Published on: June 12, 2021



What is in news : Kerala cabinet gave the green light to begin acquiring land for SilverLine, its flagship semi high-speed railway project aimed at reducing travel time between the state’s northern and southern ends

What is the SilverLine project:

  • The project entails building a semi high-speed railway corridor through the state linking its southern end and state capital Thiruvananthapuram with its northern end of Kasaragod.
  • The line is proposed to be 529.45 kms long, covering 11 districts through 11 stations. When the project is realised, one can travel from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram in less than four hours on trains travelling at 200 km/hr.
  • The current travel time on the existing Indian Railways network is 12 hours. The deadline for the project, being executed by the Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL), is 2025. KRDCL, or K-Rail, is a joint venture between the Kerala government and the Union Ministry of Railways.

What was the need for the project:

  • It has long been argued by urban policy experts that the existing railway infrastructure in the state cannot meet the demands of the future. Most trains run with an average speed of 45 km/hr due to a lot of curves and bends on the existing stretch.
  • The government claims the SilverLine project is the need of the hour as it can take a significant load of traffic off the existing railway stretch and make travel easier and faster for commuters. This will in turn reduce the congestion on roads and help reduce accidents and fatalities.

What are the features of the project?

  • According to K-Rail, the project will have trains of electric multiple unit (EMU) type with preferably nine cars and extendable to 12 cars each. A nine-car rake can seat a maximum of 675 passengers in business and standard class settings.
  • The trains can run at a maximum speed of 220 kmph on standard gauge track, completing journeys in either direction in under four hours.
  • A total of 11 stations are proposed including the two terminals, three of which will be elevated, one underground and the rest at grade. Every 500 metres of the corridor, there will be under passages with provision of service roads.
  • The government claims the railway line will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, help in expansion of Ro-Ro services, produce employment opportunities, integrate airports and IT corridors and faster development of cities it passes through.