|Sabari rail line|
|Type|| Regional rail |
|Termini|| Angamaly (AFK)|
Erumeli to Punalur
|Operator(s)||Southern Railway zone|
|Depot(s)|| Kollam |
|Line length||111 km (69 mi)|
|Number of tracks||1|
|Track gauge||1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)|
Sabari rail line is a proposed 111 kilometres (69 mi) railway line from Angamaly to Erumeli, near Sabarimala that has been sanctioned in the year 1998 by Indian Railways. According to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Kerala State and the Ministry of Railways on January 27, 2016, commercially viable railway projects will be identified and handed over to the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to be fast-tracked on a 51:49 per cent equity basis. SPV has discussed about the extension to Punalur. The current Sabari Rail line is under PMO - Pro active governs and timely implementation (Pragati); will be monitored by the Prime Minister's Office. Another proposal for this railway line is extend to Thiruvananthapuram. If this proposed Sabari railway line is connected to proposed new railway terminal at Nemom near Thiruvananthapuram via Nedumangad, several long distance trains are supposed to be operated from Nemom via Punalur and Angamaly to Chennai/Bangalore and rest of country. Survey for new lines from Madurai Junction to Kottayam and Dindigul Junction to Cumbum lower camp, Kumily to Sabarimala, ettumanoor to pala also started.
Kerala's government started the land acquisition for the construction of this Sabari railway line project and established special Thahasildhar offices at Perumbavoor and Palai in 2006 and at Muvattupuzha in 2010 for the land acquisition of Sabari railway line. Railway and revenue department has conducted joint survey for the land acquisition of this railway line, laid boundary stone for the acquired land and notification for land acquisition up to proposed Ramapuram railway station in Kottayam district. 90% of railway line construction up to Kaladi railway station 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) was completed by 2010.
The revenue department of the Government of Kerala completed all formalities of land acquisition in Chelamattom village, Perumbavoor village, Koovapady village, Vengoor West village, Rayamangalam village, Asmannor village (on 19 August 2008) and Muvattupuzha village (on 28 October 2011) and declared the land value of acquired land for this railway line. But land price distribution to the land owners of these villages has not happened due to the lack of funding from the Railway Ministry of the Government of India. Although the Railway board has approved the revised estimate of Angamali- Perumbavoor reach of this railway line ₹203 crore (US$31 million), has not given any fund for the completion of revised estimate approved reach. The Railway board has written to the Kerala government that without 50% of cost sharing by the state government, they could not allocate any further funding to Sabari railway project.The Railways have started the pre-non interlocking works in the Angamali Railway station on August 3, 2017 which aims at connecting the Sabari rail line to the main line of Ernakulam-Shoranur.They also have decided to open the railway offices at Perumbavoor and Muvattupuzha for the fast acquisition of lands.
Idukki, one of the districts in Kerala which has no railway station, will get railway connectivity and two railway stations through the line. The railway line will help the wood–based and rice–based industries concentrated in the Perumbavoor–Kalady area, and the tourist destinations of Ernakulam, Idukki and Kottayam districts.
Proposed new railway stations in I Phase are Kalady, Perumbavoor, Odakkali, Kothamangalam, Muvattupuzha, Vazhakulam, Thodupuzha, Karimkunnam, Ramapuram, Palai, Erattupetta, Kanjirappally and Erumeli. During II Phase stations at Ranni, Adoor, Pathanamthitta, Konni, Koodal, Pathanapuram will be connected to Punalur and there join Kollam–Sengottai branch line. Since it provides a railway facility to Sabarimala pilgrims and the number of pilgrims visiting Sabarimala temple is more than the total population of Kerala, this railway line was named Sabarimala railway line. It is operated by Thiruvananthapuram division of the Southern Railway zone.