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Expo Rail - Sri Lanka

New York City, New...
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Expo Rail - Sri Lanka

Last month we took a train ride on board Expo rail paying almost 6 times more than the regular 1st class ticket. Whilst introduction of services such as this is commendable we couldn’t help but notice a few things.

Pro’s

Air-conditioned, decent leg room with reclining seats.

Clean toilets.

Friendly staff.

Con’s

Attention to detail

The interior of the train looks plush but we couldn’t help but notice various pieces of the seats taped up & bits of plastic & metal broken / sticking out. We were surprised when we heard the company has spent in excess of $ 1,000,000 for the compartment and missed out on little details.

Consistency in service

The onwards journey was pleasant but the food was not up to par (3 mouthfuls of rice & side dish which were too high up on the spice meter). Return journey was not what we expected but the food was palatable with the portion size being decent (Had to travel backwards).

Safety

The train’s front door latch broke on our onward journey and the crew simply stuck a piece of cardboard under the door to prevent the door from sliding open after disabling the alarm. It was a bit shocking to see the door not fixed after a few days on our return journey and when asked, the staff didn’t have any reasonable explanation.

From what we heard the company senior management seems to be turning a blind eye towards these prevailing issues.

It would be great if these issues are rectified ASAP as patrons pay quite a lot compared to other available options. More than the money what’s concerning is the safety element as there’s a risk of someone getting injured.

Preston
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481 posts
7 reviews
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1. Re: Expo Rail - Sri Lanka

I hope they don't start closing doors on the regular trains - riding in the door way and jumping down to stretch your legs and look around during stops (and then running back and jumping onboard as the train pulls away) is half the fun

Toronto, Canada
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1 post
4 reviews
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2. Re: Expo Rail - Sri Lanka

great service, good price. facilities poor. cheap and shoddy interior. tv sound poor and distorted. should have headphones for those who want quiet. food horrible. better to have small good quality snacks than horrible meals. but the service staff are great and that is very important.

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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3 posts
11 reviews
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3. Re: Expo Rail - Sri Lanka

Expo Rail was a nice evolution for Sri Lankan railway with a luxury travel for passengers who desire a difference. First approach was a warm welcome with an intimate service to be refreshed receiving warm towels, mints and a nice snack with enough tea or coffee cycles. The seats are very comfortable and the air-conditioned compartment with Wi-Fi and TV documentary makes the journey very smooth and relaxed.

The only inconvenience caused was with the reservation. Though we have done the payment online there’s no E-ticket mailing facility. To obtain the ticket, have to go to the Colombo Fort station with a printout of the confirmation mail. So useless of having an online reservation system. Also some seats don’t have large windows. So passengers belonged to those seats have no way of enjoying the up-country scenery outside. Anyway I must convey the message that it was hundred times better than a normal train journey to travel with the family without any sort of tiredness.

Kuala Lumpur...
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57 posts
359 reviews
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4. Re: Expo Rail - Sri Lanka

hi, may I know which seats doesn't have big windows? ie front or back of the coach? can we bring own snacks/drinks?

Fredericia, Denmark
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37,532 posts
7 reviews
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5. Re: Expo Rail - Sri Lanka

Are you referring to ExpoRail carriages? They don't have large windows at the front or the back.

Hans

Kuala Lumpur...
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57 posts
359 reviews
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6. Re: Expo Rail - Sri Lanka

tq Hans, I'm planning a trip to Jaffna in Sept 2013. I checked the airlines flying from CMB to JAF, but its all very expensive and not departing from BIA. So exporail looks like the best alternative. Further we can enjoy the sights of SL. Are there any permits required to enter Jaffna? BTW, I'm a Malaysian Tamil

Fredericia, Denmark
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37,532 posts
7 reviews
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7. Re: Expo Rail - Sri Lanka

ExpoRail don't go to Jaffna (yet). They will only take you as far north as Vavuniya.

You don't need any permits to go to Jaffna.

Hans

Kuala Lumpur...
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57 posts
359 reviews
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8. Re: Expo Rail - Sri Lanka

Vavuniya is our plan to disembark and travel to jaffna. Have you traveled on board expo?

Kuala Lumpur...
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57 posts
359 reviews
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9. Re: Expo Rail - Sri Lanka

En route to vavuniya, on which side we can sit and enjoy the view?

Edited: 31 October 2012, 11:28
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka
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49,661 posts
174 reviews
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10. Re: Expo Rail - Sri Lanka

Both. The route is mainly flat plains, no spectacular views. And sometimes the odd wild jumbo.

From Vavuniya the road trip to Jaffna is 6 hours at least, by private cab or by AC bus.

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]