Despite demand, weekend train from Bangalore to Thiruvanthapuram yet to run: Bus operators gain…

There is a large Kerala based population in Bangalore and people have been demanding a train on the weekends to take them home and then come back after the weekend. Thus, a weekend train from Bangalore to Kerala was announced in Rail Budget of 2014-15.

However, it has yet to start leading to online petitions. Meanwhile, the bus operators are laughing their way to the bank:

A loss for the railways has been a huge gain for private bus operators. A new train leaving Bengaluru Cantonment station to Thiruvananthapuram Kochuveli was announced in the railway budget in 2014-15 much to the delight of frequent travellers to Kerala, but four years on — typical of the railways — the train is yet to be introduced.

The train No 22657/22658 was to run on weekends — leaving Bengaluru on Fridays and returning from Thiruvananthapuram on Sundays. It was even included in the railway timetable in 2015 and would have considerably eased the travel rush between the two states. However, with the train yet to be flagged off, private bus operators are laughing all the way to the bank.

Who knows may be the bus operators are lobbying to not start/delay the service.

ToI edit says if Railways was in private hands, these opportunities would not have been missed:

Timesview

The Union government has time and again staved off calls to privatize the country’s railways by suggesting that service — and not profit — is its motive. And yet it does a disservice to the legion of weekend travellers to Kerala by not introducing a train it had promised to run. In the bargain, it eschews profit, and that boggles the mind. The excuses it offers for not introducing the Bengaluru Cantonment-Thiruvananthapuram Kochuveli train are either lame or infinitely surmountable. It is obvious that a few individuals are holding passengers to ransom. Electrification and modernizing signaling are important, but it is also crucial to weed out the rot.

Interesting case of public monopoly vs private operators. Any surprises with who wins this one!

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