Clara was built by the late Trevor Guest in 1961, for service at the Dudley Zoo Railway. Although it was never a steam locomotive it does incorporate some features (like its chimney and dome) in common with steam locos from its builder.
It was sold to Alan Keef and arrived at Rhyl in 1978. In the early 1980s, it lay out of use before having its driving wheels re-tyred and its engine overhauled. Since then, it has become indispensable to the Rhyl Miniature Railway.
During winter 2011-2012 this locomotive was completely dismantled, the trailing wheels were re-tyred then the loco rebuilt with a new Perkins engine and hydraulic drive. The fit of the new components was designed by Alan Keef Ltd, who then supplied them to us.
We carried out the rebuild to Keef’s instructions in our workshop at Rhyl. Improvements were also made to the bodywork to match the new interior. This rebuild was supported financially by the Communities First Trust Fund.
Clara hauls all passenger trains on days of diesel operation, and at other times acts as a backup locomotive.