Steam train restoration

Work on restoring 108 year-old ex-Penrhyn Quarry steam locomotive 'Hugh Napier' is now complete

Return of the steam train

An historic steam train dating back to 1904 is up and running again in Porthmadog.

The former locomotive has been out of action since it stopped operating just over fifty years ago.

After it was donated to the Penryn Castle Industrial Railway Museum, curators started piecing together the engine's missing parts and now after years of restoration, the steam train has taken to the tracks once more.

Attending the rededication service to the Hugh Napier at Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway's Harbour Station in Porthmadog, today was 82 year-old Gareth Williams.

It is the first time he has seen the engine in full steam since it was retired in 1954.


The restored Hugh Napier engine returns to the railway

by Rob Shelley
Hugh Napier
Crowds gather at the station to inspect the engine Credit: ITV News Wales

Hugh Napier - not an aristocrat as the name suggests, but a short black steam engine - cost six hundred and forty pounds to build (but then that was in 1904).

Today for the first time in fifty eight years, and looking brand new, he travelled back into Gwynedd under his own steam. A crowd of hundreds were at the Ffestiniog Railway's Porthmadog station to see him off.

Full steam ahead for 108-year-old engine

Hugh Napier restoration
The Hugh Napier being restored by its committed volunteers Credit: The National Trust

A project to restore a 108-year-old steam locomotive into working condition has been completed.

The engine - named the Hugh Napier - started work at Penrhyn Quarry in 1904 and was decommissioned in 1954, where it was abandoned and left on a railway siding.

It avoided being sent for scrap and was donated to the Penrhyn Castle Industrial Railway Museum in 1966.

Former quarryman Iorwerth Jones and the team at the museum spent many years collecting the parts necessary to make the Hugh Napier run again. Although Mr Jones died before he could see the project completed, he left a comprehensive list of the required parts behind.

Today, the restored engine will be unveiled and re-named in a ceremony at the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway.