Thiruvananthapuram: Speed of trains in Kerala will touch 160 kmph soon, as per a plan being implemented by the Southern Railway. The railway has launched a study in the state for increasing the speed of trains on major routes and the first phase would be implemented before March 2025. When this happens, trains having few stops can travel from Thiruvananthapuram Central to Ernakulam in less than two-and-a-half hours.
The Thiruvananthapuram-Kozhikode Jan Shatabdi Express, the fastest daily train in Kerala, presently takes three hours and 15 minutes to cover the distance between Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam with stoppages at Varkala, Kollam, Kayamkulam, Alappuzha and Cherthala. Jan Shatabdi attains this speed as other trains are held up at various stations for it to pass. However, in order to increase the speed further, doubling of the track between Ambalapuzha and Ernakulam has to be completed. In fact, the length of single track on this route is 69 km.
Currently, the railway is carrying out a feasibility study to increase the maximum speed of trains to 130-160 kmph along both Alappuzha and Kottayam routes.
The maximum speed on the 306.57-km Shoranur – Mangaluru section will be increased to 130 kmph from the present 110 kmph before March 2025. Meanwhile, trains will also be plying at a maximum speed of 130 kmph on the 92.75-km Pothanur- Shoranur route.
On the Thiruvananthapuram – Kayamkulam route, the speed limit will be 110 kmph instead of the present 100 kmph in the first phase. Between Kayamkulam and Thuravoor, the maximum speed will be raised from 90 kmph to 110 kmph. The speed limit on Thuravoor – Ernakulam section is currently is 80 kmph, which also will be increased to 110 kmph.
On the Ernakulam – Shoranur route, trains touch presently touch a maximum speed of 80 kmph, which would be 90 kmph after the first phase work is completed.
In the subsequent phase, the maximum speed will go up to 130-160 kmph.
According to railway authorities, after the study is completed, works such as track upgradation, signal modernization and straightening of curves will take place. Subsequently, clearance for conducting services at higher speeds would be given.