Mar 18, 2018

Attempt alleged to sabotage upcountry train services Featured

The government is inquiring into an attempt by certain senior railway officials to disrupt the upcountry train services, according to Silumina.

Railway department sources say their aim is to inconvenience the commuters and discredit the government and subject minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, who is from Badulla.

By now, Udarata Menike, Podi Menike and other train services have been disrupted and Podi Menike is stopping at all stations between Rambukkana and Badulla, excepting Kadigamuwa.

Also, the train from Badulla that started at 10.00 am now commences at 11.00 am, with the one hour delay inconveniencing commuters who need to catch the interconnecting trains to Aluthgama, Ragama and Chilaw as well as tourists on their way to Katunayake airport.

Also, the 6.30 am train from Kandy now leaves at 9.50 pm, and the 11.00 am train from Badulla does not have a specific time for leaving.

There is also a problem of space, with an imported 50-feet long power-set not being used on the upcountry line, but operates on the Matara line.

Furthermore, the train to Hatton that leaves Colombo at 12.40 pm stops at the Kandy railway station for more than an hour.

The operation of a luxury train between Kandy and Ella is not due to commuter demand as claimed.

Commuters and railway trade unions say immediate steps should be taken to rectify these.

Attempts to contact general manager of railways S. Abeywickrema failed, while additional GM Vijaya Samarasinghe said he was not aware of the new timetable as he returned from a foreign trip only the previous day.

He said the transport superintendent had made the changes and said he should be contacted for details.

However, attempts to contact that official failed.