Next Events

SSLES SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVING MAHO JUNCTION STATION TO REDUCE TRAVELLING TIME

SSLES SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVING MAHO JUNCTION STATION TO REDUCE
TRAVELLING TIME


INTRODUCTION

At Maho Junction, trains operating from Colombo to Trincomalee/ Baticoloa have to detach the
locomotive from one end and attached it to the other end of the train before proceeding with the
journey. This delay of about half an hour can be avoided by undertaking some track modification.

Delays are caused by the locomotive having to be detached from the front of the train and going to
the turntable so that the cow-catcher and the short-hood are pointing in the direction of travel.
Then it has to be attached to the train and made ready for travel.

DISADVATAGES OF THE PRESENT SYSTEM

1. The above procedure causes delays of not less than half an hour.
2. When the locomotive is detached the carriages are without power and in darkness.
3. Maho Junction station has only two platforms with three branches – if there are three trains
approaching the station at the same time, the third train cannot be admitted until one of
the other departs the station.

SSLES PROPOSALS

Society of Sri Lankan Engineers and Scientists in the UK (SSLES) suggests two alternative proposals
to overcome this problem as follows:

Proposal 1

Please refer to Drawing 1.

From Konwewa (KON) lay a new track by the side of the existing track up to Yapahuwewa (YPW)
train halt, and then after passing Yapahuwewa (YPW) divert from the present track to the right and
go on a curve and proceed behind Maho town, cross the main highway road and enter the Maho
(MHO) station as if it is approaching from Ambanpola (ABN). An overhead bridge was built prior
1970 to accommodate two railway tracks – therefore no expenditure in road works is needed now.

This proposal has five significant benefits as follows:

a. Same track gang can maintain KON/YAP section as both tracks are side by side.
b. No acquisition of land between Yapahuwewa and Konwewa required since it is within the
railway reservation
c. Trains coming from Baticoloa/ Trincomalee can go to North (KKS) using the existing track.
d. At present all trains going to Baticoloa/Trincomalee need two break vans at either end of
the train. With this proposal only one break van is needed thereby increasing the number of
payload carriages.
e. Between Maho and Konwewa there will be two tracks thereby increasing the capacity of
the service.

Proposal 2

Please refer to Drawing 1.

From Nagollagama (NAG) lay a new track by the side of the existing track up to Walaswewa a
train halt and then after passing Walaswewa divert from the present track to the left and go on
a curve and proceed behind Maho town, cross the main highway road and enter the Maho
(MHO) station as it is coming from Ambanpola (ABN). An overhead bridge was built prior 1970
to accommodate two railway tracks – therefore no expenditure in road works is needed now.

This proposal has five significant benefits as follows:

a. Same track gang can maintain Nagollagama and Walaswewa as both tracks are side by
side.
b. No acquisition of land between Nagollagama and Walaswewa required since it is within the
railway reservation.
c. Trains coming from Colombo (COL) can still go on the existing track to the North
d. At present all trains going to Baticoloa/Trincomalee need two break vans at either end of
the train with this proposal only one break van is needed thereby increasing the number of
payload carriages.
e. Between Nagollagama and Maho there will be two tracks thereby increasing the capacity of
the service.

COST ESTIMATES

Estimates for the two proposals are attached.

In summary,
Proposal 1 Rs 4,469 Million
Proposal 2 Rs 4,158 Million

COMPARISON

We believe that proposal 2 is better that proposal 1 because of the cost and as more trains
operate to the North, The double track between Maho and Nagollagama will help.

PROGRAMME

Even if the project is not undertaken immediately SSLES suggests the following be done for
which SSLES will be pleased to offer its expertise free of charge:

1. Assist with the preparation of a detailed feasibility study
2. Prepare project drawings
3. Assist with a study for the Acquisition of Land

These proposals are made by an engineer who originally was in Sri Lankan Railways and now is a
member of SSLES.

PROGRESS TO DATE

A report was prepared by SSLES (see attached), and this has been presented to the following in
Sri Lanka (among others) :
The Ministry of Transport in Sri Lanka
The General Manager of Railways Sri Lanka
The Chief Engineer Ways and Works

Our Secretary went to Sri Lanka in January 2014, and arranged liaison with the Minister of
Transport and obtain the support for the project of the Ministry and the General Manager and
Chief Engineer of Department of Railways. These meetings were successful in creating
awareness among the government officials for the SSLES proposals regarding the problems at
Maho Junction.

The Railways is now proposing to do a loop line from D to E as shown on Drawing 1 and a
survey has been completed.

Our Society has discussed the on-going proposal and we have made the following comments to
the General Manager of Railways:

The loop D to E track proposal is a good proposal, and is an economical and a quick solution.
However, with this proposal future improvements are limited. Also it does not solve the

problem of delays and is not an efficient long-term solution. Every time an eastbound train
approaches the Maho station it has to go on the loop and reverse back to the station thereby
losing time and delaying other approaching trains.

We are proposing the construction of either the track marked A to B or B to C (see plan
attached), depending on acquisition of land. This will enable the trains to enter the station
directly without reversing and delaying other trains approaching or leaving Maho. If this is not
done now acquisition of land will be rendered impossible in the future. This is due to future
development of the relevant area adversely affecting the acquisitions.

Please note that the estimates we prepared were based on a foreign contractor doing the work.
However, with local contractors the costs would be much less.

SSLES RECOMMENDATIONS

Based on the above we recommend the construction of tracks A to B or B to C, and the balance
track be done step by step as funds become available


NEXT STEPS

Committee Member of SSLES when visiting Sri Lanka will progress the matter as appropriate by
consulting with the Ministry of Transport. We will offer the Society’s advice and technical
support free of charge and create further awareness of the benefits of the SSLES proposals.

 

Powered by www.fotowork.co.uk