A St Newlyn attraction has embraced electric vehicle technology to help improve its carbon footprint.

Lappa Valley has converted Victoria, the main locomotive on its smallest 7¼ inch gauge railway, from diesel to battery power.

The locomotive now boasts an increased efficiency as well as quiet operation giving visitors the opportunity to savour the sounds of their idyllic surroundings.

Victoria underwent the three month conversion throughout the winter at The Lynch Motor Company in Honiton, moving from a Kippor Diesel generator powering two electric motors to a battery exclusive system.

Ben Harding, the operations manager said the efficiencies are quite impressive: “For each single charge of the batteries, Victoria will now do two days of summer running with a five coach train. This could be up-to 400 laps of the Lakeside Railway.

“To put it into perspective, our old APT and HST powercars would have needed refuelling twice on each one of those days, and that’s around 30 litres of petrol.

“Victoria is now a lot more efficient for our operation, and will take a lot more passengers each time around our beautiful Lakeside Railway.

“It was quite a challenge to ensure the equipment that would be used would be up to the job.

“Finding a battery electric locomotive in such a small gauge capable of doing what we require of one is nearly impossible, so to make it happen we had to work closely with The Lynch Motor Company to develop a package that would do the job. “We’re really pleased with Victoria’s performance so far, and the feedback we’ve had from passengers regarding the quieter ride has been excellent.” Victoria is one of 13 locomotives at Lappa Valley, and will play a part in the attraction’s 50th birthday celebrations over the weekend of June 14 and 16.

Victoria was built in 2009 by Martyn Redfearn and Brian Biggs. It arrived at Lappa Valley and entered service in 2020.

The attraction is built in the former mine workings of East Wheal Rose Mine, with the main line and Newlyn Downs lines following the former Newquay to Chacewater Branchline.