This film is part of Free

To Build an Island's Future

Through blazing sun and monsoon rain new British built diesel locomotives keep communications open on the far off island of Ceylon.

Promotional 1954 7 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Media Archive for Central England


Sri Lanka's rail network was built by the British in the second half of the 19th century. When this film was made in 1954 the island was still known as Ceylon and its railways were making the transition from steam to diesel. Brush Bagnall Traction Ltd of Loughborough made this promotional film to celebrate the delivery of the first main line diesel locomotives to the island. Designed for the testing monsoon conditions these locomotives ran on into the 1980s.