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Survey for third track in Ernakulam-Shoranur corridor to conclude in October – Mrit News

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The final location survey for laying the third track in the 107-km Ernakulam-Shoranur corridor, where the number of stations is likely to be limited to six to ensure train movement at speeds of up to 130 km per hour, is expected to conclude by October.

The dedicated third track, which had been mentioned in the Railway Budget, is expected to cater for express and goods trains. A senior railway official said it was most likely that trains in the corridor would call at the existing stations at Aluva, Angamaly, and Thrissur, while the other stations might be located away from the existing ones.

“This is because the track will follow a new alignment to avoid sharp curves and gradients. The ongoing survey will be followed by fixing of alignment and readying of a detailed project report that ought to be submitted to the Railway Board. The estimated cost that was fixed at around ₹4,000 crore will be revisited on the basis of the alignment,” he added.

On whether the Railways would acquire the land that would be located in between the existing double-track corridor and the proposed third track, officials said land would either be acquired or elevated corridors built in case land acquisition became cumbersome.

Automatic signals

The Southern Railway is, in the meantime, also probing the feasibility of introducing an automatic signalling system in the existing corridor, after straightening steep curves. It will considerably bring down the cost to less than ₹500 crore. The proposed third track and the one on automatic signalling figured in a recent meeting of senior officials, it is learnt.

The improved signalling system will in turn augment track capacity, with the result that trains will be able to operate one after the other at regular intervals, rather than having to wait for the one in front to reach the next station that will be located over 10 km away. This will in turn help introduce more trains in the corridor. On the flip side, it may not help attain speed of up to 130 kmph, as could be attained if a third track were to be built.

At present, trains attain 110 kmph speed through select corridors in Kerala, even as their average speed is just around 45 kmph. This is mainly due to prevalence of steep curves and innumerable number of stops, each of which slows down trains by around seven minutes, including the time taken for acceleration and deceleration.

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