Class Y Specifications:
Locomotive Class: Y
Manufactured Country: England
Manufactured Company: Hunslet
Imported Year: 1969
Type of Locomotive: Diesel Hydraulic
Prime Mover: Rolls Royce DV8T
Maximum Power: 530hp – 1800RPM
Maximum Speed: 37kmph
Axel Arrangement: 0-C-0
Weight: 44.2 Tons
Length: 25 feet
Colour: Black colour (Except the loco inside Ratmalana workshops painted in Red & Yellow)
No. of Locomotives Imported: 28
Locomotive Numbers: 675-702
These type of locomotives are known as Shunting locomotives because these locomotives are used for shunting purposes. Shunting means arranging a train set by pulling & pushing different types of carriages in yard premises. Sometimes these locomotives are used to pull carriages of trains which ended the journey back to the yard. Following are the duties done by shunting locomotives.
- Arranging wagons of trains by pulling & pushing them in the yard.
- Pulling train sets that are ready to commence the journey to the starting station (When the appointed locomotive is late & when it waits in the starting station).
- Pulling the train sets which ended their journey back to the yard (When the main locomotive is appointed to another train).
- Pulling breakdown wagons to respective places.
- Taking locomotives & wagons which need repairs to the workshops & back to the yard.
- Transporting oil tanks & freight wagons for a short distance (Eg: Transporting oil tanks between Kolonnawa & Colombo).
- Short distance service trains.
- Transportation in workshops.
Though Class Y locomotive does a lot of services, its horsepower is only 530hp. But it has the capability to do work more than a locomotive which has three times greater horse power. For an example there are instances where it pulled a whole train with a locomotive & some wagons without any difficulty.
Although this locomotive is used to haul short distance freight trains, SLR never use these Y class locos to haul passenger trains. However a brave railway officer hauled an unofficial train hauled by a Y class loco from Trincomalee to Gal-Oya to save people from LTTE terrorists who were stuck at a station. It can be guessed that these locos are not using for passenger services because there is no technique to apply brakes to the carriages from locomotive.
These locomotives are not using to haul passenger trains because there is no mechanism to apply brakes to the carriages by the locomotive & because the maximum speed is only 37kmph. Wheels of this locomotive is not connected to a bogie & wheels get powered by three axles. Those axles are directly connected to the chassis & the power output from the engine get transformed to the middle axle by a hydraulic system. Other 2 axles get powered by the external rod which is connected to all 3 wheels.
At present all of these Y class locomotives are in service except one. No.691 caught fire in Orugodawaththa area in 2001. These locomotives render their service at running sheds & stations like Maradana, Ratmalana workshops, Anuradhapura, Maho junction, Galle, Trincomalee & Kandy. And this loco can be driven in any railroad of Sri Lanka.
Y Class locomotives don’t run alone in hill country line & it’s transported by attaching it to another train (Y Class locomotives of Kandy are transported to Colombo for repairs by this method). There are unofficial evidences that these locomotives were used in Nawalapitiya & Nanu Oya. But now shunting at these yards are done by other locomotives.
Puttlam & Kankasanthurei cement factories also had this type locomotives & now they are withdrawn. Those locomotives are slightly different to the Class Y locomotives
This is the only shunting locomotive class used by Sri Lanka at present. There were G1, G2, Y1 & M3 shunting locomotives but now not in service.
Credits to Gehan Chandika & Nipuna Dodanthenna.