micbinks - UK holiday, leisure & tourist attraction images

Snowdonia Heritage Railways

Belinda and Mike - follow our tourist travels in the UK

Welsh Highland & Ffestiniog Railway: Holiday June 2018/19 - page 4

Snowdonia enjoys an abundance of restored heritage railways thanks to its rich industrial past.  We take a ride on two steam hauled services operated by Ffestoniog & Welsh Highland Railways.  The scenic Welsh Highland Railway is the UK's longest narrow gauge line – and North Wales' newest – steaming through the beautiful Snowdonia National Park from Porthmadog to Beddgelert.  And the Ffestoniog Railway runs through equally dramatic North Wales scenery, between Porthmadog and the slate mining town of Blaenau Ffestiniog.
This is page four of five.
Snowdon | Llanberis | Snowdonia Mines | Snowdonia Railways | Aberglaslyn Pass Walk + Tramway
 

Porthmadog Harbour Station in North Wales
The Welsh Highland Railway runs from Porthmadog to Caernarfon; we commenced our journey at Porthmadog Harbour Station at the line's...

Porthmadog Harbour Station ticket office
...southern end.  Here's the wonderfully restored ticket office at Porthmadog, the attention to detail was amazing!  The Welsh Highland Railway...

Welsh Highland Railway locomotive at Porthmadog
...is part of the Ffestiniog Railway which also leaves from Porthmadog.  This is the steam engine that hauled the train carriages, the world's most powerful narrow gauge steam locomotive.  We...

Welsh Highland Railway platform
...made our way along the platform to find the open carriage at the end of the train in order to get a good view of the length of the train on the journey.  Notice the traditional semaphore signals.  Now,...

On the Welsh Highland Railway
...Mike was an excited chappie to be riding on a steam train once again, flashing the Welsh Highland Railway tickets as the steam train chuffed out of...

Welsh Highland Railway train crosses the road at Porthmadog
...Porthmadog across the main road!  In fact it steamed along the highway for a short while before bearing right into the Snowdonia scenery...

Welsh Highland Railway: inside the open carriage
...bound ultimately for Caernarfon, a journey of some 25 miles (40km).  The open carriage we choose had its drawbacks, the rain came in and it filled with sooty steam when in tunnels but it all added...

Welsh Highland train goes round the Snowdonia curves
...to the fun and was very handy for grabbing an appealing photo quickly when the train rounded the Snowdonia curves.  Along the route the Welsh Highland Railway steam train passed through...

Snowdonia: Aberglaslyn Pass from the train
...the beautiful Aberglaslyn Pass along the River Glaslyn.  We only did the journey to Beddgelert (cost 21.90 round trip) rather than all the way to Caernarfon (39.80) as we intended to visit...

Welsh Highland train waits at Beddgelert Station
...Sygun Copper Mine there, so it was at Beddgelert we alighted.  The Welsh Highland line originally closed in 1936 and fully reopened as a heritage railway in 2009.  We thoroughly enjoyed our trip!

Minffordd Station on the Ffestoniog Railway
We caught the Ffestoniog Railway train at the country station of Minffordd, its first stop along this historic narrow gauge heritage railway line from Porthmadog.  We bought tickets on...

In the Ffestoniog Railway carriage
...the train and got a 10% discount from the 25.60 fare having previously ridden the Welsh Highland.  The steam train chuffed along the scenic Afon Dwyryd valley for a while before arriving...

Tan y Bwlch Station
...at Tan y Bwlch Station, shortly joined by the service from Ffestiniog passing on the opposite platform.  After departing Tan y Bwlch...

Afon Dwyryd valley from the Ffestoniog Railway carriage
...the train trundled on high above more of Afon Dwyryd valley, providing some grand views of the Snowdonia countryside from the carriage.  The...

Vale of Ffestiniog from the railway
...line could largely run by gravity on the gently downward gradient from Blaenau Ffestiniog as it transported the slate through the Vale of Ffestiniog to the harbour at Porthmadog for export.  Next we hit...

Ffestoniog Railway - going round the Dduallt Spiral
...Dduallt and a unique feature on the Ffestoniog Railway - the Dduallt Spiral, a tight 360 degree curve that allows the train to navigate a steep part of the terrain.  Getting nearer...

Tanygrisiau Reservoir near Blanau Ffestiniog
...Blaenau Ffestiniog the view became even more spectacular at Tanygrisiau Reservoir, created for the Ffestiniog Power Station hydro-electric facility.  Now...

Ffestoniog Railway steam train crossing a level crossing
...it's unusual for a train to stop at a road but it did just that here where the line crosses the A496 just before the Ffestoniog Railway steam train...

Blanau Ffestiniog Station in Snowdonia, North Wales
...arrived at Blaenau Ffestiniog Station, the terminus of the 13.5 mile (22km) route which took just over an hour.  Here we...

Ffestoniog Railway locomotive at Blanau Ffestiniog Station
...observed the unique double-engined Ffestoniog Railway locomotive being watered and coaled ready for its return to Porthmadog.  The...

Elevated view of Blanau Ffestiniog Station
...pic above shows the backdrop of the slate spoil tips scenery from the station's railway bridge.  From the station we headed...

Blanau Ffestiniog in Snowdonia
...into Blaenau Ffestiniog itself, a town famous for its slate production - see our visit to the amazing Llechwedd Slate Caverns.  We took a...

Snowdonia: slate sculptures and slate mountain in Blanau Ffestiniog
...short walk by Blaenau's many slate sculptures before rumbling tums decided lunch was next on our agenda so it seemed appropriate to make for...

Blanau Ffestiniog: Quarryman Bar & Grill slate theme
...the Quarryman Bar & Grill, a place where slate was very much in evidence: the tables, chairs, mats; even the wine rack was created from...

Enjoying lunch in Blanau Ffestiniog
...slate, oh, let's not forget the dinner plates too!  Yes, Blaenau Ffestiniog sure is justly proud of its slate production heritage.  Refreshed,...

Blanau Ffestiniog slate Craft Shop
...we adjourned to the neighbouring craft shop which, as you might imagine, contained goods crafted from, er, slate.  Soon...

Ffestoniog Railway steam train being prepared at Blanau Ffestiniog Station
...it was time to head back to Blaenau Ffestiniog Station to catch the Ffestoniog Railway steam train for the return journey.  North Wales has an abundance of preserved railways.  Many were built to support Snowdonia's slate mining and quarrying industry but now fulfil a very different purpose...

Ffestoniog Railway train travelling through the Snowdonia countryside
...supporting Snowdonia's tourist industry!  For more please check out our UK tourism resources.

Now to our final page for a fantastic walk along Snowdonia's Aberglaslyn Pass to Beddgelert and a ride on the Great Orme Tramway >>>

Other scenic heritage railways visited in Wales include the Welshpool & Llanfair Caereinion.