OO-9 Slate Waggons

The most recent additions to our range of OO9 rolling stock are now available - Ffestiniog Railway 2-ton slate waggons.

The 2-ton capacity iron slate waggon depicted by our model is one of the most numerous types, with hundreds built and many surviving. As these waggons tend to run in long rakes, the models have semi-permanent close-couplings fitted in their NEM pockets. These can be pulled out with fine nosed pliers and replaced with conventional OO-9 hoop-and-loop couplings (supplied) at each end of the rake. We plan to make the close couplers available as a separate item in due course.

Roughly one in five waggons was fitted with brakes. These were spread throughout the train and turned so the brake handles were all on the same side of the train, pointing towards Porthmadog on the Ffestiniog Railway.

The waggons are being offered in two different sets: one with a selection of three unbraked vehicles, and the other in a set containing one braked and two unbraked. Each waggon carries its own specific markings and running number. The sets are made up with a random selection of running numbers. Each waggon is fitted with a removable slate load, which is conveniently hollow, thus giving the modeller the added option of including some further weight if required.

The 1’11.5” gauge Ffestiniog Railway in North Wales was built in the 1830s to carry slate from the quarries around Blaenau Ffestiniog down to Porthmadog for exporting by sea all over the world. Originally horses would haul rakes of empty waggons up the continuously graded line to the quarries (the coloured markings on the waggons depict the quarry it was assigned to). Once loaded, long rakes of waggons return to Porthmadog under gravity, with the brakesmen jumping across the waggons to apply the brakes when required. This operation continued with steam locomotives replacing the horses. Today the Ffestiniog is one of the leading tourist railways in the UK, but on special occasions demonstration gravity slate trains are still operated, manned by the dedicated team that maintains the fleet of waggons.