Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala has mooted a plan to construct a semi-high speed elevated double rail track from Kasargod to Thiruvananthapuram, running above the existing line and above roads. The state has submitted the primary design of the plan, estimated at Rs 43,000 crores, to the Railway Board.
The state hopes the project will be included in the Pink Book, which is the planning document for railway development projects next year.
Railway Board chairman Aswani Lohani had agreed to include the project in the Pink Book when chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan presented the new double track proposal to him as they met in Thiruvananthapuram in October. Lohani agreed to the proposal in principle and asked for a draft design by December.
The design was drafted by experts from the Kerala Railway Development Corporation, which was set up with the cooperation of Indian Railways. Kerala has submitted three proposals:
Parallel double track: A 560-kilometer double track parallel to the existing track. Estimated cost Rs 23,000 crores. However, a semi-high speed track was seen hard to succeed in full as a parallel track as there are climbs and curves in the route.
A parallel sky track: A 560-km track above the existing double track, but running parallel at points where it's not possible to implement. Estimate: Rs 43,000 crores.
A new sky track: A track in an entirely new alignment, with roads below and double elevated rail tracks above. Estimate: Rs 46,000 crores. Land acquisition will pose a major challenge.
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