Friday 1 March 2013

Paddington Princess dragged out of pub

Don’t worry, it’s not Kate Middleton on a night out with the lads, but the world’s oldest, narrow gauge steam engine. She was delivered to the Ffestiniog Railway in 1863 and was retired from service in 1946 as the last working loco when the railway ran out of steam. For some years she was at Blaeanu Ffestiniog, a symbol of the epic reconstruction of the line. In the last 31 years she has been in the museum and latterly the expanded bar at harbour station.

A bit of oil to cross The Cob
On 10th November, she was dragged out of her corner having first been jacked up and then jacked across on a pair of metal sheets lubricated with Fairy Liquid. Shifting ten tonnes of loco within the confines of a pub is no easy task – the first ten metres took about three hours. With the help of a tractor with forklift she was eventually dumped onto the railway track and towed across The Cob for a bit of restoration.

Today, St David’s Day, she was unveiled at Paddington Station where she'll spend the next 6 weeks brightening up the daily commutes. Thereafter she has several other ambassadorial appearances to make.

This is how she was dragged out and her corner in the pub taken by a steam (horse drawn) fire engine.

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