Matale railway station completes 140 years | Daily News

Matale railway station completes 140 years

Matale railway station completed 140 years in service since 1880 yesterday (4). The main railway line from Colombo Fort to Keenadeniya (Ambepussa) was developed by 1864, and it was extended for another 92 kilometers to Matale within 16 years by the British rule.

This station lies 149 kilometers away from Colombo Fort was opened by British Governor James Robert Longden. The Ambepussa–Matale section of the upcountry line comprises 12 tunnels and three overpass bridges, which are older than 140 years. However, the number of trains running to and from Matale have been reduced gradually from 24 to 12 during the past few decades causing severe inconveniences to the passengers to and from the destinations such as Colombo Fort and Kandy.

Despite that it took only 16 years to develop this 92 kilometers in the colonial era, the proposed additional track from Gatambe to Kandy is still pending completion for about 25 years now, passengers said.

The project to lay a second track for this section, which is 3.5 kilometers-long, was first launched somewhere before 1995 and any of the successive governments nor the Railway Department has been able to complete the project so far. Completion of this new track project will be helpful to increase the train movements between Kandy and the Peradeniya Junction. It will reduce the number of vehicles entering Kandy on a daily basis as well.