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From this month's featured article

Bill Broadbent (1924-2005)

W.B. (Bill) Broadbent was one of the founding fathers of the Festiniog Railway revival. A railway engineer by training, he also had experience working for industry. He joined the fledgling Festiniog Railway Society in 1951 and soon found himself on the railway's board, where he brought much needed engineering expertise.

Bill was elected Chairman of the Festiniog Railway Society Board and remained a Director until 1984, during which time he also served as the Society's representative on the Festiniog Railway Company Board. During the late 1970s the pressure to reopen to Blaenau was placing strains upon all levels of the management of the FR and the Company Board sought to alleviate some of this by appointing a temporary Chief Executive. Bill, having recently lost his job with SELNEC, was available and took the post. Unfortunately, a certain lack of transparency in the arrangements caused hostility within the Society.

Bill continued to be involved with the Festiniog Railway and its society until his retirement in the 1980s after which he remained a supporter until his death in 2005. (more...)

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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

The new James Spooner

The new James Spooner is the seventh locomotive to be built by the Festiniog Railway Company in its workshops at Boston Lodge, and the seventh FR Double Fairlie. The building of the new locomotive was announced in 2016 as a replacement for Earl of Merioneth. It was completed in 2023 and is expected to enter service in 2024.

This locomotive takes its name from an earlier FR engine which was named after the company's first manager.

Photo credit: Ed Heaps

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