Narrow gauge train on the Keleni Valley Line at Kuruwita

Narrow gauge train on the Keleni Valley Line at Kuruwita
Narrow gauge train on the Keleni Valley Line at Kuruwita #IMG778

Kuruwita is a town in the Ratnapura District of Sabaragamuwa Province of Sri Lanka (80-85 km from Colombo). This place used to be served by a narrow gauge railway (Keleni Valley Line) until 1942.

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The Ratnapura Railway was inaugurated on April 12, 1912 by the then Governor Sir Henry McCallum due to representations made by the population and planters of Sabaragamuwa.

Originally built from Colombo to Yatiyanthota via Avissawella during 1900 – 1902. It was branched off at Avissawella and extended up to Opanayaka via Ratnapura (completed in 1912). Built as a narrow gauge line 762 mm (2 ft 6 in) to serve the rubber plantations in the area, the railway line between Avissawella – Yatiyanthota was stopped in 1942, the last train on the former Ratnapura narrow gauge line ran on December 31, 1976 and the line from Homagama to Opanayaka abandoned in 1973.
The services were restarted up to Avissawella in 1978. In 1992 a project was started to broad gauge the line and was finally completed up to Avissawella (58 km) in 1996 and After 30+ years, present Sri Lankan government is planing to extend railway line up-to Ratnapura.

Information: Wikipedia & Sri Lanka Railways Forum

Picture submitted by D.A.Sumedha Nishantha

4 thoughts on “Narrow gauge train on the Keleni Valley Line at Kuruwita

  1. I got to know yesterday(01.04.2012) the this picture is belong to David Hyatt Supplement.
    Thanks

  2. Brought back old memories , when working at BH Avissawella.It was great to see the steam engine from the resthouse ,hauling the carriages uphill

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