Kerala govt approves semi-high speed rail project worth Rs 66,000 cr

New Delhi: Kerala government has approved semi-high speed rail project worth Rs 66,000 crore that will cut down travel time from the northern-most district Kasargod to southern tip Thiruvananthapuram district to four hours from the current 12 hours.

The project will be called 'Silver Line' and will involve laying down tracks for 531 kilometer distance between Kasargod and Thiruvananthapuram. 

The trains on this track will have the potential to run at 180-200 kilometer per hour. from Thiruvananthapuram, a passenger can reach Ernakulam in 1 hour and 30 minutes which otherwise takes 5 hours right now. 

The state government will reach out to banks and financial institutions for funding of the project.

Discussions on the project have been going on for about decade now.

This decision of the state government is significant as the investment in infrastructure was thought to be difficult in near future due to several fiscal relief measures have to be provided by the government in the wake of the corona pandemic.

The train will have 9 bogies and it can ferry 645 passengers. The bogies will be of two kinds-standard class and business class. “The project is expected to be complete by 2025. Including Kochi airport, there will be 11 stations," said Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

The government plans to take loans also from Japan International Corporation Agency, German bank KfW Group, Asian Development Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.