Padarn has been taking passengers up Snowdon, called in Welsh “Yr Wyddfa” since 1922.
To celebrate the occasion, the railway invited local schoolchildren from Ysgol Dolbadarn to ride in a heritage carriage hauled by Padarn. Many of the children were experiencing a ride on the railway for the very first time and thoroughly enjoyed the journey up the mountain as far as Clogwyn station, which is threequarters of the way to the summit.
The upper length of the line to the summit building, Hafod Eryri, is closed for 2022 for essential track work, but will re-open as normal for 2023
The railway opened in 1896, and Padarn was added to the fleet in 1922. Padarn is a coal-fired steam locomotive built by the Swiss Locomotive & Manufacturing Co. of Winterthur at a cost of £3,000 (equivalent to almost £200,000 today) and was a later addition to the railway.
It is thought that Padarn was a demonstrator locomotive for Winterhur and had been used on another railway in Switzerland before it arrived at Snowdon Mountain Railway.
The locomotive was originally called Sir Harmood, after the then chairman of Snowdon Mountain Railway, Sir John Sutherland Harmood-Banner, but was later renamed Padarn in 1928 after the lower lake in Llanberis, Llyn Padarn.
Vince Hughes, Commercial Manager at Snowdon Mountain Railway said: “The fact that this Swiss locomotive is still operational after 100 years of service can only make you appreciate how well the Victorians constructed them. Out of the seven original locomotives the railway purchased, three are still in operation today, that’s some impressive engineering to be celebrated.
“We were delighted to welcome the local school children to enjoy a trip on Padarn in its momentous 100th year of service.”
“Snowdon Mountain Railway is looking forward to the coming months with the anticipation of a busy summer season ahead.”