The pre-feasibility study for the proposed Chennai to Ernakulam High Speed Rail Corridor will now be extended to cover Thiruvananthapuram also.

An assurance to this effect has been received from the Union Railway Minister, Mr Dinesh Trivedi, the Chief Minister, Mr Oommen Chandy, has said.

SIX CORRIDORS

This will be one of the six such corridors being proposed across the country, as per a request for proposal (RFP) for ‘appointment for pre-feasibility for High Speed Rail' corridor notice issued on July 14 earlier this year.

The RFP document said that the Ministry of Railways has decided to appoint consultants to prepare pre-feasibility study in pursuance to the objective of introduction of High Speed Passenger Railway in the country.

The report will seek to evaluate the financial viability and technical feasibility of construction, maintenance and management of six corridors through Public Private Partnership (PPP), among other implementation formats.

SOUTHERN CORRIDOR

These corridors are Pune-Mumbai-Ahmedabad; Delhi-Chandigarh-Amritsar; Delhi-Agra-Lucknow-Varanasi-Patna; Howrah-Haldia; Hyderabad-Dornakal-Vijayawada-Chennai; and Chennai-Bengaluru-

Coimbatore-Ernakulam.

Pre-feasibility study for the Pune-Mumbai-Ahmedabad section has already been completed. The same for Delhi-Agra-Lucknow-Varanasi-Patna and Howrah-Haldia is in progress.

Pre-feasibility study for Delhi-Chandigarh-Amritsar corridor is under finalisation. Global tender for Hyderabad-Dornakal-Vijayawada-Chennai has already been invited.

PROJECT COMPONENTS

The July-14 RFP is only for the Chennai–Bengaluru– Coimbatore–Ernakulam corridor which will now be re-formatted to include Thiruvananthapuram too.

The pre-feasibility study was to be done for the following sections and separate reports comprising of all the aspects may be considered and reproduced for (a) section between Chennai-Bengaluru; Chennai-Bengaluru-Coimbatore-Ernakulam via Mysore and Chennai-Bengaluru-Coimbatore-Ernakulam with a branch line to Mysore.

The High Speed Passenger Railway for the purpose of this pre-feasibility report is a high speed passenger train service that can achieve a running speed of 300 km/hr to 350 km/hr.

MAGLEV RULED OUT

There are several products currently in commercial use, using conventional guide way systems. While Magnetic levitation (Maglev) systems can also achieve such high speeds, this option shall be excluded from this report, the notice said.

High Speed Passenger Railway System is expected to usher in a new transport product not available in the country at present, the notice said.

It will also fill up a vacuum in the current passenger transport scenario. A consultant is sought to be selected through an international competitive bidding process in accordance with the procedure set out.

(This article was published on October 30, 2011)
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