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the FR Heritage Group wiki.
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From this month's featured article

The Maenofferen Wharf in Minffordd Yard

Minffordd Yard is located to the north of the FR main line just west of Minffordd station. In old company days, slate was transshipped from here on to the Cambrian Railways. Incoming traffic included coal, for the railway's locomotives and for local domestic use. The yard is now the headquarters of the Infrastructure Department and one of their main depots. It is also used to store heritage vehicles and artifacts.

The extensive slate wharves and exchange sidings with the Cambrian Railways were established in 1872. Having originally leased the land from the Huddart Family estate, the FR Co. eventually bought the land for £2500 in mid 1876.

Slate storage sheds were built at the FR main line end of the yard, adjacent to the Maeofferen wharf and continued in use, leased to Davies Bros., slate merchants, until the 1960s. They are now fully used for railway purposes.

The only rail access is from the bottom end of the Down line loop at Minffordd, originally the Mineral line. Trains leave the present loop and join a line which runs parallel to the FR main line, passing over the road access to the yard and in front of the former weigh house before reaching a set of weighted points that are normally set for the small fan of post-preservation sidings that comprise the Upper Yard. In order to gain access to the steep, sharply curved, line into the lower (main) yard the weighted points must be held over by the guard or second man of the train. Trains 'rushing the bank' in order to leave the yard simply trail through the weighted points so that their progress up the bank is not hindered.

The weighted points have considerable heritage significance as there has been a set on this location ever since the yard was established and they have been operated by the same method throughout that time! The only other set of points having a similar pedigree is at Boston Lodge, though their operating lever has been changed over time.

The steepness and curvature of the line down into the main yard places limits on the locomotives and stock that can use it; double engines are forbidden, as are some of the older bogie carriages. (more...)

Recently featured: Coed y BleiddiauCharles Easton SpoonerHorse operation

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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

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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