Two Ffestiniog Railway carriages to move to new home in England

January 16th 2015

Two steel-bodied bogie carriages which have worked on the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways since 1980 have been sold to the Golden Valley Light Railway in Derbyshire. Carriage 119 will be delivered to Butterley in the next few weeks and 117 will follow in 2016.

The one mile long Golden Valley Light Railway operates through the main museum site and country park at the Midland Railway – Butterley in Derbyshire, and normally operates on weekends and bank holidays and some mid- week dates from April to October.

"We very much look forward to the delivery of our new carriage," says Alan Calladine of the Midland Railway Trust. "It will provide much-improved accommodation for our passengers and give us a substantial increase in passenger capacity. I can tell you that the GVLR volunteers are absolutely delighted about this "re-homing" project and look forward to welcoming 119 to Derbyshire."

Adds F&WHR General Manager Paul Lewin, "As we continue our programme of introducing new and re-bodied passenger rolling stock on the F&WHR, we are delighted that some of our older carriages are finding a new lease of life on other heritage railways. We hope that 119 – which will be followed by its sister carriage 117 next year – will bring increased levels of comfort for passengers on the Golden Valley line."

Carriage 119 was built at Boston Lodge Works in 1980. During the winter of 2006-7 the interior was refurbished, new flooring installed and the seating re-upholstered. In June 2009 the carriage was transferred for use on the Welsh Highland Railway in response to heavy loadings following the launch of services through the Aberglaslyn Pass.

119 continued in service on the WHR during 2010, eventually being transferred back to the FR at the end of the season. Since then it has remained in regular service and received an interior clean up and exterior repaint just before high summer 2013. It was withdrawn and replaced with a new Super Saloon carrying the same number in late 2014.

Carriage 117 is of similar design, having been built in 1977. In 2010, it joined 119 in providing additional passenger accommodation on Welsh Highland services.

Carriage 119 on a Welsh Highland service train at Dinas.