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Home Railway WHHR
Original Railway Rustenburg Platinum Mines
Status In Service
Built by Bagnall
Built 1953
1982 Arrived on WHHR
1990-1992 Restored
2003 Overhauled
2018 Overhauled
Wheel Arrangement 0-4-2T
Fuel Coal

Stanier Hooter/ Bell Whistle/

5-chime Whistle

Gelert is an attractive 0-4-2T built in 1953 by Bagnall for the Rustenberg Platinum Mines in South Africa (Builder's number 3050).


Gelert was built in 1953 by Bagnall for the Rustenberg Platinum Mines in South Africa.

It was the last of four Bagnalls ordered by the mines during the period 1948 - 1953. It was not named whilst working at Rustenberg, but was given the number 4. Its sister engines are all preserved:

  • No. 1 in Johannesburg, South Africa
  • No. 2 at Loxhill in Surrey
  • No. 3 was also on the Welsh Highland Railway(P), awaiting restoration. It was sold, restored to working order at Boston Lodge, then moved to the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway in Devon. It now resides at the Statfold Barn Railway near Tamworth. It is named Isaac.

The Rustenberg Platinum Mine is a very large complex about 100 miles north-west of Johannesburg. A 2ft gauge railway was built to serve the various shafts and to carry the platinum ore about 10 miles to the reduction plant at Waterval. By March 1981, the 2ft gauge track had been replaced by standard Cape Gauge (3’6”).

This locomotive and its sister, No. 3 (works no. 3023), were first sought in the early ‘70s, but the Arab - Israeli War with its consequent world oil shortage gave them a new lease of life in the mines. In 1980 they again became available and the purchase was completed.

Both locomotives arrived in Porthmadog in April 1982, but serious work on restoring what was to become 'Gelert' did not begin until 1990. Restoration was completed in 1992, the locomotive receiving its name and entering service in August of that year.

A ten-year major overhaul was undertaken from late 2002, returning in May 2003. The frames had major repairs, undoing some problems that had been introduced at a much earlier off-site overhaul. The boiler also received heavy repairs. Some rebuilding of the bodywork was also undertaken.

Shortly afterwards, it spent a few days at Dinas on the WHR(C), giving cab rides as part of Super Power Weekend on 11-12 September 2004.

On 25 June 2011, Gelert assisted Gertrude‎ in a series of braking trials on the Welsh Highland Railway.

After the boiler certificate expired, it was stored out of traffic at Gelert's Farm Works, awaiting an overhaul for a time whilst a new welded boiler was under construction by Israel Newton & Sons Ltd in Cromford, Derbyshire. It then went to the Statfold Barn Railway for overhaul.

Gelert returned to the WHHR in April 2018, before returning to service she received additional work.

The unusual Bagnall Price valve gear of these locomotives is described in Journal 121.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

  • [1] WHHR site page