Bala Lake Railway

Address: The Station, Llanuwchllyn, Bala, Gwynedd, LL23 7DD
Telephone: 01678 540666   Fax: 01678 540535   Website
Gauge: 1' 11.5       Length: 4.5 miles      * Map     * Directions

The Bala Lake Railway runs along the shore of Llyn Tegid (Bala Lake) from Llanuwchllyn station betweenj Bala and Dolgellau. The railway is built on the original trackbed of the standard gauge GWR line from Corwen to Barmouth which closed in the 1960's. In 1971 an enterprising local group saw the possibility for running a new tourist line along the lake and the Bala Lake Railway was born.

It is now home to an impressive collection of preserved locomotives including three "Quarry Hunslets" from the Dinorwic quarry railway.


Brecon Mountain Railway

Address: Merthyr Tydfil, Mid Glamorgan, CF48 2UP
Telephone: 01685 722988   Fax: 01685 384854   Email   Website
Gauge: 1' 11.7       Length: 3.5 miles      * Map     * Directions

The Brecon Mountain Railway runs along the trackbed of the old Brecon and Merthyr Railway beside the Taf Fechan Reservoir. Built in 1980 it is one of the newest narrow gauge railways in Wales. The BMR is home to a number of interesting overseas steam locomotives including a beautifully restored Baldwin 2-6-2 of distinctly American outline - although it originally worked in South Africa.


Corris Railway and Museum

Address: Station Yard, Corris, Machynlleth, , SY20 9SH
Telephone: 01654 761303   Website
Gauge: 2' 3"       Length: 0.5 miles      * Map     * Directions

The Corris Railway was the first steam hauled, narrow gauge railway in Mid-Wales. Although the original railway closed in 1948, the line is being revived and currently offers a short ride between Corris and the shed at Maespoeth. A replica of steam locomotive No.4 is being built and will soon be hauling passenger trains again in the beautiful Dulas valley.


Fairbourne & Barmouth Railway

Address: Beach Road, Fairbourne, Gwynedd, LL38 2PZ
Telephone: 01341 250362   Fax: 01341 250240   Email   Website
Gauge: 12.25"       Length: 2.25 miles      * Map     * Directions

The Fairbourne and Barmouth railway started out life in 1895 as a 2ft. gauge horse-drawn tramway linking Fairbourne with the ferry across to Barmouth. At that date the tramway and ferry were the only link across the Mawddach estuary, the alternative being a 20 mile detour to the nearest upriver bridge. The tramway survived until 1916, by which time the Barmouth railway bridge had been built and the ferry's business was greatly reduced.

The tramway was converted to a 15" gauge minature railway using steam traction. For many years the line continued to operate with a variety of interesting stock. By the mid-80's the railway was in poor shape, and in 1984 the whole enterprise was brought by John Ellerton who had run a similar line to 12.25" guage in Brittany, France. He moved his relatively new locomotives over to Fairbourne and re-gauged the railway to 12.25". Thus the F&B is the amazing shrinking railway of Wales.

Today you can still take the minature train through the sand dunes to Penrhyn Point.


Ffestiniog Railway

Address: Harbour Station, Porthmadog, Gwynedd, LL49 9NF
Telephone: 01766 516073   Fax: 01766 516006   Email   Website
Gauge: 1' 11.5       Length: 13.5 miles      * Map     * Directions

The oldest independent railway company in the world of any gauge, the Ffestiniog is best known of the Welsh narrow gauge lines. It has been running steam-hauled passenger service from Porthmaodg to Blaenau Ffestiniog since the 1860's, although it took a number of years to restore the full line after the second world war.

The railway boasts an impressive locomotive roster including three Double Fairlie engines - the only line in the world still operating these fascinating beasts. The railway's Boston Lodge engineering works is still building new locomotives as well as restoring historical engines and keeping the line's existing historical stock running.


Glyn Valley Tramway

Address: The Glyn Valley Hotel, Glyn Ceriog, Wrecsam, , LL20 7EU
Telephone:   Email   Website
Gauge: 2' 4.5"       Length: 0 miles      * Map     * Directions

The GVT was an idiosyncratic line that hauled slate and granite from the quarries at Glyn Ceriog to the canal at Chirk, in the Welsh borders. Although the tramway closed in 1935 and its stock has long since been scrapped, a group has formed recently to create a museum for this long-lost line. There are long term plans to build a replica train, and perhaps revive a short section of the line.


Llanberis Lake Railway

Address: Padarn Country Park, Llanberis, Gwynedd, LL55 4TY
Telephone: 01286 870549   Email   Website
Gauge: 1' 11.5       Length: 2.75 miles      * Map     * Directions

The Llanberis Lake railway is built on the track bed of part of the 4ft gauge Padarn Railway, which from 1843 to 1961 carried slates from Dinorwic Quarry, Llanberis, to Port Dinorwic on the Menai Strait. After the Padarn Railway closed the interal 1' 10.75" gauge quarry lines continued to be used until 1969 when the vast Dinorwic quarry finally closed. Several of the locomotives from the quarry were saved and in 1971 the Llanberis Lake Railway was born.

The railway has been recently extended to a new station on the edge of Llanberis. From there you ride to the Welsh Slate Museum, housed in the old quarry workshops. The railway runs from there along the shores of Llyn Padarn to Penllyn at the southern end of the lake. The collection of re-gauged "Quarry Hunslet" locomotives saved from the quarry lines still run on the line today.


Rhyl Miniature Railway

Address: ????, ,
Telephone: 01352 759109   Website
Gauge: 15"       Length: 1 miles      * Map     * Directions

Find us behind the Ocean Beach funfair, near the west end of the promenade. We offer a mile long ride on our historic fifteen inch gauge railway, now operated entirely by volunteers.


