Sunday, November 27, 2011

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අනාරක්‍ෂිත දුම්රිය හරස්‌ මාර්ග හත්සිය පනහක්‌ රට පුරා

සිරිමන්ත රත්නසේකර

සම්පූර්ණයෙන්ම අනාරක්‍ෂිත දුම්රිය හරස්‌ මාර්ග හත්සිය පනහක්‌ මෙරට ඇති බව දුම්රිය සාමාන්‍යාධිකාරි ඊ. ඒ. පී. ආරියරත්න මහතා "දිවයින ඉරිදා සංග්‍රහය"ට පැවැසීය.

මෙම දුම්රිය හරස්‌ මාර්ග ඇතුළු සියලුම දුම්රිය හරස්‌ මාර්ගවල ආරක්‍ෂාව තහවුරු කිරීම සඳහා රුපියල් කෝටියක මුදලක්‌ ජනාධිපති මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂ මහතා විසින් වෙන්කර දී ඇති බව පැවැසූ  දුම්රිය සාමාන්‍යාධිකාරිවරයා 2012 අයවැයෙන් රුපියල් කෝටි 20 ක මුදලක්‌ ඒ සඳහා වෙන්කර දෙන ලෙස දුම්රිය දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව රජයෙන් ඉල්ලා ඇති බවත් හෙතෙම කීවේය.

ඒ අනුව ඉදිරි දෙවසර තුළ සියලු අනාරක්‍ෂිත දුම්රිය මාර්ගයන්හි ආරක්‍ෂාව තහවුරු කිරීමට කටයුතු කරන බවද සඳහන් කළේය.

පුත්තලම හා කැලණිවැලි දුම්රිය මාර්ගවල අනතුරු වැඩි වශයෙන් සිදුවන බවද දුම්රිය සාමාන්‍යාධිකාරි ඊ. ඒ. පී. ආරියරත්න මහතා පැවැසීය.

Friday, November 25, 2011

ප්‍රවේශ පත්‍ර මිල වැඩි නොකර
දුම්රිය සතු දේපොළ ප්‍රයෝජනයට ගෙන
දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවට ආදායම් වැඩිකරගත යුතුයි

සිරිමන්ත රත්නසේකර

දුම්රිය ප්‍රවේශ පත්‍රයක මිල ඉහළ දමා ආදායම් වැඩි කර ගන්නවාට වඩා දුම්රිය දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව සතුව ඇති සම්පත් ප්‍රයෝජනයට ගෙන දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවේ ආදායම් ඉහළ නංවා ගැනීම වඩා වැදගත් යෑයි දුම්රිය සාමාන්‍යාධිකාරි ඊ. ඒ. පී. ආරියරත්න මහතා සඳහන් කළේය.

අවම පහසුකම් සලසා දී මගියාගෙන් ආදායම් ඉහළ නංවා ගැනීම වැරැදි පිළිවෙතක්‌ බවත් පහසුකම් සලසාදී ප්‍රවේශ පත්‍ර මිල ඉහළ දැමීමේ වරදක්‌ නොමැති බවත් හෙතෙම සඳහන් කෙළේය.

දුම්රිය සාමාන්‍යාධිකාරි ඊ. ඒ. පී. ආරියරත්න මහතා එම අදහස්‌ පළකළේ ඉකුත් (24 වැනිදා) දුම්රිය දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවේ පැවැති මාධ්‍ය හමුවකදී අදහස්‌ දක්‌වමිනි.

මෙහිදී වැඩිදුරටත් අදහස්‌ දැක්‌වූ ආරියරත්න මහතා මෙසේ ද පැවැසීය.

අප සතුව ඇති දුම්රිය බලවේග කට්‌ටලවල තත්ත්වය සතුටුදායක නැහැ. ඒවායේ පහසුකම් අවමයි. ඇතැම් දුම්රිය මගීන්ට ගමන් කරන්නට සුදුසු නැහැ. නිසි ලෙස වැසිකිළි නැහැ. මෙම තත්ත්වය වෙනස්‌ කළ යුතුයි.

ඇතැම් දුම්රිය බලවේග කට්‌ටල 80 - 81 අතර කාලයේ මෙරටට ආනයනය කළ ඒවා. තවත් ඒවා 89 - 91 අතර කාලයේදී මෙරටට ගෙන්වපු ඒවා. මේවායේ ගුණාත්මක භාවය, සුවපහසුතාව ඉතා අවමයි.

කල් ඉකුත්වූ දුම්රිය බලවේග කට්‌ටල ඉවත් කළ යුතුයි. නැත්නම් ප්‍රතිසංස්‌කරණය කළ යුතුයි. ඉදිරියේදී නවීන පහසුකම්වලින් සමන්විත දුම්රිය බලවේග කට්‌ටල මෙරටට ලබා ගැනීමට කටයුතු කරනවා.

