From Festipedia, hosted by the FR Heritage Group
Type Quarry Hunslet
Home Railway FR
Original Railway Pen-yr-orsedd Quarry
Status In Service
Built by Hunslet Engine Co.
Built 1899
1966 Entered FR service
Wheel Arrangement 0-4-0ST
Length 13 ft 10 in
Fuel Coal

Britomart is a privately owned quarry Hunslet resident on the FR.


1899-1966: Pen-yr-Orsedd Quarry to FR[edit]

This 0-4-0ST quarry engine was built by the Hunslet Engine Company, Leeds in 1899 (works No.707) for Pen-yr-Orsedd Quarry, in the Nantlle Vale. She was named after a character in The Faerie Queen (an epic poem by Edmund Spenser published in 1596) as is demonstrated by the fact that another locomotive in the quarry was named "Una" - a second character in the same work.[1] She was bought in 1965 for preservation by a private consortium of FR workers and volunteers arriving on the FR on 5th June, and was first steamed on the FR in July 1966. Its blue livery is based on that of the former Great Northern Railway of Ireland. The original owners on the FR were Steve Coulson, Bob Harris, Tom Baskcomb, Roger Goss and Anthony Massau.

1974-2007: Guest player at various locations[edit]

Britomart visited Dublin in 1974, courtesy of Sealink, to publicise the Great Little Trains of Wales in the annual St Patrick's Day Parade. It visited the Leighton Buzzard Railway during September and October 1986 and the WHRL in 1990.

In 2007 a major overhaul and repairs, including the fitting of a new inner firebox, was completed. Britomart visited the WHR(C) for the first time when it attended the "Join In" Weekend on 8-9 September 2007.

2009: Spark arrestor and new ejector[edit]

In February 2009 Britomart probably became the first Quarry Hunslet to be fitted with a very effective Master Mechanics spark arrestor allowing it to be used in drier weather. A small ejector was also fitted for uphill running, reducing the demand on the boiler and tank compared to the one fitted in 1982 (the same size as Prince's!). There aren't many occasions for making enough vacuum for 11 carriages with a Quarry Hunslet, but it is useful sometimes!

2010-present: more guest plays between repairs[edit]

In 2010, it visited Hollycombe for their railway weekend and attended an open day at Tyseley with Lilla on 26-27 June.

Also in 2010 it had some mechanical work done, including new piston rings (possibly replacing ones fitted in 1936!). Axleboxes whitemetalled, horn faces surface ground and squared up. Due to whitemetal bearings, under feed lubrication has been fitted. The journals were also skimmed.

Britomart visited the Statfold Barn Railway on 4 June 2011 and travelled with Lilla to Dinas Junction on the WHR in connection with Superpower Weekend in September 2011.

Principal stated dimensions[edit]

Cylinders 7" x 10"
Nominal wheel diameter 1' 8"
Boiler pressure 160 psi
Major overhauls 1966


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Thomas, Cliff S (2001). Quarry Hunslets of North Wales: The Great (Little) Survivors. Usk: Oakwood Press. ISBN 0-853615-75-6. OCLC 48194491.