The state government has formed a new public limited company – Kerala High Speed Rail Corporation Ltd – to implement a high speed rail network, which is estimated to cost Rs 77,000 crore. The 630-km network will connect Thiruvananthapuram with Mangalore. The Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) has been appointed the nodal agency to develop the project, and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has been assigned with a pre-feasibility study.
The new company was formed on the basis of a pre-feasibility report submitted by DMRC. Further technical studies and economic evaluation are currently being planned.
The proposed high speed corridor will have two parallel tracks in the standard gauge system as in the Delhi Metro Rail. The high speed corridor will have an alignment independent of the existing alignment of the Indian Railways.
The project will be implemented as a joint venture between the state government and a private partner which will be selected at a later stage. T Balakrishnan, Additional Chief Secretary (Industry and Commerce), Alkesh Kumar Sharma, Managing Director KSIDC, and T P Thomas Kutty, Executive Director, KSIDC, are the first directors of the new company.
The company will undertake detailed feasibility report for the project and identify suitable rail technology to implement the high speed corridor. Steps have also been initiated for the release of a notification for the acquisition of land needed to implement the project. The width of the land required to be acquired for the rail corridor is 13 metres. The high speed corridor will use a greenfield route to keep the rehabilitation task to the minimum.