When it comes to travelling, Railways always has upper hand over Roadways. Apart from ease and comfort of travelling, the cost of travelling the same distance by road is prohibitively expensive sometimes the fare being three to four times expensive than by train. So undoubtedly most prefer to travel by trains if given the choice.
With the intention of further increasing the passenger traffic, recently South Western Railway introduced three additional trains plying between Mysore - Bangalore and Yeshvantpur - Chennai .
Presently there are 19 pair of trains between Mysore-Bangalore-Mysore which includes two bi-weekly, one weekly and one six-days-a-week trains. A weekly express train to Howrah via Bangalore is also being introduced shortly. Of the 19 pairs of trains to Bangalore, five are ordinary passenger trains and all the remaining are either Fast or Super Fast trains.
In spite of all the good intentions of the Railways, what is distressing is that most of the train schedules of departure and arrivals does not help the daily commuters who are predominantly office-goers. It is very strange to note that the timings are badly assigned that office-goers reach Bangalore at odd hours either too late are quite early thereby wasting valuable productive time. Similarly the return timings for commuters travelling back to Mysore from Bangalore is also not properly scheduled.
The first train to Bangalore from Mysore leaves at 4.30 am in the morning followed by trains at 5.50 am, 6.45 am, 8.20 am,10.15am, 11.00am and at 12.10pm. While in the afternoon there are 12 trains leaving Mysore at 13.30, 14.15, 14.30, 15.45, 16.15, 17.00, 18.00, 18.30,19.00, 20.10,20.30 and 23.45.
On the other hand trains from Bangalore leaving to Mysore departs at 15.00, 16.25, 18.15, 19.00 and 20.35.
Almost the entire traffic of commuters travelling on these trains daily from Mysore to Bangalore are office goers who are employed in Bangalore but residing in Mysore. As most offices and industries open between 9am and 10.30 am, in order to reach their work places in time they have to be at the Bangalore Railway Station at least one hour earlier, if they have to again catch a bus and reach their office in the busy Bangalore traffic.
The train which departs Mysore at 4.30 pm reaches Bangalore at 7.40 am, while the 5.50 am train reaches Bangalore by 9.10 am and the 6.45 am train reaches by 9.40 am.
But there are 12 trains in the afternoon leaving Mysore to Bangalore and after 15.00 hours there is a train almost every one-and-half hour. For those planning to get back to Mysore after finishing their work in Bangalore at these times are greatly inconvenienced as there are no matching return trains from Bangalore.
To catch the 4.30 am train which departs from Mysore, there are no proper bus facilities in the morning and those who don't own vehicles have to pay hefty amount for the autos.
When Express sought the opinion of the daily commuters every one of them agreed that the service motto is good, but the timings are least commuter friendly. The unanimous demand was to delay the departure the 4.30 am train to 5 am and start the 5.50 am train early by 5.30 am. They further wanted to introduce one more train in morning to so that it reached Bangalore around 8.30 am which would be of great help to the commuters.
`The foremost thing to be done by the concerned Railway authorities is to first conduct a survey, collecting the opinion of the office-goers who frequent these trains daily and accordingly fix the train time-table, instead of doing it on a adhoc or heuristic basis,' says commuters.
Speaking to Express Dr Asha who travels daily by the 4.30 am train said that `the newly introduced trains are in no of any help to us. There are more number of trains reaching Mysore from Bangalore in morning which is of no use while in the evening it is opposite as the frequency of trains to Bangalore from Mysore is needlessly high serving no purpose.'
'More number of trains should ply in the morning times to Bangalore while in the evening it should be matched by return trains to Mysore. But presently what is happening is quite reverse and the commuters are put into hardships due to this improper railway timings,' she adds.
Another commuter Ajai who is working for a company in Chennapatna opines that `due to irregular train timings is causing great difficulties for us. If the railways can re-think on this and appropriately modify the train timings it will be very helpful. In the evenings we have to wait for 2 hours to catch a train and we feel bus is comfortable than train but, as we have parked our vehicles at the Railway Station we are forced to go by train.'
`I am studying in a college in Bangalore and my class starts at 9.30 am. Again from Bangalore to reach my college I need one hour. So if I catch 5.50 am train I will be late for my class while the 4.30 am train is too early. If the 5.50 train is departed at 5.30 am it will be very helpful,' said Sowmya.
Speaking to Express Railway Divisional Manager Anup Dayanand Sadhu said that `