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From this month's featured article

Coed y Bleiddiau

Coed y Bleiddiau ('Wood of the Wolves') is a private halt between Tan y Bwlch and Dduallt and there is evidence of ancient forest in the area. Local legend has it that the last wolf to be killed in Wales met its end nearby. There is a small halt here, serving a cottage which was built around 1863 for the use of the Superintendent of the Line. The contract to build two cottages (XD97/18245) was dated 23rd November 1863. The contract specified cottages at Coedybliddia and at the Tunnel. The cost was £340 and issued to John M Evans.

The current Festiniog Railway Company Rule Book spells the name of this location as either "Coed-y-Bleddiau" or "Coed y Bleddiau". However, the correct spelling of the Welsh word for "wolves" is "bleiddiau". The location is also occasionally referred to as either "Coedybleddiau" or "Coedybleiddiau".

The railway crosses a small side valley on a curved, dry-stone, embankment here and the extra width on the valley side of the curve is evidence of its having been eased at some time, probably before 1869 when improvements were made to make locomotive working easier, but maybe when line-straightening and relaying in heavier rail was in progress in the 1850s, when locomotives were anticipated. The 1869 plans for the doubling of the line clearly show the wider curve in the formation. (Full article...)


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This month's featured picture

Moelwyn at Beamish in June 2016

Moelwyn Is a 2-4-0 Diesel locomotive built for use by the French during the First World War. It was acquired by the FR in the 1920s and has worked there ever since.

Built by Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia in 1918 (possibly Builder's number 49604), this locomotive was an 0-4-0PM built for service in Word War I with the French Army. It was purchased in February 1925 for use on the Festiniog and also the Welsh Highland through Honeywell Brothers, the agents used in the purchase of the Simplex - at what seemed to be a bargain £248 13s 4d. Put to work shunting at Minffordd and together with the Simplex it was used for a short time to replace horse traction on part of the Croesor Tramway. It proved too heavy for the light track there and was returned to shunting duties. The need for economical winter services led in 1928 to the Baldwin being fitted with vacuum brakes for service on the Welsh Highland. Although no records are known to survive as to its actual use it probably was used on the WHR and it was certainly used as a rescue engine for passenger trains on occasion.

In 2016 Moelwyn was repainted into a grey livery to represent its first world war condition. It is seen here at Beamish in June 2016.

Photo credit: User:GeoffHill

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