Sri Lanka Railways M6

Sri Lanka Railways M6 is a class of 16 Diesel-electric locomotives imported to Sri Lanka in 1979. Manufactured by Thyssen-Henschel in Kassel, West Germany, under licence from Electro-Motive Division of the United States. As an EMD G22M, it has a V12 EMD 645 engine rated at 1,650 hp (1,230 kW). Most are still in service. Very successful in upcountry line, since it has Flexicoil truck (bogies) and dynamic brakes. Loco numbers 793 and 798 engines were destroyed by LTTE terrorists. M6 790 was involved in the Watawala landslip incident.

Sri Lanka Railway M6
Sri Lanka Railways Class M6 number 790 locomotive
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel-electric
BuilderThyssen-Henschel under licence from Electro-Motive Division
Serial number32337–32352
ModelEMD G22CW
Total produced16 (14 in use)
Gauge5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm)
Wheel diameter1,016 mm (40 in)
Trailing dia.838 mm (33 in)
Length54 ft 6 in (16.61 m)
Width3,090 mm (10 ft 1 58 in)
Height4,113 mm (13 ft 5 78 in)
Axle load16.7 t (16.4 long tons; 18.4 short tons)
Loco weight87 t (86 long tons; 96 short tons)
Prime moverEMD 645E
Engine typeV12 Two-stroke diesel
Loco brakeVacuum, Dynamic
Performance figures
Maximum speed90 km/h (56 mph)
Power output1,650 hp (1,230 kW)
Tractive effort(ù=0.3) 193 kN (43,000 lbf)
OperatorsSri Lanka Railways
Numbers783 to 798
First run1979
DispositionStill in service
Standard livery: green, red and yellow stripes

ICE livery: red and orange on loco numbers 785, 788, 797.

792 also was in ICE livery in the 1990s, now standard livery.

These locomotives were originally imported for use on flat terrain but they are very successful in upcountry line. Its flexicoil bogies and dynamic brakes allow it to perform well in the upcountry. Therefore, the M6 fleet is frequently used in upcountry line.


M6 locomotives are painted either in standard livery or the class' unique ICE (InterCity Express) livery. The standard livery features horizontal green, brown and yellow strips. The ICE livery is brown and orange, a livery that is only painted on locomotives 785, 788, 797. No. 792 used to be in ICE livery in the 1990s, but has since been repainted in standard livery.

Accidents and incidents

Loco numbers 793 and 798 were destroyed by terrorist attacks (793 was destroyed by a bomb blast between Puliyankulam-Vavniya on March 25, 1986; 798 was destroyed by a bomb blast at Thambalagamuwa on December 5, 1996). Loco number 786 was involved in the Yangalmodara level crossing accident.


    • Sri Lanka Diesel Locomotive Data Pages
    • Russell, Larry. "Sri Lanka". General Motors export locomotives. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
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