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Snowdon Mountain Railway orders battery-diesel locos

UK: Snowdon Mountain Railway has ordered two battery-diesel hybrid locomotives from Clayton Equipment Ltd, which specialises in the production of bespoke designs for specialist railway, metro, mining and tunnelling applications.

The 800 mm gauge railway runs steam and diesel locos up the highest mountain in Wales using the Abt rack and pinion system for traction and braking. The diesel generator on the new locos will be switched off on the downhill runs, with regenerative service braking used to recharge the battery to provide power for next ascent.

The hybrid package means the EU Stage V compliant engines can be less powerful than those on the existing locos, providing significant maintenance and fuel savings, quieter operation and lower emissions.

‘The existing diesel locomotives have been the backbone of Snowdon Mountain Railway since their introduction in 1985’, said the railway’s Senior Engineering Manager Mike Robertshaw when the order was announced on August 13. ‘Investing in these two new hybrid locomotives is a great opportunity for the railway to move the fleet forward into the next generation. The proposal offered by Clayton allows us to push Snowdon Mountain Railway into a new era of fuel efficiency, emission reductions and take a radical step forward for the business.’

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