The aerial survey to identify the alignment of Thiruvananthapuram-Kasaragod Semi High-Speed Railway (SHSR) project in Kerala has been completed.
The survey had begun on 31 December 2019, and was conducted for the entire 532 km stretch up to Thiruvananthapuram, as the first step before commencing work on the project, named Silver Line. The project is expected to reduce the end-to-end travel time across the state to four hours.
The first day of the survey was from Kannur to Kasaragod. Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) aerial remote sensing method was used for the survey, conducted using a Partenavia P68 series aircraft that took off from Kannur International Airport (KIAL).
The survey is being carried out by Hyderabad-based GeoKno India, which had also conducted LiDAR survey for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train Project. From Kasaragod to Tirur, the Silver Line will run parallel to the existing railway track. From Tirur to Thiruvananthapuram, the line will pass separately from the existing railway line since that stretch has a large number of curves that hamper speed.
The SHSR corridor is expected to reduce congestion and pollution on roads, improve safety and considerably save a huge cost resulting from dependence on imported oil. The airports at Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi will be connected with SHSR. It will have 10 stations and a proposal to build short-distance feeder links to connect to other stations is also being considered. Trains will have a maximum speed of 200 km per hour. Preliminary studies had revealed that the project would be feasible.
The state government has been in talks with multiple agencies, including Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for financing the around Rs 56,000 crore project.