Increasing train speed is not easy in Kerala: Sreedharan

Technocrat says automatic signaling is the need of the hour as it will increase train speed by 10-15%

Technocrat says automatic signaling is the need of the hour as it will increase train speed by 10-15%

Amid reports that the Center plans to upgrade the state’s rail network to ease trains running at 130 km/h in the first phase, then 160 km/h, straightening curves and laying out a third line between Ernakulam and Shoranur, Technocrat E. Sreedharan said that increasing the speed of trains to this extent will not be an easy task in Kerala.

Installation of automatic signaling in the railway network is the immediate need of the hour in Kerala which will enable the authorities to increase the speed of trains by about 10-15% and introduce about 20-25 trains additional on existing tracks. Talk to The HinduMr Sreedharan said he had suggested upgrading the signaling system, which the Southern Railway authorities had agreed to.

“Practical Difficulties”

“The proposal to increase the speed of trains to 160 km/h is not practical in Kerala. To run trains at this speed, a boundary wall must be built on both sides of the track, in addition to straightening all the curves, which is imperative to even increase the speed to 130 km / h,” said Mr. Sreedharan. In addition, a detailed study was needed to increase the speed, which would take at least two years. On the other hand, the introduction of automatic signaling would help the railways improve the speed of trains by spending around ₹6,500 crore. “It will also attract more people, who currently opt for the bus for inter-district travel, to trains,” said the technocrat.

High speed railroad

When asked if Kerala really needs high or semi-high speed rail, he replied that the geographical terrain of Kerala requires high speed rail. The state’s proposed mid-high-speed rail project, SilverLine, lacked clarity and vision in many respects, including its route. “It’s not a question of gauge, which doesn’t matter, because in almost all cities the high-speed line is standard gauge. The project is expected to be part of the Indian railway network for better returns. In the future, we can interconnect the high-speed rail developed in cities to facilitate high-speed travel across the country,” Mr. Sreedharan said.

The high-speed rail project suggested by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) during the tenure of the last United Democratic Front (UDF) government could be revived or modified. But it will also take time. The revised study will take at least two years and implementation will take 10 to 12 years, he said.

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