From Festipedia, hosted by the FR Heritage Group

At Harbour Station, March 2007
Type Quarry Hunslet
Home Railway Launceston Steam Rly.
Original Railway Dinorwic Quarries
Status In Service
Built by Hunslet Engine Co.
Built 1886
Wheel Arrangement 0-4-0ST
Length 13 ft 10 in
Fuel Coal

Velinheli is an ex-Dinorwic Quarry Hunslet 0-4-0ST; the first of the Hunslet "Alice" class of locos she was built in 1886 (Works No. 409). It is one of the few Dinorwic quarry Hunslets to carry a domed boiler, but this was not original: before 1952 it used the domeless type from new. Out of use from 1962, it was sold by the quarry in 1965, though not taken away until 1969. The loco is now owned by James Evans, instigator of the Lyd Project, and was normally based on the Launceston Steam Railway in Cornwall until 2018.

Velinheli visited the FR for the 1993 and 1997 Galas and returned to run on the railway in 2002 for some charter work and winter storage. At this time Paul Lewin was keen on a scheme to build new Quarry Hunslet Locomotives, the first built to be called Indian Runner. As publicity for this, Velinheli carried a mock-up nameplate on display in Boston Lodge in 2002. This name (after a racehorse, like many of the later Dinorwic names) had originally been intended for one of the Dinorwic engines. A wooden pattern for nameplates was made (and found in the quarry workshops after closure) but the name was never actually carried by a loco. New quarry Hunslets (Statfold and Jack Lane) have subsequently been built by the reconstituted Hunslet company, now at Statfold Barn.

It returned to the FR once more in early 2007, and headed a special FR Heritage Group Inspection Train with Carriage 11 to Tan y Bwlch late in the afternoon of 25 March. It also gave footplate rides at Harbour Station during the Easter period.

Veliniheli visited the WHR(C) for the Superpower Weekend on 14-15 September 2002 and returned for the same event [report here] on 13-14 September 2003.

Velinheli was the first steam locomotive to visit Beddgelert on the rebuilt WHR when it visited the line in the last week of April 2007. The public relations aspect was very successfully covered by inviting local schoolchildren to view the exciting spectacle.

Veliniheli was back on the F&WHR in 2016 when it stayed for the summer season. During the stay it was used for The Snowdonian Limited, footplate rides and at Super-power on the WHR as well as representing the railways at that years Shrewsbury Flower Show.[1]

In 2018 it was announced that Velinheli would be moving to the F&WHR where a new boiler will be constructed for it at Boston Lodge. Boiler construction started at Launceston in January 2018 where firebox plates were made using Launceston's existing flanging blocks. The move to Wales was made via Kings Cross in London where Velinheli spent February half term week on display alongside Hugh Napier and Carriage 10. It is expected that Velinheli will return to Launceston at some point, but is likely to be resident at the F&WHR for the foreseeable future.[2]

Velinheli returned to Kings Cross for the February 2019 half term. This time it was accompanied by carriage 10 and Chaloner.

Velinheli returned to steam with its new boiler in March 2024. As part of the overhaul new nameplates with the correct Welsh spelling Felinheli were created. The locomotive will continue to appear with its original plates on some occasions.


See also[edit]


  • Thomas, Cliff S (2001). Quarry Hunslets of North Wales: The Great (Little) Survivors. Usk: Oakwood Press. ISBN 0-853615-75-6. OCLC 48194491.

  1. ^ Launceston website news story - 14th April 2016
  2. ^ Launceston website news story - 10th February 2018

External links[edit]