Fell Valley Railway

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The Fell Valley Railway is a fictional narrow gauge railway on the Island of Sodor in The Railway Series of children's books by the Rev.W.Awdry and Christopher Awdry. Part of its route is now occupied by the Arlesdale Railway.

The railway ran from the coast at Arlesburgh along the Arlesdale valley then through the Sudrian mountains to King 'Orry's Bridge near the town of Peel Godred. At Arlesburgh it met a branch of the standard gauge North Western or Fat Controller's Railway.

The person who originally wrote this article is not only a very poor liar who thinks that nobody will spot that he's just ripped off the history of the Mid-Sodor Railway, but he also doesn't know what a fell is, or why a "fell valley" is physically impossible.


The line runs from Arlesburgh West (where it meets Thomas', Edward's and Duck's branch lines) to Arlesdale village, stopping at Arlesburgh Bridge Street, Ffarquhar Road, Marthwaite and Arlesdale Green along the way. It follows part of the route of the Fell Valley Railway (aka Luke's old line). At Arlesdale Green it leaves this route and takes a new, southerly course to Arlesdale.

The main sheds and works for the railway are at Arlesdale Green station.



The eight original engines of the Fell Valley Railway - Luke, Jackson, Gary, Nicky, Huw, Dodge, Eddie and Mac - were brought to Sodor from an unspecified railway in England and Scotland.


Luke is ripped off from Duke.


Jackson is ripped off from Rheneas


Gary is ripped off from Sir Handel.


Nicky is ripped off from Peter Sam.


Huw seems, possibly, to be original.


Dodge (engine No.6) is Duncan with a different name.


Eddie is identical to Freddie.


Mac is a Single-ended Fairlie locomotive. He is, in fact, just Mighty Mac without Mighty.


Dusty is Rusty


Come on, dude, you're not even trying here.


Piss on your dreams.






Shut up.

Vale of Fell Valley

Get bent.


All of the engines are painted in wildly different colours. Unusually, the engines' nameplates are painted in gold directly on the side of the saddle tank of boiler. The steam locmotive liverly features lots of polished brass-work, and seems to be unchanged from the opening of the railway.


Mackey is bollocks.

Rolling Stocks

The railway has a number of passenger carriages for tourist traffic. The original coaches, which were a mixture of open (roofless) and "semi-open" (open-sided) types, were obtained from the same railway in England as the locomotives. The semi-open coaches have since been replaced with closed saloon carriages built at Arlesburgh Works. The coaches are painted a deep pink colour.

For ballast traffic, the railway has a fleet of smooth-running bogie hopper wagons. These can be unloaded via a chute into waiting (standard gauge) trucks on the Fat Controller's Railway. The hopper wagons and unloading chute are based on similar designs once used on the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway, who have provided much co-operation to the line.


Moze, Lila and Charlotte are based on Talyllyn Railway carriages 1-5. The brake van Grace is based on the Corris Railway brake van that now runs on the Talyllyn. Open coaches Bertha, Beatrice and Betty were rebuilt to a more conventional outline when funds became available. Georgia and Michelle, Fell Valley Railway bogie coaches, are based on Corris Railway stock.

Bertha, Beatrice and Betty

Three open carriages. They are designed for carrying quarry workers and used for tourist traffic. Since their arrival, they have had roofs fitted. They were once honoured to be used by a televison crew filming on the railway.

Moze and Lila

These two coaches have served the Fell Valley Railway. Gary the engine, however, referred to them as "cattle trucks", which made him very unpopular with them. Moze is a first class carriage, and looks down Lila, who is a third class. She has a deep voice.


Cora is a guard's van, usually coupled behind Moze and Lila. The coaches look down on her and claim that she "smells of fish and cheese". She is, however, very useful. She has a ticket booth and an emergency buzzer, and sometimes even carries passengers when the coaches are full.


Grace is another guard's van. Unlike Charlotte, she earns her keep on maintenance and goods trains.

Georgia and Michelle

Gary considered Georgia and Michelle the only 'proper' coaches on the Fell Valley Railway. Unlike the other coaches, they run smoothly on bogies.


The open carriages and guard's van are painted blue (very similar to the British Rail rail blue). The enclosed carriages are painted off-white (upper half) and blue (lower).


