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Revamped Galle-Matara railway line launched

[Hindu, Wednesday, 16 February 2011 17:58 No Comment]

The Galle-Matara section of the Sri Lankan Railways, upgraded by IRCON, was thrown open for traffic on Wednesday. The renovated line cut travelling time by over 15 minutes over the 42-km stretch. Photo: R.K.Radhakrishnan At 12.50 p.m., when a train on the Galle-Matara railway line crossed 100 kmph speed, it marked a first for the Sri Lankan Railway. Never in the past has a Sri Lankan train done those speeds.

This was possible after a major upgradation by the Indian public sector entity, IRCON. The modernised Galle-Matara railway track was inaugurated on Wednesday afternoon, ushering in a new era in speed for Sri Lankan Railways.

A line of credit of $167.4 million was extended by India for the rehabilitation of the Colombo-Matara rail link. Indian High Commissioner Ashok K. Kantha in August had ceremonially inaugurated the work on Sri Lanka’s southern coastal railway line.

The first train was inaugurated by Sri Lankan Minister of Transport Kumara Welgama and Mr. Kantha. They also travelled on the train to Matara.

Merely 15 minutes after Galle, it hit a speed of 100 km per hour. It completed the distance in just over 30 minutes, a gain of 15 minutes.

The rail lines, which were damaged during the 2004 tsunami have been upgraded with the assistance of Government of India.

Train service between Matara and Galle was suspended for the last six months for carrying out the modernisation work.

[Full Coverage]

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