The Minister of Transport and Highways and Minister of Mass Media, Bandula Gunawardena said that a new train schedule will be implemented at the beginning of February, according to the available capacity in Railway Department.
He made this remark at the Ministerial consultative Committee on Transport and Highways which met at the parliament recently (Jan. 05) under his chairmanship.
Apart from that, the possibility of ordering tickets 100% online for long-distance train services with tourist attractions such as “Ella-Odyssey” was also discussed at the meeting.
Minister Gunawardena also pointed out that the train services have not been cancelled due to the retirement of the employees as reported by the media.
The officials, who were present, have pointed out that, even if a certain number of trains were to be cancelled due to the retirement of Railway Department officials, the figure was not as high as reported. The officials also said that although a small number of train journeys were cancelled, it was shown as a large amount by the media.
Speaking further, the Minister said that due to the arrival of more tourists at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Katunayake, more trains had to be deployed in the past few days to supply fuel, and for that reason, the train journeys had to be limited to a certain extent.
Also, the minister inquired the officers present about the possibility of ending the cancellation of trains by the end of this month due to the retirement of officials. They also said that only 10 train drivers had retired at the end of last year.