Ircon International Ltd. completes rail track up to Kankasanthurai
The newly built railway track between Jaffna and Kankasanthurai covering a distance of 18 kms was commissioned and dedicated to the public of Sri Lanka by His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, the President of Sri Lanka on 2 January. The inaugural train journey saw Mr. G.A Chandrasiri, Governor of the Northern Province, Mr. Douglas Devananda, Minister for Traditional Industries and Small Enterprises, Mr. Kumara Welgama, Minister of Transport, along with senior officers from the Ministry of Transport, Sri Lanka Railways, CECB and IRCON on board.
The train journey started from Kankasanthurai and ended at Jaffna, with the distance being covered in a period of 15 minutes. The commissioning of train services up to KKS which established a direct train link with Colombo has fulfilled the long cherished dream of the people of the Northern Province. The excitement and happiness of the local public was clearly visible as many people were seen cheering the inaugural train run all along it’s route.
This track corridor has two crossing stations at Kondavil and Chunnakam and five halt stations at Kokuvil, Inuvil, Mallakam, Tellipalai and Mavittapuram. With the commissioning of this section, the entire Northern Line has been restored after a stupendous joint effort involving both Sri Lanka Railways and Ircon International Limited, a partnership of nearly four years, involving more than 350 machines and 2500 workforce both from India as well as Sri Lanka.
Yal Devi, the famous train on this route which is presently running up to Jaffna, will be covering this new section shortly. Besides earning huge revenues for Sri Lanka Railways, the new track will also provide efficient train travel to the commuting passengers with reduced travel time and comfortable riding quality.
The railway tracks from Omanthai to Kankesanthurai and Medawachchiya to Talai Mannar Pier were completely destroyed during the prolonged ethnic war conflict. The government of India had extended its support to the Government of Sri Lanka to rebuild the 252 km railway track in the Northern Province by providing a line of credit of USD 800 Million. Sections between Omanthai to Jaffna (129 km) and Medawachchiya – Thiruketheeswaram (69km) have already been made operational and with the opening of this Jaffna – KKS section, a total of 215 Kms track length will be completed. The remaining 37 Km long stretch between Thiruketheeswaram and Talai Mannar Pier is due to be completed by March 2015.