The Railway Department together with a private company “Tantri Trailers” has refurbished these carriages with all modern facilities imported in 1989 and 1992. Minister de Silva on an inspection tour of the Dematagoda Railway yard told reporters that 140 carriages imported from Romania and 60 carriages of S8 power sets imported in 1992 would be refurbished and deployed to the service again.
The Minister said that 26 compartments are currently being refurbished at the Dematagoda factory. Under the Tender conditions, the private firm has to restore the interior, seats, floor and the toilets completely in the train carriage.
“However, the compartment body or the under frame, break system have been be undertaken by the Ratmalana Workshop of Sri Lanka Railways. The Ratmalana workshop just has a capacity to refurbish five compartments per year. But, the private firm has agreed to complete the task within three years,” Minister de Silva said. The project has already given the job opportunities for around 200 youth so far. To purchase a new carriage, the department has to spend around Rs.60 million and under the new refurbish contract it could be done at a cost of Rs.12 million which is a saving of Rs.48 million.
he Minister further said the existing single Kelani Valley railway line will be converted into a double line and install signaling and electrification systems.“We have also carried out the Socio-Economic Survey of the affected population and will thereafter develop a Resettlement Plan for the communities affected by the implementation of the KV Line Rehabilitation Project,” he added.