The C2 Project Official Website
C2 Project Overview
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 selected locomotive was Dahuichang number 4, built at Harbin Works in January 1988 as works number 221. It is believed to be the world's last commercially built narrow gauge steam locomotive for industrial use.
Number 4 now lives at the Ffestiniog Railway's Boston Lodge Works, in a new facility purpose built for its restoration. It is owned by a group of Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway footplate crews.
Although Number 4 came from China in a complete and working order it has never been in steam in the UK. A hot / cold examination of the boiler was undertaken and the locomotive taken for a test drive by two members of the group during the August bank holiday weekend in 2006. A satisfactory performance resulted in the group committing to purchase the locomotive and a further visit to Beijing in October 2006 ensued. This visit saw the locomotive collected from the Beijing Capital Steel and Chemical Factory's limestone quarry railway at Dahuichang. After around six weeks in transit, arrival in North Wales early in January 2007, was just in time for its 19th birthday!
At first, accommodation was provided outside under a tarpaulin in Minffordd yard for approximately 18 months. The group were very grateful to then be asked by the National Railway Museum for the locomotive to be a guest visitor at Locomotion in Shildon. Inside at last it was parked opposite the much older experimental tilting Advanced Passenger Train (APT-E) and the prototype Deltic. After a brief stay the locomotive travelled to Porthmadog Harbour Station where it was transported by rail the one mile across the cob to Boston Lodge works. 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 steel shed was erected on spare land at Boston Lodge Works, being fitted out and connected by rail by the end of April 2010. The meant that Number 4 was on display in its new home during the Ffestiniog Railway's Quirks and Curiosities Gala over May Day bank holiday weekend 2010.
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 from 2′6″ (762mm) gauge to 1′11½″ (597mm) gauge. The necessary work on the frames, wheelsets and suspension/springing is now virtually complete. Many components have been overhauled and reassembly has commenced.
This website contains technical and historic information on the locomotive, along with regular news updates on the progress of the overhaul.
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