Class S5 Specifications:
Locomotive Class: S5
Manufactured Country: Japan
Manufactured Company: Hitachi
Imported Year: 1969
Type of Locomotive: Diesel Hydraulic
Prime Mover: FED/PAXMAN V8 YJXL-V71
Maximum Power: 740hp x 2 – 1500RPM
Maximum Speed: 80kmph
Axel Arrangement: B-B
Weight: 63 Tons (Power car only)
Length: 16.67m (Power car)
Colour: Dark Green body with a Dark Red strip
No. of Units Imported: 4 Power cars, 2 Sets. (Double Headed)
Locomotive Numbers: 717-720
Class S5 entered Sri Lanka DMU fleet in 1960-1980 era which most number of locomotives & DMUs’ imported. These are known as Hitachi trains by most of the people. Only 2 sets of this class was imported which is the lowest number of units by any class.
This is the first luxury DMU imported to Sri Lanka. This is mainly used for special trains. The target of importing this DMU was to accomplish maximum comfort for passengers. S5 was completely manufactured in Japan & imported to Sri Lanka in 1969.
There are 5 carriages in a set with 2 power cars. This is the first DMU with 2 power cars per set. All previous DMUs’ had only one power car & the other was a dummy car. Thus these had 2 power units it was easier to run on up country line. The maximum seating capacity of a set is 100.
All passenger carriages were Air Conditioned & there is a Buffet car, a Kitchen for passengers to have their meals with ease. And this is the first DMU which had internal corridors to travel between coaches. All doors of this train can be opened & closed by the Driver with the help of a Vacuum System. Addition to this facilities there is an Audio system for the whole train & this train can be reserved (Whole train) under a special payment scheme.
Since 2014 only one set was in service. That is the blue coloured Airport Express train which runs from Katunayake International Airport to Colombo Fort (No.718 & 719). The Airport Express was first introduced in 2010 for the visitors of IIFA award ceremony to travel from Airport to Colombo. Later it ran for few months for airport passengers & now this set is controlled by the company called Airport & Aviation Services. It can be reserved for tourists & travelers to travel to any destination through this company.
The other set with no.717 & 720 collided with another train near Wilwaththa Railway Station in 1970 & the 720 prime mover was completely destroyed. Therefore local engineers removed the prime mover & repaired this as a dummy unit. This DMU was left alone in a siding at Hydraulic Locomotive Shed (HLS) till 2014. SLR re-painted this set recently & now it’s controlled by JF Tours. This set also can be reserved for special journeys.
In early days government servants could travel by this train by forwarding all 3 annual travel warrants to purchase a free ticket. This train sets went frequent upcountry tours early days. Used in all broad gauge lines except KV line.
Credits to Gehan Chandika & Nipuna Dodanthenna.