I did a return trip on the Ffestiniog Railway in October. It is a spectacular trip and I came home with dozens of pictures. These are a selection from the ‘bottom’ part of the line between Porthmadog and the midway station of Tan y Bwlch.
This begins with a crossing of the Cob, the embankment built by William Madocks in the early C19th, with wonderful views across the reclaimed estuary of the River Glaslyn to the mountains of Snowdonia. On a clear day this must rank as one of the best views in North Wales. Looking the other way is the residential development on the old slate wharves.
Leaving the Cob, the railway passes Boston Lodge. This is the workshops for the railway and where the locos and carriages are kept. Next is Minfford where the Ffestiniog Railway crosses the Cambrian coast line. Engines stop here to change tokens from the machine in the station buildings.
Just beyond Penrhyn station the railway crosses the A4085, the Beddgelert road at a manned level crossing, before heading out on the open hillside to Rhiw Goch. This translates as red hillside and at the end of October the bracken covered slopes really do look red in the autumn sunshine. There are views down to the Dwryd valley.
The line then enters the mixed deciduous woodlands around Tan y Bwlch with their isolated forest road crossings and tight curves, giving this section of the line the nickname ‘Whistling Curve’ Trains can be heard whistling at the curves many minutes before they arrive at Tan y Bwlch.