Sri Lanka Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, Arjuna Ranatunga, inaugurated the 26-km Matar- Beatta railway extension, in southern part of the country. The newly built line is served by four main railway stations and two other halts at Piladuwa and Veherahena.
The USD 278.2 million project was funded by Export-Import Bank of China, and the China National Machinery Import and Export was the general contractor. A major section of the railway line was built by China Railway Group 5 (CR5) and Sri Lanka’s Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau (CECB). Under the project, a 615-m rail tunnel from Nakuttigama to Kakanadura was built.
10% of the line is elevated on 12 bridges and the line includes two country’s longest bridges at 1.5 km and 1.04 km.
The section is the first phase of Matara – Katharagama railway project which will be completed under two phases. The second stage envisages a 48-km rail link from Beliatta to Hambanthota and the third stage is 39 km from Hambanthata to Katharagama.
Matara- Beliatta railway line crosses the Nilwala river. This railway consists of 18 level crossings, 12 bridges, 49 culverts, 23 railway tracks, 16 underground railway tracks.