Ffestiniog Railways

Star Travel Rating

5/5

Review type

Things to do

Location

Ffestiniog Railways

Date of travel

October, 2019

Product name

Product country

Product city

Travelled with

On your own

Reasons for trip

Most people begin their journey from Porthmadog. The solid stone built “station”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porthmadog_Harbour_railway_station#/media/File:FR_PHS_Palmerston_&_link_crop.jpg dates from 1836 and has been extended many times over the years. It serves both the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways and the platform were lengthened to allow cross platform interchange between both lines. With its shop and cafe, it is one of the busiest stations in North Wales with around half a million passengers a year.

Boston Lodge Halt is unmanned and is mainly used by staff for Boston Lodge. Loco crews change shifts here. A few minutes later is Minfford Station where single line tokens are changed. Some trains cross here.

Penrhyn Halt stands above the town and is an attractive white and brown wooden building which also serves as a volunteer hostel. Just beyond the station is the line’s only gates level crossing on the A4085, Beddgelert Road.

The isolated Rhiw Gogh signal box has a passing loop and is used during the high summer service or at special events.

Plas Halt with its tiny stone shelter is tucked away in the Maentwrog woodlands and is the the stop for visitors stopping at Plas Tan y Bwlch and also the network of “footpaths”:https://www.eryri.llyw.cymru/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/10699/DyffrynMaentwrog-map.pdf through the woods.

Tan Y Bwlch is the half way station and set high on the hillside among the trees. The Station master’s house is no longer lived in. The small waiting room has an exhibition about the railway. The station is popular with families who break journey here as there is a small play area for children and a cafe. It is also a good centre for walks with a “nature trail”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/travel-product/attraction/166697-llyn-mair-nature-trail dropping down to Lyn Mair in the valley below.

Trains pass here, stopping to take on water and swap tokens. It is a hive of activity when trains arrive, but once they have left, it becomes quiet and peaceful again. 

Ddualt is the most isolated station on the railway with no road access. This was the terminus for many years while the deviation was built and is the site of the only railway spiral in the British Isles. The station house, Roslyn, hasn’t been lived in since the line closed. Built between the station and a wet marshy area with a small lake, it must have been a desolate place especially in winter. There are stories of the station master going mad from isolation. This is now a request halt, used occasionally by walkers.

Tanygrisiau with its time white and brown wood shelter, is a halt although locos often stop here to change tokens. In the signal box.

Blaenau Ffestiniog station is the end of the line and the Ffestiniog Railway shares a station with the Conwy Valley Line. It has a small shop and toilets. Depending on the timetable, trains have about 20-30 minutes here while the loco runs round and takes water.

These pictures were taken on a trip to the Ffestiniog Railway in October 2019. They are part of a series of reviews and pictures from that trip.

ESW

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