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High Speed Rail
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High Speed Rail

Trains to cruise at 130 kmph on select Southern Railway routes

The Ministry of Railways has decided to raise the sectional speed of 53 important routes across the country to 130 kmph. In Southern Railway, the Chennai Egmore-Madurai and Thiruvananthapuram Central-Kozhikode are among a few routes chosen for the speed upgrade by March 2024.

In order to reduce the travel time and enhance the operational efficiency, the railways decided to increase the speed of on the broad-gauge routes, except the Golden Quadrilateral and Diagonal routes, to a minimum of 130 kmph.

The speed along a majority of the Golden Quadrilateral and Diagonal routes has already been increased to 130 kmph. The railways has now chosen 53 routes in various zones and instructed the respective General Managers to improve infrastructure to achieve the 130 kmph speed potential by the end of this fiscal, sources in the railways said.

In Southern Railway/South Western Railway, sectional speed will be increased to 130 kmph on these routes — Arakkonam-Mysore (436 km), Thiruvananthapuram Central-Kozhikode (400 km), Chennai Egmore-Madurai (496 km), Jolarpet-Bengaluru (148 km), Bengaluru-Mysuru (138 km), Kannur-Kozhikode (89 km), Thiruvananthapuram-Madurai (301 km) and Jolarpet-Coimbatore (289 km).

While the Chennai-Bengaluru-Mysuru Vande Bharat Express flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 11, 2022, is already being operated at 130 kmph in the Chennai-Jolarpet section, the running time of the train will further come down after the speed on the Jolarpet-Bengaluru and Bengaluru-Mysuru sections is also increased soon, the sources said.

The enhanced sectional speed would also reduce the running time of Shatabdi Express and other trains. Following the increase in speed along different routes, the Southern Railway said that 44 train services had so far been speeded up across the zone in 2022-23 thereby easing the travel time for passengers. The speed increase was also expected to give a boost to freight operations.

Asked about the criteria for enhancing the speed to 130 kmph, a senior railway official said that a thorough inspection of the section with track recording car would be done along with other safety and track strength parameters. The black spots or weak points would be repaired or strengthened with welds, ballast etc. for a safe and smooth operation of trains at the high speed.

Of the total 5,081 km spanning Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry in Southern Railway, speed enhancement work has been completed over 2,037 km.