Awesome Train Journeys you can take from Kalutara, Sri Lanka

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train trips from kalutara sri lanka
An Express Train from Matara leaves Kalutara South railway station : Photo © Cracky & Click By Pramila Silva

If you’re a person who takes pleasure in traveling in trains and looking for places to travel from Kalutara in the train you’re in the right place. This post is just what you’re looking for!

The Places We’ve put together below can be reached from Kalutara without connecting to another train. While some destinations can be considered day trips from Kalutara, others may take an entire day to travel.

First, some background information you’ll need. 🙂

Type of Trains

commuter trains in sri lanka
Slow trains like these are widely used by locals for daily commuting – Photo © Gihan Malinda

There are two types of passenger trains available: Express trains which stop only at specific few stations and Slow trains or Commuter Trains which usually stop at every station or most of the stations along the way.

For long distance travel, you should always choose express trains.

Did you know?  In Sri Lanka, the trains have been given various traditional names. In the coastal line you’ll hear names such as “Sagarika”, “Ruhunu Kumari”, “Galu Kumari” and “Rajarata Rajina”, Interesting isn’t it?

Reservations

Rajadhani Express, which is a luxury compartment attached to an express train provides early reservation services but unfortunately they are temporarily out of operation due to a cabin refurbishment. (We’ll update this post once the service is resumed)

Mind you their price range is significantly higher than the standard ticket prices.

one of the luxury trains in sri lanka rajadhani express cabin
JLuxury compartments of Rajadhani Express | Photo LuxuJi-Elle, Gare d’Ohiya-Sri Lanka 06, CC BY-SA 3.0

Reservations can also be made for the Jaffna train that runs on Saturday about which I’ve mentioned at the end of the article.

Kalutara railway stations

Sri lankan railway M2 locomotive at Kalutara station
A Colombo bound express train at Kalutara South Station | Photo © Gihan Malinda

To avoid any confusion, Kalutara has two stations, Kalutara South and Kalutara North. Keep in mind that Kalutara South station is the main station and you should get there to catch express trains we’re going to discuss below. Kalutara north is a small station and only slow trains stop there.

If you’re staying around Wadduwa or Waskaduwa, Kalutara North is closer but make sure to check whether your train stops there by looking up online.

Check train schedule online: You can use the official website; Sri Lanka Railways online schedule. Alternatively, there is a mobile-friendly site Sri Lanka Train schedule and If you are a frequent train traveller, the Android app might come in handy.

If you just want to get to Colombo, most of the Kalutara to Colombo trains stop at North Kalutara.

kalutara north railway station
The Negombo bound commuter train at Kalutara North Station | Photo © Cracky & Click By Pramila Silva

Down South

Destinations: Hikkaduwa, Bentota, Galle, Weligama, Mirissa, Matara

matara railway station sri lanka
Matara Railway station, The end of the coastal line | Photo © Gihan Malinda

Getting to major southern coastal regions is easy as there are many express trains are available from the morning to the evening. Therefore, you can even arrange day trips to these locations comfortably. The coastal line runs most of the time by the sea you can enjoy a chilling sea breeze and mesmerizing views.

coastal railway sri lanka at mount lavinia
The Coastal railway line in Sri Lanka runs by the sea in most places  | Photo © Rumesh Jayawardhane

Make sure to check whether the train you’re travelling is indeed an express train because there are slow trains are available as far as Galle which stops at every station along the way.

Train Schedule to down south

Arrival to Kalutara South Availability Bentota Hikkaduwa Galle Weligama Mirissa Matara
1 06:51 Sunday Only N/A 07:41 07:59 08:36 N/A 08:50
2 07:58 Daily 08:22 08:58 09:19 10:22 10:27 11:50
3 09:33 Daily 09:56 10:29 10:49 11:35 N/A 11.50
4 11.27 Daily N/A 12.22 12.42 13:31 N/A 13:47
5 15:17 Daily 15:37 16:18 16:33 17:27 17:35 17:48
6 16:31 Daily N/A 17:19 17:34 18:06 N/A 18:20
7 17:17 Sunday Only N/A 18:13 18:31 19:06 N/A 19:20
8 17:42 Weekdays Only N/A 18:29 18:45 19:20 N/A 19:35
9 18:17 Weekends Only N/A 19:15 19:37 N/A N/A N/A
10 18:19 Weekdays Only 18:42 19:38 20:10 N/A N/A N/A
11 19:05 Weekdays Only N/A 20:06 20:28 21:17 21:25 21:38
12 20:36 Daily (Nightmail) 21:23 22:29 22:58 N/A N/A N/A

Approximate time to reach

Bentota – 30 minutes
Hikkaduwa – 1 hr
Galle – 1 hrs 30 mins
Weligama – 2 hrs 15 mins
Mirissa – 2 hrs 25 mins
Matara – 2 hrs 35 mins

Up Country

Destinations: Kandy and Peradeniya

kandy railway station sri lanka
Scenic Kandy railway station, You can reach Ella, Matale, and Badulla from here | Photo © Gihan Malinda

There is an express train to Kandy every day in the evening at 4.05 P.M from the Kalutara South station where you can reach Peradeniya, Kandy at about 8.00 PM. This is not an ideal time for a day trip so make sure to book accommodation beforehand.

And if you’re trying to get to Kalutara from Kandy there is a train at 05.00 from Kandy station by which you can reach Kalutara at about 09.30 A.M. If you want to reach Ella or Badulla it’s better to transfer from Colombo or Kandy.

North

Destinations: Anuradhapura, Jaffna

anuradhapura railway station
Anuradhapura Railway Station can get really crowded in Holiday seasons (Vesak, Poson)  | Photo © Rumesh Jayawardhane

If you’re heading to the prestigious ancient capital of Sri Lanka (Anuradhapura) there is a train available at 12.15 pm every day. The train is called “Rajarata Rejina” (Queen of the Kingdom) and also called by the friendly name “Rejina” by the locals.

One thing to needs to be mentioned is that it’ll stop at every station from Polgahawela to Anuradhapura and will take about 6 hrs to reach the destination. So if you’re in a hurry, it’s to better to take one of the express trains starting from Colombo Fort.

rajarata rejina over the kalutara bridge
Matara bound “Rajarata Rejina” over Kalutara Bridge | Photo © Rumesh Jayawardhane

There is a special train which runs from Matara to Jaffna every Saturday. It traverses 554 Kms which makes it the longest running train in Sri Lanka. This will stop at Kalutara South at 08.35 AM and will reach Jaffna at about 7.00 PM.

It stops at all the major stations along the way like Gampaha, Kurunegala, Anuradhapura, and seats can also be booked earlier to the journey.

Conclusion

Travel in Sri Lanka by trains is truly a remarkable experience. It’s cheaper than the other transport mediums and offers most breathtaking sceneries. Since Sri Lanka is still a developing country, inefficiencies, delays are bound to happen and must be anticipated. It’s better to plan ahead to make sure your journey is a smooth and pleasurable experience. We wish you Happy Travels!

Hope you enjoyed the post and was useful to you for your travels. Let us know your experiences. recommendations in the comments below. And if you require any help drop us a comment below or contact us through our Facebook page. We’ll definitely get back to you!

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