Class S1 Specifications:
Locomotive Class: S1
Manufactured Country: England
Manufactured Company: English Electric
Imported Year: 1938
Type of Locomotive: Diesel Electric
Prime Mover: Williams & Robinson Type-6H
Maximum Power: 180hp x 2, 1350RPM
Maximum Speed: 55kmph
Axel Arrangement: Bo+2+2+Bo
Weight: 94 Tons
Length: 206 Feet
Colour: Green & Silver
Seating Capacity: 1st Class: 17 , 2nd Class: 42 , 3rd Class: 255
No. of Sets Imported: 3
Locomotive Numbers: 501, 502, 503
Trains were very popular worldwide as a transportation method around the year 1930 & many train manufacturing companies made different trains & did many tests for different special trains. Most of the companies looked to make Rail Cars which are less in power & weight to run instead of heavy, high powered trains specially when passenger traffic is low. Running these sets were relatively profitable.
In that time the railway officials in Sri Lanka took steps to buy few Diesel Rail Cars to transport passengers. Accordingly those trains were imported from English Electric Company at England. Sri Lanka Railways considered some main facts before they import these power sets.
- Less weight & Low power
- Ability to acquire a good speed quickly
- Decreasing the risk of dormant
Three sets of this kind was imported to Sri Lanka & it was named as follows
- 501: Silver Form
- 502: Silver Spray
- 503: Silver Mist
The maximum passenger capacity of a set was about 300. There were four coaches in an each set named 1st, 2nd & 3rd class. These sets went on their maiden journey from Colombo to Galle on 25th of February.
These sets had some unique features. There were footboards which the driver can fold & unfold whenever needed. There were destination boards with electric lights above every door. All 3 sets ran on the coastal line & once SLR had done a test run to Thalaimannar. Due to the salty wind on the coastal track these sets got rusted quickly. No.501 & 503 withdrawn in 1954 & in 1956 No.502 was withdrawn due to the unsuitable condition. They had offered their service for Sri Lanka Railways for 16 years successfully. S1s’ did their maximum service for passengers on coastal line until Class T1 railcars joined SLR in 1947.
Thus these sets were left out because of the rusting of coaches, the Prime Mover, Traction Motors & most of the other mechanical parts were in good condition. Therefore in 1956 Sri Lankan Engineers made 2 locomotives of Class M3 using these parts. Other parts of S1 power sets were scrapped & according to an unofficial report No.502 set has sent to the Nuremberg Museum at Germany. This information is still unconfirmed because the above museum was fully destroyed by a fire.
Credits to Gehan Chandika & Nipuna Dodanthenna.