The imported new luxury S14 Chinese Power set named ‘Denuwara Menike’ made its first journey to Badulla this morning, the Railways Department said.
They said the express train would be operating between Badulla and Colombo Fort from today.
The launching ceremony of the train service was held at the Fort Railway station and the train left for Badulla at 6.45 a.m this morning.
"The train leaves from Colombo Fort at 6.45 a.m every other day and reach Badulla at 3.27 p.m. The same train will leave from Badulla at 7.20 a.m and reach Colombo Fort at 4.03 p.m on the following day," the Department said.
The train consists of two air-conditioned (AC) compartments, two-second class compartments and three third-class compartments including a buffet car.
"The train can transport a total of 250 commuters including 88 in AC compartments, 96 in second class compartments and 266 in third class compartments," he said.
"The train fares (per seat) for Badulla from Colombo Fort on AC compartments would be Rs.1,700, Rs.1,000 will be charged for second class compartments. Rs.700 will be charged for the third class compartments," they said.
The new train will carry a "black box" similar to those in aircraft. It was bought for Rs.1,845 million from the China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC). Commuters can make pre-ticket bookings via main train stations including Colombo Fort and with the use of mobile seat booking applications.
The express train will cater to the destinations of Polgahawela, Rambukkana, Peradeniya, Kandy, Gampola, Nawalapitiya, Hatton, Talawakelle, Nanu Oya, Ambewela, Pattipola, Haputale, Diyatalawa, Bandarawela, Ella, Demodara and Badulla,” the Department added. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)