The Udarata Menike emerges from a tunnel on the scenic hill-country line
|Service type||Inter-city rail|
|First service||23 April 1956|
|Current operator(s)||Sri Lanka Railways|
|Former operator(s)||Ceylon Government Railway|
|Start||Colombo Fort railway station|
|Stops||Badulla railway station|
|Distance travelled||290 km (180 mi)|
|Average journey time||8 - 10 hours|
|Train number(s)||1015 (Colombo Fort-Badulla)
1016 (Badulla-Colombo Fort)
|Sleeping arrangements||Not available|
|Track gauge||5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm)|
The Udarata Menike made its maiden journey on 23 April 1956. The Badulla-bound train departs from Colombo at 9.30 a.m., while the Colombo-bound train leaves Badulla at 5.55 a.m. The trip takes about 10 hours.
The train offers three classes,
- 1st class
- 2nd class
- 3rd class typically gets very crowded and carries only basic facilities.
The train also includes a buffet car.
The Udarata Menike travels the length of Sri Lanka Railways' Main Line through the hill country.
The Udarata 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 Udarata Menika continues its ascent to the summit at Pattipola, 1,898 m (6,227 ft) above sea level, before descending past Bandarawela to Badulla railway station. In the upcountry, passengers are rewarded with views of tea gardens, mountains and valleys, cascading torrents and waterfalls.
The service was run by M6 locomotives pulling Romanian-built ASTRA passenger coaches.
- "The Island". Rampala regime in the local Railway History. 2010-07-19.
- "Sri Lanka Railways Timetable"
- "A beginner's guide to Train travel in Sri Lanka . . ."
- http://www.infolanka.com/org/mrail/slrails.html The Railways of Sri Lanka (Ceylon)
- Great Railway Journeys of the World: Colombo to Badulla on the Udarata Menike Express (or: Why do you need to buy a newspaper before travelling on this train?), by Gyan C. A. Fernando,
- ASTRA Passenger Coaches