Tideway Tunnelling Locomotives

From Festipedia, hosted by the FR Heritage Group

The Tideway Tunnelling Locomotives are two battery electric locomotives on the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways. They are currently awaiting rebuilding for potential use as works shunters.


In 2023 the F&WHR was made aware of two 20 tonne 4wBE (4 wheel Battery Electric) locomotives from the Thames Tideway Scheme that had become available for sale. These would have been over the F&WHR 7 ton axle limit and were already sold when F&WHR raised an enquiry. However, the next week two Clayton 14 tonne 4wBE locomotives became available from the same source and these were acquired by the F&WHR. They cost £12,000 + shipping and were driven to the bottom of the shaft under their own power. The lot consisted of two 9 tonne locomotives, six 5 tonne battery packs and four battery charging sets (plus miscellaneous spares).[1]

They are dual gauge 750/610mm, and will need to be adapted to the F&WHR gauge of 600mm. It is hoped that the locomotives could become works shunters and reduce the need for the railway to use diesels in this role, thus reducing the fuel bill and carbon emissions.

There are two similar ex-tunnelling Clayton locomotives on the South Tynedale Railway (610mm).[2] These 15 tonne locomotives were used for underground track replacement for TfL. They have 75hp power on each axle.


  1. ^ Autumn General Manager Update - 2023 31 August 2023 Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways YouTube Channel
  2. ^ Moving Pictures, 84 - 15 September 2023