Telephone 01766 516000
Fax 01766 516005
Established by an Act of Parliament way back in 1832, the
Ffestiniog Railway is truly a 'Great Little Railway' and is the
oldest independent railway company in the World today.
In May 2007 we proudly celebrated the 175th anniversary of the founding of the line, and in 2014, the 60th anniversary of the post-war opening of the first stage of the revived railway. With the rebuilding of the pre-war Welsh Highland Railway now complete, and a new £1.25 million two-platform layout at Harbour Station at Porthmadog (complete with a substantial semaphore signalling installation), it is now possible to connect with Caernarfon-bound trains and experience 40 unbroken miles of spectacular narrow gauge steam.
built to serve the slate industry of Blaenau Ffestiniog, the line
used to be operated by gravity. Wagons laden with slate, rumbled
down the hillside, kept under control by intrepid brakesmen who
leapt from wagon to wagon tightening or loosening the brakes while
their colleague on the front wagon blew his horn to warn others
of its passage. Steam locomotives were introduced in the 1860s and,
today, some of those same little engines haul carriages of holidaymakers
through the stunning scenery of the Snowdonia National Park.
Blaenau Ffestiniog, at the head of the valley still bears the scars
of its industrial past with slate tips all around. One of these
quarries is open to the public and makes an interesting addition
to your day out. The station is situated in the centre of the town
on the A470 and is shared with the Conwy Valley Line which runs
from the North Wales coastal resort of Llandudno, connecting with
the main line at Llandudno Junction.
Station, half way along the line, is situated just off the main
valley in the Merionydd Oakwoods. There are many nature trails starting
at the station so it is a good place to break your journey and explore.
The licensed café, open Easter to October, serves a tempting
selection of hot and cold snacks. The café is licensed for
weddings and makes an unusual setting for your special day.
Porthmadog's Harbour Station, the headquarters of the railway,
is where most trains start and finish. The station is situated on
the A487 at the eastern end of the town. Our main gift shop here
offers a wide selection of gifts and souvenirs and also supplies
the on-line shop www.festshop.co.uk.
A visit to Spooner's Café and Bar
in the old station goods shed is a must, with a wide selection of
food and beverages on offer. Spooner's
is justly proud to have won a CAMRA award for 'Local Pub of the
Year' three times in the last four
We have special events throughout the year and also host a 'Guest
The Ffestiniog is easily accessible by public transport with main
line connections at Blaenau Ffestiniog and Minffordd stations and
many stations on regular bus routes. For more information on how
to find us, what is happening, and how to make the most of your
visit, please visit our website www.festrail.co.uk
A visit to the Ffestiniog Railway is'history on the move' and
a whole lot more too!
Your GLTW Discount Card also entitles you to discounts
at the following accommodation providers. Please Note: You
must disclose that you are a GLTW card holder at the time of booking
and show your card on arrival.
Whilst you are in the area, why not visit some of the other nearby
places of interest:-
- The closest beach to Porthmadog is at the sleepy, seaside village
of Borth y Gest. This small resort is older than its neighbour,
and two hundred years ago it was the regular haunt of smugglers.
There was once a thriving boat building business here. A walk
round the bay takes you to a clifftop path which leads, in a few
minutes, to small, sandy coves. Borth y Gest is a short walk from
Porthmadog harbour, but it also has its own car park. Two miles
away in Morfa Bychan is Black Rock Sands, a popular wide sandy
beach with a rocky headland at the western end of the beach and
a backdrop of sand dunes that are a site of special scientific
interest. When the tide recedes you can explore the rock pools
and exposed caverns.
Portmeirion, (reached from Minffordd station) stands on a rugged
clifftop on its own private peninsula overlooking Cardigan Bay.
It is surrounded by 145 acres of sub-tropical woodlands and miles
of sandy beaches. Portmeirion was built by visionary Welsh architect,
Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, who wanted to prove that development
did not have to mean destruction of the natural environment. He
started work in 1925 and completed the village during the early
1970's. He died in 1978, aged 95. Portmeirion is now acknowledged
as a unique architectural work of art. Many know Portmeirion for
its role as "The Village" in Patrick McGoohan's television
series "The Prisoner". It is also known for the Portmeirion
Pottery, designed by Clough's daughter Susan Williams-Ellis (1918-1997).
Slate Caverns, Blaenau Ffestiniog. Explore the heritage of the
Victorian slate miner in caverns made while roofing the Industrial
Revolution on every continent. Ride the 1846 Miners' Tramway or
descend into the Deep Mine where Llechwedd slate was first discovered.
With two spectacular underground tours it's Britain's steepest
underground railway. There's an underground son-et-lumiere show
and a dramatic lake. Above ground, a Victorian village with pub
and shops depict life in a bygone age. With such a breathtaking
setting it's easy to understand why it has been selected as the
location for two Hollywood films.