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 often than not chronically overcrowded; and 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.
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.
The following are pictures captured on my third & last Sri Lankan train ride, from to Nanu Oya to Kandy on September 7, 2012.