Snowdon Mountain Railway

Address: Llanberis, Gwynedd, LL55 4TY
Telephone: 0870 458 0033   Fax: 01286 872518   Email   Website
Gauge: 800mm       Length: 4.75 miles      * Map     * Directions

The Snowdon Mountain Railway is unique in Britain, being the only public rack railway. It runs from Llanberis to 20 feet below the summit of Mount Snowdon, the highest peak in Wales.

Opened in 1896, it uses the Abt rack system developed in Switzerland to allow the one-carriage trains to ascend nearly 3,000ft in a little over 4 miles. Although it now has a fleet of diesel locomotives and railcars, many services are still steam operated using locomotives dating back to the 1890's.

The ride up Snowdon gives spectacular views and glorious sound effects as the locomotives work hard pushing your carriage up the mountain - weather permiting of course.


Talyllyn Railway

Address: Wharf Station, Tywyn, Gwynedd, LL36 9EY
Telephone: 01654 710472   Fax: 01654 711755   Email   Website
Gauge: 2' 3"       Length: 7.5 miles      * Map     * Directions

The Talyllyn railway has been operating continuously since 1865. It was built to haul slate from the Bryn Eglwys quarry near Abergynolwyn to the coast at Tywyn. For nearly 100 years trains ran up and down the valley using the original two locomotives and four carriages. By the time of WWII the line was increasingly decrepit and although the line continued to operate the quarry shut at the end of 1946 and the railway seemed doomed. In 1950 the last train ran and it seemed this little line would finally fail. But a group of dedicated enthusiasts had noticed the Talyllyn and a preservation society was formed to rescue and run the railway. The society ran its first trains over the Whit holiday in 1951 and thus the Talyllyn became the first railway in the world to be rescued and run by volunteers.

The first few years were difficult, with worn out stock and track that in places was held together more by the grass between the rails than sleepers. But the Talyllyn survived and was gradually bought up to proper railway standards. Two locomotives and a small amount of stock were brought from the nearby Corris Railway which had recently closed and was luckily also of the unusual 2’ 3” gauge. More locomotives followed including No. 7 ”Tom Rolt” a brand new engine built by the railway in 1991.

Today steam locomotives, including the original 1865 engines, still pull trains along the Fathew valley from Tywyn to Nant Gwernol, just below the old quarry.


Teifi Valley Railway

Address: Henllan Station, Henllan, Nr. Newcastle Emlyn, Ceredigion, SA44 5TD
Telephone: 01559 371077   Website
Gauge: 1 11.7       Length: 1.75 miles      * Map     * Directions


Vale of Rheidol Railway

Address: Park Avenue, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 1PG
Telephone: 01970 625819   Fax: 01970 623769   Email   Website
Gauge: 1' 11.7       Length: 11.7 miles      * Map     * Directions


Welsh Highland Railway (Caernarfon)

Address: Harbour Station, Porthmadog, Gwynedd, LL49 9NF
Telephone: 01766 516024   Fax: 01766 516005   Email   Website
Gauge: 1' 11.5       Length: 12 miles      * Map     * Directions

The northern end of the revived Welsh Highland Railway is being rebuilt by the Ffestiniog Railway in grand style. Running from the water’s edge in Caernarfon the line currently runs on the old standard gauge trackbed to Dinas Junction where it rejoins the original WHR right-of-way and heads deep into the Snowdonia National Park. The present terminus is at Rhyd Ddu about half way along the eventual route.

Only one of the original WHR locomotives survives, and now runs on the WHR (Porthmadog) line. To operate the new WHR (Caernarfon) line a set of locomotives have been imported from recently abandoned lines in South Africa. These magnificent machines are the ultimate development of narrow gauge steam and enable a brisk “main line” service to be run on the new railway.

Running along the southern edge of Mount Snowdon through some of the most spectacular scenery in Britain, this revived line is a blend of the old and the new. When the work is completed to link south through Beddgelert to the Porthmadog section, it will form the longest narrow gauge line in the UK.


Welsh Highland Railway (Porthmadog)

Address: The Station, Tremadog Road, Porthmadog, Gwynedd,
Telephone: 01766 513402   Email   Website
Gauge: 1' 11.5       Length: 0.75 miles      * Map     * Directions

The original Welsh Highland Railway was part of a grand Victorian scheme to create an empire of narrow gauge lines covering North Wales. The section linking Porthmadog with Caernarfon was the only part built, although it stopped a few miles south of Caernarfon at Dinas Junction. It finally opened in its entire length in 1923. The railway struggled and although it was eventually taken over by the neighbouring Ffestiniog Railway it closed in 1937.

After many years of slumber, which saw the remaining stock sold or scrapped and the line pulled up during WWII, the revival began in the mid 1960's. After years of slow but steady progress the Welsh Highland is being revived in two parts. The Ffestiniog Railway is rebuilding south from the Caernarfon end (see separate entry) and the volunteer Welsh Highland Railway Ltd. is rebuilding northwards from Porthmadog. This line currently runs out of Porthmadog towards Pen-y-mount. On the return journey you stop at the engineering headquarters at Gelert’s Farm and have an opportunity to tour the works. The line is currently being extended towards Pont Croesor, 2 miles north towards Beddgelert.

In a few years the two lines will become one and you will be able to travel by narrow gauge train from Porthmadog to Caernarfon through some of the most beautiful scenery in Wales.

A Talking Timetable in English is available on 0870 321 2402 and in Welsh on 0870 321 3402 (calls to both numbers charged at normal national rate)


Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway

Address: The Station, Llanfair Caereinion, Powys, SY21 0SF
Telephone: 01938 810441   Fax: 01938 810861   Website
Gauge: 2' 6"       Length: 8 miles      * Map     * Directions


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