Locomotives of Sri Lanka Railways

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Class M2D, No. 628 "Kankesanthurai" locomotive at Matara Railway Station, ready to haul an express train to Colombo.

Locomotives and trainsets of Sri Lanka Railways consist mostly of diesel locomotives and multiple units. Steam locomotives are no longer used, except on heritage trains, such as the Viceroy Special.

The first locomotives pulled trains on the original segment of the Main Line, on 54 kilometres (34 miles) connecting Colombo and Ambepussa.[1] In 1953, Sri Lanka Railways enhanced its service to more power with diesel locomotives.[2] Since then, various types of diesel locomotives were added to the service.

History[edit]

Early steam powered train on the hill-country railway line
Early steam powered train on the hill-country railway line

Sri Lanka's first railway locomotive was Leopold, in 1864. It was one of seven 4-4-0 locomotives built that year for the Ceylon Government Railway by Robert Stephenson and Company (nos. 1–5) and Beyer, Peacock and Company (nos. 6 and 7).[3] Many more steam locomotives were added to the system, through to the 1950s. All the steam locomotives bar three were manufactured in the United Kingdom; the exceptions were three 4-4-0s built at the railway's Maradana Works near Colombo in 1900 and 1905. In 1938, locomotives were reclassified, based on wheel arrangement and gauge. Sub-classification was based on weight, modifications, heating type, boiler capacity, or other features.[4]

Throughout its history, Ceylon Government Railway had 410 steam locomotives.[5]

The Railways upgraded its service to diesel locomotives, under the leadership of B. D. Rampala in the mid 1950s.[2] In 1953, the first locomotives from British builder Brush Bagnall were imported. Since then, the Railways have imported locomotives from Canada, Japan, West Germany, India, France, and China[6][7][8]

In the 1990s, Sri Lanka Railways converted the narrow gauge (2 ft 6 in (762 mm)) Kelani Valley line into broad gauge (5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm)). This was the last narrow gauge line left in Sri Lanka, and its conversion to broad gauge put the fleet of narrow gauge locomotives out of use. All operational locomotives in the country today are broad gauge.

As of August 2011, Sri Lanka does not have commercially operational electric locomotives or train sets. Electrification has been proposed, to improve energy efficiency and sustainability.[9]

Liveries[edit]

Class M6 No. 788 painted in the M6's unique ICE (Intercity Express) livery

Sri Lanka's locomotives have appeared in several different liveries over the years.

The steam locomotives were mainly black.

With the introduction of diesel locomotives, coloured liveries appeared. Typical for many locomotives is a livery that has thick horizontal bands of dark blue, light blue, silver and a yellow stripe. Also common for many locomotives is a livery of horizontal bands of green, brown, and a yellow stripe. Various other liveries also exist. M6 ICE locomotives have a unique ICE livery of brown and orange.

The DMUs are painted in various liveries, unique to their classes. Typically they feature horizontal bands of colour running their entire length and a solid colour on the front and back ends.

Numbering[edit]

Number plate on class M6 No. 795

Steam locomotives were numbered from 1 upwards, reaching 161 in 1911. Whereafter replacement locomotives were given the same number as the locomotive that they replaced with an "R" prefix; until such time as the old locomotive, now running with an "O" prefix, was finally withdrawn.[10] This system was abandoned in 1928,[10] with new locomotives being numbered from 249 upwards,[11] and reaching 336 by 1940, and 362 in 1951 when the last steam locomotive — a 4-8-0 from W. G. Bagnall — was delivered.[12]

Narrow gauge locomotives were numbered in the same list as broad gauge locomotives. Diesel locomotives and multiple unit numbering started from 500 – an Armstrong Whitworth 122 hp 0-4-0 diesel-electric shunter delivered in 1934[12] – and reached 840 in 1991.[13] and included one locomotive experimentally converted to electric traction.[4][14]

Steam locomotives[edit]

Steam locomotives were used on regular services until the 1970s.[2][4]

