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Colombo suburban railway electrification project to cost USD300mn


May 12, 2016 (LBO) – Colombo suburban railway electrification project phase one which initially focuses on 64 kilometers along Veyangoda - Panadura section will cost 300 million US dollars to implement. Energy consultant Dr. Tilak Siyambalapitiya speaking at a seminar said the project will support the modernization of the railway network in the Western Province of Sri Lanka. “The government has been pledged a soft loan by the ADB. Phase two of the project will also cost another 300 million US dollars,” Siyambalapitiya said. The Asian Development Bank last year approved one million US dollars for the technical assistance of the project and it is yet to approve 300 million US dollars loan.
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The project will improve the capacity and operating speed of the railway network in the Colombo Metropolitan Region by modernizing and upgrading track, signaling infrastructure; and potentially electrifying the suburban railway lines.
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The average speed on the Main Line is currently around 33 kilometers per hour (kph) while the speed on the coastal line is around 28 kph. Under the new project, tracks will be improved to allow 100 km per hour, and will be fenced to avoid accidents. On average over 110,000 passengers per direction enter the Colombo city by rail during a normal working day, which translates into around 13 percent of all passenger movements.
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Since electric power sets are more energy efficient, the net fuel saving will be about 40 rupees per train km, Siyambalapitiya said. He said under the project stations will be refurbished with modern architectural designs and E-ticketing will be introduced.
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7 years ago

excellent ..long overdue. In sri lanka the railway can be made the most effective means of travel. whilst planning the modernization of the railway It is important that the railway and the bus route network require to be an integrated mode of transport.
points to look into;
public buses require to be categorized as district / between districts / and between provinces with a policy decision made on passenger capacity per bus on the stated categories.
bus stations to be included to the modernization of the railway station to ensure onward movement of people into the local areas.

7 years ago

Perfecto….those are the projects should be done in Sri Lanka. thanks for the people who are behind this projects. but, if we don’t have the sufficient technical knowledge or the experience, we should shake hands with Japan or China respectively.

Niran Wirasinha
Niran Wirasinha
7 years ago

I think it is no exaggeration to say that we have talking about the electrification of the suburban railway since the 1970s. As President Premadasa once pithily remarked, the file on digging the village well was one foot deep, not one inch of the well had been dug !

This is indeed the way to go. The rail corridor is underutilized but is the fastest and most cost effective way of mass transport. We hope, finally, that the government will bulldoze this project through and start digging the “first inch”. The Colombo- Ragama sector was also talked of long time back – the feasibility should now be extended to Gampaha and even beyond within the Colombo Megapolis plan and the Colombo-Avissawella corridor should also be re-looked at. This is what the Megapolis should concentrate on as well – not benefits for big business and the affluent classes of Colombo alone but tangible benefits for the working class, things that make their life easier such as the undoubted benefits of the Colombo-Matara highway or the Colombo-Katunayake.

One question to Mr. Siyambalapitiya. If the energy for the railway electrification is produced by fossil fuel or coal stations, will the net savings be still the same or less ?

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