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was withdrawn in September to get his final livery.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
www.merddin-emrys.co.uk which has a lot more historic detail and
records of the overhauls.
Classic shot of Merddin crossing The Cob towards Boston Lodge in perfect weather.
Built: 1879 - Rheilffordd Ffestiniog Boston
Boiler Pressure: 160 psi.
Tractive effort: (85% BP) 6,059 lb.
Weight: 24 tons.
Water capacity: 667 gallons.
by Paul Martin, volunteer driver and member of the
Merddin Emrys restoration team.