The UDF government in Kerala has decided to tie up with Railways to develop a Rs 3500-crore high-speed suburban corridor stretching some 100 km north of the state capital.
The state cabinet today cleared the proposal chalked out during discussions with senior officials of Railways and Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC), Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told reporters on Friday.
A special purpose vehicle (SPV) would be formed for implementation of the project and MRVC would be entrusted with the task of preparing a detail project report within three months at a cost of Rs 10.99 crore.
The railways and the state would bear 50:50 stake in SPV and the project would be carried out by utilising the existing double-line track from Thiruvananthapuram to Chengannur and Kayamkulam to Haripad.
"The greatest advantage of the project is that it would not require land acquisition as it could be materialised by utilising the existing double-line in the stretch," Chandy said.
The vital component of the project would be automation of the signalling system which would enable operation of as many as 10 MEMUs (Mainline Electrical Multiple Units ) in the stretch without upsetting the current traffic, he said. Modernisation of some important stations would also be part of it.
This particular stretch in south Kerala was selected as the tracks in the area were entirely doubled. Also, this was an area where passenger density is higher compared to other parts of the state.
In the case of central and north Kerala, where the track doubling was yet to be completed, Railways had promised to introduce a few high speed trains. One such service would be between Ernakulam and Kannur, Chandy said.