Ffestiniog Railway

Resource Type: Image | Posted on 18th November 2011 by Liam Physick

This is promotional material issued by the famous Ffestiniog Railway, “the world’s oldest independent railway”, it boasts. The leaflet claims a connection with the Liverpool and Manchester Railway: it was built by Thomas Pritchard, one of Robert Stephenson’s men, who was lent to it by Stephenson in 1830, just before the Liverpool and Manchester Railway opened: however, Stephenson apparently never expected it would be possible to run a steam locomotive on a narrow-gauge line like the Ffestiniog. In 1980, the same year as Rocket 150, the Ffestiniog Railway’s No. 2 Prince, “the oldest narrow gauge steam locomotive at work in the world” (of the other two original steam locomotives on the railway, No. 1 Princess is on static display in Spooner’s bar at Harbour station, while No. 3 Mountaineer was scrapped in 1879). Prince, however, is not in service at the moment: it is on display at Highley Engine House, Severn River Valley, but will be restored to service in 2013, the 150th anniversary of steam on the Ffestiniog (prior to 1863, trains on the line were operated by horsepower or gravity). The advertisement goes on to boast that the Ffestiniog was “the prototype for narrow-gauge railways all over the world” and that its famous Double Fairlie locomotives were “the steam ancestor of today’s diesel and electric locomotives.” To illustrate the point, there is a photograph of the Earl of Merioneth, built in 1979, the first Double Fairlie to be built after the restoration of the Railway with the caption “Partners since 1954 [when restoration began] in achieving the impossible”, and invites people to visit for its 150th anniversary in 1982

Ffestiniog Railway

Tagged under: steam locomotives, liverpool and manchester railway, tender locomotives, rocket 150, heritage railways, robert stephenson, rail gauge, ffestiniog railway, fairlie locomotives

Categorised under: Landmarks, Landscapes & Locomotives

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