James Evans, who is currently undertaking the ten yearly boiler overhaul on his Hunslet locomotive ‘Velinheli’, has decided to offer his second locomotive ‘Sybil’ for sale. This was built by W G Bagnall Ltd. of Stafford in 1906 for the Dinorwic Slate Quarry Co., where it worked till the early 1960’s., and was bought from the quarry in 1965 by James and his father Armstrong.
The locomotive is unusual in that it had a launch type boiler, and is fitted with Bagnall and Price’s patent valve gear. She has 7″ by 12″ cylinders, and weighs about 7 tons. She was always cabless and had a very short chimney, though the latter has been replaced by a taller cast chimney of Bagnall design (original included).
Since 1965 ‘Sybil’ ran on the Inny Valley Railway which James built round his father’s fields, and has subsequently been completely dismantled, regauged to 597mm. and had a considerable amount of mechanical work undertaken. Also the saddle tank has been comprehensively repaired and galvanized, and a new balance pipe made.
A prospective purchaser would need to build a new boiler, either to the original drawings which are available, or to a more traditional but welded design produced by James and approved by RSA (and not requiring modification of the frames). Other drawings and some patterns are included.
James will only consider selling ‘Sybil’ if it would produce sufficient funds to launch his follow-on to the LYD Project, which is to build a totally new ‘state of the art’ Modified Fairlie suitable for the reborn Welsh Highland Railway: a single ended 0-6-4-0T. to weigh 37.5 tons in working order. Further details of this new locomotive can be found here.
A minimum £50K ‘contribution’ towards the £750K required for the new project would be required to purchase Sybil. (All suggestions regarding the other £700K gratefully received!)
Sybil has now been sold to a Trust based at the West Lancashire Light Railway