Colombo to Badulla Railway – Sri Lanka’s true icon and an engineering marvel

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The Colombo to Badulla Railway line, established in 1867 in Sri Lanka, has become an iconic route famous for its stunning natural scenery, impressive engineering feat, and cultural and historical significance. The journey covers 292 km, featuring 46 tunnels, 68 railway stations and takes around 10-11 hours. It is well-known worldwide and has been featured in travel documentaries. 

Back when Sri Lanka was Ceylon, and tea and coffee transportation was the lifeline, this railway line came about, forever transforming Sri Lanka. We are talking about the Colombo to Badulla Railway line, one of the most iconic railway routes in the world!

The railway line’s history goes back to 1867 when the route was from Colombo to Kandy. This was extended to Nawalapitiya in 1874, to Nanu Oya in 1885, to Bandarawela in 1894, and finally to Badulla in 1924.

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The Colombo to Badulla railway is considered an iconic railway line, not just in Sri Lanka, but also around the world. It is famous for its stunning scenery, which includes tea plantations, waterfalls, and mountainous landscapes. The railway is also a significant feat of engineering, with many impressive viaducts, tunnels, and bridges along the way.

The journey on the Colombo to Badulla railway is often listed as one of the world’s most scenic train rides, and it has been featured in several travel documentaries like that of the late Athony Bourdain and Michael Palin and many more.

Many tourists consider the journey as a must-do experience when visiting Sri Lanka, and it is a popular way for locals to travel between the western and central regions of the country.

Credit: iStock

The Colombo to Badulla railway runs from the capital city of Colombo in the western coastal region of the country to the town of Badulla in the central highlands. The railway line features 46 tunnels and 68 railway stations along the way, and covers a distance of 292 km. This journey will take approximately 10 to 11 hours to complete. But who’s complaining?

It’s true when we say that the Colombo to Badulla railway is an iconic symbol of Sri Lanka’s rich history, natural beauty, and engineering ingenuity.