The South Western Railways zone was formed from the merging of the reorganized Hubli division of the South Central Railways with the Bangalore and Mysore divisions of the Southern Railways. It came into existence on the 1st of April, 2003 and serves parts of Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Goa and Maharashtra.
It is headquartered at Hubli in Karnataka. The South Western Railways also contain the Carriage Repair Workshop at Hubli and the Railway Workshop at Mysore that perform periodic repairs and maintenance.
The Bangalore division headquarters is located in the city of the same name, and has 79 stations across Karnataka, Tamilnadu and Andhra Pradesh. It is a passenger-oriented division with 65 express trains, 56 passenger trains and 4 rail bus services. It also includes a Diesel Loco Shed at Krishnarajapuram.
The Hubli division is a passenger oriented one as well. Hubli is the headquarters of the South Western Railways, and the division also covers Hospet and Bellary.
The Mysore division is headquartered in the historic city of Mysore and has gained a reputation for a high degree of efficiency in the South Western Railways zone.
The divisions of South Western Railways abound in tourist destinations such as Hampi, Bijapur and Badami in the Hubli division, Lalbagh Botanical Gardens and VidhanSoudha in Bangalore, and the city of Goa that needs no introduction to Indians and foreigners alike.
The city of Mysore is also very popular with tourists, and is inundated with a lot of additional passenger traffic especially during the time of Dussehra. This zone runs an average number of 128 Mail and Express trains a day including 6 Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Janashatabdi Express trains, which helps it to cater to long distance traffic from all ends of the country.
The South Western Railways also use a Freight Operations Information System to computerize and manage all freight related operations of the zone.
The Bangalore City Station is a very modernized one with all the required passenger amenities such as a Computerized Reservation Office, cloak rooms, waiting rooms, tourist centre and prepaid auto services to name a few. The Customer Facilitation Centre also contains security personnel to take care of the security aspect for passengers.
The Bangalore division has also introduced some innovations such as video monitoring and multi channel communication at accident sites, which really helps with disaster management. As this division is high on tourist traffic, it also provides special quotas on important trains for foreign tourists that can be availed by purchasing IndRail passes using foreign currency. These need to be booked 360 days in advance as well.
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