The Transport Ministry will add 15 power sets (S10 category) imported from China to the railway fleet under its 10-year Railway Development Strategy highlighted in the Mahinda Chintanaya as a major priority.
Accordingly, a power set which completed its trial successfully will make its maiden journey from Colombo Fort on November 1 at 9.00 am.
The total cost of these 15 power sets was US$ 40 million and they have been imported to Sri Lanka after nine years, a spokesman of the Transport Ministry told the Daily News.
This would take the CGR’s power set fleet to 45, he said. This would fulfil the countrywide demands of the commuters as more trains are expected to be deployed on several rail tracks.
Following President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s recent visit to China, the Chinese Government has provided these 15 power sets stipulating the lowest price per power set as US$ 2.46 million which was the market price in 2003. A single power set will comprise of six coaches where around 275 commuters can be accommodated in one compartment.
Accordingly, around 1,500 commuters can be transported by one power set. We will deploy this (S10 category) power set to the railway fleet on the Panadura-Veyangoda route and the diesel engine train (M2-M8 category) which is being operated on this railway line at present will operate on the Negombo-Polgahawela line, he said. “In addition, three power sets (S8 category) which are presently operating on Veyangoda-Panadura railway line will be deployed to the Kelaniweli railway track which was neglected for many years.”
“With the adding of these new power sets to the railway fleet, we hope to strengthen the railway goods transport system with more trains to meet the demand. It would also provide a great opportunity to operate more trains to transport raw materials and equipment to be used in railway track maintenance,” the Transport Ministry Spokesman said.