Two new hybrid locomotives have been delivered to Snowdon Mountain Railway in North Wales.
Manufactured by Clayton Equipment in Staffordshire, these eight-tonne battery-equipped locos will replace existing diesel locomotives and will be the first rack-and-pinion hybrid trains in the world.
Visitors have been travelling to Llanberis at the foot of Snowdon since 1896 to experience the five-mile rail line to the summit of the highest mountain in Wales and England. By acquiring these new hybrid locos, Snowdon Mountain Railway is taking steps to keep the famous tourist attraction accessible for many years to come and improve its sustainability.
Making an average of 750 journeys a year each, the updated locomotives will reduce emissions by up to 98 per cent compared with the diesels they replace.
Heritage Great Britain, the organisation operating the Snowdon Mountain Railway, will continue to operate traditional steam locomotives as part of its service.
Peter Johnson-Treherne, group finance director of Heritage Great Britain, said: “We’re delighted to bring innovative hybrid technology onto the famous slopes of Snowdon.
“2020 has obviously been a difficult period for everybody, especially those within the tourism sector, but we’re confident that this investment will keep us on the right tracks for the future.”
The new locomotives have been purchased with support from HSBC Equipment Finance UK. Its corporate relationship director, Jon Higginson, commented: “It’s not every day you get to be involved in a special project like this, so we’re delighted to play our part in ensuring the future of such an iconic national tourist attraction.
“Heritage Great Britain understands the importance of putting sustainability at the heart of its portfolio and, in due course, we look forward to seeing the new locos in action.”
Working in line with Covid-19 Welsh Government guidance, operations will begin again on 10 July 2020. Then, at the end of the month, new passenger pods will be delivered which will sit on the locomotive framework, where the open space is in the photos. This will allow up to 12 additional passengers to have the added excitement of travelling on the locomotive.