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Monday, 25  February 2013

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Chinese power sets for Podi Menike

Two of the 13 new hi-tech power sets imported from China will be used on the Podi Menike train beginning March 1. Transport Minister Kumara Welgama said new power sets imported from China have been specially designed for long distance travel with all facilities. “The main objective of replacing two new power sets for the Podi Menike train is to provide a quality service to commuters by reducing travel time, contributing towards promoting tourism and uplifting the productivity of the railway service,” he said.

“The power sets consist of one luxury carriage, three class two and four class three carriages,in addition to a restaurant, adjustable seats and facilities to dump litter as well,” the minister said.

He said the government ordered 13 hi- tech power sets from China under the US $ 101 million credit line agreement to provide a standard and safety service to commuters while easing the morning and afternoon rush.

“The loan would be settled within 15 years. We have replaced two new power sets for the Udarata Menike train from February 14 while four other new power sets have been deployed on the Kelani Valley railway line,” Superintendent of Railways (Operations), L A R Ratnayake said.

Meanwhile, of the 13 power sets, two power sets are super luxury trains imported from China to promote tourism in the country.

A special schedule will be prepared for the luxury class train service covering all the main railway tracks in the island, he said.

Ratnayake said this move was made due to the rising demand from locals and foreigners and if anybody wants to use this service, he or she can book the entire train and at least 300 people can travel at the same time. “Another three power sets out of 13 are undergoing test runs. Following results of trial runs, we will decide whether they can be deployed on the coastal railway line, up country line or main railway line,” he said.

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