train travel sri lanka
SRI LANKA HOLIDAY TIPS

Train Travel Sri Lanka

Train travel Sri Lanka is not only a great way to save money during your Sri Lanka trip but also a very practical way to learn the life of Sri Lankans. Some people say the dining table is the best place for the discussion, so is the train in Sri Lanka. You will encounter schoolchildren making the way to school, men and women commute to the office and many other people in the different age group …

Nature of train travel Sri Lanka

There is a large number of travellers especially foreign travellers that love train travels Sri Lanka because the train journey is one of the best ways of discovering the natural beauty of Sri Lanka mountains. Train travel Sri Lanka is always adventurous, and if you have the correct class, it is a comfortable train journey as well as an unforgettable train journey, as it allows you to see the breathtaking scenery across the tea gardens, vegetable gardens, patches of forest, rivers, cascading waterfalls and green-capped mountains. After all, travelling by train in Sri Lanka is a perfect opportunity to mingle with the general public and have a nice, friendly chat with the. If you are a kind of person, who enjoys travelling in trains during the holidays, then you must try train travel in Sri Lanka.

Train travel Sri Lanka is not only a great way to save money during your Sri Lanka trip but also a very practical way to learn the life of Sri Lankans. Some people say the dining table is the best place for the discussion, so is the train in Sri Lanka. You will encounter schoolchildren making the way to school, men and women commute to the office and many other people in the different age group.  This is a great way to learn the life of average Sri Lankans and train travel in Sri Lanka open your holiday to a whole range of new experiences.

Places to Visit in Nuwara Eliya

Sri Lanka railway online booking

You may find it a daunting task to book a fully-confirmed ticket as a newcomer. But, thanks to the new automated Sri Lanka railway online booking system, it has become considerably easier during the last several years. Unlike in most other countries, it is not difficult to find the correct route to your destination. And it is easy to make a sense of Scheduling of trains and availability of seats through the Sri Lanka railway online booking system.

Sri Lanka 4 Days Train Trip

  • Highlights- Kandy, Temple of the tooth relic, Royal botanical garden, Nuwara Eliya, Ceylon tea trails, Elle, Hiking
  • Duration-4 Days
    Places- Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Elle
  • Start/End-Colombo
  • Transport-Private vehicle and train
  • Accommodation 3-star hotel
  • Meals-Breakfast and Dinner
Special Price US$ 490, save $60, Regular Price US$650

Origin of Sri Lanka rail

Origin of Sri Lanka rail is going back to the first half of the 1800s. It was initiated by the British colonial rulers as a convenient method of transporting goods between Colombo and the mountains. Today, Sri Lanka railway is considerably developed and serves the country as a leading method of transporting goods and passengers.

It has become one of the best transport methods with luxury, value for money and time-saving. The modern trains are designed to provide more comfort for the commuters. Especially the trains, which are on the long distant journeys, provide the best comfort and services. Train travel in Sri Lanka would definitely create some of the beautiful memories of your Sri Lanka tour.

Sri Lanka’s railway system may not as popular as most other transport methods on the island but it is very affordable, enjoyable and convenient if you use it in the right manner. Originated during the British rule in Sri Lanka (early 18’s), Sri Lanka’s railway network grown to be around 1560km covering a large part of the country. Around 4 million people are benefitted from the railway system of Sri Lanka. 

Sri Lanka trains are most popular among the office workers and daily large number fo trains are scheduled to transport office workers and schoolchildren. More than 396 trains are in operation it provides the service approximately to about 4 million passengers. Trains are available on 67 long-distance journeys. The entire railway track of Sri Lanka is around 1560 km long and managed by Sri Lanka Railway department.

Bentota

Choosing the destinations for train travel Sri Lanka

Being an island Sri Lankan rail network is not as large and complex as most countries in the world. There are four major train routes on the island and all of them start in Colombo. Railway lines that go to southern Sri Lank and Northern Sri Lanka along the coastal belt are the busiest train routes in the island. Trains are very frequent on those routes and mostly used by the local office crowd. Railway track that goes to the central mountain range and North-East direction are the two other major railway tracks but train with less frequency.

For most travellers, train travel in Sri Lanka is most enjoyable, when it goes in the direction of the central mountain range. Train travel in Sri Lanka along the coastal belt can also be interesting but a variation of beautiful scenery is very limited along the coastal belt.

