Class M3 Specifications:
Locomotive Class: M3
Manufactured Country: Sri Lanka
Manufactured Company: Sri Lanka Railways
Manufactured Year: 1956
Type of Locomotive: Diesel Electric
Prime Mover: Williams & Robinson – Type-H6
Maximum Force: 180hp (90hp x 2)
Axel Arrangement: Bo-Bo
Maximum Speed: 55mph
Weight: 47 Tons
Colour: Light blue, Dark blue, Silver & a Yellow colour strip
No. of Locomotives: 2
Locomotive Numbers: 589 & 590
In 1938 Sri Lanka received the first power set. However these sets got rusted quickly because they ran in coastal line. Therefore these power sets were withdrawn from the service. But the prime mover & other mechanical equipment was in good condition.
The chief mechanical engineer at Ratmalana Railway workshops, Mr. Raj Gopal brought an idea to build a new locomotive using these parts in 1956. As a result of the hard work done by our engineers, M3 was born. The objective of building this loco was to use for shunting activities inside the Ratmalana Workshops. This locomotive was smaller & lighter than the other locomotives. As a result of the request made by Mr. Maithreepala Senanayake, the minister of transportation SLR decided to use this locomotive for passenger trains in 1956. It is stated that the minister got excited about this creation & asked SLR to haul passenger trains using the M3 in the north central province which he represented. Accordingly this loco has been running on Anuradhapura-Medawachchiya & Anuradhapura-Maho Junction lines.
The first M3 numbered 589 was Named “Jayanthi” & was opened to public transport by the transportation minister Mr. Maithreepala Senanayake. Lately another locomotive of Class M3 has been produced at Ratmalana numbered 590 in 1957. At that time another locomotive was manufactured with the same number (The first locomotive of M2a sub class). So the M2a was re-numbered as 591.
In shunting activities a locomotive runs for a short time. Engine receives the rest & cooling it need because the locomotive travel a short distance. When M3 introduced to passenger trains it had to run for a long time although this was a shunting locomotive. Due to this reason SLR had to face serious problems like over heating & other technical issues. Therefore they had to re-construct the 589 locomotive with suitable settings.
These 2 engines rendered their service for SLR for about a decade. After these 2 engines were withdrawn & they got scrapped unfortunately.
Credits to Gehan Chandika & Nipuna Dodanthenna.