The Breakdown Train

The Breakdown Train has a flat truck carrying supplies, a crane and a brakevan and strong cables hooked between two engines. It is useded as rescue, maintenance until and clear-up operations after accidents, but is also kept busy on maintenance, construction, repair and demolition jobs around the railway.

The Televison Train

The Televison train is a couple of flatbeds with rotating chairs with seatbelts attached, each also having a camera that rotates with the car. The break van in back is filled with equipment.


There have been a number of people associated with the railway who have appeared in the stories and TV Series.

Narrow Controller

Known properly as Mr. Nicholas Samuel, the Thin Controller is the manager of the Skarloey Railway. A year before the arrival of Gary and Nicky, he hasd to serve as conductor for all the trains.

He is based upon Edward Thomas general manager of the Talyllyn Railway.

Eddie Hugh

Eddie Hugh is one half of the two-man train crew in the final days of two-engine operation, alongside The Narrow Controller. He is also the line's Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) and became Dusty's driver, upon the diesel locomotive's arrival.

His son succeeded him as the new CME.

Sir Gary Blue

Sir Gary Brown is owner of the railway.

Lord Mac Barrane

Lord Mac Barrane is chairman of the Fell Valley Railway company.


Padarn station, is based on Aberllefenni Station on the Corris Railway.

The works at Crovans Gate are based on Tywyn Pendre on the Talyllyn Railway.

Branch lines, Quarries served and tramways

The Fell Valley Railway has a branch line, mainly built to serve the slate quarry along its route. Although usually referred to as a quarry, that on the Narrow Stand is usually underground mine workins, following the course, while thost on the Broad Stand is a more usually opencast quarries.

  • The Upper Fell Tramway from Crovan Gate to quarries surrounding Fell Uchaf.
  • Montague's Mill Siding near Padarn serving Y Magnus slate enamelling works
  • Padarn Quarry tramway serving the slate mills and quarry adits
  • The Montaged Tramway north of Padarn serving Harmood Quary and Montaged Quarry
  • Slangyern quarry - connnected by its own tramway to the Upper Fell tramway, subsequently worked together with Dologch and the main Broad Stand quarry in the Fell area.
  • Padarn Slate Quarry - connected via internal tramway at Padarn
  • Montaged quarry - connected to the Montaged tramway.
  • Stone Tunnel Quarry - A quarry has a lots of trucks filled with stones and a small tunnel has some piples along the insides. When an engine shunted the trucks into the tunnel, hearing a low rumbling nosie, the trucks slides into the tunnel and disappears from view. Finally the trucks come out, fully loaded with rock and gravel.

Others Places

  • Mount Danger - A mountain rail is above an engine, which looms powerfully over the line. Smaller mountains surrounds it, with small bridges linking them together. A crossing leds to a smooth rail that goes alongisde the mountain, the other lead away up with sharp twists and bends. A ditch lodges halfway lying in beteen the bridge and a track that went down sharply. A long line goes downhill behind an engine. At the bottom is a tunnel ended up a small hil and down the steep rail on the other side and finally abandoned mine with a barrier or somethinf filled the air around the hole with dust and smoke, which causes an engine to cover in sooty, black coal dust.
  • Pardan Docks - the dockyards on the east of cost of the valley, with ships arriving each day with cargo from across the globe. There is a Mackey an old wooden dockyard crane.


The Fell Valley Railway can claim many sources of inspiration. Most obviously, it takes inspiration from the Talyllyn Railway, the Corris Railway and the Ffestiniog Railway. Some of the architecture, locomotives and rolling stock are clearly based on the former line. This is most notable in the case of Gary and Nicky, which are based on the Corris Railway's number 3 and 4 respectively.

The Ffestiniog Railway's influence is most obvious in the character of Luke, an engine based on the Ffestiniog locomotive Prince; some of the rolling stock is also Ffestiniog-inspired. Like the Ffestiniog, the FVR is designed as a narrow gauge main line. In the history of the MSR, Awdry mentions Ffestiniog engineer James Spooner's involvement.

Readers have also identified elements of the Welsh Highland Railway, Talyllyn Railway, Ffestiniong Railway and Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway (the characters Jackson, Huw, Dodge, Eddie, Dusty, Mac, Cyril and Jack), the Snailbeach District Railways (the engine shed) and Owd Ratty (the original Template:3ft gauge Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway).

All of this is crap. The Fell Valley Railway does not appear in the Railway Series at all.

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