Ffestinog railway porthmadog


The world’s oldest railway company

Founded in 1832, the Ffestiniog Railway is the oldest independent railway company in the world. In 1863, it introduced the world’s first narrow gauge steam locomotives, four of which still remain. The railway was originally a gravity and horse drawn line for transporting slate from the mountain quarries around Blaenau Ffestiniog.  Slates were then exported from Porthmadog to destinations across the globe.

The Ffestiniog line is notable for its fleet of unique Double Fairlie locomotives. These were built by the railway’s own engineers in the oldest railway workshops in use anywhere in the world. Now one of Wales’ top tourist attractions, the railway enables visitors to enjoy both the historic trains and the beauty of Snowdonia. The route passes through many stunning areas which are inaccessible by road. Passengers can revel in the imposing peaks, ancient forests, gorgeous lakes and pretty waterfalls.

The journey from Porthmadog Harbour to Blaenau Ffestiniog is 13.5 miles. The trains climb over 700 feet from sea level into the mountains through amazing scenery, negotiating steep bends and tunnels. Taking visitors back to yesteryear but in amazing comfort, the railway offers a unique experience which changes throughout the seasons. The full journey takes 70 minutes (one way) and the train stops at Miniffordd and Plas Tany Bwlch along the way. There are also request stops at Boston Lodge, Penrhyn, Plas Halt, Dduallt and Tanygrisiau. If you want to get off a train at one of the request stops, tell the guard before you get on the train, to ensure you are seated in the right carriage. If you want to get on a train at one of the request stops, please give a clear signal to the engine driver as the train comes into sight (hold out your arm).

The Ffestiniog Railway timetable varies throughout the year, so check this before booking a holiday if you are keen to ride the railway.


Ffestiniog Railway
Ffestiniog railway locomotive

Booking, prices and concessions

You can book full distance single and return tickets online. Tickets for shorter journeys can be purchased at the Ffestiniog Railway booking offices of from the guards on the trains. Online booking closes at midnight the day before travel and is restricted to Third Class (standard) tickets. First Class tickets can be booked by calling 01766 516024.

Advance booking isn’t essential but will guarantee your seat on your preferred departure if the trains are busy.

Please note that you don’t have to remain on the train all the way to your final destination. You can choose to break up your journey and explore the area around each station along the way.

The current charge for a full distance return journey is £25.60

All children under 3 travel free. All children 3 years and over require a ticket but one child under 16 years travels free with each adult or concession paying ordinary 3rd class fare. Additional children travel at half fare. A flat rate first class supplement applies. Dogs are welcome in the third class carriages and may travel for £3 each. Bicycles are also permitted at a charge of £3 each.

Ffestiniog railway at Porthmadog harbour


You will begin your railway journey at Porthmadog Harbour. From the Woollen Mill, take the A470 south until you reach a roundabout outside Porthmadog which features a signpost to the station. This is not the station you need but turn right anyway and follow the road past Tesco to a mini roundabout. Turn left and drive through the high street. At the end of the high street you will see the Ffestiniog Railway Porthmadog Harbour station (LL49 9NF)) on your right next to the harbour and there is a small car park.

Are there toilets on the train?

There toilets on each of the regular service trains. These can be accessed from most of the train by walking through the carriages. As this is a narrow gauge railway, the toilets are also narrow. The station toilets, are full sized and so it is advisable to use these before embarking. There are accessible toilets and baby changing facilities at all four main stations.