The Ffestiniog railway is the oldest independent railway in the world, originally built to take slate from the mines at Blaenau to the harbour at Porthmadog. It is open all year round, and travels through some of Snowdonia’s most dramatic scenery.
The Welsh Highland is Snowdonia’s newest restored railway. It currently runs 12 miles between Caernarfon in the north and the village of Rhyd-Ddu, 650 feet above sea level on the lower slopes of Snowdon. Work is in progress on the remaining section to Porthmadog, and should be open in the spring of 2009. At Porthmadog, the West Highland railway will meet up with the Ffestiniog railway, taking the total journey from Caernarfon to Blaenau to 40 miles.
The Tal-y-Llyn railway runs from Abergynolwyn to Tywyn, passing through some pretty scenery including the Dolgoch Falls and ravine, where you can get off and walk up to the top of the falls – a short and easy walk, even for small children.