Apr 15, 2011 (LBO) – Increased freight transport has helped Sri Lanka’s state-owned railway department sharply reduce losses in 2010, according to the central bank. “The railway network coverage, reliability and the service delivery should be improved in line with the emerging transport demand of the country,” the report said. It said the performance of Sri Lanka Railways was mixed in 2010 with a drop in the number of people carried but an increase in goods transport.
Passenger kilometreage of Sri Lanka Railways fell 4.7 percent mainly due to the closure of the coastal railway line between the southern towns of Galle and Matara for rail track upgrading, the bank said in its annual report.
But goods kilometreage increased by 44 percent, mainly due to increased use of railway for oil transportation for the state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation.
This helped SLR reduce operating losses by 33.5 percent to 3,173 million rupees in 2010.
The state railway has been making heavy losses in recent years and survived on subsidies by the treasury.
As part of its plans to regain profitability the railway has said it wants to increase freight transport a