From Festipedia, hosted by the FR Heritage Group

Surprisingly enough, neither the FR, nor the WHR, possesses a locomotive turntable in operational use. To expand on that, from what data is available, the WHR never had one during its, or its predecessors', existence.

The FR had two turntables for locos and carriages. The first of these was next to Boston Lodge cottages 3 & 4 (put in in 1869, 22ft long and built by Baines Railway Foundry, of Soho, Birmingham). Boyd stated that there was a second turntable at Duffws, erected in 1870, but there is no evidence for this in the FR archives. A second turntable was put in at Glan-y-Pwll in 1900, at the time the triangle on the original lines to Dinas was taken out of service. The Boston Lodge turntable was in use until at least 1934.[1] The Glan-y-Pwll turntable probably fell out of use at about the same time.

The associated pit of the Glan-y-Pwll turntable (which still had the outer circular rail) came to light in 1976 during preparation for construction on the site and was subsequently covered over. It was located alongside the old engine shed and is now buried underneath the steel shed which has been built alongside.

The Boston Lodge one is still in situ, underneath the garage next to Boston Lodge Cottages (see here for further details.)

The FR had a large number of wagon turntables. Many were on the wharves at Port and have been removed, but some still exist elsewhere, although the one at Penrhyn Station was reinstated for show. There are still wagon turntables under the slate waste on Maenofferen wharf at Minffordd Yard, and one of the two wagon turntables in Boston Lodge top yard is occasionally used for turning small locomotives including the England Engines though without their tenders which have to be turned separately.

Excavations in 1970 on the site of the 1842 waggon repair shop in the Top Yard at Boston Lodge revealed remains of a very unusual traversing turntable. It appeared to provide access to two parallel tracks inside the shed from a single incoming line at right angles, but had been out of use and buried for many years.

A plan of the old station at Duffws (superseded in 1875) shows one siding entering the warehouse part of the building and what might be a large turntable connecting to two parallel tracks. It could have been an imprecise representation of the same traversing-turntable idea, or an alternative.

There are times when there is a requirement to turn a locomotive or other long vehicle such as a carriage. One method is to take the item that requires turning to the Gasworks Siding in Porthmadog and load it on to a road vehicle. It is then taken to Minffordd Yard and unloaded so that it is the other way round. To reduce the cost this is usually done when a road vehicle is collecting or delivering some other item of rolling stock.

In early revival times carriages were on at least one occasion turned using a wagon turntable for one end and slid over sleepers and rail at the other end. See Van 4.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Letter from Hugh Davies", Ffestiniog Railway Magazine, Issue 156, page(s): 488