Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways - Behind the Scenes
- Unique behind the scenes access of the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways
- Steam Hauled Private Charter
- Footplate ride on a section of the line
- Guided tours and insights from active staff and volunteers
- History tour of Caernarfon
- Three course farewell evening meal on last night
- 5 Days from £795pp
Friday 15 October to Tuesday 19 October 2021
An access all areas tour of the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways. Explore over 40 miles of rail track from Caernarfon, through Snowdonia National Park, to Blaenau Ffestiniog. Step behind the scenes and visit sections of the line not normally seen by the average passenger.
Day 1 – Arrive Caernarfon
Arrive in Caernarfon in time to check into the Celtic Royal Hotel, our base for the next 4 nights.
Day 2 – Snowdonia Circular
After breakfast we head to the newly built Caernarfon Station and board the 10am Welsh Highland Railway (WHR) service train to Porthmadog. The line initially follows the original standard gauge Bangor to Afonwen line as far as Dinas and then turns south and enters the Snowdonia National Park. It climbs through the foothills of Snowdon and passes rivers and streams, reaching the railway’s highest peak at Pitts Head, before descending dramatically through forests and the breathtaking Aberglaslyn Pass to the harbour town of Porthmadog. On arrival in Porthmadog enjoy lunch served in the station restaurant Spooners before boarding the Ffestiniog Railway to Blaenau Ffestiniog. Our journey continues on the standard gauge Conwy Valley line which, after tunnelling under the Crimea pass, follows the route of the Conwy River down to the Irish Sea at Conwy. We make a change of train in Llandudno Junction and travel to Bangor where we finally alight for a coach transfer to our hotel.
Day 3 – History of Caernarfon
This morning we take a walking tour of Caernarfon which includes information about Caernarfon Castle from 1090 to the 21st Century, the town walls and Caernarfon's slate and maritime history. We also learn about the Roman history of Caernarfon. Segontium was founded by Agricola the Roman governor of Britain in AD 77 and was home to 1,000 auxiliary soldiers. Segontium was occupied for over 300 years, until around AD 394 - no other fort in Wales was held for so long. After our tour we have lunch in Caffi De Winton, located in Caernarfon Station. This afternoon we enter Caernarfon Castle and take a guided tour of this medieval fortress-palace.
Day 4 – Behind the Scenes – Special Train
Today we take a rare insight into the Welsh Highland Railway with a special steam hauled train. Our private train includes stops at Dinas, where we have an opportunity to explore the engine works and carriage storage and servicing facilities. Later, we travel towards Waunfawr stopping off at Tryfan Junction where the Bryngwyn branch once arched off to the slate quarries on the slopes of Moel Tryfan. Thought to be the oldest slate quarrying area of North Wales, the Tryfan district is suspected to be the source of the slate used in Segontium. We enjoy a buffet lunch in the Snowdonia Park pub in Waunfawr before pressing onwards towards Rhyd Ddu where there will be several photo opportunities, not usually available, including run pasts on the large Tro Ffridd curve. From Rhyd Ddu we decend through the forest towards Beddgelert and the Aberglaslyn Pass where we enjoy further run pasts. Finally we reach sea level and cross William Maddocks land reclamation, along the Creassy embankment, towards Porthmadog and over the crosstown link, passing Harbour Station and over the Cob (Welsh for Embankment) to Boston Lodge Works where we enjoy a guided tour of the oldest railway workshop still in operation. We return to Caernarfon by road for a farewell dinner in the hotel restaurant.
Day 5 – Farewell
After a leisurely breakfast it’s time to check out and say farewell before travelling home independently.
IMPORTANT NOTE - Operational difficulties or requirements and other restrictions may limit or curtail some of the places to be visited but we do undertake to provide a unique insight unavailable to normal passengers or Society members. The special on Day 4 is expected to be steam hauled however in certain circumstances a diesel may be used if steam traction is unavailable for any reason. Please note that as the Railways' timetables are yet to be published the days maybe switched to accommodate our visit.
Celtic Royal Hotel, Caernarfon
Please note - hotel can be subject to change
- Accommodation in a good quality hotel on a bed and breakfast basis
- Guided tours as stated
- Travel in 3rd class on the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways
- Standard class travel from Blaenau Ffestiniog to Bangor
- Special Train as detailed
- 3 lunches and 1 evening dinner
- Transfers as stated
- Services of a tour leader throughout the holiday
Price per person
|Single room supplement:||£110|
|Deposit for this holiday:||£100|
Download your tour booking form here.