Merddin Emrys was built in the railways own workshops at Boston Lodge and was completed in 1879. Merddin has been one of the FR's mainstays for more than a century, and has changed shape with successive rebuilds, major overhauls / rebuilds being undertaken in 1895, 1921, 1934, 1961, 1970, 1988 and 2005. The 1988 overhaul was externally sponsored and featured serious efforts to return the engine to something close to its original appearance.

Merddin has recently returned to service after a major overhaul which attended to some boiler problems, replaced the majority of the superstructure and provided it with a pair of new power bogies. This overhaul was a collaborative affair between the volunteer and full time staff with funding provided by the Ffestiniog Railway Society. The engine ran the summer service of 2005 in plain black livery but was withdrawn in September to get his final livery. In considerable secrecy the cosmetic rivet details were added and a full repaint into the present lined maroon livery applied with volunteers and staff working round the clock to ensure that Merddin could take centre stage at the 2005 Victorian themed vintage weekend.

Originally burning coal Merddin was converted to burn oil in 1972 in common with most of the railways steam fleet but will return to burning coal for the 2007 season.

Merddin has his own website at which has a lot more historic detail and records of the overhauls.

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Classic shot of Merddin crossing The Cob towards Boston Lodge in perfect weather.

"Merddin Emrys"

Built: 1879 - Rheilffordd Ffestiniog Boston Lodge Works.

Fuel: Oil

Boiler Pressure: 160 psi.

Tractive effort: (85% BP) 6,059 lb.

Weight: 24 tons.

Water capacity: 667 gallons.

Text by Paul Martin, volunteer driver and member of the Merddin Emrys restoration team.












©2006 - Festiniog Railway Co.