මෙම ප්‍රවෘත්ති සාකච්ඡාවට දුම්රිය දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවේ අධ්‍යක්‍ෂ සැලසුම් විජය සමරසිංහ, නියෝජ්‍ය වැඩ අධිකාරි වී. එස්‌. පොල්වත්ත, නියෝජ්‍ය ප්‍රධාන ඉංජිනේරු (ධාවන බල) කේ. කේ. හේවාවිතාරණ, වැඩ මූලික (මැදිරි හා වැඩ) ඒ. කුලරත්න යන මහත්වරු එක්‌වූහ.
දුම්රිය බලවේග කට්‌ටල 13 ක්‌
ලබන වසරේ චීනයෙන් ගෙන එයි


සිරිමන්ත රත්නසේකර

නව දුම්රිය බලවේග කට්‌ටල 13 ක්‌ ලබන වසරේදී මෙරටට ආනයනය කිරීමට කටයුතු සම්පාදනය කර ඇති බව දුම්රිය සාමාන්‍යාධිකාරි ඊ. ඒ. පී. ආරියරත්න මහතා පවසයි.

අදාළ දුම්රිය බලවේග චීන රජයෙන් මිලදී ගැනීමට කටයුතු සකසා ඇති බවත්, එම බලවේග කට්‌ටල ලබන වසරේ අප්‍රේල් මස සිට දෙසැම්බර් මස දක්‌වා වූ කාල සීමාව තුළ මෙරටට අපනයනය කිරීමට සැලසුම් කර ඇති බවත් හෙතෙම පැවසීය.

ඒ සඳහා ගිවිසුම් චීන රජය සමග අත්සන් කර ඇති බව පැවසූ හෙතෙම මෙම දුම්රිය බලවේග කට්‌ටල ආනයනය කිරීම සඳහා රුපියල් මිලියන 9000 ක්‌ වැය කෙරෙන බවත් සඳහන් කළේය.

මෙම දුම්රිය බලවේග කට්‌ටලවලින් 07 ක්‌ උඩරට දුම්රිය මාර්ගයටද, 04 ක්‌ කැලණිවැලි දුම්රිය මාර්ගයටද අනෙකුත් ඒවා අවශ්‍යතා සලකා බලා යෙදවීමටද තීරණය කර තිබේ.

ඒ මහතා එම අදහස්‌ පළ කළේ ඊයේ (24 වැනිදා) දුම්රිය දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවේ පැවැති ප්‍රවෘත්ති සාකච්ඡාවකදීය.

Monday, November 21, 2011

SLR to equip fleet with modern safety devices

E-mailPrint
The entire fleet of trains of the Sri Lanka Railways (SLR) is to be equipped with modern safety  devices including Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to ensure the safety of passengers and crew and  minimise accidents, Transport Minister Kumara Welgama said.

He said 10 trains have already been installed with GPS in a pilot project and tests have been  carried out on the main line.

The software components of the device include an alarm system that alerts the engine driver about  an approaching train on the same track, at a safe distance. It also gives an alarm signal to the  driver if he approaches a train stopped on the railway platform on the same track. Another new  facility will be the opportunity to exchange information between engine drivers over the phone  Minister Welgama said.

The GPS system will enable the operators in the control room to know the exact location of a moving  train at any given time, its speed and the gap between two trains on the same track. With this  device an engine driver will have the facility to know the whereabouts of all trains within a 10km  radius. This would greatly help towards preventing accidents, the minister added. (Sandun A. Jayasekera)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

