Moel Hebog

From Festipedia, hosted by the FR Heritage Group
Moel Hebog
2017, photo: Stephen Roberts
Home Railway FR
Original Railway Shaw Cross Colliery
Status In service
Built by Hunslet Engine Co.
Built 1955
1969 Arrived on FR
Wheel Arrangement 0-4-0DM
Length 15 ft 4 in
Fuel Diesel

Moel Hebog is a characterful, powerful, but rather slow diesel, which forms part of the Ffestinog Railway's Infrastructure Department locomotive fleet.


It was built by the Hunslet Engine Company of Leeds (Builder's number 4113 of 1955), it is a 0-4-0DM flameproof "Mines" type, with a 70hp Meadows engine and jackshaft drive to wheels coupled by connecting rods. It had worked underground at Shaw Cross Colliery near Dewsbury but came to the railway in 1969 and was stored in a dismantled condition at Minffordd Yard. According to Fred Howes, Paul Dukes bought it for £70 for the FR.[1]

In 1974 it was rebuilt with a normal profile cab acquired by Boston Lodge Works Manager Paul Dukes from Hunslet diesel No. 6292 ex Park Gate Steelworks which had previously been acquired by the Talyllyn Railway [2], making the locomotive one of few to have its loading gauge increased on arrival at the railway. It was also fitted with control equipment for push-pull operation, being used from 1975 on the Dduallt to Gelliwiog shuttle with carriage 110. However its top speed of 14.7mph and removal of its vacuum exhauster in 1988 prevent it being used on today's passenger trains.

It retains an air operated 4-speed gearbox, but the flameproof equipment, air start and air clutch have been replaced.

It previously carried the appropriate BR Civil Engineers "Dutch" grey and yellow livery. It became a PW locomotive around 1977 when it was no longer needed for the Gelliwiog shuttle and remained their primary motive power until Harlech Castle arrived in 1990. [1] It then spent many years as the Glanypwll Depot shunter and is now based at Minffordd Yard. It is mainly used by the Line Side Management and S & T sections as well as deputising for Permanent Way section diesel Harlech Castle.

Its character stems from the regulation 6" flame out the stack when working hard, clanking connecting rods and smoke generation that would put a steam engine to shame.

In 2012 Hebog visited the Welsh Highland Railway and the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway, delivering telegraph poles from Minffordd Yard to Gelert's Farm Works.

In September/October 2016 Moel Hebog was repainted into a new livery of green with a cream stripe. At the end of 2018 it was receiving attention at Boston Lodge after a period out of use. Work was completed on the starter ring, clutch and gear box in order to ensure it remains easy to operate in front line service.[3]


1974 2 (Total 2)

1975 2,346 (Total 2,348)

1976 665 (Total 3,013)

1978 2,047 (Total 5,060)

1979 1,376 (Total 7,434)

1980 702 (Total 8,136)

1981 170 (Total 8,306)

1982 282 (Total 8,588)

1989 1,784 (Total 16,738)

1990 1763 (Total 18,501)

Source: FR Magazine via FRHG Chronology p 65.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "FR Diesels", Festiniog Railway Heritage Group Journal, Issue 111, page(s): 23
  2. ^ Bate J.L.H. (2001) The Chronicles of Pendre Sidings, page 145, Rail Romances, Chester, CH4 9ZH, UK
  3. ^ Moving Pictures, Twenty Four - 18/10/18