Saturday 27th June the official unveiling of Welsh Pony, a historic occasion for all involved at the Railway. This is particularly important for the Ffestiniog Railway Society as it is our AGM tomorrow and we, thanks to the fundraising and donations, have provided the funding for the project. Launched in 2013 the project has raised over £250,000 from donations of the odd pence through to individual thousands. Thank you everyone out there.
Tune in to the live broadcasts here on the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways Insider Facebook page tomorrow (Saturday) morning.
The schedule for the event is as follows;
10:00 – Witness the lighting of the first fire in ‘Welsh Pony’ for eighty years.
13:00 – As steam pressure rises, listen out for the first blast of the whistle.
16:00 – ‘Welsh Pony’ makes its first movements under steam.
The 10:00 broadcast will also include a 20 minute video package covering the history of the loco, its dismantling and then the rebuild in brief, together with some informative comments from Chief Mechanical Engineer Jon Whalley…
Prior to dismantling in 2013 for restoration to steam, Welsh Pony was painted in FR ‘Garraway’ green and ultimately will be returned to this livery:
Following the lighting of the fire at 10am using wood from the previous boiler’s lagging, steam was slowly made. This allowed the whistles to be blown at the 1pm live stream. During the 4pm live stream, Welsh Pony made some moves around Boston Lodge yard and onto the main line for a short trip around Boston Lodge curve. A final view shows it with the new replica carriage 21, completed by volunteers in September 2019.
If you would like to read a little more about ‘Welsh Pony’, you’ll find a brief history @ https://www.festipedia.org.uk/wiki/Welsh_Pony
If you’d like to read a detailed history of the locomotive, the Festiniog Railway Heritage Group have posted a six-chapter version on their Facebook page – Festiniog Railway Heritage Group
A new dawn: Welsh Pony amid the other three extant Englands on the Cob: