Template:Featured article/November 2019

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The Boat

The Boat is a unique gravity and sail powered inspection vehicle on the Ffestiniog Railway. The original Boat was built partly as an inspection vehicle and partly as a private vehicle for the Spooner Family. Its date of construction is unknown but almost certainly pre-dates the operation of steam locomotives. It is recorded as being demonstrated in 1876 and achieving a speed of 27mph and being able to stop from this within 30 yards. The original boat was destroyed when Charles Easton Spooner disobeyed the rules for train staff working and crashed into an up train in February 1886.

A modern replica has been constructed by the Festiniog Railway Heritage Group using money left to them by the late Michael Seymour. Completed in 2005, it can often be seen operating on the line during special events.

The normal mode of operation for the boat is for it to be towed up the line behind a train (usually as far as Tan y Bwlch) and then to gravitate back down as far as Pen Cob. Here the sail can be raised for the journey across The Cob to Harbour Station. (more...)

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