The Welsh Mountaineer
Tuesday 30th July, 20th August and 3rd September 2013
These special steam trains travel from Preston to Blaenau Ffestiniog, in the heart of the spectacular Snowdonia National Park. The trains will be hauled by a powerful steam locomotive typical of the type seen along the route in the ‘days of steam’. The route is via Chester and along the scenic North Wales Coast Line to Llandudno Junction then up the beautiful Conwy Valley to the mountains at Blaenau Ffestiniog. A most memorable journey!
Our steam train leaves Preston at 07:40 and heads up the West Coast Main Line to Warrington Bank Quay where we stop to pick up more passengers. We continue to Frodsham where further passengers may join the train and our steam locomotive takes on water. 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 steam along beside the lovely Dee Estuary and then pass through Prestatyn and Rhyl, along the delightful Irish Sea coastline known for its beaches. After Colwyn Bay, we enjoy wonderful views of the Great Orme until we arrive at Llandudno Junction Station. We change direction of travel here, so our steam locomotive will ‘run round’ our train.
We set off for Blaenau Ffestiniog behind our steam locomotive, following the pretty Conwy Valley through Llanrwst, and entering 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 to Blaenau Ffestiniog Tunnel. At over two miles long, this impressive piece of engineering is the longest single track tunnel in the country. We pass through the substantial waste heaps of an old slate quarry before arriving at Blaenau Ffestiniog.
Blaenau Ffestiniog Railway Station is the terminus of the Conwy Valley Line and also the narrow gauge Ffestiniog Railway. We stay for almost three hours in Blaenau Ffestiniog, a town known as the Victorian slate capital of the world. The industry declined so that only the Llechwedd Slate Caverns, a former slate mine, remain and as a tourist attraction open to visitors.
Our train leaves Blaenau Ffestiniog, steam hauled, at around 16:00 and returns to Llandudno Junction. After changing direction of travel we continue, still steam hauled, stopping at Chester, Frodsham and Warrington Bank Quay to set down passengers. Our final calling point is Preston where we bid farewell to our steam locomotive.
One of the two following steam locomotives will be used on this day trip:
No. 45305 Black ‘5’ 4-6-0, built for the London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMSR) by Armstrong-Whitworth of Newcastle-on-Tyne in 1936, a ‘mixed traffic’ locomotive for use on passenger and freight trains. No. 61994 “The Great Marquess”, K4 class 2-6-0, built at Darlington Works in 1937 by the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER), a ‘mixed traffic’ locomotive for use on passenger and freight trains on the West Highland line in Scotland.
Approximate timings shown
First Class includes morning coffee with a Danish pastry and afternoon tea with scones, jam and cream, along with a selection of finger sandwiches.
Standard Class includes a reserved seat at a table for four.
A buffet car is available and serves tea, coffee, snacks and light refreshments. Tables for two can be guaranteed in first class and premier dining for a supplement of £20 per person. (subject to availability)http://www.railwaytouring.co.uk/bookings/BookingForm_UK.aspx?Action=New
The Railway Touring Company
14a Tuesday Market Place