Ffestiniog Railway “Behind the Scenes”

Behind the Scenes at Glan y Pwll - © Colin Churcher
Taliesin and Ffestiniog Travel charter on Dduallt Spiral - © Colin Churcher
Blanche in Boston Lodge - © Colin Churcher
Taliesin leads Linda past Tanygrisiau
Ffestiniog Railway at Dduallt - © Bob Cable
Palmerston crossing Snowdon Street

Holiday Highlights

  • Steam Hauled Private Charter
  • Footplate ride on a section of the line
  • Unique behind the scenes access of the entire railway
  • Access to ‘normally off limits’ Porthmadog signalbox
  • Guided tours and insights from active staff and volunteers
  • Three course evening meal on first and last night
  • 5 Days From £845pp
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Tour Dates:
Friday 15 June to Tuesday 19 June 2018

An access all areas tour of one of the most famous railways in Britain, if not the world. The Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways operates over 40 miles from Caernarfon on the Menai Straits to Blaenau Ffestiniog surrounded by mountains and slate quarries. We step behind the scenes and visit sections of the line not normally seen by the average passenger.


Day 1 – Arrive Porthmadog

Arrive in Porthmadog in time to check into the Royal Sportsman Hotel, our base for the next 4 nights. This evening we have a group welcome dinner served in the hotel’s 2AA Rosette restaurant.

Day 2 – Ffestiniog Railway

This morning we have a coach transfer from our hotel to Boston Lodge where we take an in-depth behind the scenes tour of the works. The tour includes access to many areas that are not usually open to the public, even on guided tours. We will be able to view loco preparation and take a tour of the Erecting Shop, Drawing Office, Stores, Running Shed, Old Loco Shed, and Carriage Works. After this tour we board the train and make a return trip on the Ffestiniog Railway to Blaenau Ffestiniog, returning back to Porthmadog where we have a tour of the newly developed Harbour Station, including a visit to the signalbox, commissioned in 2014, with its miniature lever frame. A sandwich lunch is included today.

Day 3 – Welsh Highland Railway

Today we take the Welsh Highland Railway from Porthmadog through the Aberglaslyn Pass and climb through the forest and over the railway’s summit at Pitts Head. On arrival in Dinas you have the option of a guided tour of the locomotive workshops, including an opportunity to see the latest work on the railway’s NG15 locomotive 134, or continuing on to the historic town of Caernarfon with time to explore. We return to Porthmadog on the scheduled afternoon departure. A sandwich lunch is included today.

Day 4 – Behind the Scenes – Special Train

Today we take a rare insight into the Ffestiniog Railway with a special steam hauled charter. Our private train includes stops at Minffordd Yard and the Slate Sheds, plus lonely Rhiw Goch signalbox and loop. We also take our train along the original 'Dinas' branch at Blaenau Ffestiniog and to Glan y Pwll Sheds, we also see Dduallt with its spiral and we go behind the scenes at Tan y Bwlch. There will be several photo opportunities not usually available en route at Rhiw Goch and Dduallt. We then return to Porthmadog. Footplate rides will be available today to those wanting a unique view of the line. A sandwich lunch will be provided and this evening we will have a farewell meal served in the hotel restaurant.

Day 5 – Farewell

After a leisurely breakfast it’s time to check out and say farewell before travelling home independently.

IMPORTANT NOTE - Operational difficulties or requirements and other restrictions may limit or curtail some of the places to be visited but we do undertake to provide a unique insight unavailable to normal passengers or Society members. The special on Day 4 is expected to be steam hauled. However in certain circumstances a diesel may be used if steam traction is unavailable for any reason. Please note that as the Railways timetables are yet to be published and the days may be switched to accommodate our visit.

Tour Route

Tour route map

Selected Hotels

The Royal Sportsman, Porthmadog

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

Price Includes

  • Accommodation in a good, quality hotel on a bed and breakfast basis
  • Guided tours as stated
  • Return journeys in 3rd class on the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways
  • Special train as detailed
  • 3 sandwich lunches and 2 dinners
  • Transfers as stated
  • Services of a tour leader throughout the tour

Price per person

Escorted holiday: £845
Single room supplement: £85
Deposit for this holiday: £100

Booking form

Download your tour booking form here.