The first phase of the Southern Railway Expansion Project, the stretch from Matara to Beliatta is now in its final stage.A Sri Lanka Railways official said that 90 per cent of the construction work has already been completed and they hope to open the project by early next year.
The second phase of the project is the 48 kilometre stretch of track from Beliatta to Hambantota and in the third phase, the track will be extended by another 39 kilometres from Hambantota to Kataragama.The main railway stations are being constructed at Kekunadura, Bambarenda, Wewrukannala and Beliatta while there will also be two other sub stations at Piladuwa and Veherahena along the new railway track.
A Sri Lanka Railways official further said that the laying of the track and the construction of railway stations have been expedited.A kilometre long flyover will be built from Matara to Kekunadura. Sri Lanka’s longest rail tunnel will be built on this line at Naakuttigama. It will be 615 metres in length. A 1.5 km long bridge is being constructed at Wattegama while a 268 metre long tunnel will be built at Bambarenda along this rail track.
The main railway station at Beliatta will be 300 metres in length. A 1,037 metre long bridge will also be built across the Nilwala River.Underground tunnels will be made for passengers to move across the platforms of the station.