Harlech Castle

From Festipedia, hosted by the FR Heritage Group
Home Railway FR
Status In service
Built by Baguley-Drewry
Built 1983
Wheel Arrangement 0-6-0DH
Length 16 ft 6 in
Fuel Diesel

Harlech Castle is medium sized diesel locomotive that forms part of the Ffestinog Railway's Infrastructure Department locomotive fleet.


This 0-6-0DH locomotive (Builder's number 3767 of 1983) was built by Baguley-Drewry of Burton-on-Trent, for an order from Mozambique which was subsequently cancelled. INA (as Harlech Castle is sometimes known) acquired her nickname from the Mozambique company's Instituto Nacional do Acucar (National Sugar Institute) initials on her cab side.

The locomotive did trials on the Ffestiniog Railway in 1985 but was found to be too large to fit within the loading gauge. Subsequently, the company purchased her in 1988 from the Bredgar & Wormshill Light Railway in Kent in part exchange for The Peckett[1] . She was altered at Boston Lodge with funding from the INCA Programme, with a repositioned and differently-profiled cab and a replacement transmission. Fitted with RAF waggon couplings and no vacuum brakes, she went into service in 1990[2] with the Permanent Way Department. Her 180hp CAT engine, fully enclosed cab and seats make a nice change from other works engines. She has a HARLECH CASTLE nameplate on one side and CASTELL HARLECH on the other. These plates had been made in 1986[3] with the intention of renaming Upnor Castle but that plan was later cancelled and the plates given to the new locomotive instead[4].

In 2009 she suffered from a series of failures and entered Boston Lodge Works for a major overhaul in August. This has included re-profiling the wheels and the fitting of a new gear box.

During the winter of 2011, Harlech's electrics were rewired due to a series of failures over the previous year. During the overhaul it became apparent that other components had failed and she was fitted with a new radiator and a new turbo. The engine was tested and passed by an engineer from Cat, the manufacturer.

In early 2015, Harlech received attention at Boston Lodge. At this time the couplings were changed to choppers as part of a coupling standardisation programme.

During the early part of 2018 Harlech Castle suffered a transmission failure. The transmission was removed and sent away for repair. Whilst the locomotive was in the works the opportunity was taken to prepare it for having vacuum brakes fitted. To house the new equipment required the bonnet was widened, giving an appearance similar to that of sister locomotive Criccieth Castle.[5] Harlech Castle emerged from the works in October 2018 in the new standard infrastructure livery of green with a cream stripe.[6]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ffestiniog Railway Magazine, Issue 124, page(s): 152
  2. ^ Ffestiniog Railway Magazine, Issue 129, page(s): 365
  3. ^ Ffestiniog Railway Magazine, Issue 113, page(s): 13
  4. ^ Ffestiniog Railway Magazine, Issue 125, page(s): 206
  5. ^ Moving Pictures, Fifteen - 14/3/18
  6. ^ Post on Festrail Insider Facebook page - 12 October 2018