Ffestiniog Railways

1128 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


Review type

Things to do


Date of travel

October, 2019

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Product country

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Travelled with

On your own

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The Ffestiniog Railway has an eclectic collection of steam locos from “Prince”:https://www.festipedia.org.uk/wiki/Prince#/media/File:Prince2013.jpg, one of the original engines built in 1863 and still in service to “Lyd”:https://www.festipedia.org.uk/wiki/Lyd#/media/File:Lyd.jpg, a replica of a Lynton and Barnstaple Locomotive built in 2010.

Perhaps the most iconic are the Double Fairlie locos specially designed by Robert Fairlie to cope with the steep gradients and tight curves along the line. These had a a single firebox with two boilers mounted on their own set of bogies. Merddin Emrys built at Boston Lodge in 1879 is still in regular service pulling trains. The sheer naked power of a double Fairlie working flat out uphill with 12 coaches is exhilarating.

“Earl of Merioneth”:https://www.festipedia.org.uk/wiki/Earl_of_Merioneth_II#/media/File:Earl_of_Merioneth_2012.jpg was the first loco to be built at Boston Lodge in 1979 after the Railway was reopened. Money was tight at the time and it is a very utilitarian design with its square water tanks. It is currently out of service in the workshops.

“David Lloyd George”:https://www.festipedia.org.uk/wiki/David_Lloyd_George#/media/File:DLG_2015_Red.jpeg was built in 1992 followed by “Taliesin”:https://www.festipedia.org.uk/wiki/Taliesin_III#/media/File:Single2.jpg , a single Fairlie in 1999.

“James Spooner”:https://www.festipedia.org.uk/wiki/James_Spooner_II , another Double Fairlie is being built at Boston Lodge and will hopefully be enter service pulling trains in 2020. “Welsh Pony”:https://www.festipedia.org.uk/wiki/Welsh_Pony#/media/File:WelshPony2013.jpg, a larger version and more powerful version of Prince originally built in 1867, spent many years as a static display outside Harbour station, but is now also being restored in Boston Lodge.

Linda and Blanche, affectionately known as The Sisters were bought from the nearby Penrhyn Slate Quarry in 1962 and 1963. They are in regular service, either working singly pulling smaller trains or double heading on longer trains.

“Palmerston”:https://www.festipedia.org.uk/wiki/Palmerston#/media/File:Palmerson_3Nov15.jpg, built in 1864 and very similar to Prince is privately owned but lives at Boston Lodge. It is used for special occasions.

Tucked away and languishing at the back of Boston Lodge is “Mountaineer”:https://www.festipedia.org.uk/wiki/Mountaineer_II#/media/File:Mountaineer_2019.JPG , an ex World War 1 loco built by the American Locomotive Company, who arrived in 1967 and was regularly seen hauling trains until the end of the 1990s.

Loco rosters can be viewed “here.”:https://www.festrail.co.uk/locoroster.htm

These pictures of Merddin Emrys, along with Linda and Blanche were taken on a trip to the Ffestiniog Railway in October 2019. They are part of a series of reviews and pictures from that trip.


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