|Seating||22 x 1st|
|Built by||FR Co.|
|Length||43 ft 1 in|
In the 1960s the Festiniog Railway began construction of a series of modern wooden-bodied coaches at Boston Lodge. The profile was based on that of the restored former Lynton and Barnstaple Carriage 14; hence these coaches are known on the railway as "Barns". One of these was the original Carriage 101 which was a first class observation car built 1968-70. This was rebuilt (as a third class carriage) and renumbered Carriage 123 in 2011. This left the number 101 available for a new carriage, which was then intended to be a new first class observation car.
It was subsequently announced in Inside Motion for July 2013 that the new carriage would be an Observation Saloon "like the WHR Glaslyn" - meaning it would have a curved glazed end, but (going by the number) be built to FR profile.
It was funded by the FR Trust who received a number of donations to support the construction.
It was later (October 2014) announced that, in view of the fact that it was the 150th anniversary of passenger services on the FR, the new carriage would now be numbered 150. The number 101 is therefore now vacant again. Whether a new carriage 101 will emerge in due course is unknown.
Unofficially the carriage is sometimes known as the Raccoon-tail, in homage to the LNER Coronation train Beaver-tail observation carriages.
December 2013's Inside Motion stated that the carriage was projected to be completed by early 2015.
October 2014's Inside Motion reported that the underframe and body frame were complete and bodybuilding was under way. Whereas the previous Super Barns were of entirely wooden construction above the underframe, this carriage has inner body framing of welded stainless steel around which the wooden bodywork will be built, a constructional principle previously used on the purpose-built carriages for the WHR. It was built with curved end windows derived from Glaslyn and a lowered waistline in the observation section. The completion date was confirmed as Spring 2015.
Due to the new (to FR-profile stock) feature of the internal stainless-steel body framing, this carriage is significantly different from the rest of the Super Barn family, although its appearance will match theirs.
Carriage 150 was on its way to the Paint Shop on 19th May 2015. Like Glaslyn it has received the deep purple brown "Victorian" livery, lined in gold. Initially the carriage had the words "Ffestiniog Railway" painted on the side and had Victorian style FR monograms. For its entry into public service the "Ffestiniog Railway" wording was removed and the monograms replaced with Pullman crests. It has been announced that the carriage will be named in the future.
Before its accompanying Service Car (Carriage 125) was completed, the new observation car was used for promotional visits to events around the country.
The newly completed carriage 150 was displayed at London Paddington from the 8th to the 27th June 2015, in the same spot on platforms 9 & 10 where Princess was previously displayed during Steam 150 in 2013. The carriage also visited the Shrewsbury Flower Show. It was on display at Dinas during Super Power weekend.
Entry into Service
Carriage 150 entered public service alongside carriages 125 and 117 on the Sunday of the 2016 May Day bank holiday as part of the new upgraded B-set. Prior to this it saw use on a number of special trains in the weeks leading up to the public launch. These included The Snowdonian, an official launch for invited VIPS and the FR Society AGM Special.