In photos: Blaenau Ffestiniog and a narrow gauge steam journey to Tan-y-Bwlch in Snowdonia, Aug 2018

In photos: Blaenau Ffestiniog and a steam trip to Tan-y-Bwlch in Snowdonia, August 2018

Here’s some photos from a recent visit to the slate mining town of Blaenau Ffestiniog in north Wales, with our day trip taking in a journey on the Ffestiniog Railway to Tan-y-Bwlch and back.

In photos: Blaenau Ffestiniog and a steam trip to Tan-y-Bwlch in Snowdonia, August 2018

When you arrive in Blaenau Ffestiniong by train you’re taken aback by the sight of vast canyons and mountains of waste slate.

In photos: Blaenau Ffestiniog and a steam trip to Tan-y-Bwlch in Snowdonia, August 2018

The station has platforms for both the branch line from Llandudno Junction and the steam-operated, narrow gauge Ffestiniog Railway to Porthmadog (to the left).

In photos: Blaenau Ffestiniog and a steam trip to Tan-y-Bwlch in Snowdonia, August 2018

The end of the line.  There are plans to reopen the Blaenau Ffestiniog to Trawsfynydd railway

In photos: Blaenau Ffestiniog and a steam trip to Tan-y-Bwlch in Snowdonia, August 2018

In photos: Blaenau Ffestiniog and a steam trip to Tan-y-Bwlch in Snowdonia, August 2018

We took a quick walk around Blaenau Ffestiniog, which now has a population of 4,875 according to the 2011 census, which includes the nearby village of Llan Ffestiniog.

It was once a far bigger town with 12,000 residents during the peak of the slate industry.

In photos: Blaenau Ffestiniog and a steam trip to Tan-y-Bwlch in Snowdonia, August 2018

In photos: Blaenau Ffestiniog and a steam trip to Tan-y-Bwlch in Snowdonia, August 2018

Building for sale.

In photos: Blaenau Ffestiniog and a steam trip to Tan-y-Bwlch in Snowdonia, August 2018

In photos: Blaenau Ffestiniog and a steam trip to Tan-y-Bwlch in Snowdonia, August 2018

Rail routes out of Blaenau Ffestiniog.

In photos: Blaenau Ffestiniog and a steam trip to Tan-y-Bwlch in Snowdonia, August 2018

In photos: Blaenau Ffestiniog and a steam trip to Tan-y-Bwlch in Snowdonia, August 2018

Old Co-Op.

In photos: Blaenau Ffestiniog and a steam trip to Tan-y-Bwlch in Snowdonia, August 2018

In photos: Blaenau Ffestiniog and a steam trip to Tan-y-Bwlch in Snowdonia, August 2018

Getting ready to depart the station on the Ffestiniog Railway.

In photos: Blaenau Ffestiniog and a steam trip to Tan-y-Bwlch in Snowdonia, August 2018

Opening on the 20th April 1836, the Ffestiniog Railway is a 1 ft 11 1⁄2 in (597 mm) narrow-gauge heritage railway, located mainly within the Snowdonia National Park.

Running from the harbour at Porthmadog to Blaenau Ffestiniog, the 13 1⁄2 mile (21.7 km) line travels through forested and mountainous scenery.

The line closed on 1st August 1946, but was reopened in sections from 1954, with the whole line reopening in 1982.

In photos: Blaenau Ffestiniog and a steam trip to Tan-y-Bwlch in Snowdonia, August 2018

The Festiniog Railway Company which owns the railway can claim to be the oldest surviving railway company in the world. The company also owns the equally scenic Welsh Highland Railway, which was re-opened fully in 2011.

The two railways share the same track gauge and meet at Porthmadog station, with some trains working the entire 40 mile route from Blaenau Ffestiniog to Caernarfon. []

In photos: Blaenau Ffestiniog and a steam trip to Tan-y-Bwlch in Snowdonia, August 2018

Passing above Dduallt station before the train loops down into the platform.

In photos: Blaenau Ffestiniog and a steam trip to Tan-y-Bwlch in Snowdonia, August 2018

In photos: Blaenau Ffestiniog and a steam trip to Tan-y-Bwlch in Snowdonia, August 2018

In photos: Blaenau Ffestiniog and a steam trip to Tan-y-Bwlch in Snowdonia, August 2018

In photos: Blaenau Ffestiniog and a steam trip to Tan-y-Bwlch in Snowdonia, August 2018

Winding through the valleys on the ascent to Tan-y-Bwlch station.

In photos: Blaenau Ffestiniog and a steam trip to Tan-y-Bwlch in Snowdonia, August 2018

In photos: Blaenau Ffestiniog and a steam trip to Tan-y-Bwlch in Snowdonia, August 2018

Arriving at Tan-y-Bwlch railway station,  just under 7.5 miles (12.1 km) from Porthmadog. We didn’t have time to traverse the full route.

In photos: Blaenau Ffestiniog and a steam trip to Tan-y-Bwlch in Snowdonia, August 2018

The Porthmadog train gets ready to depart.

Below is a late Victorian/early Edwardian colourised postcard from a similar viewpoint. The wooden hut to the right still survives and is in use as a small museum and ‘Mr Hawkins Den.’

In photos: Blaenau Ffestiniog and a steam trip to Tan-y-Bwlch in Snowdonia, August 2018

In photos: Blaenau Ffestiniog and a steam trip to Tan-y-Bwlch in Snowdonia, August 2018

In photos: Blaenau Ffestiniog and a steam trip to Tan-y-Bwlch in Snowdonia, August 2018

In photos: Blaenau Ffestiniog and a steam trip to Tan-y-Bwlch in Snowdonia, August 2018

A look inside the loco.

In photos: Blaenau Ffestiniog and a steam trip to Tan-y-Bwlch in Snowdonia, August 2018

In photos: Blaenau Ffestiniog and a steam trip to Tan-y-Bwlch in Snowdonia, August 2018

Arriving at Blaenau Ffestiniog station.

In photos: Blaenau Ffestiniog and a steam trip to Tan-y-Bwlch in Snowdonia, August 2018

Train ready to depart to Portmadog.

In photos: Blaenau Ffestiniog and a steam trip to Tan-y-Bwlch in Snowdonia, August 2018

We caught the branch line train back to Llandudno via Llandudno junction.

Ffestiniog Railway website

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