Saturday, 19 September 2015

Colombo - Badulla Railroad, Sri Lanka

The railroad between Colombo and Badulla in Sri Lanka is a unique and scenic rail road not to be missed when traveling in Sri Lanka. There are several train a day on this unique railway line through the tea plantations and the Central Hills of Sri Lanka, one of the UNESCO Natural World Heritage sites. The railways were introduced to Sri Lanka by the then British administrators. The railway system in the hill country line is still very much British with old signal systems, railway stations more than 100 year old (still preserved). Enjoy the beauty of Sri Lanka on this scenic railway.

The Viceroy through the Tea Plantations, Sri Lanka.

The Viceroy is a 100 year steam engine restored  by a dedicated team of workmen attached to the Sri lanka Railway and is operated by a private company. The journey through the tea plantations in the hill country on the main line specially between Watawala and Badulla is a unique experience and a scenic ride.

Nine Arch Viaduct @ Gotuwala, Sri Lanka.

The 9 Arch viaduct is situated 2 km away from Ella town along "Passara" road between "Ella" and "Demodara" Railway Stations in a small village at Gotuwala. Therefore the local people refer to the Bridge as the Gotuwala viaduct or the Nine skies (Ahas Namaye Palama in Sinhalese language). Built by the British in the early 20th century, the Nine Arcs bridge is a engineering marvels of the day. This name is used since the bridge contains of 9 arches.  This bridge is 300 feet long and 25 feet wide. Located almost 3100 feet above the sea level. The bridge connects with two high lands and has been made of large cubic stones. This massive bridge is built entirely of solid rocks, bricks and cement without using a single piece of steel. The bridge was finally commissioned in 1921. One and only railway station trains travels same horizontal level in place is Demodara Railway station. There is a popular story to say that when construction work was commenced on the bridge, the World War 1 broke out and the steel consignment assigned for this site was seized and was used for war related projects. When the work came to a standstill the Sri Lankan came forward and build the bridge with solid stone bricks and cement without steel. Several Trains between Colombo/Kandy – Badualla and back  pass over the bridge on a single day. This is train No 9 between Badulla and Colombo.

Photo credit: Nick Lasure, Boulder, Colorado.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Nijmegen Railway Bridge, Netherlands.

The Nijmegen railway bridge is a truss bridge spanning the River Waal connecting the city of  Nijmegen to the town of  Lent in Netherlands. Construction started in 1875, on the site of an ancient Roman bridge, and was completed 4 years later in 1879. It originally consisted of 3 truss arches.  The railway bridge's construction meant that train connections to  Arnhem were possible, thus Nijmegen was the last major city in the Netherlands to be connected to the national rail network. The middle arch of the bridge was destroyed twice during the Second World War but despite this it survived the conflict. The abutment was also damaged by the Germans who mounted  anti-aircraft guns on each of the towers. The bridge was involved in  Operation Market Garden and was intended to be a key objective for the Allies to hold. The bridge was reconstructed in 1984, still in the truss style but only one arch was kept in the design. Only the brick abutment remains from the original structure. it was instead declared a national monument. In 2004. The bridge carries 2 railway lines and is 675 metres in length.