UK-based transport and lifting specialist Allelys overcame a number of engineering challenges to remove one carriage and six locomotives from Penrhyn Castle in Wales and transport them to six locations.

The Railway Museum is located inside Penrhyn Castle, owned by the National Trust. (Photo: Allelys)

A recent decision to convert the Railway Museum into a new Industrial Penrhyn Experience meant Allelys was tasked with removing the exhibits and transporting them to their new homes.

An aluminium trackway system was installed to protect the cobbled courtyard. (Photo: Allelys)

“Allelys are well known for our knowledge and experience within the rail and rolling stock sector and we had to pull on this experience to design a solution for this project. The building housing the exhibits is Grade 1 listed, with incredibly restricted space and height available,” explained Matt Cobain, head of heritage and museum projects at Allelys.

“The planning and engineering involved was absolutely essential to its success and began 18 months prior to the execution, with Allelys acting as advisors to the client throughout. With narrow archways at the Old Stable Yard to load out through, all units were required to be moved sideways to align with the door. The height restriction at Grand Lodge also significantly impacted on the trailers we could use.”

Transport solution

A solution was engineered, beginning with the installation of an aluminium trackway system to protect the cobbled courtyard. Specialist equipment was used to skate the units down to the door, then sideways to align with the waiting trailer.

The Hawarden was transported to Middleton Railway in Leeds, UK. (Photo: Allelys)

Temporary rail was then used to load a combination of 2 and 3 axle wafer bed trailers. Each unit was transported through Grand Lodge and onto its destination.

The oldest of the units, the 1848 Fire Queen, required additional engineering support with the use of a custom designed frame fabricated in-house by Allelys. The frame was built around the unit and then jacked up. The load and forces were then put through the frame rather than the cargo to ensure maximum protection.

Allelys spent 3 weeks on site extracting each unit one by one, providing the full engineering and project management scope of work, as well as managing contractors on site.

With the units ranging from 15 to 35 tonnes, each one was transported on a wafer bed trailer to its new location.

  • Tender to Fire Queen to Vale of Rheidol
  • Vesta to Bury Transport Museum
  • Hawarden to Middleton Railway
  • Haydock to Isle of Wight Steam Railway
  • Beckton No 1 to Museum of Scottish Railways
  • Kettering No 3 to Waterford and Suir Valley Railway
Each locomotive was transported on a wafer bed trailer to its new location. (Photo: Allelys)

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