Carriage 21 (1897)

From Festipedia, hosted by the FR Heritage Group
Carriage 21
Boston Lodge 1959
Type Compartment Third
Seating 56 x 3rd
Status Scrapped
Built by Ashbury Carriage and Iron Company
Built 1897/8
1962 Disposed of
Body Length 30 ft
Frames Wood

Carriage 21 was a third class bogie vehicle built for the FR in 1897. Due to its derelict state, it was not considered suitable for restoration and was 'disposed of' in 1962. A replica was completed in 2019.


Carriage 21 was built by the Ashbury Carriage and Iron Company in 1897, it was one of a pair of "tourist" carriages, identical to No. 22 as originally built.

An alternative view is that Nos. 21 and 22 were bought for some £315 each for the quarrymen's train after critical remarks were made about the poor conditions in the Quarry Workmen's Carriages by the Mines Inspectorate in their report of 1895.

Nos. 21 and 22 were known as the "yellow carriages" and this was confirmed by the yellow paint, with a possible admixture of nicotine, which was cleaned out of No.22 in the summer of 1958. There were well-worn vertical brass match-striking plates on the door posts. The seats were hard with a sharp edge in the back to make you sit up straight. The knee room was fairly lamentable, so they becme known as 'zip-fasteners' because of the need to interlock the knees of passengers on either side. The vehicles did not give any impression of an intention to use it for the better class of tourists.

... in 1897 a new bogie carriage, vacuum fitted, was placed in traffic in the Autumn. It was number 21, a seven compartment all-third class coach, with matchboard sides and no end balconies. There was only one partition above the seats, dividing the carriage into unequal parts, and the length was 30 feet over the body. Accommodation was nominally 56 seats, giving it the largest capacity of any carriage on the line.[1]

The above mentioned partition was biased towards the Up end.

21 carried the two-colour livery (believed to be a white upper half and chocolate brown lower/ends/solebars) until at least 1924, as seen in iBase 195 (22 had been repainted into full maroon at some stage earlier, certainly by the time of the Simplex tractor's passenger trials).

Post Preservation[edit]

This was one of the carriages left out in the open during the 1946 - 1954 closure period, and finally ended in Glan y mor yard (a place where non-operational vehicles were then stored i.e. Welsh Pony, Princess, K1 and The Peckett). The wooden frame of No.21 was reduced to the consistency of gingerbread and was interesting even to move round the yard. It may have been partially stripped with a view to refurbishment before it became evident that it was too far decayed for repair.

The carriage was discussed at the company Board Meeting 7th November 1962:

The body of 1898-built Ashbury tourist carriage number 21 had not survived the closure in very good condition and had had everything useful removed from it; the bogies had been donated to No. 26 in 1959. It came to be considered to be beyond repair and instructions were given for it to be disposed of.[2]

The remains of the body were actually dismantled before August 1962 when its demise was reported.[3]

Carriages 21, 22, 23 and 26 were all much to the same dimensions and some parts were interchangeable. In fact, some of the doors from 21 were used when 23 and 26 had theirs exchanged for full height ones.

In the 1994 renumbering scheme, number 21 was reserved for a replica of the original carriage 21.


A replica was completed in 2019.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Boyd, James I.C. (1975) [1959]. The Festiniog Railway 1800 - 1974; Vol. 2 Locomotive and Rolling Stock and Quarry Feeders. Blandford: The Oakwood Press. ISBN 085361-168-8. p360
  2. ^ Johnson, Peter (2004). Immortal Rails (Vol 1) The Story of the Closure and Revival of the FR 1939-1983. Chester, England, CH4 9ZH: RailRomances. p. 173. ISBN 1-900622-08-4. OCLC 56654167.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  3. ^ Ffestiniog Railway Magazine, Issue 018, page(s): 007