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From this month's featured article

Type 1b and 2 quarrymen's carriages.

Special quarrymen's carriages first appeared on the FR in 1867. Their primary use was in special trains that carried men to work in the quarries around Blaenau Ffestiniog, with a single fare of 6d, any distance. Though many quarrymen lived in the various communities along the FR others came from further afield, having walked from home to join the train. Initially the trains ran only on Monday mornings and Saturday afternoons as most men stayed at the quarry barracks during the week. The Saturday train was usually added to the midday Down departure from Blaenau, with spectacular results. During the period when only a weekly service operated the carriages were stabled in an open, lean-to, carriage shed at Duffws during the week. A regular, daily, service was introduced in 1881.

Over the years, a number of different designs of carriage were used. The earliest were little better than low-sided, unsprung, wooden wagons with planks for seats; photographs appear to show that these overhung the sides and some passengers' legs hung outside! There was no protection from the elements. In order to simplify the story this type was designated (by Boyd) Type 1a.

The first improvements to quarrymen's carriages involved the erection of crude, shed-like, covers with zinc roofs, but lacking both doors and windows, over Type 1 vehicles. These have been designated Type 1b.

Type 2 carriages appear very similar to Type 1b, but were built as covered vehicles from new. In later years they acquired doors with small windows (Type 2b). Their running gear was not improved, however, and they remained unsprung.

Closed carriages with glazed windows and springs, Type 3, were not introduced until 1885. (more...)

Recently featured: Croesor JunctionBeddgelertAshover

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This month's featured picture

Little Giant partly dismantled

Little Giant was the last of the single engines built by George England & Co for the FR and the second of the "large Englands" after Welsh Pony. It became No. 6 in the {{FR Locomotives|FR fleet]]. As supplied, the loco did not have central buffers which had to be added subsequently.

It was rebuilt in 1888 and 1904. It was dismantled for a boiler inspection in November 1924. In March 1929 the boiler had its tubes removed and sold for scrap. The boiler barrel was cut shorter and the boiler was put into Palmerston in 1933 and, according to Boyd, the tender ended up behind Welsh Pony. This tender was the other steel framed tender - old 'Tender No.2' - which now belongs to Linda. The coupling rods survive, the connecting rods and a part of the buffer beam were used in the rebuilding of Moelwyn in the 1950s. The 1898 leading axle is now under Welsh Pony.

The picture shows Little Giant partly dismantled. The cab is from a double engine. The picture dates from c1932 and is LGRP 2467.

Photo credit: User:MarkTemple

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