Latest Hunslet 125 visitor announced… Beddgelert to Beddgelert!

June 14th 2018

The Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways are delighted to announce the return of a long-lost locomotive as its latest visitor to the Hunslet 125 event over 22nd to 24th June. This legendary Hunslet 0-6-4ST NWNGR locomotive will travel to the beautiful Beddgelert station for the first time!

Of course, as the original ‘Beddgelert’ has long since passed to the ‘engine shed in the sky’, our visitor will be the impressive half-size locomotive built, following the original design, by David Curwen in the 1970’s and now resident on the Fairbourne Steam Railway. ‘Beddgelert’ is currently out of traffic pending the overhaul and boiler work needed to bring it back into operation on the Welsh narrow gauge. On both Friday and Saturday, it will be on display in Minffordd Yard which is the hub of Hunslet 125 event.

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‘Beddgelert’ will form part of a very special mixed train on Sunday 24th June from Porthmadog to Beddgelert through the spectacular scenery of the Glaslyn estuary and the Aberglaslyn Pass. There will be an opportunity for photographs at Beddgelert station with the locomotive, and to learn more about its planned overhaul and return to service on the scenic Fairbourne line.  The train departs from Porthmadog Harbour station at 1245.Seats are strictly limited for this train so a reservation will be required in addition to a valid rover ticket. The cost of this reservation is £5 which will be donated to the Beddgelert restoration fund. Tel 01766 516024 to book your space.

The announcement of ‘Beddgelert’s visit means that there will now be a total of 14 large Hunslet locomotives travelling to this landmark event, with up to 18 Hunslets in steam on the 2 foot gauge across the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways network along with many more miniature and model and static examples, and support from the Company’s regular steam fleet. A truly unique narrow gauge festival of steam!

“Taking ‘our’ Beddgelert to Beddgelert for the first time was too good an opportunity to miss, considering the links of the original locomotive to the Welsh Highland, and there is no better time to do it than as part of this memorable Hunslet 125 event.” Fairbourne Steam Railway General Manager Murray Dods commented.

Paul Lewin, Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways General Manager said “We are absolutely thrilled to welcome ‘Beddgelert’ to the F&WHR… and that’s not something I thought I would say in my lifetime. As well as providing some quirky photographic opportunities, we love the fact that we’re able to help the Fairbourne raise funds for ‘Beddgelert’s much-needed overhaul.”

‘Beddgelert’ currently needs £35,000 to steam again. Details at www.fairbournerailway.com

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The Hunslet 125 weekend promises to be THE narrow gauge event of the year with a packed timetable of passenger and freight working on the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways utilising the home fleet and visitors, and a real centre of interest in the historic Minffordd Yard.

Further details here.

Tickets available here.

Accommodation is known to be limited now in the immediate vicinity of Porthmadog but there are still rooms and properties available within easy reach of the event. Advice can be sought from North Wales Tourism, www.gonorthwales.co.uk, if required. Early morning and evening trains also mean that those staying on the North Wales coast and along the F&WHR will still be able to join in the fun.