Photo Class Numbers Type Quantity Manufacturer Year Notes
1–15, 24–25,
28–29, 39–40,
43–47
4-4-0 26 R. Stephenson & Co. (5)
Beyer, Peacock & Co. (7)
Kitson & Co. (14)
1864–1880 5-foot driving wheels
20–23, 26–27 4-4-0 6 Beyer, Peacock & Co. (4)
Kitson & Co. (2)
1868–1872 6-foot driving wheels; 16″×22″ cylinders
63–71, 89–92 4-4-0 13 Dübs & Co. 1892–1895 6-foot driving wheels; 17″×24″ cylinders
16–19, 41–42 0-6-0 6 John Fowler & Co. 1868–1878
30–31 0-4-0ST 2 R. Stephenson & Co. 1868 Ex Breakwater branch; absorbed in 1874; a third loco was not taken into stock
32–38, 48 4-4-0T 8 R. Stephenson & Co. (3)
Kitson & Co. (5)
1876–1880
30–31,
1 (second)
4-4-0 3 CGR Maradana Works 1900–1905 5-foot driving wheels; 16″×24″ cylinders
163 0-6-0CT 1 Hawthorn, Leslie & Co. 1913 Crane tank
A1 18–19, 41–42 4-8-0 4 Kitson & Co. 1913–1921
A2 155–156 4-8-0 2 Kitson & Co. 1911 renumbered 16–17
A3 275–278,
296–297,
334–336,
357–362
4-8-0 15 Hunslet Engine Co. (6)
W. G. Bagnall (9)
1928–1951
B1 4, 30,
242–262,
279–290
294–295
347–342
351–356
4-6-0 49 Beyer, Peacock & Co. (25)
Armstrong Whitworth (12)
R. Stephenson & Co. (12)
1927–47 “Governor” class – many named; no. 30 Sir Thomas Maitland, runs the Viceroy Special service.[4][15]
B2 1, 3, 25–29,
39–40, 43–47
193–196,
204–213,
222–228
4-6-0 35 Kitson & Co. (3)
R. Stephenson & Co. (11)
Vulcan Foundry (21)
1925–1925 No. 213 preserved and operational
B3 8–11, 22,
169–171,
185–192
4-6-0 16 Kitson & Co. 1913–1914
B4 72–75,
147–147,
158–159
4-6-0 9 Neilson & Co. (4)
Kitson & Co. (5)
1893–1912
B5 76–80 4-6-0 5 Neilson & Co. (3)
Vulcan Foundry (2)
1894
B6 49–62 4-6-0 14 Kitson & Co. (10)
Vulcan Foundry (4)
1882–1890
B7 81–88 4-6-0 8 Hawthorn Leslie & Co. 1894
B8 214–219,
239–240
4-6-0 18 Hunslet Engine Co. (13)
Hawthorn Leslie & Co. (2)
Nasmyth, Wilson & Co. (3)
1922–27
Class B9.jpg
B9 140–141 4-6-0 2 Hunslet Engine Co. 1908 renumbered 134–135
B10 109–119 4-6-0 11 Dübs & Co. 1901
C1 241,
343–350
2-6-2+2-6-2 9 Beyer, Peacock & Co. 1927, 1945 1945 locos later converted to oil firing
D1 270–274 2-6-4T 5 R. Stephenson & Co. 1928 “College” class, most named;
A Part of Class D2 Steam Locomotive.jpg
D2
D3 12–15, 20–21,
131–139,
150–151,
164–168
2-6-4T 22 R. Stephenson & Co. (20)
Hawthorn, Leslie & Co. (2)
1907–1914 131–139 renumbered 32–37, 131–133; 150–151 renumbered 38, 40; 12 rebuilt as class D1 and numbered 298 in 1930; D3 class saturated, reclassified D2 when superheated
Class E1 Steam Locomotive.jpg
E1 23–24, 93–94,
101
162,
179–183,
197–200
0-6-0T 15 Dübs & Co. (3)
North British Loco. Co. (5)
Hunslet Engine Co. (7)
1898–1915 Most rebuilt as 0-6-2T; No. 93 built in 1898 is the oldest surviving steam locomotive in the country - now at National railway museum, Kadugannawa
E1 265–269 0-6-2T 5 R. Stephenson & Co. 1928
F2 2, 5–7,
144–157,
172–173
4-4-0 20 Vulcan Foundry (5)
North British Loco. Co. (15)
1911–1913 144–151 delivered as 152–154, 157–161; F2 saturated, reclassified F2 when superheated. All scrapped
F3 95–100,
124–129
4-4-0 12 Dübs & Co. (6)
Kitson & Co. (2)
North British Loco. Co. (4)
1900–1903
H1 293 2-4-0+0-4-2 1 Beyer, Peacock & Co. 1930 Narrow gauge Garratt
Class J1 Steam Locomotive.jpg
J1 220–221,
263–264,
291–292
4-6-4T 6 Hunslet Engine Co. 1924–1929 Narrow gauge
J2 142–146,
160–161,
174–178,
184,
201–202
4-6-4T 15 Hunslet Engine Co. (11)
North British Loco. Co. (4)
1908–1919 Narrow gauge; 142–146 renumbered 136–140
K1 102–108 4-4-0T 7 Hunslet Engine Co. 1900–1901 Narrow gauge
Class L1 Steam Locomotive.jpg
L1 120–123,
130,
203
0-4-2T 6 Sharp, Stewart & Co. (4)
Hunslet Engine Co. (2)
1902–1904,
1920
Narrow gauge
R1 301–313 Steam railcar 13 Sentinel 1925–1927 Some were later fitted with small under-floor diesel units and were reclassified T2
R2 317–320 Steam railcar 4 Sentinel 1928 Some were later fitted with small under-floor diesel units and were reclassified T2
R3 321–327 Steam railcar 7 Sentinel 1928 Some were later fitted with small under-floor diesel units and were reclassified T2
R4 314–316 Steam railcar 3 Clayton 1928 Some were later fitted with small under-floor diesel units and were reclassified T2
V1 328–330 Steam railcar 3 Sentinel 1927 Narrow gauge
V2 331–333 Steam railcar 3 Sentinel 1928 Narrow gauge

