Slate Shunt Experience
A fascinating and interesting break in North Wales, this package includes the delights of leisurely trips on two of the UK’s premier narrow gauge railways coupled together with an exhilarating Slate Shunt where you get to operate one of the railways steam locomotives by performing complex shunting manoeuvres. The following days can be taken in any order however the Slate Shunt day itself must be taken on a weekend.
Take a return trip on the Ffestiniog Railway. After crossing the ‘Cob’ (the mile long embankment built in the early 19th Century to reclaim a large portion of land from the sea for agricultural use) the railway turns inland and climbs an almost constant gradient up to the Slate mining town of Blaenau Ffestiniog. The Slate in Blaenau Ffestiniog is the reason the railway was built, and trains propelled by gravity alone brought the slate down from the hills to the awaiting ships in Porthmadog Harbour.
Take a return trip on the Welsh Highland Railway. The newly restored Welsh Highland Railway is a marvel in engineering feats. After crossing through the Harbour town of Porthmadog the railway climbs through the stunning Aberglaslyn pass and up to the railway’s peak of 650ft in the foot hills of Snowdon. The adventure is not over as the line then twists and turns as it makes its way to the Royal town of Caernarfon.
This morning starts with the preparation of ’Lilla’ one of the Ffestiniog Railway’s Hunslet locomotives built in 1891 for use in the Cilgwyn Quarry in the Nantlle Valley. After detailed instruction and some test runs, the ‘Guest Shunter’ will then be given some exciting tasks to perform in the Railway's engineering depot, Minffordd Yard. The exercise will include manoeuvring original quarry slate waggons around the yard in order to make up a train in the correct order. A packed lunch is included today.
Price per person based on two people sharing:
A reduction of £325.00 is available on the ‘Guest Shunter’ price if you are willing to consider a Share Experience (no more than two ‘shunters’ will participate)
‘Guest Shunter’ must be aged 16 or over and reasonably fit. Boots and overalls are not supplied, the guest must bring their own. Only the nominated ‘Guest Shunter’ may operate the locomotive. Availability of ‘Lilla’ is not guaranteed and another locomotive may be substituted, dates applicable from Easter through to mid July 2013 subject to availability.