Ffestiniog Railway

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Ffestiniog Railway
Rheilffordd Ffestiniog
Place North Wales
Termini Porthmadog Harbour Station
Blaenau Ffestiniog
Gauge 1 ft 11 1/2 in
Length 13 1/2 miles
Stations 10
Owner Festiniog Railway Company
Opened 20 April 1836
Closed 1 August 1946
1954 Restoration started at Boston Lodge works 20 September 1954
1955 Reopened to Boston Lodge 23 July 1955
1956 Reopened to Minffordd
1957 Reopened to Penrhyn
1958 Reopened to Tan y Bwlch
1965 Start of the Deviation construction work
1968 Reopened to Dduallt
1974 Restoration of Rhiw Goch passing loop
1977 Reopened to Llyn Ystradau
1978 Reopened to Tanygrisiau
1982 Reopened to Blaenau Ffestiniog

The Ffestiniog Railway or Rheilffordd Ffestiniog (previously spelled Festiniog Railway) is a narrow gauge railway running from Porthmadog Harbour Station to Blaenau Ffestiniog in North Wales. Built, owned and operated by the Festiniog Railway Company it opened in 1836 and continues to operate as a popular tourist attraction.

Notes on spelling[edit]

It is also common (and correct Welsh) that people use the Ffestiniog instead of Festiniog way of spelling. By its Parliamentary Act of 1832, the Railway Company was incorporated using the Anglicised, single F, spelling and ever since its legal entity has been the Festiniog Railway Company.

As a business that operated within a frequently Welsh-speaking community it is hardly surprising that the proper Welsh spelling, the double Ff, sometimes slipped into written records during the old company's days.

During the 1970s - 1980s, in a response to a different cultural climate, the Company investigated the process for altering the legal entity and adopt the double Ff. The excessive cost of a complex process (including a new Act of Parliament) precluded any such action.

During the 1990s, however, a conscious effort was made to promote the use of the double Ff and this form is now used on virtually all paperwork, save for essential legal documents.

The exception to this is the FR Heritage Group, by virtue of its interest in the historical aspects of the railway.


Main article: History Of The FR

The line was opened in 1836 as a carrier of slate from the quarries to the ports. Steam locomotives, including the famous Double Fairlies, and passenger trains were introduced in the 1860s. During the first half of the 20th century slate traffic declined but tourist traffic picked up.

The line closed in 1946 but control of the company was obtained by a group enthusiasts and transferred to a charitable trust. The line was progressively re-opened (including the famous deviation) and continues to thrive as a popular tourist attraction.

Further Reading[edit]


See FR Locations for the full route with links to pages about individual locations

The present route runs from Porthmadog Harbour Station to Blaenau Ffestiniog. Principal stations are Minffordd, Penrhyn, Tan y Bwlch and Tanygrisiau.

See also[edit]