dedicated suburban Trains running in all Six Directions in Bangalore.
    Currently this Project is pending with GOK and need to go to Railway Board to run dedicated services in Bangalore with approval of GOI
    Refer th following
    http://praja.in/en/nammarailu
    sanjeev

    ReplyDelete
  10. good to see that people in Bnagalore making us of the few services of Trains.
    What we need is dedicated suburban Trains running in all Six Directions in Bangalore.
    Currently this Project is pending with GOK and need to go to Railway Board to run dedicated services in Bangalore with approval of GOI
    Refer th following
    http://praja.in/en/nammarailu

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous12:42 PM

    If you see in the opposite direction, that is morning I am referring, there are 5 or 6 LOCAL trains,because the people there hav demanded it. But in the opposite direction, the trains that re mentioned. Only way to rectify is to create demand. Ask the administrators for more trains which may need more traks of course. Please follow the Praja.in also.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Nice writeup.
    Come join us here https://www.facebook.com/NammaRailu
    and more information here - https://www.facebook.com/NammaRailu
    We at Praja (praja.in) have been working hard to campaign in support of commuter rail.

    Namma-railu will be a reality soon.

    ReplyDelete
  13. thanks for invite. Good know know about Namma-Railu initiative. Please let me know when you people are planning for next face-to-face meet.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Rohit9:25 AM

    Wonderful analysis. Thanks for sharing. I was looking to get to Majestic (SBC) from EcoSpace RMZ. I'm looking to beat the typical Friday (headed to native) traffic. I'm guessing the nearest rly station would be KR Puram. Hows the connectivity to SBC from there?

    ReplyDelete
  15. thanks Rohit .. yes can try out taking a train from KR Puram beat Friday evening traffic .. The options are the same as mentioned in the post. Additional options from KR Puram are Sanghamitra Express at 7.30 pm and Lalbagh Express at 8:50 pm.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous10:19 AM

    What time does the 09:45 AM train from majestic reach KR Puram ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. around 10:15 am ( if it's running on time :) )

      Delete
  17. Sandeep, Very nice article. thanks for all the info.

    One question: My new job is at SJR I Park, opp. Saibaba Hospital..
    How far will it be from the train stations you mentioned. Also, if its far, then do we get auto rickshaws?
    Please let me know. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SGW is around 3 km, Whitefield(WFD) is more than 5 km. Yes autorickshaws are available. SGW is at a remote location. But nowadays, in morning many people call a few autos by mobile to pick them from railway track behind Shantiniketan.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous4:12 PM

    Hi Sandeep,

    Very nice of you to compile and publish all the information.

    Can I know if there are people who are using this option of travelling to ITPL from majestic railway station? I am struggling with 5 hours of travel everyday as I have to commute to GR tech park everyday and I stay 6 kms from majestic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes there're several people who using this option on a regular basis. If you can optimize first and last mile connectivity issues, you can save lot of time and energy :)

      Delete
  19. Anonymous6:57 PM

    Really True,

    very true description of the ground reality, hope we get good rail connectivity to itpl !!!!!!!!!!
    Lets do something to get the insenisible administration noticed on actual reality !!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. If Patna - Sangamitra express stops it will be really helpful. Can we all unite to get a stop in SGWT for Sangamitra?

    ReplyDelete

 
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