Coastal line (Sri Lanka)
The coastal line (sometimes referred to as the coast line or the southern line) is a major railway line in Sri Lanka, running between Colombo Fort and Beliatta, via Galle and Matara. Operated by Sri Lanka Railways, the line includes some of the busiest rail services in the country. The line has been extended to Beliatta on 8 April 2019 and is proposed to be extended to Kataragama, via Hambantota. With a designed maximum speed of 100 km/h (62 mph) between Kalutara and Matara, and a maximum speed of 120 km/h (75 mph) between Matara and Beliatta, the line is one of the fastest in Sri Lanka.
A train running on the coastal line
|System||Sri Lanka Railways|
|Services||Ruhunu Kumari Express Train|
Galu Kumari Express Train
Rajarata Rejini Express Train
|Opened||17 December 1895|
|Owner||Sri Lanka Railways|
|Operator(s)||Sri Lanka Railways|
|Line length||157.88 km (98.10 mi)|
|Number of tracks||Double track: Colombo Fort to Paiyagala South |
Single track: Paiyagala South to Beliatta
|Track gauge||1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)|
|Operating speed||100 km/h (62 mph)|
The Coastal line begins at Maradana Station and runs west towards Colombo Fort. It then turns south and runs through much of Colombo parallel to the beaches on the city's west coast, passing many commuter rail stations, such as Slave Island. It passes Panadura before reaching Kalutara. The commuter rail services end as the line continues south along the coast towards Galle.
Galle station is designed as a terminus station. Thus trains have to back out of the station to continue towards Matara and Beliatta. Beliatta is the current terminus of the Coast line, though extension is under construction to Hambantota and Kataragama.
Construction and launch
This line was the second railway line in Sri Lanka. Construction works started after Colombo–Kandy–Badulla Main Line. On 1 March 1877 first train up to Panadura was commenced. On 1 February 1878, trains ran up to Kalutara and one year after that on 1 February 1879 Wadduwa Station was declared open. On 22 September 1879 inaugural opening of Kalutara North and Kalutara South Stations and ran first train to Kalutara South. On 31 March 1890 line extended to Kalutara South to Aluthgama. Then up to Kosgoda on 8 September 1892 and Kosgoda to Ambalangoda on 15 November 1893. On 7 May 1894 British government completed the construction works to Galle . After nearly a year and half later on 17 December 1895 train services to Matara commenced.
In the mid-twentieth century, the coastal line experienced many changes to accommodate growing traffic. Galle Station was upgraded with better facilities and modern architecture. Express trains began serving the line, including the now celebrated Ruhunu Kumari. Along with the rest of the railway network, diesel traction replaced steam locomotives on all services.
Tsunami disaster and aftermath
In 2011–2012, the Coastal Line underwent complete reconstruction between Kalutara and Matara, to upgrade the track. The line was upgraded to be able to handle trains at 100 km/h (62 mph), allowing for shorter journey times and smoother service. The upgrade included replacing the rails and sleepers to ensure smoother and safer operation. The previously 3-hours-and-forty-minute travel time between Colombo and Matara has been reduced to just two hours.
Phase 1 extended the railway 26.8 km from Matara to Beliatta at a cost of US$278 million. The China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation broke ground on Phase 1 in 2013. The line includes two bridges of 1.5 km and 1.04 km in length, the longest on Sri Lanka's railway network. There is also a 615 meter long tunnel at Kekanadura. The maximum track speed is 120 km/h (75 mph). The Matara–Beliatta extension opened to traffic on 8 April 2019, the first new railway built in Sri Lanka since independence from Great Britain in 1948.
Phase 2 will serve the Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port in Hambantota at a cost of US$600 million, and Phase 3 will reach Kataragama. The alignment shifts inland after Beliatta to protect sensitive natural habitats along the coast and minimise damage to property. A feasibility study and an environment impact assessment for the Beliatta to Hambantota and Kataragama phases of construction has been approved by the Cabinet. Construction has not yet begun as of April 2019.
