Sri Lanka Railways

4.5
574 customer reviews
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About Sri Lanka Railways

A railway journey is a convenient way to explore the country. No matter whether you are after a quintessentially old school experience with a slow long-haul train or a super modern highspeed express, a train travel allows you to get to your destination in style and enjoy the trip at its most. Sri Lanka Railways is one of the operators you can book a train ride with. Before confirming your booking, remember to check the date of your travel, class, price and conditions of your fare.

What are the Main Stations of Sri Lanka Railways?

The main stations covered by Sri Lanka Railways’s route map include

  • Kandy
  • Colombo Fort
  • Ella
  • Nanu Oya
  • Hatton
  • Galle
  • Peradeniya
  • Haputale
  • Jaffna Train Station
  • Ella Badulla

What are the Most Popular Routes of Sri Lanka Railways?

Here are some of the routes offered by Sri Lanka Railways which enjoy the greatest popularity with travellers:

  • Kandy - Ella
  • Ella - Kandy
  • Colombo - Kandy
  • Nuwara Eliya - Ella
  • Kandy - Nuwara Eliya
  • Colombo - Ella
  • Ella - Nuwara Eliya
  • Colombo - Galle
  • Kandy - Colombo
  • Galle - Colombo

What are the Train Classes & Prices of Sri Lanka Railways?

Depending on the length of your trip and your preferences you can choose a first or second class ticket in a sleeper coach for an overnight trip or opt for a hard or soft seat if available. Note that the choice of ticket classes depends both on the route and the length of your trip. Basically, your train may feature first class berths but you will not be able to book one if you are doing just a short two-hour stretch. In general, second class berths are a good choice for longer trips, and soft seats get you covered if your train ride is supposed to take under 4-5 hours.

Pros & Cons of Train Travel

Pros of Train Travel
  • The best thing about railway travel is no traffic jams. Even on rush-hour, long weekends or during the high season
  • An easy online booking process – you do not need to go to the railway station, which was the case in many places not so long ago!
  • Prices for train tickets are usually more affordable compared to airplane tickets yet for certain destinations and trips the total travel time can be almost the same
  • While rail travel is obviously slower than air travel, railway stations are often located in the centre of the city which saves you a sack of time getting to/from there while airports are almost always are quite a long way out of the city
  • Travelling by night allows you to save on a hotel room and sleep well at the same time – opposite to a night bus where even the sleeping class is a huge compromise
  • On certain routes luxury service is available
Cons of Train Travel
  • For longer trips a train ride is definitely more time consuming than air journeys
  • Trains do ride on schedule but being out of schedule is not unheard of for train travel – and delays can be huge, so if you are planning a connection to your flight, carefully check the time your train arrives at the station and think twice.
  • Cleanliness is sometimes an issue with second and third class tickets, and with toilets, too.
  • If your train makes a lot of stops, in some cases it is difficult to figure out when to get off as stops are not always clearly announced or marked with the exception of an electronic screen.
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2 Passengers

Sri Lanka Railways Stations

Jaffna Train StationKilinochchiMankulamVavuniyaAnuradhapuraPolonnaruwaKurunegalaTrincomaleeBatticaloaMataleKandyNanu OyaPolgahawelaGampahaColombo FortKalutara SouthGalleMataraElla BadullaBandarawelaEllaHattonHaputaleHikkaduwaPeradeniyaMaho JunctionKalawewaKekirawaHingurakgodaHabaranaWeligamaBeliattaMount LaviniaPattipolaMaradanaAluthgamaAmbalangodaAhangamaGampolaTalawakelleAmbewelaDemodaraBadulaKankesanthuraiGal OyaWelikandaValaichchenaiDiyatalawaEravurManampitiyaMoragollagamaHali ElaUduwaraKital EllaHeel OyaKinigamaIdalgashinnaOhiyaGreat WesternKotagalaNawalapitiyaPilimathalawaKadugannawaBalanaIhalakotteKadigamuwaRambukkanaVeyangodaRagamaWatagodaMirissaKamburugamuwaWewrukannala

