The International Steam Pages

Steam in Sri Lanka, 2006

This report comes from Robin Patrick.

In March this year I went to Sri Lanka with Railway Touring Company and here is a brief up-date.

It seems as if only two steam locomotives are available on broad gauge 340 & 251 with 251 being the better of the two locomotives. The condition of the track is a problem with many speed restrictions, the diesel locomotive of a passenger train which passed us at a place called Hatton became derailed in section which meant our train then had to be terminated for the day. Diesel assistance at the rear is the instruction for steam trains on the mountain sections. We did reach Trincomalee with 251, but returned tender first as to turn locomotive the engine and tender would have to be turned separately.

At Dematagoda Shed, Colombo on the 2ft 6in gauge one of tank locomotives 220 was steamed, possibly for the last time with water and steam coming from many locations, it was pushed out of the shed with a JCB and returned same way. The steam railcar 331 ran up and down on its short length of track within shed confines - a great shame.

340 between Badulla & Nana Oya

251 between Maho Jnc & Colombo


Dematagoda Shed with 2ft 6in gauge tank 220 & steam railcar 331

Steam railcar 331

Rob Dickinson