The prototype was an 0-6-4ST built by Hunslet in 1878 as works number 206 for the North Wales Narrow Gauge Railway, the forerunner of the Welsh Highland. It ran until it was withdrawn in 1906 and was scrapped.
Our BEDDGELERT is a half scale model of the original, built in 1979 as works number 1279 when it left the workshops of David Curwen in Devizes. Finished in NWNGR maroon livery and lined in black it was destined for the ill-fated Reseau Guerledan Railway in Brittany and named after its builder DAVID CURWEN. Sadly, the line closed before the loco was delivered and it was diverted into storage at Milner Engineering in Chester. The loco’s 18 inches diameter boiler has some 41 tubes and the cylinders are 6 inches diameter. Working pressure is 120psi. A 250 gallons water tank is fitted and the loco is fitted with Stephenson link valve gear. 14 inches diameter driving wheels and 8 inches diameter trailing wheels make up the 0-6-4 wheel arrangement.
In February 1984 the loco was delivered to Fairbourne. Here it was re-named BEDDGELERT and numbered 2 and the engine entered service here at Fairbourne in 1986, where it quickly proved to be a favourite with the drivers and the public. In 2002, Beddgelert was withdrawn for overhaul emerging in a new black livery with red lining on its return to service in 2004. By the 2007 season, Beddgelert was ready for another overhaul and was relegated to spare engine status while awaiting its turn in the workshops. By 2008, the overhaul was due and Beddgelert was duly taken out of service for work to begin. The loco was dismantled for inspection when the railway was plunged into a crisis. Following the death of Tony Atkinson, the financial problems that beset the railway precluded any further work on BEDDGELERT and the loco remained in the workshops in limbo.
In 2013, we opened our new museum and the decision was taken to cosmetically rebuild BEDDGELERT as the centre-piece of the displays. This brought the loco back into the public eye and a new role on the railway. In 2018, we started an appeal for funds to restore Beddgelert to steam and in June of that year the loco left the museum to visit the Ffestiniog Railway as a static exhibit at the Hunslet 125 Gala. Our loco was displayed at Minffordd but did make one sortie onto Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland metals, albeit on a flat wagon! BEDDGELERT was taken to Beddgelert station on the WHR for a photo opportunity.
Since then, the loco has been moved to the workshops for inspection and has appeared as a static exhibit at our 2021 Gala.
fundraising is to be continued with a view to restoring this unique locomotive to steam. BEDDGELERT has languished for fourteen years out of service so let’s make a concerted effort to bring this much-loved engine back to life.
One of The Great Little Trains of Wales
Fairbourne Steam Railway Limited is the trading subsidiary of The North Wales Coast Light Railway Limited
Registered Charity Number 1127261 Registered in England and Wales
YOU CAN DONATE TO THE BEDDGELERT APPEAL HERE
(NO PAYPAL ACCOUNT NEEDED)
Or Download the Appeal Leaflet to donate by Cheque or Standing Order
OR DOWNLOAD THE APPEAL LEAFLET TO DONATE BY CHEQUE OR STANDING ORDER