The original Welsh Highland Railway was part of a grand Victorian scheme to create an empire of narrow gauge lines covering North Wales. The section linking Porthmadog with Caernarfon was the only part built, although it stopped a few miles south of Caernarfon at Dinas Junction. It finally opened in its entire length in 1923. The railway struggled and although it was eventually taken over by the neighbouring Ffestiniog Railway it closed in 1937.
After many years of slumber, which saw the remaining stock sold or scrapped and the line pulled up during WWII, the revival began in the mid 1960's. After years of slow but steady progress the Welsh Highland is being revived in two parts. The Ffestiniog Railway is rebuilding south from the Caernarfon end (see separate entry) and the volunteer Welsh Highland Railway Ltd. is rebuilding northwards from Porthmadog. This line currently runs out of Porthmadog towards Pen-y-mount. On the return journey you stop at the engineering headquarters at Gelert’s Farm and have an opportunity to tour the works. The line is currently being extended towards Pont Croesor, 2 miles north towards Beddgelert.
In a few years the two lines will become one and you will be able to travel by narrow gauge train from Porthmadog to Caernarfon through some of the most beautiful scenery in Wales.
A Talking Timetable in English is available on 0870 321 2402 and in Welsh on 0870 321 3402 (calls to both numbers charged at normal national rate)