Round the Bend

Sunday’s tsunami has uprooted Sri Lanka’s transport systems and left the railway with damages mounting over Rs 6 bn. Sunday’s tsunami has uprooted Sri Lanka’s transport systems and left the railway with damages mounting over Rs 6 bn. “There are extensive damages to the coastal rail system,”said Priyal de Silva, General Manager, Sri Lanka Railways.

“The rail track is disturbed, four bridges are badly damaged, signal systems, buildings and our rolling stocks are all affected,” he said.

The railway is still trying to gauge the total magnitude of its losses.

“Out engineers have gone as far as Galle now to check on the Southern track,” said de Silva

The rail line that hugs the Southern coastline all the way up to Matara, to the far South of the island, now operates only up to Ratmalana, just outside the city of Colombo.

To the east around 2.5 km of track is said to be out of business.

While damage reports are still filtering in, railway engineers in Colombo estimate losses already in the range of Rs 6 bn.

The rail system is what pumps mass labour into Sri Lanka’s economic heart, Colombo.