May 4 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s state-owned railway is trying to find money to make urgent repairs to dilapidated tracks, which is forcing trains to run slow. “Trains are getting delayed because of the bad rail track conditions,” General Manager of Railways, K A Pemasiri said.
“We need to replace sleepers and carry out urgent repairs.”
The Railway Department has imposed speed restrictions on more than 700 places in its 1100 kilometer-long, track network.
It has asked for one billion rupees form the treasury to make track repairs, which will allow them to remove speed restrictions in about 400 places along its tracks.
Officials say at the moment, trains especially on the up-country tracks, are delayed by half and hour to an hour, because of the speed limits.
Last year the railway posted a 3.5 billion rupee loss, Premasiri said.
A recent fuel price hike is expected to add another 200 million rupees to the loss this year.
Sri Lanka’s railways and state-owned bus firms have been badly run-down by politicians who under-price fairs in order to gain popularity.
The bus companies in particular suffer from overstaffing as they