Thiruvananthapuram Light Metro

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Thiruvananthapuram Metro
Locale Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
Transit type Light Metro (not finalised)
Number of lines 1
Number of stations 19
Daily ridership 246,000 trips per day (2019 estimate)
Began operation Under planning
Operation will start 2020?
Operator(s) Kerala Monorail Corporation Ltd. (KMCL)
Train length 3 coaches
Headway 4.5 minutes
System length 22.20 km (13.79 mi)
No. of tracks 1
Average speed 40 km/h (25 mph)
Top speed 80 km/h (50 mph)
System map
Block Office
Technopark (Kazhakuttam)

The Thiruvananthapuram Metro (erstwhile Thiruvananthapuram Monorail) is a proposed Light Metro system in the city of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of the Indian state of Kerala.


Thiruvananthapuram's first attempt to build a rapid transit system for the city failed, when its proposal to build a metro rail system was rejected by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) in the 2000s.[1] The Government of Kerala, then entrusted the National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC), an autonomous research body under the State Government, to conduct the feasibility study of the proposal to build a monorail system in Thiruvananthapuram. The feasibility study was conducted by a core team comprising five scientists of NATPAC and various survey teams. Topographic studies, identification of stations and surveys were the main components of the study.[2]

The State Government had initially asked the state transport department to prepare a detailed project report (DPR).[3] However, the DMRC was later entrusted with the task. DMRC principal advisor E. Sreedharan submitted the DPR to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on 11 December 2012.[4] A special purpose vehicle (SPV) was created in October 2012.[5] The Thiruvananthapuram Monorail project was assigned to the KMCL on 26 November 2012. The government had handed over the Kozhikode Monorail project to the KMCL prior to that.[6]

On 12 June 2013, the State Cabinet gave clearance for an agreement to be signed between KMCL and DMRC.[7] The DMRC will receive 3.25% of the INR 55.81 billion (INR 35.90 billion for Thiruvananthapuram and INR 19.91 billion for Kozhikode) in general consultant fees.[8] The agreement was signed on 19 June 2013.[9]

Global tenders were floated for the Thiruvananthapuram Monorail.[10] The deadline for technical bids was extended from 1 October 2013 to 15 October.[10] However, a consortium led by Bombardier Transportation was the only firm that expressed an interest before the deadline. Pre-bid queries had also been made by Japanese firm Hitachi, Malaysian firm Scomi,[11] and firms from the United Kingdom, South Korea, and China.[12] The tender for the proposed project only received one bid, so a second tender had to be issued.[13] The deadline for bids was extended again to April 15.[14][15]

Bombardier Transportation, Hitachi, Afcons, Scomi, and Larsen and Toubro expressed interest in the second round of tender submissions. A pre-bid meeting was held in New Delhi on 20 February 2014.[16] Bidding on the Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram projects was delayed by the model code of conduct coming into effect prior to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.[17]

On 28 August 2014, the State Government decided to use Light Metro, instead of Monorail, in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode, mainly due to cost overruns. Though slightly costlier, Light Metro has several advantages, such as easy raising of capacity, DMRC's expertise in the field and more number of companies who can bid for the project.[18]


The Thiruvananthapuram line will start from Technocity and terminate at Karamana covering a distance of 22.537 km with 19 stations, along the old NH 47. Slight accommodations were made for the proposed flyovers at Kazhakuttam, Sreekariyam and Ulloor. Special spans are proposed where the line crosses the railway line at Railway Km 221/6-8. The car depot is located on a 12.5 hectares of Government land near the CRPF Camp at Pallipuram.[19]

The project will be built in 3 phases.[4] Stations would be located at Technocity, Pallippuram, Kaniyapuram, Kazhakuttom, Kazhakuttom Junction, Karyavattom, Gurumandiram, Pangappara, Sreekariyam, Pongumoodu, Ulloor, Kesavadasapuram, Pattom, Plamoodu, Palayam, Secretariat, Thampanoor, Killipalam, and Karamana.[20] The line will be built in three phases.

Route Terminals Length (km) Stations Opening date
Route 1 Technocity Kariavattom 7
Route 2 Kariavattom Kesavadasapuram 8
Route 3 Kesavadasapuram Karamana 8
Total Technocity Karamana 22.20 19 April 2018

Route 1[edit]

Route 1 covers a distance of 7 km from Technocity to Kariavattom.[21] Route 1 is expected to be commissioned 30 months after the contractor is finalised.[22]

Route 2 and Route 3[edit]

The Route 2 section of the line is expected to be completed five years after the contractor is chosen.[22]

Routes 2 and 3 will be commissioned together.[22]

Future expansion[edit]

The light metro will have provisions for extension towards the south up to Neyyattinkara as well as towards north to attingal. There is another proposal to extend the network to Thiruvananthapuram International Airport.[4]


The cost of the project, based on April 2012 prices, is INR27025.6 million (US$420 million) excluding taxes of INR4.75 billion (US$75 million).[19] The cost to construct each kilometre of the light metro is INR 1617.1 million.[20] It will be executed in Design, Build-Operate-Transfer (DBOT) mode.[23] The State and Union governments will each pay 20% of the cost, and the rest will be paid by other investors such as banks.[24]

In the 2012 State Budget, finance minister K. M. Mani, allotted INR200 million (US$3.1 million) for the Thiruvananthapuram project.[25] The project will be financed in part by a 5% state governemtn surcharge on petrol and diesel sales. The surcharge is expected to brin in INR 2.50 billion per year.[26]

The operation and maintenance costs are divided into three major parts - staff costs, maintenance cost which include expenditure towards upkeep and maintenance of the system and consumables, and energy costs.[19]

Rolling stock[edit]

Each train will be made up of 3 coaches on the formation - leading car / intermediate car / leading car. The length, width, and height of the leading cars will be up to 16m, up to 3.15m and up to 4.05 m respectively; while the intermediate car will have the same width and height, but a slightly shorter length of up to 15m. The total length of train will be approximately 48 m.[19] Specifications may be changed in course of time.


