Scenic Train Ride Sri Lanka

Scenic Train Ride Sri Lanka

In the 19th Century, during the British occupation of Sri Lanka, British constructed the railway lines in Sri Lanka and started the Railway service in Sri Lanka to transport Tea from the Hill country estates to Colombo Port and imported goods to the interior of the Island.

Sri Lanka Railways runs the nation’s railways, and trains are a great way to cross the country. Although they are slow, there are few overnight or all-day ordeals to contend with. A train ride is almost always more relaxed than a bus ride. In addition, a couple of companies run private air-con train cars, which are attached onto regular trains. Although more expensive and less atmospheric than the 1st-class observation cars on Sri Lanka Railways, these private cars offer air-con and snacks and may have seats available when regular classes are already fully booked. Rajadhani Express runs to Kandy, Badulla, Galle and Matara, while Expo Rail serves Kandy and the Hill Country.

There are three main rail lines in Sri Lanka.

Colombo To the Hill Country – Through Kandy, Nanu Oya (for Nuwara Eliya) and Ella to Badulla. Kandy to Ella train trip is considered one of the most scenic train journeys in the world. The Train trip will take you through 56 manmade tunnels, places to look out for are Nawalapitiya – Hatton, and Haputale – Ella, grey stone cliffs and rivers will flash past your window with occasional views of enormous waterfalls cascading down the mountainside, while the Train keeps climbing steadily through to Hatton then Nanu Oya, if you are going to Nuwara Eliya you need to break journey here, if not, passing “Adams peak” standing sentinel in the south an important Buddhist pilgrimage site, through the Horton plains National Park then Pattipola and Ohiya reaching its highest elevation of 1890 meters above sea level, the Train starts descending towards Ella and at the end of the line you will find the Badulla Train station sitting on top of the line, known as the “Demodara loop”, and the Trains passes underneath it before coming to rest on the platform.

South from Colombo – A scenic delight. Recently renovated, runs past Aluthgama and Hikkaduwa to Galle and Matara.

North from Colombo – Through Anuradhapura to Mannar and also to Jaffna. One branch reaches Trincomalee on the east coast, while another serves Polonnaruwa and Batticaloa.

Other Lines The Puttalam line runs along the coast north from Colombo, although rail buses run between Chilaw and Puttalam. The Kelani Valley line winds 60 km from Colombo to Avissawella.