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Taliesin, 1887

Taliesin was an 0-4-4T Single Fairlie locomotive built for the Festiniog Railway in 1876. It was completely rebuilt between 1898 and 1900. Over subsequent years the locomotive fell into increasing disrepair and was dismantled in preparation for a new boiler in 1924. However, despite recommendations from the Locomotive Superintendent and Engineer, the Board refused to purchase a boiler. Boyd states that Taliesin was reassembled with its existing boiler, but the archives have no record of this. The remains were later scrapped.

The name is that of a legendary Head Bard to Prince Elffin, who maybe lived around 520-560 A.D. The name means 'fair-brow'; it can also mean 'fair pay' or 'reward.' The story is that William Williams (a bard himself, Gwilym Meirion) persuaded the FR Board that the legendary bard was just the name for the loco, but as there was a pay dispute between the Board and their staff at the time, it gave some glee to the men seeing the loco puffing up the line displaying the brass plate 'Fair Pay.' (more...)