Kochi: The ambitious Thiruvananthapuram-Kasaragod semi-high-speed rail line may have feeder stations along its course to enable people from small towns to benefit from the train service. The Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL), which is behind the project, is reportedly considering such an addition to the existing blueprint.
Small trains with just three coaches could be used for feeder services. The fares of the feeder service would be same as the ticket prices of the AC buses of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC).
The 10 stations along the planned rail link are Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Chengannur, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Tirur, Kozhikode, Kannur, and Kasaragod. There could be at the most three feeder stations between every two major stations. For instance, as the train commences its journey from Kochuveli in Thiruvananthapuram, feeder stations could be set up between Kochuveli and Kollam at Attingal, Kallambalam and Chathannoor. Feeder services available at the latter stations could be taken to reach either Kochuveli or Kollam in order to take the semi-high-speed train.
The KRDCL is expected to begin the assessment of potential traffic from feeder stations. With 27 likely feeder stations on the stretch, a Rapid Rail Transit System (RRTS) connecting the two major adjacent stations too could be included in the project, KRDCL MD V Ajith Kumar said.
The Railway Board had earlier denied permission for the Thiruvananthapuram-Chengannur RRTS project as there was no special double track.
The semi-high-speed rail line would cut down the travel time between Thiruvananthapuram and Kasaragod from 12 hours to four hours. It is expected to be completed by 2024.
The feasibility report of the project has been submitted to the Railway Board for approval.