Ernakulam–Kayamkulam coastal line
|Ernakulam–Kayamkulam Coastal line|
Cherthala railway station on Ernakulam–Kayamkulam line
|Native name||എറണാകുളം-കായംകുളം തീരദേശ തീവണ്ടി പാത|
|Opened||16 October 1989|
|Operator(s)||Southern Railway zone|
|Line length||100 km (62 mi)|
|Number of tracks||1|
|Track gauge||1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)|
|Loading gauge||4,725 mm × 3,660 mm (15 ft 6.0 in × 12 ft 0.1 in) (BG)|
|Operating speed||100 km/h (62 mph)|
Ernakulam–Kayamkulam coastal line is a railway line which runs along the coastal areas of Alappuzha, Ernakulam districts in Kerala state of India. The coastal railway line starts as a branch line from Ernakulam Junction railway station towards Alappuzha and joins with the route via Kottayam ( Ernakulam-Kottayam-Kayamkulam line) at Kayamkulam Junction. The coastal line has a total distance of 100 km. This is the shortest route connecting major cities Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam and saves a considerable amount of time when compared to the circuitous route via kottayam.
The initial survey for the Ernakulam–Kayamkulam line via Alappuzha was started in 1975. The initial proposed alignment of the railway line from Ernakulam Junction to Alappuzha has been changed after protests from various quarters. This line was mentioned in 1977-78 final budget. The final alignment of the route which was approved was Ernakulam–Konthuruty–Nettor–Kumbalam–Aroor–Cherthala–Alappuzha. The construction of railway line was started on 15 April 1979 and the construction has been divided into two reaches as Ernakulam–Alappuzha reach and Alappuzha–Kayamkulam reach.
The construction of this coastal railway line in Ernakulam Junction–Alappuzha railway station section was started in 1979. Around 140 hectares of land was acquired for laying the railway lines. 11 new railway stations and 6 major bridges has been constructed along this route. The total cost outlay was 7 crores and the total length of the railway line is 54 km. The line was opened to railway traffic on 16 October 1989.
The construction of Alappuzha–Kayamkulam section was started as part of second phase of coastal railway development and the alignment was via Alappuzha–Punnapra–Ambalappuzha–Haripad–Kayamkulam. The total length of the railway line was 45 km and the line was opened to railway traffic on 1992. Thus the Ernakulam Junction–Alappuzha coastal railway line has been connected to Kayamkulam Junction railway station–Kollam Junction main railway line.
Electrification & track doubling
Ernakulam Junction–Alappuzha–Kayamkulam railway line is fully electrified. The double line work on 13 km Kayamkulam–Haripad section has been completed and the double line track was commissioned in January 2012. The track doubling work for Haripad– Ambalapuzha is currently in progress. The doubling works for the Ambalapuzha- Ernakulam junction sector is painfully slow.
The Ernakulam–Alappuzha–Kayamkulam coastal line has 20 express trains and 7 passenger trains running along this route.
Superfast trains connecting the cities of Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi are increasingly preferring this route to the one via Kottayam because this route is shorter and saves considerable amount of time in reaching these cities. Major trains like Thiruvananthapuram-Kozhikode Jan Shatabdi Express and Thiruvananthapuram-Delhi Rajdhani Express, Trivandrum-Chennai Super AC Express, kochuveli-Chandigarh Kerala Sampark Kranti, Tirunelveli-Gandhidham Humsafar Express and the Kochuveli-Mangalore Antyodaya Express run via Alappuzha. Mail /Express trains terminating at Alapuzha also use this route.