Train riding in Sri Lanka

One thing I was really excited about in Sri Lanka was train travel. The railway network was originally introduced by the British to transport tea from the hill country to Colombo and I heard a section of this journey was exceptionally beautiful. I started the 10 hour ride to Colombo from Haputale, a small town at an elevation of 1431m making it fairly cold – an odd feeling after weeks in the sun. It wasn’t the season in Haputale and I was greeted by a Kathmandu style monsoon rainstorm, but once the rain settled and the clouds were low enough the views were amazing. By travelling just an hour or 2 inland, the diversity of this tiny country becomes immediately evident and I really wanted to get out walking. Due to the rain, an early train ride the next day and the fact I needed to be in Colombo to meet my mate Oli, I didn’t see much of the surrounding area. However, I will be coming back to Haputale at some point in the next 7 weeks to really explore.

A farmer in Haputale planting leeks and potatoes. I have his address and promised to send him a print of this photo. 

While talking, a cloud came from seemingly nowhere and engulfed us.

Inside the control room at Haputale train station. Made in London.

Old-school train tickets.

Looking back into the mountains.

There were loads of tunnels cutting through the mountains, children screaming every time always made me smile.  

Hanging out.

Villages were scattered throughout, mainly tea plantations.

Impeccably dressed train driver.

Crossing bridges, waterfalls and amazing scenery. Pretty special.

The rain came in during the afternoon making an eerie landscape. The farmers continued to work despite the conditions. 

After 6 stunning hours the train stopped in the middle of no-where, it turned out the engine room had caught on fire. I went to investigate and a chain of people were passing their water bottles to the front attempting to extinguish the fire, people helped and everyone kept smiling. It took a while, but in the end we started moving to Colombo once again.


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