The Fairlie Duplex Engine

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The Fairlie Duplex Engine is a folk song that was written by Hughie Jones and was performed by The Spinners in the 1980s. It was also released on a VHS cassette tape.

It describes the unusual features of the Ffestiniog Railway's Double Fairlie locomotives and the trials of Little Wonder against the England Engines.

The Fairlie Duplex Engine

Come all you jolly quarrymen, lend to me an ear,

Eighteen hundred and seventy, a very special year.

It’s all about a contest Mr Spooner has arranged,

Between two iron horses, one familiar and one strange.


Chorus:

We’re going to Porthmadog, we’re going to see the trials,

Everyone’s on holiday, the people travelled miles.

The railway's got this loco, the queerest ever seen,

The Fairlie Duplex Engine, whatever that may mean.


When I saw it up the loco shed, I thought I’d lost me mind,

Two front ends together and no tender on behind.

The footplate's in the middle and everything is double,

A four-armed driver's needed there’s two fires and two shovels.


Chorus:

We’re going to Porthmadog, we’re going to see the trials,

Everyone’s on holiday, the people travelled miles.

The railway's got this loco, the queerest ever seen,

The Fairlie Duplex Engine, whatever that may mean.


Welsh Pony was the first train off with nearly eighty ton,

She made it up Dinas, and we thought that she had won.

Then Fairlie's Little Wonder started on the job,

Two-hundred tons or more he pulled across the Maddock's cob.


Chorus:

We’re going to Porthmadog, we’re going to see the trials,

Everyone’s on holiday, the people travelled miles.

The railway's got this loco, the queerest ever seen,

The Fairlie Duplex Engine, whatever that may mean.


Instrumental


Now dignitaries from all the world saw history turn a page,

Fairlie’s little wonder gracing narrow gauge.

Now gather-round you quarrymen, raise your glasses high,

The great Ffestiniog Railway will never ever die!


Chorus:

We’re going to Porthmadog, we’re going to see the trials,

Everyone’s on holiday, the people travelled miles.

The railway's got this loco, the queerest ever seen,

The Fairlie Duplex Engine, whatever that may mean.


The Fairlie Duplex Engine, a miracle in steam.

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