In the period between 1954 and 1966 the Canadian Government gifted to Sri Lanka under the “COLOMBO PLAN AID — FROM CANADA” 14 sturdy A1A’-A1A’ and B0’-B0’ Diesel- electric Locomotives based on the General Motors EMD Multi-Purpose GP8, GP9 and G12 Locomotives and build in the Canadian and USA General Motors, Electric Motive Division workshops. The Government Ceylon Railways classified them as “M2”.

The Class M2 Locomotives are regarded as the most successful Diesel Locos on SLR. Over miles one can make out the M2`s by their distinguished far reaching typhoon sound of the horn. The M2 Locomotives are also called “THE CANADIAN WARRIORS”.

The basic points of the long-lasting and sturdy 79 tons heavy Class M2 Locomotives with 1425 hps two-stroke GM-EMD Diesel Engines are defined by General Motors USA on the G8/9/12/18 platform (over 4000 items build between 1954 and 1970) in order to produce a versatile, simple, economic, multi-gauge (Meter-, Standard and Broad-Gauge) and multi-purpose locomotive for the world marked, for branch and as well for main-line services.

With the GM-EMD M2-type Locomotives worldwide the death-bells of Steam Locomotives  had been ringing. The locomotives had been released in a modified body with a reduced engine-output to increase longevity and durability. They have been delivered all over the world with A1A’-A1A’, B0’-B0’ as well C0’-C0’ axle arrangements. In many countries  around the globe those Locomotives are still running after over 50 years.

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The Class M2 Diesel-electric Locomotives in Sri Lanka

The old Warrior Class M 1 Loco back on the Track. What is the advisable Wheel-Arrangement and Wheel-Base for Upcountry running Locomotives? & The Calamity with the French/Alstom build Class M9.- A Feature Article elaborated for a Technical Railway Exhibition and a Seminar with Students of the Richmond Hill College, Galle, Sri Lanka,October 2014.

The CLASS “M1” Locos with the wheel arrangement A1A’A1A’, build for Ceylon Railways by the British BRUSH BAGNALL TRACTION LTD in Loughborough UK between 1952 and 1955, mark a milestone in the British development of Main Line Diesel-electric Locomotives.

The locomotives weighed 89 tons and had a 1000 hp (746 kW) V12 Mirlees JS12VT four- stroke engine. Ceylon Railways (CGR) had a fleet of 25 of these Class M1 locomotives, which began introduction in 1953 and were removed from service from 1983 on.

Srilankan Railway Enthusiasts have waited long for the renovation of Sri Lanka`s first Main Line Diesel-electric Locomotive, the Class M 1 Loco No. 560. Railway Enthusiast Dr.Frank Wingler had put this Class "M1" Loco in 2010 as a 1 in 87 scale model in running condition back on the track.

Railway Enthusiast can now admire the renovated “Old Warrior” Class M1 at the NationalSri Lanka Railway Museum at Katugannawa, opened for public viewing on 14 th December 2014.

Further the Technical Paper delineates the problems with the France build Alstom Class M9 and modern Developments as advisable solutions for upcountry haulage with track friendly 4 Axle Diesel Locomotives.

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The Old Warrior Class M1, SLR,


HIGH-SPEED- RAIL, from the “Rocket” to the “Bullet” The Speed Race on Rails from 1829 to 2007

The speed race with wheels on rails started October 1829 with 42 kmph at a competition at Rainhill near Liverpool with the Steam Locomotive “Rocket” build by Robert Stephenson. 1890 a Steam-Locomotive reached between Paris and Larode in France 132 kmph. On 02 nd July 1907 the that time world record for Steam Locomotives had been reached in Germany with 154.5 kmph by a Locomotive build by Krauss Maffai in Munich after on 27 th October 1903 an electric Tram-Car had reached already near Berlin in Germany 210 kmph. In the 1940-ties it had been claimed in USA that the Class 1 Steam Locomotive of Pennsylvania Rail Road had exceeded 156 mph (251 km/h) on the Fort Wayne-Chicago Railroad, documented by Cabin Personnel. On a test run the Shinkansen reached in Japan 1993 425 kmph. And finally on 03-04- 2007 a special prepared TGV reached in France the record mark of 574.8 kmph.
As Pioneer for High-Speed Rails applies the German Professor Franz Kruckenberg (1882-1964). Franz Kruckenberg was an engineer and pioneer of High-Speed Railway Systems.He designed several technical Features used nowadays for High-Speed Trains. His most famous design was the Aero Rail Car, called “Schienen-Zeppelin” from 1931, propelled by an Airscrew. Since the Tokaido Shinkansen was inaugurated in October 1964, trains are nowadays operating at 250 or more kmph in 13 countries, over a cumulative network totaling over 30 000 km with over half of this in China. China expects to have 2025 38.000 km High-Speed Lines. With High-Speed Trains the energy efficiency per passenger/km is significant better than that of private cars or planes. Land-use is about one third of that required for a motorway with similar capacity. But the capital investment can be huge depending on the topography and can cost more than 30 m US Dollar per km. The capital cost for a typical 300 to 400 seat train-set lies in the range of 33 to 44 m US Dollar, with maintenance costs of about 1.1 m US Dollar per year.

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HIGH-SPEED-RAIL – The Speed Race on Rail

From Steam to Diesel Traction

February 1804 a Steam powered Locomotive build by Richard Trevithick pulled 5 wagons over 9 miles at Tydfil in South Wales, England. 1825 had been the year of birth for Steam Traction of a train with passengers, when a mixed train consisting of 6 coal-wagons and  one wagon prepared for passengers opened the first public rail-transport from Stockton to Darlington in North England with a Steam Locomotive build by George Stephenson.
For over 100 years Steam-Trains have been a synonym for Railways. Steam Locomotives reached the technical climax during World War II. The most powerful and most heavy Steam Locomotive ever build has been the “BIG BOY” of Union Pacific with over 7000 hps. Steam Locomotives have a very low thermal efficiency and need high service and maintenance capacity before and after each run. In the 1920-ties Railway Companies in USA and Europe experimented with Petrol Combustion Motor Rail-Cars. It took nearly another 20 years, until more powerful and reliable Diesel Engines had been at disposal. American Locomotive Builders and Electrical Companies have been the forerunners for Diesel-electric Transmission. The German Government Railways experimented in the 1930-ties with hydraulic transmission with torque-converters in order to save weight. Nowadays Diesel-hydraulic and Diesel-electric Locomotives have replaced Steam Locomotives. Diesel Locomotives can be build with up to 5000 hps. If higher Tractive-Effort is needed Locomotives can be coupled for Multi-Traction synchronized by computer technology. In USA one can spot Trains with up to 7 Diesel-Engines.

Steam Locomotives have found nowadays a niche for nostalgic and scenic Railways around the Globe and on some Hill Pinion-Railway Systems with steep gradients. In USA and Russia trials are under way with Liquid Gas instead of Diesel-fuel. In Germany Bombardier mounted 4 smaller conventional series Diesel-engines from heavy road vehicles as so-called “Power-Packs” instead of one big powerful Engine into the Locomotive. This renders a better fuel efficiency, better exhaustion values and economical advantages in maintenance, service and repairs. The Technical Paper covers the developments from 1825 to 2014.

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From Steam to Diesel Traction