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From this month's featured article

The new Trident Signal on the Cob is the centrepiece of the new signalling at Harbour Station.

Over the years a great variety of signals and signalling practices have been employed on the Ffestiniog Railway. The earliest signalling installed in the 1860s and '70s was of a distinctly old fashioned appearance yet much of it remained in use until the 1920s. Later on more modern semaphore schemes were introduced. Much of the signalling fell out of use in the 1920s following the granting of a light railway order.

Following the revival of the railway the new management made efforts to install more modern signalling. The early efforts were influenced by the Military Railway at Longmoor using flagboards at stations and a central control office. As resources became available more elaborate signalling schemes were implemented at stations using both mechanically operated semaphore signals and automatic colour lights. The signalling of the FR continues to develop and the 2014 resignalling of Harbour Station using electrically operated replica semaphore arms set a new high standard of quality. (more...)


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This month's featured picture

Lt Colonel Holman Fred Stephens about 1923

Holman Fred Stephens was a well established engineer and manager of light Railways who had already been material in influencing the legislation that enabled the railway to maintain its independence after "The Grouping" of the main railways. He was recruited by Henry Joseph Jack to help establish the new combined undertaking of the Welsh Highland and Festiniog Railways and progressively took over the management of the lines as Jack's regime failed.

Although used to dealing with railways that were short of capital, the poor state that the FR had drifted into, combined with old established work practices and an under-resourced Welsh Highland, left him with an uphill task in dealing with the massive increase in road competition during the 1920s. Adept at cost control and building tourism traffic, he was however able to ensure that the railway survived a critical period.

Photo credit: The Colonel Stephens Museum, Tenterden

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