From Festipedia, hosted by the FR Heritage Group
Shortly after arrival at Gelert's Farm
Home Railway Leighton Buzzard Railway
Original Railway Sydenham Ironstone quarries
Status In service
Built by Andrew Barclay & Son
Built 1918
Wheel Arrangement 0-6-0T

Gertrude is a steam locomotive formerly operating on the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway.

Brief history[edit]

Purchase of the loco was to facilitate the expansion of the Sydenham Ironstone quarries near Banbury in Oxfordshire. The second of three identical locos purchased, it was named for Gertrude Owen, daughter of the quarry Manager. The others were 'Winifred' - No.1424 of 1915, and ‘The Doll’ - No.1641 of 1919. All three 0-6-0 tanks were built specifically for use in the quarry. Following the first war and the Depression, output was concentrated on another site to the north-west of Banbury. Sydenham Quarry was closed in June 1925 and the locos were transferred to Bilston where 'Gertrude' and ‘The Doll’ worked until they were withdrawn in 1959. It is thought that ‘Winifred’ was disposed of, most likely ‘recycled’, by 1939, as it was in the worse condition of the three.

Gertrude was in the yard behind a garage at Chipping Norton between 1960 and at least late 1963 and was at Kinnerley in Shropshire – (WHRL initial base) 1963 - 1970s. It later passed to Peter Westmacott and was moved to Devon in about 2006 for restoration.

Gertrude came to the WHHR in 2010 on hire from Exmoor Transport, who had recently completed an extensive restoration of the locomotive, which had been out of service since withdrawal in 1959. The agreement to bring it to Wales for 2010 was to allow it to be in steam for a minimum of 30 days, allowing it to share duties with resident Bagnall, Gelert.

Before appearing at the Welsh Highland Railway, Gertrude was be in operation at the Statfold Barn Railway Open Day near Tamworth on 27th March 2010. Gertrude arrived in Porthmadog over Easter, and entered service over the gala weekend on 1st – 3rd May.

Gertrude stayed on for the 2011 season. On 25 June, it assisted WHHR resident loco Gelert in a series of braking trials on the Welsh Highland Railway.

On Sunday 13th November 2011, Gertrude became the first Gelert's Farm-based locomotive to travel over F&WHR metals from Pen y Mount Junction to the Cob as she travelled over Britannia Bridge en route from Gelert's Farm to Boston Lodge. The trip was to facilitate Gertrude's outward journey to the Warley Model Railway Exhibition at Birmingham's NEC with concerns over heavy transport access to Gelert's Farm following the completion of the Porthmadog bypass road. The loco was towed by F&WHR diesel Criccieth Castle. Gertrude's return was done in a similar manner however with Mallet Jatibarang No.9 pulling Gertrude back to Pen-Y-Mount.

She left Gelert's Farm on the 24th of February 2019, moving to Leighton Buzzard via Minfordd on the FR.

Outline details[edit]

Gertrude at Porthmadog, with an Arriva Trains Wales passing in background

  • Constructed: 1918
  • Builder: Andrew Barclay & Son
  • Build Date: 1918
  • Construction No.: 1578
  • Empty Weight: 8.5 tons
  • Weight on Drivers: 8.5 tons
  • Driver Diameter: 26
  • Tractive Effort: 4573 lb at 75% Boiler Pressure
  • Boiler Pressure: 160
  • Cylinders: 7x14
  • Fuel: Coal
  • Coupling: Link and pin
  • Gauge: 2ft

See also[edit]

External Links[edit]