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From this month's featured article

Merddin at Duffws c1880

Merddin Emrys is a Double Fairlie locomotive, the third such locomotive built for the Festiniog Railway, the suitability of the type having been proven in tests using Little Wonder. Merddin was built in the Festiniog Railway Company's own workshops at Boston Lodge in 1879 to the design of George Percival Spooner and has spent its entire working life on the Festiniog Railway. When the railway closed in 1946 Merddin was the only double engine still available for service, Livingston Thompson having been withdrawn for repairs.

Merddin was returned to service in 1961 and converted to oil burning in 1973. In 2007, as part of the FR's fuel diversification process, the locomotive reverted to coal firing again.

A picture gallery of this locomotive is available. (more...)

Recently featured: Quarrymen's carriagesCroesor JunctionBeddgelert


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This month's featured picture

Linda running on ex-Penrhyn Quarry Railway bullhead rails at Dduallt Tank Curve

The purchase of five miles of Penrhyn Quarry Rail was announced in Magazine No. 24 in Spring of 1964, and it was with this in mind that a financial appeal had been made in the Winter 1961 - 62 Magazine. Negotiations for purchase of PQR rail were opened when the PQR mainline closed in 1961 leading up to the 1964 announcement. Penrhyn Quarry Rail became the new standard for relaid FR permanent way from the time of its purchase. The first deliveries to Minffordd were in early 1965. In the Autumn 1966 FR Magazine it is mentioned that 75% had been received and stacked at Minffordd and the remainder was due to arrive during September 1966. The bulk of the rails were 24 feet long bull head of approximately 50 lb per yard when new and there were two patterns of chairs with two or four holes in roughly equal quantities. The most modern rail was rolled in 1909.

By the end of winter 2015/16 PQR rail (and thus all bullhead rail) was eliminated from the FR running line after the last remaining sections at Penrhyn and Boston Lodge were relaid with modern flat bottom rails.

Photo credit: Graham Bond

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