April 10, 2012 (LBO) – Losses at Sri Lanka’s state-run railway rose in 2011 despite the acquisition of more rolling stock and increased carriage of passengers and goods, the central bank said. At present, SLRâ€™s contribution to passenger and freight transportation remains as low as five percent and one percent, the central bank said.
“In order to improve the coverage and to serve the rising demand for transportation of the growing economy, the railway system needs to be modernised while improving efficiency and reliability of the service delivery.”
The central bank noted that while road transportation is the favoured mode of transportation in Sri Lanka, it is often subject to heavy traffic congestion, which leads to a “substantial” loss of productive man-hours and high fuel usage.
The report said SLR has taken several measures to strengthen rail transportation during 2011 with five M9 engines being refurbished and added to the fleet.
SLR also imported nine power sets from India and placed orders to import another 13 power sets from China.
To improve passenger services, new office trains to Colombo from adjacent suburban areas were added, along with