Steam locomotive 303 set for Welsh Highland Railway visit in 2019

War Department 303
Credit: Declan Hargreaves

The Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways have announced that steam locomotive No.303 will be visiting them in 2019.

The visit of 303 will be part of the Past, Present and Future event for the Welsh Highland Railway which will also see ‘Russell’ visit too.

303s visit is thanks to the War Office Locomotive Trust. 155 engines were built by Hunslet for the war effort in just 3 years.

After the war, these locomotives saw use all over the world, a few were used in the UK, unfortunately, none survive to this day.

Following the repatriation of locomotive No1215 from Australia, the War Office Locomotive Trust team have rebuilt the locomotive including building a new boiler.

What did the officials say?

Ian Hughes of the War office locomotive trust comments:

“The War Office Locomotive Trust are delighted to be invited to take part in the event, and even better that 303 can run alongside its close relative Russell, a visit to Porthmadog closes off some unfinished business from last year when delays in the final stages of 303’s restoration meant we missed the Hunslet 125 event.”

Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways General Manager, Paul Lewin, comments:

“This will be THE narrow gauge event of the year. 2019 is looking like being an epic year for the Welsh Highland Railway, twenty-one years on from the first trains running out of Caernarfon. Not only will we see the opening of two new stations, we will also enjoy visiting locos that will go a long way toward recreating so many Welsh Highland heritage scenes of years gone by – and some fascinating additional visitors too.”

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