With the Railway keenly pursuing a project to construct third and fourth tracks in the congested Ernakulam-Shoranur corridor and the Ernakulam-Thiruvananthapuram corridor, uncertainty prevails over the agency parting with its land for the SilverLine semi-high-speed rail corridor that was proposed by K-Rail.
This is once again in the spotlight in the wake of the Centre submitting before the Kerala High Court that K-Rail has not yet submitted technical and other details of the ₹63,794-crore SilverLine project to the Railway Board. The details that are awaited include those on the railway land that the project would require, the Centre said in its statement before the court.
Sources in K-Rail told The Hindu that all details sought by the Railway Board had been handed over to officials of Thiruvananthapuram and Palakkad railway divisions. “They ought to vet the details, including of the proposed alignment of SilverLine, and forward them to the Southern Railway headquarters, from where it ought to be sent to the Railway Board.”
Once that happens, the Centre ought to take a call on the project. For the time being, survey and allied matters related to SilverLine stand suspended, they added.
Meanwhile, Railway sources said a survey that was on for laying a third track in the 107-km Ernakulam-Shornur corridor was scheduled to conclude by October. “There is an urgent need for additional tracks on the stretch to speed up trains as in other States, since the capacity utilisation of the existing double track here and on the Ernakulam-Thiruvananthapuram stretch is over 120 %,” they added.
The Railway does not want clash of interests on its land, when the projects to realise the third track and, if needed, a fourth one are being pursued to speed up trains in the Thiruvananthapuram-Shoranur corridor, they said.