K-Rail revises alignment of section

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala Rail Development Corporation (K-Rail) has revised the alignment for the 57.5-km Vadakara-Thalassery stretch of the 530.6-km semi-high-speed rail corridor from Kochuveli to Kasaragod.

In order to reduce displacement and avoid bifurcating Mahe, as directed by the government, two railway bypasses — Vadakara bypass (from Koyilandy to Mahe) and Thalassery bypass (from Mahe to Chala) — have been proposed by K-Rail.

Of the 31-km Vadakara rail bypass, 23.27 km will be parallel to the existing track and 7.72 km away from the track. Four landlocked locations to the extent of 103.07 ha and 448 houses will be affected. There will be four road and rail crossings on the stretch.

On the 25.5-km Thalassery rail bypass, 11.17 km will be parallel to the existing railway track and 14.33 km away from the track.

Nine landlocked locations (226.01 ha) and 509 houses will be affected and there will be nine rail and road crossings.

“The number of houses to be affected has come down from 1,201 to 957 in the stretch and the cost for the project is almost the same even after the changes,” V. Ajith Kumar, Managing Director, K-Rail, told.

The new lines between Kochuveli, near Thiruvananthapuram, and Tirur will be greenfield corridors and the remaining, between Tirur and Kasaragod, will be parallel to the existing line as per the DPR prepared by Paris-based Systra. The DPR was approved by the K-Rail director board in April and changes in the alignment was mooted when it was awaiting the nod of the government.

The DPR, along with the revised alignment for the Thalassery-Vadakara corridor, will come up before the Cabinet soon for clearance. Once cleared, it will be submitted to Railways.

The approval of the NITI Aayog and the Union Cabinet is needed as the project is to be taken up as a joint venture between the State and Railways.

Trains will run at 200 km per hour and Ernakulam can be reached in one-and-a-half hours and Kasaragod in four hours from the State capital once the Silver Line becomes operational.