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Moel Tryfan/FR Old Shed

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by SpudUk, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. SpudUk

    SpudUk Member

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    Been reading about Moel Tryfan on Festipedia. It mentions the scrapping and that "of the four locos in the Old Engine Shed during the closure, only Merddin Emrys has been restored to service" - who were the other two?

    I must say there is something about the lines of the cut down post-1924 Moel Tryfan that is really aesthetically pleasing.
     
  2. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    Palmerston and Welsh Pony?
     
  3. Steve B

    Steve B Member

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    Palmerston has been restored to service - I think you probably mean Princess.

    Steve B
     
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  4. meeee

    meeee Member

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    Merddin, Princess, Welsh Pony, and the remains of Moel Tryfan were all in the old engine shed. Prince and LT were in the erecting shop.

    Tim
     
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  5. marshall5

    marshall5 Member

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    Wasn't Palmerston behind the works where it was last used to supply steam for a steam hammer?
    Ray.
     
  6. meeee

    meeee Member

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    After the railway closed the Glaslyn Foundry used Boston Lodge for war work. In 1942 Palmerston was parked outside the blacksmiths shop and used to power the steam hammer. They must have only run it at low pressure as the firebox was condemned in 1937. It suffered from being outside during the closure period and was stripped for parts to get Prince running in 1955.

    Thankfully both Palmerston and the steam hammer survive to this day.

    Tim
     
  7. SpudUk

    SpudUk Member

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    Thanks Tim!
     
  8. SpudUk

    SpudUk Member

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    Out of curiosity, why was the decision made not to restore Princess to working order, especially considering her history as the first and last locomotive to operate on the line?
     
  9. marshall5

    marshall5 Member

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    I've always understood that Prince was chosen as it was already stripped down in the works and the new boiler which had been ordered, pre-war, for it was already there.
    Ray.
     
  10. meeee

    meeee Member

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    Probably a victim of circumstance more than anything. Originally the plan was for both Welsh Pony and Princess to be restored.

    Of the engines returned to steam, Prince was found partway through an overhaul with brand new boiler. LT was also mid overhaul when the railway closed. So they were obvious targets for steaming. Merddin had been driven in the shed and left so it was in a bad way, but it is a very useful sized engine so an obvious choice.

    The fate of Palmerston had already been mentioned. It would take the sale of the loco to a private owner to kick start it's restoration. The FR really had no plan for it.

    Moel Tryfan last had a proper overhaul in 1903. Even by the 1920s it was considered a basket case and nursed through the rest of it's working life. Not an obvious target for restoration needing rebuilding from the rails up.

    Welsh Pony is thought to have been withdrawn in 1940 although it may have seen use if they were desperate. For the 6 years until closure Princess did the lions share for the work before being driven into the shed and left. It was in very poor condition.

    The obvious next target would be Welsh Pony. Mechanically it was reasonable by the standards of the day. A new firebox would have got a bit more life from the boiler.

    That all went out the window though when Linda and Blanche arrive. Suddenly you have two more capable working engines. Then the Alco turns up and you have 3. The railway has better things to spend it's money on than a pair of engines that are too small for the revived railway.

    So they are left with no real purpose until Princess goes in the museum. At that point it's decided it is much better left as it is.

    Nobody really knows what to do with Welsh Pony though. It gets dumped in the car park which was a terrible idea in the long run. Finally it gets a reprieve but as you can tell it's not an easy job.

    Tim
     
  11. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Cheers Tim .... I'd never heard the rationale concerning what got left 'as was'.

    My understanding concerning Princess and Merddin Emrys is that they were left very much exactly as driven into the shed ..... i.e. no water drained, let alone anything resmembling 'winterisation'.
     
  12. meeee

    meeee Member

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    Yes those two locos were put in the shed expecting to work the next day. But that never happened. Which is why the restoration of Merddin was a mammoth task for the fledgling revival. The superstructure was basically scrap and the boiler wasn't much better. I expect Princess isn't much different.

    The moves to scrap the superstructure of LT in 1971 is probably what ultimately leads to Princess and LT becoming museum pieces and the FR taking greater care of its heratige. If only we had a museum to put them in.

    Tim
     
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  13. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Mmmmm ..... Where to put one? Far be it from me to suggest that, compared with Porthmadog, Beddgelert or Caernarfon (let alone Portmeirion), Blaenau Ffestiniog is a somewhat neglected destination, rather lacking in attractions* and could do with something other than (admittedly often spectacular) displays of mountaineering prowess by sheep and goats ...... and that's recognising it looks a damned sight better today than it did in the 1970s! :)

    *lacking a station webcam too!
     
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  14. meeee

    meeee Member

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    Glan-y-pwll depot restored as was with the turntable from Boston Lodge, replica signal box. Demonstration line up to the Llechwedd incline for tours of the hydroelectric power station and the slate mines. All perfectly tying the history of the FR to that of the slate industry.

    Not much to ask is it?

    Tim
     
  15. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Sorry Tim .... but is that the 'done' list or 'could do with' list? (I'm appallingly out of date on developments!).

    Doesn't one of the overhead electric quarry locos survive? I was wondering about GyP ..... is it too risky to operate as a public attraction, beyond the odd open day? I noticed the crossing at GyP still looks fit for double track, but how much of the rest of old formation is? Isn't the old line to Dinas now complete, as far as the first missing bridge? It's all just pipe dreams without knowing what's possible .... or how much it's cost (!), but Blaenau seems to have been pretty much neglected by pretty much everyone over the years.

    Last I heard involved rublings about rejigging the (Central) Station, but that seemed more in the context of why it'd be daft to commit funds to the long desired improvements to current facilities. Nor am I sure what the state of play is regarding clearing the waste tips, which was a hot topic a few years back.
     
  16. weltrol

    weltrol New Member

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    Why not restore the triangle at G-Y-P, and remove the turntable to Boston Lodge works, where it would probably be more useful for turning the smaller locos without having to 'split' tenders...?
     
  17. SpudUk

    SpudUk Member

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    Really interesting, thanks Tim!
     
  18. Selsig

    Selsig New Member

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    The turntable at Glanypwll is long gone, only the pit, and a couple of the rails from the circumference of it, survive. The Boston Lodge turntable is, on the other hand, still in situ, though the chances of it reverting from its role as a garage are somewhere between slim and none!

    John
     

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