Choosing the proper train and class for your train travel Sri Lanka

The commuters often tell that the trains of SriLanka’s predilection for delays, in some cases late for hours!- it all testify to its efficiency and wonder. Choosing the correct trains for your train travel in Sri Lanka is critical to have enjoyable train trips in Sri Lanka.

The trains of Sri Lanka can be categorized into several categories. Express trains, known as the intercity train or mail trains, available on long-haul destinations and connect most major cities. It has cars for all 3 classes of seats (1st class, 2nd class and 3rd class). These express trains provide a compartment with air-conditioning and observation compartment too. Normal trains or slow trains take you to most places with frequent stops along the way. They have 3rd class cars while few of them have 2nds class cars as well.

Whatever the train you choose, you can have an interesting exchange with local travellers and you have the opportunity to try the local food on the railway platforms during your train trip in Sri Lanka. On the express trains, the vendors are marching from carriage to carriage with short eats and drinks during the journey. If you go to a faraway destination take an express train, that definitely save you a lot of time. In the Sri Lankan train, there are three classes, first-class, second class and third class.

First-class is the most comfortable with Ac, Wi-Fi and comfortable seats and available on long distant tracks. Due to the high demand for first-class tickets, it is advisable to book those tickets several weeks before the journey. If you want to buy tickets on the day of the journey, it will be subjected to availability. Usually, you need to have a prior reservation for second class carriages as well. Third class tickets are the cheapest and can be obtained without a prior reservation.

Waitlist

When you make a booking in Sri Lanka for a train trip, there is no waitlist similar to India. If the seats are not available your request is declined or offered some other options. The booking can be done via the online system or through mobile phones. If you can drop into the major railway station like Colombo, Kandy, you are able to reserve the seats through the ticket counter.

Always bring your own toilet paper on train travel Sri Lanka

Common toilet in trains usually in the European style but they do not have toilet papers. often they dirty due to the lack of attention from the cleaners, so bring hand sanitizer. if you travel by air-conditioned compartment, the cleanliness is very high and the toilets are also in very good shape.

Sri Lanka railway network

Train travel Sri Lanka from Colombo to Badulla

The train journey between Colombo and Badulla can be described as the most scenic Sri Lanka train journey available for travellers. Travellers are able to have an awe-inspiring train journey with “Udarata Menike” Express train. They can enjoy the mountains of the upcountry on this scenic Sri Lank train journey. The train goes through the valleys, mountain slopes and along with the jagged rock faces. The train crosses the Mahaweli Ganga and many other leading rivers, you will trace the beautiful waterfalls arises due to the windswept plateaus of the mountains.  Be prepared to experience the lowest temperature in the country at the highest elevated region of Sri Lanka. Thanks to the engineers in the past, this Sri Lank train journey goes across the most difficult terrain in the country, it winds through the mountains, and sometimes the train is penetrating the mountain through the tunnels.

If you travel in the direction of Badulla, the latter half of the journey is full of mountains and the train is straight up on the steep mountains.  This is the most picturesque part of the journey and steepest railway line. You can have a glimpse of the misty hills and unique landscape dominated by mountains and escapement. They are covered with tea plantations, vegetable gardens and patches of forests; looks like the mountains are concealed by a green blanket.

You will see the Horton plains when the train rolls through the Pattipola Railway station. Pattipola is the highest elevated station in the country, which is more than 1800 meters above sea level. Take time and enjoy the healing climate of the health resorts of Bandarawela and Nuwara Eliya. If you love to have some adventure holidays, Ella is the destination for you. The railway track ends in Badulla, which is another popular holiday destination among local people of Sri Lanka.

Train schedule Sri Lanka to Badulla from Colombo. Badulla is the last railway station on the upcountry railway track. all these trains are stopping at Kandy, Ella, Nanuoya and most other railway station along the way.