Diesel locomotives[edit]

Class Type
M Diesel Electric Locomotives
W Diesel Hydraulic Locomotives
G & Y Shunters
N & P Narrow Gauge Locomotives
S Diesel Multiple Units
T Diesel Rail Cars

Class M — Diesel Electric Locomotives[16][edit]

Diesel locomotives of Sri Lanka Railway are categorized into several classes and their sub classes.

Photo Class Numbers Type Quantity Manufacturer Year Model Power Notes
SLR Class M1.jpg M1 539–563 A1A-A1A de 25 Brush Bagnall Traction 1952 1000 hp Currently not in service
M2loco.jpg M2 569–573
591–595
626–629
A1A-A1A de (12)
Bo-Bo (2)
14 General Motors Diesel (12)
Electro-Motive Division (2)
1954–1966 G12 1400 hp All but one (571 Saskatchewan) still in active service
Sri Lanka Railways M3.jpeg M3 589–590 Bo-Bo de 2 CGR 1956–1958 360 hp Engines (180 hp × 2) taken from S1 class
Ruhunu1.jpg M4 743–756 Co-Co de 14 Montreal Locomotive Works 1975 MX-620 1750 hp
M5class.jpg M5 767–782 Bo-Bo de 16 Hitachi 1979 1150 hp M5A: Re-engined locally using MTU V12 in 1991; M5B: Re-engined locally using Paxman V12 in 1997; M5C: Re-engined locally using Caterpillar 3516 DITA.
ClassM6 790.jpg M6 783–798 A1A-A1A de 16 Thyssen-Henschel 1979–1980 G22 1650 hp
M7 class.jpg M7 799–814 Bo-Bo de 16 Brush Traction 1981 1000 hp
SLR M8 Loco.jpg M8 M8 (841-848), M8A (877,878) Co-Co de M8 (8), M8A (2) Diesel Locomotive Works M8 (1995), M8A (2001) WDM-2 M8 (2600 hp), M8A (1950 hp) Sub Class M8A: Only 2 locomotives were introduced
Class M9 Loco.jpg M9 864–873 Co-Co de 10 Alstom 2000 AD32C 1800 hp Several units out of service shortly after introduction due to cost of spares and repair.
Class M10.jpg M10 M10 (914-916), M10A (940-945) Co-Co de M10 (3), M10A (6) Diesel Locomotive Works 2012 WDM3D 3300 hp Sub class M10A was introduced in 2013 which is a technical variant.[17]
M11 M11 (949-?), Co-Co M11 (?) Diesel Locomotive Works 2018 WDG4D 4500 hp One unit brought for testing

Class W — Diesel Hydraulic Locomotives[14][edit]

Photo Class Numbers Type Quantity Manufacturer Year Model Power Notes
Colombo sri lanka Railway -Train.jpg W1 630–674 B-B dh 45 Rheinstahl Henschel 1968–69 1150 hp 10 rebuilt with Caterpillar engines and reclassified W3. Only 2 locomotives are in operation.
W2loco.jpg W2 703–716,
729
B-B dh 15 LEW 1968 1500 hp 729 ex demonstrator, ran as DR V150.001; imported 1970. Several re-furbished and in operation.
Class W3 Loco.jpg W3 631…674 B-B dh 10 (1997) 1150 hp 10 rebuilt from class W1 with Caterpillar engines. Mainly used in up country line.

