Last former Welsh slate exile returns after almost 50 years on display in Canada


EX-Penrhyn Large Quarry type Hunslet 0-4-0ST Gertrude (HE995/1909) has been repatriated by Statfold Barn Railway (SBR), having spent more than half a century in Canada.

It was displayed at SBR’s March 25 open day.

From the left Gertrude looks complete, but the right side reveals all, it literally having been sectioned in Canada in the late 1960s. CLIFF THOMAS

Gertrude was withdrawn from Penrhyn Quarry service in February 1955 and sold on September 13, 1960. It was bought by Charles Matthews and, with other ex-quarry locomotives, shipped to Canada.

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In spring 1965 Gertrude was transferred to The Centennial Centre of Science & Technology in Toronto, Canada (the Ontario Science Centre since 1972), where it was sectioned in 1967/68, going on display in September 1969.

Repatriation of Gertrude means all ‘Quarry Hunslets’ – indeed all ex-North Wales slate quarry steam locomotives of any manufacturer – exported to USA and Canada in the 1960s have now returned to Britain.

Gertrude was in the foyer of SBR’s Grain Store museum, complete on one side, sectioned on the other, with the wheels and motion turning under electric power.

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Read more in the May issue of The RM – on sale now!


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