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Transportation in Sri Lanka


In 2008, Sri Lanka had an estimated 91,907 km network of roads. The road density is highest in the southwest, especially in the area around Colombo. Highways are in good condition, with a smooth bitumen surface and road markings. The road network is at its densest around Colombo and its suburbs. Some rural roads are in poor condition. The roads that are most widely used across the country are being upgraded and repaved. In many rural areas, public transport is widely available, even in areas where operation is unprofitable.

Rail transport in Sri Lanka consists of a heavy-rail intercity network connecting major population centres and commuter rail serving Colombo commuter traffic. Sri Lanka Railways operates the country’s railway network, which includes about 1,449 km of track. Colombo is the main node of the network. Train routes connect the main cities of all nine provinces in the country.

Colombo, one of the great commercial seaports of Asia, formerly was an open roadstead, but the construction of breakwaters has made it one of the world's greatest artificial harbours. In 2010, the merchant fleet consisted of 21 ships with a capacity of 192,190 GRT. Ports of the open roadstead type are Trincomalee, Galle, Batticaloa, Kankesanturai, Kayts and Jaffna. A car ferry service links Mannar Island with the Indian mainland.

Sri Lanka had 18 airports in 2012, 14 of which had paved runways. Sri Lankan Airlines is the national airline. Founded in 1979 as Air Lanka, the airline changed its name when it came under partial foreign ownership in 1998. Sri Lanka's international airports include Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport, Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport and the under-renovation Ratmalana International Airport.


Airports : 18 (2012)
Airports - with paved runways : total: 14
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 7 (2012)
Airports - with unpaved runways

: total: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 3 (2012)

: 1 (2012)
Pipelines : gas 412 km (2010)
Railways : total: 1,449 km
broad gauge: 1,449 km 1.676-m gauge (2007)
Roadways : total: 91,907 km (2008)
Waterways : 160 km (primarily on rivers in southwest) (2012)
Merchant marine
: total: 21
by type: bulk carrier 4, cargo 13, chemical tanker 1, container 1, petroleum tanker 2
foreign-owned: 8 (Germany 8) (2010)

Ports and terminals : Colombo




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