Renovation in Sri Lanka’s Northern rail track to reduce Colombo-Jaffna train time to 5.5 hours

The ongoing renovations in Sri Lanka’s Northern railway track from Maho to Anuradhapura will help to reduce Colombo-Jaffna journey time to around 5.5 hours from the current 7.5 hours, Transport Minister Bandula Gunawardana said.

The work to upgrade the track started in January this year and is part of a $91.27 million project carried out by IRCON, an Indian state firm, and is expected to be completed in six months.

“The train to Jaffna takes 7.5 hours to travel. Now it has been under renovation after more than 100 years. This is being done for the first time since the British rule with complete removal of tracks under an Indian credit line,” Gunawardana told a media briefing on Monday (10).

“Within next few months, there will be a railway track established in the North passengers can travel at 100 km per hour. Within 5.5 hours, people can be able to travel from Colombo to Jaffna.”

India has provided $318 million to upgrade 128 kilometres in track from Maho to Omanthai.

Railways has been a priority sector in India’s assistance to Sri Lanka.

So far India has executed over $1 billion of projects.

IRCON re-built the 253 kilometres of track to the North and another 115 kilometres in the South.