Skip to content Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

The Ffestiniog Railway

The Ffestiniog Railway Approaching Tanygrisiau

The Ffestiniog Railway runs for 13.5 miles from Porthmadog to the historic slate town of Blaenau Ffestiniog.

The Ffestiniog Railway Company operates the two foot (597mm) gauge Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways, which carry up to 400,000 passengers a year.

The Ffestiniog Railway is recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest operational railway company in the World, being founded by Act of Parliament in 1832. 2015 marked the 150th anniversary of the start of passenger services in 1865.

In 1863, it became the first narrow gauge railway in the World to introduce steam engines – two of which are still in use today, with a third undergoing restoration – the oldest locos in the World still operating on their original railway and celebrated their 150th birthday in 2013. It is the only railway in the World to operate double-ended Fairlie steam locomotives.

It runs the oldest railway works in the World, where new steam locomotives and carriages have been built in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries – Merddin Emrys was built in 1879 and is still in regular use today. In August 2010, the UK’s newest steam loco, Lyd entered service.

Since the 1950s, the Ffestiniog Railway has become a leader in railway preservation and is now one of the UK’s top and North Wales’ Number One tourist attraction. The line reopened to Blaenau Ffestiniog in 1982.