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Mangaluru’s second train tunnel, near Kulashekara, is set to open in March

The line between Mangalore Junction and Panambur stations will be doubled after the second tunnel is completed. The Railway Minister announced line doubling in the 2014 Railway Budget. The project, however, was substantially delayed due to several issues, including difficult terrain, a change in the contractor, and landslides.

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The track laying on the 600-odd-meter length will begin in the first week of February and be completed in a fortnight. The completion of track doubling is expected to relieve congestion at Mangalore Junction, but the railways plan to use both tunnels by May of this year. Due to significant rail traffic, it is currently not possible to close the existing tunnel.

Once both tunnels are operational, hopefully by May, traffic congestion in the region is expected to be reduced by 20%. It would facilitate the easy and faster dispatch of trains between the north and the south. Another bottleneck on the stretch, the road over the bridge on Bondel-Vamanjoor Road, was recently cleared.

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