Snowdon Mountain Railway has selected Clayton Equipment to deliver two battery-diesel hybrid locomotives.
The move is part of Snowdon Mountain Railway’s initiative to replace its existing diesel locomotives, which entered service more than three decades ago.
A traction battery and diesel generator will power the new 800mm gauge hybrid locomotives, which will be driven by high torque and maintenance-free electric motors.
Snowdon Mountain Railway, which operates steam and diesel vehicles up to the highest mountain in Wales, leverages the Abt rack and pinion system for traction and braking.
The diesel generator on the new locomotives will be turned off on the downhill runs. To generate power for the next ascent, the battery will be recharged using regenerative service braking.
The Euro Stage 5 compliant engines will be quieter compared to conventional diesel locomotives and produce lower emissions.
Snowdon Mountain Railway senior engineering manager Mike Robertshaw 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.”
The new locomotives accommodate up to 12 additional passengers per train, enabling Snowdon Mountain Railway to extend its existing service.
Clayton Equipment managing director Clive Hannaford 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.”