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* Sri Lanka Railways starts luxury train service to Pallai in North
Sun, Mar 2, 2014, 09:10 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 02, Colombo: The reconstruction of the Northern railway track from Kilinochchi to Pallai in Northern Province has been completed and will be opened for public on March 04, The General Manager of Sri Lanka Railways B A P Ariyaratne said.

Transport Minister Kumara Welgama will open the Kilinochchi to Pallai train service on Tuesday (March 04) with the departure of a new air-conditioned luxury train from Colombo Fort Station.

The train will depart Colombo Fort railway station at 2.25 pm and reach Pallai at 8.28 pm.

The public service to Pallai on the luxury train will begin operation from Friday, March 07. The air conditioned trains with 222 seats have been imported from China.

The train will leave Colombo Fort in the evening and will start its return journey from Pallai on the following day morning. In addition, the operations of Yal Devi train, Matara train and the night mail train will also be extended to Pallai.

Sri Lanka's Northern Line from Vavuniya to Kankasanthurai in the northernmost tip of the island was completely destroyed by the Tamil Tiger terrorists during the three-decade long war. The rebels 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 Kilinochchi, the former de facto rebel capital. The construction of the whole Northern Line up to Kankasanthurai would be completed by the end of 2014, the Transport Ministry says.

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