Porthmadog’s Heritage Railways
The Ffestiniog Railway
The Ffestiniog Railway was opened in 1836 and runs 13.5 miles from Porthmadog to Blaenau Ffestiniog along the beautiful Vale of Ffestiniog. It was built to transport slate produced at various quarries along the route, including Cwmorthin. The whole line was built on a slight incline, so the carriages could travel all the way unpowered. Horses were transported down in special carriages, so they could pull the empty wagons back up.
The Welsh Highland Railway
The Welsh Highland Railway (The W.H.R.) or “Rheilffordd Eryri” in Welsh, runs twenty-five miles from Porthmadog to Caernarfon on the north-west coast of Wales, making it the UK’s longest heritage railway. It’s also arguably the most scenic railway in Wales, taking in the Aberglaslyn Pass, Beddgelert, Llyn Cwellyn and the foot of Snowdon before arriving in the coastal town of Caernarfon with its majestic castle. You can travel in comfortable third-class, open carriages, luxurious Pullman carriages and even in an observation car. Each one-way trip takes around 2 hours 15 minutes with a stop of around 1 hour 15 minutes in Caernarfon.
The Welsh Highland Heritage Railway
The Welsh Highland Heritage Railway runs for half a mile (0.8 km) to Pen-y-Mount Junction, where the railway connects with the Welsh Highland Railway main line. The train stops at Gelerts Farm halt on its return to allow passengers to visit a museum and a miniature-gauge railway.