New DMU train’s maiden journey from Colombo to Jaffna | Sunday Observer

New DMU train’s maiden journey from Colombo to Jaffna

 President Maithripala Sirisena cuts the ribbon to flag the train off while Minister Arjuna Ranatunge and Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh look on
President Maithripala Sirisena cuts the ribbon to flag the train off while Minister Arjuna Ranatunge and Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh look on

Uttara Devi, the new self-propelled Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) the Sri Lankan Railways (SLR) purchased from India under Indian concessional financing was flagged off by President Maithripala Sirisena last week. Its maiden journey was from the Fort Station to Kankesanthurai Station. Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation , Arjuna Ranatunga and the High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, Taranjit Singh Sandhu attended the event along with the Ministry Secretary, L.P. Jayampathy, General Manager, SLR M.J. D. Fernando, Chairman and Managing Director of M/s RITES Ltd., Rajeev Mehrotra.

The DMUs in the SLR fleet are thirteen-coach train sets with all modern amenities and a maximum speed of 120 kmph.

The DMU in the SLR fleet is a thirteen-coach train set. It has best-in-class passenger amenities with fully rotating seats in the air-conditioned chair cars, an on-board infotainment system, GPS-based passenger information system and modular interiors and has a maximum speed of 120 kmph. It will offer comfort and speed to passengers, as a next level of the travel experience.

In March 2017, M/s Rites Ltd., of India and the Sri Lanka Railways signed a contract valued at around US$ 100 million to supply six DMU’s and 10 locomotives to Sri Lanka Railways under Indian concessional financing.

The first set of DMUs was delivered ahead of schedule in December 2018 and is now being commissioned into Sri Lanka Railways after the completion of trial runs. The remaining DMUs and locomotives under the scheme are scheduled for delivery this year.

The delivery of 50 wagons for Sri Lanka railways and 500 buses for the country under the scheme is on the cards for 2019.

In June 2017, India signed a fresh Line of Credit Agreement for US $ 318 million for the development of the Sri Lankan railway sector. Under this Line of Credit, various projects are under way, including procurement of 160 passenger coaches,upgrading of the railway track from Maho to Omanthai, upgrading of the signal and telecommunication system from Maho to Anuradhapura and the setting up of a railway workshop in Ratmalana.

India has so far committed Lines of Credit worth around US$ 1.3 billion to develop the railway sector in Sri Lanka. The restoration of arterial railway lines, connecting the North and the South after decades of conflict was carried out under Indian concessional financing and the tsunami-affected Southern Railway line was upgraded under an Indian Line of Credit. India has also supplied rolling stock to Sri Lanka and contributed to the capacity building of Sri Lankan railway personnel.

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