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Railway Station Directory In Sri Lanka

The Sri Lanka Railway Authority (commonly known as "Sri Lanka Railway (SLR)") is the owner and main operator of Sri Lanka's railways. As part of the Sri Lankan government, it is supervised by the Ministry of Transport. It was established in 1858 as the Ceylon Government Railway, which operates the country’s railways and connects Colombo (the capital) with other population centers and tourist destinations.

Sri Lanka’s rail network is 1,508 kilometers (937 miles) long and 5 feet 6 inches (1,676 mm) wide. Some of its routes are beautiful, with main routes passing (or passing through) waterfalls, mountains, tea plantations, pine forests, bridges and peak stations.

LineRoute InformationDistance
Main LineColombo Fort to Badulla292.39 KM (470.56 miles)
Matale LinePeradeniya Junction to Matale33.8 km (21.0 miles)
Puttlam LineRagama to Periyanagavillu158.59 KM (255.23 miles)
Northern LinePolgahawela Junction to Kankesanthurai339 km (211 miles)
Batticaloa LineMaho Junction to Batticaloa212 km (132 miles)
Coastal LineColombo Fort to Beliatta157.88 km (98.10 miles)
Kelani Valley LineColombo Fort to Avissawella61.177 KM (98.45 miles)
Trincomalee LineGal Oya Junction to Trincomalee70 km (43 miles)
Talaimannar Line Medawachchiya Junction to Talaimannar106 KM (66 miles)

Beginnings of Railway System

The railway network was introduced by the British colonial government in 1864. The main reason for establishing a railway system in Ceylon was to transport tea and coffee from mountain countries to Colombo. The service started with a 54-kilometer (34-mile) trunk line connecting Colombo and Ambepusa. [5] The first chief engineer, Guilford Lindsey Molesworth, became the head of the government railway bureau.

In 1867, 1874, 1885, 1894 and 1924, the main line was expanded to Kandy, Nawalapitiya, Nanu Oya, Bandarawela and Badura. In the first century of the railway system, other lines were added, including the line to Matale in 1880; the coastal railway line in 1895; the northern line in 1905; the Mannar line in 1914; the Kola line in 1919 The Nival Valley line; the Puttalam line in 1926, and the Batticaloa and Trincomalee lines in 1928. In the more than 80 years since then, the Ceylonese railway network has not added any major expansions.

Golden age

The golden age of Ceylon Railway was from 1955 to 1970, under the management of BD Rampala, Chief Mechanical Engineer and General Manager of Ceylon Government Railway. Rampala focused on punctuality and comfort, leading them to upgrade the main station on the outskirts of Colombo and rebuild the track in Colombo.

The eastern provinces are convenient for heavier and faster trains. He introduced express trains (many of which have iconic names) and ensured that Ceylon's railway system is up to date and provides comfort for passengers. Until 1953, Ceylon railways used steam locomotives. During the golden age, they switched to diesel locomotives under the leadership of Rampala.


In the late 20th century, the railway began to decline. For thirty years, it has been ignored and not working well. The Sri Lankan economy has shifted its focus from planting agriculture to industrial production, and its road network has continued to grow. With the increase of trucks and roads (a faster way of transporting goods), the number of goods transported by rail fell, and the railroad suffered severe losses.

SLR failed to adopt the technological innovations of foreign railways, and problems with travel time, reliability and comfort caused it to lose most of the passenger transport market share. By 2011, it had occupied 7% of the market share.


The government started a ten-year railway development strategy to restore the railway network to a satisfactory state in the early 2010s and ordered replacement DMUs. The Southern Route, which was damaged in the 2004 tsunami, was upgraded from 2010 to 2012; its track has been upgraded to handle a train speed of 100 km/h (62 mph).

Sri Lanka Railway started to cooperate with ExpoRail and Rajadhani Express in 2011 to provide quality services on major routes. The Northern Line, which has been affected by nearly three decades of war, is being rebuilt; in 2015, it was restored to Jaffna and Kankesanthurai before the war. In 2015, the construction of the track to Beliaththa was postponed.

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