Chronicling the development of my Cambrian and Narrow Gauge 4mm scale model railway

The Barge

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Some recent discussions on a Facebook group have made me realise, to crack the old digital joke, that there are 10 types of people in the world. Those who understand the Barge, and those that don’t. 

The Barge, for the uninitiated in Ffestiniog folklore, is the Alco 2-6-2PT Mountaineer. 

Within these two categories, I reckon you can do a further split by those that have experienced it, and those that haven’t. 

By experienced, I mean been crew on it on the 1600 with a BR connection, with the nine end of the 8-9 carr haulage rating, 10 down delayed by the dawdling David Lloyd George with regular driver on the down, and with indifferent fuel. The happy few have had that experience and absolutely loved it. 

You used to see them get off the loco at the end of the day with that glow which says” bring it on again tomorrow”. 

I’m pleased to say I can count myself among those. And without a current ticket for the FR (both me and the loco), I can say they were some of the best turns I’ve had. 

When I did its last solo trip, with a hole in the superheater that felt like it was the size of a fist, one of my contempories came up to me at Tan-y-Bwlch and asked “Best gig ever?”

Yes I have a 009 model of it, work in progress like so much of my stuff. But nothing will ever beat the feeling of the real thing. Being one of two in snyc with their machine alone in our task of getting the best out of it, on the side of a mountain in Wales. 


Author: Chris H

Having now officially reached middle age, I am a rolling stock engineer and have worked in many different locations including a 7 year spell in Sydney, Australia, where I arrived with a suitcase and left with a wife and a son. I am now based back in my home county of Yorkshire where I juggle full time work, being a Dad to two rascally mini-mes, and trying to fit in railway modelling, assisting the GWR 1014 County of Glamorgan project, and visits to the top left hand corner of Wales and Beamish. In addition to my heavily railway themed life, I am interested in rugby, cricket, reading crime novels, falconry, and medieval re-enactments.

One thought on “The Barge

  1. Pingback: One day… | Penlowry

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