Train service to K’chchi to resume after 23 years

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

Sri Lanka Railways would officially recommence the train service on the Northern line, up to Kilinochchi, after a lapse of 23 years, under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa on September 14, Department of Railways, Planning Director, Wijaya Samarasinghe said yesterday. 

Currently, the trains operate only up to Omanthai, 10 km north of Vavuniya.

The Northern Line, from Vavuniya to Kankesanthurai, was destroyed by the Tiger terrorists during the three-decade-long war and the train service to Kilinochchi came to a halt in July 1990.

The army recaptured Kilinochchi in 2009.   

All railway stations along the route destroyed in the three-decade war would be re-established, Samarasinghe said.    

According to the Sri Lanka Railways, the reconstruction of the whole Northern Line, up to Kankasanthurai would be completed by the end of 2014.  

"We have already completed several stations and train services will officially be launched next month," he told The Island.

The train line is being reconstructed by the Indian Railway Construction International Ltd. (IRCON) with the assistance of the Indian government. This achievement of resumption of train service was made possible because of Indian financial aid and reconstruction efforts, Samarasinghe added.

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