Leaving Colombo at at 8pm, the Night Mail covers the 292km to Badulla in approximately twelve hours, making its dawn arrival at the Nine Arch Bridge perfectly timed for passengers to catch some spectacular views from their carriage windows. The Colombo-Badulla rail route is now rated one of the world’s great train journeys, and includes beautiful tea plantations, awe-inspiring mountainscapes and, of course, the now famous all-stone 91m-long Nine Arch Bridge. While most of the Night Mail’s route is covered in the dark hours, it is the last part of the journey, between Bandarawela and Badulla that is the most picturesque; prettiest in the first light of dawn. This picture was part of an assignment for the New York Times, specifically for award-winning travel journalist Lucas Peterson’s piece, An Island Nation that is Best Savored Slowly. It appeared in the Frugal Traveler column on 30th January 2019. Follow the links and check it out online for more photos, and the full story.