List of Fairbourne Railway rolling stock

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This is a list of past and present rolling stock used on the Fairbourne Railway, a 12 14 in (311 mm) narrow gauge preserved railway line running for 2 miles (3.2 km) from Fairbourne on the Mid-Wales coast to Barmouth Ferry on a spit of sand in the Mawddach Esturay opposite the town of Barmouth Welsh: Abermaw. The line was opened as a horse-drawn tramway in 1895 to carry building materials for Fairbourne Village. Passenger carriages were introduced shortly afterwards to connect with the ferry to Barmouth. The line was converted to a 15 in (381 mm) steam railway in 1916 and became a successful tourist attraction. The line underwent another conversion in 1985. The track was relayed at 12 14 in (311 mm) gauge and new rolling stock was introduced.

Current stock (12¼ Inch Gauge)[edit]

The railway has a fleet of four Steam Locomotives which haul most of the passenger services. The steam locomotives are approximately half-size replicas of famous narrow gauge prototype locomotives such as the Class B Tanks from the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and the Manning Wardle Tanks of the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway. Two diesel locomotives and a battery electric shunter are used for engineering trains.

Steam locomotives[edit]

Image Identity Builder Type Built For Year Built Livery Notes Current status
Sherpa 3.JPG Sherpa Milner Engineering 0-4-0ST Réseau Guerlédan 1978 Darjeeling Himalayan Railway blue Model of a Darjeeling Class B Tank locomotive, fitted with a tender to accommodate the driver and carry water. In Service
Fairbourne and Barmouth Steam Railway - - 358209.jpg Russell Milner Engineering / Fairbourne Locomotive Works 2-6-4T Réseau Guerlédan 1979 Red Model of Welsh Highland Railway locomotive Russell. Rebuilt from 'Elaine' a Leek and Manifold model in 1985 In Service
Fairbourne Railay mini Beddgellert.jpg Beddgelert David Curwen 0-6-4ST Réseau Guerlédan 1979 Lined Black Model of North Wales Narrow Gauge Railways locomotive. Static display at Fairbourne Station (awaiting overhaul)
Yeo and Signal Box.JPG Yeo David Curwen 2-6-2T Réseau Guerlédan 1978 Malachite Green with lettering Model of Lynton and Barnstaple Railway locomotive, Yeo Out of Service (Awaiting £5000 fund for new fire box)

Diesel locomotives[edit]

Image Name Builder Type Built For Year built Livery Notes In Traffic?
Fairbourne Gwril.jpg Gwril Hunslet 4W Singapore 1994 Blue Diesel locomotive, acquired from Alan Keef in November 2007. Re-gauged from 2 ft at Fairbourne. It is the third locomotive to carry the name Gwril. Yes
Fairbourne Diesel.JPG Tony Guest Engineering / Fairbourne Locomotive Works A1-1A Fairbourne Miniature Railway 1961 Green with yellow details and Fairbourne crest Originally built as a double cabbed 15 inch gauge locomotive Sylvia, it was re-gauged and re-bodied in 1985 and carried the name Lilian Walter. A further rebuild to return the loco to double cabbed form was started in 2010. In storage works


The railway has a fleet of about 20 passenger carriages, most of which are wooden bodies examples originating from the Réseau Guerlédan railway in France. The standard livery is blue, although some examples still carry maroon or brown and cream however these liveries are gradually being phased out.


There are a small pool of goods vehicles in use for engineering works.

Former locomotives[edit]

12¼ Inch Gauge[edit]

Image Name Builder Type Built For Year built Years at Fairbourne Notes Current Location
Number 24 Fairbourne Locomotive Works 2-6-2T Fairbourne Railway 1990 1990–1992 Model of Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad locomotive. The first steam locomotive to be built at Fairbourne. Sold to the Bure Valley Railway in 1992 and re-gauged to 15 inch gauge. Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway, Lincolnshire
Galloping Goose David Curwen Réseau Guerlédan 1979 1984–1989 Model of Rio Grande Galloping Goose Railcar. Made several trips along the line in 1987, before scrapping in 1989. Picture Scrapped at Fairbourne in 1989.
TJ Thurston John Thurston 4-6-2 Believed to be Hayling Island 1949 2004–2008 This locomotive has narrow scale wheels which proved unsuitable for the railway's track. The locomotive was sold in 2008. Private location
Gwril.jpg Gwril Fairbourne Locomotive Works 4W Fairbourne Railway 1987 Blue with yellow lining Battery electric shunting locomotive. The second locomotive on the line to carry the name Gwril. Sold in 2011. No

15 Inch Gauge[edit]

Between 1916 and 1985, the railway had a variety of steam and internal combustion locomotives from a variety of different manufacturers including Bassett Lowke and Guest Engineering. Following the re-gauging of the line in the 1980s, most of the 15 in (381 mm) gauge left the site and many have been restored and can be found working on other 15 inch lines round the world.

