Template:Featured article/July 2020

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Welsh Pony 1871

Welsh Pony is a steam locomotive built for the Festiniog Railway in 1867. Part of the second batch of locomotives built for the line, it was constructed to an improved enlarged design. The locomotive saw major rebuilds in 1891 and 1915. Welsh Pony continued in use until c1940. After this the locomotive was out of use for a prolonged period, including time spent on a plinth in the car park at Porthmadog Harbour Station.

The time spent out of use took its toll on Welsh Pony and parts of it were in poor condition. After a consultation on what should be done with the locomotive, it was decided to return it to steam. Welsh Pony was taken into the works at Boston Lodge in 2014 and, following a comprehensive overhaul, returned to steam in 2020. As expected, the boiler required replacement but it was also found that the frames and cylinders were too corroded to be re-used. Although it was originally hoped that the originals could be reused, it was later found necessary to also replace the coupling and connecting rods. The locomotive was rebuilt using the original 1867 outside stepped frames and rear buffer beam. The wheelsets are also original, the front pair being from Little Giant. The inside motion, as far as one can tell, is also original. Lubrication is by an old FR displacement lubricator re-fitted. Two of the cab side plates from 1915 have come back to the railway and have been refitted. They will be joined by a new plate commemorating the 21st century rebuild (more...)