Monday, 4 August 2014

The Welsh Tour Part IV: Sunny Evening at Porthmadog...

So guys we come to the final post of the day. I just thought I'd put up a couple of pictures from this evening at Porthmadog. We hung around til 7pm watching the various movements around the Harbour Station. There was a special train scheduled tonight along part of the WHR, using two smaller locomotives: "Fiji" and "Linda". The name "Fiji" may ring a bell. She is a Statfold engine; Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0 tender engine No972 of 1912, named after her place of work in her former life. The large red 0-6-0 normally lives at Statfold but is spending the summer months this year on holiday, giving footplate rides at Porthmadog station. The engine would be double-heading with "Linda" tonight up to Beddgelert with a 'Young Volunteers Special'. In the WHR platform just over the way from "Fiji", NGG16 No87 was uncoupled and ready to head off to Boston Lodge for disposal having hauled our train from Caernarfon...
In one of the middle roads stood "Linda", which I was very pleased to see in steam. "Linda" is an 1893-built Hunslet 2-4-0, modified to carry a tender by the FR. Along with her two sisters "Blanche" and "Charles", "Linda" worked on the Penrhyn Quarry railway until being purchased by the FR in 1962. "Blanche" is also based at the FR and is also in service, whilst "Charles" lives at Penrhyn Castle. I think these Hunslet's, with the inclined cylinders and the connecting rod on the inside of the coupling rods are very attractive. Though she looked fairly small in comparison to "Fiji", the chances are she is more powerful as "Fiji" is quite a tall engine with a very tall cab. "Linda" is seen here simmering in the sun. I was so pleased to see her in steam...
"2-4-0 Hunslet Saddle Tank 'Linda' of 1893"
The final FR service of the day had been worked into Harbour Station by replica Double Fairlie "David Lloyd George", built at Boston Lodge and completed in 1992. The engine returned to work in May this year in works grey, now burning coal rather than oil. The FR had adopted an oil firing policy many years ago but, due to the increase in oil costs, most of the engines have now returned to coal firing...
"David Lloyd George" is spotted here, sizing up the much taller Hudswell "Fiji"...
Having watched a few more shunting movements and listened to some arguably frustrated wannabe engine drivers come door handle polishers and their views on conventional injectors, we felt it was time for the off. Ahh well, perhaps one more daft picture just for the album...
"Eddie With His Business"
It had been a most enjoyable day but a long and tiring one. Now it was back in the car for the route back to base, and then off to the Eagles for a pint or two in celebration. No three courses I hear you cry? Eddie was much the same, but I just couldn't face it! All the best everyone and thank you for reading about our epic adventure. Cheers all, Sam...

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