The Kerala cabinet has given its approval for the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the Thiruvananthapuram-Kasaragod Semi-High Speed Rail corridor, Silver Line, which aims to cover about 529.45 km in four hours, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced on his Facebook page
DPR (detailed project report) for the project was earlier submitted by the implementing agency Kerala Rail Development Corporation Ltd (KRDCL).
KRDCL is a joint venture company formed by the Government of Kerala and Indian Railways. A 51 to 49 ratio equity partnership between the Government of Kerala and the Ministry of Railways, KRDCL aims to develop Railway infrastructure in the State of Kerala.
KDRCL had engaged Paris-headquartered company Systra to prepare a DPR (detailed project report) for the Kasargode-Thiruvananthapuram High Speed Rail Corridor.
SYSTRA is an international engineering and consulting group specialising in rail (passenger and freight) and public transport. It provides planning, design, project management and supervision services for transport systems, urban infrastructure, residential, commercial and industrial real estate.
With the Kerala cabinet giving the green signal to the DPR, it will now go for the approval of Railway Board, NITI Aayog and the Union Cabinet. The project has already received in-principle approval from the Ministry of Railways.
The proposed 529.45 km Thiruvananthapuram-Kasaragod Semi High-Speed Rail (SHSR) corridor is envisaged to be built alongside the coastline traversing almost the entire length of the state and is estimated to cost over Rs 63941 Crores. The project is expected to be completed in five years.
The high speed train corridor will have stations at Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Chengannur, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Cochin Airport, Thrissur, Tirur, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasaragod.
The Railways is planning to operate semi-high speed trains, which travel at a speed up to 200 kmph , on this corridor.
In order to minimise the land acquisition challenges, HSR lines will be laid through areas with low population density in 15-25 metre width, so as to limit the acquisition of land to the minimum.
The high-speed corridor will also run short distance trains that will facilitate local travel between major cities and suburbs. The corridor is expected to reduce the journey time from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod from 12-15 hours to 4.5 hours.
The existing railway line between Thiruvananthapuram and Kasaragod is highly saturated and due to sharp curves and older alignment, the average sectional speed of Mail/Express trains are limited to 45 Kmph.
KRDCL has also engaged Hyderabad-based GeoKno India Private Ltd to carry out the survey of the proposed Thiruvananthapuram-Kasaragod Semi High-Speed Rail (SHSR) line. GeoKno had conducted similar surveys for Ahmedabad-Mumbai Bullet Rail Line.
KRDCL recently received clearance from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for conduct of aerial survey of the proposed SHSR line.