Sri Lanka Railways M8

Sri Lanka Railways Class M8 is a class of Sri Lankan diesel-electric locomotive that was developed by Diesel Locomotive Works at Varanasi, India,[2] in 1996. This class of locomotives was fitted with 2,800 hp (2,100 kW) V16 power units. This is used on both passenger and freight trains on Sri Lanka Railways. Currently this is the most powerful locomotive in Sri Lanka.[1]

Class M8
Class M8 No. 846
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel
BuilderDiesel Locomotive Works
ModelM8 (WDM-2), M8A(?)
Build date1995-2001
Total producedM8(8), M8A (2)
Gauge1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)
Wheel diameter1,092 mm (3 ft 7 in)
Wheelbase12.834 m (42 ft 1 14 in)
Length17.12 m (56 ft 2 in)
Width2.864 m (9 ft 4 34 in)
Height4.185 m (13 ft 8 34 in)
Axle load18,800 kg (41,400 lb)
Loco weight112,800 kg (248,700 lb)
Fuel capacity5,000 l (1,100 imp gal; 1,300 US gal)
Prime moverALCO 251-B
RPM range400 - 1000 rpm
Engine typeM8 V16 diesel
M8A V12 diesel
CylindersM8 (16), M8A (12)
Cylinder sizeM8 228 mm × 266 mm (8.98 in × 10.47 in)
Train brakesAir, Vacuum
Performance figures
Maximum speed120 km/h (75 mph)
Power outputM8(2,800 hp (2,100 kW))
M8A(2,200 hp (1,600 kW))
Factor of adh.0.27
OperatorsSri Lanka Railways
NumbersM8 (841-848), M8A(877,878)[1]
LocaleSri Lanka
DeliveredM8 (1996), M8A (2001)
Current ownerSri Lanka Railways


This locomotive is capable of hauling 20 carriages at once but usually not used to haul more than 18 carriages. Major problems that are seen in this class are maintenance difficulties and corrosion.[1]

Sub classes


Left:Class M8A, Right:Class M8

Two (877 & 878) short truck M8A locomotives were delivered in 2001. They were imported to use on Up country main line, but it was impossible to run them due to their wheel design. M8A locomotives were built using 2,200 hp (1,600 kW) V12 power units.

Current operation

M8 and M8A are not used on the Main Line above Nawalapitiya and on the Kelani Valley Line but are operated on other lines. This locomotive is used when it need to pull much heavy load. Mainly used in flat lines like Northern Line, Trincomalee Line, Batticaloa Line and Coastal Line.

Depot for the M8s is Diesel Electric Locomotive Shed at Maradana.

Accidents and incidents

See also

Notes and references

  • Hyatt, David. Railways of Sri Lanka.
  1. "Class M8". Sri Lanka Railways Info Page. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  2. "Mainline Diesel-Electrics". Model Railroad Club of Sri Lanka. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
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