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Exploring the Famous Kandy Train, or doing it in your own Tuktuk! A Must-Experience Adventure

The Famous Sri Lanka Kandy-Ella Train

How to take the train from Kandy to Ella
The Sri Lankan Kandy Train

The journey aboard the famous Kandy to Ella train is hailed as one of Sri Lanka’s most spectacular and, arguably, one of the world’s most breathtaking train rides! Embark on this unforgettable adventure and treat your senses to awe-inspiring vistas of verdant tea plantations, towering mountains, picturesque viaducts, serene valleys, and dense jungle landscapes. Moreover, it offers an immersive glimpse into authentic Sri Lankan life. Engage with cheerful locals aboard the train, exchange waves with playful children along the tracks, and savor the tantalizing flavors of spicy snacks offered by vendors hopping on at each station. Undoubtedly, this is an essential experience for anyone visiting Sri Lanka. Discover everything you need to know about this remarkable journey with our comprehensive guide.

In the mid-1800s, amidst British colonial rule, the train system in Sri Lanka came into existence. Initially, its primary function was to transport tea from the plantations to Colombo for international export. Presently, it serves as a vital mode of transportation for locals commuting between home and work. Consequently, securing a ticket as a tourist can pose challenges, given the high demand and limited availability of seats.

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The Tuktuk Adventure Experience

However, we also highly recommend driving yourself! What makes the train route famous isn’t the train itself but the breathtaking vistas it offers. If you drive on your own, you can enjoy these incredible sights at your own  pace. Plus, you can stop wherever you want to take photos—it’s like having your own adventure. Here is a route we recommend by tuktuk:  

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How to use the train when renting a tuktuk

We provide a train transfer service where one of our drivers will take your tuktuk along the Kandy to Badulla line, covering train stations such as Kandy, Ella, Hatton, Nuwara Eliya, Haputale, and more. This service comes at a price of $49 USD, which includes fuel and luggage service. To use this, you will need to complete the train form, accessible through a link in your confirmation email, at least 24 hours before your train travel date. Once done, we will handle all further arrangements and update you with your driver information one day prior.

Tips and Tricks

Train App

Download the app “RDMNS.LK”. This app provides live train updates, schedules, delays, cancellations, information on railway stations, fares and more. It is one of the apps in Sri Lanka that actually works amazingly well!

Correct Seats


Between Kandy and Nuwara Eliya, sit on the right side of the train to see the tea plantations in all their glory. From Nuwara Eliya to Ella, the side you sit on is not as important, however the left side is marginally better. Check out travel bloggers “walk my world” who summed up this fantastically here: 

Express Train

The train is inherently very long because of how far it travels. Express will mean that you have 6 hours instead of 9 hours, and the hard seats on the slow train can get very tiring after a while. The slow train is also full of locals due to it being cheaper, which means that you most probably will not be able to get a seat.

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How to book Train Tickets

1. Buy them online through the website of Sri Lanka Railways:

2. Buying a ticket at the train station, either Colombo Fort or point of departure.

3. Pre-booking with your Dialog (dial 444) / Mobitel (dial 365) / Airtel (dial 365) sim card (very easy when in the country!)

4. Ordering them online through this travel agent:

The Kandy to Ella train map:

 The Kandy to Ella train stops at:

Colombo Fort



Hatton (Adam’s Peak)

Nanuoya (Nuwara Eliaya)





Get in Contact!

The Tuktukrental.com team are always happy to help, no matter what your enquiry! Feel free to reach out to us through email at [email protected], through Whatsapp +94 772 928 618, or through the Webchat function at the bottom right of your screen!

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