Financial News from Sri Lanka: A $160 million loan has been approved by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to modernize activities and enhance the effectiveness of Sri Lanka Railways, the railway operator of the country, by upgrading its infrastructure and technical ability. This is the first loan from ADB in the rail industry in Sri Lanka.
“In order to serve an increasing population, there is a need to enhance public transport in Sri Lanka, which is expected to achieve 25 million by 2050,” said Mr. Johan Georget, ADB Transport specialist.
“An improved rail system will assist foster the growth of services and sectors across Sri Lanka and make the railway a feasible mode of choice for individuals. This is especially the situation in suburban Colombo, where all road commuters highly feel the effects of traffic congestion as vehicle numbers doubled between 2008 and 2018, while rail commuters often face overcrowded trains. “Sri Lanka Railways moves 136.7 million passengers and 2 million tonnes of products every year.
But the railway sector’s market share has gradually decreased over the years, while the country’s railway infrastructure is overdue for major upgrades and upgrades. The signaling and telecommunications systems of the network are outdated and paper tickets are printed manually for all ticket classes and pairs of stations.
Sri Lanka Railways owns 250 diesel locomotives and multiple units, but only about 3/4 of them are operational and half of the fleet is over 30 years old.
The Railway Efficiency Improvement Project will fund the modernization of the country’s railway system in several ways to enhance Sri Lanka Railways ‘ activities, maintenance, security, abilities growth, and technical ability. The project will provide a modern multichannel ticketing system paper, mobile, and smart card and will also install a state-of-the-art telecommunications system to replace the original system installed in 1985, allowing two-way train driver communications and reducing train delays.
The project will also fund a new headquarters for activities and train control center, provide track and rolling stock maintenance infrastructure and facilities, and enhance rail safety. Sri Lanka Railways ‘ technical training center will be upgraded and fresh courses will be created to provide an understanding of modern railway techniques to future graduates.
The project will also buildability and readiness for future railway projects. This will include a thorough study for the Kandy suburban railway network; a study on transit-oriented development and land value capture; preparation of an inventory of railway assets and a land management strategy; and modernization of Sri Lanka Railways ‘ data technology and maintenance capability.
The project’s complete expense is $192 million, with $32 million from the Sri Lankan government. The anticipated finishing date of the project is the end of 2024.