Indian loan deal for Sri Lankan railways

By Richard High22 July 2008

The Indian Government is to loan US$ 168 million to Sri Lanka to develop the island's railways sector, according to the country's Daily News.

The funds, provided under an Indian Credit Line (ICL) agreement, will be used to upgrade Sri Lanka's coastal railway line, which was hit by the 2004 tsunami, and to increase the Railways Department's operating fleet.

Indian Rail Construction Company will replace the existing rail track from Kalutara to Matara and install a new, advanced signal system. Once reconstruction is complete trains will travel at 160 km/hour.

The estimated cost of the work is US$ 78 million.

Under the ICL 20 new diesel electrical power sets and three engines will also be bought from Rail India Technical and Economy (RITE). Three locomotives required for track maintenance and maintenance machinery, worth US$ 2 million, will also be provided under the scheme.

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