An Agreement was signed between Government of Kerala and Ministry of Railways to form a company to compliment Indian Railways in building Railway infrastructure in the State of Kerala as per the aspirations of people.
A Joint Venture Company was constituted on 3rd January 2017 named Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited (K-Rail).
K-Rail undertakes project development works for an identified basket of projects, which will inter-alia include surveys, preparation of Detailed Project Report (DPR) and getting requisite approval, processing for sanctioning of identified projects and implementation of the sanctioned projects.

EVENTS AND UPDATES

SilverLine DPR & Alignment submitted to State Cabinet
for Approval

The SilverLine DPR & alignment which has been approved by the Board of Directors of Kerala Rail Development Corporation (K-Rail) has been submitted to the Government of Kerala for approval. After getting State Cabinet Approval for the DPR & Alignment, it will be sent to the Ministry of Railways for approval and thereafter to Niti Aayog and the Central Cabinet.

In order to expedite the project and to get suggestions to make the project more fruitful, a series of meetings/discussions/presentations happened with Railways and GOK authorities. In this regard, meetings were held with Southern Railways, High Powered Committee of the Government of Kerala chaired by the Honourable Chief Minister, Chamber of Commerce, etc. Detailed deliberations to make the project more feasible and viable, took place during these meetings, and all the relevant suggestions were incorporated in the Detailed Project Report.

The proposed SilverLine Alignment from Thiruvananthapuram to Tirur will be a Greenfield corridor and parallel to the existing railway route from Tirur to Kasaragod. The SilverLine corridor will enable running of trains at an operational speed of 200 km per hour. It will facilitate to reach Ernakulam in one-and-a-half hours and up north Kasaragod in four hours from Thiruvananthapuram.

Planned urban development of the cities along the corridor and development of new cities along the SilverLine corridor can be used to drive benefits for the socio-economic development in the regions served by the line. Planned urban development can be in the form of vertical development in the central part of the city and by providing shorter access time to the SilverLine stations in other parts.

SilverLine Impacts:

Drive mode shift from Conventional vehicles

As Kerala is a densely populated State, most of the commuters depend on the conventional polluting vehicles. Proposed SilverLine corridor will shift the commuter mode of transport from conventional vehicles to the efficient Semi High-Speed Rail Transport. Some of the key points which enhance the mode shift to SilverLine include Substantial reduction in road accidents, Savings in fuel consumption, Improvement in the quality of transportation which in turn improves the quality of life, Substantial Improvement in the travel time when compared to the conventional mode of transport, Reduced maintenance cost of conventional vehicles, and Reduction in loss of productivity caused due to health disorders from pollution.

Multi-modal Integration

All SilverLine stations are recommended to be developed on multi-modal integration concept, in which users from SilverLine, road, rail and other modes can interchange modes with ease, conflict-free and faster transfer. SilverLine is not to be treated as an independent transport system. It would be integrated and shall form part of larger mobility network in Kerala involving rail line, air, road, water and NMT networks in which SilverLine is to be of the highest hierarchy.

Comprehensive mobility plans/ regional mobility plans will be prepared in all districts in line with SilverLine. Provision of park and ride facilities at SilverLine stations, provision of city feeders to provide accessibility from SilverLine stations to nearby city centres – Central Business Districts (CBD) & other catchments are other attractions. The interconnection with other modes of transport such as airport, conventional railways, bus stands and major industrial hubs will improve the last mile connectivity considerably.

Moving forward most of the last mile connectivity could be through electric vehicles. To promote the green vehicle, adequate facilities, including charging and parking facilities for the electric vehicles, will also be included in the terminal design.

SilverLine Logo design contest

Kerala Rail Development Corporation invites entries from the public for selecting the logo for the prestigious SilverLine project. The contest seeks to engage the creative skills of the public and K-Rail’s prospective passengers in creating a logo that is distinguishable and recognisable by the stakeholders, including the public.

Rules

The contest is open to all Indian citizens and individuals of all age groups. Students of art, graphic design and architecture are invited to participate in the contest as individuals or as a group. K-Rail’s media partners, employees and their family members cannot participate in the contest. Both individual and group entries are possible. However, the group should not have more than four members.

Prize-winning entries will be treated as the copyrighted properties of K-Rail and shall be used in any form by K-Rail for its branding and promotions. The logo should be an original work of the participant and not copied. It should not contain any third party materials and/or that which violates any copyrights. The logo should not contain any nudity, pornographic or sexually explicit content. It should not contain any profanities and should not defame, misrepresent or make disparaging/threatening remarks about any person (living or otherwise), company/organisation.

