There’s something special about train travel in Sri Lanka. Something very special indeed. Yes, it’s a slow means of transport (schedule times are rarely, if ever, met); the rolling stock, holdovers from the British colonial days of the early 20th century, are rickety & have no windows or doors; the trains are more than not overcrowded; & the names-on-a-ledger booking system antiquated meaning that unless you confirm in advance, and/or are departing from an origin station, then getting preferred tickets is a challenge (it was for me & for many days to boot). But all that said, journeys like the one I took today, a 110 Sri Lankan rupee (€0.60), 3-hour journey from Ella to Nanu Oya through a section of the picturesque, rolling hills & tea plantations of central Sri Lanka, was the definite highlight of my time in the country so far, not to mention a true travel highlight.

The Colombo-bound train entering Ella train station central Sri Lanka. September 5th 2012.

The Colombo-bound train entering Ella train station central Sri Lanka. September 5th 2012.

Boarding in Ella, the second stop on the westbound route to Colombo, meant the train was almost empty, a far cry from my first Sri Lankan train experience 5 days ago. Although I had a seat, I spent the majority of the journey up and about, hanging out of open doorways & windows taking pictures. The chances of finding me doing anything but were slim.

A sparsely populated second class carriage on the Badulla to Colombo train, Sri Lanka. September 5th 2012.

A sparsely populated second class carriage on the Badulla to Colombo train, Sri Lanka. September 5th 2012.

Taking in the views from the Badulla to Colombo train in central Sri Lanka. September 5th 2012.

Taking in the views from the Badulla to Colombo train in central Sri Lanka. September 5th 2012.

Sunrays over the rear of the Badulla to Colombo train as it crosses a bridge in central Sri Lanka. September 5th 2012.

Sunrays over the rear of the Badulla to Colombo train as it crosses a bridge in central Sri Lanka. September 5th 2012.

Speeding past a signal operator on the Badulla to Colombo train in central Sri Lanka. September 5th 2012.

Speeding past a signal operator on the Badulla to Colombo train in central Sri Lanka. September 5th 2012.

Waiting out a delay on the Badulla to Colombo train in central Sri Lanka. September 5th 2012.

Waiting out a delay on the Badulla to Colombo train in central Sri Lanka. September 5th 2012.

Waiting as the Colombo-bound train approaches. Bandarawela Train Station, central Sri Lanka. September 5th 2012.

Waiting as the Colombo-bound train approaches. Bandarawela Train Station, central Sri Lanka. September 5th 2012.

On the Badulla to Colombo train in central Sri Lanka. September 5th 2012.

On the Badulla to Colombo train in central Sri Lanka. September 5th 2012.

On the Colombo-bound train in central Sri Lanka. September 5th 2012.

On the Colombo-bound train in central Sri Lanka. September 5th 2012.

The following are pictures captured on my third & last Sri Lankan train ride, from to Nanu Oya to Kandy on September 7, 2012.

Carriage neighbours en route to Kandy, central Sri Lanka. September 7th 2012.

Carriage neighbours en route to Kandy, central Sri Lanka. September 7th 2012.

A vendor on the Kandy-bound train, central Sri Lanka. September 7th 2012.

A vendor on the Kandy-bound train, central Sri Lanka. September 7th 2012.

En route to Kandy in central Sri Lanka. September 7th 2012.

En route to Kandy in central Sri Lanka. September 7th 2012.

On the Kandy-bound train in central Sri Lanka. September 7th 2102.

On the Kandy-bound train in central Sri Lanka. September 7th 2102.

______________________________________________________

Pin It on Pinterest

Shares
Share This