Kerala state government’s cabinet on Wednesday approved the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the 530.6 km Thiruvananthapuram – Kasaragod semi high-speed rail Silver Line project that aims to connect both cities at an estimated cost of Rs. 63,941 crore.
The decision was announced by Kerala’s Chief Minister via a Facebook post which also mentions the final alignment, prepared by Systra MVA Consulting in the past, has been modified slightly near Mahe and Vadakara.
The project will be developed by Kerala Rail Development Corporation (K-Rail) and aims to connect both cities through a mostly at-grade greenfield alignment with 9-coach trains running at a max speed of 200 kmph.
The semi high-speed rail line will connect 11 districts and aims to ease transportation along the entire north – south length of Kerala and reduce the total travel time to less than 4 hours, compared with the present 12 – 14 hrs it takes via the Indian Railways.
Eleven mostly at-grade stations will be built at Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kollam, Chengannur, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Kochi Airport, Thrissur, Tirur, Kozhikode (underground), Kannur, Kasaragod (elevated) –
The Hindu has shared detailed information on the line’s revised alignment:
In order to reduce displacement and avoid bifurcating Mahe, as directed by the government, two railway bypasses — Vadakara bypass (from Koyilandy to Mahe) and Thalassery bypass (from Mahe to Chala) — have been proposed by K-Rail.
Of the 31-km Vadakara rail bypass, 23.27 km will be parallel to the existing track and 7.72 km away from the track. Four landlocked locations to the extent of 103.07 ha and 448 houses will be affected. There will be four road and rail crossings on the stretch.
“The number of houses to be affected has come down from 1,201 to 957 in the stretch and the cost for the project is almost the same even after the changes,” V. Ajith Kumar, Managing Director, K-Rail, told The Hindu.
With this development, K-Rail will now begin approaching financial institutions, banks and foreign lenders like JICA, ADB, KfW to secure funds for the project’s land acquisition, construction and systems procurement.
The Silver Line project’s DPR now requires approvals from the Railway Board under the Ministry of Railways, Niti Aayog and Government of India’s Union Cabinet.
For more updates, check out the Kerala Silver Line section of The Metro Rail Guy!