FR Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes at Glan y Pwll - © Colin Churcher
Welsh Highland train passes through the Aberglaslyn Pass - © Colin Churcher
Taliesin and Ffestiniog Travel charter on Dduallt Spiral - © Colin Churcher
Blanche in Boston Lodge - © Colin Churcher
Ffestiniog Railway at Dduallt - © Bob Cable
Taliesin leads Linda past Tanygrisiau

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’ New Porthmadog Signalbox
  • Guided tours and insights from Active Staff and Volunteers
  • 3 course evening meal on first and last night
  • 5 Days From £795pp
Tailor this tour for independent travel

Tour Dates:
Friday 2 June to Tuesday 6 June 2017

An access-all-areas tour of one of the most famous railways in Britain, if not the world. We step behind the scenes of the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways and visit parts 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 indepth 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 recently developed Harbour Station including a visit to the newly commissioned signalbox 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 highest peak at Pitts Head. On arrival in Dinas you have an 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 Caernarfon to explore the town. We return to Porthmadog on the scheduled afternoon departure. A sandwich lunch is included today.

Day 4 – Behind the Scenes – Special Train

Enjoy a rare insight into the Ffestiniog Railway with a special steam hauled two coach train. Our private train includes stops at Minffordd Yard and the Slate Sheds, 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, 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 and travel over the 'Crosstown link', stopping at Snowdon Mill, the former junction of the Gorseddau Tramway and Pont Croesor, where there is a visitor centre for viewing ospreys. The train then returns 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.


  • 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 holiday
Price per person:  
Escorted holiday: £795
Single room supplement: £80
Deposit for this holiday: £100

Tour Route

Tour route map

Selected Hotels

The Royal Sportsman, Porthmadog

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

Booking form

Download your tour booking form here.