Classic Buses Profiles


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Last updated 1 January 2017

These pictures from Sri Lanka were taken by Tom Singfield, a far better photographer than me (as a visit to my other Sri Lankan page will confirm!). They were taken in 2015 and show a typical overview of Lanka Ashok Leyland and Tata buses in service around Colombo and Kandy. Thanks very much to Tom for sending them, and I hope you enjoy the selection.

We start in the capital city, Colombo. Here is a Lanka Ashok Leyland Viking on Route 101 from Colombo Fort Railway Station, Pettah (as seen here) in the heart of the city, to Moratuwa on the coast near Mount Lavinia. The tiny letters 'WP' on the left of the licence plate indicate that it is registered in Western Province, Colombo's state.

Another Lanka Ashok Leyland Viking on Route 101 heading south from Pettah, passes Nawaloka Hospital on its way to Moratuwa. Lanka Ashok Leyland mostly imports Ashok chassis kits from India and assembles them in Colombo.

This well-worn bus claims to be an Ashok Leyland Viking (i.e. built in India, rather than Sri Lanka) and is on Route 145 from Matakkuliya bus station (north of the harbour area) to the meditation temple at Seema Malakaya beside Lake Beira in the south of the city. A previous temple sank into the lake, so a new one was built in the 1980s.

A Lanka Ashok Leyland Viking of Darshana Travels on the rather longer Route 100 to Panadura, south of Colombo. It is passing the Presidential Secretariat Building in Colombo Fort district, built by the British but not as old as it looks - it was only opened in 1930.

In the same location, this Waduge Super Line Lanka Ashok Leyland Viking has travelled even further - Route 32 from Galle, 80 miles south of Colombo. Registered in Galle's Southern Province ('SP') it has a Japanese Hino Turbo diesel engine and even wears a Hino badge on the front to prove it.

The Manju company runs this Southern Province Lanka Ashok Leyland Viking on Route 375 from Galle.

Here's something slightly different. This is a Lanka Ashok Leyland Viking operated by Sinha Regiment (1st Rifles) of the Sri Lankan Army, based at Ambepussa Camp, about half way between Colombo and Kandy.

Now we move inland to the wonderful city of Kandy. A rather battered Sri Lankan Transport Board Tata 1510 with a Ruby body is seen here. The 'KN' in the number on the top indicates that the bus is based at Kandy depot.

KN50 is another Kandy-based SLTB Tata 1510. It is passing Pizza Hut in D.S.Senanayake Veediya, Kandy city centre.

Another Tata 1510, but this time working for Nethmi Travels in Kandy, with a Central Province ('CP') licence plate. It is on Route 604 from Kandy's central bus station ("Good Shed" or "Goods Shed") to Bokkawala, a village about 8 miles north of the city.

This Central Province registered Tata 1510 has come into Kandy from Moragolla, 10 miles south east of the city. It is seen at Maligawa, near the famous Temple of the Tooth.

A Tata 1510 on the limited-stop Route 22 to Mahiyanganaya, 25 miles east of Kandy. Like the photo above, this bus is at Maligawa (but descending the hill) with the Temple complex in the background.

This Tata 1500 (also at Maligawa) is on Route 621 from Kandy to Manikhinna, a district east of the city..

A Tata 1510 of Chamara Travels in the same area. It has come in from Ampitiya on the south side of the Mahaweli Ganga River. The Temple of the Tooth (my wife keeps calling it "The Temple of the Tooth Fairy") is very revered in Kandy and an essential visit for tourists.

Also at Maligawa, with part of the Temple in the background, the sign in the window of this Tata 1510 says it's running in from Atulgama. That may be what is usually spelled Atulugama, a long way to the west towards Colombo. It looks rather 'short' for a 1510.

Again in Maligawa, Kandy, this Indica Motors Lanka Ashok Leyland Viking is operating a service to Digana, about 10 miles east of Kandy.

An older Rajitha Travels Tata 1210 in Kandy. More commonly a truck chassis, the Tata 1210 has a 3-litre, 4-cylinder diesel engine.

A Tata 1512c in Kandy, on Route 613 between Kandy and Karalliyadda, about 8 miles west on the edge of the Victoria Reservoir.
That's it, and thanks again to Tom for the fine photos.

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