Welcome aboard

The Ffestiniog Railway is the oldest independent railway company in the World - being founded by an Act of Parliament in 1832.


The railway was built as a gravity and horse drawn line to transport slate from the quarries in the mountains around Blaenau Ffestiniog. As the slate industry flourished, so did the railway and the town of Porthmadog. Slates from Blaenau Ffestiniog were exported to ports all over the globe - many in ships built in Porthmadog.


The railway was extremely successful and introduced many innovative engineering solutions to cope with the rapid increase in output from the quarries and in the number of passengers it carried. Engineers from around the world came to study the Ffestiniog Railway and, as a result, it has influenced the design and construction of railways in many countries.


January 2010 brings sunshine and snow, as Taliesin heads away from Portmadog across the Cob. However, the slate industry - and then passenger numbers - slowly declined, until finally the railway closed to traffic in 1946. Luckily, pioneering railway enthusiasts were determined that the railway should survive and it was re-opened in 1954.

Over the last fifty years, the Ffestiniog Railway has become a leader in railway preservation and is now one of Wales’ top tourist attractions. Visitors to the railway can enjoy the outstanding natural beauty of Snowdonia as they pass through areas inaccessible by road undisturbed by the sights and sounds of modern life.

Our trains provide ‘access for all’ to the spectacular countryside of North Wales - whether you prefer to sit back and relax in comfort or you are someone who can’t get enough of the ‘great outdoors’. We cater for both needs - and many in between!


Quirks and Curiosities - 30th April to 3rd May

Mr Spooner Curious goings-on in Porthmadog… The big event on the Ffestiniog Railway this Spring is the ‘Quirks and Curiosities’ event to be held over the May Day Bank Holiday weeken…

Heritage Weekend - 8th to 10th October

Heritage Weekend 2010 A celebration of the FR’s special heritage and a chance to see and experience the line’s collection of vintage engines and stock; from more than a century and a half of history, it is all still run…

The Festiniog Railway Company operates narrow-gauge trains on its two railways - some of our carriages have extra-wide doors for standard-width wheelchairs. Our stations at Porthmadog and Blaenau Ffestiniog have ramped access routes and specially adapted toilets. Please phone our Porthmadog Booking Office (01766 516024) in advance of your visit, so we can give you more detailed advice relating to your individual requirements. A more detailed Access Statement is available here.

PLEASE NOTE: No charge is made for Guide / Assistance Dogs travelling on our trains.

The Welsh Highland Railway (Caernarfon) now has its own website where you can find news and information specific to that railway. For ease of use, certain pages on this site are linked directly to the corresponding pages on the Welsh Highland Railway (C) site. You can switch websites by clicking on this graphic wherever it is displayed.