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
“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.