June 28, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s state-run railways is discussing a deal with Pakistan Railways to rehabilitate track damaged in an internal war and upgrade passenger coaches, a media report said.
The state utility is over-staffed and is a big burden on the people who do not use rail, losing 4,553 rupees in 2008, and 4,578 million rupees in 2007. Pakistan Railways will rehabilitate 250 kilometres of war damaged track, the Pakistan Observer website said.
The reported quoted Pakistan Railways chairman Samiul Haq Khilji as having told a board meeting of Pakistan Railways Advisory and Consultancy Services that agreement had been reached during visit to Sri Lanka from June 14 to 21.
Pakistan Railways will also rehabilitate 600 passenger coaches, for Sri Lanka Railways and 500 4-wheeler freight coaches will be converted to 8-wheelers.
Pakistan Railways would also provide spare parts to Sri Lankan Railways besides providing training at its ‘Walton Academy’ the report said.
Sri Lanka’s Railway operated a train to beyond the northern Vavuniya for the first time after defeating Tamil Tiger separatists in May.
In 2008, Sri Lanka’s railways had bought 100 carriages for 2