Appendix A to ‘Dyffryn Nantlle – a landscape of neglect’ (Alan Carr)


Nantlle Vale Quarry Steam Locomotives in Preservation


The following details update the list published in Appendix A of ‘Dyffryn Nantlle – a landscape of neglect’. This is the 5th version of the original list, which accounts for all the steam locomotive survivors and includes updated comments. The locos are listed in two groups – Table 1 shows the locos that have steamed in preservation and Table 2 includes the rest. The locos are listed chronologically. Future updates to this list will be published on my website 

                                                                                                                           Alan Carr  (March 2012)



Ex-Nantlle Vale quarry locomotives that have steamed in preservation.


LOCO                QUARRY              BUILDER (No.) / TYPE / BUILT    LOCATION (in 2012)


CHALONER         Pen-y-Bryn              De Winton / 0-4-0 VBT / 1877              Leighton Buzzard Railway


The only original vertical boiler loco to have been restored until PENDYFFRYN’s return in 2012. Built in Caernarfon for Pen-y-Bryn quarry who sold both their De Wintons to Pen-yr-Orsedd – CHALONER in 1888 and Rhymney (scrapped 1933) in 1892. One of about ten De Wintons owned by Pen-yr-Orsedd (PENDYFFRYN & GELLI are the other 2 survivors). One of the oldest working locos in the UK. Steams occasionally at Leighton Buzzard and makes occasional guest appearances elsewhere (including several visits in recent years to the Ffestiniog Railway).



LILLA                  Cilgywn                   Hunslet (554) / 0-4-0 ST / 1891             Ffestiniog Railway


Delivered new to Cilgwyn but bought by Penrhyn quarry in 1928. Bought out of private ownership by the F.R. in 1997 and placed in the care of the Lilla Locomotive Group. Helps to run shuttle trains at gala events and raises revenue towards her own upkeep with footplate experience runs, including the Minffordd Slate Shunt. Returned from a major overhaul in 2009 which included a new boiler & firebox. Will be steamed on both the FR and WHR in 2012.



PENDYFFRYN     Pen-yr-Orsedd         De Winton / 0-4-0 VBT / 1894              Brecon Mountain Railway


One of the last De Wintons. Bought from Pen-yr-Orsedd (where it probably hadn’t steamed since the late 1940s) in 1965. In Feb 2012 was being reassembled following a full restoration (including new boiler) at the BMR. Will be completed by the end of April, 2012, and with that assurance Pendyffryn is now included in Table 1.



BRITOMART        Pen-yr-Orsedd         Hunslet (707) / 0-4-0 ST / 1899             Ffestiniog Railway


The first of 3 quarry Hunslets to be acquired by Pen-yr-Orsedd (SYBIL and UNA being the others). Privately owned and Ffestiniog based. Returned in 2009 from a comprehensive overhall (including replacement firebox). Appears at special events for footplate experience runs and is booked for charters.



DOROTHEA         Dorothea                Hunslet (763) / 0-4-0 ST / 1901             Launceston Steam Railway


One of two Dorothea steam survivors – WENDY is the other. Last reported working in 1941. Was in a sad state when brought down from the Dorothea waste tip having been abandoned for almost 30yrs during which time her shed fell down around her! Restoration has now been completed at Launceston where she was steamed as a complete locomotive in Nov, 2011 . (Was privately steamed in late 2001 - her centenary year – using a boiler borrowed from Covertcoat.) Will be rostered for passenger trains in 2012,



SYBIL                 Pen-yr-Orsedd         Hunslet (827) / 0-4-0 ST / 1903             Brecon Mountain Railway


Worked with UNA and BRITOMART at Pen-yr-Orsedd. Used in the B.M.R.’s early days, but not powerful enough for current requirements. In March 2012 was being reassembled following a rebuild with a new boiler. Will be steamed at the BMR in 2012 (but not in service).