Image Name Builder Type Built For Year built Years at Fairbourne Notes Current Location
Prince Edward of Wales Bassett-Lowke 4-4-2 Narrow Gauge Railways Ltd 1915 1916–1923 Bassett-Lowke improved "Little Giant" Class 20. The first locomotive to operate at Fairbourne. Apparently destroyed by fire at Southport in 1931, rebuilt and renamed Princess Elizabeth Now in the United States. United States of America.
Katie Arthur Percival Heywood 0-4-0T Eaton Hall Railway 1896 1923–1926 Built for the Duke of Westminster's Eaton Hall Railway in Cheshire and also operated on the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway Frames with Ravenglass Heritage Group for restoration.
Count Louis Bassett-Lowke 4-4-2 Count Louis Zborowski 1924 1925–1987 Bassett-Lowke "Sans Pareil"Class 30. Rebuilt with larger tender and other improvements at Fairbourne. This locomotive was the flagship of the Fairbourne Railway for many years. Evesham Vale Light Railway, Worcestershire
Prince Charles Guest Engineering 4-6-2 Dudley Zoo Railway 1946 1960-1 Scale model based on a Stanier Class 5 locomotive. Now renamed Prince William. It has also carried the name Winston Churchill. Evesham Vale Light Railway, Worcestershire
Ernest W Twining Guest Engineering 4-6-2 Dudley Zoo Railway 1950 1961–1984 Loaned to the railway 1961-1964 and subsequently purchased. Sold and exported to Japan in 1987. Shuzenji Romney Railway, Japan. Stored out of traffic
Siân Guest Engineering 2-4-2 Fairbourne Railway 1963 1963–1985 Sister locomotive to Katie. Rebuilt extensively in 1984 to an American outline and renamed Sydney. Now owned by the Siân Project Group and restored to her original form. Windmill Farm Railway, Lancashire
Fairbourne Railway Katie at Barmouth Ferry.jpg Katie Guest Engineering 2-4-2 Dudley Zoo Railway 1954 1965–1985 The second locomotive on the line to carry the name Katie. Visually similar to Siân but without air tank on the tender. Operated the 1985 season named Shon Kirklees Light Railway, West Yorkshire
Whippit Quick R A Lister and Company 0-4-4 Fairbourne Miniature Railway 1935 1935–1975 The first internal combustion locomotive to operate on the railway. Originally a standard Lister Railtruck it was rebuilt in the 1950s with an extended frame and additional 4-wheeled bogie (to a Bassett-Lowke design)to make it an 0-4-4. A futuristic bodywork was also fitted subsequently to protect the driver from the elements. It was sold in 1975 Windmill Farm Railway,Lancashire
Gwril R A Lister and Company 0-4-0 1943 1947–1985 Similar to Whippit Quick, Gwril was originally 2 ft gauge, regauged for use at Fairbourne Windmill Farm Railway,Lancashire
Dingo Wilkins and Mitchell B′B′ Fairbourne Railway 1949 1952–1974 Dismantled in 1974. Parts of the frame were used in the construction of the six-way carriage shed turnout. Scrapped at Fairbourne in 1975.
Sylvia Guest Engineering A1-1A PH Fairbourne Railway 1961 1961–1985 Double cabbed locomotive, rebuilt in 1985 to an American outline and renamed Lilian Walter. Fairbourne Railway
Rachel Guest Engineering 0-6-0 Shillingstone Railway, Dorset 1961 1961–1984 Small shunting locomotive designed for a 10¼" gauge line in Dorset, however completed as a 15" loco. Now named W. Bragan M.B.E. Haigh Hall Railway, Wigan
Tracy Jo Guest Engineering 2-6-2 Dudley Zoo Railway 1964 1964–1966 Tested on the Fairbourne Railway in the 1960s. Tracey Jo was styled on the Vale of Rheidol tank engines as a steam outline locomotive. Rebuilt into a 2-6-4 steam locomotive Wroxham Broad which can often be seen masquerading as Thomas the Tank Engine Bure Valley Railway, Norfolk

18 Inch Gauge[edit]

Image Name Builder Wheel
Built For Year built Years at Fairbourne Notes Current Location
No 1 Regent Street Polytechnic 4-2-2 1896 1926–1936 Built by the students at Regent Street Polytechnic to a design by WG Bagnall. Purchased by the Fairbourne estate in 1926 from store at Kings Cross shed. See GNR Stirling 4-2-2 Sandy Bay Museum, Exmouth

External links[edit]