Heritage Great Britain, the body which operates one of Wales’ biggest tourist destinations – Snowdon Mountain Railway – has invested £1.1m in new hybrid diesel locomotives.
Merging greener technology with the historic landmark, the new locomotives developed by Clayton Equipment Ltd, will come into service in May in time for Snowdon’s busy summer season.
The locomotives will run alongside the traditional steam and diesel trains which will continue to carry passengers to the summit of Snowdon to enjoy views of the glorious Snowdonia National Park – one of the most scenic points in Britain.
The new locomotives reflect a commitment by Heritage Great Britain to reduce its carbon footprint without impacting on the tourist experience.
The new locomotives will be driven by maintenance-free electric motors which will be powered by traction battery and a diesel generator.
On their descent from the summit, the diesel generator will be switched off while service braking recharges the battery, preparing the engine for its next ascent.
The new diesel generator engines are Euro 5 standard and are much more fuel efficient and far lower in emissions than the existing diesel fleet.
Mike Robertshaw, Senior Engineering Manager at Snowdon Mountain Railway, said: “We are extremely proud of the development of our new hybrid diesel locomotives.
“This is a significant investment in new technology which will not only allow us to carry more passengers but also allow us to help the environment.
“This is just the beginning of further investment in Snowdon Mountain Railway as we make it sustainable for the years ahead. It’s an exciting time for us all.”
The Snowdon Mountain Railway was built between 1894 and 1896, a 14-month construction project carried out by just 150 men.
Since its launch the Snowdon Mountain Railway service has been popular with visitors from across the globe, being experienced by over 12 million people, and has run continuously with the exception of the two world wars.