Colombo, January 27 (newsin.asia): A plush and fast self-propelled Diesel Multiple Unit-DMU train, built in India, went on its maiden journey from the Fort Station in Colombo to Kankesanthurai Station in Jaffna in North Sri Lanka on Sunday.
The train, which travels at 120 km per hour, was flagged off by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena in the presence of Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu, the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, Arjuna Ranatunga, the Secretary, Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, L.P. Jayampathy, the Commander of the Sri Lankan Army Lt. General Mahesh Senanayake, General Manager, Sri Lanka Railways, M.J. D. Fernando, and the Chairman and Managing Director of M/s RITES Ltd., Rajeev Mehrotra.
President Sirisena and High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu traveled a distance in the train while Transport Minister Ranatunga traveled uo to Jaffna in the inaugural run.
Plush And Fast
The DMU manufactured by M/s RITES Ltd. is a thirteen-coach train set. The train set has best-in-class passenger amenities with fully rotating seats in the Air-Conditioned Chair Cars, on-board Infotainment system, GPS-based passenger information system and modular interiors.
It can travel at a maximum speed of 120 kmph. It will offer both comfort and speed to passengers, as a next level of the travel experience.
The contract agreement for supply of 6 DMUs and 10 locomotives to the Sri Lanka Railways was signed between M/s RITES Ltd., India and Sri Lanka Railways in March 2017.
The total contract is worth around US$ 100 million and is financed under Indian concessional financing.
The first set of DMU arrived in Sri Lanka in December 2018 ahead of schedule and is now being commissioned into Sri Lanka Railways after completion of trial runs.
The supply of the rest of the DMUs and locomotives will be completed in the course of this year.
In addition, 50 wagons are also being supplied to Sri Lanka Railways under Indian concessional financing. These will also be delivered this year.
500 buses will be supplied to Sri Lanka under Indian concessional financing.
In June 2017, India signed a fresh Line of Credit Agreement for US $ 318 million for the development of the railway sector in Sri Lanka.
Under this Line of Credit, various projects are underway such as the procurement of 160 passenger coaches; upgrading of the railway track from Maho to Omanthai; upgrading of the signal & telecommunication system from Maho to Anuradhapura; and the setting up of a Railway Workshop in Ratmalana etc.
India has so far committed Lines of Credit worth around US$ 1.3 billion for the development of the railway sector in Sri Lanka.
The restoration of arterial railway lines, connecting the North and the South after decades of conflict, was undertaken under Indian concessional financing.
The tsunami-affected Southern Railway line was also upgraded under an Indian Line of Credit. India has also supplied rolling stock to Sri Lanka and contributed to capacity building of Sri Lankan railway personnel.
India remains ready to assist Sri Lanka to meet its developmental aspirations as per Sri Lanka’s own requirements, a High Commission release said.