Class M3

Class M3

In 1955 the state owned Ceylon Government Railway, now the Sri Lanka Railways, manufactured Sri Lanka’s “first” diesel-electric locomotive using old spares of withdrawn Class S1 DMU power sets.


Sri Lanka’s first-ever powerset was brought to Sri Lanka in 1938. However, these powersets were withdrawn from service due to rapid degradation. Mechanical components of these powersets were in good condition so the idea for building a locomotive using engine parts of the Class S1 powerset was started in 1956.

The Chief Engineer of Ratmalana Railway Workshop, Raj Gopal lead this project of building Class M3 locomotives. Railway workers of the Ratmalana workshop did the locomotive frame and the body design.

The first Class M3 engine (589) was named as “Jayanthi” to commemorate the Buddha Jayanthi in 1956. Minister of Transport, Maithripala Senanayake made this locomotive available for public service on 5th September 1956.

In 1957, another locomotive (590) was manufactured at the Ratmalana Workshop.

These Class M3 locomotives were in service for about 10 years.

General Information

Engine ClassM3
Built CountrySri Lanka
Builder Sri Lanka Railways
Built Year 1956
Power Type Diesel-electric
Engine TypeWilliams & Robinson – Type-H6
Power Output180hp (130kW)
Maximum Speed89 Kmph
Axel ArrangementBo-Bo
Weight47 tons
LiverySilver, blue color with a yellow stripe
Total Produced2


Class M3 589 and 590 / From Nalin Abeysinghe

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