The C2 Project Official Website

C2 Project Overview

The C2 Project

The C2 Project was set up in 2006 to purchase, import and rebuild a Chinese C2 Class 0-8-0 steam locomotive, with a view to eventual operation on the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways in Wales. The locomotive is owned by a group of Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway footplate crews.

The Locomotive

The selected locomotive is Dahuichang Number 4, which was initially believed to have been built at the Harbin Forest Machinery Factory in January 1988 as works number 221. This is certainly the identity of the tender, but research now suggests that the locomotive was built a few years earlier and is probably Harbin 208 or 209 of 1983.

Purchase and Transport

Although Number 4 came from China in a complete and working order, it has never been in steam in the UK. Hot and cold examinations of the boiler were undertaken in China and the locomotive taken for a test drive by two members of the group during August 2006. A satisfactory performance resulted in the group committing to purchase the locomotive.
A further visit to Beijing in October 2006 saw the locomotive collected from the Beijing Capital Steel and Chemical Factory's limestone quarry railway at Dahuichang. After around six weeks in transit, Number 4 arrived in North Wales early in January 2007.
After a period of store in Minffordd yard, Number 4 was loaned to the National Railway Museum in 2008, for the locomotive to be a guest visitor at "Locomotion" in Shildon.
Whilst all this was going on, the group were working hard on securing an agreement with the Ffestiniog Railway Company. The result was by December 2009 a brand new purpose built shed was erected on spare land at Boston Lodge Works, being fitted out and connected by rail by the end of April 2010.
Number 4 now lives at the Ffestiniog Railway's Boston Lodge Works, in the new facility purpose built for its restoration.

Project Progress

Work commenced with a complete strip-down of the locomotive, carefully cataloguing and assessing the condition of components as they were removed.
Some modifications are necessary for successful operation on the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway, including re-gauging 2′6″ (762mm) gauge to 1′11½″ (597mm) gauge. Could this be the first true "cut and shut" ever carried out to a locomotive in the UK?
The necessary work on the frames, wheelsets and suspension/springing is now complete. The locomotive chassis finally took to Ffestiniog Railway metals for the first time in April 2017, and the tender chassis was completed in May 2018. Many other components have been overhauled and reassembly has commenced.
The locomotive steam actuated brake gear has now been fully re-gauged, fitted and tested with compressed air. The cylinders have been rebored and fitted and more recently, the coupling rods are now fitted.
The loco and tender chassis currently have about 25 miles 'on the clock' on the FR, having travelled to Minffordd and back for the Hunslet 125 event in June 2018, Rhiw Goch and back plus Garnedd Tunnel and back for gauging checks, plus a bit more around the yard at Boston Lodge.
Regular progress reports and more detail of the overhaul can be found on the "Latest News" pages. Just follow the link on the left.

The Website

This website contains regular news updates on the progress of the overhaul, along with technical and historic information on the locomotive.
Please click on the links on the left to navigate between the main topics on this site. Different pages within each topic can be accessed by clicking the links on the top right. Where available, further pages may be found by clicking on the links at the bottom of the page.
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