LEGENDARY original Welsh Highland Railwayflagship Russell has returned
to the upper reaches of the route, 81 years on.
The Hunslet 2-6-2T, which dates from 1906 and whichis the only surviving locomotive from the original line, successfully completeda gauging and inspection run on November 25 from the Gelert’s Farm, Porthmadogbase of its owner the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway, over part of the WHR‘main line’ which it had not visited since 1937.
On that occasion, it ran northfor the last time to Dinas shed to be locked away when the line closed.
The run was made possible owing to the close working relationship between the WHHR and the separate Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways in preparation for Russell to appear at a special event on June 21-23 to celebrate WHR heritage.
That event will see Russell working between the replica 1920s WHR halt at Pen-y-Mount, to Pont Croesor and on to Hafod y Llyn.
It is not the first time that Russell has run over a reopened section of the WHR – in 2000 it ran from Caernarfon to Waunfawr.
The June event will give it the first opportunity for a longer run since it was restored in 2014, at a cost of more than £350,000, to as close as possible to its as-built condition.
Read more in Issue 249 of HR – on sale now!