The Sri Lanka Railway Department for the first time since its inception in the colonial period in 1864 will commence a modernised coastal train service at the speed of 100 KMPH from today.
The coastal railway line between the southern towns of Matara and Galle has been fully modernised with Indian technical and financial assistance. Trains on this modernised railway line between the two stations will ply at the speed of 43 KMPH from Wednesday (16), thus completing the journey within 28 minutes.
In between the two main towns there are six main stations and 102 railway crossings. Of this about 90 per cent are unprotected level crossings.
Therefore, the railway authorities warn pedestrians and motorists along this 43 km length railway line to be extra cautious when using these unprotected railway crossings.
Transport Minister Kumar Welgama and Deputy Minister Rohana Dissanayaka will inaugurate this high speed service. CGR’s Director Planning Wijaya Samarasinghe told the Information Department that so far, since the commencement of CGR on 24 December 1864, the speed of the trains was 40 KMPH.
“This is the first time trains will ply at the speed of 100 kmph in Sri Lanka after 147 years,” Samarasinghe said.
He also said that the plan was to modernise the Colombo-Matara railway line to reach Matara from Colombo within two hours. As the first step, the Matara-Galle sector has been completed. The second stage will be modernisation from Galle to Hikkaduwa and Hikkaduwa to Kalutara. From there on, Colombo-Maradana will be carried out under the third and fourth stages, enabling a reduction of the total journey time to two hours.