Sri Lanka Railways Company Reviews

W V
Train first class excellent but the railway track is bad.
Train #4021 1st Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Nov 18, 2022
W V
Everything went fine apart from arrival one hour too late.
Train #4017 2nd Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Nov 5, 2022
L R
Was an amazing train ride and 12go made it super easy to get the tickets and requested front glass seats for best viewing.
Train #1009 Observation class, Sri Lanka Railways, Nov 2, 2022
M L
Great service. It is worth to pay for priority support. The train ride from Kandy to Nanu Oya was an amazing experience. The train was late but that did not matter as this gave us more time to enjoy the landscape.
Train #1005 1st Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Sep 30, 2022
M S
Overall great experience. Immediately after booking (34 days prior train departure) we received an email with a booking confirmation, however, it took very long until we received the ticket confirmation/voucher (11 days prior train departure). The shipping of tickets went smooth, however, we never received an email confirming the shipment of the tickets as it was mentioned in the ticket confirmation email. So overall the train ride was superb, just a little bite nerve killing waiting for confirmation or hoping tickets will arrive:)
Train #1005 2nd Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Sep 20, 2022
M S
it was pity the train was not on service because of the heavy rain .
Train #1015 2nd Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Aug 8, 2022
K D
The views were amazing and the towns charming. I loved that the windows open right up making the cabin comfortable and aerated and great for photo taking. Booking via 12go website saved us time and effort. The tickets delivered securely to our hotel too. Will definitely use 12go for future trips
Train #1005 2nd Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, May 6, 2022
J C
Ordered train tickets over a month before leaving home country. Tickets sent to remote hotel as asked for. Would definitely recommend this service and train ride.
Train #1006 2nd Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Apr 28, 2022
I M
We bought multiple train tickets and had it all delivered to the hotel at once. However, we paid the USD10 delivery for each individual ticket.
Train #8058 1st Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Apr 17, 2022
I M
We bought multiple train tickets and had it all delivered to the hotel at once. However, we paid the USD10 delivery for each individual ticket.
Train #1042 First Class, Sri Lanka Railways, Apr 17, 2022
I M
We got on a train, looked at the onboard electronic display to check that we were on the right train. However, as the train left the station, we realised it was going in the wrong direction and the onboard electronic display was showing the wrong information. The conductor had not come to check on us before the train departure either. Fortunately, there was a train going in the opposite direction at the next station, and we got on board with the conductor's help. We arrived at our destination 3 hours behind schedule.
Train #1006 1st Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Apr 17, 2022
I M
We bought multiple train tickets and had it all delivered to the hotel at once. However, we paid the USD10 delivery for each individual ticket.
Train #1006 1st Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Apr 17, 2022
I M
We bought multiple train tickets and had it all delivered to the hotel at once. However, we paid the USD10 delivery for each individual ticket.
Train #4022 1st Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Apr 17, 2022
B B
Train tickets have been delivered on time to our hotel. Very comfortable!
Train #1016 2nd Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Apr 16, 2022
D R
Very expensive way to guarantee a seat. We booked Kandy to Ella train journey on 13th April 2022 (reserving just over 1 month before), reserving for $39.34USD, for two tickets for 2nd class seated. We ticked that if these were not available that we would take an upgrade. We were emailed 1-2days later to say that there were no 2nd class tickets and asked if we would pay the extra of $5.5USD/person, which we accepted and paid We subsequently came to Sri Lanka and was told by our taxi driver (who is from Kandy), that we grossly overpaid and this was a complete ripoff. He explained that the tickets are only a fraction of the cost and that we should make a complaint about the website. When we checked the tickets on the train, we found that they only cost 2400Sri Lankan rupees which at the time of ordering (mid-March 2022), equalled 8.88USD. This seems to be a hussle that relies on foreigners paying over and above the cost of the ticket for fear of tickets not being available. This was one of the more expensive international websites to use so I would at least encourage people to shop around for cheaper prices The train journey itself was great. Slightly delayed by 20mins but otherwise well timed, regular snacks and great views. It was busy on most carriages however there were a few free seats (maybe 90% full, this was on Sri Lankan New Year’s Eve as well which I believe is normally a very busy time). I cannot comment on how full 2nd class seated was (I am presuming it was full as per 12Go’s email to us). Our driver did insist that tickets are always available on the day (although I think this is only for non-seated tickets), so it leaves me wondering if I would bother booking again in advance (with a large price markup of over 600%) to guarantee tickets or just take a chance getting tickets on the day…I would certainly at least shop around for other websites anyway
Train #1015 1st Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Apr 14, 2022
H C
The price was clearly changed
Train #1005 2nd Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Apr 10, 2022
J N
We bought 2nd class seat tickets from 12go. Everything went well, we got our tickets sent to our hotel. Great service! It is very needed cause you can not buy an eticket online, thus unless you have time to buy a ticket before your trip or you have a friend in Sri Lanka, this is the best way to do it. It is expensive though.
Train #1005 2nd Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Apr 6, 2022
S S
-Good handling -friendly staff at the station showed us directly where to go
This review was autotranslated
Train #4017 1st Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Apr 5, 2022
S L
Superb service 12go got me scarce train tickets in Sri Lanka, tickets were waiting for me at my hotel when I landed. They managed to get the best seats in the observation carriage as well! Super happy with everything and great communication throughout. Highly recommended.
Train #1007 Observation class, Sri Lanka Railways, Apr 4, 2022
A P
They changed the date
Train #1015 Third Class Reserved Seats, Sri Lanka Railways, Apr 3, 2022
M N
