Old FR four-wheel coal waggons

From Festipedia, hosted by the FR Heritage Group

This page lists and illustrates those four wheel coal waggons built for the Festiniog Railway pre-1946 that have survived to the present day.

Waggon 19 (ex-162)[edit]

Coal Waggon 19 at Boston Lodge
*Date: 15th October 2005 Photo: Kim Winter

Coal Waggon No. 19 (1967 No. 162) Built FR Co. Boston Lodge, 1864-1882, Load 2 tons, inside bearings and single end door. Rebuilt Midland Group 1959 with new timber (FRM7). In 1967 renumbered 162; now reverted to 19. Source: FR Chronology.

Under reconstruction in 2023 by the Wooden Waggon Federation. The waggon now sports 5 planks and retains the number 19, being fitted with original oval shaped plates. A part of the spine was renewed, but the vast majority of the chassis was retained. A new drawbar and wheels were added. The floor is completely new.

The end door was reassembled and coupling hooks attached as at September 2023. In late October the brake gear was pinned and the brake handle packed away from the body side to prevent the handle from being too stiff against its retainer. One axlebox was packed with a new packing piece to improve stability. The waggon was freshly sign-written in November and final jobs were attended to so that the waggon could re-enter the running fleet. The tare weight is a rather appropriate 0-19-0.

Wagon 162 (now 19) at Minffordd
*Date 1990 Photo Roger Marks

Waggon 20 (ex-163)[edit]

163 at Boston Lodge
Date: 1st May 2005 Photo: Kim Winter

FR No. 20 (1967 number 163). Built FR, Boston Lodge in period 1864-1882. Load 2 tons; outside bearings and single end door; formerly fitted with curly spoke wheel castings with spokes in opposite directions.

Rebuilt by Midland Group in the 1960s. Overhauled by Heritage Group working parties in 1990, fitted with new Jarrah headstocks, and treated softwood body & floor.

Out of use by 2002, solebars and spine failing. Dismantled March 2020 by trainee on HLF 'Skills for the Future' programme, to be subject to a comprehensive rebuild with new woodwork throughout. To be fitted with new curly spoke wheelsets and replacement brasses due to heavy wear.

The Covid-19 pandemic put a hold on work. Jevon Jones (HLF apprentice) had finished machining the new oak components for the chassis. It sat as an unfinished kit until the Wooden Waggon Federation was able to take on the remainder of the rebuild in spring 2021. The original ironwork was sandblasted and painted before being fitted to the new timber.

Completed summer 2022 ready for inclusion as part of heritage goods train at the 'Bygones' Gala Weekend 7 - 9 October. Outshopped with tarpaulin rings for covered goods configuration, chamfered planks, and an exact tare weight of 1-1-1.

Number 20 at Bygones 2022, following its rebuild

Waggon 26 (ex-165)[edit]

Waggon 26 at Harbour Station
*Date: August 2006 Photo Colin Lea

Coal Waggon No. 26 (1967 No. 165) previously under restoration at Beamish (May 2017) and on loan there. Now returned, it is the current WWF project, and in oct 23 work began. New wheelsets have been installed, corroded drawgear and springs removed and planks removed for chamfering. It is believed that this waggon is actually 22, not 26 as currently numbered. The current plates are an FR metal plate one side with painted 26 (no raised numbers) and a plastic copy on the other side which does have a raised 26. It is hoped that this waggon will be completed over the winter and returned to running condition in early 2024.

No. 165 (now 26) at Minffordd in September 1973.
Photo: John Ryan.

Waggon 164[edit]

Waggon 164 at Boston Lodge

164 -1967 No. (Old FR No. 126) Served for a number of years as the modern day 'breakdown' van for storing jacks, packing, crowbars, etc. At which time it was fitted with a removable roof, since discarded. Waggon 164 is in store at Minffordd Yard awaiting repairs to its headstocks before returning to running order as part of the heritage goods train.

Waggon 166[edit]

166 in rebuilt form at Boston Lodge following sign writing.
Date: 19th August 2016 Photo: Will High

166 -1967 No. (Old FR No. 23?) Built 1859,***, built FR Co. Boston Lodge, 1857/59?, Load 2 [Chronology states 3] tons, iron frame and body, outside bearings and single end door, braked. Date of building may be post 1878 as central spine is double-head rail and appears to be part of the original construction. Has strange long axles to suit the wide body width and is fitted with 3½ inch iron bushes. (see Heritage Journal 30-5). Source: FR Chronology

Major rebuild in Summer 2014 by Slate Waggon team including largely new under frame produced from laser cut parts, in the process some lost original features were restored. Currently awaiting new wheelsets to non-standard design before returning to service.

166 at Boston Lodge prior to rebuild.
Date: 9th January 2005 Photo: Kim Winter

Tare Weights[edit]

The 1-8-0, 1-8-1, 1-5-0 etc. numbers on the sides of these wagons are the 'tare' weights, expressed in tons, hundredweights (20 hundredweights to the ton) and quarters (of a hundredweight) and represent the weight of the empty wagon. When a loaded wagon was run over a weighbridge the tare could be deducted from the recorded weight by the clerk to give the weight of the load, from which the Company would calculate its bill. (ACG)

See also[edit]