New Delhi: A Joint Declaration of Intent was signed between Ministry of Railways and Germany on 10th October,2017 in Rail Bhavan in the presence of Shri Ashwani Lohani, Chairman, Railway Board regarding carrying out of feasibility study on existing Chennai-Kazipet corridor of Indian Railways by German Railways for increasing the speed of passenger trains to 200 kmph on 50.50 percent cost sharing basis.
The current Joint Declaration of Intent is intended to deepen the cooperation, more specifically towards the achievement in the priority area of Semi High Speed Rail: the upgrading of current passenger services to SHS (Semi High Speed) upto 200 kmph on the Chennai-Kazipet corridor (643 km).
The Project is envisaged to consist of three phases to be carried out over a 22 month period with the objectives to provide :
● Phase 1: Definition of three demand-based Upgrade scenarios for the corridor
● Phase 2: Selection of the preferred Upgrade scenario for SHS on the corridor, based on analysis of respective operations and economic-financial impact.
● Phase 3: For preferred scenario, Reference design and technical Tender document:
1. Development of Reference design for technical solution on preferred Upgrade scenario.
2. Procurement concept for Construction works and Railway Systems.
3. Concept and Requirements for construction Phasing under railway Operations.
4. Preparation of technical tender documents for preferred Scenario usable for Design & Build tendering.
5. Development of recommendations on the implications for a larger SHS program for India.
6. Possible financing options for the implementation of the corridor.
The cost of the feasibility study will be shared 50.50 percent by the Ministry of Railways of the Government of India and Government of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The final terms and conditions of carrying out of this feasibility study shall be completed through signing a separate Agreement.
Earlier, a Protocol on cooperation in Rail sector was signed between both sides in May, 2016 in Germany, with following priority areas.
a) Concepts for increasing the design and the actually driven speeds;
b) Concepts for increasing the capacity of railway lines in passenger and goods transport;
c) Concepts for improving operational safety to avoid incidents and accidents;
d) Concepts for reducing operational costs, in particular by means of energy efficient railway operations;
e) Concepts for the cooperation between education and training facilities in India and Germany with the objective of enhancing the railway know how;
f) Supporting the expansion of the high speed and semi high speed network;
g) Joint development of user oriented standards and norms for India with the participation of the competent regulatory authorities;
h) Concepts for speed raising on longer stretches for multiple traffic;
i) Concepts for station redevelopment on modern lines.
Salient Features of Chennai-Kazipet Corridor
● Route: Chennai-Gudur Jn-Nellore-Tenali Jn-Vijayawada Jn-Warangal-Kazipet Jn Total length of the corridor – 643 km (135 km in Southern Railway and 508 km in South Central Railway) and the entire corridor is electrified.
● Divisions Involved – Chennai (135 km), Vijayawada (311 km) & Secunderabad (197 km).
● The maximum sectional speed on the corridor is 110 kmph in Southern Railway and 120 kmph for South Central Railway.
● There are 216 (Southern Railway-68 & South Central Railway-148) level crossings on the corridor and all are manned.
● There are 1979 (Southern Railway-514 & South Central Railway-1465) number of bridges on this corridor.
● There is only one direct train from Kazipet to Chennai i.e. Train No. 12760/Charminar SF Express taking 11 hours 20 minutes with 13 stoppages at an average speed of 57 kmph.
● Majority of the trains are from Warangal to Chennai (638 km) and the fastest train is Train no. 12433/12434 Rajdhani Express taking 8 hours 29 minutes with average speed of 75.3 kmph with one stoppage at Vijayawada.
● Details of coaching trains on the route: Gareeb Rath-1, Janshatabdi-1, Superfast-40, MailExpress-21 & Holiday Special-8, Total-71.
● Total number of enroute stations – 108 (Southern Railway-28 & South Central Railway-80).
● Total number of stations where platform is on the mainline – 29 (Southern Railway-23 & South Central Railway-06).
● Southern Railway – Automatic/Absolute signalling, South Central Railway – Mainly absolute and MACLS.