Some minor changes have been made by the cabinet to the alignment proposed in the DPR submitted by the Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited (K-rail), which is the implementing agency of the project.
Kerala semi-high speed rail corridor update: The Detailed Project Report of Thiruvananthapuram-Kasaragod Semi-High Speed Rail corridor or the Silver Line has been approved by the Kerala state government cabinet. The corridor named Silver Line aims to cover about 529.45 km between Thiruvananthapuram and Kasaragod in just four hours! At present, it takes around 12 hours to travel between the two cities. However, some minor changes have been made by the cabinet to the alignment proposed in the DPR submitted by the Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited (K-rail), which is the implementing agency of the project. According to a PTI report, the project’s feasibility report had proposed the line to pass through Mahe. But as per the changes made in the proposed alignment by the Cabinet, the line will be skipping Mahe, which is an enclave of Puducherry.
According to the report, the Silver Line stretch from Kasargod to Tirur will run parallel to the existing railway line, while the stretch from Tirur to Thiruvananthapuram will deviate from the current one. The stations for Silver Line will be developed at Thiruvananthapuram, Chengannur, Cochin Airport, Kottayam, Kollam, Ernakulam, Kannur, Tirur, Thrissur, Kozhikode and Kasaragod.
The project will involve an estimated cost of Rs 63,941 crore. Now, the DPR will go to Railway Board, NITI Aayog and the Union Cabinet for approval and the project is likely to be completed in five years. The Kerala semi-high speed Silver Line project has already received the in-principle approval from the Railway Ministry.
The trains on the two-lane greenfield corridor will be able to run up to a speed of 200 km per hour. The trains on the Silver Line will be starting from Thiruvananthapuram and reach Kasaragod in four hours, covering a 529.45 km distance through 11 districts. Between the busy Thiruvananthapuram-Ernakulam stretch, the running time will be of one-and-a-half hours.
The project will generate plenty of direct and indirect job opportunities. Also, it will reduce the dependence on road traffic, thereby saving fuel cost. The project is also expected to decongest the roads and reduce road accidents sharply. Moreover, the problem of atmospheric pollution will be addressed. The Silver Line project will also boost tourism, which is a major source of income for Kerala.