Batticaloa line

The Batticaloa line is a railway line in Sri Lanka. Branching off the Northern line at Maho Junction, the line heads east through North Central Province and south-easterly through Eastern Province before terminating at the eastern city of Batticaloa. The line is 212 kilometres (132 mi) long and has 31 stations.[1] The line opened in 1928.[2] There were no services on the Polonnaruwa-Batticaloa stretch of the line between 31 October 1996 and 12 April 2003 due to the civil war.[3] The Udaya Devi service operates on the line.

Batticaloa line
Overview
TypeInter-city rail and regional rail
SystemSri Lanka Railways
TerminiMaho Junction
Batticaloa
Stations31
Services Udaya Devi Express Train
Pulathisi Intercity Express
Operation
Opened1928
OwnerSri Lanka Railways
Operator(s)Sri Lanka Railways
Technical
Line length212 km (132 mi)
Number of tracks1
Track gauge1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)
ElectrificationNo
Route map
Batticaloa
Eravur
Kalkudah
Valaichchenai
Lagoon
Punanai
Welikanda
Sevanapitiya
Manampitiya
Mahaweli River
Gallella
Polonnaruwa
Perakum Uyana
Lakshauyana
Jayanthipura
Hingurankgoda
Minneriya
Trincomalee Line to Trincomalee
Gal Oya Junction
Gal Oya
Hatares Kotuwa
Habarana
Palugaswewa
Kekirawa
Kalawewa
Avukana
Negama
Moragollagama
Konwewa
Yapahuwa
Northern Line to Kankesanthurai
Maho Junction
Northern Line to Colombo Fort

Route definition

The Batticaloa line runs through the North Central and Eastern Provinces, connecting Mahawa (Maho Junction) on the Northern Line with the eastern city of Batticaloa.

The line runs east of Maho Junction towards Habarana. At Habarana, the construction of a new line to connect to Kurunegala has been proposed in June 2013 to cut short journey times between Colombo and Batticaloa-line destinations.[4] East of Habarana, the Trincomalee Line diverges off the Batticaloa line at Gal Oya towards the port city of Trincomalee. The Batticaloa line continues south-east towards Polonnaruwa before continuing to Batticaloa terminus.

History

The Batticaloa line opened in 1928, as a light railway. Only locomotives with light axel loads were used on the line.[5]

In the 1950s, the route was upgraded to support broad-gauged operation, under the administration of then CGR General Manager B. D. Rampala. Sharp curves and steep gradients were eased, as well as the change to heavier rails, to match the rest of the system.[5]

Between 31 October 1996 and 12 April 2003, there were no services on the Polonnaruwa-Batticaloa stretch of the line, due to the civil war.[3]

Operation

Sri Lanka Railways operates the Udaya Devi service on the Batticaloa line. The service connects Colombo Fort with Batticaloa.

Railbus service is provided for local services without significant demand. Railbus services allow SLR to meet local needs without stressing its limited rolling stock.

Infrastructure

The Batticaloa line is entirely single track, at 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm) broad gauge.[6]

The line is not electrified. Regular services run on diesel power, including the railbus services. The line currently operates on a lock-and-block signaling system.[6]

See also

References

  1. "Statistics - Sri Lanka Railways". Ministry of Transport, Sri Lanka. Archived from the original on 2012-12-28.
  2. "The Rail Routes of Sri Lanka". Infolanka.com.
  3. "Trains to Batticaloa back on track". TamilNet. 12 April 2003.
  4. "Construction expedited on the new railway line from Kurunegala to Habarana in Sri Lanka". ColomboPage. 18 June 2013. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
  5. http://www.infolanka.com/org/mrail/rroutes.html The Rail Routes of Sri Lanka
  6. "The Island". Rampala regime in the local Railway History. 2010-07-19.
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