Kelani Valley Line

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Kelani Valley Line
S8 class.jpg
Class S8 DMUs do most of runs on the Kelani Valley Line
Overview
Type Regional rail
System Sri Lanka Railways
Status Operational
Locale Sri Lanka
Termini Colombo Fort
Avissawella
Stations 25
Operation
Opening 1902 (as narrow gauge)
Closed 1992 (to start gauge conversion)
Reopened 1996 (as broad gauge)
Operator(s) Sri Lanka Railways
Depot(s) Maradana
Technical
No. of tracks Single track
Track gauge 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)
Old gauge 2 ft 6 in (762 mm)
Minimum radius (?)
Electrification No
Route map
Kelani Valley Line
Opanayaka
Katawatta
Watapota
Dela
Thiruwanaketiya
Ratnapura
Kuruwaita
Parakaduwa
Ehaliyagoda
Getaheththa
Yatiyanthota
Avissawella
Puwakpitiya
Kosgama
Kadugoda
Waga
Morakele
Gammana
Pinnawala
Uggalla
Angampitiya
Arukwathupura
Padukka
Watareka
Meegoda
Godagama
Panagoda
Homagama
Homagama Hospital
Malapalla
Kottawa
Pannipitiya
Maharagama
Nawinna
Udahamulla
Pengiriwatte
Nugegoda
Kirillapone
Narahenpita
Cotta Road
Baseline Road
Main Line
Maradana
To Colombo

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[edit]

Nugegoda Railway Station

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.

Major railway stations on the line are Colombo Fort, Maradana, Narahenpita, Nugegoda, Maharagama, Pannipitiya, Kottawa, Homagama, Meegoda, Padukka, Waga, Kosgama, and Avissawella.

History[edit]

Narrow gauge era[edit]

An exhibit of narrow gauge line.

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[1] 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.

Gauge conversion[edit]

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.

Infrastructure[edit]

The Kelani Valley Line is entirely single track, at 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in).[2] 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[edit]

A Class P1 locomotive in Deyata Kirula exhibition
Class N2 Narrow Gauge Locomotive
New S12 DMUs were introduced in 2012

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

Currently, the line is operated with broad-gauged S8 and S12 diesel multiple units.

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

Operation[edit]

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.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.infolanka.com/org/mrail/slrails.html
  2. ^ "The Island". Rampala regime in the local Railway History. 2010-07-19.