Train Travel Sri Lanka-useful link – Sri Lanka railway train schedule

Train travel Sri Lanka schedule from Colombo to Nuwara Eliya and Ella

Your StationArrival TimeDeparture TimeDestination / TimeEnd Station / TimeFrequencyNameType
COLOMBO FORT05:55:0005:55:00BADULLA   16:06:00BADULLA   16:06:00DAILYPodi MenikeEXPRESS TRAIN
Available Classes: 1st Class ,  2nd Class ,  3rd ClassTrain ends at BADULLA at 16:06:00Train No:  1005

COLOMBO FORT08:30:0008:30:00BADULLA   18:22:00BADULLA   18:22:00DAILYUdarata MenikeEXPRESS TRAIN
Available Classes: 1st Class ,  2nd Class ,  3rd ClassTrain ends at BADULLA at 18:22:00Train No:  1015

COLOMBO FORT09:45:0009:45:00BADULLA   19:17:00BADULLA   19:17:00DAILY1007EXPRESS TRAIN
Available Classes: 1st Class ,  2nd Class ,  3rd ClassTrain ends at BADULLA at 19:17:00Train No:  1007

COLOMBO FORT20:00:0020:00:00BADULLA   07:10:00BADULLA   07:10:00DAILYNight MailNight Mail Train
Available Classes: 1st Class ,  2nd Class, 3rd ClassThe train ends at BADULLA at 07:10:00Train No:  1045

Train travel Sri Lanka  prices from Colombo to Badulla

Class NamePrice (Rs.)
2nd Class450.00
3rd Class285.00
Total Distance:  294.293 km

The new luxury train travel Sri Lanka between Ella and Kandy from 2018

A new luxury train is added to the fleet from March 2018 targeting leisure travellers in Sri Lanka. These 2 luxury trains are scheduled to ply between Kandy and Ella in the mountains. The railway track between Kandy Ella is considered to be the track for the most scenic rail journey in Sri Lanka and there is a huge demand for this rail journey. The trains will be available during the weekends. Each train has 4 compartments providing rooms for 264 passengers on the train. The ticket cost 1250Rs (USD 8 Approximately) from Ella to Kandy and the cost of the ticket from Kandy to Nanuoya (Nuwara Eliya) is 1000Rs (USD 6 Approximately).

Train travel Sri Lanka from Colombo to Galle

This certainly a beautiful scenic route: the train, “Ruhunu Kumari “rolls along the borders of the Indian Ocean giving you the flashes of coastline. Take a look at the beautiful geographical formations along the coastal best such as coves, bays, sand dunes, and rock formations. enjoy the gentle breeze coming from the ocean.  You also have the opportunity to see the calm, serene countryside of the west and southern coast. Enjoy the low country vegetation. The isolated mountains that are formed by the geographical upheaval of the earth also make beautiful scenery along the way.

The train is the best way to travel between Colombo and Galle, which is hassle-free, convenient, saves time and cheap. There are a large number of trains ply between two cities daily and provides service for thousands of commuters. Most trains available in the early hours and in the afternoon owing to the high demand. Most trains have 2 categories of compartments 3rd class compartment and 2nd class compartment. The journey lasts around 3 hours between Colombo and Galle with an express train. But the journey with a normal train might take as much as 5 hours.

Train travel Sri Lanka schedule from Colombo to Galle and Matara southern Sri Lanka

Your StationArrival TimeDeparture TimeDestination / TimeEnd Station / TimeFrequencyNameType
COLOMBO FORT06:35:0006:55:00MATARA   10:42:00GALLE   09:19:00DAILY EXPRESS TRAIN
Available Classes: 2nd Class ,  3rd ClassTrain ends at MATARA at 10:42:00Train No:  8050

COLOMBO FORT08:17:0008:35:00MATARA   11:50:00GALLE   10:49:00DAILY EXPRESS TRAIN
Available Classes: 2nd Class ,  3rd ClassTrain ends at MATARA at 11:50:00Train No:  8040

COLOMBO FORT10:20:0010:30:00MATARA   13:47:00GALLE   12:42:00DAILYRajarata RajiniCOLOMBO COMMUTER
Available Classes: 2nd Class ,  3rd ClassTrain ends at MATARA at 13:47:00Train No:  8086

COLOMBO FORT14:19:0014:25:00MATARA   17:48:00GALLE   16:33:00DAILYGalu KumariCOLOMBO COMMUTER
Available Classes: 2nd Class ,  3rd ClassTrain ends at MATARA at 17:48:00Train No:  8056

COLOMBO FORT15:44:0015:50:00MATARA   18:20:00GALLE   17:34:00DAILYRUHUNU KUMARIEXPRESS TRAIN
Available Classes: 2nd Class ,  3rd ClassTrain ends at MATARA at 18:20:00Train No:  8058

