Annual expenditure Rs 542 cr for SilverLine project; Rs 2,276 cr claimed to be ticket revenue

After ten years, the cost of maintenance will rise to Rs 694 crores.

Thiruvananthapuram: According to the Detailed Project Report (DPR), the cost of maintenance of Thiruvananthapuram – Kasaragod Semi High-Speed Rail (SilverLine) will be Rs 542 crore a year. This includes the expenditure on repair works of coaches and rails and the salaries of the employees. After ten years, the cost of maintenance will rise to Rs 694 crores. In the first phase, 3,384 employees will be recruited directly and 1,516 indirectly. The revenue from the sale of tickets is expected to touch Rs 2,276 crore in 2025-2026.

A double-track will be constructed on the standard gauge from Kochuveli in Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod. With this, the train will be able to run at a speed up to 220 km/hr. Initially, a nine-coach train will be operated, but the number of coaches may go up to 15. K-Rail also claims that because of the automatic signal system, trains can run after 10-minute intervals.

In Kerala, most of the freight is carried by road. The long-distance trips taken by lorries can be avoided by carrying freight on the High-Speed Rail. SilverLine could be made capable of carrying cars in the future. Freight trains with platforms capable of loading lorries can carry up to 480 lorries. The speed of these freight trains can go up to 120 km/hr. Parking facilities for lorries will be provided near the stations.

Although the DPR reveals the details of the sites to be acquired for the project, it does not specify the buildings and houses that must be vacated. This will only be revealed in the Environmental impact assessment. However, a pamphlet released by CPM revealed that 9,314 buildings will have to be vacated to start the construction work.

Features of SilverLine

Thiruvananthapuram - Kasaragod

Railway track - 530.6 km

Travel time - 4 hours

Construction period - 5 years

Land required - 1383 hectares

Railway land to be acquired - 457 acres

Land acquisition compensation - Rs 13,362 crore

Daily passengers - 79,934

Project cost - Rs 63,941 crore

Loans - 34,454 crore

State’s share - 8,656 crore

Length of tunnel - 11.528 km

Length of tunnel - 12.991 km

Track above pillars - 88.412 km

Raised platform - 292.728 km

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