Snowdon Mountain Railway is buying ‘greener’ hybrid trains

Snowdon Mountain Railway has purchased new hybrid locomotives which recharge traction batteries while descending to power the next ascent.

Snowdon Mountain Railway will introduce new hybrid diesel locomotives from May 2020, in time for the busy summer season.

Heritage Great Britain, the operator of Britain’s only rack railway, has invested £1.1 million to purchase the locomotives, which will run alongside the existing steam and diesel trains. The company has made a commitment to reducing their carbon footprint: “without impacting the hugely popular tourist experience.”

The new locomotives will be driven by “maintenance-free” electric motors, powered on the ascent by battery backed up with a ‘Euro 5 standard’ diesel generator – much more efficient and far lower in emissions than their existing diesel fleet.

When descending the mountain, the diesel generator will be switched off, while energy generated from braking recharges the battery, ready for the next ascent.

Mike Robertshaw, Senior Engineering Manager at Snowdon Mountain Railway, said in a statement: “We are extremely proud of the development of our new Hybrid Diesel Locomotives. This is a significant investment in new technology which will not only allow us to carry more passengers but also allow us to help the environment. This is just the beginning of further investment in Snowdon Mountain Railway as we make it sustainable for the years ahead.  It’s an exciting time for us all.”

The locomotives were purchased from Clayton Equipment Ltd and delivered only nine months from the order being placed.

Image by LeoRijnja from Pixabay

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