Colombo-Batticaloa train service restarted
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 24 December 2003, 00:00 GMT]
The train service between Colombo and Batticaloa has been restarted and the first train from Colombo reached Batticaloa Tuesday morning. The train started its return journey in the evening on the same day, sources said.
|Click for a larger map showing the route between Polonnaruwa and Batticaloa
The Batticaloa Station Master told TamilNet that the train service would continue on twice daily schedule--in the morning and evening.
Following the bomb attack on the railway tracks in Thannamunai in 1996, the train service was discontinued in that year. For a brief time, the train service from Colombo was in operation up to Valaichenai, but that too was discontinued and the service was stopped at Polannaruwa.
Sri Lanka Police and Army removed the sleepers and rails to reinforce their sentry points. At some locations, the public had taken out the sleepers for using as firewood.
Subsequent to the signing of the Ceasefire agreement between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in 2002, the railroad was rebuilt. At the first stage, the train service was restored up to Valaichenai.
Attempts were made to extend the service up to Batticaloa, on April 12 and July 1 this year, but the service had to be stopped as a result of problems with the railroad, including the removal of sleepers by unidentified persons at certain points on the railroad.