USD160mn ADB loan to modernize Sri Lanka’s railway sector

Aug 20, 2019 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s government has mobilized loan assistance amounting to 160 million dollars from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to cater to the increasing demand of the Railway Sector through modernization of the railway operations and thereby improving the efficiency of services provided by Sri Lanka Railways.

The total estimated investment cost of the project is 192 million dollars and the government contribution to the project will be 32 million dollars, the Department of External Resources said in a statement.

The Railway Efficiency Improvement Project, which is an initial investment of a long term sector development plan, will finance the modernization of the country’s railway system in several aspects by improving the operations, maintenance, safety, skills development, and technical capacity of Sri Lanka Railways.

The project will provide a modern multichannel—paper, mobile, and smart card—ticketing system, and will also install a state-of-the-art telecommunications system, which will replace the original system installed in 1985.

The new telecommunications system will reduce train delays by facilitating two-way communication with train drivers.

The project will also finance a new operations headquarters and train control center, provide infrastructure and equipment for the maintenance of track and rolling stock, and improve railway safety.

The technical training center of Sri Lanka Railways will also be upgraded under the project and new courses will be developed to provide future graduates with knowledge of modern railway technologies.

Treasury Secretary Dr. R H S Samarathunga and Manjula Amarasinghe, Officer In Charge of ADB Sri Lanka Resident Mission signed the loan agreement today at the Ministry of Finance.