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Colombo to Kandy by Expo Rail

Level Contributor
142 posts
53 reviews
Colombo to Kandy by Expo Rail

I have one day free in Colombo during my trip to Sri Lanka in Feb. I am planning a day return trip to Kandy from Colombo by Expo rail.

The train departs @ 7 AM from Colombo and at 3:00 PM from Kandy. One way journey takes about 2.5 hours.

- Is it really worth taking the train ride by First class coaches of Expo rail.

- If one has to spend just 6 hours in Kandy, what and how should we cover the major sightseeing places.

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
63,936 posts
231 reviews
1. Re: Colombo to Kandy by Expo Rail

Hi there,

Well you have Internet-reserved seats, meal and good clean windows; but not the 'panorama view' of 4 seats of the 1st class Observation saloon, though its windows are far from clean. So if you can afford (and it's still lots cheaper than car), do so.

Temple of Tooth takes an hour and Peradeniya Gardens two hours; these are the two main sights. Tuktuk transfers all-in-all maybe 1 hour (esp. town to Gardens and back), so even time for some souvenir shopping (near the Temple)...

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

New York City, New...
2 posts
2. Re: Colombo to Kandy by Expo Rail

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.


Air-conditioned, decent leg room with reclining seats.

Clean toilets.

Friendly staff.


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).


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.

Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
13 posts
21 reviews
3. Re: Colombo to Kandy by Expo Rail

Thanks for the information. I am a bit disappointed that management is not addressing the little things.

Barga Italy
Level Contributor
15 posts
98 reviews
4. Re: Colombo to Kandy by Expo Rail

NO it is definitely not. The carriage is like a Uk commuter train with 2 video screens showing corny Looney Tunes videos. The food is terrible. A cold burger bun and two cheese spread sandwiches and a stale samosa. Not worth the extra cost. Standard 1st class is 360 rupees, the expo rail 1200 rupees!!

Level Contributor
1 post
10 reviews
5. Re: Colombo to Kandy by Expo Rail

Respectfully of course, you really have to look at what you get for $10. A very comfortable train ride with a meal and a drink, plus Superb service from the two cabin boys (I remember Laksiri and someone else).

6. Re: Colombo to Kandy by Expo Rail

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