The famous north-bound Yal Devi train reached the Jaffna Railway Station yesterday after 24 years.
The express train made a test run from Pallai to the newly constructed Jaffna Railway Station on Monday prior to resuming services next month after a 24-year gap.
Minister of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Douglas Devananda and Governor of the Northern Province GA Chandrasiri inaugurated the test run by travelling in the train.
The reconstructed Colombo - Jaffna, Northern Railway Line up to Jaffna is expected to be completed by September.
The Northern Railway Line from Vavuniya to Kankasanthurai in the northernmost tip of the island was completely destroyed by the Tamil Tiger terrorists during their reign. The rebels uprooted the rail tracks to build reinforced underground bunkers.
The rail line is being reconstructed in stages by the India Railway Construction International Ltd. (IRCON) with the financial and technical assistance from India.
Tamil Tiger terrorists bombed the Yal Devi train at Kokavil on January 19, 1985 killing 34 people and destroying the train tracks. The attack effectively ended the north-south rail transport.
After the war ended in May 2009, the Yal Devi recommenced operations to Thandikulam on June 6, 2009 and then extended its run to Omanthai on May 29 of 2011. It commenced services to Kilinochchi in September 2013 and extended the service to Pallai in March this year.