The Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway has announced that it is welcoming Hunslet ‘Russell’ back to the railway in 2022!
The Centenary Celebrations for the Welsh Highland Railway begin this year, and the event, taking place on the 30th and 31st July, will see Russell operating heritage trains between Dinas and Rhyd Ddu, a preservation-first.
Last time Russell operated on the Welsh Highland Railway was in 2019, though the locomotive operated between Pen-y-mount Junction and Beddgelert.
Russell will visit the Welsh Highland Railway thanks to the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway, which is based in Porthmadog, and operates to Pen-y-mount Junction.
Tickets will go on sale later this month.
Mark Seale, who is co-ordinating on behalf of the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway says: “As custodians of flagship narrow gauge steam locomotive ‘Russell’, built by the Hunslet Locomotive Company in 1906, the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway is constantly committed to ensuring that it is maintained in the best condition possible. The recent work undertaken by our small mechanical engineering team on its valve gear and timing will now ensure that narrow gauge railway enthusiasts will be able to enjoy seeing it performing at its best for many years to come.”
Graham Farr, the Chairman of the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway adds: “We are delighted to confirm that it is intended that, subject to final testing, Russell will participate in the WHR 100 event from Dinas on 30th-31st July 2022. It will be accompanied by our heritage train including the original Buffet Car and Gladstone Car, alongside the replica Ashbury corridor and newly-built Pickering Brake carriages.”
Paul Lewin, Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways General Manager, says: “We have really enjoyed working with the team at the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway on the preparations for this event. Their volunteers have done a sterling job to get the locomotive ready, and of course we are all looking forward to sharing the pleasure of seeing Russell in action with our many supporters and friends.”