Proposed fares for the light metro vary from a minimum of INR 8 for two km to INR 30 for 18–24 km. However, the minimum fare projected for 2019 is INR 11 and the maximum INR 42.[4]

Alternatives to monorail[edit]

Representatives of Hyundai Rotem proposed in 2012 to use Maglev technology for setting up a mass rapid transport system in the city.[27]

On 28 August 2014, the State Government decided to use Light Metro, instead of Monorail, in both Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode, mainly due to cost overruns.[28]

Personal Rapid Transit[edit]

A Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system in Thiruvananthapuram has been proposed by INKEL ltd.

A proposal has been submitted to the Government to implement the project through the Swiss Challenge method. As per this method, the developer who has given the original proposal has the opportunity for first right of refusal.[29]

A shift of 40% of the car and auto rickshaw travellers to the new system is expected. The PRT will function as a feeder mode of transport to supplement the proposed system.

The project will be completed in two phases. The first will be from Pallipuram to Thampanoor and the second from Thampanoor to Neyyattinkara. Thirty-five stations are proposed and the track will pass through Vellayambalam, Palayam, Statue, Overbridge, East Fort and Thampanoor.[30]

The approximate cost of the project is INR 60  crore per kilometre and it can be completed in 24 to 30 months.[31]

Finance Minister K.M. Mani allocated INR 2.5 million in the 2012-13 State Budget for preliminary work on the PRT in Thiruvananthapuram and Kottayam.

The project is expected to be completed in 24 months from date of commencement.[32]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Monorail – The Fading Dream - Trivandrum News. (10 September 2012).
  2. ^ Monorail: Feasibility study ends. (31 January 2012).
  3. ^ "PWD prepares project report for Kozhikode monorail project". The Times of India. 4 January 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d Radhakrishnan, S. Anil (12 December 2012). "DMRC submits detailed project report for Monorail". The hindu (Chennai, India). Retrieved 18 December 2012. 
  5. ^ "Cabinet approves detailed project report of Kozhikode monorail project". The Times of India. TNN. 4 October 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  6. ^ S. Anil Radhakrishnan (27 November 2012). "Monorail project on track soon". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  7. ^ Nod for pact with DMRC for monorail. The Hindu (13 June 2013).
  8. ^ Agreement with DMRC to be signed on June 19. The Hindu (15 June 2013).
  9. ^ Kerala Monorail, Delhi Metro ink consultancy agreement | Business Line. Business Line. (19 June 2013).
  10. ^ a b Radhakrishnan, S. Anil (17 October 2013). "Global tenders again for Trivandrum, Kozhikode monorail". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 
  11. ^ "DMRC may go for another tender to select entities for monorail project - The Times of India". The Times Of India. 
  12. ^ Radhakrishnan, S. Anil (23 October 2013). "Tender norms revised for Trivandrum, Kozhikode monorail projects". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ Radhakrishnan, S. Anil (6 February 2014). "Monorail DPR for Trivandrum and Kozhikode to be submitted for nod". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 
  16. ^ Radhakrishnan, S. Anil (6 February 2014). "Monorail DPR for Trivandrum and Kozhikode to be submitted for nod". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 
  17. ^ Radhakrishnan, S. Anil (4 April 2014). "PWD works on the slow lane". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 
  18. ^ "Monorail scrapped, LRTS mooted ", The Hindu, 29 Aug 2014
  20. ^ a b "DMRC submits detailed project report for monorail". The Times of India. 12 December 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  21. ^ Mono rail projects on fast track in Kerala. Khaleej Times (20 June 2013).
  22. ^ a b c "Carriageway width to be 24 metres". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 1 January 2014. 
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Tender deadline for monorail project extended - The Times of India". The Times Of India. 
  25. ^ FM allocates more funds for Metro, Monorail projects. Manorama Online.
  26. ^ Kerala citizens to pay for their metro. Deccan Herald. (26 October 2012).
  27. ^ Maglev tech-based plan mooted for Thiruvananthapuram - Times Of India. The Times of India. (10 July 2012).
  28. ^ Radhakrishnan, S. Anil (28 August 2014). "Monorail scrapped, LRTS mooted". The Hindu. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  29. ^ "Govt mulls advanced transit system for city". The Times of India. 9 February 2012. 
  30. ^ Radhakrishnan, S. Anil (20 February 2012). "Trivandrum monorail". The Hindu (Chennai, India). Retrieved 21 February 2012. 
  31. ^ PRT: A feeder to Monorail. (30 January 2012).
  32. ^ Radhakrishnan, S. Anil (23 March 2012). "Pod-cars to link major work centres". The Hindu (Chennai, India).