Faugh-a-Ballagh

John Fowler & Co. Ltd. b/n 8733 of 1900

 

This photo of 19 August 2004 shows the name and builder's plate attached to Faugh-a-Ballagh.

 

Faugh-a-Ballagh was built by John Fowler & Co. Ltd. of Leeds as their Builder's No. 8733 of 1900 (a) for use on the tramway which linked the town of Mossman (and Mossman Mill) with Port Douglas in far-North Queensland.  Faugh-a-Ballagh worked at Mossman Mill and the link to Port Douglas until retirement in 1958. (b)

 

By 2004 this historic locomotive was preserved at Port Douglas together with an open wagon and bogie passenger carriage. (c)  It had apparently been restored and a weather shelter provided in 1997. (b)

 

A sign with some historical notes is attached to the locomotive (photo below) and claims that is "Faugh-a-Ballagh" is Welsh for "clear the way".  While the interpretation is correct, it is in fact an Irish expression, and is also the regimental motto of the Royal Irish Fusiliers. Here is a useful Wikipedia link with further background for Faugh-a-Ballagh. (c)

 

Portions of the Port Douglas tramway are today in use as a tourist train by the Balley Hooley tourist railway at Port Douglas.  The remainder of the route to Mossman Mill is intact although somewhat overgrown in parts. (c)

This photo of 19 August 2004 shows the historical notes attached to the open wagon displayed behind Faugh-a-Ballagh

However "Faugh-a-Ballagh" is Irish, not Welsh!

This photo of 19 August 2004 shows the plinth at Port Douglas containing Faugh-a-Ballagh, open wagon & bogie passenger carriage.

 

 

References

 

a Light Railway Research Society of Australia Inc. Web site (as at 20/3/2009): 'Preserved Australian Sugar Cane Locomotives' list by John Browning (www.lrrsa.org.au/LRR_SGRc.htm)
b Historical notes displayed at the Faugh-a-Ballagh plinth.
c Personal comment or observation.

 

Page updated:  6 February 2011

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