Puttalam Line Development

The Puttlam Line of Sri Lanka Railways is 119.2 km from Ragama to Puttlam and the line deviates from Main Line at Ragama, which is 13.6 km from Maradana.

Negambo, which is considered as the end station of Colombo Suburban Area in the Puttlam Line, is 36.9 km away from Maradana and 23.3 km from Ragama. Seeduwa is the end station of the double line section.

The trains in Puttlam Line runs through the Main Line between Maradana and Ragama. The 13.6 km section from Maradana to Ragama is having three tracks and the average daily ridership (including demand from Puttlam Line) of in this section is approximately 145,000.

The railway line runs parallel to Colombo-Puttlam Road and the Peliyagoda – Katunayake Airport Expressway and almost through the same corridor. The railway runs along and through urban ceters, Ragama, Ja-Ela, Seeduwa and Negambo. At present, the number of trains reaching Colombo through Puttlam Line in the Morning Peak includes, 04 Colombo Commuter Trains. The line caters 05 trains in the evening peak.

option comparison
Puttalam Line

Demand for Puttalam Railway Line - Study Results

Year Number of Passengers to carry Number of Trains operated
Daily Volume Volume in Peak Hour peak direction Daily Number of Trains Trains in Peak Hour peak Direction Headway (time between trains)
2018 31,000 4,500 17 per direction 3 20 Mts
2025 – After Development 180,000 18,000 87 per direction 7 8.5 Mts
2035 – After Development 220,000 22,000 123 per direction 9 6.5 Mts

Puttlam Line Railway Alignment

option comparison

Issues in Puttlam Line

Issues observed in Puttlam Line are similar to Kelani Valley Line and the attention was paid to the undermentioned issues which are common to the other railway lines too.

  1. The Railway RoW is narrow : Compared to Main Line, the Railway RoW in Puttlam line is limited and allows only two tracks (double line) to be constructed in majority of the sections.
  2. Curves in the existing railway line: In the 23.6 km section from Ragama to Negambo, there are 29 curves and the curve at Peralanda (startig point of Puttlam Line) is considerably sharp.
  3. Level Crossings :
    Section Distance (km) Protected Unprotected Total LX Crossing per km
    Ragama-Seeduwa 12.66 24 7 31 2.45
    Seeduwa-Negambo 11.15 20 13 33 2.96

    Considering the frequency of train operation for train speed of 100 kmph, it is desirable to eliminate level crossings where rail and road are at same level. Underpass or overpass (flyover) with road deviations can be considered. Private and rarely used level crossings which are unprotected will be closed and traffic will be diverted towards the nearest Flyover/underpass/ level crossing.

Puttlam Line Railway Development Design

Design of Main Line Railway was done based on two studies which were conducted during recent years under the CSR Project.

  1. The Pre-Feasibility Study conducted by M/s. Egis International of France
  2. Puttlam Line Feasibility Study conducted by M/s. Dohwa Engineering JV of Korea

The reader is requested to download and refer the above mentioned reports regarding Puttlam Line Development

The other Design Reports related to Puttlam Line have not been released yet.

Factors considered in selecting the solutions for the Puttalm Line

  1. Implement the project in two phases, Ragama to Seeduwa and Seeduwa to Negambo
  2. Section from Ragama to Seeduwa has two tracks and Sri Lanka Railway has commenced double tracking upto Negambo (completed upto Kurana). Therefore the existing two tracks will be rehabilitated and double tracking in the balance section will be done under the project.
  3. All stations must have mutimodal features such as integration with bus operation and park and ride – this is to encourage modal shift from bus and car to rail
  4. Travel time needs to be optimised – this is also to attract passengers
  5. The universal access to and from trains ,and within the trains ,need to be provided.
  6. Aviod disturbance to vehicular traffic at level crossings – this is to avoid traffic congestion
  7. Land acquisition to be minimised – this is to avoid disturbance to lives of people and to save GoSL funds which will be used for payment of compansation.
  8. Relocations to be done as per National Involuntary Resettlement Policy (NIRP) and ADB Safeguard Policy
  9. Environmental issues such as Niose and Vibration need to be mitigated
  10. ost of the construction must be minimised – this is to select the solution with minimum cost

Solution for Horizontal Alignment

option comparison

Section Existing Number of Tracks Number of Tracks in the future
Ragama-Seeduwa 2 2
Seeduwa-Negambo 01 (SLR has commenced double tracking up to Negambo  2

The length of Puttalam line from Ragama to Negambo is 23 km with 29 numbers of curves. Minimum curve radius along the track is 200 m at Peralanda. The speed is reduced accordingly, at curves of lower radii. Due to the insufficient straight distance in between spiral curves at some locations; the speed cannot be increased even with the improvement in curve radius. Considering the prevailing site conditions and impacts on residential houses located in vicinity of railway corridor, further improvements in curve radius will be studied. Analysis reveal that , except in the section from Ragama and Prealanda, speed of 80 km/h can be achieved.

