10 February 2023
"Ideal for the budding OO9 modeller with an interest in one of the UK’s most scenic of narrow-gauge railways", says Howard Smith.
The expansion of OO9 RTR offerings has been steady, promoted by a handful of manufacturers. Three recent releases by one of these, Peco, sees modelling the rolling stock of the Ffestiniog Railway just that bit easier with the release of a four-wheel quarryman coach (GR-570A), four-wheel brake van with balcony (GR-580A) and four-wheel brake van with two balconies (GR-590A). We kindly received a sample of all three from the manufacturer for review.
Quarryman coaches arrived on the Ffestiniog in 1867, carrying workers to the quarries surrounding the line. The manufacturer has had access to photographs of quarryman trains of the late-19th century for historical reference and research purposes, one of which showed no fewer than 25 quarryman coaches making up the rear of the Saturday mid-day departure, headed by a Double-Fairlie.
From 1885 to 1887, 18 of what are now referred to as the ‘Type 3’ Quarrymen’s carriages were built, featuring sprung axle boxes, one central door on each side and droplight windows. More of the same design were made to replace the older carriages and there was a total of 36 in the 1900s.
Quarryman coach No. 8 in brown, a double-balcony four-wheel brake van No. 7 in green, and single balcony brake van, No. 6, also in green, will add colourful interest to the tail of a rake of passenger coaches.
All three full-size prototypes of the chosen models can be found at the Ffestiniog today, making access to accurate dimensions easier for the manufacturer. To simplify tooling, and reduce manufacturing overheads, all three models share a modular chassis platform with rugged underframe brake shoe and tie-rod detail.
Vacuum pipes fitted to the ends are well-captured, creating small points of interest to the simplistic designs of the prototypes. Plain-liveried examples are promised too, for freelance modellers.
With ‘bug box’ coaches and slate wagons already available, coupled with Ffestiniog Railway motive power manufactured for the scale with the Peco/Kato small England locomotives, and Bachmann Double-Fairlies, these latest additions are ideal for the budding OO9 modeller with an interest in one of the UK’s most scenic of narrow-gauge railways.
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