The Ffestiniog was the first railway company to use bogie coaches and the earliest coaches date from 1873. Some of these have been preserved and beautifully restored to run vintage trains on special occasions. The coaches look splendid in their dark maroon and cream livery.
Coaches have a central first class compartment with plush padded seats, giving a comfortable ride. Next to the first class are the second class compartments with upholstered bench seats and backs. At either end are the third class compartments. These originally just had wooden seats, but now have a cushion to give extra padding.
At the end is what is described as the curly roof van. This has guard’s compartment, luggage compartment and a small compartment for dogs.
Windows are opened and closed by thick leather straps. When shut, the window rests on a wooden ledge and they do rattle a lot during the journey. Compared with modern coaches, the windows are small and views restricted.
There is quite a big step in or out of the compartments, but the guard does have a small step for those who need it.
Compared to the four wheel carriages of the flying flea, this must have been regarded as luxury travel.
Like the flying flea, this is something the railway enthusiast will want to do at least once. It is difficult to give a rating for this. The experience is 5*, although comfort of ride is considerably less.