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Friday, August 30, 2013 - 06.20 GMT
Northern Railway Line tested before next month's opening


Sri Lanka Railways (SLR) authorities today conducted a test run on the Northern Railway Line which is currently being re-built from Vavuniya to Kankasanthurai, in Jaffna peninsula.

The train left the Omanthai railway station at 9.30 this morning and it reached Kilinochchi railway station at 10.10 a.m. Sri Lanka Railways sources said.

The train ran on the newly built track up to a speed of 100 km per hour.

The last passenger train on this line ran on January 19, 1985. LTTE terrorists bombed the Yal Devi train at Kokavil on that day killing 34 people and destroying the train tracks. The attack effectively ended the north-south rail transport.

The train line up to Kilinochchi will officially launch on September 14, Ministry of Transport announced.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa will launch the train service to Kilinochchi and he will also declare open the newly built Kilinochchi Railway Station.

Kilinochchi was the capital of the de facto state run by LTTE. The Sri Lankan Army captured Kilinochchi in 2009.

Minister of Transport Kumar Welgama and other Ministers as well as the senior officials of Ministry and Sri Lanka Railway are to participate in the ceremony.

The Northern Line from Vavuniya to Kankasanthurai was completely destroyed by the Tamil Tiger terrorists during the three-decade long conflict. The terrorists uprooted the rail tracks to build reinforced underground bunkers.

The train line is now being reconstructed by the India Railway Construction International Ltd. (IRCON) with the assistance of the Indian government.

Currently the trains operate only to Omanthai. The construction of the whole Northern Line up to Kankasanthurai would be completed by the end of 2014 and all the previous railway stations which were destroyed during the conflict are to be reestablished, the Ministry says.





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Last modified: August 30, 2013.

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