£1.1 million ‘greener’ hybrid locomotives unveiled at Snowdon Mountain Railway as attraction opens for 2020 season

The world’s first rack and pinion hybrid locomotives join the fleet at Wales most popular visitor attraction as it reopens following Covid-19 lockdown

Snowdon Mountain Railway will begin welcoming visitors back this week as the mountain and the railway opens to the public following the three-month lockdown. With the Snowdonia National Park now fully open, trains will begin running again this Friday 10 July with significant new Covid-19 measures in place.

The 2020 season sees the world’s first rack and pinion hybrid locomotives joining the existing fleet. The railway took delivery of two new hybrid locomotives in June and are currently commissioning them ready to enter service in July as replacements for two of the existing Hunslet Diesel locomotives. Both locomotives have already been named and the railway is holding a competition to see who can guess either names before they are revealed later in the month.

The new £1.1 million greener locomotives, developed by Clayton Equipment Ltd, are driven by maintenance free electric motors which are powered by a traction battery and a diesel generator. Heritage Great Britain PLC, who operate the landmark destination, say the investment in the new technology follows a commitment to reduce its carbon footprint and improve the sustainability of the experience at the stunning Snowdonia National Park.

The SMR Senior Engineering Manager Mike Robertshaw said;

“This is an exciting time for SMR as the world’s first rack and pinion hybrid locomotives join our existing fleet. Since opening in 1896 the railway has evolved over the decades, first there were steam trains, then came the diesel trains, now we are moving towards a more sustainable future with our greener hybrid locomotives. I believe that these locomotives will ensure the longevity of SMR and enable future generations to enjoy the beauty of Snowdon.”

At the end of the month new passenger pods will be delivered which will sit on the locomotive framework. This will allow up to 12 additional passengers to travel per trip with the added excitement of travelling on the locomotive.

Snowdon Mountain Railway is looking forward to the coming months with the anticipation of a busy trading season ahead.