The journey from Kandy up to Nuwara Eliya, Haputale and Ella is one of the most scenic in the world. Even the last half of the Colombo-Kandy route is pretty good, while the line south from Colombo to Galle and beyond runs alongside the Indian Ocean for long stretches. Trains are also cheap and, if you book a seat in advance, reasonably comfortable.
Disadvantages are that they are slow, often overcrowded and the network is very limited with infrequent services outside of the Colombo area.
However in early 2022 a new train for tourists (foreign or local) was introduced on the spectacular hill country line. Called the ‘Ella Odyssey’ it runs daily from Kandy at 7am and returns about twelve hours later. It stops only at the main stations and a ten minute stop to view the Nine Arch Bridge near Ella. If you’re up for a very early start and a late return you can do this as a day trip from Jungle Tide. We’ll keep your dinner warm!
Kandy up to Nuwara Eliya