2009 sees the opening of our new railway through the heart of the Snowdonia National Park. The magnificent scenery of this part of North Wales is best viewed from our trains, as you relax and watch the view. The towns of Caernarfon, Beddgelert, Porthmadog and Blaenau Ffestiniog, are within easy reach – and our trains will take you out of your car and straight to a large number of tourist attractions. Since the 1950s, Porthmadog has thrived on tourism, and so has the Ffestiniog Railway - and in 2009, the Welsh Highland Railway is expanding. Beddgelert is now a stop on one of the most picturesque railway lines in the UK. Ian1000 ( Wikipedia Commons) Colin Lea The Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways are part of a network of tourist attractions in north- west Wales. Many other attractions are easily accessible from our trains. Caernarfon, with its Castle and walled town, the pretty village of Beddgelert, the seaside town of Porthmadog and Italianate village of Portmeirion are all just a quick train- ride away. The energetic can even get off the train at Snowdon Ranger or Rhyd Ddu and follow the footpaths to the top of Snowdon. North Wales is just a few hours by train or car, from the West Midlands, the north west and most of England. Much more information can be found about our railways. Timetable leaflets, guide books with more details of the history, flora and fauna and places to see and visit along both lines, can be obtained from our stations. Timetable leaflets are also available at many attractions and Tourist Information Offices in North Wales and beyond.
Roy Woods A bit about our railways……. Both railways are of a narrow gauge – this smaller scale was adopted by the Ffestiniog Railway and copied by many others, not only in Britain, but also in India, South Africa and other parts of the World. The ' gauge', or width between the tracks, is only 1' 11?" or 600mm - allowing trains to negotiate the sharper curves and steeper inclines prevalent in mountainous terrain. Interestingly, this suggests that the Ffestiniog Railway adopted a metric measurement in the 1830s, certainly unusual in Britain at that time. The narrow gauge allows for smaller engines and carriages and our railways have an interesting mixture of different shapes and sizes. Most of our carriages have plenty of room for the modern tourist to travel in comfort – with at- seat buffet service of hot and cold drinks. Some trains even have a grill on board for hot snacks – especially welcome to the weary walker or cyclist! For the more intrepid traveller, some trains offer the option of travelling in Victorian splendour. These heritage carriages, some dating back to the mid- Nineteenth Century, have been restored at our own works at Boston Lodge, near Porthmadog. These smaller carriages offer a glimpse of what it was like travelling by train over a hundred years ago, although the gas- lamps have been replaced with electric light. Trains usually carry a ramp to assist passengers with mobility problems and some carriages have extra wide doors for standard- width wheelchairs. Bicycles can be carried on most trains and dogs are welcome in most carriages. Our staff are always pleased to help in any way they can.