Class S3 Specifications:
Locomotive Class: S3
Manufactured Country: Germany
Manufactured Company: MAN Diesel Company
Imported Year: 1959
Type of Locomotive: Diesel Hydraulic
Prime Mover: MAN V12 L12V18
Maximum Power: 880hp – 1500RPM
Maximum Speed: 80kmph
Axel Arrangement: B-B
Weight: 47 Tons (Power car only)
Length: 59 Feet (Power car)
Colour: Red (Green & Yellow later)
No. of Units Imported: 25
Locomotive Numbers: 596-620
Passengers who used trains for transport kept increasing day by day in 1950s’. Officials decided to import new DMUs’ (Diesel Multiple Units) which is more profitable instead of Locomotives & Coaches as an alternative to the heavy passenger traffic. Class S3 joined the Sri Lankan DMU fleet as a result of this.
Only the power car of S3 was imported from Germany while the dummy cabs & coaches were made locally. Main materials for manufacturing had been imported. Most of the parts of the coaches were made of wood to reduce the cost & the weight. This DMU was red in colour & was painted in Green & Yellow colours in 1990s’.
S3 too is a train with 4 coaches like S1 & S2. It consisted with a power car, 2 passenger coaches & a dummy unit. Passengers had the comfort of travelling in all of these 4 coaches.
This DMU is significant because this is the first DMU used for a train which ran beyond Peradeniya on the main line. Two Back to Back (Back to Back is the formation which two power cars are in both ends of the Train) connected S3s’ was used for Podi Menike train which commenced in early 1960s’. These DMU trains had run from Colombo Fort to Nanu-oya without any difficulty. Accordingly these DMUs’ were in service for about 20 years until W Class locomotives were introduced.
Also these sets had been used for many office trains. After withdrawn from up country tracks these were used in coast line & KV line. No. 612 was destroyed by an accident in 1976.
Some remained S3s’ ran in Galle, Matara, Pinnaduwa, Aluthgama & Awissawella areas. According to the Sri Lanka Railways official sources S3s’ were withdrawn from service around 2000. But there are unofficial sources saying some sets including 605, 613, 616 & 617 ran occasionally until 2006. If we consider that S3s’ were in service till 2006, it had served Sri Lanka for about 45 years & it’s the maximum time period of service by any DMU in Sri Lanka.
Credits to Gehan Chandika & Nipuna Dodanthenna.