Semi-high-speed rail to take a new track

The Kerala Railway Development Corporation Ltd. (KRDCL) has revised the alignment of the 531-km semi-high-speed railway line from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod as demanded by the State government to lay the third and fourth railway line parallel to the existing double line.

With this, the initial 300 km of third and fourth railway line from Kochuveli in the capital to Thrissur will also be mostly parallel to the existing railway track.

From Thirunavaya to Kasaragod, it will be parallel to the existing line with railway bypasses at Vadakara and Thalassery as proposed in the feasibility report submitted by a Paris-based engineering and consulting group Systra, the general consultant of the KRDCL.

The proposed new alignment will be 80% parallel to the existing tracks up to Thrissur and 90% from Thirunavaya to Kasaragod. The curves in the initial 300-km corridor will have to be straightened to lay the high speed railway line. Minister for Public Works G. Sudhakaran had suggested the revision of the alignment when the feasibility report was submitted.

Special purpose vehicle

KRDCL, the special purpose vehicle set up to execute ‘viable’ projects on a cost-sharing basis between the State and Railways, has submitted the revised alignment to the government for approval. Official sources told The Hindu that the approval of the government is awaited for the alignment to go ahead with the preparation of the Detailed Project Report (DPR). The KRDCL board had already approved the feasibility report prepared by Systra that had found the semi-high-speed railway line traversing through 11 districts ‘feasible and financially viable’. The report has put the estimated cost of the project at ₹56,000 crore, including cost of land acquisition.

“The revised alignment does not make much changes in the extent of land (1200 hectares) to be acquired. But, the cost of land acquisition will go up as developed areas will have to be acquired again,” sources said.

Once government approval is received, the KRDCL can forward the feasibility report to Railways and go ahead with the detailed traffic study, soil investigation and environment impact assessment study, sources said. Semi-high-speed trains will move at 130-180 km per hour to cover the north-south rail corridor from Kochuveli to Kasaragod in four hours. Air-conditioned train sets on the lines of the newly introduced Train 18 have been proposed.

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Printable version | Jun 16, 2021 10:38:22 PM |

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