Speed rail can be linked to national bullet train network, says DMRC officer

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation officer also echoed Sreedharan’s stand that the ‘speed rail’ project should not be executed by K-Rail or Kerala Rail Development Corporation Ltd.

Published: 14th July 2023 06:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th July 2023 07:04 AM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose.

Express News Service

KOCHI: The ‘speed rail’ proposed by ‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan as an alternative to the SilverLine project can be connected to the national high-speed rail network, making the project more feasible in the long run.

“Sreedharan’s proposal is to adopt standard gauge for the speed rail, and the technology would be the same as that of the under-construction Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail line. Further, a preliminary feasibility report has been prepared for the Chennai-Bangalore-Mysore-Coimbatore high-speed bullet train project. The proposed Kerala ‘speed train’ standard gauge can be connected to that network, provided the technology is the same,” said a senior DMRC officer, who wished not to be named.

For high-speed trains, standard gauge is the proven technology, he said, adding that since 1964, bullet trains have been running in Japan on standard gauge, and “no single accident or mishap has been reported there”.

He said the argument for adopting a broad gauge for the SilverLine or the new ‘speed rail’ is not worth considering as the speed cannot exceed 200 kmph.

“Vande Bharat trains, which are running on broad gauge, are running at 160–170 kmph, and they are testing whether they can travel at 200 kmph speed. In comparison, the bullet trains can run at 300–350 kmph on standard gauge,” the DMRC officer said.

The DMRC officer also echoed Sreedharan’s stand that the ‘speed rail’ project should not be executed by K-Rail or Kerala Rail Development Corporation Ltd.

“The Indian Railway had awarded K-Rail the contract to build 27 level-crossing flyover conversion projects in 2017. Even after five and a half years, K-Rail has not been able to even start work on the conversion of 26-level crossings into road overbridges. It has recently started work at Nilambur,” the officer said.

Former Railway's chief engineer Alok Kumar Verma, who vehemently opposed the SilverLine project, said Sreedharan should make public his suggestions.

“Any discussion on the revised project should begin only after the public knows about the full details of Sreedharan’s suggestions,” he said.

Sreedharan says no intimation from CMO

Meanwhile, Sreedharan told TNIE that he has received no intimation from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) on his proposals. “I’m yet to hear from the Chief Minister,” he said, when asked about reports that Pinarayi Vijayan would soon meet him to discuss the revisions suggested in the state government’s SilverLine project.

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