Train Routes

Major population centres and tourist destinations are connected by rail. Service began in 1864 with the construction of the Main Line from Colombo to Ambepussa. Sri Lanka railway network consist of 9 lines. :

Main Line

The Main Line begins in Colombo and runs east and north past the developing centres of Ragama, Ganemulla Gampaha, Veyangoda, Mirigama, Ambepussa and Polgahawela. At Rambukkana, the line begins a steep climb into the hills. The track runs along the edge of sheer cliffs between Balana and Kadugannawa, allowing passengers a view of Batalegala. The line then continues climbing through tea country, connecting market centers at Gampola, Nawalapitiya and Hatton before reaching Nanu Oya. This is the connection to the former colonial resort of Nuwara Eliya, still visited for its temperate climate, classic hotels and British-style gardens. The Main Line reaches its summit at Pattipola, 6,226 feet (1,898 m) above sea level, before descending past Bandarawela to Badulla. Passengers can view tea gardens, mountains, valleys and waterfalls.

Coastal line

The coastal line runs south from Colombo, following the Indian Ocean, with views of tropical beaches and coconut palm trees. It links the regional centres of Moratuwa, Panadura and Kalutara, and beach resorts at Aluthgama, Ambalangoda and Hikkaduwa. The line continues past Galle (known for its historic, preserved Dutch fort), ending in Beliatta.

From 1895 to 2013, the line ended in Matara. From 2013 to 2019, the China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation extended the line to Beliatta in phase one of the Southern Railway project; it was the first new railway built in Sri Lanka since its independence from Great Britain in 1948. Phase two will serve Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port in Hambantota, and phase three will reach Kataragama; in April 2019, they had not yet begun construction.

Puttalam line

The Puttalam line branches off the Main Line at Ragama, extending north past Kandana Ja-Ela, Seeduwa, Katunayake (Colombo International Airport) and Negombo (a commercial centre and regional tourist destination). It connects northwestern Sri Lanka, reaching Negombo Kochikade, Waikkala, Lunuwila (and the National Coconut Research Center), Nattandiya, Madampe, Chilaw, Bangadeniya, Mundel and Puttalam. The line also links other market towns and fishing villages. Passenger service ends at the Noor Nagar station, just north of Puttalam. Beyond that, the tracks are used by Holcim trains to haul cement.

Kelani Valley line

The Kelani Valley line extends from Maradana east to Avissawella. Originally a narrow-gauge line, it was converted to 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm) broad gauge between 1991 and 1997. The line connects the Colombo suburbs in the district with the city.

Matale line

The Matale line branches off the Main Line at Peradeniya Junction, near the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. It runs to Kandy, home of the Sri Dalada Maligawa (which houses the relic of the tooth of the Buddha), before descending to Matale.

Northern line

The northern line branches north from the Main Line at Polgahawela, passing Kurunegala (capital of North Western Province) before continuing to the cultural center of Anuradhapura: the island's capital around the 4th century BCE, and home to a number of religious and archaeological sites. Service has been extended to the line's terminus at Kankesanthurai on the Jaffna Peninsula, past Kilinochchi.

Mannar line

The Mannar line branches westward from the northern line at Medawachchiya, passing Madhu Road (location of the Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu) and continuing to Mannar Island: home of the district capital and terminus of the former Talaimannar line.

Batticaloa line

The Batticaloa line branches eastward from the northern line at Maho to Polonnaruwa, site of an 11th-century capital and home to a number of historic monuments, before continuing to the city of Batticaloa.

Trincomalee line

The Trincomalee line branches north and east from the Batticaloa line at Gal Oya Junction and extends to Trincomalee.

【Text by Lakpura™. Images by Google, copyright(s) reserved by original authors.】

Famous Train Ride in Sri Lanka