Classes and Accommodation
1st Class Observation Saloon
These carriages are provided in Udarata Menike and Podi Menike which are running between Colombo Fort – Badulla in day time and Colombo – Kandy Intercity Express Trains as they cover one of the most scenic rail routes in the world. Observation car is attached to the rear of the train with a large window in the back to see outside. Seats are comfortable arm chairs facing back so sometimes you may feel little uncomfortable as you have to travel backwards. Normally these coaches have either 24 seats (ICE) or 44 seats (Udarata Menike and Podi Menike). Reservation is essential for this class and its better to reserve a.s.a.p. because its very demanded among local and foreign tourists. Reservation can be made 10 days prior to the day of travellings. In peak days (School vacations and weekends) you will see long queues at Berth Reservation Office in the mornings on the first day that reservations can be made and within minutes all seats will be sold out.
1st Class Air-Conditioned Saloon
These carriages are only provided in Colombo – Batticaloa Intercity Express Train with one coach per train. These coaches have 32 comfortable reclining seats. These seats should be reserved in advance.
1st Class Sleeping Berth
These non air-conditioned carriages with 2 berth compartments are provided in four pairs of night trains. Each carriage has 6 compartments (coupes) and one carriage is provided in each train. Each coupe is lockable and have separate toilet and washbasin (shared by two coupes). It has two berths, upper and lower and lower berth can be converted to seats for day time traveling. Bedroll is provided free of charge. SLR use both Indian and Romanian for this class. Romanian coaches are new and more comfortable than Indian coaches. All of these berths must be reserved in advance.
2nd Class Sleeperettes
Provided in all major night trains, these coaches have reclining seats. Each night train has one carriage of this class and normally a coach has 48 seats. These seats can be reclined about forty five degrees so it’ll be comfortable for sleeping. Seats must be reserved in advance.
2nd Class Reserved Seats
These are the cushion arm chairs where you get an allocated seat. These coaches are the general accommodation in day time Intercity Express trains with 4 or 5 coaches provided in each train. Yal Devi train also has one coach with 2nd Class reserved seats.
2nd Class Unreserved Seats
This is similar to the 2nd Class reserved seats but you will not get a reserved seat and you have to hop and sit on a free seat. These coaches are provided in every major long distance trains with 1 to 3 coaches per train depending on total number of coaches in the train. Sometimes these carriages can get crowded.
3rd Class Sleeperettes
This class is similar to 2nd Class sleeperettes but less comfortable. Each night express train will be provided with one 3rd Class sleeperettes (2 coaches are provided in Vavniya night mail). Normally they use old Romanian 2nd class sleeperettes as 3rd class sleeperettes but in Colombo – Badulla night mail the coach will be a Indian one and its less spacious and less comfortable because it has a 2-3 seat formation (Not highly recommended). Seats must be reserved in advance.
3rd Class Unreserved Seats
General sitting in all trains expect Intercity Expresses. Seats are not very comfortable and has a 2-3 seat formation. All Long distance have 4 to 6 coaches of this class. Normally seats are cushioned one. But in some commuter and local trains seats can be grubby wooden ones. DMU (Power set) coaches are also come under 3rd Class seats. These carriages oftenly get crowded in long distance trains and peak time commuter and local trains. Not recommended for long distance travel.