Generation 3 of Gwril enters service at Fairbourne

'Gwril 2’ - HE 9354 4wDH Hunslet 1994

On March 23rd 2009 an additional diesel locomotive entered service at the Fairbourne Railway. Originally built in 1994 by Hunslet in Leeds, to a Jenbach Type DH25 design, this locomotive is fitted with a Kubota diesel engine and weighs in at 2.7 tonnes. Exported to Singapore for a hire fleet ‘Number 9354’ returned to London (in unused condition) to work on the Jubilee Extension Line between 1996/7 before returning to the Jan Pan hire fleet in Singapore. From 1996 onwards a ‘HE 9332’ works plate had been mistakenly fixed to the locomotive, so there were two locomotives carrying the same number! In May 2006 Alan Keef Ltd purchased ‘Number HE 9354’ (still carrying the erroneous HE 9332 plate) and subsequently delivered the locomotive to Fairbourne on 14th November 2007 as a 2 foot gauge locomotive.

The locomotive was re-gauged to 12¼” on 20th September 2008. Following successful tests, an enclosed cab was added in February 2009 by volunteer Jem Kirkham, painting was completed in March. It has been re-named ‘Gwril 2’ because it is the second 12¼” gauge ‘Gwril’, although it is the third ‘Gwril’ to operate on the Fairbourne Railway after the original Lister, which is now at the Windmill Farm Railway and the second being a battery electric Fairbourne build.

The workhorse diesel at Fairbourne since regauging to 12.25", in 1984, 'Lillian Water' is to be rebodied with two cabs at each end, in similar guise to how it was originally built as 'Sylvia'.

Thanks to Colin Jepson & Bob Darvill for press release.


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