Thiruvananthapuram: The Railway Board Chairman has approved the recommendation made by the state government to construct two more tracks parallel to the existing double-track railway from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod. Semi-speed trains will run by this track. The decision was taken by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani after a discussion.
The project will be realized by Kerala Rail Development Corporation, a joint venture between Government of Kerala and Ministry of Railways. The state had recommended for high speed trains along the new route. But the Board chairman said that semi-speed trains would be considered due to technical reasons.
Thiruvananthapuram – Kasaragod route is 575 km long. The Rail Development Corporation has prepared a project proposal to make third and fourth lines parallel to the current 125 km long broad gauge line from Thiruvananthapuram to Chengannur. The estimate for the project is Rs 1943 crore. Meanwhile, the state government has proposed to construct new tracks up to Kasaragod.
The trains running along the state outnumber the track capacity, which is why the board has decided to approve new track instead of new train. Board chairman has directed to submit the detailed report of Thalassery-Mysore (via Mananthavady) before December 31. The estimate for 247 km long track is Rs 3,209 crore. The project shall be completed by 2024, if Railway approved the same.
The chairman has also promised to consider the projects like Erumeli-Punaloor line, Ettumanoor-Pala line, Balaramapuram-Vizhinjam International Seaport line, the new line to Cochin International Airport, and the new railway terminus in Ernakulam. The Chief Minister has requested fund for new projects Angamaly-Sabari, Guruvayur-Thirunavaya and Ernakulam-Ambalapuzha lines. The chairman assured that bio- toilets will be made in all trains.