This is the hub for all train connections in entire Sri Lanka; daily thousands of people travel in and out Fort Railway Station. Fully packed commuter trains run up and down to the many towns around Colombo daily. The capital is still the only big city in Sri Lanka. Here it is where the jobs are, the big government institutions, the shops and entertainment, so most of the trains are full. When traveling to the south it is better to start your journey in Maradana Station, a few kilometers north of Fort, since most of the southbound trains start there and most likely you will find a seat there. Opened in 1917, it has a typical colonial architecture and was designed similar to the Manchester Victoria Station in the UK. The long white building with black letters in three languages, a landmark in Pettah, is probably constructed on this particular spot because of the busy Pettah Market. The first Fort Station, however, was built in 1877 on the place which is now the Secretariat Halt, next to the Hilton Hotel in Colombo, when the Coastal Line to Southern Sri Lanka was constructed. There is a special Tourist Office on the front side of the building. There are ticket counters for the various destinations. Upon arrival you will undoubtedly be approached by many 3 wheel drivers; if you need one, take a metered one and be sure that the meter works. Be careful in and around the station with your belongings.