Electrically operated rail gates in the next two years
May 23, 2012
All unprotected level crossings on the completely overhauled coastal railway line will be equipped with electrically manoeuvred gates in the next two years enabling trains to run at 100 kmph and eliminating the possibility of fatal accidents at unprotected level crossings, Transport Minister Kumara Welgama said.

Minister Welgama boarded the ‘Sagarika’ express train from Maradana to Galle on its afternoon return journey taking thousands of office workers back home and travelled up to Aluthgama and had a first hand experience on the grievances of commuters.

“The government is concerned about the increasing number of fatal accidents involving trains at unprotected level crossings and the material and human losses as a result. The Railway Department needs at least Rs. 4 billion to fix electrically operated gates at unprotected railway crossings along the line from Fort to Matara. We have decided to put up these safety measures on the entire railway line as human lives are invaluable,” the Minister told commuters.

He added that this would help to run trains at a higher speed. The engine drivers reduce the speed when they approach an unprotected level crossing, therefore the benefit of modernisation of the railway line had not been fully exploited.

Minister Welgama instructed officials who accompanied him to take into account the grievances aired by commuters and add a few more compartments to office trains to ease the heavy congestion.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka