Sri Lanka Railways S8

Class S8 is a Diesel multiple unit (DMU) made by Hitachi and Hyundai, operated by Sri Lanka Railways. It was imported to Sri Lanka in 1991 and, according to the website Sri Lanka Railways Info Page, is "the best diesel multiple unit ever imported to Sri Lanka".[4]

Sri Lanka Railways S8
ReplacedClass S6, S7
Entered service1991[1]
Number built20[1]
Formation4 Passenger Compartments, including control unit, Engine Unit[2]
Fleet numbers821 ~ 840
Operator(s)Sri Lanka Railways
Depot(s)Power Coaches Shed
Line(s) servedMain Line
Kelani Valley Line
Puttalam Line
Coast Line
Car length65 ft (19.81 m)
Maximum speed88 km/h (55 mph)
Weight70 t (69 long tons; 77 short tons)
Prime mover(s)MTU 12V396TCI13[3]
Engine typeV12 diesel
Power output1,430 hp (1,070 kW)
Braking system(s)Air
Coupling systemAutomatic (dual)
Multiple workingYes
Track gauge1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)


This was introduced after 12 years which the last DMU, S7 was imported. 20 train-sets were ordered in order to strengthen the DMU fleet of SLR.


Due to high power of the engine, this has a higher acceleration rate and also this DMUs can be used for multiple unit working. Multiple S8 units are used in peak hours. These are mostly used in short distance services. And also majority of services in Kelani Valley Line is carried out by this DMUs. Operation lines are;

Passenger accommodation

It has four passenger compartments, including dummy control unit. There are no vestibules between the compartments, giving it better ability to run through sharp curves, such as those on the Kelani Valley Line.


Almost all units are in service, as none have been withdrawn, but the class has faced many accidents.[1]


In 1991, a service train and a S8 DMU collided together, and the Dummy Unit of DMU was destroyed. In 1998 due to a derailment another Dummy Unit of a S8 DMU was destroyed[5]


  1. "Class S8". Sri Lanka Railways Info Page. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  3. "Class S8". SL Rail Wiki. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  4. "Class S8 | Sri Lanka Railways Info Page". Retrieved 2013-03-16.
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