Richmond Light Railway and the Ffestiniog Railway Company are delighted to announce a plan to ensure the best possible future for historic Quarry Hunslet locomotive Nesta No 704 built in 1899.

This locomotive was seen as the one that would probably never return, having spent a long time in Puerto Rico where many years in the weather have taken their toll.

Recently the loco has been cared for by the team at the Bala Lake Railway where is has been displayed unrestored in their museum.

Richmond Light Railway have recently acquired the locomotive and have formed outline plans for conservation work.

The aim is to return the locomotive to operable condition whilst taking great care to conserve as much of the original as possible. Mindful of the locos original home at Bethesda in North Wales the decision has been made to work with the Ffestiniog Railway team at Boston Lodge in the coming years.

Initially the locomotive will be transferred to the Ffestiniog and should once more be on display to the public in its unrestored state. It will form part of the new display for the behind-the-scenes tours which are scheduled to commence this summer. Visitors will be able to see and discuss the work on the engine from the earliest steps through to completion.

Physical work on the locomotive is unlikely to commence until the end of 2024 once a full conservation and repair plan has been drawn up.

Regular updates are expected to be provided via multiple channels as the project develops. Once complete it is expected that the loco will make regular visits from its new home railway and North Wales.

Paul Lewin, Ff&WHR General Manager comments:

“Through the Great Little Trains of Wales there is an incredible spirit of cooperation and support. Wales always has been, and is now increasingly the place to visit if you are interested narrow gauge railways. Ffestiniog, Talyllyn, Rheidol and Bala are all working hard to bring new ways to connect visitors to the railways. Working with the team at the Richmond Light Railway on Nesta is just one small part of a most compelling offer. We hope that visitors will enjoy watching and riding on the trains and now getting closer to the conservation process.”