Classes G and Y — Shunters [18][edit]

Photo Class Numbers Type Quantity Manufacturer Year Model Power Notes
Class G1.jpg G1 500 0–4–0 de 1 Armstrong Whitworth 1934 122 hp Sulzer engine. Not in use.
Class G2 Diesel Locomotive.jpg G2 531–538 Bo-Bo de 8 North British Loco. Co. 1950 625 hp Paxman V8 engine. Not in use.
Class y.jpg Y 675–702 0-6-0 dh 28 Hunslet Engine Co. 1968 530 hp Still in operation.
Y1 721–728 D dh 8 Sri Lanka Railways 1972–73 Paxman V12 engine. Not in operation.

Classes N and P — Narrow Gauge Locomotives [14][edit]

Photo Class Numbers Type Quantity Manufacturer Year Model Power Notes
N1 564–568 1C1 dh 5 Krupp 1952–53 500 hp Not in use.
Class N2.jpg N2 730–732 B-B dh 3 Kawasaki 1973 600 hp GM Detroit Diesel V16 engine. Ordered by Sri Lanka Veneers & Plywood. Not in use.
Class P1.jpg P1 527–530 0-6-0 dm 4 Hunslet Engine Co. 1950 120 hp Not in use.

Note: One class N2 locomotive was re-classified as Class E1 after fitting with Alstom pantographs, to be run under electric power. Not to be confused with the steam locomotive E1, this electric locomotive is not in commercial use. One class P1 locomotive was at Viharamahadevi (Victoria) Amusement Park[14]

Class S - Diesel Push Pull Trains [8][edit]

S1–S8 Diesel Hydraulic Multiple Units, S9–S13 Diesel Electric & Electro-Diesel Multiple Units

Photo Class Numbers Type Quantity Manufacturer Year Model Power Notes
S1 501–503 4-car 3 English Electric 1938 400 hp Named Silver Foam, Silver Spray, and Silver Mist. Not in operation, and power cars scrapped.
S2 574–588 15 Schindler Carriage and Wagon 1958 500 hp Not in operation and the power cars were scrapped.
Colombo Sri Lanka Railway - Train SLR Class S3.jpg S3 596–620 25 Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg, (MAN) 1959 880 hp Not in operation.
S4 621–624 5 Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg, (MAN) 1961 1000 hp Out of service.
Class S5.jpg S5 717–720 5-car 2 sets Hitachi 1970 880 hp Hitachi Tourist excursion train. Now one is in Airport Express service, operated by Airport & Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Limited.
Class S6.jpg S6 733–742 10 Hitachi 1974 1150 hp Very similar in appearance to S7. Operated mainly on the broad gauged Kelani Valley line. Currently used as presidential train.
Cass S7 DMU.jpg S7 757–766 10 Hitachi 1977 1000 hp Very similar in appearance to S6. Operated mainly on the broad gauged Kelani Valley line. Not in regular operations.
S8 class.jpg S8 821–840 20 Hyundai 1991 1150 hp Currently in operation.
S9loco.jpg S9 849–863 20 CSR 2000 1150 hp Currently in operation.
Class S10.jpg S10 879-893 15 CSR 2008 Currently in operation.
Class s11.jpg S11 894–913 20 RITES Ltd 2011–2012 1360 hp [19] Designed with multi class accommodation.
Class S12.jpg S12 917–939 22 CSR 2012 2000 hp Imported in two variants, one for run on commuter services and other run on long distance services.
S13 959 Powerset S13 959–964 6 sets ICF 2018 1800 hp

Class T - Diesel Rail Cars [14][edit]

The various Railbus units that are currently operated are not listed below.

