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These new coaches have been designed and built in the UK by a partnership between Garmendale Engineering Limited of Ilkeston, Derbyshire and the Hunslet Engine Company, to a performance specification defined and project managed by the Railway.Not only do the carriages boast higher levels of passenger safety, space and comfort, but the manufacturing process is a world first in the rail industry.The solution is to mount a toothed rack between the running rails and provide a cog (pinion) on the locomotive.In this way the locomotive can crawl up steep gradients. The system is cheaper to manufacture and install than other systems as it uses less steel.
Combining strength and thermal insulation characteristics with extremely low weight made the choice of this material particularly appropriate for our carriage project.There are seven different types of rack and pinion systems for railways but by far the most popular worldwide is the Abt system as used at Snowdon. The Rack at Snowdon utilises a pair of toothed racks offset by one tooth and two driven axles on each locomotive, each axle with a pair of pinions.This ensures that there are two teeth fully engaged at all times to increase safety.Between 19 the company took delivery of 4 British built diesel locomotives to complement the steam fleet at a cost of £250,000 each. The original carriages were open above the waist and had canvas curtains, which provided little protection against the elements.These locomotives are powered by 320 Horsepower (238 k W) six cylinder turbocharged Rolls Royce diesel engines of 12 litres capacity. Between 19 the superstructure of the original carriages was modified to produce the enclosed bodies.
Rather than a revolutionary design, the bogies represent an incremental improvement to an existing design that has been in passenger service since 1986 and latterly improved in 2006 on the old carriage number 10 and the summit project flatbed truck.