Many train journeys cancelled

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Many long-distance and office trains were cancelled yesterday as a result of Train Guards failing to report for duty owing to the fuel crisis.

The Railway Department has cancelled 26 intercity trains, long-distance services, and office trains due to the Train Guards’ refusal to report for duty today due to the country’s acute fuel shortage.

According to Sri Lanka Station Masters’ Union (SLSMU) General Secretary, Kasun Chamara, among the trains cancelled yesterday were two from Colombo Fort to Wadduwa, two from Colombo Fort to Panadura, six from Colombo Fort to Rambukkana, and two from Colombo Fort to Mirigama. There are also two trains between Veyangoda and Ambepussa, two trains between Colombo Fort and Chilaw, two trains between Colombo Fort and Madampe, and two trains between Colombo Fort and Avissawella.

The Udaya Devi train from Colombo Fort to Batticaloa and the previously scheduled intercity fast train from Colombo Fort to Anuradhapura were also cancelled.

“Due to the cancellation of the parcel train heading for Avissawella, more than 300 items, including perishable parcels, have piled up at the Maradana Railway Station up to Avissawella. The breakdown of the important service, railways, has also begun, but Station Masters and personnel working under them are being summoned as much as possible to keep the service running,” he said. However, the vast majority of these persons faced future difficulties reporting to work due to a lack of fuel, delays in train operations, inability to issue tickets, failure to deliver or delays in supplies that could affect passengers, such as road transport failure.

“However, neither the department nor the Government has taken any steps to implement an effective technique of delivering quick fuel to railway employees, who are presently the primary mode of transportation. Therefore, we would like to highlight that if this issue is not addressed immediately, train cancellations will be unavoidable in the future,” he said.

By Thameenah Razeek