Kerala Semi-High Speed Railway Line Aerial Survey Completed

The aerial survey to identify the alignment of Kerala’s upcoming Thiruvananthapuram-Kasargod semi-high-speed railway (SHSR) corridor project has been successfully completed. The aerial survey began on December 31, 2019 and was conducted for the entire 532 km stretch up to Thiruvananthapuram, according to a PTI report. This marks the first prominent step before starting the work for the semi-high speed railway project, named as ‘Silver Line’, which will eventually reduce the end-to-end travel time across the state of Kerala to just four hours.

The first day of the aerial survey, which was completed in Thiruvananthapuram recently, was from Kannur to Kasaragod. The technology of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) aerial remote sensing method was utilized for the survey, and was conducted on a Partenavia P68 series aircraft which took off from the Kannur International Airport (KIAL). The aerial survey was carried out by the Hyderabad-based firm GeoKno India Private Limited which had also conducted the LiDAR survey for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed bullet train project.

The Ministry of Defence, as well as the Civil Aviation Director-General, had given the clearance for the one-week-long aerial survey, followed by an approval from the Railway Ministry. V Ajith Kumar, Managing Director, Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited (K-Rail) was quoted in the report saying that since the aerial survey has been completed, a detailed project report (DPR) can be prepared and the final location survey can be done soon. K-Rail is the implementing organisation of the Kerala SHSR project.

Kerala semi-high speed railway corridor project: Route, stations, significance

The Kerala semi high-speed railway project had received the in-principle approval from the Central government December 17, 2019. The SHSR project is a joint venture of the Kerala government and the Ministry of Railways.

According to the report, from Kasaragod to the Tirur town, the Silver Line will run parallel to the existing railway track, and from Tirur to Thiruvananthapuram, the silver line will pass separately from the existing rail line since that stretch has several curves which will hamper the speed.

The SHSR corridor project is expected to reduce traffic congestion on the roads, reduce pollution levels and save high costs which results from the dependence over imported oil

The airports at Thiruvananthapuram as well as Kochi will be connected with the SHSR project.

The semi-high speed corridor will have 10 stations and a proposal to build the short-distance feeder links in order to connect to other stations is also being expected.

Meanwhile, it was reported earlier that the project is estimated to cost Rs 56,443 crore. The trains on the corridor will run at a speed of 200 km per hour and will be cutting through 11 districts.