Diesel hybrid locomotives are coming to the Snowdon Mountain Railway

SMR No 3 'Enid' takes the 09.30 'Mountain Goat' Heritage Steam service up to the summit on a rare clear-as-a-bell day in North Wales. Saturday 14th May 2016
Credit: Mike Spencer

Snowdon Mountain Railway has announced it has begun a programme of replacement for its existing diesel locomotives which began service in 1985.

The 123-year-old railway began looking into replacement locomotives five years ago, after extensive market research and specification development, Clayton Equipment Limited has been chosen as the preferred supplier.

Clayton Equipment Limited is a UK based Locomotive manufacturer specialising in bespoke hybrid battery-diesel locomotives.

The two new locomotives will be commissioned and ready for service for the start of the railways 2020 season in spring next year.

The new 800mm gauge hybrid locomotives will be driven by High Torque, maintenance-free electric motors, and powered by traction battery and diesel generator.

On the descent from the summit, the diesel generator will be switched off whilst service braking recharges the battery ready for the locomotives next accent.

What did the officials say?

Mike Robertshaw, Senior Engineering Manager at Snowdon Mountain Railway said:

“The existing diesel Locomotives have been the backbone of Snowdon Mountain Railway since their introduction in 1985. Investing in these two new hybrid locomotives is a great opportunity for the railway to move the fleet forward into the next generation.

The proposal offered by Clayton allows us to push Snowdon Mountain Railway into a new era of fuel efficiency, emission reductions and take a radical step forward for the business.”

Clive Hannaford, Managing Director at Clayton Equipment Ltd said:

“We’re proud to support the Snowdon Mountain Railway with the introduction of the new locomotives.

The locomotives are the first of its type designed and built in the UK for over 27 years.”

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