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* At least 40 office trains operate despite strike, while Army provides security to stations
Wed, Sep 13, 2023, 10:53 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Sept 13, Colombo: The Railway Department said it has planned to operate about 40 office train services this morning (13) despite the strike launched by the locomotive operating engineers’ union from Monday.

According to the Railway Department, 15 office trains to Colombo Fort on main line and 4 train services to Colombo Fort on Puttalam line will be in operation.

Four trains will be operated on Kelani Valley line to Colombo Fort and 17 trains are scheduled to run on coastal line.

The Department of Railways said it is also planned to use the night mail train from distant provinces to Colombo Fort for passengers traveling for office work.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Army personnel have been deployed to provide security to the Colombo Fort and Maradana railway stations after the President Ranil Wickremesinghe has declared the railways as an essential service yesterday.

The Railway Department said security forces are ready to be deployed to other stations as well if needed. It is reported that the station masters and locomotive operating engineers who are not part of the strike action have requested security for them.

Meanwhile, it was seen that the Army has already been called to several other railway stations.

According to the Railway Department sources, 13 train journeys, including office trains, have been canceled so far today due to the railway strike.

The Locomotive Operating Engineers’ Union had launched the strike from midnight on Monday (11) based on several demands including problems related to salary increases and amendments to the recruitment process and promotions.

At least 36 train services were cancelled yesterday severely affecting the commuting office workers as well as school students and other passengers. The strike is blamed for the deaths of two passengers who had fallen off from the overcrowded trains and died.


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