April 28, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s state-run railway service has started a goods wagon repair workshop aimed at improving maintenance and more carriage of freight in order to increase revenues, senior officials said. Transport Minister Dallas Alahapperuma said the government wants to reverse years of neglect of the railway that has reduced it to making heavy annual losses and make it more efficient and able to cover costs.
“Our aim is to revive freight transport by rail,” he said in a speech at the opening of the new repair facility at the main rail yard of Sri Lanka Railway, formerly known as CGR (Ceylon Government Railway).
“The world over, most freight is moved by rail. So we decided to give priority to the movement of goods by rail.”
Two inland container depots are being planned in the suburbs of Sapugaskanda and Ratmalana, north and south of the capital Colombo.
General manager Lalithasiri Gunaruwan said the repair facility was built at a cost of 30 million rupees and was part of the department’s maintenance development effort.
“We can do complete repairs at this workshop,” he told LBO. “Our repair speed can now increase. Fleet repair has to be at a particular speed. Because we did not h