It’s hard to forget the experience of taking the train through Sri Lankan tea country. Nothing compares to the cold air that comes in through the windows and the endless rolling hills of tea plantations and lush forests. The Eastern train route takes you from Kandy to Nanu Oya, on to Ella and Badulla. You must first take the train from Colombo to Kandy and then change lines at Kandy to ride the Main Line.
The train ride from Colombo to Anuradhapura is a long one and traverses all types of terrain. From the coast to the hillside and to the middle of the country at Anuradhapura. This train is commonly full of pilgrims on their way to the Anuradhapura Temple and Tamil people then going on to Jaffna in the north.
The train from Colombo to Galle travels first through the city, right along the coast and then into the countryside close to the sea. The scenery is different to the hill country but no less impressive. A great part of the enchantment of the Sri Lanka trains, apart from the scenery is the peacefulness of the people relaxing, looking out the windows and occasionally eating wade, a snack made of dahl lentils and spices.
There are some private trains with more comfortable seating and a tea service but some travelers believe that taking the private train takes away from the charm of experiencing the Sri Lankan railways.
If you would like to find out more about the trains in Sri Lanka, where to take them or how to buy tickets, visit the Sri Lanka Railways site and also Seat 61, a website specialized in worldwide train travel.