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Medawachchiya - Madhu railway line to reopen

The re-constructed Medawachchiya - Madhu railway line aimed at facilitating devotees travelling for the historic Madhu Church feast in August this year, will be opened this month,Transport Minister Kumara Welgama told the Daily News.

Minister Welgama said the reconstruction of the Medawachchiya- Madhu railway line project funded by the Indian government has been completed on schedule.

“Construction work was carried out by IRCON International Limited, a government entity under the Ministry of Railways, India and has been funded as a part of US $800 million Line of Credit, which has been extended by the Indian government on concessional terms,” he said.

“A trial-run was conducted recently on the reconstructed railway track between Medawachchiya and Madhu railway track, covering a distance of 43 km.

“Sri Lanka Railway, CECB and Ircon officers participated on the trial run, which commenced from the Medawachchiya station and ended at the newly-constructed Madhu station. “The trial-run was comfortable and successful,“ the Minister added.

The reconstructed railway track has been designed for a maximum speed of 120 kmph.

This railway line was completely destroyed during the terrorist conflict which prevented passengers from using it. With the completion of the railway line, those going to the Madhu Shrine will be able to travel by train from Colombo. Minister Welgama said Sri Lanka signed a commercial agreement with India last year to reconstruct the Northern Railway Line from Medawachchiya to Talaimannar, destroyed by the LTTE terrorists. He said that reconstruction work was carried out in two phases.

Under the first phase, the 43 kilometre track from Medawachchiya to Madhu has been reconstructed at a cost of US $ 81.3 million. The stretch of railway line from Madhu to Thalaimannar will be built at a cost of US $ 149.74 million. The Minister said the reconstruction of the Medawachchiya-Talaimannar railway line is a symbol of friendship between India and Sri Lanka.

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