I did the “round trip”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/attraction/200650 on the Welsh highland Railway in October 2019. This is one of a series of short reviews with pictures of different parts of the line.
Beddgelert is the largest settlement along the line and nestles beneath the mountains at the confluence of the Glaslyn and Colwyn rivers.
The railway now follows the River Colwyn, beginning its climb along the flanks of Snowdon with the bulk of Moel Hebog on the left. There are many tight curves as the railway reaches “Beddgelert Forest”:https://cdn.naturalresources.wales/media/680038/beddgelert-trails-leaflet.pdf?mode=pad&rnd=131975528080000000 .
This used to be commercial coniferous forest but the conifers have been felled out and it is now an attractive area of mixed deciduous woodland which is popular with walkers, mountain bikers and campers.
This part of the line has one of the steepest gradients, at 1 in 40, on a railway line in Britain, really putting the massive Garrett locos through their paces as the line winds and turns back on itself.
The line leaves the forest and continues to climb through open open mountainous countryside to Pitt’s Head summit at 650’ above sea level. This is a really isolated area with little settlement and is hardly surprising the original railway never made a profit.
By now we had lost the sun and cloud was catching the top of the Nantlle Ridge to the left. In the valley below is the small lake, Llyn y Gadair, with the remains of a quarry on the far side.
Rhyd Ddu is a small isolated settlement to the north west of the station. It only comes to life when a train arrives. A few people get off to walk and some services pass here.