Jan 04, Colombo: The first train service on the newly constructed Matara-Beliatta railway line is scheduled to be launched on Sunday.
The Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation says the 36 kilometer extension of southern coastal rail line from Matara to Beliatta is completed and the first train will be run on the line on Sunday (06) to observe the operation on the new track.
Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Arjuna Ranatunga will be the chief guest at the occasion.
The 113-kilometer railway line from Matara to Kataragama is to be completed in three phases and the Matara to Beliatta segment is the first phase of the project.
The second phase of the project is the 48 kilometer segment from Beliatta to Hambantota and the in the third phase the track will be extended another 39 kilometers from Hambantota to Kataragama.
Construction of the Matara to Beliatta section at a cost of US$ 278 million was carried out by a Chinese company with the funding from China Exim Bank. Supervision is being carried out under the guidance of the Central Engineering Bureau.
Main stations have been constructed at Kekunadura, Bambarenda, Wevurukannala and Beliatta. Two sub stations have been setup at Piladuwa and Veherahena.
About 10 percent of the railway track has been built as flyovers. A flyover of one kilometer was built from Matara to Kekunadura. The flyover from Bambaranda to Vavurukannala is the tallest and the longest railway bridge in Sri Lanka.
The main railway station at Beliatta has a length of 300 meters and it will have three platforms.
Underground tunnels have been made for the passengers to move across the platforms at the four main railway stations.