This day trip provides a rare opportunity for passengers from Lancashire and Cheshire to travel by steam train to Blaenau Ffestiniog, in the heart of the spectacular Snowdonia National Park.
The route is via Manchester Victoria and Northwich to Chester, providing connections from other parts of the country, and along the scenic North Wales Coast Line. From Llandudno Junction, our steam train heads up the beautiful Conwy Valley to the mountains at Blaenau Ffestiniog.
Our steam train, hauled by either 8F locomotive No.48151 or Jubilee class locomotive No.45699 Galatea, leaves Preston at around 05:35 and heads up the West Coast Main Line to Wigan North Western, where we we will pick up further passengers, before we continue across Chat Moss to reach Manchester Victoria. We next climb the 1 in 47 gradient of Miles Platting Bank and continue to Stockport via Denton and join the Altrincham line through Northenden. We meet up with the Metrolink Tramawy service for a while before we reach Altrincham and head through rural Cheshire towards Northwich. It is a pretty route ahead as we travel through the Delamere Forest and join the line to Chester.
Chester is our final pick up point for passengers and, as we leave, we pass through the ancient city walls and cross the River Dee into Wales. We continue westwards beside the Dee Estuary and then travel along the delightful Irish Sea coastline, which is well known for its beaches. We pass through the coastal resorts of Prestatyn and Rhyl. Approaching Colwyn Bay, we enjoy wonderful views of the Little Great Orme. At Llandudno Junction station, we change direction of travel as our steam locomotive needs to ‘run round’ our train for the run up the Conwy Valley.
We set off for Blaenau Ffestiniog behind our steam locomotive, following the pretty Conwy Valley through to Llanrwst. We enter the Snowdonia National Park before Betws-y-Coed. The next part of our journey is extra special; we enter the very heart of the Welsh mountains as our train climbs up the very steep gradients to Blaenau Ffestiniog Tunnel. At over two miles long, this impressive piece of engineering is the longest single-track tunnel in the country.
Blaenau Ffestiniog Railway station is the terminus of the Conwy Valley Line and also the adjacent narrow gauge Ffestiniog Railway. We stay for almost three hours in Blaenau Ffestiniog, a town known as the Victorian slate capital of the world.
Our train leaves Blaenau Ffestiniog, steam hauled, at around 16:00 and returns to Llandudno Junction. After changing direction of travel we continue eastwards, still steam hauled, stopping at Chester and our outward stations towards Manchester Victoria to set down passengers. After Wigan, our final calling point is Preston and so ends a memorable day out in the mountains of Snowdonia.
First Class includes morning coffee with a muffin, afternoon tea and coffee with a cake and a biscuit.
Standard Class includes a reserved seat usually at a table for four.
Tables for two can be guaranteed in First Class for a supplement of £25 per person (subject to availability).
A buffet car is available and serves tea, coffee, snacks and light refreshments.
Approximate timings shown
|Wigan North Western||05:55||22:10|
|Llandudno Jct (Arrive)||10:50||18:10 (Depart)|
|Llandudno Jct (Depart)||11:40||17:10 (Arrive)|