Behind the Scenes of the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways

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

Take an access all areas tour of one of the most famous railways in Britain, if not the world. Step behind the scenes of the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways (F&WHR) and visit sections of the 40 mile narrow gauge line not normally seen by the average passenger. Below is a sample itinerary to give you an idea of what we can arrange for your family or group. As a sister company to the F&WHR we are in a unique position to gain unparalleled access to the railways and create a comprehensive tour to include travel, accommodation and hands-on, guided tours

For a visual taste of what you can expect from this specialist tour here is a video of a recent ‘Behind the Scenes’ in-depth visit to the Ffestiniog Railway:

Please note there is a minimum number of 6 for this itinerary.


Day 1 – Arrive Porthmadog

Arrive in Porthmadog in time to check into the Royal Sportsman Hotel, your base for the next 4 nights. We will arrange a welcome dinner served in the hotel’s 2AA Rosette restaurant.

Day 2 – Ffestiniog Railway

This morning there will be a private transfer from your hotel to Boston Lodge for 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. You 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 board the train and make a return trip on the Ffestiniog Railway to Blaenau Ffestiniog, returning back to Porthmadog for a tour of Harbour Station, including a visit to the signalbox, commissioned in 2014, with its miniature lever frame.

Day 3 – Welsh Highland Railway

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 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. You return to Porthmadog on the scheduled afternoon departure.

Day 4 – Behind the Scenes – Special Train

A rare insight into the Ffestiniog Railway on board a special steam hauled charter. The private train includes stops at Minffordd Yard and the Slate Sheds, lonely Rhiw Goch signalbox and loop. Take the 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. On the return journey to Porthmadog, footplate rides will be available for those wanting a unique view of the line. A farewell meal will be arranged in the hotel restaurant this evening.

Day 5 – Farewell

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

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 Steam Charter Train as detailed
  • 2 dinners
  • Transfers as stated

Price per person

Price available upon request

Booking form

Download your tour booking form here.


Why Choose Ffestiniog Travel?

  • UK's first rail tour operator to run an overseas escorted rail holiday in 1974
  • Created for people who love rail holidays and exploring the world’s heritage railways
  • Dedicated rail holiday specialist - great destinations, sightseeing and unparalled railway content
  • Train ticket supplier for worldwide rail operators - we can plan and arrange your rail journey to anywhere
  • Knowledge of the world’s rail routes makes us leading specialists in escorted and Tailor Made rail holidays
  • Over 60% of our existing rail tour travellers return to holiday with us year after year
  • Committed to supporting rail travel and heritage railways around the world
  • Our profits support the continued preservation of the famous Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways
  • Small, dedicated rail holiday travel team offering an award winning personal service

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