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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
SRI LANKA RAILWAYS

May 09, 2006 20:57 PM [/font]

M'sian Firm Among Group Developing MRT In Colombo

COLOMBO, May 9 (Bernama) -- Sri Lanka's state-owned Board of Investment (BOI) and a group of foreign investors, including Malaysia's OPUS International, Tuesday signed a letter of intent to undertake feasibility study for a mass rapid transit (MRT) rail system in Colombo to ease congestion in the country's biggest city.

BOI chairman Professor Lakshman Watawala and representatives of four companies making up the group signed the agreement at the BOI office here.

The four companies are NEB Infrastructure Pvt Ltd of India, OPUS International, Siemens AG of Germany and UTI Bank of India.

A statement issued at the end of the deal said the group would submit a pre-feasibility report and thereafter with the consensus of the government will prepare a detailed project report for the network.

The government will make available to the group existing study reports and material pertaining to the set-up of a MRT in Colombo.

The feasibility study will involve the study of route alignment, estimation of transport demand and distribution, projected traffic loads and cost estimates, it said.

Opus International (Malaysia) Bhd is one of the leading project management services providers for large scale infrastructure and transportation projects in Malaysia.

It is listed on Bursa Malaysia and the London Stock Exchange.

The statement said local authorities came up with the MRT proposal to cater to the growing passenger numbers in the Colombo metropolitan area.
http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v3/news_lite.php?id=196313

If it happens it'll be as good as the Delhi Metro!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Govt approves $510m rail track project
Monday, May 15,2006
COLOMBO: After burying plans of a much touted subway system for Colombo, the Railway Track Development Ministry is now embarking on an ambitious US$ 510 million rail track extension program. “We decided to abandon the proposed subway system since it proved to be more costly, more time consuming and there were also many implementation problems,” Rail Road Development Ministry Secretary Nihal Somaweera told the Daily FT.

The green light was given to implement a US$ 1 billion Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) to cover the Colombo Metropolitan area, as an alternative to the subway system, which was abandoned after a comprehensive study. The study proposed to construct the subway system to connect Borella, Orugodawatta, Narahenpita, Kirulapana, Bambalapitya, Wellawatte and Kompagnnaweedhiya.

According to Mr. Somaweera the Ministry is now updating the initial socioeconomic, environment and detailed engineering feasibility studies done 10 years ago in a bid to resurrect the stalled Matara-Kataragama rail road extension.

“The project started in the early 90’s, but it was delayed because it was a politically motivated project without a proper economic rationale. But now with plans to construct the second international seaport and airport in Hambantota, having this rail track has become vital,” Mr. Somaweera added.

“A survey on those who will be displaced due to the new rail track will start within two weeks and we are planning to complete it within 4 months,” he added.

The Rail Road Development Ministry is also planning to complete the land acquisition process to lay the rail road by the end of 2006.

“We have already obtained US$ 100 m for acquiring land, resolving displacement issues and laying the initial ground work. But only 18 km of the required land has been acquired so far. Once the land acquisition is complete we will request for proposals from parties interested in collaborating in the construction process, early next year,” Mr. Somaweera said

“A Chinese company has already expressed interest in collaborating with the government on the construction based on an Engineering, procurement and Construction (EPC) contract. This is currently being evaluated by the cabinet,” he added.

The project is expected to cost US$ 220, and the treasury is currently scouting for foreign funding.

Tentative track lines have also been identified for two more projects and the Railway Track Development Ministry has already requested the external resources department of the Finance Ministry to prepare proposals to find donors to conduct the feasibility studies.

These include the new link from Kurunegala to Habaran via Dambulla spanning 80 km. The basic feasibility studies for the project are expected to start early next year for this $80 million project.

A 210 km extension to the Kelani-velli rail track to Hambantota via Ratnapura will also been initiated in 2008, with an investment of US$ 210 million.

2006 budget proposals have promised to commitment 0.5% of GDP for rail road development, which only accounts for 30% of total investments required for these projects.

“70% of the funding is expected to come from donors as soft loans,” Mr. Somaweera added.

http://www.southasianmedia.net/index_story.cfm?id=294041&category=Frontend&Country=SRI LANKA
 

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vry gud newz bt lets hope tht this prject gets completd cz rite nw the city is sooo damn congested!!
keep us updated VADER!
N MAY D FORCE B WTH U!! hehehe
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
PCK said:
vry gud newz bt lets hope tht this prject gets completd cz rite nw the city is sooo damn congested!!
keep us updated VADER!
N MAY D FORCE B WTH U!! hehehe
Of course I have the force... as I am your father!!!!


Getting back to business, I agree with you in saying that Colombo really needs this. Good to see Siemens on board this project- this shows that if built, people will be riding in german comfort!

