Kuttippuram (Malappuram): A new railway track will be constructed in the Malappuram district to bypass the curve which is shaped like the Malayalam letter 'Ra at Kuttippuram on the Shoranur-Mangaluru railway line. The new line, starting between the Kariyannur railway bridge on the border of the Palakkad district and the Perassannur Anjukannu bridge, will join the mainline at Rangattoor near Kuttippuram. A new railway line is being constructed in the district after a gap of 97 years.
The new track for operating high-speed trains will be laid by constructing a tunnel under Chellur Hill on the National Highway, where many establishments, including the Kinfra Industrial Park, are situated. For the new double railway line, land, including residential areas, will have to be acquired. RV Associates of Hyderabad, which carried out the Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) survey to avoid the 'ra' curve at Kuttippuram station, has submitted the first report to the Railways. The Railways, which studied the report, has instructed the company to make some minor rectifications in the report.
The final report will be submitted shortly after completing the suggested changes. After the railway receives the final report, an estimate will be prepared for straightening the 288 curves on the railway line from Shoranur to Mangaluru. The sharpest curve on the 306.57 km stretch from Shoranur to Mangaluru is at Kuttippuram station. Bends in the track on this route are being straightened to increase the speed of trains from 110 kmph to 130 kmph gradually.
Speed to go up to 160 kmph
At present, the maximum speed of trains on this route is 110 kmph. The bends are being avoided as part of raising the speed of trains to 130 kmph at first and then gradually to 160 kmph. While arriving from the Shoranur side, there are many curves before reaching the Kuttippuram station. All these will be avoided with the coming of the new railway line. The biggest challenge facing the Railways on the 306.57 km stretch of the line from Shoranur to Mangaluru is avoiding the 'ra' curve at Kuttippuram.
The new line will be made a reality by constructing a tunnel under Chellur Hill on the National Highway where establishments, including the Kinfra Industrial Park, are situated. Apart from constructing the tunnel, the railway line will be laid through paddy fields and minor settlements. The land will be acquired for this purpose. If the new line becomes a reality, trains that do not have a stop at the Kuttippuram station will be directed through the tunnel.
About 18 trains, including Jan Shatabdi and Vande Bharat, will pass through this new tunnel. Starting the new line from near the Kariyannur bridge is also being considered, but in that case, Mankerikunnu (hill) along the line is likely to prove a hurdle. However, if the authorities stick to the plan and begin the construction of the line from Kariannoor, then a tunnel will have to be constructed at Mankerikunnu. To avoid Mankerikunnu, it is being considered to start the new line from near the Perassannur Anjukunnu railway bridge.
The Beypore-Tirur track, the first railway line in Kerala, came into existence in 1861. After the line was established, it was extended to Kuttippuram and Shoranur later. This is the first time after the construction of the Shoranur-Nilambur line that land is being acquired and a new track is being laid in the Malappuram district.