Author Topic: Ffestiniog Railway Carriage Shop - the next project  (Read 2013 times)

John L Dobson

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Ffestiniog Railway Carriage Shop - the next project
« on: June 11, 2015, 01:19:16 PM »
With No.150 out of the way it's time to start erecting the next carriage, 'Super Saloon' No.117. This is a replacement for one of the 'Tin Cars' - jig-built, steel-bodied cars cheaply built in the 1970s on secondhand under frames from the Isle of Man Railway. We've already built several Super Saloons. They are designed to the maximum dimensions that will go through Garnedd Tunnel and have extra leg room, big windows with double glazing, heaters, etc., for maximum passenger comfort.

The piles of wooden bits are the components for the body framework for 117. They were manufactured by the Carriage Works last year when the previous Super Saloon, No.119, was being built.

There's another Super Saloon (No.118) to come this year after 117, then the Service Car, No.125, to go with No.150, followed by a standard saloon for the WHR, so the Carriage Works is going to be busy. With a fleet of around 60 carriages on the two railways, there is also a fairly heavy refurbishment programme each winter. Typically, 6 to 8 cars are repaired and repainted and/or revarnished over and above new-build activity.

The under frames and bogies for the new carriages are built by Boston Lodge Engineering, the FR department that builds and repairs FR & WHR locomotives.

The bodies of two of the withdrawn 'Tin Cars' (No.119 and 117) have been sold to the Golden Valley Railway in the English Midlands and will be back in service as soon as the GVR fits new bogies (the original bogies are an FR standard design and have been kept for the new cars)
« Last Edit: June 11, 2015, 01:28:52 PM by John L Dobson »
John L Dobson
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John L Dobson

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Re: Ffestiniog Railway Carriage Shop - the next project
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2015, 03:57:23 PM »
Progress on No.117. It's surprising how quickly one of these saloons goes together if you have the woodwork ready prepared (and if you've done it several times before!).
John L Dobson
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John L Dobson

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Re: Ffestiniog Railway Carriage Shop - the next project
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2015, 04:18:16 PM »
Meanwhile, in the Welding Bay…

The underframe for Super Saloon No.118 under construction. It's upside down in this photo, for various bits to be welded to the underside.
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Philip Marshall

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Re: Ffestiniog Railway Carriage Shop - the next project
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2015, 06:46:32 PM »
Very nice work! Using a steel frame under a wooden car seems very sensible -- the best of both worlds, so to speak. How long has the FR been using this design? I can't think of many US narrow gauge examples of wooden passenger cars with steel or iron frames apart from WW&F combine 2 (which of course may have started out as a streetcar), though I believe the D&RGW narrow gauge had several classes of freight cars with wooden bodies built on steel underframes.

John L Dobson

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Re: Ffestiniog Railway Carriage Shop - the next project
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2015, 08:15:31 PM »
The FR has been building wooden carriage bodies on metal underframes since 1872. The two original bogie carriages, Nos.15 and 16 had wrought iron frames, as did 'Bowsiders' Nos.17 and 18, built in 1876. By 1879, when Bowsiders Nos.19 and 20 were built, steel channel was available. All of the carriages built new since the reopening in 1955 have had steel underframes, and a number of older carriages, originally built with wooden frames, have had steel frames inserted to strengthen them.
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Philip Marshall

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Re: Ffestiniog Railway Carriage Shop - the next project
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2015, 08:17:15 PM »
That's very interesting. Thank you for the information, John.

John L Dobson

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Re: Ffestiniog Railway Carriage Shop - the next project
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2015, 09:13:52 PM »
That's very interesting. Thank you for the information, John.

You may be interested to see the metal framing around which the wooden bodywork of No.150 has been built. This is very similar to the method of construction used for the WHR saloons. The underframe is normal steel, whilst the body framing is stainless steel of various sections, welded together and to the underframe. This framework gives the strength necessary to allow the inclusion of the large windows, and to eliminate the need for load-bearing partitions internally. Photo taken last November.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2015, 10:53:29 AM by John L Dobson »
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Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: Ffestiniog Railway Carriage Shop - the next project
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2015, 09:34:33 PM »
Very nice work, and nice shop facilities.  Interesting that the metal frame for wooden carriages has been in use for such a long time, I did not know that.  Thanks for the additional info and photos John.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2015, 11:37:54 PM by Stewart "Start" Rhine »