Drivers withdraw from trains with faulty Chinese compartments

By Indika Sri Aravinda

Train engine drivers have decided to withdraw from operating trains with faulty Chinese compartments.

Secretary of the Railway Engine Drivers Association, Indika Dodangoda, told Colombo Gazette that there are 100 Chinese train compartments used in Sri Lanka which are faulty.

He said that since 2010, complaints had been made with the Railway Department over the faulty train compartments.

However, the Railway Department had requested the train engine drivers to continue operating such trains and assured that charge sheets would not be filed if there was an accident.

Dodangoda said that at least 200 accidents or incidents had occurred since 2010 involving trains with Chinese train compartments.

He said that there were incidents of brakes failing, trains jumping tracks and trains failing to stop on time near railway station platforms.

Dodangoda also said that despite assurances by the Railway Department two charge sheets had been filed against engine drivers recently over incidents involving Chinese train compartments.

As a result, train engine drivers have decided to withdraw from operating trains with faulty Chinese compartments. (Colombo Gazette)


  1. Since Kalpitiya is a comparatively new tourist zone, the access to it should be improved and it also be ensured that all tourist rests be registered and monitored for health and other basic requirements, and even help and advice given. The government railways , as observed above, should improve public transports with better road vehicles and even run a modern train service with a special morning and evening trains. The present trains are very shabby and very old, some leaking more inside than the rain outside.

  2. There were about three steam locomotives parked in a large shed down D.R.Wijewardene Mawatha, and which was visible to all travelers on the road. Now there is only one. They should all be restored and used for the new tourist promotion programs to pull restored wooden carriages with modern fittings for the comfort of travelers. Mainly run and maintained by carefully selected personnel. The tourist associations should also help in this direction.

  3. Clean up the muck in tender procedures and influence. There should be the clause that we will return what is concluded to be substitutes or bad technology or even substandard qualities of commodities. We should stop this culture of allowing our country to be a dumping grounds for the debris of other countries.

  4. China has world class railway infrastructure and top of the line trains within its borders. We know with certainty SriLanka can’t afford that kind of equipment. The commuters in SriLanka have to put up with what we can afford and can run on our basic railway infrastructure.

  5. Rail compartments are not the only white elephants sold to Sri Lanka, sometimes not using the proper tender procedures and greasing the hands of some politicos.

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