Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways

April 24th 2013

A King replaces Princess in Porthmadog

King of the Scarlets was built at the Hunslet works in Leeds in 1889 and is the oldest of eleven identical locos which worked in the quarry and were named after famous racehorses of the time. It was sold to a collector in Canada in 1965 and spent 47 years in exile until it was repatriated by the Statfold Barn Railway in 2012.

"We have a close working relationship with Statfold Barn and have exchanged locomotives on several occasions," says F&WHR General Manager Paul Lewin.

"We're delighted to be able to welcome this historic engine to Porthmadog where it will be given pride of place in Spooner's Bar, which was until recently the home of the Ffestiniog's first steam loco, Princess, currently on a tour of the UK and Ireland to mark the 150th anniversary of steam on the FR."

King of the Scarlets is due to arrive at Porthmadog in June and is of special interest as it is preserved in the exact condition it was in when it last worked at Dinorwic, bearing all the signs of a tough life in the quarry.

"We think it's vital that people should be able to see what a hard-working quarry loco actually looked like," adds Henry Noon of Statfold Barn. "While there are a number of Quarry Hunslets which have been restored to showroom condition – including the National Trust's Hugh Napier, completed by the Ffestiniog last year – King of the Scarlets shows what they would have looked like in daily use. As such it offers a fascinating glimpse into a past when Welsh slate roofed the world."

King of the Scarlets will remain on display in Spooner's until the end of the year and will offer visitors to the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways a unique chance to compare and contrast the gleaming steam locomotives on the tracks outside with a rather more careworn loco in authentic quarry condition.

King of the Scarlets
King of the Scarlets at Statfold Barn
Princess is on tour

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