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sir douglas

Welsh pony finally gets the go ahead

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Its always great when a steam engine is back on tracks .I would personally make the government pay and put it down to National  Emergency  Contingency Reserves. Organisation ,or NECRO .I swear one day that its only the preserved stuff that will be running .I could of course be exaggerating slightly :-)

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Well, Portmeirion is going to need to get the China out somehow :) and as all roads will be destroyed and road vehicles short circuited the FR/WHR is needed urgently to perform this essential post-apocalyptic duty

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In all seriousness though, its about time. She's a beautiful engine, literally one of a kind now, and Steam engines were meant to move, not be stuck at the back of a shed somewhere or slowly rotting on a plinth.

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I can't help but think that laying an actual branch to Portmerion would be a good idea. All else apart, it would give the little engines something to do.

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The idea was explored just after reopening, and the line that runs to the right hand side of Boston Lodge (when travelling towards it over the cob) is the remnant of that idea. I think it was dismissed as too costly and imparactical. The geography isn't too kind to the idea of laying a railway, and I don't think that even Porthmadog is big enough for trains from three separate routes to meet there :)

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The idea was explored just after reopening, and the line that runs to the right hand side of Boston Lodge (when travelling towards it over the cob) is the remnant of that idea. I think it was dismissed as too costly and imparactical. The geography isn't too kind to the idea of laying a railway, and I don't think that even Porthmadog is big enough for trains from three separate routes to meet there :)

 The line running to the right originally ran to a gunpowder store, long before the re-opening, but you are right the idea has been explored before. I think the plan was to extend the gunpowder road right round the headland, would have been "fun" on a stormy day, the Cob is bad enough.

 

Phil T.

Edited by Phil Traxson

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It wonder what kind of station Sir Clough Williams-Ellis would have provided at Portmerion?

 

~Best layout idea ever~ :sungum:

 

Now I know what to do with that kit of a FR toast rack carriage.. make an Italianate micro terminus around it..!

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There we go "What If" modellers-the F.R Portmeirion branch-Is actually not a bad idea given that the village is all built to a reduced scale (is it half or third size-the memory fails...)the `Little Train` would fit perfectly-roll on the Prisoner Express !!

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It wonder what kind of station Sir Clough Williams-Ellis would have provided at Portmerion?

 

Extravagant.

 

Something extravagant. With lots of twiddly bits.

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Williams-Ellis did design a station building, for Nant Gwernol on the Talyllyn - though it was never built. Given the rather tight location, IIRC the plan was for a rather twee elevated refreshment room above the line. I've seen the plans somewhere, presumably in Talyllyn News at some point over the last 20 years or so. Goodness knows if I'd be able to track it down.

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Of course William-Ellis did actually design a railway station (of sorts) that was built and used for many years. It wasnt the prettiest of buildings.....

 

The old Snowdon cafe!

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As you can see from the time-lapse video, the dismantling of Welsh Pony has now started. Looking forwards to seeing the restoration completed - but I have no idea what they're going to do about the tender. As I understand it, Welsh Pony has no tender of her own, largely because of the conversion of Linda and Blanche to tender engines and the shuffling of tenders that's occurred in the years since then. Are they going to build a new one, or will they 'acquire' one from somewhere?

 

(I should probably mention that the video is not mine, and posted here solely for illustrative purposes).

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I was talking to some one heavily involved with the FR at breakfast and there is discussion about making a replica of an England with side tanks .

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I was talking to some one heavily involved with the FR at breakfast and there is discussion about making a replica of an England with side tanks .

 

That would be good to see - Mountaineer or something very like it, I assume?

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Its always great when a steam engine is back on tracks .I would personally make the government pay and put it down to National  Emergency  Contingency Reserves. Organisation ,or NECRO .I swear one day that its only the preserved stuff that will be running .I could of course be exaggerating slightly :-)

Good to see this,

 

however, if I like the idea, does this make me a NECROphiliac?

 

Regards

 

Ian

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Re the "Matchbox" England loco's.

Welsh Pony was never in this form, was supplied new with the large saddle tank and longer wheelbase. The small England loco's which were supplied in this form eventually had curved cast iron weights on top of the side tanks and over the boiler to increase there rather poor adhesion and as they were rebuilt were given full saddle tanks in the form we know so well.

To build an accurate side tank England engine would require a completely new locomotive being constructed, one which would not even be any use on trains of Bug Boxes on high days and holidays. It would still need boiler tests and inspections and ten year boiler overhauls, in short just an expensive nice to look at loco.

Don't get me wrong, I would love to see one too but the reality of it is that it would be of no real use to the railway at all.  

 

Phil T.

Edited by Phil Traxson

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I'd loveto see an original condition England too, but as I understand it, all of the modifications made to the class were made for a reason. perhaps it is one dream too far, and is would be a millstone by any modern standards and even if she was made to modern standards while maintaining the cosmetic appearance of the original I'm not sure that she would ever make a serviceable FR engine.

 

Ironically enough, somewhere like the WHHR or Bala Lake railway would have more of a use for an engine of that sort. Where there are no long trains and tight timings are not so stringent.

 

Retuning to the topic at hand, it never ceases to amaze me about how much worse you have to make a steam engine look before you can restore it properly :)

Edited by Edge
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Shows how out of date my April 1973 Festiniog Railway Companion (cover price 35p) is as with regard to Welsh Pony it states "the extremely costly rebuild that will be involved, for a machine of doubtful value, has mitigated against reconstruction." The same booklet also described K1 as "the next engine to be overhauled"!

Edited by Butler Henderson
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Hi Mr Brunel, Welsh Pony will be getting a new build tender.  Her original tender went to Linda and this has been widened, you can this in some of the pictures from the gala last year. R

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