Fairlie Wonderful

Two new 009 models arrived for the Bryn Ffenics Railway this week, in the form of Ffestiniog Railway ‘Fairlie’ 0-4-4-0T double locomotives.

These locos were announced ‘out of the blue’ by Bachmann in their Autumn/Winter update and were definitely a very pleasant surprise to the narrow gauge modelling community.
Given they were on shelves just a few weeks later, they’d obviously been under development for several years.

Despite being tempted by all of the versions on offer, I’ve had to settle for just two for the BFR (for now at least), these are:

  • Earl of Merioneth in FR Green – Not to be confused with the newer 1970s ‘square’ Earl of Merioneth, this was a 1880s built loco and has also carried the names ‘Taliesin’ and ‘Livingston Thompson’. It is currently on static display at the National Railway Museum carrying the latter name and is unlikely to ever run again.
    The model portrays it as it would have appeared running in the 1960s. It’s analogue for now, but can easily be fitted with a Next18 decoder.
  • David Lloyd George in FR Lined Red – This loco was built in 1992 to a more traditional appearance and is still in regular service on the Ffestiniog railway.
    This is an exclusive release for Bachmann Collectors Club member and is DCC sound fitted.

Both models are absolutely gorgeous, with exquisite detail, and both DC and DCC versions run wonderfully smoothly, even through some of the BFR’s rougher track work!

Hopefully other variants will appear in due course, though it is now not clear what will now happen with the proposed Peco/Kato Fairlie that was announced some time back.