Quarries Served By The Festiniog Railway

From Festipedia, hosted by the FR Heritage Group

By the 1870s the Festiniog Railway was connected to some 16 quarries by over 30 inclines, either by direct connection, or by the 2 main feeder tramways (i.e. Rhiwbach & Cwm Orthin). Indeed the combined length of the various quarry lines and spurs (some 14 miles) marginally exceeded the length of the main line itself.

Map of the principal quarries and feeder tramways at Blaenau Ffestiniog. Not all tramways existed at the same time

A splendid map of the area is included in a book by Graham Isherwood called Slate- From Blaenau Ffestiniog, and is reproduced here

Overview Articles[edit]

Slate and The Festiniog Railway

Gravity slate trains

Slate Waggons


Quarries served (in order up the line) included:

  • Brooke's Quarry - granite quarry connected directly to the FR
  • Moelwyn Quarry (Moelwyn Mawr & Moelwyn Bach) - connected directly to the FR by an impressive series of 7 inclines.
  • The Dinas Branch (originally the "main-line") served on its western side -
    • and on its eastern side -
      • Llechwedd Quarry (Greaves, incl. Tal y Weinydd) which linked directly by incline to the FR (1852).
  • The "Diffwys Branch" (later to become the main-line to Blaenau Ffestiniog) served -
      • Diffwys (Diphwys Casson, incl. Henwaith, Penfridd & Twll Newydd) connected with the FR in 1860 via the Bowydd incline (later to become No.1 incline of the Rhiwbach Tramway). Direct incline connection to FR in 1863.
      • Maenofferen Quarry (incl. David Jones') connected to the FR via the Diffwys & (later) Rhiwbach inclines.
      • Votty And Bowydd Quarry (Chwarel Lord Newborough, & Percival's) connected directly to the FR in 1854, later using Rhiwbach Tramway incline No. 1, and later still a direct incline link to the FR at Duffws.

See also[edit]


An invaluable source of information on the slate quarries of the area (and from where some information has been taken) are the following 3 books by Alun John Richards -

    • "A Gazeteer of the Welsh Slate Industry", 1991
    • "The Slate Railways of Wales", 2001
    • "The Slate Regions of N & S Wales and their Railways", 1999, all published by Gwasg Carreg Gwalch

The author has his website here.