China says work on southern railway line extension is progressing

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China on Thursday said that construction of a major railway line in the south was proceeding on schedule.

Construction of the railway line linking Matara and Beliatta is being carried out by China Railway No 5 with China National Machinery Import & Export Corporation.

Officials on Thursday said that 26km of the project has been completed. The project includes a 1km long bridge, which will be the longest rail bridge in Sri Lanka.

The railroad includes easy gradients, devoid of sharp curves for energy efficiency which could achieve a design speed of 120km/hr.

Modern amenities to passengers and better signal and telecommunication systems have been included.

The installation of fiber optic cables and transmission equipment on the lines, construction of a Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) building, rehabilitation of the railway section between Matara and Piladuwa, acquisition of specialized machinery for inspection and maintenance of the railway track, technical advisory services to develop the technical designs, and to modernize the maintenance and traffic control and energy dispatching systems are new features of the project.

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