Puttalam line

The Puttalam line (originally called the North-Western Line) is a 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm) broad gauge[2] railway line in the rail network of Sri Lanka. The 133 km (83 mi) railway line begins at Ragama junction and runs through the major towns along the north-west coast of the country, through to Periyanagavillu. It has forty two stations along its length.

Puttalam line
Overview
TypeIntercity rail
SystemSri Lanka Railways
TerminiRagama Railway Station
Periyanagavillu Railway Station
Stations42
Operation
Opened12 May 1926[1]
OwnerSri Lanka Railways
Operator(s)Sri Lanka Railways
Technical
Line length133 km (83 mi)
Track gauge5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm)
ElectrificationNo
Route map
Noor Nagar
Puttalam
Thillayadi
Palavi
Mundal
Bangadeniya
Kiriyankalli
Chilaw
Kakkapalliya
Madampe
Nattandiya
Thummodara
Lunuwila
Boralessa
Bolawatta
Waikkala
Kochchikade
Kattuwa
Negombo
Kurana
Katunayake
Bandaranaike International Airport
Free Trade Zone (Katunayake South)
Seeduwa
Alawathupitiya
Kudahakapola
Thudella
Ja-Ela
Kapuwatta
Kandana
Peralanda
Ragama Junction
To Colombo

Route definition

The line starts from Ragama and runs through the towns of Kandana, Ja-Ela, Seeduwa, Katunayake, Negombo City, Lunuwila, Naththandiya, Madampe, Chilaw, Bangadeniya, Mundel and ends at Puttalam.[3]

The passenger trains by Sri Lanka Railways are operated up to Noor Nagar station beyond the Puttalam station and railway section beyond Noor Nagar station is used by Holcim Sri Lanka Limited for the transportation of raw materials from quarry to the factory at Puttalam.

This line is also used for the transportation of oil by trains to the Colombo International Airport.[1]

History

Construction of the rail line to Puttalam commenced on 3 July 1907, with the laying of a railway line from Ragama to Ja-Ela. The project was initiated by Sir Henry Arthur Blake, Governor of Ceylon. The first passenger operations commenced on 9 November 1908. The Negombo railway station was opened on 1 December 1909, with the line extended to Chilaw in 1916.[4] In November 1920 work commenced on the extension to Puttalam,[5] which was officially opened on 12 May 1926.[4][6][7]

In 1943 the track from Bangadeniya to Puttalam was removed, as the rails were required on other strategically important routes due to shortages caused by World War II. It was re-laid in 1946 with a number of new stations added to the line. The line was also extended beyond Puttalam to Periyanagavillu, where the route forked, with one line running to Aruwakkalu and the other to Illuwankulam.[8]

In 2011 a 20 km (12 mi) dual track between Ragama and Ja-Ela was officially opened. In 2017 the government commenced investigating the feasibility of extending the rail line from Puttalam via Norocholai power station (servicing the country's main coal power plant) to Mahawa, connecting the Northern and Puttalam lines.[9]

Operations

This line is served by passenger and freight trains operated by Sri Lanka Railways. The rail line beyond Noor Nagar is used specially for the use of the cement factory. Regular services run on diesel power.

References

  1. Malshani Gunawardane (December 2012). "Industrial archeological significance associated with Ragama-Puttalam railway line". Lanka Railway Digest (in Sinhala). Sri Lanka. 1 (3): 22–24. ISSN 2279-1213.
  2. Perera, B. B. (19 July 2010). "Rampala regime in the local Railway History". The Island. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  3. Rail 2000. Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka Railway.
  4. Leanage, Lionel (28 June 2009). "Development of railways in Sri Lanka". Sunday Observer. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  5. Ceylon Government Railway: one hundred years, 1864-1964. Ceylon Government Railways. 1964. p. 27.
  6. "Colonial Reports - Annual, Issues 1357-1377". Colonial Office. 1927: 60. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. Wijenayake, Walter (25 July 2009). "How Sri Lankan railways came into being". The Island. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  8. Perera, Kanishka D. "Rail Routes of Sri Lanka - Past and Present". Model Railroad Club of Sri Lanka. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  9. "Feasibility study to link railway from Mahawa to Puttalam". Daily News. 22 April 2017. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
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