Background of the Railways in Colombo Metropolitan Region (CMR)

The development of the railway network in Sri Lanka started in 1864. Currently, the railway network, which consists of around 1,500 route-Km in ten railway network of the country is single track, with 160 Km of double tracks, 14 Km of three tracks and 3 Km of four tracks with all multiple lines located within the Colombo Metropolitan Region (CMR). The network covers much of the CMR along four major corridors, namely Main Line, Coast Line, Kelani Valley Line and Puttlam Line totaling to 230 Km. Railway provides an important service during the morning and evening peak period as it acts as the major commuter service from the outer suburbs to central Colombo.

The Sri Lanka Railway has been divided into three divisions; Colombo, Navalapitiya and Anuradhapura. SLR operates 320 Trains per day including 46 Long Distance Trains. An average of 300,000 passengers travel in SLR Trains per day. Out of the four Railway Lines radiating from Colombo and serving the CMR, the Main Line, Coast Line and Puttalam Line are well partonised especially during peak periods. The Kelani Valley Line is single track and not as attractive due to low Train speeds and frequencies. The Colombo Fort to Maradana section has the highest passenger volume of 136,438 passengers per day, followed by the Maradana to Ragama section with 120,876 passengers per day. The Train frequency between Maradana and Fort is 228 Trains per day, transporting on an average of around 950 passengers per Train, followed by, Maradana to Ragama section, with 150 Trains per day carrying on an average around 750 passengers per Train. The Coast Line is also fully utilized with an average passenger volume of 800 – 1,100 per Train.