SilverLine trains unlikely to attain speed of 200 km per hour, Railways tells K-Rail

Palakkad: Semi high-speed trains planned to run on the proposed dedicated north-south corridor in Kerala is unlikely to zoom at 200 kilometres per hour as per the estimates of the Indian Railways. Numerous curves and inclines along the line proposed in the SilverLine project report would hinder the speed envisaged by the Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited or K-Rail.

High-speed trains have to be operated along linear lines, as much as possible. The curves in the Silverline plan at many places are similar to those of a normal railway line. The speed will have to be reduced at each curve. There are many curves that require a curvature of more than 4 km, but have been designed at less than one-kilometre.

In a letter from Railways to K-Rail, it has been indicated that high-speed lines intended for broad-gauge trains are constructed with sufficient curvatures (the degree to which something is curved). The proposed Pune-Nashik semi high-speed broad-gauge line will have a maximum curvature with a radius of 4,000m (0.4375 degree). This is required to attain a speed of 250km per hour. But it is only for 1,850m for SilverLine as per the project report; and near to the station, it is only 650m.

As per the railway safety rules, to attain an average speed of 200km, the train has to be operated at a speed of 220km during trial run. But it is not possible on the SilverlLine. And this will pose as an obstacle for getting safety certificate.

(The radius of curvature in a railway track determines the speed at which a train can run along a curved track. The smaller the radius, the smaller the speed it can move.)

110 kmph speed on the Shoranur-Mangaluru track

In Kerala, trains can be operated at a speed of 110km per hour along the Shoranur-Mangaluru line, which is almost linear. The permit to run at this speed was obtained after attaining a speed of 130km per hour during the safety check.

However, more trains are operated than what the line can handle and there are too many stops, and these factors act as hurdles in attaining the maximum speed. At the same time, the maximum speed on the Shoranur-Thiruvananthapuram line is only 90km per hour.

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