Sri Lanka to introduce first electric train
A master plan to modernize the intercity train service to bring it on par with the existing well-developed railway systems is soon to be introduced. A Cabinet paper is to be submitted in the coming weeks, proposing specific improvements to the railway service, after which the master plan will be implemented.
Under the master plan, serious modernization will take place and specific routes to identified destinations will be rehabilitated and news features will be introduced, making train travel a comfortable and safe one, Ministry of Internal Transport revealed. The master plan includes details on modernizing the intercity train services, construction of new railway tracks, development of existing tracks and installation of double tracks to identified destination.
The Government of India is likely to assist the development of track between Anuradhapura and Vavuniya. In addition, eight locomotive engines and 30 coaches too will be requested from India.
The first electric train service will be from Colombo to Battaramulla, a fast developing township with many government ministries and departments located there. A feasibility study is currently in progress. Plans are underway to extend the double track on the coastal line up to Aluthgama railway station and another double track between Kurunegala and Polgahawela.
The railway track from Maho to Trincomalee and up to Batticaloa too are identified priorities. A new railway track from Kurunegala to Habarana via Dambulla is also to be constructed.