Operators and service providers
Sri Lanka Railways operates passenger services on the coastal line.
Rajadhani Express operates a premium service on certain Sri Lanka Railways trains on the coastal line, in partnership with Sri Lanka Railways.
The coastal line is not electrified. Regular services run on diesel power. However, there are plans to electrify the commuter-rail network, within the Colombo metropolitan area. This includes the coastal-line segment between Colombo Fort and Panadura.
|Starting station||Departure time||Destination station||Arrival time||Name||Frequency|
|Aluthgama||04.05||Galle||06.40||Mon. to Fri.|
|Maradana||05.52||Panadura||06.47||Mon. to Sat.|
|Maradana||06.05||Matara||08.50||Sat. and Sun.|
|Maradana||06.24||Panadura||07.19||Mon. to Fri.|
|Aluthgama||06.30||Galle||08.17||Mon. to Fri.|
|Maradana||06.53||Moratuwa||07.28||Mon. to Fri.|
|Maradana||07.00||Panadura||07.51||Mon. to Fri.|
|Maradana||07.00||Panadura||08.40||Sat. and Sun.|
|Galle||07.00||Matara||08.16||Mon. to Fri. and Sunday|
|Maradana||07.17||Moratuwa||08.01||Mon. to Fri.|
|Maradana||07.27||Panadura||08.25||Sat. and Sun.|
|Maradana||07.31||Panadura||08.40||Mon. to Fri.|
|Maradana||07.35||Mount Lavinia||08.15||Mon. to Fri.|
|Maradana||07.54||Panadura||08.51||Mon. to Fri.|
|Maradana||08.06||Moratuwa||08.50||Mon. to Fri.|
|Maradana||08.11||Mount Lavinia||08.46||Mon. to Sat.|
|Maradana||08.28||Mount Lavinia||09.06||Sundays and Holidays|
|Mount Lavinia||09.35||Aluthgama||10.53||Sat. and Sun.|
|Colombo Fort||10.30||Matara||13.50||Rajarata Rejini||Daily|
|Maradana||12.05||Kalutara South||13.29||Mon. to Fri.|
|Maradana||12.30||Kalutara South||13.54||Sat. and Sun.|
|Maradana||13.30||Panadura||14.25||Mon. to Fri.|
|Ginthota||13.40||Galle||13.50||Mon. to Fri.|
|Galle||14.15||Matara||15.31||Mon. to Fri.|
|Maradana||15.50||Mount Lavinia||16.32||Mon. to Fri.|
|Maradana||16.00||Moratuwa||16.39||Mon. to Fri.|
|Maradana||16.10||Kalutara South||17.15||Mon. to Fri.|
|Maradana||16.15||Kalutara South||17.39||Mon. to Fri.|
|Maradana||16.25||Panadura||17.15||Mon. to Fri.|
|Maradana||16.40||Matara||19.35||Sagarika||Mon. to Fri.|
|Maradana||16.45||Induruwa||18.34||Mon. to Fri.|
|Maradana||16.45||Aluthgama||18.51||Sat. and Sun.|
|Maradana||16.55||Hikkaduwa||18.51||Mon. to Fri.|
|Maradana||17.10||Wadduwa||18.23||Mon. to Fri.|
|Maradana||17.20||Galle||19.33||Sagarika||Sat. and Sun.|
|Maradana||17.25||Galle||20.10||Samudra Devi||Mon. to Fri.|
|Maradana||17.30||Galle||21.13||Mon. to Fri.|
|Maradana||17.40||Aluthgama||19.51||Mon. to Fri.|
|Maradana||17.50||Galle||21.26||Sat. and Sun.|
|Colombo Fort||17.52||Matara||20.42||Sunday only|
|Maradana||17.55||Matara||21.38||Mon. to Fri.|
|Maradana||19.45||Aluthgama||21.40||Monday to Friday and Sunday|
