Sri Lanka Railways M2

The Sri Lanka Railways Class M2 is a class of diesel-electric locomotive that was developed in the 1954 by General Motors Diesel, Canada, and Electro-Motive Division, USA. This is considered one of the most successful locomotives in Sri Lanka.[1]

Sri Lanka Railways class M2
M2 # 570 Alberta which hauled the last "Yal Devi" train to Kankasanthurei. After war began it was trapped there. Later decomposed and shipped to Colombo. Now in use.
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel-electric
BuilderGeneral Motors Diesel, Canada (12)
Electro-Motive Division, USA (2)
Serial numberA608–A609, A720–722, A894–A896, A1325–1326, A1920–A921, 31211–31212
ModelEMD G12
Build date1954–1966
Total produced14 (now 13 in running condition)
Bo′Bo′ in M2c sub class
Gauge5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm)
Axle load19.75 t (19.44 long tons; 21.77 short tons)
Loco weight79 t (78 long tons; 87 short tons)
Fuel typeDiesel
Prime moverEMD 567C
Engine typeV12 Two-stroke diesel
Loco brakeVacuum (Dynamic on M2c and M2d sub classes)
Performance figures
Maximum speed112 km/h (70 mph)
Power output1,425 hp (1,063 kW)
1,310 hp (980 kW) in M2d sub class
OperatorsCeylon Government Railway
» Sri Lanka Railways
Number in class14 (includes M2-5, M2a-3, M2b-2, M2c-2, M2d-2)
NumbersSee table
Official nameSee table
First run1954
Colombo Plan Aid
  • Number 571 "Saskatchewan" was destroyed due to terrorist's bomb
  • Number 570 "Alberta hauled the last "Yal Devi" train to Kankasanthurei. After war began it was trapped there. Later decomposed and shipped to Colombo. 2014 destroyed in Pothuhera train accident. Repaired and back in use.
  • Number 591 "Manitoba" was damaged due to tsunami waves on 26 December 2004. Now in use
  • Livery :Original Livery Red Yellow Strip and Brown, later changed to Silver,thin black strip,Light blue, thick yellow strip and Dark blue,

It is a General Motors Diesel (Canada) EMD G12 model using the EMD 567C, 1,425-horsepower (1,063 kW) engine.



From 1954, several batches of General Motors-manufactured locomotives were imported to Sri Lanka under "The Colombo Plan". Locally called a "Canadian" engine – there are actually two classes of Canadian engine in SLR – the other one is Class M4. Since these engine were imported under grants from the Canadian government, class M2 locomotives are named with Canadian province and city names. The last two locomotives were made in the United States and imported for Cement Corporation, Sri Lanka. But they were later attached to Sri Lanka Railways locomotive fleet. They were named after two local cities – Galle and Kankasanthurei – where the cement factories were located.

Entering into Service

The class entered service in January 1955. "Ruhunu Kumari" Train started using M2 572 " British Columbia" 24 October 1955, the first long distance luxury passenger train service in Sri Lanka. same loco hauled the first "Udarata Manike" Colombo Badulla train on 23 April 1956 and same day started "Yal davi" hauled by M2 569 "ontario", in the far north of the country.

Sub Classes

Sub ClassBuilderWeightSpecificationsAxel ArrangementYearNo.of LocomotivesNo's
M2AGeneral Motors Diesel79 tonnesGM V12 G12-567cA1A-A1A19593591, 592, 593
M2BGeneral Motors Diesel79 tonnesGM V12 G12-567cA1A-A1A19582594, 595
M2CGeneral Motors Diesel79 tonnesGM V12 G12-567cBo-Bo19612626, 627
M2DElectro-Motive Division79 tonnesGM V12 G12-567eA1A-A1A19662628, 629

In Service

This have been used on both passenger and freight trains on Sri Lanka's railways for over 50 years. Despite the introduction of more modern types of traction, as of 2013 a significant number are still in use.

Locomotive Fleet

Table of locomotives[2]
Class Number Name Serial No. Imported Year
M2 569 Ontario A608 1954
M2 570 Alberta A609 1954
M2 571 Saskatchewan A720 1954
M2 572 British Columbia A721 1954
M2 573 Quebec A722 1955
M2a 591 Manitoba A894 1956
M2a 592 Nova Scotia A895 1956
M2b 593 New Brunswick A896 1956
M2b 594 Prince Edward Island A1325 1958
M2b 595 Newfoundland A1326 1958
M2c 626 Montreal A1920 1961
M2c 627 Vancouver A1921 1961
M2d 628 Kankesanthurai 31211 1966
M2d 629 Galle 31212 1966

Accidents & Incidents

  • Number 571 Saskatchewan was destroyed by a land mine in 1985.[3]
  • Number 570 Alberta hauled the last Yal Devi train to Kankasanthurei in June 1989. When the war began in the north it was trapped there, but in 1997 Alberta was dismantled and shipped south to Colombo where it was reassembled. Alberta was seriously damaged in an accident at Pothuhera, but has been repaired.[3]
  • Number 591 Manitoba was damaged on 26 December 2004 when pulling the Matara Express and was hit by the Indian Ocean tsunami. Now in use after restoration. This was repainted depicting a sea wave on its livery.[3]
  • Number 628 Kankasanthurai was badly damaged by a land mine, but was rebuilt[3]


  1. "CLASS M2". Sri Lanka Railways Info Page. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  2. Hughes 1996, pp. 92, 95.
  3. Jayaratne, Upali O. (March–April 2015). "The Colombo Plan and Canadian Locomotives". Canadian Railway Modeler. 20 (1): 16–17, 20–21.
  • "Class M2 Locomotive".
  • Hughes, Hugh (1996). Indian Locomotives: Part 4 – 1941–1990. Harrow, Middlesex: The Continental Railway Circle. ISBN 0-9521655-1-1.
  • Lanka Railway Digest.
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