The ‘Yal Nila Odyssey’, the new luxury express train from Mount Lavinia to Kankesanturai, has commenced operations, with the aim of promoting tourism in the northern parts of the country.

Deputy General Manager of Sri Lanka Railways, N.J. Indipolage said the train, which consists of fully air-conditioned carriages, was inaugurated on Friday (Aug 04).

Initially, the train will operate only on weekends until August 04, departing the Mount Lavinia station at 10:00 p.m. on Friday and reaching the Kankesanturai station at 5:52 a.m. on Saturday. The train will be stationed at Kankesanturai station until its departure at 10:00 p.m. on Sunday. It will return to Mount Lavinia station at 6:00 a.m. on Monday.

However, the train will be up and running daily from August 18 to facilitate the transportation of devotees participating in the upcoming Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil Temple Festival.

According to reports, the train can accommodate 570 passengers. It is equipped with 106 third-class seats, 128 second-class seats and 336 first-class seats, and an onboard cleaning service is available on the train.

The passengers can reserve tickets online. A first-class ticket is priced at Rs. 4,000, while a second-class and a third-class ticket is priced at Rs. 3,000 and Rs. 2,000, respectively.

However, train operations between Colombo and Jaffna will be temporarily halted after December 2023 due to upgrading of the railway tracks between Maho and Anuradhapura.