Anyways, to keep you updated:

Sri Lanka to enhance rail transport of petroleum
Tuesday, May 16, 2006, 13:02 GMT, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

May 16, Colombo: Twenty-four railway tankers will be imported from Pakistan to enhance petroleum transport throughout the country, says Minister of Railways and Transport and Minister of Petroleum and Petroleum Resources Development A.H.M. Fowzie.

Delays in supplying petroleum will be minimised and the profits of both the Railway Department and the Petroleum Corporation will be increased with the use of these tankers.

Transporting petroleum on railway is less expensive than road transportation and the proportion of railway transportation will be increased up to 55% with the new tankers. Currently the Petroleum Corporation transports 24 million litres of oil annually by railway. The income of the Railway Department is Rs. 191 million
http://www.colombopage.com/archive/May16130222SL.html
 

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mre gr8 newz for colombo and sri lanka......

Colombo to Katunayake within minutes via super highway
Friday, 12 May 2006 - 9:13 AM SL Time

The government said the Colombo-Katunayake expressway would result in vehicles the Bandaranaike International Airport-bound vehicles reaching their destination within 15 minutes, as compared to the present one hour.

Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, announcing the weekly Cabinet decisions on Wednesday, said the construction of the 25.6 kilometre expressway would be completed within 39 months and would be Sri Lanka`s first `pay highway`.

Motorists using the expressway would have to pay a nominal fee once it is commissioned.

The fees would be utilized to maintain the highway, which is being built with Chinese financial assistance amounting to 292 million US dollars.

The expressway will consist of six lanes from Colombo to Peliyagoda and four lanes from Peliyagoda to Katunayake.


http://www.lankanewspapers.com/news/2006/5/6857.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sithru securing US$1bil jobs in Sri Lanka

By LEONG HUNG YEE

KUALA LUMPUR: Sithru (M) Sdn Bhd is confident of securing jobs to construct railway tracks totalling US$1bil in the southern and central parts of Sri Lanka.

Group managing director S. Thiruneelakanda said the company was confident it would be awarded the contract from the Sri Lankan government and expected to formally receive it within one month.

“We have to go through several processes before getting the contract. Nevertheless, we expect to commence work immediately upon being awarded the contract,” he said after signing a 60:40 cooperation agreement with Sithru's joint-venture partner, Chase Perdana Bhd, yesterday.

Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, who was present at the ceremony yesterday, said the award of the letter of intent for project to Malaysian companies was a testimony of the Sri Lankan government's confidence in Malaysian construction companies.

He said Malaysian companies were venturing abroad due to the increased competitiveness in the domestic market, excess capacity and their technological advantage, thus exporting construction services as a wealth generator for the country.

Thiruneelakanda said the company was one of three companies bidding for the project, while the other two were from Russia and China. “We believe we have given a competitive figure.”

Seremban-based Sithru is primarily involved in construction, property, water treatment, railway signalling and cabling, oil and gas, information technology and engineering in Malaysia as well as overseas.

According to Thiruneelakanda, the project would take an estimated three years to complete. The first phase would involve a 120km railway track from Matara to Kataragama; the second phase will involve building a 151km track from Padukka to Hambantota, and the third, a 80km line from Kurunegala to Habarana.


From left to right: Sithru (M) Sdn Bhd group MD S. Thiruneelakanda, Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Malaysia C.D. Casie Chetty and Chase Perdana Bhd director Datuk Dr. Baharun Azhar Raffiai shaking hands after the signing ceremony for a 60:40 cooperation agreement with Sithru's JV partner, Chase Perdana Bhd for construction of railway tracks in Sri Lanka.
Besides its impressive order book of RM10bil that would keep the company busy for the next five years, Thiruneelakanda said Sithru was currently bidding for a US$150mil railway project in Thailand with its partner, India's Kalindee Rail Nirman (Engineers) Ltd.

“We are also trying to secure a highway project and several other jobs in Sri Lanka,” he added.

Locally, the company is targeting a listing on the Bursa Malaysia main board by taking over a main board company within two months.

“We are in the midst of taking over a main board company and are also appointing a merchant bank to help us,'' he added.
http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2006/5/23/business/14319596&sec=business
 

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PCK said:
mre gr8 newz for colombo and sri lanka......

Colombo to Katunayake within minutes via super highway
Friday, 12 May 2006 - 9:13 AM SL Time

The government said the Colombo-Katunayake expressway would result in vehicles the Bandaranaike International Airport-bound vehicles reaching their destination within 15 minutes, as compared to the present one hour.

Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, announcing the weekly Cabinet decisions on Wednesday, said the construction of the 25.6 kilometre expressway would be completed within 39 months and would be Sri Lanka`s first `pay highway`.

Motorists using the expressway would have to pay a nominal fee once it is commissioned.

The fees would be utilized to maintain the highway, which is being built with Chinese financial assistance amounting to 292 million US dollars.

