Demodara Loop
Demodara Loop
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  • Chamath Fernando
    Colombo, Sri Lanka234 contributions
    Get a trishaw to experience the whole mechanism
    The mechanism of the Demodara loop is considered to be an engineering marvel from the British colonial era. An arc of the loop can be visualized from a several spots closer to the Demodara Railway Station. However, the whole course of the loop and the mechanism is not discernible with these spots. It is recommended that you check the train schedule from the Ella Railway Station and reach the Demodara station 45mins prior to the scheduled train time. The experienced local trishaw drivers would take you to a higher elevation mount located some 8km away from where you can get a proper view of the whole mechanism, a range of mountains including little Adams Peak. The return trip to this spot from the Demodara station on trishaw costed three of us LKR 1,500 only.
    Traveled as a couple
    Written February 13, 2020
  • Rohan Dias
    156 contributions
    A must see
    Do Check the train schedule from demodara or ella train stations as its a must to see a passing train . Two options with its own pros and cons. Option 1 is to go to the demodara railway station .from here obviously you can see the demodara railway station but won't be able to see some part of the train passing around the hill.option 2 is to go to a view point above the railway station. From the view point one can see the train passing around the hill but won't be able to see the much important demodara railway station. Out of the 2 options I prefer to go to the demodara railway station
    Traveled with friends
    Written June 21, 2022
  • 𝓝𝓪𝓽𝔂 ® 👑
    Moscow, Russia107,809 contributions
    Demodara Loop
    Отличное путешествие. Несмотря на изношенность поездов, они придают особый колорит предке. А открытые окна и джунгли за ними это нечто.
    Traveled as a couple
    Written January 12, 2021
These reviews are the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor checks reviews for fraud.
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Titus D
Sri Lanka6,910 contributions
Jun 2018 • Friends
The railway track coming out of a tunnel and going back above the same tunnel to reach the Demodara railway station, forms the loop. It was an interesting solution to an almost unique engineering challenge in the railway line by the British’s. It is certainly worth taking this train ride and when you get to go under the station you have just stopped at! Ride in 3rd class and watch the world go by while standing in the door! The cost is Rs 10 per person one way on the train from Ella to Demodera.
This is just another amazing and marvelous piece of work.
It is a great engineering marvel getting a train to rise-up in elevation on a mountain. You can go all the way to tunnel as well getting a nice experience.
We caught the train to Demodara at 3:30pm from Ella. We got a fabulous 25 minute train trip over the bridge and through some tunnels; you see the loop at the Demodara station where the train goes around in a circle to descend 10 metres or so. Tuk tuk back to Ella was also a nice trip.
Views from the train are stunning and well worth the effort. Local station will be able to advise of the scheduled train times and also if you download “Trains - Sri Lanka” App. If you get into a train coming from Badulla, it won’t be late but the one in opposite direction. It would be late as the trains commence from Colombo far away and mostly delays occur to giving way to the other train on opposite direction at stations as the railway line from Rabukkana onwards is single lined on the hills.
What a view we got. The train came just 10 mins after we reach the station to take a glimpse and we saw road going upwards from the rail track. The train loops back and runs directly under the station! You can 'walk' the loop as well. If you want a bird's eye view you can go to Ooduwaare Estate where you can see the train loop round the hill and come back.
For you to appreciate the loop better, get the tuk tuk driver and tell him to first take you down near the tunnel. And then you go back up to the Demodara railway station to watch the train leaving the tunnel from above.
Can see a nice view from the Demodara train station. Once you get down from the train at Demodara station quickly run Out if the station to watch the train turn and come out of the tunnel going towards Badulla if you come on a Badulla bound train.
The interesting thing behind this Demodara loop is taking a small train trip to cover the activity from Ella. It is a great thing to do with kids mainly and for adults too.
It is definitely worth the sceneries even if you aren't a fan of trains! I recommend you take the train journey to cover the Demodera Loop.
Written June 17, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Fabio Diglio
Valencia, Spain1,333 contributions
Mar 2019 • Couples
I will be honest and will go straight to the point.

In my opinion, the "Demodara loop" is the best part of the Ella train.
You will experience a fascinating short journey (6 kms long), avoiding the scenic but also often uncomfortable trip from Kandy (7h) or Nanu Oya (3h30min).
So catch the train directly in Ella, take a seat on the left side of the carriage/coach and get off at the next station (Demodara itself).
You will enjoy the view passing on the NineArchBridge, while being greeted by hundreds of persons too. 😊

Cost of the ticket 10 LKR = ~0,05€
Written May 27, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Hansen
Brisbane, Australia271 contributions
Apr 2019 • Family
We caught the train from Ella to Demodara to ride across the Nine Arch Bridge. That was fun. At Demodara you can watch the train loop back under the station. The station itself is quaint. It probably represents the true Sri Lanka. Not touristy, just locals travelling A to B and so so friendly.

