Steel, Steam & Stars

The Ffestiniog Railway Society has a train organised on the Llangollen Railway which will re-enact the FRS AGM Specials that once ran from London back in the 1960s. 

Dukedog 9017 from the Bluebell Railway will haul the train from Llangollen on Saturday 18th April 2009 leaving at 15.00 and returning 17.00

Cost - Adult £18.00 OAP £11.70 

Tickets can be ordered from: SSS2, 4 Bryntirion Terrace, Llangollen, Denbighshire, LL20 8PL. 

Please quote reference FR204 and enclose a self addressed envelope and your cheque which should be made payable to 6880 Betton Grange (Society) Ltd. Tickets provide travel on the Special train but 
are also an All Day Rover entitling the holder travel on as many trains as you wish.

This event is being advertised in the railway press and Steam Railway have suggested that a photocall of FRS ticket holders may be arranged before departure, so go prepared to appear in print!

The gala has been organised by the Betton Grange Society, who are recreating a Great Western Grange loco. The gala is promising up to 12 locos in operation - further details can be found at

The "Festiniog Railway Society" specials ran in the 1950s and 1960s and were steam hauled by a variety of locos, including Manors, Dukedogs and even Flying Scotsman (but only as far as Shrewsbury). The heyday of these specials is to be recreated including an original loco complete with headboard (we have not yet located an original headboard for this event and would be grateful if one could be made available. If you can help, please contact Howard Wilson or 07790 208807).

The ‘Dukedog’ – en route from its home on the Cambrian to its new home on the Bluebell Line. Great Western Dukedog 4-4-0 9017 spent the night at Old Oak Common (81A) Shed in London. This may be one of the last photographs of this engine on B.R. metals in its B.R. days. 14th February, 1962 (photo – Ron Fisher)

The 1960 Talyllyn Railway Society special from London to Towyn was hauled by Dukedog class 4-4-0 9017 and 4300 class 2-6-0 7330 from Shrewsbury onwards. The pair are seen here at a water stop at Welshpool. September, 1960 (photo – Ron Fisher)

‘Manor’ class 4-6-0 7827 Lydham Manor on the "Festiniog Railway Society" annual special train to Minffordd and Portmadoc takes water at Barmouth. The train was double-headed from Shrewsbury by the Manor and Dukedog 4-4-0 9014. 30th April, 1960 (photo – Ron Fisher)

GWR ‘Manor’ Class 4-6-0s Nos. 7827 Lydham Manor & 7819 Hinton Manor double-head the 1963 "Festiniog Railway Special" from Paddington to Porthmadog at Barmouth station. The train had been hauled from Paddington by 4472 "Flying Scotsman" as far as Ruabon, where the Manors took over. Saturday 20th April 1963 (photo – Geoff Plumb)

GWR ‘Manor’ Class 4-6-0s Nos 7827 Lydham Manor & 7819 Hinton Manor double-heading the "Festiniog Railway Special" drift towards Glyndyfrdwy on what is now part of the Llangollen Railway, then the line from Ruabon to Morfa Mawddach, their destination Porthmadog. Saturday 20th April 1963 (photo – Geoff Plumb)

The same pair of GWR 'Manor' class 4-6-0s seen here approaching the water stop at Corwen (having just left the current Llangollen Railway limits of operation) with the 1963 Festiniog Railway Society special train to Minffordd and Portmadog. 20th April 1963 (photo – Ron Fisher)

What everyone on the train was coming to see - some passengers from the main line "Festiniog Railway Society Special" from Paddington alighted that train at Minffordd Cambrian station and transferred to the FR at Minffordd FR station, where Double-Fairlie No. 10 "Merddin Emrys" and George England 0-4-0STT No. 2 "Prince" waited with two specials to take participants to Tan-y-Bwlch. The driver of No. 10 is Bill Hoole, formerly of BR "Top Shed" at King's Cross, who retired to the railway. Saturday 20th April 1963 (photo – Geoff Plumb)

The relief 1963 AGM day special train was also run on the 20th April. It seen here just above Penrhyn Crossing behind 100 year old 0-4-0ST/T PRINCE (photo – Ron Fisher)

More details on the April 2009 event can be found by clicking here.


For more details on the Ffestiniog Railway Company, including full timetable, route and fare details please click here:

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Registered Office: Ffestiniog Railway Society, Harbour Station, Porthmadog. Gwynedd. LL49 9NF
Registered Charity no: 1064178.  Company Limited by Guarantee no: 542449.

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