Launceston withdraws 'Quarry Hunslet'

The Launceston Steam Railway has announced with withdrawal of 'Quarry Hunslet' 0-4-0ST Velinheli, as the locomotive's boiler is deemed to be life-expired.

Launceston Steam Railway-based 'Quarry Hunslet' 0-4-0ST Velinheli runs round fellow resident Lilian at Launceston station on September 23 2011. STEVE RYSZKA

Launceston Steam Railway-based 'Quarry Hunslet' 0-4-0ST Velinheli runs round fellow resident Lilian at Launceston station on September 23 2011. STEVE RYSZKA

In a statement, the LSR said: “Following recent consultation with our boiler inspector regarding the remaining economic life of Velinheli’s 92 year-old boiler, along with the consideration of a ‘mission plan’ to secure her long term future, the decision has been taken to withdraw Velinheli from service immediately and place her on static display in our museum.”

Velinheli is one of four 'Quarry Hunslets' based at the Cornwall 2ft-gauge railway and was built by the Hunslet Engine Company (as Works No. 409) in 1886, the first of the 'Alice' class locomotives built for the Dinorwic Slate Quarry.

Withdrawn from industrial service in 1962, Velinheli was bought for preservation by Armstrong Evans and moved to the family's private Inny Valley Railway. Now owned by Armstrong Evans' son James, the 0-4-0ST moved to Launceston in 1986, 100 years after it was built.

The LSR's remaining three operational 'Quarry Hunslets' – Covertcoat, Dorothea and Lilian – will be in action when services resume on April 12-14 and 16-19.

For more information, visit: www.launcestonsr.co.uk