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Ffestiniog Railway

The world's only surviving narrow-gauge railway, winds its way from the harbour at Porthmadog to the slate mining town of Blaenau Ffestiniog. Savour living history, travelling in monogrammed wooden carriages pulled along by 150-year-old steam locomotives as you look out at landscapes little changed for decades, lined with oak forests and majestic mountain scenery.

Founded by an Act of Parliament in 1832, the narrow gauge Ffestiniog Railway is the oldest surviving railway company in the world. The railway was constructed between 1833 and 1836 to transport slate quarried from the mountains around Blaenau Ffestiniog to the coastal town of Porthmadog where it was loaded onto ships for export. In 1865 the Ffestiniog Railway became the first narrow gauge railway in Britain to carry passengers.

For many years the railway flourished, however the slate industry fell into decline around the time of the First World War and passenger numbers also started to decrease. The railway finally closed in 1946. Fortunately it did not remain closed for long: a group of railway enthusiasts were determined the railway should survive and after restoring the line to working order, it re-opened as a tourist attraction in 1954. Today the Ffestiniog Railway offers passengers a fantastic journey through the wild and spectacular scenery of the Snowdonia National Park - a highlight of any visit to Wales.

The full route of the railway is 13.5 miles long (20.7km) and runs from Porthmadog to Blaenau Ffestiniog.

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Railways & Castles of Wales
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  • DestinationWales
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