The Central government has given in-principle approval to semi-high-speed rail (SHSR) corridor worth Rs 56,443 crore from Kochuveli to Kasaragod. The 531.45 km distance will be covered in four hours.
With the clearance, the Kerala Rail Development Corporation (KRDCL), the special purpose vehicle (SPV) that executes viable projects on a cost-sharing basis between the state and the Railways, can commence preliminary works for SHSR that had already been cleared by the state cabinet in August 2019.
The Silver Line will be away from the existing rail line on the 300 km Kochuveli-Shoranur section and parallel to the existing line from Thirunavaya to Kasaragod with railway bypasses at Vadakara and Thalaserry. The third and fourth lines will traverse through 11 districts, except Alappuzha, Idukki and Wayanad.
KRDCL can make an initial investment of Rs 100 crore for the project and the state can initiate steps to acquire 1,226.45 ha. Besides, the nod has given the mandate to go ahead with preparation of a detailed project report (DPR) and designs for bridges.
The Paris-based engineering and consulting group Systra has found that the third and fourth green corridors can be completed by 2024 and that dedicated lines to the Thiruvananthapuram and Cochin airports with stations for inter-modal transport financially feasible. KRDCL has commenced steps for preparation of the DPR.
Already, KRDCL has issued work orders for field survey by Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), a remote sensing survey method used to know terrain using aircraft to GeoKno India. Nine-car air-conditioned, electric multiple unit semi-high-speed train will move at 200 km an hour to cover the north-south rail corridor with stoppages at Kochuveli, Kollam, Chengannur, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Tirur, Kozhikode, Kannur, and Kasaragod.