2012, photo: James Petts.
|Baguley-Drewry & Boston Lodge
|16 ft 6 in
Criccieth Castle is a medium sized diesel locomotive in use on the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways. It is named bi-lingually, carrying the nameplates Criccieth Castle and Castell Criccieth on either side.
An 0-6-0DH, this locomotive was built at Boston Lodge using parts bought from Baguley-Drewry following that company's liquidation, although much was built new. It was an unfinished example of the batch of locos ordered for Mozambique then cancelled which caused the closure of Baguley-Drewry. Other examples were Harlech Castle and one each on the Brecon Mountain and Vale of Rheidol Railways. Experience with Harlech Castle had suggested that a similar locomotive would have potential as a passenger locomotive and the "in house" designed bodywork reflects the links between the two locos. Entering service in 1995, the loco sees regular service in the passenger fleet, and is fitted with advanced computer controls which enables the use of the Push Pull system. This allows the engine to remain at the top end of the train on "down" services, being driven from a cab in observation Carriage 111.
Initially Criccieth Castle was painted in an all-over unlined dark green, with the namplates covered up. After a while, a white band separating 2 tones of green became the livery to match the push pull set. It has now been repainted in a similar style but with single darker shade of green.
At the end of the 2010 season 'Cric' (as it is known to most users) suffered a problem with a loose crank pin on the driven centre wheelset. After rectification it returned to traffic in early July 2011.
The loco underwent overhaul in 2021, returning to traffic with a number of minor changes for example bonnet sides featuring more, smaller vents than before, and an altered livery, albeit in a similar style.
Approaching completion in Boston Lodge, 1995
On its first loaded test run at Minffordd, 1995
At Boston Lodge, 1997
Piloting Blanche at Archer Dam, 2002
At Boston Lodge with a relatively recent change in livery. 2007