Solution for Vertical Alignment

Considering the existing railway vertical alignments and the newly constructed double line by Sri Lanka Railways, it was decided to rehabilitate/construct the railway track from Ragama to Negambo ‘At grade’. However, at the design stage, based on the train operation (operating frequency), grade separation of level crossings will be considered.

Level Crossings

Ragama to Seeduwa section of Puttalam line consists of 31 numbers of level crossings and average distance between level crossings is 0.5 km. From Seeduwa and up to Negambo, there are 33 numbers of level crossings with average distance of 0.3 km. Due to closely spaced level crossings, requirement of grade separation to be decided based on train operation plan and traffic demand of intersecting road.

Section Distance (km) Protected Unprotected Total LX Crossing per km
Ragama-Seeduwa 12.66 24 7 31 2.45
Seeduwa-Negambo 11.15 20 13 33 2.96

Train Operation

Train Operation Plan has been prepared to have an efficient and safe train operation. Furthermore, the undermentioned conceptual options were viewed and considered in the operation plan.

  1. The outcome of Demand Modeling and passenger demand for railway (Main Line, Puttlam Line, Northern Line and Coastal Line) by 2025 and 2035
  2. Avoid congestion and train delays, caused by terminating all train operations at Maradana and Colombo Fort station areas
  3. The composition and capacity of Electric Multiple Units (EMUs)
  4. Operation of EMUs and DMUs simultaneously along same section of tracks.
  5. Future expansion of services

Speed in the current operation are given in brackets.

Section Comparison of New/Current Operation All-stop EMU trains Express EMU trains
Journey Time(minutes) Timetabled Speed(km/h) Journey Time(minutes) Timetabled Speed(km/h)
Colombo Fort –Rambukkana New operation 98 51.6 68 74.4
Current Operation 141 36 94 53.8
Colombo Fort –Veyangoda New operation 47 47.6 32 69.9
Current Operation 79 32 58 43.4
Ragama – Negombo New operation 31 46.1 - -
Current Operation 48 29.3 - -

Train Operation to cater the Passenger Demand in Peak Hour in Peak Direction and to solve congestion in Colombo Fort and Maradana areas

In order to avoid seriously congested rail traffic in Colombo Fort and Maradana, the direct operation of EMU services between Main, Puttalam and Coastal Lines have been considered. This is called loop operation between railway lines. This will help us to cater Passenger Demand in Main Line and in Coastal Line with limited number of Rolling Stock. The number of train services during peak periods in peak direction has been planned as shown below.

Trainset Type Origin – Destination Section 2025 2035
For Peak Periods For Off-peak Periods For Peak Periods For Off-peak Periods
EMU Services  Mt. Lavinia – Rambukkana 5 3 5 3
Panadura – Gampaha 5 3 6 3
Mt. Lavinia – Seeduwa 2 2 4 3
Kalutara South – Negombo 5 2 5 3
Sub-Total EMU Services 17 10 20 12
Average Operating Headway  between Colombo Fort and Ragama 3.5 min. 6 min. 3 min. 5 min.
DMU Services  Rambukkana – Colombo Fort 2 1 2 1
Negombo – Colombo Fort 1 1 1 1
Kalutara South – Maradana 2 1 2 1
Sub-Total DMU Services 5 3 5 3
Average Operating Headway  between Colombo Fort and Ragama 20 min. 30 min. 20 min. 30 min.

Train Operation Plan with Track Utilisation and Loop Operation between Railway Lines :

Train services are planned as shown in Figure below for morning peak periods in 2035 with the direct travelling services for Main Line, Coastal Line and Puttalam Line. For evening peak periods, train services are the same as for morning peak periods, with the direction reversed.

option comparison