Delays frustrate Colombo-Batticaloa train commuters

[TamilNet, Thursday, 25 December 2003, 20:37 GMT]
The re-established train service between Colombo and Batticaloa takes four hours more than the regular 10-hour trip causing severe hardship to regular passengers using the train service, sources said. Passenger said that Railway authorities' decision to use an old locomotive engine between the Galoya-Batticaloa leg of the journey was the root cause of the problem.

The night service which departs Colombo at 8pm is scheduled to arrive at Batticaloa station at 5.52 am. But on Wednesday and Thursday the train arrived at on 10 am.

Also, the morning train which departs Batticaloa at 6.45 am was able to leave the Batticaloa station only at 10.45am due to engine repairs.

Passengers question the wisdom of the Railway authorities in scheduling an old locomotive for a long-distance journey. Rumors abound among Batticaloa residents that some Higher level Railway authorities are keen on ensuring only a second-rate service is made available to Batticaloa.

Passengers expressed hope that the matter is taken up by the Parliamentarians and Railway authorities, and remedial measures implemented as soon as possible.


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