In Sri Lanka tea country, travelers will find the Kital Ella Railway Station, a single-platform train station among the lush hills and valleys of the Badulla District in the Uva Province. The Kital Ella Station sits at 1,091 meters elevation and is the last station before ascending Ella Rock.
Opened in 1999, the Station is the 74th station on the Main Line out of the Capital city of Colombo. While Kital Ella is a fairly new station, railways in Sri Lanka date back to 1864 when they were introduced to transport coffee from the hill plantations out to Colombo and then Europe. Within decades, a blight struck the plantations and the in-demand export was replaced with tea.
Although lucrative, tea production required a more sophisticated process. More railways were needed and another 100 miles of rail were built in Sri Lanka’s tea planting districts. In 1924, the Main Line made it to Badulla. To this day, tea plantations are a common sight and can be seen near Kital Ella Station and the foothills of Ella Rock.
Located outside of the nearby town of Ella, the popular Ella Rock is a lookout point accessible by a four-hour hike. A sleepy, small country town, Ella is nestled among historic landmarks and enticing environments. Near the town, visitors can find the Dhowa temple, a 2,000-year-old rock temple and the popular Little Adam’s Peak.
Central to all these locations, the Kital Ella Railway Station continues to offer daily transportation. Weaving through the countryside, the railway offers a glimpse into SrI Lanka’s past while offering a pathway to its future. Since 2011, services were launched to improve the appeal of the Main Line and Sri Lanka Railways has began importing new diesel trains to replace aging train cars.