I would recommend taking the train from Ella to Demodara (15 mins, 10 rupees) to ride over the Nine Arch Bridge, experience a train ride with locals (and great photos hanging out the side) and see the Loop. Makes a nice morning!
Written April 24, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Seevali D
Colombo, Sri Lanka8,520 contributions
Jul 2019
My wife, our grandson Ryan and I parked our car at Ella railway station, on 23rd July 2019, and hired a tuk-tuk that took us first to the "Nine Arch Bridge" and then to Demodera railway station. We went there to see the famous 'spiral loop' at Demodera. The train coming from the up-country enters the tunnel located right under the station. Though at different levels, the tunnel is almost perpendicular to the station. It then traverses around the adjoining hill in an upward spiral coming up to the station and proceeds towards Ella. We observed the train passing along, after it emanated from the tunnel. When it arrived at the station we got in and travelled down to Ella.
The legend has it that, during railway construction, engineers had been perplexed to find a means of bridging the considerable vertical level difference between two adjoining hills. A person tying his turban around his head is said to have implanted the idea of the loop to bridge this gap by circumscribing the hill.
Demodera loop is 1049 feet feet long at a gradient of 1 in 44, the maximum allowable in Sri Lanka Railway construction.
The quaint Demodera railway station reminded me of the time when I travelled to school by train. The trains in this section of the railway still rely on exchanging tablets on arrival. The ticket holding cupboard and even the appearance of the clock in the station master's room have remained unchanged from the 1950s.
On the way back from Ella we passed over the 'Nine Arch Bridge', where there were many tourists waiting to see it pass by.
Written August 15, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tyronne G
Los Angeles, CA40 contributions
Oct 2018 • Family
This is a interesting construction of a railway line done over a century ago to solve a problem of a steep incline where the train is sent in a loop and travels in a tunnel right under the station. A must see when visiting Ella.
Written October 29, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

esl252
Durham, UK18 contributions
Mar 2018 • Couples
We took the train from Ella to Badulla passing the Demodara Loop. It cost just 40 rupees each and lasted about 50 minutes. The stations are beautifully kept and although the train was about 30 minutes late, it's a nice place to sit and people watch and experience the Kandy train coming in and departing. When you get on the train try to sit on the left for the best views which are awesome. You can also stand by the open doors for good views.
Apart from a Buddhist temple there isn't much to see or do in Badulla so you can catch the next train back, jump on a tut tut or if you have a driver, have them meet you.
A fun experience and well worth it.
Written March 10, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

1LifeStand
Colombo, Sri Lanka5,043 contributions
Apr 2013 • Friends
The Demodara railway line winds its way and goes directly under the station through the tunnel inside a mountain.If you make your way to the back of the railway station (other side of where the tracks are), there is a look out point, where you can stand directly above the tunnel and see the train looping in order to arrive at the station.

It is said that the idea of this loop suddenly occurred to the late Mr.D.J.Wimalasurendra who was the greatest Sri Lankan engineer, who masterminded the railway line, when he observed the Kangany who was supervising the workers, undo his 'talappa' (head gear) and re-tie it round his head in a circular motion!

Walking along the railway lines in these area is not considered abnormal nor that you have a death wish, as trains come rarely and the laid back staff at the station would happily encourage you to do so giving the approximate time of the train's arrival! They may even show you the 150 year old equipment and explain its functions inside the Railway Master's Office!
Written June 15, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Maureen L
21 contributions
Oct 2017
Anyone could wonder how nicely it is built. We were lucky to watch another train passing the loop. Walker through the loop back to the railway station.
Written June 23, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Veena B
Bengaluru, India25 contributions
Dec 2015 • Family
The railway track coming out of a tunnel, and going back above the same tunnel to reach the Demodara railway station, forms the loop. For you to appreciate the loop better, get the tuk tuk driver to first take you down near the tunnel. You can get a few good pictures walking through this tunnel. And then you go back up to the Demodara railway station to watch the train leaving the tunnel from above.
Written December 27, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Joeeu
50 contributions
Nov 2014 • Solo
I took the train from Badulla to Haputale, I was so lucky because the captain invite me to control room. He show me how the train go for a loop, coming from Badulla, first you will see Demodara station at the hill, then the train will go for slow climb to finish a loop and reach at the station.

When the train arrive at the station, if you have time, you can go out to the station and you will see the rail trek. Then you will understand how the loop look like.
Written November 30, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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