|Service type||Inter-city rail|
|Current operator(s)||Sri Lanka Railways|
|Former operator(s)||Ceylon Government Railway|
|Distance travelled||290 km (180 mi.)|
|Average journey time||05.55 AM From Colombo Fort, reaches Badulla at 16:06|
|Train number(s)||1005 (Colombo Fort-Badulla)
1006 (Badulla-Colombo Fort)
|Class(es)||Air Conditioned First Class
Second Class Reserved
|Track gauge||5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm)|
|Track owner(s)||Sri Lanka Railways|
|Timetable number(s)||1005 and 1006|
"Podi Manike" (Sinhala:පොඩි මැණිකේ, meaning "Little Maiden") is a Sri Lankan passenger train running from Colombo Fort to Badulla. This journey covers about 300 km and is renowned for being the most beautiful train journey in Sri Lanka, especially the stretch from Nanuoya to Ella . It takes about 10 hours to complete the journey.
The train follows the hill-country line, a route developed by the British in the 19th century through scenic mountains. The route features bridges, long tunnels, high slopes and gradients.
- 1st class observation car is very popular among tourists. The observation car provides wide views of the scenery and is normally at the rear of the train but occasionally behind the locomotive.
- 2nd class
- 3rd class typically gets very crowded and carries only basic facilities.
The Podi Menike travels the length of Sri Lanka Railways' Main Line through the hill country.
The Podi Menike begins its eastbound service at Colombo Fort Station and runs east and north past the rapidly developing centers of Ragama, Gampaha, Veyangoda, and Polgahawela. At Rambukkana, the Main Line begins its steep climb into the hills of the upcountry. Between Balana and Kadugannawa, the track clings to the side of sheer cliffs, offering passengers spectacular views of Batalegala ('Bible' Rock). The train then continues its climb through the scenic tea country, connecting busy local market centers at Gampola, Nawalapitiya, and Hatton before reaching Nanu-Oya. This is the connection to the former colonial resort of Nuwara Eliya, still popular for its temperate climate, classic hotels, and British-style gardens. The Podi Menike continues its ascent to the summit at Pattipola, 6,226 feet above sea level, before descending past Bandarawela to Badulla Terminus. In the upcountry, passengers are rewarded with views of tea gardens, mountains and valleys, cascading torrents and waterfalls.
The service upgraded in 2013, as new long-haul diesel multiple units from China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock Corporation imported to serve the upcountry route. Observation car is now replaced with an Air Conditioned First Class (AFC) carriage.
- "Sri Lanka Railways Timetable". Slrfc.org. Retrieved 2012-02-28.
- "A beginner's guide to Train travel in Sri Lanka . . .". Seat61.com. 2012-01-01. Retrieved 2012-02-28.
- "The Railways of Sri Lanka (Ceylon)". Infolanka.com. Retrieved 2012-02-28.