A Scottish Double Fairlie!?

It’s summer, so modelling is quiet.  I’ve done absolutely nothing since Sparsholt apart from building the Zvezda boat kits, and my test of MicroTrains couplings, and even those aren’t finished.  I always have a lull in productivity around this time of year as the nice weather and my other hobbies take over.

Anyway, to the point of this post…

A while back I had a purge of online information on Scottish narrow gauge proposals, in particular newspaper clippings relating to them.  I submitted a request for copies of the articles some time ago, and various libraries around Scotland have been extremely helpful and kind, and scanned the articles for my use.

One such article came back the other day, and I’ve been given permission to reproduce it here.

The following photos are reproduced from the John O’Groat Journal, April 1870, Microfilm held in Wick Carnegie Public Library, Wick, Caithness.  Please do not reproduce them elsewhere without permission.

The John O’Groat Journal, April 1870, Microfilm held in Wick Carnegie Public Library, Wick, Caithness. Please do not reproduce without permission.

The John O’Groat Journal, April 1870, Microfilm held in Wick Carnegie Public Library, Wick, Caithness. Please do not reproduce without permission.

Eventually the line to Helmsdale was built to standard gauge and connected to the rest of the Sutherland and Caithness Railway which was owned and run by the Duke of Sutherland.  Upon the opening of the Helmsdale extension operation was handed over to the Highland Railway.

Seeing as the Duke was very interested in the Fairlie principal, and narrow gauge railways, from his visit to the Festiniog Railway’s demonstrations of ‘Little Wonder’, it’s not unrealistic to suppose that the Helmsdale extension could have been built to 2’6″ gauge and run under his control.  The question is, what could a 2’6″ gauge double fairlie have looked like?

Perhaps like those used in Canada, Mexico, Russia, another Mexican example, or Burma. It could be an interesting ‘what if’ model to make at some point for use on Isle Ornsay.

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