Kelani Valley Line
|Kelani Valley Line|
Class S8 DMUs do most of runs on the Kelani Valley Line
|System||Sri Lanka Railways|
|Opening||1902 (as narrow gauge)|
|Closed||1992 (to start gauge conversion)|
|Reopened||1996 (as broad gauge)|
|Operator(s)||Sri Lanka Railways|
|No. of tracks||Single track|
|Track gauge||1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)|
|Old gauge||2 ft 6 in (762 mm)|
The Kelani Valley Railway Line, in Sri Lanka, covering the breadth of Colombo District and some parts of Kegalla and Ratnapura Districts. The line is owned, maintained, and operated by Sri Lanka Railways.
Route definition and overview
The Kelani Valley Line runs southeast from Colombo Maradana Station, through much of the city of Colombo. It runs through major business centres, like Nugegoda and Maharagama, before turning eastwards. It crosses the Southern Expressway near Homagama and continues east towards Avissawella, the current terminus of the line. The line serves an increasingly urbanising community.
Narrow gauge era
The Kelani Valley Line was originally built from Colombo to Yatiyanthota via Avissawella during 1900 - 1902. It was branched off at Avissawella and extended up to Opanayaka via Ratnapura (completed in 1912). Originally built as a 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge line to serve the rubber plantations in the area, the railway line between Avissawella and Yatiyanthota was removed in 1942, the line from Homagama to Opanayaka abandoned in 1973.
The services were restarted up to Avissawella in 1978.
In 1992, a project was started to convert the line to 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in). The project was finally completed up to Avissawella (58 km or 36 mi) in 1996. The tracks beyond were completely abandoned and currently the tracks from Avissawella to Yatiyanthota and Opanayaka can only be traced by the remaining and ruined stations, bridges and bunds.
The Kelani Valley Line is entirely single track, at 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in). As train frequency increases, it is becoming increasingly challenging to operate trains running both direction on the single-line track.
Currently the line serves an increasingly urbanizing population leading up to Avissawella. Even though the line was broad-gauged to improve the services in capacity and speed, the objectives have not been achieved due to sharp curves (a leftover of the narrow gauge system) and the illegal constructions on either sides of the track from Colombo up to Maharagama.
The Kelani Valley Line is not electrified. All services run on diesel power. Current operating speeds are limited due to the sharp curves on the line.
Locomotives and rolling stock
During the narrow gauge era, the line had its own fleet of narrow gauge locomotives and rolling stock. The steam locomotives of Class K and Sentinel railcars class V1 & V2 were also used.
|Class||Horse Power||Manufacturer||Engine||Transmission||Livery||Imported Year|
|N1||492||Krupp||8 Cylinder Powered||Hydraulic||Red||1953|
|N2||600||Kawasaki - Japan||General Motors Detroit Diesel v16||Hydraulic||Blue & Red||1973|
|P1||132||Hunslet||Ruston Hornsby 6 Cylinder||Mechanical||Green||1950|
|Class||Horse Power||Manufacturer||Engine||Transmission||Livery||Imported Year||Notes|
|S6||1165||Hitachi (Japan)||Paxman V12-12YJXL (4 stroke)||Diesel Hydraulic||Green||1975||Not in use.|
|S7||1020||Hitachi (Japan)||Cummings V8 KTA-2300 (4 stroke)||Diesel Hydraulic||Green||1977||Not in use|
|S8||1150||Hyundai (S. Korea)||-||Diesel Hydraulic||Orange, White, and Gray||1989|
|S12||2012||CSR (China)||MTU 12V4000R41 V12||Diesel Electric||Blue||2012|
Sri Lanka Railways has a monopoly on the operation of Kelani Valley Line.
As of January 1, 2009, there were 16 trains operating on the line daily, mainly catering for the rush hour commuters traveling to and from Colombo.