Would have been excellent had another train not derailed in front of us. Had to get off carry luggage 500 metres to next station to get onward train. Only lost about an hour so very good all considered.
Train #1041 Second Class, Sri Lanka Railways, Apr 3, 2022
N M
Everything was just smooth and handled professionally. Very happy with the service overall.
Train #1005 1st Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Mar 30, 2022
A L
An excellent service for train tickets! 12go purchased the tickets in advance and delivered them to the hotel. Upon arrival at check-in the tickets were waiting for us. It made the trip smooth and easy. Many other travels had to wake up early or go to the station the day before whilst we had them in our possession from day 1! I messaged 12go to check the train details and they responded extremely quickly. Could not recommend them enough! Thank you so much
Train #1005 1st Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Mar 29, 2022
E
Was ‘nice’ to find out our booked sits were exactly between the windows thus having zero chance of seeing anything….
Train #1006 2nd Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Mar 27, 2022
P B
12GO were able to deliver when other agents could not
Train #1005 Third Class Reserved Seats, Sri Lanka Railways, Mar 27, 2022
R W
All works perfekt, Train Ella to Kandy
Train #1006 2nd Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Mar 26, 2022
P B
These guys did exactly what they said they would. Trustworthy and efficient. I recommend their service. Peter
Train #1005 2nd Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Mar 25, 2022
V Y
Everything worked very well and the tickets were brought to our hotel. Thanks a lot!
Train #1005 2nd Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Mar 18, 2022
J O
All gooda and professional. The communication with the support team excellent. Whatever question I had the response came back within minutes. Tickets arrived on time. This is the second time I used 12go and I definitely recommend.
Train #1006 1st Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Mar 16, 2022
C T
The scenery was beautiful as you will have read about. Apart from the Ella rock views when leaving the station you see more of the mountains and tea estates sitting on the right if travelling from Ella to Kandy. This was however a very long slow trip of over six hours to go not much further than 150km. Our seats were at the front of the first class carriage and with one large suitcase jammed between me and the carriage end because it would not fit on the parcel shelf. Moreover each time the door opened at a station the train fumes would come into the carriage. You have to be a romantic to want to do this trip although many younger people seemed to enjoy hanging out of the doors taking selfies. I was only on this train because the one with the observation carriage was not running. 12Go however managed to get me the tickets enabling me to walk through the gate quickly and easily. I also received the money back for the ticket delivery to my hotel because they sent this ticket and another one together. I would use 12Go again simply for peace of mind and being prepared.
Train #1016 1st Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Mar 15, 2022
S C
Booking of train tickets was smooth and the train ride was beautiful! We booked our tickets 3 weeks before our trip and 12go delivered the tickets to our airbnb by the time we arrived. Easy!
Train #1006 1st Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Mar 11, 2022
K E
Super easy booking experience, tickets arrived at our accommodation well before the journey, and the reserved seats made our journey so so easy!
Train #1016 2nd Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Mar 10, 2022
Y D
The seat no. printed on the ticket was wrong.
Train #8056 1st Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Mar 5, 2022
M M
Worked flawlessly
Train #1005 2nd Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Mar 5, 2022
C T
Had the best seats in the first class carriage for view of Indian Ocean to Galle.
Train #8056 1st Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Mar 4, 2022
M L
I booked first class from Ella to Kandy, but I was given Badulla to Kandy. Agent fees- I can understand the extra charge. But I think it’s too high compare to the price on the ticket.
Train #1006 1st Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Mar 4, 2022
A R
Delivery was on time, excellent service, fair prices and fees. Reliable customer support.
Train #8056 1st Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Feb 27, 2022
A D
Very efficient réservation and delivery of tickets to our hôtels .. thanks indeed.
Train #4022 1st Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Feb 26, 2022
J A
Most beautiful train trip ever. Unforgettable!
Train #1015 1st Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Feb 25, 2022
R T
Best seat on the train -tickets all ready on arrival
Train #1009 Observation class, Sri Lanka Railways, Feb 24, 2022
A D
On time !
Train #4021 1st Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Feb 23, 2022
J W
Excellent service .. like clockwork. I ordered 3 sets of tickets and had them delivered to my hotel. I was refused the delivery charge for two sets of tickets as they were out in the same envelope.. very impressive. Don't bank on definite train times as these can vary from that specified.
Train #4078 1st Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Feb 9, 2022
I R
Very easy and reliable
Train #1015 2nd Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Feb 8, 2022
A K
Nothing spoils the Nuwara Eliya - Ella train and the views you could see, but 12go and its service has nothing to do with it
Train #1126 Observation class, Sri Lanka Railways, Feb 7, 2022
J G
First of 3 (planned) trips. Went smoothly. Ticket was delivered to hotel on time. The second trip (or lack thereof) will be a 1 star, unless 0 is an option!
Train #1009 1st Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Feb 2, 2022
A S
Everything worked perfectly with the train ticket. It was delivered to the choosen Hotel in time.
Train #1015 1st Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Jan 30, 2022
L M
Great service from 12go. Tickets in hotel reception on arrival - easy to use. The train and station was ok "1 class" train like an older normal train in Europe
Train #1015 1st Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Jan 30, 2022
H D
Arrived to all of our hotels in advance and received text messages before departure
Train #1006 2nd Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Jan 28, 2022
K J
Great experience
Train #1005 2nd Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Jan 27, 2022
L S
Train ride from Kandy to Demdora with an overnight stopover at Ohiya
Train #1015 2nd Class Seat, Sri Lanka Railways, Jan 24, 2022
4.5
574 customer reviews
5
70%
4
19%
3
7%
2
4%
1
0%
99.9% of 27,274 travelers were presumably happy with Sri Lanka Railways as they left good or no review