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Ffestiniog Railway

Place, Caernarfonshire


 At Tan Y Bwich Stataion

 Double ended train

 Narrow rails, wide train
Blaenau Ffestiniog station, notice the different sized tracks.

One of the Great Little Trains of Wales, this and the Welsh Highland Railways run on 2ft (some say 1ft 1.5 inches) gauge line.

Currently the Ffestiniog operates over a 13 mile of track, linking with the national network at Minffordd, and at Blaenau Ffestiniog. By 2009 the plan is for you to be able to travel for 40 miles from Caernarfon right through to Blaenau Ffestiniog on narrow gauge steam railways. The link between Caernarfon and Porthmadog is currently under construction.

The Ffestiniog Railway is the oldest independent railway company in the World it was founded by an Act of Parliament in 1832.  It was built as a gravity and horse drawn line to transport slate from the quarries in the mountains around Blaenau Ffestiniog. The slate industry flourished, as did the railway and the town of Porthmadog. Slates from Blaenau Ffestiniog were exported all around the world, a lot of it in ships built in Porthmadog.

It opened as a horse-drawn tramway in 1836 to transport slate from the Blaenau Ffestiniog quarries to the harbour at Porthmadog, the horses hauling the empty wagons to the top of the line, then riding down on the 'Dandy' wagon at the rear of the train.  The increase in cargoes (100,000 tons by the 1890s) led to the introduction of steam locomotives from the middle of the 19th century.

This railway  introduced many innovative engineering solutions to cope with the rapid increase in output from the quarries and in the number of passengers it carried. Engineers from around the world came to study the Ffestiniog Railway and, as a result, it has influenced the design and construction of railways in many countries.

It now travels through areas of Snowdonia not accessible by road so providing an interesting opportunity to see these areas.

Further information Grid



Ffestiniog Railway, Caernarfonshire

Ceremonial County: Caernarfonshire

Grid Reference:

SH 570383

Map Link:



Aerial photo:  


13.5 miles of 2' track

Best Times to Visit:






Other useful websites:

Great little trains of Wales

Railways in Wales 

Wiki     Wiki Images 

Narrow Gauge pleasure 

Nearby Locations:  
Other Relevant pages: Great little trains of Wales article



Date Updated: 06/2008


Planning Grid


Ffestiniog Railway, Caernarfonshire

Grid Reference:

SH 570383

Getting there:

The station is situated on the A487 at the eastern end of the town







Things To Do, See and Photograph:


What to take:


Nature highlights:



Ffestiniog Railway, Harbour Station, Porthmadog, Gwynedd


LL49 9NF


01766 516000

Opening times:



(Some, other options available)

All Day Rover (round trip Porthmadog to Blaenau Ffestiniog or vice versa), Adult 17.50; Concessions 15.75;
Half-way trip (To/from Tan-y-Bwlch from Porthmadog or Blaenau Ffestiniog) Adult 10.80, Concessions 9.75
Travel First Class in Observation Car or traditional vintage carriage compartments for additional charge of 4.00 (single), 8.00 (return), (Concessions 3.60 Single, 7.20 Return)
Early Bird and Sunset Fares Valid on the 0840am and 6.20pm departures from Porthmadog. 13.20 (Adult); 11.90 (Concessions)

Children under 3 travel free, One child 3-15 years travels free with each paying adult, while additional children travel half-fare.

Dogs and bicycles  2.50

Three-in-One ticket - giving one return journey on any three days in seven on the Ffestiniog Railway, the Welsh Highland Railway (Caernarfon) and the Welsh Highland Railway (Porthmadog). The fares are 32.00 Adults and 29.00 Concessions. Children 16.00.

Photo Restrictions:


Other Restrictions:  
Special Needs Access: Porthmadog and Blaenau Ffestiniog stations have ramped access and specially adapted toilet facilities. Carriages on some trains have extra wide doors for standard width wheelchairs. Advance notice is required.
Special Needs Facilities:  
Children Facilities:  
Dogs Allowed:  

CIN Page Ref:


Date Updated: 06/2008

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