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 Post subject: Chinese train on Indian-made track crosses 100 km in Sri lan
 Post Posted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 8:54 pm 
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Chinese train on Indian-made track crosses 100 km in Sri lanka

By Sutirtho Patranobis, Hindustan Times
Galle, February 16, 2011
© Copyright 2010 Hindustan Times


Thousands lined up on both sides of the renovated railway track between the southern coastal cities of Galle and Matara as for the first time in Sri Lankan railway history, a train crossed the 100 km per hour mark.

The 38-minuted journey for a distance of 42 km also marked the completion of an Indian project in post-war Sri Lanka. The journey earlier took more than hour.

This was the first phase of a project undertaken Indian Railway’s international arm, IRCON, to modernise old railway tracks across Sri Lanka. The rail lines were damaged during the 2004 tsunami.

The first train was inaugurated by Sri Lankan Minister of Transport Kumara Welgama and the Indian High Commissioner of Sri Lanka Ashok K Kantha. They also travelled on the train, which is made in China, to Matara.

The inauguaral function took place amid a boycott call by a railway union who questioned why Indian engineers and labour were employed for the project and not Lankan expertise. The boycott call, however, did not get response and the first train on the newly laid track was packed with passengers.

``Only Indian engineers were employed. The labour was from Sri Lanka,’’ IRCON general manager, SL Gupta, told Indian reporters. He added that the track was laid at a much a lower cost, $36 million, than offered by other companies.

A line of credit of $167.4 million has been extended by India for the rehabilitation of the Colombo-Matara rail link. The second phase is likely to begin in March.

A credit line of more than $800 million has been extended for repairing and laying down new tracks in the war-ravaged northern districts.


© Copyright 2010 Hindustan Times


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 Post subject: Revamped Galle-Matara railway line launched
 Post Posted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 9:13 pm 
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Posts: 192
Revamped Galle-Matara railway line launched

By R. K. Radhakrishnan
© The Hindu / February 16, 2011


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.

Under the 2nd stage of this project the railway track from Galle to Hikkaduwa will be modernised. Hikkaduwa to Kalutara South and Kalutara South to Maradana will be modernised under the 3rd and 4th stages respectively.


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