The expressway will consist of six lanes from Colombo to Peliyagoda and four lanes from Peliyagoda to Katunayake.


http://www.lankanewspapers.com/news/2006/5/6857.html

Excellent...15 minutes vs. 65 minutes;);).....I believe this highway was intially started couple years back but was stalled. For those with Google earth, you can see some of the work that has been done:D:D....
 

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That highway was designed about a decade ago, hope it will be finally done. And I can't seem to find the souther expressway in google earth. Is it visible ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
India to assist upgrade Colombo-Galle-Matara coastal railway line
COLOMBO: The Government of India is extending assistance to the Sri Lankan Government to implement a comprehensive project for upgrading the Colombo-Galle-Matara coastal railway line. The assistance was announced during the State visit of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to India in December 2005. The project covers upgrading the tracks, bridges, signalling and induction of new passenger trains.

When completed, the revamped coastal railway line system will substantially improve the rail services on the Colombo-Galle-Matara section and result in higher average speeds and increased number on train services, states a press release from the Indian High Commission.

A multi-disciplinary team of railway experts from RITES and IRCON, the overseas arms of the Indian Ministry of Railways for undertaking railway projects have completed work relating to the preparation of a feasibility study for the project. During their visit, the team called on A. H. M. Fowzie, Minister of Railways and Transport, P. M. Leelaratne, Secretary, Ministry of Railways and Transport and a senior team of officers of the Sri Lanka Railways headed by K. A. Pemasiri, General Manager (Railways).

The Indian team made extensive site visits on the Colombo-Matara line with their Sri Lankan counterparts to draw up a detailed project implementation strategy for undertaking the coastal line upgrade and rehabilitation. The team also held detailed meetings with Dr. P. B. Jayasundera, Secretary (Treasury). Earlier, during a recent visit to Delhi, Dr. Jayasundera held discussions with the Chairman; Indian Railway Board.

The Indian Ministry of Railways had assured full support for the project including Human Resource Development and Technology Transfer to the Sri Lanka Railways.

RITES has undertaken a large number of railway overseas projects in over 55 countries, many of them funded by Government of India and World Bank for rehabilitation and upgrading railway systems with emphasis on institutional capacity building and cost-effective technology transfer.

The Colombo-Galle-Matara project is likely to be completed in two years.
http://www.dailynews.lk/2006/07/11/news14.asp


Hopefully, this will be completed soon and extended to other lines in need of repair
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Faster trains soon on KV line
Rajmi Manatunga

COLOMBO: The Railways Department has decided to fully reconstruct the Kelani Valley railway line to provide a faster train ride for commuters.

Under the reconstruction programme, the present wooden sleepers of the track will be replaced by concrete sleepers thus enabling trains to operate faster, Railways General Manager K. Premasiri said.

According to the Department, over 33,000 concrete sleepers and 1,790 rails will be used for renovating the railway line which runs from Colombo to Avissawella.

“Trains operating on the Kelani Valley line are often delayed owing to the track’s dilapidated condition. Today it takes around three hours for a train to reach Avissawella. The objective of the reconstruction is to address this problem,” he said.

Premasiri said that the reconstruction will be carried out using funds allocated to the Department by the Treasury.

He said reconstruction would be completed by year end. The renovation activities will take place on weekends to minimise inconvenience to commuters.
http://www.dailynews.lk/2006/07/13/news14.asp
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Sri Lanka President halts Colombo-Katunayake express railway
Sunday, July 16, 2006, 14:26 GMT, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.
The project has been criticised by the UNP and several transport sector experts.
July 16, Colombo: Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa has ordered the Ministry of Finance to terminate the Colombo-Katunayake express railway.

A Finance Ministry source revealed that the President has given the order in writing.

The project was criticised by the United National Party and many transport sector experts due to the high value of the contract, which exceeded the 100 km Colombo-Matara southern highway's expenses.

The Colombo-Katunayake express railway project, at an estimated cost of Rs. 29 billion, comes through a Chinese loan, for which the interest rates are also under heavy criticism.

Preliminary work on the construction of the Colombo-Katunayake highway has also begun now.
http://www.colombopage.com/archive/July16142654SL.html

Obviously its going to cost a lot... I think its disappointing they cancelled it, but it probably wasnt viable- not that many people wouldve travelled by rail from the airport to city.. so the motorway is better.

Sri Lanka Railway Map as requested: http://www.scienceland.lk/railway/images/map3.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
A question:

Do you think that the Railways shouldve been privatised?? I heard something like that a past govt was trying to privatise it or something...
 

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for a country like sri lanka...where the majority of the poor people use the railways it should not be privatised coz then the prices will be jacked up so much that the poor people will not be able to afford it but obvs the good side of it is that the service should be wayy better than it is now!
 

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Any news on the railways and the expressway??
 
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