Pathanamthitta: The Indian Railways has commenced the upgradation of the speed of trains running through the state to 130 kilometers per hour by raising the category of two key sections.
The Railway Board upgraded the Thiruvananthapuram-Ernakulam (via Alappuzha) and Shornur-Mangaluru from ‘D’ to ‘B’ Group.
The infrastructural facilities along the routes under the ‘B’ category will be developed to facilitate the trains chugging at a speed of 130 kmph.
All broad-gauge routes of Indian Railways have been classified into five groups based on speed criteria and importance.
The rules provide for trains running at a maximum of 160 kmph in routes under the 'A' category and 130 kmph in the 'B' category.
Most of the rail routes in Kerala are currently placed under the 'D' Group, which allows a maximum speed of 100 kmph.
In August, a sum of Rs 12.88 crore was allotted to carry out the final location survey for increasing train speed in the Thiruvananthapuram-Mangaluru section.
The upgradation of the two key routes to the 'B' category is part of the process.
The route via Kottayam was not included in the speed enhancement project since it included more curves and bridges.
Comparatively, the route via Alappuzha has fewer curves. Also, the railway lines are laid on plain surfaces, favourable factors for enhancing the train speed.
The railways is proceeding with the speed improvement project based on the preliminary reports submitted by the Thiruvananthapuram and Palakkad divisions.
However, a comprehensive study report is yet to be readied.
Bypass lines must be laid to straighten curves at Kollam and Kuttipuram railway stations.
Also, the land acquisition should be made to straighten curves in many places. Only a detailed study can reveal where all the bypass lines needed to be constructed and the area of land to be acquired for the project, the authorities said.