Easter in North Wales
30 March 2002
The view from our bedroom window of the valley of the River Dee and Corwen
village, the old embankment of the railway line running through the centre of
the picture; one day this will again see steam trains running from Llangollen.
After a morning horse riding, we drove to Caernarfon, from where we took the
Welsh Highland Railway. Here the powerful narrowguage locomotive runs around a
recently arrived train.
As the line runs steeply uphill away from Caernarfon station, the famous
castle comes into view.
Here the WHR is built on the trackbed of a former standard guage railway,
which gives space to the side for a cycleway.
Once at Dinas, the new WHR reaches the route of the original
WHR, which currently terminates at Waunfawr, though much work is underway which
will eventually see it link up with the WHR at Porthmadog, which we visited
At the current terminus, Waunfawr, the locomotive runs around the train on
newly laid track, with Snowdon looming out of the haze behind. Soon it will be
possible to take a train to the base of the mountain.
31 March 2002
Including a few new photos added 9 April.
Getting kitted up
Going down backwards!
Lucy and Stephen are in the middle row.
A few photos of others rafting...
In the afternoon, with the weather inclement, we found an
indoor attraction - the slate mines of Llechwedd.
We chose to take the underground railway down into the depths.
The deep mine incline enables visitors to explore the lower depths of the
mine, by means of a 24-seat car on a gradient of 1-in-8. This is the steepest
passenger underground railway in Britain.
On emerging into the light, a view of the desolation that surrounds Blaenau
Ffestiniog, with slate waste covering all the hills.
Monday 1 April 2002
On our way home, we stopped off at the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway.
The train from Llanfair is just arriving here at Raven Square, the modern-day
terminus of the railway.
Once the 2'6" railway continued through the streets of Welshpool to the
main-line railway station, in what must have been an extraordinary sight, sadly
lost to allow roads to be widened in the 1960s for modern traffic.
Here we have reached the
other terminus, Llanfair Caereinion. Our locomotive, Orion, reaches the
very end of the line, and the points are switched to let her onto the passing
loop. The long shed to her left used to be an engine shed, but is now a shop and
Her crew are seeing to the needs of Orion. Meanwhile we saw to our
needs, and had some lunch from the tea-room.
Orion moves back along the passing loop ready to take us back to
One of the two cattle wagons built for the line in 1902 heads these wagons
on a siding at Llanfair.
This coach is one of 45 coaches built by the Gloucester Carriage & Wagon
Co Ltd in 1961 for the Sierra Leone Government Railway, of which four reached
the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway in 1975.
We wait at Cyfronydd for the train from Welshpool to pass us.