The first tooling trials of the new ready to run OO-9 Ffestiniog Railway ‘Bug box’ coaches have recently taken place, and the assembled components are shown here. The next stage is cutting the glazing and finalising the paintwork, then production will begin. The first liveries planned are the fully lined out ‘Victorian’ purple-brown with lamp tops fitted to the roofs. In this guise the third class variant will have only three windows per side, as per the sample with grey ends in the photos. The other livery will be early preservation green with cream panels and red ends and plain roofs.
The ‘Bug Boxes’, or formally ‘Small Birminghams’ were built for the Ffestiniog Railway by Brown, Marshall & Co in Birmingham between 1864-7, making them some of the World’s oldest railway carriages still in regular use. They have been in use on the FR as well as the Welsh Highland Railway throughout their lives and are still in regular use on both railways as part of the heritage fleet. As well as the GR-320 Slate waggons, they are the ideal rolling stock to accompany the recently announced Ffestiniog Railway England engines.