The government hopes that the reopening of the rail link will help alleviate shortage of supplies in the north which was cut off during the conflict.
    
The 'Queen of Jaffna', a once-famous train linking the Tamil-majority north to the rest of the nation, stopped operation in 1990 after being attacked by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels who fought with the Island government to create an independent state for Tamil people.
    
Rajapaksa traveled in the special train from Pallai town which arrived at Jaffna shortly after 11 am local time. He declared the newly refurbished stations in Kodikamam and Navatkuli and the main Jaffna railway station open.

Following a meeting between Rajapaksa and Dr Manmohan Singh, the then Prime Minister of India in 2010, the Northern railway reconstruction project began taking shape. It was built under the concessionary credit line of about USD 800 million provided by India.
    
India has helped provide the state of the art tracks and bridges that can accommodate train speeds of up to 120 kilometres per hour as part of the technical support.
    
Indian assisted other projects worth USD 1.63 billions are currently underway in the island country.
    
The railway tracks and Jaffna station were damaged during the war between the LTTE and the government forces. It was said that the members of both the LTTE and army used the abandoned railway coaches as bunkers.
    
The government began the rebuilding work nearly two years after the conflict ended in 2009.
    
More than a million Tamils are currently living in Jaffna, which was first connected to the rest of the Sinhalese-majority island through a rail link in 1905 under British colonial rule.
    
It took nearly four years to rebuild the tracks.
    
Local residents were employed in the reconstruction of Jaffna station after getting trainings from the Indian technical team during the project.
    
Under this project, the segments previously completed were the Medawachchiya-Madhu Road segment, inaugurated in May and the Omanthai- Kilinochchi segment, inaugurated in September
last year.
    
Termination of the rail services had made it difficult for the older generation from Jaffna to travel to the iconic Yaal Devi or the 'Queen of Jaffna'.

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