Carriage 19

From Festipedia, hosted by the FR Heritage Group
Carriage 19
Carriage 19 in 2007
Type Compartment Composite
Seating 12 x 1st, 6 x 2nd, 18 x 3rd
Home Railway FR
Status In service, Heritage Fleet
Built by Gloster Wagon Company
Built 1879
Length 37 ft 9 in
Width 6 ft 0 in
Body Length 34 ft 6 in
Height 7 ft 8 in

Carriage 19 is one of a pair of carriages built for the FR in 1879.


Carriage 19 is one of the second pair of carriages (the other is 20) in the group collectively known as the "Bowsiders" because of the shape of their sides. These coaches were supplied to the Festiniog Railway by two builders in 1876 and 1879. These carriages were built with Wrought iron frames, but not perpetuating the iron body bracing of Nos. 15 & 16, the running gear was provided by Boston Lodge in all cases.

The second pair are similar to the first, though not identical, in dimensions and external appearance. They came from the Gloster Wagon Company in November 1879, GWC order no. 282. Here again, more improvements and accommodation alterations were carried out; one 2nd class was derated to 3rd before 1887. With the exception of No. 19, partitions in all coaches (where existing between 3rd class compartments) were taken out. Detail variations may be discerned in many points, including the existence of window bars, ventilators and panelling. Variations in class are reflected by changes in door width and compartment bulkheads, and panels dividing windows. The original seating of 19 & 20 was 3/2/1/1/2/3 with 44 seats in total.

On these carriages, the bodies mounted on indiarubber blocks and stood one inch above the underframes.

Spooner's Patent buffers were initially fitted; the timber used was teak and deal. Luxury was lavished in First class with an oil-cloth floor covering and carpetting; a time-table and vanity mirrors were displayed in mahogany frames above the seats. The 2nds had stuffed horse-hair seats covered by 'dark repp'. (Ref.: The Engineer.)

The internal lighting arrangements also varied a great deal between the 4 carriages depending on the compartment arrangement.

Note that the easy way to tell between these pairs is that 17 & 18 have only two wide panels, on either side of the first class windows, but 19 & 20 have three panels for two first class compartments.

Post Preservation[edit]

Carriage 19 in the maroon and cream livery carried applied in the late 1980s.

No.19 had a hard time out of doors during the closure period 1946-54 and was thereafter the Cinderella of the original bogies. Several attempts at restoration were made, some less than sympathetic to the original, until the very thorough restoration in the Carriage Shops during the early years of the 21st century. It was originally restored in 1963, when its livery was the standard green and ivory with red ends. In 1969 it was repainted in the new cherry red livery.

It had a major body repair in 1982. Also during the 80s the livery was changed to maroon with cream panelling.

2006 Restoration[edit]

The carriage was restored to near its original ex works exterior as depicted in the Gloster works photo. One second class compartment was reinstated but the other which had been modified to take the brake cylinder was left as Third. While some original wood framing remains, it has been carefully spliced with new; the result is an outstanding example of the high quality of the craftsmanship in the Shops. The first class seats were maintained with the ex Mersey Rail style individual seats rather than restore the bench seats (of which there is no information). The panels above the seats are a fair reproduction of the original based on some mouldings which still exist and pencilled layout of the panelling still extant in the vehicle. The ceiling mouldings are correctly styled and the 'oilcloth' represents the style and colour of the original.

By the end of October 2006, Carriage 19 was very nearly finished in its new colours of all over Purple Brown.

It made an impromptu visit to Harbour station for a photo call, during the pre season shunting The carriage entered service officially on 22nd May 2007 in the 175 commemoration train.

Seen having been towed to Harbour Station as part of the pre season shunt. The coach is awaiting final interior work at the time, 2007
In the splendid dark livery at Minffordd, 2006

See also[edit]