Ffestiniog Railway prepares to bid farewell to steam locomotive Earl of Merioneth

Earl of Merioneth - Mountain Prince
Earl of Merioneth - Mountain Prince

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The Ffestiniog Railway, in North Wales, is preparing to bid farewell to steam locomotive ‘Earl of Merioneth’, as its 10-year boiler ticket is almost up.

The locomotive needs a new boiler, boiler cradle, smokeboxes, chimneys and water tanks, with only its power bogie serviceable – though themselves are in need of a heavy overhaul and new tyres.

This has lead to the narrow gauge railway deciding to build a brand new locomotive rather than patching up one that is effectively life-expired.

‘The Earl’, also known as ‘The Square’, will haul its final train on Sunday, April 8th. The train will depart Porthmadog at 1:35 pm and return to Porthmadog at 4:15 pm.

This is a normal service train, so no extra cost will be added – though it is expected to be busy, so early booking is recommended.


Win a Footplate Ride!

The Ffestiniog Railway is also offering two lucky winners the chance to experience a footplate ride on the locomotive the day before the final run on Saturday, April 7th.

To enter, please click here

Earl of Merioneth is a brilliant locomotive and will be missed in its absence.


  1. But ‘heritage’ can be about building new ones in the image of the old, which is why the FR already has ‘Lyd’ and the L&BR now has ‘Lyn’.

    • I agree it’s right to build new ones but not to replace old with new. Lyd & Lyn didn’t exist so there was nothing to rebuild, the L&BR restored the available rolling stock rather than build new ones, Tornado is fantastic too as there was no Peppercorn A1 but they were respectful in making her the next build number. Thankfully the National Railway Meuseum didn’t build a new Flying Scotsman when they found it was worn out.
      There is nothing wrong with replicas but that is what they are. This is why the Barry Island locos all got saved instead of having ones built that resembled them.

  2. I personally think it’s disgusting that they are saying it is ‘life expired’ it is an example of their heritage. It should be saved!

  3. Should be saved… ok it will probably cost alot of money but if people are that in live with the locomotive then they’ll help fund the refit. What’s happening to the loco anyway after it’s final journey? Stories rather vague

  4. The problem is, what is preservation? Is it Trigger’s broom (or George washington’s axe). Or is it the sounds and atmosphere if a departing steam engine?. I hear that two bolts on the left hand centre of Scotsman could be original!! Old is good but new is better than nothing.


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