Photo Class Numbers Type Quantity Manufacturer Year Model Power Notes
T1 504–526 23 English Electric 1947 200 hp Coupled in Twin Units. Not in use.
T2 (1950) Converted steam rail car in 1950. Not in use
Rail bus manufacturd by sri lankan railway engineers.jpg Locally built rail buses RB1 to .. Rail Bus SLR Rathmalana Works (1995) Based on Tata & Ashok Leyland Buses A total of 14 Rail Buses were built

between 1995 and 2002 with numbers RB1 to RB14.

Other Locomotives[edit]

Some other diesel locomotives (typically shunters) are available and operated in Sri Lanka other than the locomotives and shunters owned by Sri Lanka Railways. Some are the locomotives owned by Sri Lanka Ports Authority and Holcim Sri Lanka limited.

Photo Owner Locomotives Quantity Type Manufacturer Year Model Power Notes
Sri Lanka Ports Authority 19 (3 in operation) Andrew Barclay
Holcim Sri Lanka Limited Deutz shunters (03), Hunslet shunter (01), Diesel Locomotive Works locomotives (02), Refurbished Beaver shunters (04), SAN locomotive (01) All are diesel hydraulic type except DLW locomotive which is diesel electric. Some are not in use. However this limited cater locomotives from SLR for some services.

Locomotives and trainsets on order[edit]

▪ Another 9 locomotives from india which are similar to the newly imported 'still on test' model, WDG4D [M11] are to be arrived.

▪ Another 4 double sets (8 individual sets) of S13 DMUs are to be arrived

▪ in February 2018, local newspapers and news websites reported that General Electric company, USA won the tender for 10 diesel electric locomotives for the use of upcountry railways.

▪ Some new DMUs (rumoured as Class S14) were ordered from china.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ceylon Railway Enthusiasts Circle (CREC)/SLRF". Sri Lanka Railway 145th Anniversary Trip. 2010-01-02.
  2. ^ a b c "The Island". Rampala regime in the local Railway History. 2010-07-19.
  3. ^ Hughes 1990, p. 93.
  4. ^ a b c d http://www.infolanka.com/org/mrail/locos1.html Steam Locomotives
  5. ^ "Sri Lanka (Ceylon) Railways Steam Locomotive and Steam Railcar Fleet". National Railway Museum - Sri Lanka. Archived from the original on 13 September 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
  6. ^ "Diesel Locomotives of Sri Lanka : Locomotive classification". www.srilankanlocos.com. M9. Archived from the original on 28 December 2012. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  7. ^ http://www.infolanka.com/org/mrail/locos2.html
  8. ^ a b http://www.infolanka.com/org/mrail/locos3.html Suburban Diesel Push-Pull types
  9. ^ "Daily News". IESL proposes railway electrification project. 2010-12-25. Archived from the original on 2012-03-08.
  10. ^ a b Hughes 1990, p. 97.
  11. ^ Hughes 1990, p. 94.
  12. ^ a b Hughes 1996, p. 92.
  13. ^ Hughes 1996, p. 95.
  14. ^ a b c d e http://www.infolanka.com/org/mrail/locos4.html Mainline Diesel Hydraulic & Narrow Gauge
  15. ^ Viceroy Vintage Train Tours Archived 2011-08-28 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ http://www.infolanka.com/org/mrail/locos2.html Mainline Diesel-Electrics
  17. ^ http://slrailwiki.wikinet.org/wiki/Class_M10 Class M10
  18. ^ http://www.infolanka.com/org/mrail/locos5.html Diesel Railcars & Shunters
  19. ^ "ColomboPage". India hands over new power sets for Sri Lanka's Southern Railway Line. 2011-03-11.
  • Hughes, Hugh (1990). Indian Locomotives: Part 1 – broad Gauge 1851–1940. Harrow, Middlesex: The Continental Railway Circle. pp. 93–99. ISBN 0-9503469-8-5.
  • Hughes, Hugh (1994). Indian Locomotives: Part 3 – Narrow Gauge 1863–1940. Harrow, Middlesex: The Continental Railway Circle. p. 31. ISBN 0-9521655-0-3.
  • Hughes, Hugh (1996). Indian Locomotives: Part 4 – 1941–1990. Harrow, Middlesex: The Continental Railway Circle. pp. 92–95. ISBN 0-9521655-1-1.

External links[edit]