Up Country railway line extended, but shortcomings remain
by J. Antony, Ratnapura Corr.

The up-country double railway line upto Polgahawela has been extended to Rambukkana resulting in an increased inflow of passengers at the Rambukkana railway station.

Transport Minister A. H. M. Fowzie visited the railway station with Sabaragamuwa Chief Minister Maheepala Herath recently and instructed the General Manager of Railways K. A. Premasiri, to take steps to develop the station and provide the necessary facilities to commuters.

Rambukkana Railway Station is considered one of the important stations in the upcountry line. Although it has the longest platform in Sri Lanka, it needs to be developed to meet the present requirements of passengers.

The Colombo Kandy railway service commenced in 1867. Except for the few structures erected during that period no significant improvements were made. Earlier the double lines were only upto Polgahawela, but in 1998 Minister Fowzie extended it upto Rambukkana, which made way for an increase in passengers." Herath said.

Foreign tourists often visit the station and the facilities are inadequate. The Ladies rest room is also short of many requirements.

Although many express trains commenced service after the dual lines were laid between these two stations, delays are unavoidable due to lack of Loop Line platforms and signal facilities.

When there is a power failure the Railway Station is wrapped in complete darkness and to overcome this the chief minister requested that a generator be installed.

Fowzie and Herath paraded the platform, meeting commuters and listened to their difficulties and opinions. Thereafter the minister went to yet another old station at Kadigamuwa, by train. Since the station was lacking in necessary facilities he instructed the General Manger to attend to all needs.

Noticing several items lying in the premises exposed to sun and rain, the Minister instructed the authorities to make use of them to the maximum and asked them to extend the issue of weekly season tickets operated at Polgahawala to Rambukkana Railway Station .


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