Slow Coach

The term ‘slow coach’ is not a way of poking fun in Sri Lanka – it’s a reality. In some parts of the country the local trains go at five miles per hour. The term ‘slow coach’ is not a way of poking fun in Sri Lanka – it’s a reality. In some parts of the country the local trains go at five miles per hour. ‘In some parts of the track, mainly upcountry, the train slows to five miles per hour because the tracks are so unsafe,’ say Railway and Transport Ministry officials.

On average the local trains travel at around 30 miles per hour.

These slow coaches transport nearly 250,000 people in and out and around Colombo City and its suburbs on a daily basis.

The government approved a short-term plan for urgent track improvement of identified areas last month to push the average speed to a respectable 45 mile per hour.

“We will target 100 km of track where the train goes below 10 miles per hour and other weak areas to bring the average speed to around 45 km per hour,” said a senior Railway Department official.

“The plan is to renovate the below 10 miles per hour areas in the first three months. In the next nine months the other areas,” says