Monday, 19 March 2012

Glenanore, Haputale


A well preserved plantation railway siding in Sri Lanka

Gyan C A Fernando

Glenanore railway halt near Haputale

Plantations railway sidings or estate platforms on the Sri Lankan Railway are little used nowadays, some have become stations and some have completely disappeared. (read more. Click link)

In the supplements to his book “Railways of Sri Lanka”, David Hyatt gives a comprehensive list of these halts.

Glenanore railway halt near Haputale

Glenanore railway halt near Haputale

Glenanore platform: Looking towards Idalgashinna. The frequent mist/low clouds in this area can be seen in the background, obscuring the normally blue skies of Sri Lanka. 10th September 2011

Officially, Glenanore is designated GNP in the three letter coding of Sri Lankan railway stations and halts, and according to David Hyatt, is situated at 151:77. That is, 155 miles and 77 chains from the old Colombo Terminus.

Glenanore railway halt near HaputaleGlenanore is one of the better preserved and better maintained of these halts, although it now functions as a fertilizer store/divisional office of the Blackwood Division of Glenanore Estate, a tea plantation.


Lankem/Agrapatana Plantations Limited are the present owners of Glenanore Estate.

Mount Namunukula

Mount Namunukula (6665ft) as seen from the railway track at Glenanore.

10th September 2011

 Although the town itself is now rather nondescript, Haputale is inspiring by its situation. The town sits at a point known as the Haputale Gap on a ridge with spectacular views on both sides. On one side one can see as far as the southern coast on a clear day. On the other side is the vast amphitheatre of the Uva valley ringed by high mountains including Mount Namunukula.

In 1893 came the first train to Haputale.

Having climbed up to the Pattipola summit at 6226ft (1898 m), the railway reaches Haputale (4695ft, 1431m) downgrade along the ridge from Idalgashinna.

Gradient post, Sri Lanka RailwayA short distance before the station, close to a level crossing, is the Glenanore railway platform. At this point the Haputale-Boralanda road crosses the railway line and therefore Glenanore can be accessed by road.

Warning sign Sri Lanka RailwayThe pleasant and easiest way of reaching this platform on foot is to walk along the railway track from Haputale towards Idalgashinna which is the shorter way (or the other way around from Idalgashinna to Haputale, which is longer and approx. 5 miles).

Ignore the notice  which warns that trespassing on the railway is a punishable offence. These notices are seen frequently on the Sri Lankan Railway and are universally ignored by the locals!

The name Glenanore is of Irish origin. There is a small village by the name of Glenanore in County Waterford, Ireland.

Wikimedia Commons describes Glenanore, Ireland as “Glenanore. Rough farmland in the Comeragh Mountains. Sheep country at the end of a long narrow public road.”

Copyright: Text and photos Gyan C A Fernando

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