Train to Jaffna: resuming a journey after 25 years

Source:  www.thehindu.com

As an engineer testing the newly-laid tracks in northern Sri Lanka, Ravindra Yadav is extra careful.

“People tend to cross the tracks any time,” he says, driving a posh-looking yellow-coloured engine over tracks shimmering in the sun. Honking several times along the way, he adds: “You can’t blame the people.

They are not used to a train coming this way.” It may not be easy for someone to anticipate a train if he has not seen one in this part of the country in the last 25 years, says Mr. Yadav, one of the 400 people from India that IRCON brought to Sri Lanka to work on restoring Sri Lanka’s Northern Rail line.

Flagging off Yal Devi

On Monday, President Mahinda Rajapaksa will flag off the iconic Yal Devi Express’s journey up to Jaffna, extending its run further into the island’s former war zone, from Pallai to Jaffna.

Indian Railways subsidiary IRCON has restored the section from Omanthai to Pallai in the Northern Province, which was damaged during the three decade-long civil war. The project, being executed with a $800 million line of credit from the Indian government, covers two key rail routes in the Tamil-majority Northern Province. More info

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