Pathanamthitta: The Railway Board proposes to increase the speed of trains across Kerala. The Railways maintains that the planned speed augmentation is part of a nationwide project and not as an alternative to the proposed SilverLine project promoted by the State Government to build a separate rail corridor to run semi high-speed trains.
The preliminary discussions regarding the project, which is estimated to cost Rs 5,000 crore, were held at the Southern Railways Head Quarters in Chennai. The higher officials with the Engineering department of the Board are to reach Kerala soon for the follow-up talks.
The proposal is to increase the running speed of trains to 90 km, 100 km, 110, km and 130 km per hour in all possible stretches along Kerala’s rail route. The changes on stretches where slight curves on the existing rail line can be straightened and technical improvements can be made would be carried out soon.
According to a preliminary evaluation, the running speed of the trains can be increased to 130 km per hour on Shoranur-Kasaragod line, and Kayamkulam–Thuravoor stretch on Kayamkulam - Ernakulam rail line via Alappuzha, except for a few parts.
It is expected that alterations can be made so as to attain a 130 kmph speed on Thiruvananthapuram– Murukkumpuzha, Paravoor–Kollam, Karunagappally–Kayamkulam stretches also under Thiruvananthapuram – Kayamkulam section.
The speed can be enhanced to 100 kmph in stretches where it is possible on the rail line between Kayamkulam and Ernakulam via Kottayam. A speed increase from 80 kmph to 90 kmph would be considered on the line between Ernakulam and Shoranur where it is difficult.
A final decision would be made on the proposed third track between Ernakulam and Shoranur as and when the survey is done. A new alignment with lesser curves, to attain a running speed of 130 kmph, has been proposed as the third track as of now.
Semi high-speed trains can run at 180 kmph, whereas high-speed trains can attain 300–350 km/h.