Monday, 30 March 2015

The Snowdon Mountain Goat Close to Completion 

Over the last 2 weeks Garmendale Engineering Limited have worked extremely hard to get carriage 5 (the Snowdon Mountain Goat) at a point where it is close to completion.

Since our last visit 2 weeks ago, all of the paneling has been manufactured in house at Garmendale engineering. The technology used is a unique composite consisting of two exterior Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) sheets sandwiching an Omniboard inner section. This gives a touch and lightweight paneling to the carriages.
The Side Panels and Iroko woodwork installed onto the mountain goat.

All of the windows and window vents have been fitted to the carriage. In order to save on weight we have decided to use single glazed safety glass – this allows us to maximise the size of the window which would be restricted by a heavier double glazed pane. The doors have been glazed and fitted.
The roof for the carriage has been a particular challenge to Garmendale Engineering. As the carriages are unique to Snowdon Mountain Railway, the roof is a one off design. It is constructed in a single board which is an epic 11.5 meters in length. Similarly to the side panels, an inner GRP skin sits underneath an Omniboard inner, but unlike the panels there is an exterior aluminium panel which protects against hot ashes discarded by the steam locomotive.

The Mountain Goat near completion.

All of the exterior hardwood trim has been hand crafted and fitted by a joiner.  The wood used is Iroko which is a large hardwood tree from the west coast of tropical Africa. We chose this as it is the closest match to the bare wood on the original carriages from 1896. Iroko is low maintenance and is treated with a specialist hardwood coating that maintains the beautiful bare wood finish.

The final big job was to install the seats to the carriages which were bolted in place. Garmendale Engineering are now adding final touches to the carriage and it is expected to arrive onsite on the 15th April. Once it has arrived onsite it will require in house set up and will go into commissioning. 
The installed seats

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Carriage Taking Shape

Over the last few weeks our partners at Garmendale Engineering Limited have been working busily on Carriage number 5. 

The chassis has been blasted and powder coated and is ready for the Superstructure to be fitted. The Superstructure has been fabricated and powder coated in a carmine red (Ral 3002) finish.  

The powder-coated superstructure ready to be bolted to the finished chassis.

Each of the 34 seats has been individually fabricated, powder coated and finished in beautiful Iroko hardwood. Over the next couple of weeks Garmondale will be working to put the floor, seating and panelling into the carriage attaching the bogies and adding all of the intricate finishing details.

Each of the seats has been individually crafted.

We are also proud to announce the new carriage will be called "The Snowdon Mountain Goat" - more about this next time!!

Friday, 6 March 2015

The History of Moel Siabod and Carriage 5

At Snowdon Mountain Railway we are proud of our heritage and history spanning three centuries. We are very excited to see the reintroduction of Locomotive number 5 after an absence of 15 years and the re-building of carriage number 5.
An early picture of locomotive 5 with carriage 5

Historic picture of number 5

Locomotives numbers 4 and 5 were ordered in 1896 in the second batch of rolling stock after the arrival of locomotives 1, 2 and 3. All of the first 5 locomotives were manufactured by the Swiss Locomotive and Machine Works of Winterthur Winterthur CH | Stadler . The first locomotives cost the railway £1,525 each, which in today’s money would be £181,205.88. An agricultural worker would earn on average £0.66p per week and would have taken 45 years to save up for it! Number 5 was named Moel Siabod after the nearby mountain in the Moelwynion range and at 872m it is the highest peak in the range. Like all of our steam locomotives the boiler is inclined to ensure the boiler tubes and firebox remain level on the steepest gradients, this is common to all mountain rack railways across the world.

In 2000, the boiler that was on locomotive number 5 (which we still have in storage) failed an inspection due to damage to the fire box. As the locomotive was no longer required for operations, it was removed from service and placed in storage. Over the years our rolling stock is all subject to wear and tear.  It is unclear how many different boilers loco 5 has had over the years, but with an average lifespan of 30-40 years so we think it has had 3 or 4 boilers. The water tanks and locomotive cab has been rebuilt many times. However, the chassis and the running gear of locomotive number 5 is all original from 1896.

The Original Chassis for locomotive number 5

Carriage number 5 was also ordered as part of the second batch of rolling stock in 1896 from the Lancaster carriage works and arrived in the original livery of brown and cream. The original design had the distinctive Snowdon Mountain Tramroad & Hotels Company header boards at the top of the carriage and curtains with no glass in the windows. The header boards were removed in the 1920’s as the ownership of the railway changed. In the 1950’s the carriage body was rebuilt and changed to the distinct design with 3 windows in the front and the livery changed to red and white. Carriage 5 remained unchanged until it was removed from service in 2012.