COLOMBO FORT16:44:0016:46:00MATARA   19:35:00GALLE   18:45:00NS,NSUSAGARIKALONG DISTANCE
Available Classes: 2nd Class ,  3rd ClassTrain ends at MATARA at 19:35:00Train No:  8096

COLOMBO FORT17:29:0017:30:00GALLE   20:10:00GALLE   20:10:00NS,NSUSAMUDRA DEVILONG DISTANCE
Available Classes: 2nd Class ,  3rd ClassTrain ends at GALLE at 20:10:00Train No:  8760

COLOMBO FORT17:34:0017:35:00GALLE   21:13:00GALLE   21:13:00NS,NSU COLOMBO COMMUTER
Available Classes: 2nd Class ,  3rd ClassTrain ends at GALLE at 21:13:00Train No:  8764

COLOMBO FORT17:55:0018:05:00MATARA   21:38:00GALLE   20:28:00NS,NSU EXPRESS TRAIN
Available Classes: 2nd Class ,  3rd ClassTrain ends at MATARA at 21:38:00Train No:  8766

COLOMBO FORT18:50:0019:30:00GALLE   22:58:00GALLE   22:58:00DAILYNight MailNight Mail Train
Available Classes: 2nd Class ,  3rd ClassTrain ends at GALLE at 22:58:00Train No:  8775

Train travel Sri Lanka prices from Colombo to Galle

Class NamePrice (Rs.)
2nd Class180.00
3rd Class100.00
Total Distance:  111.78 km

Train travel Sri Lanka from Colombo to North Sri Lanka

This is the most controversial railway track for a Sri Lanka rail journey. A great portion of the track was abandoned during the last 30 years, due to the civil war. Today this scenic Sri Lanka train journey is a very safe way to travel to the north of Sri Lanka and people are using the trains more often than other forms of transport such as land and air transportation.

The train track goes through the picturesque countryside, which is dominated by coconut plantations and paddy fields. Isolated forest patches make beautiful scenery along the way. The train starts in Colombo and roll into the interior of the country.  The train, which popularly known as “Yal Devi Express” takes you to the northern direction. Enjoy the fascinating wildlife of Habarana forest. You will be greeted by a large number of wild elephants as you travel through the reserve.

Train travel Sri Lanka schedule from Colombo to Jaffna

Your StationArrival TimeDeparture TimeDestination / TimeEnd Station / TimeFrequencyNameType
COLOMBO FORT05:35:0005:45:00KANKESANTHURAI   12:17:00JAFFNA   11:51:00DAILYA.C. – INTERCITYA.C. – INTERCITY
Available Classes: 1st Class ,  2nd Class ,  3rd ClassTrain ends at KANKESANTHURAI at 12:17:00Train No:  4021

COLOMBO FORT06:17:0006:35:00KANKESANTHURAI   15:20:00JAFFNA   14:37:00DAILYYAL DEVILONG DISTANCE
Available Classes: 2nd Class ,  3rd ClassTrain ends at KANKESANTHURAI at 15:20:00Train No:  4077

COLOMBO FORT11:50:0011:50:00KANKESANTHURAI   18:47:00JAFFNA   18:15:00DAILYuttara deviA.C. – INTERCITY
Available Classes: 2nd Class ,  3rd ClassTrain ends at KANKESANTHURAI at 18:47:00Train No:  4017

COLOMBO FORT13:45:0014:00:00JAFFNA   00:32:00JAFFNA   00:32:0004/05/2018Pirith SpecialSpecial
Available Classes: 2nd Class ,  3rd ClassTrain ends at JAFFNA at 00:32:00Train No:  4000

COLOMBO FORT20:30:0020:30:00KANKESANTHURAI   06:05:00JAFFNA   05:10:00DAILYNight Mail TrainNight Mail Train
Available Classes: 2nd Class, 3rd ClassTrain ends at KANKESANTHURAI at 06:05:00Train No:  4089

Train travel Sri Lanka ticket prices from Colombo to Jaffna

Class NamePrice (Rs.)
2nd Class540.00
3rd Class335.00
Total Distance:  397.8 km
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Sanjeewa Padmal (Seerendipity)

This blog is all about travelling in Sri Lanka, I am trying to illuminate my readers with a wide range of information related to Sri Lanka travel. Please feel free to contact me at any time if you need more information. Furthermore, we can organize your holiday package or any travel related requirement in Sri Lanka. Please contact us on admin@seerendipitytours.com... read more