Winifred Returns to Wales From Across the Atlantic Ocean

Published 18th May 2012

47 years after leaving for the United States, Winifred has returned to Welsh soil

WALES - The amazing story of how a trio of locomotives which once worked in the huge Pernrhyn slate quarry complex at Bethesda, North Wales, were on their way home was reported here .

The trio left Manchester Dock for the United States in July 1965. In May 2012 they returned.

An expectant group of railway journalists, TV crews, friends and enthusiasts gathered at the Bala Lake Railway’s Llanuwchllyn station early on April 27. Julian Birley had his ex-Dinorwic Hunslet 0-4-0ST Alice in steam to welcome her newly-acquired Penrhyn shedmate, the crane to lift the container from the delivery truck was present and the Bala Lake Railway’s general manager, Roger Hine, good naturedly wound Juilan up by presenting him with a red post office docket saying his ‘large international parcel’ had been returned to the depot. The snag was, while Winifred had certainly not been ‘returned’, she had not arrived either – the precious container was still in Southampton!

The crane driver returned to Wrexham and the assembled gathering drifted away, most figuring how best to return the following day.

A day late, but she is back – and magnificent

After an overnight trip from the docks by rail to be picked up for the balance of the journey by road, the much-awaited container finally arrived at 06.30 on April 28 and there she was. As planned, Julian’s Alice did the honours by drawing Winifred out and back on to Welsh metals for the first time since 1965, and what a sight she was in the morning sun at Llanuwchllyn. Winifred, in pure ex-Penrhyn quarry condition – she is the most original of any ‘Quarry Hunslet’ (even Rough Pup in the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum at Tywyn was repainted before departing Dinorwic) - and was able to roll comparatively easily. Julian has a big decision to make as to whether she should be kept in this time-warp condition or returned to steam. There is no rush, for now he is rightly just thrilled to have brought her back home.

She spent the rest of the day outside the shed to be admired by a stream of visitors while Julian’s Alice worked the day’s Bala Lake service trains.

Ogwen and Glyder return to Durham

The repatriation story was completed on May 1 when the other two locos involved, Martyn Ashworth’s Avonside 0-4-0ST Ogwen and Graham Morris’ Andrew Barclay 0-4-0WT Glyder, were delivered to Beamish Museum. The lorry driver who had brought Winifred to Bala was so taken by the fantastic story he had requested that he also be allowed to undertake this delivery!

Ogwyn and Glyder originally worked for the Durham County Water Board before being sold to Penrhyn, so their arrival at Beamish in County Durham was just as emotional a return to home soil as Winifred being back in Wales.

External Links


Have your say...

Please note: you have to be logged into the site before you can leave a comment

Liverpool street station in the UK at rush hour

Help and advice with train travel in the UK

Train travel in the UK should be a pleasure, not a headache. So if you’re taking a train on the UK railway, start your journey here. We’ve lots of hints, tips and advice to help you find your way around, travel smoothly and arrive in style by train.

Read more

eurostars passing at 375mph from the drivers seat in france


Welcome to our #railchat page. Our #railchat discussions take place over on Twitter, with our resident expert Phil Marsh. If you would like to get involved, please do join us, and use the dedicated hashtag #railchat. See our previous discussions below:

Read more

Old steam train in Shanty Town Museum

Locomotives & Engines

Our rail network would be nothing without them. From Stephenson's Rocket to British Rail Class 92 and beyond, explore the facts, information and anecdotes behind the steam, diesel and electric locomotives that built the age of the train.

Read more


Latest Tweets


Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh to London Kings Cross by Train

Book in advance with and save 85% advanced bookings.

From £21.00

Buy now

Millenium Dome, London

Birmingham New Street to London Euston by Train

Book in advance with and save 92% on advance bookings.

From £6

Buy now

You may also like...



Follow us on Twitter and become part of our rail community! is the easy way to buy cheap train tickets online.



Control your business fuel costs with a supermarket fuel card – free to apply, no ongoing account charges and no monthly minimum spend.