After visiting the Boston Lodge workshop in our 2011 UK holiday I returned to Habour Station to take a ride on the Ffestiniog Railway
1 Earl of Merioneth is provided with coal. No fancy coal installation. Just an old South African Railway open car and honest shoveling by hand.
2 Meanwhile the train is being shunted in place in the station area
3 The Earl coming up for its tour of duty
4 This signal post as well as much of the station's layout is history now. In the 2013-2014 winter season the Cob was widened and a new signal box installed.
5 The diesel pushing the train back into the station
6 Such coaches are a delight to see
7 The Earl making its appearance on the stage of steam
8 Facing the threatening rain
9 This 0-4-4-0 Double Fairlie was the third locomotive to be built by the Festiniog Railway Company in its own workshops at Boston Lodge. Construction began in 1972 and was completed in 1979. It carries its name Earl of Merioneth in English on one side and in Welsh Iarll Meirionnydd on the other.
10 The nearing wetness has its advantages, a ray of sun peeks through and highlights the steam.
13 The modern lubricator provides the appropriate spots with sufficient oil. These pump are tell tale signs of a modern day steam locomotive
14 The lubricator is powered by a small rod taking the movement from a crank on the drive axle.
15 Reading the road instructions. Note that on this type of Fairlie driver and fireman are separated by the continuous firebox that fires both boilers.
17 A last spell of sun before departure
18 No sooner than I entered my carriage....
19 ... the rain set in and it was to last the entire ride
20 In pouring rain the departure signal was given
21 Passing Boston Lodge
22 Clearances are tight on the route
23 A still active slate mine
25 A road gang wainting in the loop for our train to pass.
26 Smile, I thought, it could be worse. I smiled and indeed, it got worse
27 Crossing the road
30 This could have been a very scenic ride.
33 Taking water
35 Water gushing from its rear tank and both boilers worked hard, the Earl hauls its train out of Tanybwlch
36 Passing Duallt's loop, invisible for most of the time
38 The reservoir for the nearby power station engulfed part of the old line. This part of the old line was not relaid but a new road was constructed somewhat higher up the hills
39 A nice place for walkers in the nearby mountains, but in this weather a place to forget quickly
41 If it had not been enough all heavens broke loose, including a good thunder
42 Our steam powered submarine arriving at Blaenau Ffestiniog
43 Typically Russian behaviour? The lady knew I wanted to make a photo, but simply did not want to move out of the way. Actually, as soon as she discovered I wanted her out of the way she did everything possible to be in the way, eying at me every time to see if I would get cross. Meanwhile her husband kept obtrusively close, seeking the conflict. This text is my revenge, let all the world know that this Russian emptyhead is a disgrace to her people.
45 Yes the ladyis still there (see her umbrella) but her husband now moved her away.
48 While the Earl was running round I got on the footbridge to obtain a view you so rarly see on photos: from above. These photo may be handy when modelling this type
51 And now back to Porthmadog
52 Duallt has a loop (coutesy Google). It could be an excellent theme for a model railroad
53 Here the loop is visible from the upper track
54 How to loop a station. Well, watch Duallt's station building from one side...
55 ... run the train down the loop...
56 ... and take a look on the other side.
57 Back at Tanybwlch, were we halted...
58 ... to let the up-train pass
64 At the end of the ride, back in Harbour Station, the Earl was resupplied. The moment the train arrived, it stopped raining!!