The Indian Railways signed a declaration of intent with Germany today to carry out a feasibility study on the Chennai-Kazipet corridor to increase the speed of passenger trains to 200 kmph, officials said.
At present, the travel time between Chennai and Kazipet in Telengana, a distance of around 643 kms, is around 11 hours. If the semi-high speed corridor is developed, then it will take about 3 hours 15 minutes.
The project will be carried out in three phases over a 22-month period.
The cost of the feasibility study will be equally shared by the Ministry of Railways and Germany.
Once the feasibility study is done, the Railway Board will decide if a semi-high speed train can be run on this corridor, the officials said.
The increase in speed of the corridor will significantly help commuters as there is only one direct train from Kazipet to Chennai — the Charminar SF Express — which takes 11 hours 20 minutes with 13 stoppages at an average speed of 57 kmph.
The maximum sectional speed on the corridor is 110 kmph in Southern Railway and 120 kmph for South Central Railway.