Thiruvananthapuram: One of Kerala's premier infrastructure projects -- a 430 km long high-speed rail corridor connecting the state capital and Kannur -- is moving to the next step with a report on its viability and feasibility being looked at, said an official. Once ready, the rail line is expected to cover the distance in two hours time, while normal trains that run on this route take 12 hours.
T. Balakrishnan who heads the state-run Kerala High Speed Rail Corporation Ltd said that the detailed project report prepared by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation is being looked into. "A critical review of the DPR is on, and once the review is finished then things will move to the next phase," said Balakrishnan. The new Pinarayi Vijayan government appears to be in favour of this mega project which is expected to cost Rs 1,27,849 crore. It found a mention in the state budget presented by Finance Minister Thomas Issac. "All aspects of the DPR including the present alignment or if there needs to be a change in the alignment will be examined," said Balakrishnan. The DPR envisages nine stations along the corridor. The train is expected to run at a maximum speed of 300km/hr while clocking an average speed of 250 km/hr. The route would see some portions take an underground route, while at some places it would be on an elevated platform and at other places on land. As per the present DPR, the project is divided into three phases and will take nine years to be fully operational. The CPI-M-led LDF government had included this project in its poll manifesto while the Congress-led opposition had floated the project during its tenure.