Home General Interest New hybrid locomotives arrive on the Snowdon Mountain Railway

New hybrid locomotives arrive on the Snowdon Mountain Railway

The Snowdon Mountain Railway, which has been carrying visitors up the five-mile line from Llanberis to the top of the highest mountain in Wales and England sin 1896, has taken steps to keep the national tourist attraction accessible for many years to come by improving its sustainability.

Two brand new Clayton Equipment hybrid diesel locomotives have arrived on the mountain from Staffordshire, purchased with seven-figure support from HSBC Equipment Finance UK. These eight-tonne battery equipped trains will replace existing diesel locomotives and will be the first mountain hybrid train in the world.

Making an average of 750 journeys a year each locomotive, the updated locomotives will reduce emissions by up to 98 per cent compared to the diesel locomotives.

Heritage Great Britain PLC, the organisation operating the Snowdon Mountain Railway, will continue to operate traditional steam locomotives as part of its service. Its group finance director Peter Johnson-Treherne 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.”

Jon Higginson, corporate relationship director for HSBC UK, added:

“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 to welcome back the public.

Nigel Wordsworth BSc(Hons) MCIJhttp://therailengineer.com

SPECIALIST AREAS Rolling stock, mechanical equipment, project reports, executive interviews


Nigel Wordsworth graduated with an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from Nottingham University, after which he joined the American aerospace and industrial fastener group SPS Technologies. After a short time at the research laboratories in Pennsylvania, USA, Nigel became responsible for applications engineering to industry in the UK and Western Europe. At this time he advised on various engineering projects, from Formula 1 to machine tools, including a particularly problematic area of bogie design for the HST.

A move to the power generation and offshore oil supply sector followed as Nigel became director of Entwistle-Sandiacre, a subsidiary of the Australian-owned group Aurora plc. At the same time, Nigel spent ten years as a Technical Commissioner with the RAC Motor Sports Association, responsible for drafting and enforcing technical regulations for national and international motor racing series.

Joining Rail Engineer in 2008, Nigel’s first assignment was a report on new three-dimensional mobile mapping and surveying equipment, swiftly followed by a look at vegetation control machinery. He continues to write on a variety of topics for most issues.

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