|Colombo Fort||20.00||Mount Lavinia||20.31||Daily|
|Colombo Fort||20.19||Moratuwa||21.00||Special Trains||8/3|
|Maradana||20.35||Panadura||22.10||Mon. to Fri.|
|Maradana||20.35||Kalutara South||21.57||Sunday only|
|Starting station||Departure time||Destination station||Time||Name||Frequency|
|Galle||03.40||Maradana||07.01||Night Mail||Mon. to Fri.|
|Galle||04.15||Maradana||07.45||Mon. to Fri.|
|Aluthgama||04.30||Colombo Fort||06.22||Mon. to Sat.|
|Matara||04.55||Maradana||08.16||Sagarika||Mon. to Fri.|
|Galle||05.00||Maradana||07.54||Samudra Devi||Mon. to Sat.|
|Matara||05.05||Galle||06.50||Mon. to Fri.|
|Mount Lavinia||05.10||Colombo Fort||05.35||Intercity||Daily|
|Aluthgama||05.20||Maradana||07.28||Mon. to Fri.|
|Galle||05.25||Kalutara South||07.45||Mon. to Fri.|
|Hikkaduwa||05.25||Maradana||07.50||Mon. to Fri.|
|Aluthgama||05.25||Maradana||07.40||Sat. and Sun.|
|Mount Lavinia||05.50||Colombo Fort||06.17||Yaldevi||Daily|
|Aluthgama||06.05||Maradana||08.08||Mon. to Fri.|
|Matara||06.10||Maradana||09.38||Galu Kumari||Mon. to Fri. and Sun.|
|Panadura||06.30||Maradana||07.41||Mon. to Fri.|
|Panadura||06.55||Colombo Fort||07.42||Mon. to Sat.|
|Aluthgama||07.00||Maradana||09.30||Mon. to Fri.|
|Matara||07.10||Galle||08.13||Mon. to Fri.|
|Kalutara South||07.20||Colombo Fort||08.33||Mon. to Fri.|
|Panadura||07.30||Maradana||08.28||Not on Sundays (Mon. to Sat.)|
|Moratuwa||07.50||Maradana||08.34||Not on Saturdays and Sundays (Mon. to Fri.)|
|Moratuwa||08.05||Maradana||08.46||Mon. to Fri.|
|Galle||09.00||Colombo Fort||13.03||Mon. to Sat.|
|Moratuwa||09.00||Maradana||09.42||Mon. to Fri.|
|Panadura||09.15||Maradana||10.13||Working days only|
|Mount Lavinia||09.15||Maradana||09.50||Mon. to Sat.|
|Matara||09.40||Colombo Fort||13.15||Rajarata Rejini||Daily|
|Matara||10.25||Galle||11.33||Mon. to Fri.|
|Galle||13.15||Ginthota||13.25||Mon. to Fri.|
|Aluthgama||13.40||Maradana||15.31||Mon. to Fri.|
|Kalutara South||13.40||Maradana||15.01||Mon. to Fri.|
|Aluthgama||13.40||Maradana||15.35||Sat. and Sun.|
|Galle||13.55||Aluthgama||15.59||Mon. to Fri.|
|Panadura||15.00||Maradana||15.55||Mon. to Fri.|
|Mount Lavinia||16.10||Colombo Fort||16.42||Mon. to Fri.|
|Aluthgama||16.15||Colombo Fort||18.33||Mon. to Fri.|
|Aluthgama||16.15||Colombo Fort||18.45||Sat. and Sun.|
|Moratuwa||16.45||Colombo Fort||17.18||Mon. to Fri.|
|Matara||17.00||Galle||18.16||Mon. to Fri.|
|Moratuwa||17.10||Colombo Fort||17.49||Mon. to Fri.|
|Kalutara South||17.30||Colombo Fort||18.36||Mon. to Fri.|
|Panadura||17.40||Colombo Fort||18.29||Mon. to Fri.|
|Kalutara South||17.45||Colombo Fort||18.52||Mon. to Fri.|
|Wadduwa||18.30||Maradana||19.35||Mon. to Fri.|
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