The high speed rail connectivity project between Bengaluru and Mangalore planned by the Government of Karnataka may face challenges as there is a deep slope between Sakleshpur and Subramanya Road on the planned route. The current passenger trains which run on the said route take about two-and-a-half hours to cover the 55-km stretch, with two locomotives used.
According to sources, if the government is considering on high-speed trains, then it would have to plan for a new route. A proposal of new route—laying of a line via Nandikur, Karkala, Ujire, Charmadi and Mudigere, which could be linked to the ongoing construction of Sakleshpur-Kadur line—has been submitted to the Railway Board. The line could then be linked to Mudigere-Belur line, which could take high-speed trains between Bengaluru and Mangalore.
The state government has planned this high speed rail network to connect Bangalore with Mysore, Kolar and Hubli in April this year. But, with the Ministry for Infrastructure announcing the formation of new infrastructure policy the proposed big investment projects may face challenges.
Hassan Mangalore Rail Development Company Ltd, the SPV, floated to undertake gauge conversion of the line, has entered into a tripartite agreement with the Railways and the state for freight services. According to sources, even this would limit the movement of passenger trains on the line, as any new lines to be laid on the route to be commenced with the consent of the HMRDC.