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Ffestiniog Railway Society
Cymdeithas Rheilffordd Ffestiniog
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Album - Welsh Pony

The most enigmatic of the original Ffestiniog locos, Welsh Pony, was the third engine in line for restoration to service when the railway was reopened in the 1950s.

Somehow other engines always managed to jump the queue and even Palmerston, thought for many years to be little more than scrap, has made its way back into service.

The locomotive has only left Wales once when it was displayed at a model railway exhibition in Birmingham in 1963. Last in traffic in 1938 the engine was withdrawn when its 1915 boiler, built by Adamson, was suffering serious firebox problems. Even as early as 1887 Welsh Pony was recorded as having achieved no fewer than 280,000 miles. By 1938 it had probably travelled a distance equivalent to going to the moon and back.

Welsh Pony was no stranger to the Welsh Highland Railway and many photos show the loco in traffic there. Sadly there is no one left alive that can remember working with the locomotive.

Stored at Boston Lodge close to the sea for many years and then mounted on a plinth outside Harbour Station again exposed to the elements, the 72 years the engine has spent out of service have not been at all kind. Since removal from public display in 2002 the locomotive has been difficult to access and often stored at Glan y Pwll yard in Blaenau, not always under cover.

It is hard to imagine any heritage railway owning an original machine built for the line and not making strenuous efforts to conserve or restore it.

In 2010 members of the Ffestiniog Railway Society were asked for their opinion on the future of this locomotive. The replies were overwhelmingly in favour of restoring the loco to service.

The loco will eventually be back in traffic alongside fellow England locos Prince and Palmerston, which will put the Ffestiniog Railway in the unique position of having the world’s three oldest steam locos in regular service on their original railway.

Welsh Pony’s own microsite can be found here. There is also a Facebook page.

1881 Duffws
1881 Duffws
1925 Minffordd
1925 Minffordd
1927 LNWR Exchange
1927 LNWR Exchange
1936 Blaenau GWR station
1936 Blaenau GWR station
1936 Harbour Station
1936 Harbour Station
1962 Boston Lodge
1962 Boston Lodge
1963 Old Paint Shop
1963 Old Paint Shop
1976 Old Paint Shop
1976 Old Paint Shop
1976 With the Peckett
1976 With the Peckett
1984 Works Yard
1984 Works Yard
1984 Boston Lodge
1984 Boston Lodge
1984 With Prince
1984 With Prince
2003 Old Loco Shed
2003 Old Loco Shed
2005 With Palmerston
2005 With Palmerston
2005 Two Englands
2005 Two Englands
2011 C2 Shed
2011 C2 Shed
2012 Glan y Mor
2012 Glan y Mor
2013 Carriage Shed
2013 Carriage Shed
2013 Restored
2013 Restored
2013 Four Englands
2013 Four Englands
2013 4 Englands on the Cob
2013 4 Englands on the Cob
2013 4 on the Cob
2013 4 on the Cob
2014 at the Works
2014 at the Works
Welsh Pony appeal leaflet
Welsh Pony appeal leaflet