The International Steam Pages

LCGB Sri Lanka Tour January 2015, Part 2

For a second report (from Chris Cairns) with more detail and completely different pictures, click here.

Robin Patrick writes:

The Locomotive Club of Great Britain Overseas Study Tour to Sri Lanka 15/01 - 25/01 using the 'Viceroy Special' train with steam operation using the railways now three operational steam locomotives:

B2b 213 4-6-0TT built by Vulcan Foundry in 1922 and only just returned to service this month after overhaul and is of course a Tender Tank locomotive.
B1a 251 4-6-0 Sir Thomas Maitland 4-6-0 built by Beyer Peacock in 1928.
B1d 340 4-6-0 Frederick North built by R Stephenson in 1944.

The train tour started at Colombo and ran to Anuradhapura the first day, then to Jaffna and Kankesanthural being the first steam operation for very many years.(My 'Those were the days' page shows active steam in Jaffna in 1976, but it will not have lasted much longer. RD) The route north of Vavuniya is all newly laid track as this whole area was in the hands of the Terrorist Group The Tamil Tigers for thirty years and during the civil war which ended in 2009 the railway line had been destroyed. Locomotive 340 worked the train to Jaffna and the destination of Kankesanthurai north tip of Sri Lanka still a restricted Military Zone and obviously a lot of people had never seen a steam locomotive before. The train returned south visiting Trincomalee and then Batticaloa another area held by the Tamil Tigers for many years, before returning to Colombo, the final stage hauled by 213.

251 departing Veyangoda whilst working Colombo - Maho 16/01

251 and 340 at Maho whilst changing locomotives 16/01.

340 makes a smokey departure from Maho 16/01.

340 departing Maho 16/01.

340 on turntable at Palai, returning from Jaffna 18/01.

340 at Kilinochchi during servicing 18/01.

213 at Tambuttegama drawing into loop to cross northbound express 19/01 with driver about to hand single line token to Station Master.

213 comes off river bridge near Galgamuwa 19/01.

PW work on Maho Junction shed in front of 340 and 213 19/01.

340 departing Maho for Habarana 19/01.

340 departing Goloya Junction for Trincomalee 20/01.

340 at Kalkuda en-route Batticaloa 21/01.

Fires from 340 returning from Batticaloa 22/01.

Head and Assistant Guards at Welikanda 22/01.

213 taking water at Kurunegala from fire engine on final leg from Maho to Colombo 23/01.

Rob Dickinson