Freight Move

Aug 04, 2009 (LBO) – A plan to move containers by rail in Sri Lanka and reduce congestion on roads has finally got moving with the state-owned railay making it a priority, a senior official said. “It is our number one priority in future plans,” said P P Wijesekera, General Manager of the Railways Department.

“The government has given us a token vote to initiate the project. We’ll be putting up container depots that will take boxes directly from Colombo port to container depots and distribute from there.”

Private investment in running freight trains could also be possible, Wijesekera said.

Container freight depots are planned for two sub-urban towns on the main rail tracks north and south of the capital Colombo to the port.

Container freight trains over longer distances are also planned for freight movement between regional cities, Wijesekera said.

The loss-making railway department is giving high priority to moving freight as it is considered highly profitable and could help make the service commercially viable, he said.