The first train ran in Sri Lanka in 1864. Though we have moved from steam to Diesel, the authenticity of the old trains are still been retained and when you take a train ride in Srilanka, you will feel like you have gone back in time. The train does about 20 MPH, most of the time. The doors and windows are opened and people sit on the footplates and enjoy the fresh air and the scenery. You hear the whistles and screams when the train goes through the pinch dark tunnels and no one knows why these screams are made, but this happens every day every time, the train goes through a tunnel.
The best train ride in Srilanka is from Kandy to Badulla which takes about seven hours. You start the trip at the elevation of 1500 feet and get up to 6200 feet, before descending to 4000 feet, which is the end of the line. The train slowly winds, twists, and spirals up the hills stopping at cute, well-maintained homely looking stations. It goes through thousands of acres of tea where you will be able to spot the vibrantly dressed tea pickers moving between the tea bushes.
The scenery is stunning, going through various climatic zones and seeing tropical, Sub- montane, and cloud forest-type vegetation. The views are amazing and at some spots, you see a distance of about 80 miles and a drop of around two thousand feet. You see a series of Waterfalls and the best being Devon and St. Clair`s Falls. You stop at the highest train station in the Country [ Pattipola] and go over the World famous Nine Arch bridge which was built by the British in 1921 and is seen as a railway wonder.