More trains and improved rail tracks:Sunday Observer Online

Increased budgetary allocation for public transport

The Government has increased the budgetary allocation to improve the public transport sector in the upcoming budget and the transport ministry will invest more money next year to import new trains, locomotives and powersets as well as to improve the rail tracks said Minister of Transport Kumara Welgama.
Minister Welgama was addressing train commuters at the Veyangoda railway station on Wednesday. He witnessed the addition of a new powerset to the Rambukkana-Colombo Fort office train launched a few months ago.
The new express train service has attracted a large number of commuters due to its timely arrival and availability of second class compartments. There were 80 seats in the second class compartments and the demand for second class seats increased surpassing the capacity. With the increasing demand and requests from commuters, the CGR decided to double the capacity of this office train. Initially, a single S-11 power set imported recently from India was deployed and from Wednesday another S-11 powerset was added and with this the number of compartments has increased to 12.
The Commercial Superintendent of CGR Sisira Kumara said that the second class seating capacity has been increased to 160. The train now stops at Veyangoda railway station as well. However, commuters who obtained second class season tickets paying double the price of third class tickets complain that the quality of service that they expect will not sustain unless second class compartments are strictly reserved only for second class ticket holders.
Minister Welgama visited all compartments and spoke to passengers and gave a hearing to their suggestions to improve the train service. He said that another power set will be added to the Mahawa-Colombo Fort express train as well. Responding to complaints of the commuters about train delays, Welgama said that the bottleneck at the Kelani bridge was the main reason for delays. The new bridge and third railway track between Dematagoda and Ragama will be connected after the completion of this bridge and these issues will then be under control.
Commuters thanked the minister for the significant improvement of the train services during the last couple of years. A number of trains, facilities as well as frequent strikes and other obstacles have all been sorted out. Although there are train delays, overall the situation has improved significantly, they said.
Meanwhile, CGR officials said that Expolanka and Rajadhani first class compartments added to the Colombo-Kandy intercity express train has been successful. All tickets have been reserved for the next three months and our effort to attract new passengers to the railway has been successful, Welgama said.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

‘Yal Devi’ again in two years

 

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By Don Asoka Wijewardena

The reconstruction of the Railway track from Pallai to KKS will be completed by 2013. Indian Railway Construction International Ltd (IRCON), which is a government owned company of India, has been awarded the contract to complete the project within two years.

EXIM Bank of India will provide financial assistance to the tune of US$ 50 million for the project.

The Sri Lankan government expects to resume the ‘Yal Devi’ train operation once again, after the completion of the track, Transport Minister Kumara Welgama announced at the agreement signing ceremony between India and Sri Lanka at Taj Samudra Hotel yesterday (18).

Minister Welgama said that the construction of the railway line from Pallai to KKS was badly needed as the people in the North were facing numerous transport difficulties due to inadequate transport facilities. The mission of the government was the provision of a safe, reliable and punctual rail transport service for both passenger and freight.

The distance between Pallai and KKS was 55 km. The IRCON company had undertaken the project to be completed within two years, but engineers were positive that the construction could be completed ahead of schedule. It would be a boon to the people in the North, the Minister added.

Indian High Commissioner Ashok K. Kantha said that India would see things in their correct perspective and assured that the construction would be completed ahead of schedule. The designs of buildings and culverts were according to Indian standards and specifications. Therefore, Sri Lankan Railways would have to check designs with the Sri Lankan standards and specifications. If there were any major discrepancies, IRCON would revise the designs accordingly.

He added that apart from the above observations, the technical proposal would meet the requirements of the railway department. IRCON had agreed with the above observations to make necessary arrangements to comply with such requirements.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Jumbos hit by trains: When will these tragedies end?

By Kumudini Hettiarachchi
One is dead and will more follow, for three elephants have been mowed down by the Colombo Fort-Omanthai mail train at the 97.5 milepost between Galgamuwa and Ambanpola at about 3 a.m. last Tuesday.
Ironically this is not the first but the third time that elephants have been knocked down at the same location. It was in June this year that three gentle giants died an agonising death after being hit by a special train carrying Poson pilgrims. A few years prior to that another three were killed practically at the same spot.
Knocked by the train and then dragged by its engine, one young female elephant had her head bashed in and injuries on her abdomen where the train hit her. She fell by the roadside next to the track, was treated by the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) but gasped her last later in the morning, Sampath Ekanayake of the Centre for Conservation and Research told the Sunday Times, describing the tragic incident.
An older female with a one-week-old baby was observed kneeling and stumbling across the road and into the forest at around 6 a.m. with a broken left rear leg and injuries on the abdomen. The third, a male with injuries on both rear legs had dragged himself across the road. He had fallen trying to cross the Mee-Oya into the forest but managed to pull himself into the forest, he said.
“As soon as we heard about the accident, we instructed the driver not to move the train until the elephants had dispersed,” said the Railways Department Additional General Manager N. Bandara, explaining what action the railway authorities have taken in collaboration with the DWC to prevent such elephant deaths.
The train was not moved for 111 minutes (nearly two hours), he said, adding that soon after the accident not only the DWC and the police but also railway officials went to the location.
Referring to the action taken by the DWC-Railway, he said that “running staff” of the railway who man the trains in areas where elephants cross the tracks have been made aware through workshops, while the scrub jungle by the side of the track, especially at bends has been cleared to give a better view to engine drivers.
In addition to the single bright headlight of the train, moves are underway to provide more lighting, said Mr. Bandara, pointing out that moves to take a DWC official in the engine to advise the driver will also be strengthened. They will know where the elephant herds are and in what direction they are moving, he said.
While advising local government bodies not to dump garbage near the railtrack in the Gal Oya and Hingurakgoda areas attracting elephants to such garbage, he said that action will be taken to straighten the track at points well-known for elephant crossings.
Many points where elephants cross the railway track have been identified, said Mr. Bandara, pointing out that there are 10 between Maho and Vavuniya, 13 between Palugaswewa and Gal Oya, 14 between Gal Oya and Trincomalee and 10 between Gal Oya and Batticaloa.
Conservationists, however, question why after “all this action” more and more elephants are hit by trains, tragically at the same spots. What is needed is not “action” but “effective action” they point out. The present tragedy brings the debacle into sharp focus as in this instance the elephants are being hit and killed at a place so well known as an elephant crossing, with DWC and Railway Department signboards clearly indicating so and imposing speed limits of 20 kmph.
Are the trains following the speed limits, ask conservationists. If the Railway Department claims that they are, obviously then the speed limit needs to be lowered to 10 kmph, they suggest.
An investigation was supposed to have been conducted after the incident in June and no doubt another will be after this. However, what effect it will have in preventing such tragedies is questionable, they add.
One of the cow elephants dead
Two cow elephants and one bull elephant were knocked down by the train, a wildlife conservation source confirmed to the Sunday Times.
One of the cow elephants died while the other one which has a baby is moving about with the herd and seems to be having a problem only with her leg, the source said, adding that the bull elephant also with issues with his legs was still walking about.The train seemed to have been going slow, the source said, otherwise more harm would have come to the elephants which had apparently been foraging by the side of the track

