Rail bus in Punani railway station
|Owner||Sri Lanka Railways|
|Type||Inter-city rail and regional rail|
|System||Sri Lanka Railways|
|Services|| Udaya Devi Express Train|
Pulathisi Intercity Express
|Operator(s)||Sri Lanka Railways|
|Line length||212 km (132 mi)|
|Number of tracks||1|
|Track gauge||1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)|
The Batticaloa line is a railway line in Sri Lanka. Branching off the Northern line at Maho Junction, the line heads east through North Central Province and south-easterly through Eastern Province before terminating at the eastern city of Batticaloa. The line is 212 kilometres (132 mi) long and has 31 stations. The line opened in 1928. There were no services on the Polonnaruwa-Batticaloa stretch of the line between 31 October 1996 and 12 April 2003 due to the civil war. The Udaya Devi service operates on the line.
The Batticaloa line runs through the North Central and Eastern Provinces, connecting Mahawa (Maho Junction) on the Northern Line with the eastern city of Batticaloa.
The line runs east of Maho Junction towards Habarana. At Habarana, the construction of a new line to connect to Kurunegala has been proposed in June 2013 to cut short journey times between Colombo and Batticaloa-line destinations. East of Habarana, the Trincomalee Line diverges off the Batticaloa line at Gal Oya towards the port city of Trincomalee. The Batticaloa line continues south-east towards Polonnaruwa before continuing to Batticaloa terminus.
The Batticaloa line opened in 1928, as a light railway. Only locomotives with light axel loads were used on the line.
In the 1950s, the route was upgraded to support broad-gauged operation, under the administration of then CGR General Manager B. D. Rampala. Sharp curves and steep gradients were eased, as well as the change to heavier rails, to match the rest of the system.
Railbus service is provided for local services without significant demand. Railbus services allow SLR to meet local needs without stressing its limited rolling stock.
- "Statistics - Sri Lanka Railways". Ministry of Transport, Sri Lanka. Archived from the original on 2012-12-28.
- "The Rail Routes of Sri Lanka". Infolanka.com.
- "Trains to Batticaloa back on track". TamilNet. 12 April 2003.
- "Construction expedited on the new railway line from Kurunegala to Habarana in Sri Lanka". ColomboPage. 18 June 2013. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
- http://www.infolanka.com/org/mrail/rroutes.html The Rail Routes of Sri Lanka
- "The Island". Rampala regime in the local Railway History. 2010-07-19.