Letter from a Genius Rail Lover

Letter from a Genius Rail Lover

Was this taken on March 6, 2007 but, there was no Gam Udawa after 1992!

President Ranasinghe Premadasa, widely regarded as the most efficient SL head of state, had plans to re-instate the scenic narrow gauge line as far as Nuwara Eliya (originally, it terminated at Ragala), starting from Nanu Oya and this could well have been the model that he intended to use (since they had already started to broad-gauge the Kelani Valley line, the only other NG line in the country then, by the time that I heard that news – it was probably around 1991).

If this line is ever to be re-opened, it is believed that that should be done as a tourist attraction, for passenger transport is not apt anymore these days in the narrow gauge format. But, I doubt, that tourists will come in search of it, if it would be run as modernized electric railway, because, I presume, such systems are found all over Europe, at least in countries like Austria. Dieselized locos or the old steam engines would be ideal. Has not anyone developed a mechanism to operate steam engines without burning coal (as it would be somewhat harmful to the environment) but in a way that those engines retain the same look and feel of the old stuff?

These are my random thoughts. I am not at all an expert in the subject.

Haritha Waidyaratne,
Galle, Sri Lanka.

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