NEW hybrid locomotives have arrived on the slopes of Snowdon with the backing of HSBC Equipment Finance UK.

Since 1896, visitors have been travelling to Llanberis at the foot of Snowdon to experience a unique journey, via a 5-mile rail line, to the summit of the highest mountain in Wales and England.

Snowdon Mountain Railway is taking steps to keep a national tourist attraction accessible for many years to come and improving its sustainability.

With seven-figure support from HSBC Equipment Finance UK, two brand new Clayton Equipment hybrid diesel locomotives have arrived on the mountain from Staffordshire.

These 8-tonne battery equipped trains will replace existing diesel locomotives and will be the first mountain hybrid train in the world.

Making an average of 750 journeys a year each locomotive, the updated locomotives will reduce emissions by up to 98% compared to the diesel locomotives.

Heritage Great Britain PLC, the organisation operating the Snowdon Mountain Railway, will continue to operate traditional steam locomotives as part of its service.

Peter Johnson-Treherne, Group Finance Director of Heritage Great Britain, said: “We’re delighted to bring innovative hybrid technology onto the famous slopes of Snowdon. 2020 has obviously been a difficult period for everybody, especially those within the tourism sector, but we’re confident that this investment will keep us on the right tracks for the future."

Jon Higginson, Corporate Relationship Director for HSBC UK, added: "It’s not every day you get to be involved in a special project like this, so we’re delighted to play our part in ensuring the future of such an iconic national tourist attraction. Heritage Great Britain understands the importance of putting sustainability at the heart of its portfolio and, in due course, we look forward to seeing the new locos in action."

Working in line with Covid-19 Welsh Government guidance, operations will begin again on 10th July 2020 to welcome back the public.

The new Snowdon Mountain Railway hybrid diesel fleet has been procured from specialists Claytons Equipment, based in Staffordshire.