July 8th, 2011
A tense situation erupted at the Panadura railway station on Wednesday evening when a group of Ticket Examiners carried out a raid and arrested a passenger who failed to produce his ticket after arriving on the train from Colombo.
The suspect offered to pay the fine and double the fair, which was the usual fine imposed on people riding on buses and trains without tickets, although he claimed to have bought a ticket at the Fort Railway station stating that he had lost it. However a large crowed gathered outside the room where the passenger concerned had been placed pending the payment of the fine and created a rowdy scene demanding the release of the man. They however dispersed after the station master called the Panadura police.
June 23rd, 2011
A new intercity express train between Colombo Fort and Kandy will be operated during the weekends.
General Manager of Railways B.A.P. Ariyaratne said that this train will be operated from the 26th of this month for the convenience of the public. The train will leave the Colombo Fort Railway Station at 9.30 a.m. and reach Kandy at 11.57 a.m. It will leave Kandy at 5.45 p.m. and reach Colombo Fort at 8.16 p.m. The Railway Department said that the train will stop only at the Peradeniya Railway Station. The train also consists of an observation car.
Source: ITN News
June 23rd, 2011
The Jaffna railway station will be reconstructed soon at a cost of Rs 89 million in line with the Uthuru Mithuru programme, which has been introduced to re-establish the Northern railway track.
The Bank of Ceylon (BoC) will provide funds for the Jaffna railway station reconstruction project.
An MoU in this regard was signed Tuesday between the BoC and the Railway Department at the Transport Ministry with the participation of Transport Minister Kumara Welgama, BoC and Transport Ministry officials.
Meanwhile, the 159-kilometre Northern railway line is being reconstructed under the Uthuru Mithuru programme. The railway line consists of 85 railway bridges and 16 sub railway stations. The project has three phases. Under the first phase, the railway track from Omanthai to Vavuniya will be reconstructed. The second phase will cover from Palei to Omanthai while Palei to KKS line will be undertaken in the third phase.
by : Dharma Sri Abeyratne
Source : Daily News
June 2nd, 2011
The Sri Lanka Railways yesterday commenced a new office train service between Colombo Fort and Rambukkana.
This service will stop at the Alawwa and Maradana Railway Stations. The train will leave the Rambukkana railway station at 6.15 am and reach the Colombo Fort Railway Station at 7.57 am. The evening train service commences from Colombo Fort at 4.50 pm and will arrive at the Rambukkana Station at 6.30 pm.
A new s11 Power Set recently imported from India is being used for the new office train service between Rambukkana and Colombo Fort. Transport Minister Kumara Welgama travelling on the train’s inaugural journey from Rambukkana to Colombo Fort said the service was launched following a number of requests made by daily train commuters.
The minister visiting each compartment listened to the problems and requests of commuters. He stressed that commuters have a responsibility to protect railway properties by helping the authorities maintain them well.
A Second Class compartment has been added to the new office train service on the requests of commuters. A new office train service from Chilaw to Colombo Fort will begin shortly.
June 1st, 2011
The Sri Lankan government is aiming at completing the Northern railway line to Kankasanthurai within two years.
Transport Minister Kumara Welgama has said the government was working with the goal of extending the Yal Devi railway service to reach Kankasanthurai from Colombo in two years.
The rail track from Omanthai to Kankasanthurai is to be reconstructed with the support of the Indian government.
According to Welgama, the staff in the Railway Department and all stakeholders need to work to strengthen the department in order to expedite development projects like the Northern railway line.
May 31st, 2011
The Indian company engaged in reconstructing the northern railway tracks had imported 18,500 tons of rails required for the lines from Madawachchiya to Madhu, extending to Thalai- Mannar, officials said yesterday.
The steering committee appointed to monitor the implementation of five railway projects in the North met for the first time, where the timely completion of the work was emphasized. S.L. Gupta, the General Manager of IRCON International Limited, which is a government of India undertaking contracted to implement the project, said that survey work had been completed on the Medawachchiya –Madu line, while the work on the track to Thalai-mannar was in an advanced stage of finalization.
“The stock of rails that has been imported is more than enough to complete these two tracks. We will use the rest for the Omanthai-Palai track in which the de-mining activities have now been completed in 55 kilometres. We learn that the remaining 35 kilometres of land area has been heavily mined. This stretch will be handed over to us by July, 2011,” he said.
The government has offered the bid for IRCON to construct these three railway projects under financial assistance from the Indian Line of Credit. Besides these projects, the agreements to lay the railway line between Palai to Kankasanthurai and the Signalling and Telecommunication systems were also said to be in the advanced stage of finalization. All these projects are covered under the US $ 850 million Indian line of Credit. Mr. Gupta said that two-third of employees needed for these projects would be recruited locally for these projects.
May 25th, 2011
Sri Lanka Minister of Transport Kumara Welgama will declare open the dual track Colombo – Ja-Ela railway line today.
The railway from Colombo to Puttalam was single track since its beginning, making the journey slow due to train crossings that needed stopping one train.
Sri Lanka Railway Department developed the second track from Ragama to Ja-ela using modern technology and local expertise, a spokesman of the Department said. The construction of one kilometer of the track cost Rs. 30 million, he said.
The development will speed up the journey by half an hour, Sri Lanka Railway announced. The distance from Colombo to Ja-ela is approximately 20 km.
The Colombo-Puttalam rail line covers a distance of about 134 km. It was completed in 1926.
May 22nd, 2011
Sri Lanka Railways will launch a new rail bus service between Gal Oya junction and Trincomalee under the Negenahira Navodaya project from May 26.
The inauguration will take place at the Gal Oya railway station under the patronage of Transport Minister Kumara Welgama and Deputy Transport Minister Rohana Kumara Dissanayake, a Sri Lanka Railways Spokesman told the Daily News. He said that the first rail bus launched under the Negenahira Navodaya between Batticaloa and Gal Oya is being operated successfully. Thereafter, the Railways Department took measures to commence nine more rail bus services on the Eastern railway fleet following commuter requests.
Two rail buses between Puttalam and Chilaw, two rail buses between Mahawa and Polgahawela, one rail bus between Medawachchiya and Thalawa, three rail buses from Polonnaruwa and Batticaloa and one rail bus between Kanthale and Trincomalee are currently in operation. He said that the rail bus service provides quick and affordable transport facilities to commuters.
It has also considerably reduced travel time.
The Indian government has provided 12 buses to Sri Lanka Railways and has made available an additional allocation to pay for the cost of conversion of these buses into rail bus units.
The buses had been converted into rail buses suitable for local conditions at the Ratmalana Railway workshop.
Each rail bus will have two buses. A rail bus comprising 80 seats costs about Rs 6 million and is easier to maintain, the spokesman added.