Fort – Malabe light rail project to recommence
The government has decided to re-implement the Colombo Fort – Malabe light rail project as a solution to the severe traffic congestion in and around Colombo. Urban Development and Housing Minister Prasanna Ranatunga had recently submitted a Cabinet paper to obtain alternative proposals for this.Minister Ranatunga said that since thousands of public servants work in Colombo, Malabe and other suburbs, they will be able to save time and money with this train service.
This project was slated to commence in 2020 after land acquisition, and completed by mid-2024.
The financial and technical support for this railway project is to be provided by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The Japanese government had agreed to provide a
loan of US dollars 1,850 million for this. However, this light rail project was halted due to the economic and social crises faced by the country during the immediate past. Within this background, the Japanese government has agreed to recommence the light rail project, which was cancelled then, as a result of bilateral discussions held during the official visit of President Ranil Wickremesinghe to Japan. It will be possible to travel from Malabe to Colombo Fort in 30 minutes once this train service is constructed within a length of 16 kilometers and 16 stations. The train service is scheduled to run every four minutes during peak hours and every 10 minutes during normal hours.