Sunday, June 4, 2017

Sunday 4 June - Boston Lodge, Ffestiniog Railway and Welsh Highland Heritage Railway

A coach took us to Boston Lodge works for a visit.  The number of projects in progress and planned is enormous.  It will be completely different in a few years time.  The locomotive Welsh Pony, which was last steamed in 1937 will be completed next year and then, in effect, a new double Fairlie will be built.

Two double Fairlies and a Garratt were being fired up to work the service trains today.  Our guide, July, is the enthusiastic office manager here,  She frequently fires the Garratts.
There is one Garrat stabled overnight here.  It presently has to be outside but a new shed is being built.

The smaller Fairlies can be kept under cover

Boiler for Welsh Pony, last steamed in 1937

Frames for Welsh Ponky

Paul tested the fireman's space on a Fairlie

Although we had a heavy downpour during breakfast the weather has been sunny with cloudy periods, excellent for seeing the views over the valley from the Ffestiniog train.

There was a short stay in Blaenau Ffestiniog while the engine ran around and we then returned in good sunlight back to Porthmadog.
At Blaenau Ffestiniog the rhododendrons are taking over and transforming the town from slate grey to green, a significant improvement
There was a guided tour of the new signal box where the working of the electro-mechanical frame was explained.

A Garratt coming to couple on to a train to Caernarfon
We walked along to the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway and took a short ride to the Heritage Centre and Museum.  This is very well done with displays that are well explained and there is plenty to keep the kids occupied.

Russell is the only original Welsh Highland Railway locomotive.  Its boiler certificate was recently renewed.

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