Table 1 / continued


LOCO                QUARRY              BUILDER (No.) / TYPE / BUILT    LOCATION (in 2012)


UNA                    Pen-yr-Orsedd         Hunslet (873) / 0-4-0 ST / 1905             Welsh Slate Museum


Worked at Pen-yr-Orsedd (with SYBIL & BRITOMART) until 1960. Following 10yr boiler inspection (March 2012) will continue to be in steam in the Slate Museum yard in the Padarn Country Park, Llanberis. (Had a trip on the adjacent Llanberis Lake Railway extension in 2004 and has had the occasional outing down the line with a demonstration slate train.) The star exhibit at the museum (where entry is now free).



WENDY               Dorothea                Bagnall (2091) / 0-4-0 ST / 1919           Burlesdon Brickworks


Ex Votty & Bowydd quarry (Blaenau Ffestiniog). Sold as scrap to Dorothea in 1930 – working there from 1935 – 1945. Named after the daughter of the Dorothea Managing Director. Now owned by Hampshire Narrow Gauge Railway Trust and restored to original condition. Extensive boiler work was carried out in 2011.  Wendy will be reassembled at Amberley in 2012 and then transferred to Bursledon Brickworks Industrial Museum (BBIM) where she will be the Bursledon Light Railway’s resident loco. She is expected back in steam by the middle of 2012.




Ex-Nantlle Vale quarry locomotives that have not yet steamed in preservation.


GELLI                 Pen-yr-Orsedd         De Winton / 0-4-0 VBT / 1893              Not on public display.


The frame. and wheelsets were discovered in one of the loco sheds at Pen-yr-Orsedd a few years ago. Now in private storage in Hampshire. A small amount of restoration has commenced.



JUBILEE 1897     Cilgywn                   Manning Wardle (1382) / 0-4-0 ST / 1897   

                                                                                                                  N.G. Museum, Talyllyn Railway

On display in ‘as used’ condition in the Narrow Gauge Museum, Towyn. There is no intention to restore her to working order, as this would involve making changes to the original loco which is against museum policy. A companion of LILLA at both Cilgwyn and Penrhyn quarries (Penrhyn bought both locos in 1928).



DIANA                 Pen-yr-Orsedd         Kerr Stuart (1158) / 0-4-0 T / 1917        Not on public display


Originally worked at the Oakley quarry (Blaenau Ffestiniog) and  sold to Pen-yr-Orsedd in 1945. Being patiently restored in South Wales by private owners who “will not skimp anything”. A new boiler has been fitted but there are still other parts to be made and in March 2012 there was no forecast of a completion date. When completed, Diana will run on the Bala Lake Railway.



A few other details which don’t fit into Tables 1 & 2 are worth recording in these notes.


The side tank from TAFFY, a Votty & Bowydd (Blaenau Ffestiniog), ex Fron, loco (a "sister" of the KELSO locos one of which was at Pen-yr-Orsedd) was salvaged from the upper Votty tips and is now at Gelert’s Farm, Welsh Highland Railway. One tank doesn’t make a loco so this Vulcan Foundry 0-4-0T isn’t regarded as a ‘survivor’.


At least two ex-Nantlle diesels survive

R/Hornsby (235711) appropriately named Pen-yr-Orsedd (worked at Pen-yr-Orsedd and was then sold to the contractors who were repairing the fire damage on the Menai Tubular Bridge in 1971). Was bought for the narrow gauge museum at Gloddfa Ganol (now closed) and is now at Devon Railway Centre where, in 2012, it is reported as potentially a runner but has no brakes! Scheduled for a full re-build in the next 2 years.


Lister (3916) supplied new to Tarmac Ltd (Wolverhampton) in 1931. Purchased by Dorothea in 1951 and in service there until 1968 (bought for £16 in the Dorothea auction!). Privately owned, fully restored and runs on the lime kiln railway on open days at Twyford Waterworks (near Winchester).