Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia
Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia

Dolgoch is Rheneas' twin and his real life counterpart. Smudger is also based on him.

Technical Details

Real-life history

Dolgoch was built in 1866 by Fletcher, Jennings & Co., but to a very different design to that of Talyllyn. He is a Class Bb 0-4-0 tank engine with both a back tank (behind the cab) and a well tank (between the frames). The long wheelbase allows the firebox to sit in front of the rear axle, with Fletcher's Patent inside valve gear driven off the front axle, a particularly inaccessible arrangement. Between 1900 and 1914, he was renamed Pretoria, in celebration of the relief to the township of Pretoria in South Africa by Lord Roberts during the Boer War. In increasingly decrepit condition, Dolgoch continued to operate the service single-handedly until 1952 when Edward Thomas became available and was then the subject of a prolonged overhaul between 1954 and 1963.

Dolgoch returned to service in late 1999 after a major overhaul involving firebox repairs and an extensive mechanical overhaul; as part of the overhaul he has been fitted with air braking equipment, the last steam engine on the Talyllyn Railway to be fitted.

Overhaul and Appeal

During Autumn 2009, the Talyllyn Railway booked Dolgoch for an overhaul. To ensure that Dolgoch was repaired by May 2011, which marked the 60th anniversary of railway preservation, "Steam Railway" magazine launched an appeal to raise funds for Dolgoch's next overhaul, which includes a new boiler to its original design. However, whilst the appeal was being made, an examination of Dolgoch showed that he had a crack in his rear tube plate, which forced him to be withdrawn for overhaul earlier than expected. Luckily though, by January 2010, thanks to the readers of "Steam Railway" magazine, the Dolgoch appeal was so successful that the overhaul was able to commence. During the second week in February, Dolgoch was dismantled for the removal of his boiler from his frames. Then, his boiler was lifted from his frames on 23 February 2010.

On 22 March 2011, Dolgoch's new boiler, built in the Severn Valley Railway's Boiler Shop in Bridgnorth, was completed with a new smokebox and passed its steam test eleven days after. On 28 April 2011, the boiler was back at the Talyllyn Railway for Dolgoch's overhaul to be completed. Following completion of his overhaul, Dolgoch is now back in working service and attended the 60th anniversary of railway preservation on 14 May 2011.

During 2012, Dolgoch took part in the third annual Steel, Steam and Stars event at the Llangollen Railway where he ran on a dual-gauge length of track at Carrog station with the Ffestiniog Railway's Palmerston.


Dolgoch was originally painted in light green. Between 2011 and 2014, he was painted in Crimson Lake. In January 2015, he and Talyllyn were painted Indian red in honour of the railway's 150th anniversary.



  • Dolgoch's name name means "Red Meadow" in Welsh.
  • Dolgoch was built at Fletcher, Jennings & Co. at Whitehaven, the same place where Skarloey, Rheneas, Smudger, Talyllyn, Rusty's Ghost Engine and Captain Baxter were built.
  • Dolgoch was named "Pretoria" for a short while in the early 20th century in celebration of said city's relief during the Boer War.


The Railway Series

Main Series


Real Life

External Link

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