An old London
underground railway carriage, built in 1892, was in use as a garden shed until
recently renovated at the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railway’s workshops
in Porthmadog. Spick and span after 15 months TLC, and twelve coats of varnish,
the carriage will undergo trials at Loughborough before returning to London. In
January 2013 it / she will be pulled by Metropolitan Railway steam locomotive No.
1 on a journey through the old Metropolitan Line tunnels of Paddington, Euston,
King's Cross and Farringdon to Moorgate to commemorate the 150th anniversary of
the world's first underground railway.
Don’t worry, it’s not Kate Middleton on a night out with the lads, but the world’s oldest, narrow gauge steam engine. She was delivered to the Ffestiniog Railway in 1863 and was retired from service in 1946 as the last working loco when the railway ran out of steam. For some years she sat on a plinth at Blaeanu Ffestiniog, a symbol of the epic reconstruction of the line. In the last 31 years she has been in the museum and latterly the expanded bar at harbour station.
On 10th November she was dragged out of her corner, having first been jacked up and then jacked across on a pair of metal sheets lubricated with Fairy Liquid. Shifting ten tonnes of loco within the confines of a pub is no easy task – the first ten metres took about three hours. With the help of a tractor with forklift she was eventually dumped onto the railway track and towed across The Cob for a bit of restoration.
Next year she will travel by road to Paddington where she will be on display for the six weeks beginning St David’s Day (1st March). Thereafter she has several other ambassadorial appearances to make including a beer festival at Olympia in conjunction with The Purple Moose Brewery.
This is how she was dragged out and her corner in the pub taken by a steam (horse drawn) fire engine.