State seeks 12 new trains, nod for SilverLine

More MEMU services, doubling of lines, upgrade of stations etc. on wish list

The 529.45-km semi-high speed rail line SilverLine from Kochuveli to Kasaragod, estimated to cost ₹63,941 crore tops Kerala’s wish list with regard to Union Budget 2021-2022.

Besides seeking 12 new inter-city and long-distance express trains, the State has demanded introduction of new Mainline Electric Multiple Unit (MEMU) services in Thiruvananthapuram and Palakkad railway divisions, replacement of the existing passenger trains with MEMU services in both the divisions, and increase in the frequency of five trains.

Steps and enhanced allocations for the rail coach factory at Palakkad, development of a coaching terminal at Nemom, upgrade of the Kochuveli terminal, development of existing marshalling yard at Ponnurunni in Kochi as a coaching terminal and station complex by State and de-freezing of Angamaly-Erumeli Sabari Rail had been sought.

Completion of doubling via Kottayam and Alappuzha, the Thiruvananthapuram Central-Kanyakumari line, upgrade of eight key stations, supply of new-generation Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) Coaches and Utkrisht coaches to replace old and rickety coaches, and automatic signalling between Ernakulam and Shoranur figure on the wish list.

For overall growth

Minister for Public Works and Railways G. Sudhakaran has stressed the need to improve the rail Infrastructure in the State with an emphasis on doubling of tracks, new railway lines, coaching terminals, and additional platforms. An efficient and faster evolution of the rail Infrastructure would spur economic growth, attract investments, and boost the tourism sector.

Pointing out that SilverLine has already been accorded the ‘In-Principle Approval’ from the Union Ministry of Railways, Mr. Sudhakaran said Railway Minister Piyush Goyal should intervene to expedite the approvals for the project and get it included in the Pink Book of 2021-22. On the wish list, Mr. Sudhakaran has communicated the government’s willingness to develop the proposed coaching terminal and station complex at Ponnurunni in Kochi jointly with Southern Railway.

The new trains sought are Thiruvananthapuram Central-Kannur-Shatabdi Express, Kozhikode-Bengaluru Intercity, Palakkad-Thiruvananthapuram Central Jan Shatabdi Express, Ernakulam-Salem Intercity, Daily Express between Kochuveli and Mumbai via Kottayam, Konkan, Kochuveli-Malda,Guwahati, Howrah, Kamakhya Daily, Kochuveli-Hyderabad Daily, Kochuveli-Velankanni weekly, Kochuveli-Rameswaram via Shengotta weekly, Vasco-Ernakulam Daily, Vasco-Nagercoil via Thiruvananthapuram Central weekly, and Kannur-Madurai Intercity daily via Pollachi.

Increase in frequency has been sought for the Kochuveli-Banaswadi Humsafar Express, Thiruvananthapuram Central-Nizamuddin Rajdhani Express, Kochuveli-Mangaluru Antyodaya Express, Kochuveli-Lokmanya Tilak Bi-weekly Express, and extension of Pune-Ernakulam Express up to Kochuveli.

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