Entry Regulations

Three logos can be sent by each participant. In case of a group entry, the entry can be made in the name of the group leader decided by the group. The entries should be submitted through logo.silverline@gmail.com, along with self-attested identity proof and duly completed consent in the prescribed format. Participants will have to share the original high-resolution file if shortlisted. For quality reproduction purposes, the winning entry must later be submitted in scalable vector graphic format (EPS). Text or captions, if any, should be in English only.

The name and particulars of the winner will be announced through the media via press release and through K-Rail’s social media platforms.

SilverLine Stations at a glance:

SilverLine stations are proposed in such a manner they are located in the city centre or as close to them so that the city population can easily reach the stations located within a short distance. There are 11 proposed stations on the Thiruvananthapuram - Kasaragod SilverLine Corridor.

KASARAGOD STATION

In Kasaragod, At-grade station is proposed with interchange facility. The proposed station, adjacent to the existing Kasaragod Railway station, is only for passengers, which ensures easy accessibility between the SilverLine station and the existing railway network. This will also facilitate the interchange of the passengers travelling to/from Mangalore and Mumbai through SilverLine.

A RORO station is also being planned at a distance of 2 km from Kasaragod Railway Station (towards Mangalore direction), which can be used for transporting conventional goods vehicles using particular types of wagons.

KANNUR STATION

Kannur is an urbanised district along the west coast of Kerala, hailed as an important seaport and a trade centre. The proposed station in Kannur will be adjacent and parallel to the existing Kannur Railway station on the right-hand side.

KOZHIKODE STATION

The Kozhikode station for SilverLine is proposed as an underground station. The station will be adjacent and parallel to the existing Kozhikode Railway station which will be integrated to ensure ease of connectivity.

(Will be continued in next issue)

FROM MD’S DESK

The Detailed Project Report and the Alignment of SilverLine, which was approved by the Board of Directors of K-Rail have been submitted to the Government of Kerala for approval.

The SilverLine project offers the people of Kerala a Reliable, Congestion free and hassle free transport with interconnection to major airports, commercial & industrial hubs and important bus terminals.

K-Rail has adopted Corporate Environmental Policy and has developed procedures for sustainable development. Anticipated impacts due to various activities envisaged during construction and operation of SilverLine Rail Corridor have been assessed and further mitigation measures have been suggested for different environmental components. In addition to the mitigation measures suggested to alleviate the minor negative impacts during construction and operation of the project, some of the measures for improvement of the environment are proposed to be undertaken, which includes Landscaping & Beautification and Installation of solar panels along the corridor, the rooftop of all stations & depots etc.

This faster and efficient inter-city travel would also lead to a gradual shift of population from the smaller cities and towns to the larger cities, resulting in more urban population which is essential for higher economic growth in a modern economy. Moreover, the corridor will also boost tourism in the State, by providing speedy comfortable day time travel across the State which is full of tourist attractions like beaches, backwaters, and places of historical interest and religious importance.

Experts Speak

Costs v/s Benefits of the SilverLine Project


Mr. T.R. Anand
Finance Expert
The SilverLine project is one of the most prestigious rail projects in India involving the construction and operation of semi high-speed trains. The SilverLine project shall cover 530.60 kilometers from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod.

The SilverLine project would facilitate fast & convenient travel across most of the major cities in the State within a maximum time of 4 hours. The SilverLine project is a SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) under K-Rail, which is a Joint Venture between the Ministry of Railways and the Government of Kerala.

The SilverLine project is estimated to be completed by 2025 at an estimated completion cost of INR 63,941 crores inclusive of land cost. Ministry of Railways and Government of Kerala shall contribute equity capital amounting to INR 6,378 crores. Besides the same, they shall also extend interest-free loans amounting to 19,611 crores, to ensure that the project is profitable at the earliest.

The prestigious SilverLine project will also source loan funds amounting to INR 33,700 crores from bilateral/multilateral funding institutions. These funding institutions provide financial support to Government projects of importance at a nominal rate of interest.

Besides the above, there are several social benefits from the SilverLine project. This project shall contribute to the diversion of a high proportion of current private traffic from Road to Rail and serve part of the growing passenger traffic and goods demand in Kerala. As a result, there will be a reduction in the number of buses, passenger cars and other vehicles carrying passengers and goods on Kerala roads. This will lead to savings in travel time for passengers and goods moved by SilverLine trains due to high speed. The residual traffic left on the road will also be benefited due to reduced congestion.