Sunday, November 13, 2011

News

Initiative to exhibit historical railway Locomotives for the first time in Sri Lanka
History of Sri Lankan railways is almost 150 years now. The establishment of first railway track was started in 1858 due to the numerous persuasions from British planters and the first railway journey in local soil took place on the 27th December 1864 between Colombo Fort and Abeypussa. Good old day’s giant steam engines were the only saviour to haul all types of trains and this situation continued for nearly a century. This started to change into diesel engines in early 50’s due to various reasons. The transformation completed in the latter part of 70’s with the importation of 62 locomotives of four models: M4, M5, M6 and M7 from Canada, Japan, West Germany and Britain respectively within six years.  Since then majority of steam locomotives were sold for scrap but few were kept in dumping yards for years.
However, this was changed again in 1986 with the introduction of special steam train Viceroy due to the high demand of foreign tourists but the rest of giant steam loco’s diminished from time to time from the dumping yards. However, at that time no one ever thought of preserving and exhibiting at least one engine from each type or model for the future generations, especially for those who do not have the real experience in travelling in steam trains.  However, the situation in other countries is totally different and many developed as well as developing nations who have railways kept these old locomotives well preserved for the future generations and some countries do have masterpieces which are used extensively for tourism. Mostly these types of activities originate through the intervention of volunteers and railway fans in developed countries. For instance in New South Wales state of Australia, there are number of volunteer rail fan groups who maintain private railway yards full of old steam engines and even diesel locomotives while annually conduct steam feasts and Zigzag railway operations in Lithgow, Steam feast of Maitland are few good examples.
In order to fill this gap Sri Lanka Rail Fans Society has put forward a proposal to the current General Manager of Railways, Mr. B.A.P Ariyaratne. He rightly has recognized the need of the hour of the suggestion and extended his fullest cooperation. He instructed to launch this project by restoring a diesel Electrical shunting engine of G2-535 which was introduced to the Sri Lanka railways as initial diesel engines for switching purposes of yards in 1951. The General Manager suggested displaying it to the public at the Bandarawela railway station since it is one of the stations which attract local and foreign tourists as well.
This historically significant tourist attractive display was ceremonially opened to the general public by the General Manager of Railways, Mr. B.A.P Ariyaratne on 16th August 2011 at the Bandarawela railway station with the participation of railway staff, members of Sri Lanka Rai Fans Society and general public. During the opening ceremony General Manager of Railways highly appreciated the work done by Sri Lanka Rail Fans Society  and instructed them to accelerate next project to put up mini railway museum at Nanu Oya Station There are number of railway technical staff members who worked tirelessly to make this project a success: District Engineer upper division Mr. S. Nihal was in charge of the preparation work of the display site, Locomotive foremen Kandy Mr. R.M.G Mahindasiri is in charge of restoring the locomotive of this project, Locomotive foremen Badulla Mr. N. Wickramage handled the placing and final preparation works of the display and Locomotive foremen of shop 26 Mr. S. Wickramaratne coordinated whole project with the assistance of some members of Sri Lanka rail fans society namely Messers  A. K. Kulatunga, Primal Madushanka and locomotive driver Mangala Perera.