Author Topic: 'Large England' Welsh Pony to return to steam  (Read 5749 times)

John L Dobson

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'Large England' Welsh Pony to return to steam
« on: June 08, 2013, 04:22:47 PM »
The go-ahead has been given for Welsh Pony's restoration to traffic by the FR Company Board, and a comprehensive restoration management plan has been drawn up in conjunction with the FR Heritage Company. Funding for the work will be secured ‘in different and creative ways’, says F&WHR General Manager Paul Lewin. The decision could mean an eventual return to steam for the whole F&WHR fleet.

Welsh Pony was built as an 0-4-0ST in London in 1867 by George England. It was the fifth loco delivered to the FR and has been out of use since its firebox was condemned in 1939. It is slightly larger, more powerful and with a longer wheelbase than the four earlier England 0-4-0T engines, built in 1863.

The locomotive was a stalwart of services on the original Welsh Highland Railway, which closed to passengers in 1936, and it was at one time plinthed at Porthmadog Harbour Station as an advertisement for the FR. Over the winter of 2012-13, it was the subject of a cosmetic restoration to enable it to take part on the celebrations of 150 Years of Steam on the FR alongside its sisters Princess, Prince and Palmerston.

“As a mature railway, our aspiration is that all our locos should eventually be returned to operating condition,” adds Lewin. “We want to be in a position to be able to simply pull any one of them out of the shed and light it up. With the notable exception of Princess and Double Fairlie Livingston Thompson, which contain much original material and will be preserved as historic artefacts, the idea is that everything else should be restored to working order rather than being tucked in the back of a shed covered in dust. This will be a complete contrast to the early days of preservation, when the bare minimum of locomotives needed to run services was maintained in operable condition, the rest lying unloved in sidings and sheds. Welsh Pony will be the first and we will draw up a priority list of our remaining locos. Our hope is that everything we’ve got will eventually be able to run – Englands, Fairlies, Hunslet ‘Ladies’, Garratts and NG15 2-8-2s. It’s a simple idea, but nailing down the details of how we’ll implement and pay for it will be far more complex."

Welsh Pony will also be the first FR locomotive to be restored ‘live’ on the internet, with regular news, photo and video reports on a dedicated microsite at http://festrail.co.uk/welshpony Some phases of the work may also be broadcast live by webcam, although details have yet to be finalised.

“We know where we’re going,” adds Lewin, “And we’re starting to fill in the details of how we get there. We believe that this long-term vision will ensure continued and growing interest in our railways around the world.”

No start date, or deadline for completion, of the work on Welsh Pony has yet been made public, but work is likely to start over the winter of 2013-14. The locomotive is due to celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2017.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2013, 04:28:35 PM by John L Dobson »
John L Dobson
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Steve Smith

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Re: 'Large England' Welsh Pony to return to steam
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2013, 06:01:56 PM »
Thank you, John, for this great news. Exciting, and so impressive!

Nice, too, to have that link so we can follow the progress.

Steve Smith

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Re: 'Large England' Welsh Pony to return to steam
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2013, 06:09:45 PM »
I guess the new sub-site isn't activated yet, as I got the message that the browser couldn't find the server. Perhaps in your "spare time," John  ;D you can watch that and alert us when it goes live? 

John L Dobson

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Re: 'Large England' Welsh Pony to return to steam
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2013, 06:12:18 PM »
It works when I click on the link…
John L Dobson
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Ira Schreiber

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Re: 'Large England' Welsh Pony to return to steam
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2013, 09:24:47 PM »
John,
Great news. I, too, will watch the progress and I do have the site up.

Regards,
Ira

Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: 'Large England' Welsh Pony to return to steam
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2013, 11:31:54 PM »
Thanks for the news John.  I look forward to seeing progress on rebuilding the historic Welsh Pony.  Beautiful engine, she will be a fine addition to the motive power stable.  Very nice web site too!

Stewart

Steve Smith

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Re: 'Large England' Welsh Pony to return to steam
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2013, 01:54:57 AM »
I have it now as well, John; very nice! Guess the provider we use had a little equipment hicccup.

James Patten

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Re: 'Large England' Welsh Pony to return to steam
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2013, 03:28:48 PM »
How many "remaining locos" are there?

John L Dobson

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Re: 'Large England' Welsh Pony to return to steam
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2013, 05:49:37 PM »
The list of FR/WHR locomotives currently not in service is as follows:

1. 'Small England' Princess - cosmetically restored as a museum piece

2. 'Large England' Welsh Pony

3. 1885 Boston Lodge built Double Fairlie Livingston Thompson - cosmetically restored as a museum piece and currently at the National Railway Museum, York.

4. 1917 Alco 2-6-2T Mountaineer - boiler 'out of ticket' and currently stored surplus to requirements in Glan y Pwll carriage shed.

5. 1958 Beyer Garratt No.140. Currently used as a parts source for the other three ex-SAR Garratts. Stored at Dinas. A long-term project for return to steam

6. 1953 'Kalahari' 2-8-2 No.133. Currently stored at Dinas - some parts being used in rebuilding No.134. A long-term project for return to steam

7. 1953 'Kalahari' 2-8-2 No.134. Being restored as a volunteer-led project at Dinas. Expected to go into service in the relatively near future.

8. Tasmanian Garratt K1 - being overhauled at Dinas by a volunteer group - not likely to become a 'front-line' locomotive when it returns to steam because it is heavy on the track and on maintenance.

The double Fairlie David Lloyd George is also out of service this year undergoing a ten-yearly overhaul. It will be fitted with new bogies incorporating  piston-valve cylinders and converted to coal burning as part of the overhaul.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2013, 05:55:05 PM by John L Dobson »
John L Dobson
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Ira Schreiber

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Re: 'Large England' Welsh Pony to return to steam
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2013, 08:25:51 PM »
Thanks, John.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2013, 06:38:35 AM by Ira Schreiber »

John Kokas

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Re: 'Large England' Welsh Pony to return to steam
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2013, 09:41:18 PM »
John,

I assume the ALCO is a WWI military export.  Where did it come from?  Does it still have it boiler and frame plates to identify its Class type and serial number?
Moxie Bootlegger

Nick Griffiths

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Re: 'Large England' Welsh Pony to return to steam
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2013, 06:52:19 AM »
John,

I assume the ALCO is a WWI military export.  Where did it come from?  Does it still have it boiler and frame plates to identify its Class type and serial number?

Have a look at www.festipedia.org.uk/wiki/Mountaineer_II for more information....

Nick

Hansel Fardon

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Re: 'Large England' Welsh Pony to return to steam
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2013, 10:00:04 PM »
Wow! That mountaineer looks good! Just needs the proper smoke box cover & pilot! :-)
I also noticed it had an American whistle!