This would result in enormous savings to the residents in terms of passenger time costs. Similarly, enormous benefits shall be made available to the residents through a reduction in vehicle operating costs as this mode of travel is more convenient and economical.

Further, due to reduced road traffic, there shall be reduced pollution levels improving the quality of life of the residents. Also, the reduction in road traffic will result in lesser road accidents.

The project will also offer tremendous employment opportunities in the State, both during and after the construction. Many industries and workers will be benefited directly or indirectly due to the project. In particular, tourism, real estate and logistics industries shall be the biggest beneficiaries.

Latest technologies shall be used in the construction of the SilverLine project. This would help in upgrading the skills of the residents and making them internationally competitive. Several offices are planned to be developed in and around the stations which would ensure convenient travel to the officers and staff of these organisations.

To conclude, the SilverLine Project shall not only improve the image of the State but also provide tremendous benefits to the residents and the capital contributors.

Reply to Public Queries

Aggregator/Feeder Stations makes this project more attractive and feasible. What are the details/locations of these stations?

In order to explore the possibility of getting the enhanced ridership (by having aggregator/feeder stations where trains of smaller composition will run to collect passengers from smaller towns and lead them to the adjoining major stations), a detailed traffic study was conducted at 27 identified potential towns.

The ridership figures forecast are not encouraging at this time to have additional feeder/aggregator stations at the identified towns having large population. Hence it is recommended that the provision of aggregator/feeder stations can be taken up at a later date after conducting detailed studies.

As per DPR, 75000 passengers is the daily prediction. What is the basis of that calculation?

The traffic and transportation surveys were conducted as a part of the study to assess the passenger movement pattern, freight movement and their travel characteristics within the study area. The data collection activities included both primary and secondary data sources such as classified traffic volume counts (TVC), origin-destination (O-D) surveys, public transport terminal surveys, tourist survey, and stated preference (SP) surveys to understand the willingness to shift to proposed SilverLine and willingness to pay for the same journey. The primary surveys such as TVC survey and OD survey were conducted at 19 locations, public transport terminal surveys at 4 airports, railway stations and bus terminals at major towns and cities, all along the project influence area. Significant data from secondary sources pertaining to demographic, vehicle registration, toll operator data, socio-economic characteristics, public transport system, etc. were also collected as part of the data collection activity. Only AC Class, Sleeper and Chair Car passengers travelling on express trains were considered as potential users. In the case of car/taxi and bus passengers, the trips were filtered from total traffic based on trip length. Stated Preference survey was conducted at Airports, major bus terminals, onboard buses and major trains and different class of trains along the proposed SilverLine corridor. The regional bus, AC-bus, train-AC and train-Non AC users were interviewed to appreciate the personal characteristics, travel details, willingness to pay and shift to SilverLine and opinion on preference on 6 hypothetical transport scenarios – each scenario refers to a set or combination of Travel Cost, Time and Frequency for both SilverLine and the present mode, for an average trip length of 200 km was obtained. For all future estimations, base year is considered as 2019-20, commissioning year as 2025-26 and horizon year as 2052-53. The traffic projection covers up to 50 year (2072-73) period.

Elasticity approach (elasticity based econometric model) is used for forecasting future traffic which takes into account the elasticity of transport demand and probable pattern of future growth of the economy (regional - India and local - Kerala). The daily ridership was estimated for four different scenarios as Pessimistic, Business-As-Usual, Realistic and Optimistic built-up based on variations in parameters such as additional infrastructure developments, additional traffic generated, growth rates based on All India GDP and the difference in mode-wise probability of shift from potential trips. The daily ridership was observed to be varying between approx. ~54,000 daily trips in the worst scenario to ~1, 14,000 trips in an optimistic scenario in 2025-26. The realistic scenario is expected to generate approx. ~79,934 daily trips in 2025-26 (including trips from airports, feeder service and TOD).

Social Media & Media Coverage

EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR (2019-20)

Congratulations Shri. C.M. Rajakumar!!!

Shri. C.M. Rajakumar, Financial Assistant, has been selected as the Employee of the Year (2019-2020) for his exceptional contributions to the organisation during his tenure with K-Rail.

A cautious and diligent Finance officer, he has been with K-Rail from its inception and was responsible for the many money savings effiected to K-Rail. As a loyal employee, he has strived to keep the Finance Wing bound and always strived to uphold the organisational goals. His vast experience in financial matters has guided his subordinates to a very large extent.

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