Model steam loco Topsy, Porthmadog

Link to French translationModel steam loco Topsy

This is one of the world’s oldest model railway locomotives powered by steam. It was also the first of several steam locos built at the Ffestiniog Railway’s Boston Lodge works.

The model was built in 1869 for Charles Easton Spooner, who engineered the Ffestiniog Railway. It is based on one of the original steam locos delivered to the railway in 1863, when it became the world’s first narrow-gauge railway to use steam traction.

Spooner ran the locomotive to entertain himself and visitors at his home, Bron-y-Garth, on the hillside west of Porthmadog harbour. He may have laid out a permanent track in his garden. Pieces survive of a portable track which would have formed a figure of eight. The rails are 8cm apart.

The loco was later kept in London and Shrewsbury before being lent, then donated, to the Ffestiniog Railway. It is now housed in a glass case in Spooner’s Bar, at Porthmadog Harbour station.

Postcode: LL49 9NF

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Ffestiniog Railway on HistoryPoints.org

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