2011-08-27 Ffestiniog Railway

After visiting the Boston Lodge workshop in our 2011 UK holiday I returned to Habour Station to take a ride on the Ffestiniog Railway
DSC08384  Earl of Merioneth is provided with coal. No fancy coal installation. Just an old South African Railway open car and honest shoveling by hand. DSC08386  Meanwhile the train is being shunted in place in the station area DSC08388  The Earl coming up for its tour of duty DSC08393  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.
DSC08394  The diesel pushing the train back into the station DSC08395  Such coaches are a delight to see DSC08406  The Earl making its appearance on the stage of steam DSC08412  Facing the threatening rain
DSC08420  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. DSC08422  The nearing wetness has its advantages, a ray of sun peeks through and highlights the steam. DSC08427 DSC08433
DSC08438  The modern lubricator provides the appropriate spots with sufficient oil. These pump are tell tale signs of a modern day steam locomotive DSC08443  The lubricator is powered by a small rod taking the movement from a crank on the drive axle. DSC08444  Reading the road instructions. Note that on this type of Fairlie driver and fireman are separated by the continuous firebox that fires both boilers. DSC08445
DSC08451  A last spell of sun before departure DSC08454  No sooner than I entered my carriage.... DSC08457  ... the rain set in and it was to last the entire ride DSC08458  In pouring rain the departure signal was given
DSC08468  Passing Boston Lodge DSC08484  Clearances are tight on the route DSC08486  A still active slate mine DSC08489
DSC08495  A road gang wainting in the loop for our train to pass. DSC08501  Smile, I thought, it could be worse.  I smiled and indeed, it got worse DSC08504  Crossing the road DSC08508
DSC08509 DSC08514  This could have been a very scenic ride. DSC08515 DSC08530
DSC08518  Taking water DSC08528 DSC08541  Water gushing from its rear tank and both boilers worked hard, the Earl hauls its train out of Tanybwlch DSC08561  Passing Duallt's loop, invisible for most of the time
DSC08569 DSC08581  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 DSC08588  A nice place for walkers in the nearby mountains, but in this weather a place to forget quickly DSC08592
DSC08605  If it had not been enough all heavens broke loose, including a good thunder DSC08611  Our steam powered submarine arriving at Blaenau Ffestiniog DSC08616  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. DSC08618
DSC08620  Yes the ladyis still there (see her umbrella) but her husband now moved her away. DSC08626 DSC08629 DSC08636  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
DSC08645 DSC08648 DSC08651  And now back to Porthmadog Dualt  Duallt has a loop (coutesy Google). It could be an excellent theme for a model railroad
DSC08672  Here the loop is visible from the upper track DSC08674  How to loop a station. Well, watch Duallt's station building from one side... DSC08675  ... run the train down the loop... DSC08683  ... and take a look on the other side.
DSC08693  Back at Tanybwlch, were we halted... DSC08702  ... to let the up-train pass DSC08710 DSC08714
DSC08720 DSC08725 DSC08731 DSC08746  At the end of the ride, back in Harbour Station, the Earl was resupplied. The moment the train arrived, it stopped raining!!
DSC08750 DSC08755 DSC08760  In its way to the next return trip