The Padarn steam locomotive celebrates 100 years of service on the Snowdon Mountain Railway

This year is the 100th anniversary of steam locomotive No. 6 Padarn entered service on the Snowdon Mountain Railway at Llanberis in North Wales.

Padarn takes passengers on Snowdon, called in Welsh “Yr Wyddfa” since 1922.

To celebrate the occasion, the railway invited local school children from Ysgol Dolbadarn to ride in a heritage wagon pulled by Padarn. Many of the children were experiencing a train ride for the very first time and really enjoyed the trip to Clogwyn station which is three quarters of the way to the top.

The upper length of the line to the summit building, Hafod Eryri, is closed for 2022 for essential track works, but will reopen as normal for 2023

The railway opened in 1896, and Padarn was added to the fleet in 1922. Padarn is a coal-fired steam locomotive built by the Swiss Locomotive & Manufacturing Co. of Winterthur at a cost of £3,000 (equivalent to nearly £200,000 today) and was a later addition to the railway.

One thinks that Padarn was a demonstration locomotive for Winterhur and had been used on another railway in Switzerland before it came to the Snowdon Mountain Railway.

The locomotive was originally called Sir Harmood, after the chairman of Snowdon Mountain Railway, Sir John Sutherland Harmood-Banner, but was later renamed Padarn in 1928 after the lower Llanberis lake, Llyn Padarn.

Vince Hughes, Commercial Director of Snowdon Mountain Railway, said: “The fact that this Swiss locomotive is still operational after 100 years of service can only make you appreciate how well the Victorians built them. Of the seven original locomotives purchased by the railroad, three are still in service today, it’s impressive engineering to celebrate.

“We were delighted to welcome children from local schools to enjoy a trip on Padarn in its 100th year of memorable service.

“Snowdon Mountain Railway looks forward to the months ahead with anticipation of a busy summer season ahead.”

Jose P. Rogers