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Welsh Highland Railway (Caernarfon)

Caernarfon, Caernarfonshire


 Booking office and end of buffers with Caernarfon Castle beyond

Picture by  Eric Jones

The newest railway in Snowdonia, currently a 12 mile line from Caernarfon, overlooked by the  castle, to the village of Rhyd Ddu which is 650 feet above sea level on the slopes of Snowdon. This is the halfway stage, work is in full swing on the remaining section to Porthmadog, which will then join up with the Ffestiniog Railway, to eventually produce a 40 mile narrow gauge steam route.

This runs on a 2ft (1ft 11 1/2) gauge line.

The expansion under way will complete the railway through to Porthmadog via Beddgelert and the famous Aberglaslyn Pass. Next year (2009) this line will have been extended and join up with Welsh Highland Railway (Porthmadog). 

They say:-

 "Imagine a railway that runs 40 miles from the North Wales coast at Caernarfon through the heart of Snowdonia, linking Beddgelert, Porthmadog and Blaenau Ffestiniog. A railway which starts under the walls of an ancient castle, runs past streams and woodlands, skirts pretty lakes and the foothills of Snowdon, swings around tight curves, through forests, hugs the side of the magnificent Aberglaslyn Pass and races across the flatlands to Porthmadog. There joining up with the historic Ffestiniog Railway and its famously scenic route up to the dramatic slate quarries of Blaenau Ffestiniog. An exciting prospect, isnít it?

Even more exciting is the fact that, in 2009, you wonít need to dream as right now, work is underway on the last ten miles of the link that will make it all possible".  .....

Read more of what they are doing and progress made to date from their website. There are two websites devoted to providing progress information and photographs and there is a lot for them to report, links are below. The track should all be laid this year and the line ready to open fully next spring 2009.

On this line you are pulled by the most powerful 2' gauge locomotives, around unbelievable curves, up steep gradients. These South African engines weigh 62 tonnes, are 48 foot long, and can carry 1,500 gallons of water and 4 tonnes of coal. They can travel up to 25MPH. They have two power bodies, giving it a better grip and ability to climb slopes of 1 in 40, step in railway terms, while pulling 12 coaches.

At the moment there is plenty to photograph, with the castle and boats etc at Caernarfon, the railway, scenery, and more.

Stations along the line, OS Grid references and postcodes for use with Satnavs:-

Station Parking Notes Post Code Post Code Notes Grid Ref
Caernarfon Railway Car Park + others LL55 2YD Generic Post Code for St Helens Road SH481624
Bontnewydd No Car Park     SH479600
Dinas Free Parking LL54 5UP Select WHR Light Railway SH476586
Waunfawr Car parking at pub LL55 4AQ Generic Post Code - Select Snowdonia Parc SH528588
Plas y Nant No Car Park LL54 7YR Generic Post Code for Betws Garmon SH548560
Snowdon Ranger No Car Park LL54 7YS Generic Post Code - Select Youth Hostel SH565552
Rhyd Ddu SNPA Pay and Display LL54 6TN Generic Post Code of Rhyd Ddu Villiage SH572526


Taking on

picture By
Jim Woodward-Nutt

Further information Grid



Welsh Highland Railway (Caernarfon)

Ceremonial County: Caernarfonshire

Grid Reference:

SH 481624

Map Link:



Aerial photo:  


12 miles of 2' track (expanding to up to 40 next year)

Best Times to Visit:






Welsh Highland Railway (Caernarfon) - official construction site

See route of railway

Other useful websites:

Rebuilding the Welsh Highland Railway - unofficial site - updated almost daily

Festiniog Railway's Heritage Group Wiki - contains further WHR information  

Great little trains of Wales

Railways in Wales

Wiki        Wiki Images 

Wiki - Welsh Highland Railway restoration  

Narrow gauge pleasure 

The Pont Croesor Extension

Welsh Highland Railway History 

Nearby Locations:  
Other Relevant pages:

Welsh Highland Railway (Porthmadog)  

Ffestiniog Railway 

Great little trains of Wales



Date Updated: 06/2008


Planning Grid


Welsh Highland Railway (Caernarfon)

Grid Reference:

SH 481624

Getting there:

off the A55, ten miles south of Bangor

Near to Caernarfon castle


See table above for details on stations


At Caernarfon there are three large public car parks within 10 minutes walk of the station in addition to a small car park at the station itself. See the table above for details on parking at different stations.


Trains have a trolley service

Things To Do, See and Photograph:

Castle, boats, railway, scenic,

What to take:


Nature highlights:



c/o Harbour Station, Porthmadog, Gwynedd, LL49 9NF


LL55 2YD


 01766 516000

Opening times:

See their website for dates and times of trains.

There is also a trains this week page, allowing you to se which engines will be in use.


(Some options - there are other options)

Adult:- Caernarfon to Rhyd Ddu or vice versa, return fares are £17.50 (Adult), £15.75 (Concessions); single £9.90 and £8.95
Half-way returns (Caernarfon or Rhyd Ddu to or from Waunfawr £9.90 (Adult), £8.95 (Concessions); Single £6.60 and £5.95
Pullman Luxury On some trains, Bodysgallen, the Pullman carriage will be attached offering an extra level of comfort. A supplement of £4.00 single (Concessions £3.60) or £8.00 return (Concessions £7.20)

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

Dogs and bicycles  £2.50.

Seat reservations are available for a supplement of 50p per seat

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:  
Special Needs Facilities: Disabled Passengers: Carriages on some trains have extra wide doors for standard width wheelchairs. Advance notice is required, and special discounts apply for parties.
Children Facilities:  
Dogs Allowed:  

CIN Page Ref:


Date Updated: 06/2008

Please let us know any other information that we can add to the Further information and Planning Grids or page and any errors that you discover. Before making a long trip to any location it is always wise to double check the current information, websites like magazines may be correct at the time the information is written, but things change and it is of course impossible to double check all entries on a regular basis. If you have any good photographs that you feel would improve the illustration of this page then please let us have copies. In referring to this page it is helpful if you quote the CIN Page Ref at the bottom of the Planning Grid above. To print the planning grid select it then right click and print the selected area.

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