Class S9 Specifications:
Locomotive Class: S9
Manufactured Country: China
Manufactured Company: China South Locomotive and Rolling Stock Corporation (CSR)
Imported Year: 2000
Type of Locomotive: Diesel Electric
Prime Mover: MTU V12 396TC14
Maximum Power: 1580hp – 1800RPM
Maximum Speed: 100kmph
Axel Arrangement: Bo-Bo
Weight: 73 Tons (Power car only)
Length: 20.95m (Power car)
Colour: Blue, White & a Yellow strip
No. of Units Imported: 15
Locomotive Numbers: 849-863
These Class S9 DMUs were imported on the same year which Class M9 was imported. These DMUs join Sri Lanka locomotive fleet 10 years after S8. This is the first DMU imported from China & this is the first Diesel Electric power set imported after S1 (Class S2 to Class S8 DMUs are Diesel hydraulic). A Class S9 set consist of 6 units including a power car, 4 passenger coaches & a dummy car. According to an unofficial fact there had been some sets with 7 units in 2000-2001. The speciality of this DMU is the availability of Vestibules which allows passengers to move between coaches. This is the first DMU with vestibules after S5 DMU. This DMU too have the seat arrangement like S8 to allow more passengers to travel.
Some functions of this DMUs are computerized & they can reach a considerable speed within a short distance with the help of high powered German engines. Due to these reasons S9s are used for office trains, slow trains & sub urban trains frequently.
After these DMUs imported to Sri Lanka the Old Indian Good Shed situated between Maradana & Colombo Fort was renovated & named as Electrical Power Coaches Shed (EPCS) for Class S9s maintenance. At present Class S9, S10 & S12 KV DMUs are maintained by EPCS.
These DMUs normally run on Southern line, up to Rambukkana on the Main line, up to Maho junction on the Nothern line & Puttlam line. Test runs done on Kelani Valley line wasn’t successful due to the presence of vestibules. SLR has done a test run to Kandy & S9s had run to Kandy & Anuradhapura as special trains in ‘Perahera’ season. But these DMUs haven’t run beyond Kandy on Main line, Matale line & on Eastern lines.
Another interesting feature of Class S9 is the ability to convert to an Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) easily. This can be done by unplugging the generator system & supplying electricity through a suitable external power supply. All S9s are still in service & this is another successful DMU in Sri Lanka.
Credits to Gehan Chandika & Nipuna Dodanthenna.