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From this month's featured article

James Spooner in 1874

James Spooner was the second Double Fairlie to be built for the Festiniog Railway. It was supplied by the Avonside Engine Company of Bristol. Featuring a number of design improvements over the first FR Fairlie, Little Wonder, this locomotive set the design pattern for the future FR double engines.

Gradually rebuilt to take account of improvements brought in on subsequent double engines, it continued to work on the FR until the late 1920s. An attempt to repair the boiler failed and it was later condemned. The major components were mostly scrapped but some of the locomotive survived around Boston Lodge with various parts being incorporated as spares into the other locomotives.

James Spooner was supplied by the Avonside Engine Company of Bristol (works Nos. 929/930 - Note it has two works number as it is a double engine) to the design of George Percival Spooner, James Spooner's grandson. The locomotive featured a number of design improvements over Little Wonder, the first FR Fairlie. These included a revised bogie design that better accounted for the weight of the cylinders and a more conventional firebox arrangement. The design of this locomotive formed the template for the future FR Fairlies. As built it had an open cab and prominent bells mounted on the forward part of the boiler at each end. The bells were mounted atop sandpots. (more...)


Festipedia is dedicated to recording the history of the Festiniog Railway from the 19th Century to the present day. There is a user friendly index to help you find your way around the main categories. You will also find much detail on the Welsh Highland Railway

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This month's featured picture

Carriage 26 roof sections in Minffordd Yard in July 1990

Carriage 26 is an ex-NWNGR Summer Carriage now operating on the FR. Rebodied in 1986, it bears little resemblance to its original appearance.

Built in 1894 by the Ashbury Carriage and Iron Company, Manchester. This coach was built for the North Wales Narrow Gauge Railways as a "Summer Coach" and numbered 11. It had half height doors and dimensions were Length: 29'11" Width: 6' Height:7'5". In 1922 the NWNGR became part of the Welsh Highland Railway and the carriage was numbered 26 in the combined F&WHR series. This coach, with others, was cut down in height to facilitate through working the FR's old Moelwyn Tunnel to Blaenau Ffestiniog.

The picture shows sections of the roof in Minffordd Yard in July 1990, following a rebuild.

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